Tag Archives | Native Americans

A Colloquy with COUN-HA-CHEE of the Miccosukee Tribe

During both my childhood and adolescence I read countless books—some historical, most fictional—on the struggle “Red Man vs. White Man,” always rooting for the designated loser, i.e., the Native American. Despite that, here in the US I never sought to meet with a Native American. It took the Editor-in-Chief of an Italian travel magazine to make me do just that. When I lived in Miami back in the Nineties, he asked me as a favor to write an article on the Miccosukee, of Creek descent, who dwell in South Florida’s Everglades. I drove out to meet with their public relations manager, who in turn directed me to their village. There, he introduced me to various members of the tribe, including a meek and serene man, a “promulgator of the Old Ways.” As it turned out, he came from a family of healers, or medicine men, as he himself called them.… Read the rest

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3,500 Year-Old Historical Monument Destroyed by Morons

Picture: Jproy2101 (CC)

“We do not inherit the Earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children” – Native American proverb

Petroglyphs look not unlike the hieroglyphs you see carved onto the walls of pyramids. They’re used to pass on the spiritual teachings of Native Americans from generation to generation. There are some etched on cliffs in the Eastern Sierra that have been there for more than three and a half thousand years. The region is known as Volcanic Tableland and it is held sacred by the Paiute-Shoshone tribe. According to The LA Times a gang of thieves have now, in a matter of hours, cut at least four of the sacred monuments down and successfully stolen them away. Apparently two others were seriously damaged and dozens more scarred with clumsy hammer blows and saw cuts. These monuments are some of the oldest treasures in the United States:

“The individuals who did this were not surgeons, they were smashing and grabbing,” U.S.

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Strange History: Did Native Americans Land in Ireland?

Another possible case of Pre-Columbian Trans-Atlantic travel?

Picture: Edward Curtis (PD)

Via Strange History:

One of the most dramatic pieces of evidence for a pre-Columbian crossing of the Atlantic is to be found in a single Latin marginalia, that is some words scribbled into the margin of a book. The sentence in question appears in a copy of the Historia rerum ubique gestarum by Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini which was published in Venice in 1477. In that work Piccolomini discusses the arrival of Indians in Europe blown from across the Atlantic at a date when America was unknown to Europeans (another post another day). Next to this passage a reader has written in Latin the following extraordinary words:

Homines de catayo versus oriens venierunt. Nos vidimus multa notabilia et specialiter in galuei ibernie virum et uxorem in duabus lignis areptis ex mirabili persona.

Keep reading…you’ll never guess who scribbled in the book.Read the rest

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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.

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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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