Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by StrangerInAStrangeLand, Oct 20, 2017.
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I'm betting those are all conspiracy theories.
That was your history , it does not have anything to do with my cultural history.
That did no good at all.
If you contribute something of your cultural history, I feel 98% confident I will be glad for it & hope others will be.
You can write MY CULTURAL HISTORY on it if you like.
I did not title the thread StrangerInAStrangeLand's Cultural History.
Clothing of Native American Cultures
The clothing of Native Americans was closely related to the environment in which they lived and their religious beliefs. Ranging from tropical and desert regions, to woodlands and mountains, to Arctic tundra, Native Americans developed diverse styles of clothing. In the warmest regions, little clothing was worn. Among the peoples of California, for example, men were normally naked, but women wore simple knee-length skirts. In the cooler regions, more clothing styles developed. Among the tribes of the Plains, breechclouts, or loincloths, leggings, tunic shirts for men, and skirts and dresses for women were created. But in the coldest areas of the Subarctic and Arctic, warm trousers, hooded anoraks, or jackets, and mittens protected people from freezing temperatures. Despite the vast differences in climate and clothing styles, Native Americans had in common the basic notion of living in harmony with nature. This idea influenced the materials and designs they used for clothing.
Before the European colonization of the Americas that began in the seventeenth century c.e., most Native American people lived close to nature, making their living from the resources that were plentiful in the world around them. They largely survived by fishing, hunting, and gathering edible plants, though some tribes, such as the Navajo in the southwestern United States and the Oneida of northern New York, tended flocks of sheep or grew crops to add to what they found in nature. Almost all of these tribes used the skins of the animals they hunted or raised. They developed methods of tanning the skins to make soft leather, and from this leather they made clothing and shoes. Leather clothing was soft and strong, and, if the animal's fur was left on the skin, it was also very warm. Some native people, like the Apaches of the western plains and the Algonquin of southern Canada, even used leather to make the walls of their dwelling places.
The religious beliefs of many Indian people included the idea that all of nature, including animals and plants, had spiritual power. Many also believed that by wearing parts of an animal a person could gain some of that animal's power and strength. In this way, the wearing of animal skins became more than just putting on a form of comfortable and durable clothing. It became a part of Native Americans' religious practice and a way to improve oneself by literally "putting on" some of the desirable qualities of the animals.
Before the arrival of great numbers of Europeans in the seventeenth century, Native Americans also used the animals and plants they found around them to make food, shelter, and clothing. One of the most plentiful resources in many areas was the bark of trees, which was stripped, dried, and shredded to make fibers. These fibers were used to weave soft, comfortable clothing. Typical shredded bark clothing included skirts, aprons, shirts, belts, hats, capes, and even raincoats.
Many tribes made bark clothing, using the trees that grew close by. In the southeastern United States, the Cherokee used mulberry bark to make soft shirts. The Pomo living along the West Coast used shredded redwood bark to make wraparound skirts, while the Paiute and Washoe of the deserts further east shredded the plentiful bark of the sagebrush. Tribes of the rainy Northwest coast of North America, such as the Tlingit and the Suquamish, wove rain-hats and raincoats from the bark of the cedar tree.
Most clothing was made by Indian women, who also prepared the fibers for weaving. Bark was stripped from small trees and then dried in the sun before being pounded into a flexible mass and shredded into thin, strong fibers. These fibers were woven into fabric and made into clothing that was both comfortable and protective. Native Americans loved to bring beauty into their lives by decorating even everyday items, so sometimes bark clothing was decorated with fringe, painted pictures, porcupine quills, or animal teeth and claws. Bark clothing was difficult to clean, but bark was an abundant resource, so most bark clothing was simply discarded when it became too dirty to wear.
Although many tribes used handmade methods of weaving, natives of the American Southwest were the first group to develop a loom, or weaving device, for weaving cloth. In 1200 c.e., well before the arrival of the first Europeans, Indians in the Southwest grew cotton and wove it into cloth. They also wove yucca, wool, feathers, and even human hair into cloth. Their breechclouts, leggings, and skirts were often made of woven fibers.
As Native Americans had continued contact with Europeans and white settlers, their ability to continue making clothing according to their traditional ways was destroyed. Native Americans had eagerly incorporated new items, such as glass beads and silver ornaments, into their wardrobes when they first started trading with whites. But continued contact with whites made it impossible for Native Americans to maintain their traditional ways of clothing themselves. Pushed off their homelands and onto reservations, government land set aside for them to live, in the late 1800s, Native Americans lost the ability to hunt for or gather the necessary materials for their clothes. Their new circumstances forced them to buy clothing from whites, which drastically changed the way Native Americans dressed.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Anawalt, Patricia R., and H. B. Nicholson. Indian Clothing Before Cortes. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1990.
Hofsinde, Robert. Indian Costumes. New York: William Morrow, 1968.
Martin, Calvin. Keepers of the Game: Indian-Animal Relationships and the Fur Trade. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1978.
Paterek, Josephine. Encyclopedia of American Indian Costume. Denver, CO: ABC-CLIO, 1994.
Native American cultural trail deepens historical perspective on Michigan’s Mackinac Island
February 24, 2017
With hundreds of thousands of visitors every year, Mackinac Island has long been one of Michigan’s favorite vacation destinations.
The island is known for its scenic views – often seen from a bicycle – historic attractions, fudge and horses, but until recently, many visitors did not know about its connection to Native American history and culture.
“Mackinac Island has a long and rich Native American story that begins centuries before European exploration and continues through today, but this story and its impact on Mackinac history were not effectively communicated to island visitors,” said Phil Porter, director of Mackinac State Historic Parks, the agency that oversees Mackinac Island State Park.
The Mackinac Island State Park Commission, in partnership with the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians, came up with the idea to the share this rich history through a series of interpretive stations on Lakeshore Boulevard (M-185), the road around the perimeter of Mackinac Island.
“This location is ideal, as it provides a picturesque and appropriate setting between the waters of Lake Huron and the woods of Mackinac and is used by hundreds of thousands of island visitors every summer,” Porter said.
Mackinac Associates – a friends group that helps preserve and share Straits of Mackinac-area heritage by supporting Mackinac State Historic Parks programs – began fundraising soon after the interpretive trail was proposed.
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“One of our major areas of emphasis is education, and assisting residents and visitors better understand the historic value of Native American activity in the upper Great Lakes and around the country fits in with that mission,” said Peter Pellerito, president of Mackinac Associates. “Or board was very supportive of this proposal when it was brought to them. It’s an eminently desirable thing to support.”
Many others agreed and jumped on board to back the project as well, with Mackinac Associates exceeding its fundraising goal.
Pellerito said that contributions came from around Michigan and elsewhere, which is emblematic of the widespread interest in the Native American perspective and impact on the Straits area.
“You don’t have to be from Mackinaw City to understand and appreciate the Native American contribution to our part of the world and beyond.”
Eric Hemenway, director of Archives and Records for the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians, drafted the language for the interpretive panels, installed in summer 2016, along what is now called the Native American Cultural History Trail.
“The working relationship between Little Traverse Bay Band Odawa Archives and Mackinac State Historic Parks has spanned nearly a decade,” Hemenway said. “We have worked together on numerous other projects centered around telling the diverse story of the Straits of Mackinac.
“The work always was one of mutual respect and wanting to give the visitor to the Straits area the best possible experience. Part of enhancing that experience was realizing that Mackinac Island could use more interpretation of the Anishnaabek (Odawa, Ojibway and Potawatomi) story to the island.”
Out of that collaboration between the two organizations came six signs telling different stories of Native Americans at the Straits of Mackinac. The six themes the interpretive panels cover include:
Cultural significance: Mackinac Island has an important place in the history of the Anishnaabek, going back thousands of years and well documented in text and oral traditions.
Resting place of the ancestors: The islands of the Great Lakes have long been deemed sacred, not only for the spirits who live on them, but also because they serve as sacred burial grounds. Mackinac Island, Round Island, and Bois Blanc Island are all burial areas for ancient Anishnaabek.
People of the water: The Anishnaabek were, and are to this day, a people of the water, fishing the Great Lakes as well as travelling hundreds of miles to carry out trade and wage war. Mackinac Island, in the center of the upper Great Lakes, has been a summer gathering place for the Anishnaabek for centuries.
Contest for the island: French, British, Americans and various tribes would all fight to control the Straits of Mackinac and Mackinac Island. Mackinac Island had an important role in the Iroquois War, French and Indian War, Pontiac’s War and War of 1812. On some of these occasions, the Anishnaabek fought to keep their island.
The Treaty of 1836: This treaty marked a pivotal moment for the Odawa and Ojibway of northern Michigan, helping to shape not only their history, but that of Michigan and the United States as well.
The Anishnaabek in the 21st Century: The Odawa and Ojibway avoided removal during the 19th century and fought for their rights throughout the 20th century.
The six interpretive panels were placed at stopping points along Lake Huron and incorporated into resting stations with benches and bicycle parking.
“Biking around the perimeter of the island is a popular activity, but with three-quarters of a million people or more coming to the island every year, it can get congested when visitors stop to take photos or admire the scenery,” said Porter. “Hopefully the convenience of these bike parking areas will decrease some of that congestion while simultaneously offering an important educational experience.”
The panels and areas surrounding them were designed to blend with the natural surroundings, utilizing locally familiar products like cedar and limestone, so as to not be obtrusive to the island’s natural beauty.
Mackinac State Historic Parks’ staff constructed the stations and designed, produced and installed the interpretive panels.
“I feel very honored to have been able to design a site like this that interprets such important and often under-represented information in such a holistic way,” said Mackinac State Historic Parks exhibit designer Keeney Swearer. “So often when creating trailside panels, there is only room to talk about a few subjects that often don’t give readers the larger context to the story.
“Since we had so much room we were able to spread the information out and deliver it to the visitors in a more deliberate way, hopefully introducing them to some of these larger concepts.”
Swearer added that the large panels also allowed the development team to present a wide variety of images, from early sketches and prints to modern photographs, most of which had not been used at Mackinac State Historic Parks before.
“I believe that to present this information to such a large and diverse audience is certainly a special thing,” he said.
Others who worked together to bring the Native American Cultural History Trail to fruition would agree.
“We were thrilled to see such terrific support for this worthwhile project,” said Porter. “This formalized interpretation of centuries of Native American culture on Mackinac Island will go a long way in promoting both enjoyment and understanding of the island’s rich history.”
Mackinac State Historic Parks, an agency within the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, protects, preserves and presents Mackinac’s rich historic and natural resources to provide outstanding educational and recreational experiences for the public.
In addition to Mackinac Island Historic State Park, its sites include Colonial Michilimackinac, Fort Mackinac, Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park, Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse and The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum.
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Aboriginal New England Cuisine With Recipes
When the European invasion of New England started in the seventeenth century, the American Indian people of the region had a varied and savory cuisine. As farmers they raised a variety of crops, including many different kinds of maize (corn), beans, squash, pumpkins, and strawberries. They supplemented these foods with wild foods obtained through hunting, fishing, and gathering. Many modern foods, such as corn bread, hominy, johnnycake, clam chowder, and others, have their origins in the aboriginal cuisine of New England.
Overall, the diet of the New England natives prior to the European invasion seems to have been healthier than that of the Europeans at the same time. Indian people consumed a great variety of different plants (both domesticated and wild) as well as fish, fowl, and meat. Among other things, food was freely shared. There were not some people who were undernourished while others were over-nourished. The better diet and the food sharing resulted in people who were often larger than the Europeans.
Much of the cooking done by the New England Indians was done by boiling. In some instances they used clay pots with pointed bottoms that would be placed in the midst of embers. Sometimes they would boil water in a basket made from green bark which would be suspended over hot coals.
Like Indian nations in other parts of North America, the aboriginal peoples of New England also used stone boiling. In this method, rocks would be heated in the fire until they turned red. They would then be placed in a container of water. In a fairly short time, the water could be brought to boiling and it would be kept there by continuing to add hot stones. The containers used for stone boiling included not only pottery vessels, but also baskets and leather bags. Stone boiling appears to have been more common in the north, particularly in what is known as the state of Maine.
For many of the Indian people in New England, fish was an important food. At times fish was cooked on a flat stone set on a bed of coals. Clams would be set on edge around a hearth to roast until their shells opened.
In Maine, the Indians would bake clams in piles over heated rocks which had been covered and interlaced with seaweed. It was not uncommon for them to add corn and slices of fish to the steaming pile.
Corn was the staff of life for New England natives and it was prepared in many different ways. One of the most common was to use ground corn to make samp, or newsamp, a kind of porridge. Both the early English and Dutch invaders found this to be a wholesome and tasty food.
Another common corn dish was pone or johnnycake. To make pone, mature corn would be pounded into a fine powder, then made into a dough with water or bear oil. It would then be made into cakes about an inch thick and baked in hot ashes. The baking might also be done on thin broad stones (probably soapstone) placed on the fire.
In some instances corn pone was mixed with other ingredients to make appoon. In the late spring, the people would make strawberry bread, then in early summer they would make raspberry and cherry bread, and in the fall, blackberry, blueberry, and elderberry bread.
Dumplings would be made by taking the dough (which might be mixed with berries or chestnuts) and boiling it for about an hour (usually until the dough floated). These dumplings could then be added to a pot of stew.
Hominy was made by boiling the corn kernels whole.
Travelers would carry with them bags of corn which had been pounded into a fine meal. When they needed to eat, they would then mix it with a little water. Some of the early Europeans report that just a quarter pound of this travel food, mixed with water, would make a hearty meal.
Beans, Squash, Pumpkins:
Beans were nearly as important to the Indians as corn. Beans of many different colors and textures were used in many different ways and were added to many foods. Beans were mixed into the corn meal in making bread and they were added to stews and chowders.
Beans were also baked in earthen pots or beanholes.
Squash and pumpkins were incorporated into Indian cuisine both as a main dish and as an addition to bread, stews, and porridges. Pumpkins and squash were also dried so that they could be consumed during the winter. Pumpkin and squash seeds were considered a delicacy and would be eaten either raw or cooked. When dried and mixed with water, pumpkin and squash seeds were felt to have medicinal properties and were used in treating urinary problems.
The oral history of the Mohegan tells that they came from “west by north” of another country, that they passed over great waters, that they had once lived beside a great body of water affected by tides, and from this they obtained their name – Muh-he-con-nuk – which means “great waters which are constantly moving”. They faced great famine and migrated toward the east where they found many great bodies of water, but none which flowed and ebbed.
As with other eastern tribes, corn was one of the principal foods of the Mohegan. Corn was prepared in a number of ways, including making hominy of the kernels and making a stew of beans and corn called succotash. Succotash is a basic American Indian dish. Among the Indian nations of the Northeast, succotash was kept simmering at all times so that any hungry visitor or family member could be fed.
below is a contemporary recipe for Mohegan succotash:
4 ears of fresh sweet corn
3 to 4 cups of fresh lima beans (frozen may be substituted)
1 ½ cups of water
½ cup of butter (to be really authentic, you should use bear grease instead of butter)
1 ½ cups of sliced green onions
1 green and 1 red bell pepper, sliced and diced
With a large, sharp knife cut corn cobs into 1 ½ inch lengths. Place corn, beans, water, and butter (or bear grease) in a large saucepan. Salt and pepper to taste.
Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in green onions and peppers and continue to simmer for 6 to 10 minutes, until beans are tender and peppers are tender-crisp. Remove lid and cook over high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until liquid is reduced to about ½ cup.
About bear grease: bears were often hunted and their skins were tanned using a mixture of animal brains, bird livers, and fish oil. In addition, bear grease was applied directly to the body and in this way provided additional warmth in the winter and in the summer it served as an insect repellent.
New England Codfish Balls:
Hunting and fishing provided supplemental calories. In the summer, fishing was done in the ocean and in the winter along freshwater streams and ponds. The fish were dried by placing them in the sun or over smoky fires. One of the important fish to the Indians was cod. Shown below is a contemporary recipe for Aboriginal New England Codfish Balls:
1 ½ pounds fresh codfish
3 cups raw, peeled, diced sweet potatoes (or regular potatoes)
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
2 tablespoons snipped fresh dill
Oil for deep frying
Place fish, potatoes, salt, and pepper in water to cover in a large saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat for 25 minutes. Remove from heat and drain well. Stir in dill and mash or puree. Shape into 2- or 3-inch balls. Roll in cornmeal. Heat oil to 375 F. Fry codfish balls for about 1 minute, until golden brown. Remove from oil, drain well, and serve.
The ‘Sioux Chef’ Reviving Native American Cuisine
Native chefs and farmers are bringing back lost flavors in hopes of fighting diabetes and obesity.
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Sean Sherman, also known as the 'Sioux Chef' Amy Forliti / AP
Pasta, sushi, tacos, samosas, and pad thai: In the U.S., enthusiastic eaters will likely be able to name traditional dishes from a wide variety of cuisines around the world. But most of us couldn’t name a single Native American dish from any one the vast network of tribes, cultures, and cuisines that spread across the U.S. before Europeans arrived. Today, farmers, activists, and chefs are trying to change that. They're bringing back Native foods—not just to teach all Americans about the indigenous foods of their country, but to improve the lives of Native Americans themselves, who suffer from some of the highest levels of debilitating and often deadly diet-related diseases. Can a return to a Native diet help?
Chef Sean Sherman had been working in restaurant kitchens for decades. Then a strange fact struck him: The food of his people, the Oglala Sioux, was completely unrepresented in American cuisine. He’d grown up on Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, one of the largest and poorest reservations in the country, and his childhood diet consisted of a combination of processed, boxed, and canned government-donated commodities, supplemented by hunting and foraging indigenous plants such as choke cherries and wild turnips. He knew, though, that the Oglala Sioux cuisine was much richer than the handful of Native foods his family hunted and foraged.‘’
“I just had an epiphany,” he said, “I should be doing the food of my ancestry and my heritage.” In the past few years, Sean has launched Tatanka Truck in Minneapolis, a food truck focused on indigenous food, as well as the Sioux Chef, the catering company he runs with his partner Dana Thompson. Today, Sean and Dana are preparing to open a brick-and-mortar restaurant devoted to indigenous foods of Minnesota and the Dakotas. The public seems to agree with Sean and Dana that such a restaurant is needed: the Sioux Chef was the most-funded Kickstarter restaurant project, ever.
In doing this work, Sean is part of a growing movement to bring back Native American cuisine. These flavors were largely lost due to the forced resettlement of tribes far from their homelands, as well as government policies that attempted to force Native peoples to abandon their languages and culture. But, through hardship and even starvation, seeds were carefully saved and passed down through generations. Today, on farms such as Wozupi Tribal Gardens and Dream of Wild Health, these seeds are once again being cultivated. And chefs such as Sean are interviewing elders and scouring first-contact literature to uncover the cooking techniques and flavors that were lost.
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Tashia Hart and Brian Yazzie of the Sioux Chef preparing a salad.
As important as culture and pride are to Sean and his colleagues, the movement also aims to combat what some have called the new smallpox: diabetes, which has ravaged Native American communities. As many as one out of two children is at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Rates of cancer and heart disease are also unusually high. We talk to the scientists and public-health experts—including the first and only Native American adult endocrinologist in the world—who are studying whether a return to indigenous foods can help combat these diseases.
Join us this episode as we travel to Minnesota to meet some of the farmers, chefs, and scientists who are contributing to the rebirth of Native American cuisine, and trying to save Native lives by growing, cooking, and eating the foods of their ancestors.
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