Tag Archives | Native Americans

Humboldt Museum: Native American Tale of “Red-Haired Giants” Slain by Tribe

Picture: Timothy O'Sullivan (PD)

Atlas Obscura travels to Nevada’s Humboldt Museum and hears what is purported to be a legend of the Paiute tribe concerning a race of warlike, cave-dwelling, red-haired giants who were slain by fire and arrow.

Local legends passed down by the Paiute Indians tell of a race of giants who were exterminated by the tribe. It is said this was done by trapping the giants in a cave, shooting arrows at them, and then starting a large fire at the mouth of the cave. When the Lovelock Cave was later mined, many giant skeletons and artifacts were found in the area; there was also a large quantity of arrowheads found in the cave. Many of the artifacts were lost in a fire, but some of the skulls and artifacts are located at this museum.

See some of the skulls here.

Want to hear more about the legend of the red-haired giants?… Read the rest

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New Agers Vandalize Ohio’s Serpent Mound in “Working”

You’re welcome, Native Americans…

A group of “light warriors” buried what may be hundreds of small muffinlike resin objects, embedded with aluminum foil and quartz crystals, at Serpent Mound with the intent of realigning the energy of the ancient Native American site in Peebles.

The Ohio Historical Society and Adams County Sheriff K.R. Rogers haven’t arrested anybody yet in what they consider a serious vandalism case. But the people who apparently did it made it easy by laying out their actions in an extensive YouTube video where they acknowledge they “did some work” in September at the site in Adams County to help “lift the vibration of the Earth so we can all rise together.”

Read more at the Columbus Dispatch.

Hat tip: Skeptic.

Editor’s note: Video has been removed from YouTube. Believe me, I searched.Read the rest

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Native American Activist Russell Means Dies At 72

A man whose life — including radical 1960s activism ending in an armed standoff with the government, Hollywood stardom, and bizarre forays into electoral politics — wove through so many key aspects of twentieth century America. Via the Wall Street Journal:

Russell Means, a former American Indian Movement activist who helped lead a 1973 uprising against the U.S. government and appeared in several Hollywood films, died Monday [...] at his ranch in South Dakota, Oglala Sioux Tribe spokeswoman Donna Salomon said.

Mr. Means led AIM’s armed occupation of the South Dakota town of Wounded Knee, a 71-day siege that included several gunfights with federal officers. AIM was founded in the late 1960s to protest the government’s treatment of Native Americans and demand the government honor its treaties with Indian tribes.

Mr. Means in 2011 said that before AIM, there had been no advocate on a national or international scale for American Indians and that Native Americans were ashamed of their heritage.

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Cahokia: The First City In North America

While Europe was embroiled in the the Dark Ages, bustling Cahokia featured architectural marvels, and residents sipped a black coffee-like beverage and played a game similar to bocce ball. Via Live Science:

Cahokia was a city that, at its peak from 1050-1200 A.D., was larger than many European cities, including London. Located across the Mississippi River from modern-day St. Louis, it was the largest pre-Columbian city north of Mexico. The inhabitants of Cahokia did not use a writing system, and researchers today rely heavily on archaeology to interpret it.

Cultural finds from the city include evidence of a popular game called “Chunkey” and a caffeine loaded drink. Artistic finds include stone tablets carved with images (such as a birdman) as well as evidence of sophisticated copper working, including jewelry and headdresses.

The city fell into decline after 1200 A.D., becoming abandoned by 1400. The name “Cahokia” is from an aboriginal people that lived in the area during the 17th century.

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The Navajo Skinwalker: Fearsome Sorcerers and Shapeshifters.

Brian Dunning of the Skeptoid podcast relates a short history of the Navajo legend of the skinwalker. While he covers a lot of ground in his piece, it seems remiss that he didn’t examine the legend in a shamanic context beyond a word or two in the final paragraph. Perhaps of particular interest to Disinfo readers is Dunning’s reference to a series of supernatural events on what has become known as the Skinwalker Ranch. Needless to say, the author dismisses any speculation that leans toward a supernatural explanation for the reported occurrences. Regardless, this is an interesting read.

From the plains of the American West comes a story with a history as long as that of the Native Americans themselves: the skinwalkers. Witches, a class of outcast criminals who practiced black magic, were said to have the ability to shapeshift into any animal they chose. Such people were called skinwalkers, and if one was suspected, it was legal to kill them on sight.

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UN Investigator Says U.S. Should Return Stolen Land To Indian Tribes

"The Treaty of Penn with the Indians" by Benjamin West (1771)

"The Treaty of Penn with the Indians" by Benjamin West (1771)

Says a new UN report on the conditions of Indigenous peoples in the Americas. Chris McGreal writes in the Guardian:

A United Nations investigator probing discrimination against Native Americans has called on the US government to return some of the land stolen from Indian tribes as a step toward combatting continuing and systemic racial discrimination.

James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, said no member of the US Congress would meet him as he investigated the part played by the government in the considerable difficulties faced by Indian tribes.

Anaya said that in nearly two weeks of visiting Indian reservations, indigenous communities in Alaska and Hawaii, and Native Americans now living in cities, he encountered people who suffered a history of dispossession of their lands and resources, the breakdown of their societies and “numerous instances of outright brutality, all grounded on racial discrimination”.

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America’s Ancient ‘Ten Commandments’ Rock: The Los Lunas Decalogue Stone

10 Commandment RockThis is a strange bit of disputed archaeology. Check it out over the web and Wikipedia does have a good description:

The Los Lunas Decalogue Stone is a large boulder on the side of Hidden Mountain, near Los Lunas, New Mexico, about 35 miles south of Albuquerque, that bears a very regular inscription carved into a flat panel. The stone is also known as the Los Lunas Mystery Stone or Commandment Rock. The inscription is interpreted to be an abridged version of the Decalogue or Ten Commandments in a form of Paleo-Hebrew. A letter group resembling the tetragrammaton YHWH, or “Yahweh,” makes four appearances. The stone is controversial in that some claim the inscription is Pre-Columbian, and therefore proof of early Semitic contact with the Americas.

The first recorded mention of the stone is in 1933, when professor Frank Hibben, an archaeologist from the University of New Mexico, saw it.

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De-Colonizing the Occupy Movement

Iroquois ConfederacyJess Yee at Racialicious takes a look at the Occupy Movement and what it means to the most marginalised of the 99 percent:

The “OCCUPY WALL STREET” slogan has gone viral and international now. From the protests on the streets of WALL STREET in the name of “ending capitalism” – organizers, protestors, and activists have been encouraged to “occupy” different places that symbolize greed and power. There’s just one problem: THE UNITED STATES IS ALREADY BEING OCCUPIED. THIS IS INDIGENOUS LAND. And it’s been occupied for quite some time now.

I also need to mention that New York City is Haudenosaunee territory and home to many other First Nations. Waiting to see if that’s been mentioned anywhere. (Author’s note: Manhattan “proper” is home to to the Lenape who were defrauded of the island by the Dutch in 1626 — see more from Tequila Sovereign).

Not that I’m surprised that this was a misstep in organizing against Wall Street or really any organizing that happens when the “left” decides that it’s going to “take back America for the people” (which people?!).

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First Nations Oppose Tar Sands Pipeline

Keystone XLNative Activists have been on the front lines opposing the Alberta Tar Sands for years. Native Canadians have frequently borne the brunt of industrial pollution, particularly in Northern Canada. How will the new proposed Keystone XL pipeline affect Native communities both in the US and Canada? Colorlines explains:

In hopes that action would discourage President Barack Obama from permitting an extension to the Canadian Keystone pipeline — also known as the “Keystone XL” — a group of First Nations and American Indian activists protested in front of the White House on Friday.

Before being arrested, the protesters insisted that the extension — which will run from Alberta Canada to Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas — will harm ancestral homelands.

“Our Lakota people oppose this pipeline because of the potential contamination of the surface water and of the Oglala aquifer,” said Deb White Plume, a Lakota activist. “We have thousands of ancient and historical cultural resources that would be destroyed across our treaty lands.”

Even the New York Times’ editorial board came out against the pipeline, writing that it was concerned about oil spills along the route and carbon emissions.

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Peaceful Countries Do Not Celebrate Thanksgiving

ThanksgivingBrownscombe

"The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth" by Jennie A. Brownscombe (1914).

Thanksgiving commemorates the successful harvest and a time the Pilgrims gathered to give thanks, sharing a feast with their Native American neighbors, who had made possible their survival in the New England wilderness.

“Come, Ye Thankful People, Come” written by Henry “Dean” Alford, the gifted Christian leader of the 19th century and distinguished theologian and scholar, is considered to be one of the finest harvest and Thanksgiving hymns in all of the hymnals of Christian singing.

Writers and textbook publishers of American history have generally omitted or, if mentioned at all, glossed over historic accounts of genocide and inhumane treatment of American Indian populations.

The mythology of the American Revolution, the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights is a national story of great significance to the way the United States views itself.

The United States of America was founded on the fundamental principle of freedom of religion.… Read the rest

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