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   xoxoxoBruce  Sunday Nov 16 03:32 PM

November 17, 2008: Indians

A group of what I believe are High School students in Texas, have put together a beautiful website. Using pictures of Indians from the National Archives and adding text that appears when each picture is clicked on, they've created an emotional experience.

Quote:
Picture the life of our first people. Hear the chanting and dancing around the fire. Smell the scent of herbs in the ancient ceremony. Listen to the medicine man and his mystical stories. Picture a land of endless boundaries and open range. Picture the prairie decorated by grass and wildflowers, undisturbed by modern technology. Picture a stream, crystal clear, providing bountiful food and life giving water. Picture a father showing his son how to string his first bow. Picture a boy riding a horse on his first hunt. Hear the whoop of warriors before the kill. Picture the women scraping hides for clothing, and smell the deer and buffalo, roasting slowly in the camp. Picture a time when Native Americans lived in harmony with the land. Picture the past, picture the future, picture-indian.com.


This is an unusual IOtD, in that I'm urging you to go to this linked site, check it out and if you like it, give the kids some feedback through their email link at the bottom of their home page...
but y'all come back now, ya hear.


TheMercenary  Sunday Nov 16 04:43 PM

Beautiful.



SPUCK  Monday Nov 17 06:57 AM

Indians sure were short on smiles, weren't they?



cooties  Monday Nov 17 09:59 AM

Great idea for a site.

I spent my childhood summers travelling with my folks around the western states going to archives and Indian Days (which is what they're called - Browning Indian Days, for example). It was a great experience.

They may have lived in harmony with the land, but not with one another. The Iroquois, for example, were no friends of the Hurons.

If you ever get a chance to do a sweatlodge, take it. Brutal to experience but life changing.



barefoot serpent  Monday Nov 17 11:43 AM

Some of these are probably from the Frank Rinehart collection. About 800 of the original glass plates are stored at Haskell Indian Nations University here in Lawrence.



dar512  Monday Nov 17 12:38 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by SPUCK View Post
Indians sure were short on smiles, weren't they?
People in general didn't smile in early pictures. I think it had to do with the long exposure times - too long to hold a smile.


Clodfobble  Monday Nov 17 02:19 PM

There are also some cultures (today, not back then) where smiling in photos just isn't done. When we were buying our current house, we walked through one that had all these posed family photos on the wall, and not a single smile, anywhere. There is nothing creepier than a group of dead-serious children staring at you. Also, the mother had a pretty hefty moustache. That was pretty creepy too.



glatt  Monday Nov 17 03:38 PM

heh.

That reminds me that when my daughter was around 15 months old, we were trying to get her to smile for the camera. For some reason, she decided that "SMILE!" was a command to open your mouth as wide as you can. We have a lot of pictures from this couple month long period with her mouth stretched wide open.



Bullitt  Monday Nov 17 03:44 PM

Very cute glatt, could make for some interesting senior photos later in life.



ZenGum  Monday Nov 17 08:34 PM

It looks like she is yawning. Cute.

(Is it terribly wrong that I want to put a ping pong ball in her mouth and try to win a prize?)

Early photos did aim at dignity, but I also think that by the time those photos were taken, your average Native American didn't have an awful lot to smile about.



xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Nov 18 12:02 AM

Email from the site creators...

Quote:
Bruce,

Thank you very much for your link to our site. You really helped us
get started. We greatly appreciate your contribution. Thank you again.
Please come back and visit.
Respectfully,
Brittani on behalf of the 5th period class



Coign  Tuesday Nov 18 11:33 AM

It is nice that these kids are learning about other cultures but the myths they learn bug me.


Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
Picture a time when Native Americans lived in harmony with the land.
This has always bugged me. Indians for the most part did not "live in harmony with the land" any more than we do. They would slaughter hunt and start huge wildfires to chase game. The reason they did not have as much a impact on the land as we may have now is that there were just less of them.

But just because they talked to some bear spirit doesn't mean they didn't burn him out of house and home.

http://www.wildlandfire.com/docs/biblio_indianfire.htm

They changed their ecosystem to fit their needs just as we do today on a bigger scale.


glatt  Tuesday Nov 18 12:07 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coign View Post
The reason they did not have as much a impact on the land as we may have now is that there were just less of them.
That's true, but this website is written from the perspective of a modern person. The Indians may have burned the land, but it grew back. That mercury and dioxin in the nation's rivers will be there forever. You still can't go near Chernobyl. We have technology today that allows us to fuck things up on a much greater level than the Indians ever did. In comparison to today's human, the Indians did live in harmony with the land. So did the Pilgrims.


Shawnee123  Tuesday Nov 18 12:14 PM

Beautiful site.

lmao @ Coign. Seriously?



Coign  Tuesday Nov 18 12:28 PM

Just because they didn't have the technology to mess up the land didn't mean they had the will. They were less "green" intending than many of the green conservatives of today.

My argument is don't point to them as your green land loving idols. They were not.



Shawnee123  Tuesday Nov 18 12:32 PM

They hunted and fished, for food and clothing. They used trees and rocks for shelters and tools.

That is the very definition of a relationship with nature. For them to be "green" do you think they should have sat around starving to death in the snow because they didn't want to use the land? Damn buffalo ate stuff too. Damn birds and coyote. Damn plant life.

:

I can't believe I'm even arguing this point. It's ridiculous.



Coign  Tuesday Nov 18 12:50 PM

Come now, they burned the landscaped, over hunted their lands, droves whole herds off of cliff sides, and massacred any neighbors that posed a threat to their hunting grounds? That is living in harmony?

Here are some quick links for you.

http://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1...ndians+harmony

http://www.victorhanson.com/articles...ton112205.html

http://www.reason.com/news/show/30146.html



It is not an argument, it is an education.



Shawnee123  Tuesday Nov 18 01:42 PM

Whew. I'm glad we (they) slaughtered them (us) and stopped them (us) from bastardizing our (their) land.

Long live the American Holocaust, so people like Coign can feel big and strong. Your solely opinion articles mean nothing to me. Why do you want to fuck up a nice thread and a nice site anyway? Can't stand it, can you?



TheMercenary  Tuesday Nov 18 03:46 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coign View Post
Just because they didn't have the technology to mess up the land didn't mean they had the will. They were less "green" intending than many of the green conservatives of today.

My argument is don't point to them as your green land loving idols. They were not.
..


TheMercenary  Tuesday Nov 18 03:48 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coign View Post
Come now, they burned the landscaped, over hunted their lands, droves whole herds off of cliff sides, and massacred any neighbors that posed a threat to their hunting grounds? That is living in harmony?

Here are some quick links for you.

http://www.google.com/search?rlz=1C1...ndians+harmony

http://www.victorhanson.com/articles...ton112205.html

http://www.reason.com/news/show/30146.html



It is not an argument, it is an education.
Sorry dude. Those are pretty weak arguments in the face of reams of historical evidence to the contrary.


xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Nov 19 12:39 AM

He's right in that the plains Indians used all resources at hand, then moved on down the trail. They were nomadic because one spot wouldn't sustain their lifestyle for long. Of course they were limited in number, and the area they left would recover fairly quickly, so they could return to that spot on their next tour.



HungLikeJesus  Wednesday Nov 19 12:58 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
He's right in that the plains Indians used all resources at hand, then moved on down the trail. They were nomadic because one spot wouldn't sustain their lifestyle for long. Of course they were limited in number, and the area they left would recover fairly quickly, so they could return to that spot on their next tour.
Kind of like Lumberjim and jinx following the Greatful Dead.


xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Nov 19 01:00 AM

Only the Indians didn't leave such devastation in their wake.



classicman  Wednesday Nov 19 09:12 AM

...nor broken hearts!



Coign  Wednesday Nov 19 10:33 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawnee123 View Post
Whew. I'm glad we (they) slaughtered them (us) and stopped them (us) from bastardizing our (their) land.

Long live the American Holocaust, so people like Coign can feel big and strong. Your solely opinion articles mean nothing to me. Why do you want to fuck up a nice thread and a nice site anyway? Can't stand it, can you?
My argument is not that we didn't mess them up. I am not denying a Holocaust. I think it is a sad day in mankind's history. So is slavery, so is the many other atrocities that great, great, ancestors of both you and I have caused in the past. Damn the Egyptians for chasing us out of the valley.

But I would make this "history altering" claim if you said the pilgrims and Indians got along. Or if you claimed Columbus was a great explorer and not a land raping pirate out looking for more coastal lands to plunder.

I am not anti-Indian, just anti-false history. And saying the Indians lived in harmony with the land is only because the could not screw it up any more with the technology they had. But they made an good attempt at it.

It is not that I am trying to rain on anyone's parade but why don't people get taught the truth [in school and media]? Our history is one filled with hate, rage, destruction, abuse, and destroying everything around us. If we refuse to see where we have been, how will we ever rise above our past to a more civilized world?


footfootfoot  Wednesday Nov 19 10:43 AM

Skip this post Shawnee.
.
.
.

Quote:
Originally Posted by classicman View Post
...nor broken hearts!
...just wounded knees.


Coign  Wednesday Nov 19 10:47 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMercenary View Post
Sorry dude. Those are pretty weak arguments in the face of reams of historical evidence to the contrary.
Where are your reams of historical evidence? I did an opposite search and didn't see any evidence in the top hits.

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&r...ny&btnG=Search

I did find a site briefly talking about countering prejudice against American Indians and Alaska Natives. They had this to say:

Quote:
Typically, when teaching about Native Americans, teachers favor two approaches in developing their lessons. The first is the "dead-and-buried culture approach," which portrays Native Americans as being extinct. Lessons tend to present information in the past tense, "Indians lived in tipis, they grew corn and hunted buffalo, they were very athletic, they lived in harmony with the land," and so forth.

...

Neither approach provides non-Native students the tools they need to comfortably interact with American Indians and Alaska Natives. Instead, they teach simplistic generalizations about other peoples and lead to stereotyping, rather than to understanding (Derman-Sparks, 1993-94).
http://www.ericdigests.org/1997-2/antibias.htm

Hmm, are they saying that you are not being taught how the Indians actually lived? Don't buy into the myth.


footfootfoot  Wednesday Nov 19 10:52 AM

As for the lack of smiles in everyone depicted in old photographs, regardless of their culture, it has nothing to do with the general cheeriness of the people being photographed, it has to do with the limitations of the film back then. The exposures were extremely long, people had to sit absolutley still for upwards of a minute at times. You cannot hold a smile that long with out it looking like a horrific grimace.

Try it if you can get your digital cameras on a tripod in a darkish room and you can set a 30 second exposure.

And as for "the Indians" living in harmony with nature that idea is fairly simplistic mainly because it presupposes that "the Indians" were a homogeneous group who all shared the same culture. I'm sure there were a few Indians who didn't finish all the food on their plate, and who didn't mind torching an enemy's camp even if it meant that all the resources that went into making that camp were destroyed.

But when has a lack of facts and personal experience ever stopped anyone from expressing their opinion on the internet?



classicman  Wednesday Nov 19 11:27 AM

Aren't there a few Indians STILL ALIVE? The conversation seems to be as though they are extinct.

Were they forced to be nomadic because of their lifestyle (hiding from enemies too) or were they concerned about "nature" and therefore nomadic by choice?



Shawnee123  Wednesday Nov 19 11:33 AM

Absolutely Native Americans warred with each other, killed critters, and other unpleasant things.

My problem was with Coign looking at these pictures and commenting that it is a romanticization of a culture that was savage. He used "they" referring to NAs as if they were a homogenous group. A homogenous group of land-rapers and savages.

Another side of the culture is the respect for nature, as a whole, the awe of their gods (i.e. nature), loyalty to the tribe and family, and an inner peace with the ways of life and death.

When I look at these pictures, of course I romaticize the Native Americans. As a societal victim of genocide, they don't get the kind of press that African Americans, or Jews, or Rwandans, but I can bet the fear of the unfathomable concept that someone wants to wipe out you and your loved ones and your entire way of life were comparable.

My grandpa once said he never felt closer to God than when he was on the lake, fishing and thinking. I tend to feel that I got a lot of traits from him, and that his traits came from his ancestors.

Romanticize away. Give this culture some respect, it is no less a deserving object of this diversity thing you hear about in every seminar, lecture, class, and whatever other venues you can think of. It's a deeply beautiful culture.

As a society we have not cared for a long time, we have swept the issue under the rug because it is hard to look at and is so easily dismissed due to the current culture of the Native Americans, living on reservations or trying to assimilate: a calm demeanor, an attitude of seeming defeat that arises from an inner strength I think most of us couldn't understand. And we don't like to ever look like the "bad guys."

Though everyone is entitled to their opinion, I don't know that it would be met with such complacency had Doign walked into a thread about slavery and said something that amounts to the slaves being bastards and getting what they deserved.

Can't we just appreciate the beauty?



glatt  Wednesday Nov 19 11:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawnee123 View Post
slaves being bastards
Well, technically speaking, a bastard is an illegitimate child, and many of the slave owners would father children with the female slaves, resulting in illegitimate slave children.[/Cliff Clavin]


Shawnee123  Wednesday Nov 19 11:48 AM

You BASTARD!




xoxoxoBruce  Wednesday Nov 19 12:03 PM

Uh, you rang?



barefoot serpent  Wednesday Nov 19 01:31 PM

and then there's anadromous fishing rights in the NW...

goldurn injuns get to keep using dip nets while paleface has to stick to rod & reel

Quote:
On the Middle Columbia River, the commercialization of salmon and the resulting crush of newcomers initiated a heated debate among Indians over the nature of treaty rights and the question of who possesses them. The Celilo Fish Committee (CFC), established in 1935, provided an intertribal forum through which Indians tried to reconcile indigenous customs with the terms of the treaties and the demands of a changing world. By examining tensions within the CFC during its first decade, this essay illustrates how contested notions of race and indigenous identity shaped the controversy over Northwest Indian fishing rights. What emerges is not a simple tale of Indians versus whites but an intricate history of shifting alliances among an array of competing users. At Celilo Falls, where an ever-growing gauntlet of nets swept the current, fishing rights became tangled in a confusing web of racial, tribal, and residential affiliations.
+ great historic photos of the weirs and platforms contructed for traditional fishing.


Shawnee123  Wednesday Nov 19 02:43 PM

lol...for a second I was thinking Goldurn Indians? Where did they originate?

The article pics are great!



xoxoxoBruce  Monday Dec 8 05:44 AM

Update

The kids that built the website have added a section with pictures and verses about themselves. Well worth checking out.
http://www.picture-indian.com/los-vatos-de-oro.htm



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