Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.

Posts tagged “Native american

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A member of the G̱usgimukw nation depicts Hami (Dangerous Thing); ca. 1914

photo by Edward S. Curtis

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Native American smoke curing a human corpse, Pacific Northwest Coast; ca. 1910

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Among the Kwakwaka’wakw of the Pacific Northwest, the Hamatsa were a society of tribal elite. Young men who hoped to become Hamatsa went through a lengthy period of isolation. Shortly before the end of his exile, each initiate was brought a mummy that had been soaked in salt water, cleaned and split open. The initiate was expected to smoke-cure the bound corpse for the final ritual. During the ritual the aspirant and the senior members of the brotherhood allegedly devoured portions of the corpse.


Wounded Knee Massacre – Mass grave for the dead Lakota after the conflict at Wounded Knee Creek; December 29th, 1890

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The Wounded Knee Massacre occurred on December 29, 1890, near Wounded Knee Creek (Lakota: Čhaŋkpé Ópi Wakpála) on the Lakota Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the U.S. state of South Dakota. On the day before, a detachment of the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment commanded by Major Samuel M. Whitsideintercepted Spotted Elk’s band of Miniconjou Lakota and 38 Hunkpapa Lakota near Porcupine Butte and escorted them five miles westward (8 km) to Wounded Knee Creek, where they made camp.

The remainder of the 7th Cavalry Regiment arrived, led by Colonel James W. Forsyth and surrounded the encampment supported by four Hotchkiss mountain guns.

On the morning of December 29, the troops went into the camp to disarm the Lakota. One version of events claims that during the process of disarming the Lakota, a deaf tribesman named Black Coyote was reluctant to give up his rifle, claiming he had paid a lot for it.A scuffle over Black Coyote’s rifle escalated and a shot was fired which resulted in the 7th Cavalry’s opening fire indiscriminately from all sides, killing men, women, and children, as well as some of their own fellow soldiers. The Lakota warriors who still had weapons began shooting back at the attacking soldiers, who quickly suppressed the Lakota fire. The surviving Lakota fled, but U.S. cavalrymen pursued and killed many who were unarmed.

By the time it was over, more than 200 men, women, and children of the Lakota had been killed and 51 were wounded (4 men, 47 women and children, some of whom died later); some estimates placed the number of dead at 300. Twenty-five soldiers also died, and 39 were wounded (6 of the wounded would later die).

(Source)


Ethnomusicologist Frances Densmore recording the Blackfoot chief, “Mountain Chief”; February 9th, 1916.

"This 1916 image of Frances Densmore and Blackfoot leader Mountain Chief listening to a cylinder recording has become a symbol of the early songcatcher era."

“This 1916 image of Frances Densmore and Blackfoot leader Mountain Chief listening to a cylinder recording has become a symbol of the early songcatcher era.”

 Part of a series of pictures depicting Frances Densmore at the Smithsonian Institution in 1916 during a recording session with Blackfoot chief Mountain Chief for the Bureau of American Ethnology.


A kid with an Indian headdress emerges from a coal hole, 1954

Today this kid would be labeled culturally insensitive and charged with terroristic threats.

Today this kid would be labeled culturally insensitive and charged with terroristic threats.

If you were wondering. ..

A coal hole is a hatch in the pavement (sidewalk, in US usage) above an underground coal bunker. They are sometimes found outside houses that existed during the period when coal was widely used for domestic heating from the early 19th century to the middle 20th century.