You name it, you own it

Does this look like an indigenous American?

Does this look like an indigenous American?

When a 9200-year-old skeleton was uncovered along the Columbia River in 1996 scientists and journalists dubbed the ancestor Kennewick Man.

Local tribes bristled at the naming, preferring to call the skeleton The Ancient One, or Oyt.pa.ma.na.tit.tite, according to scholar David Hurst Thomas.

Thomas says naming is critical: “The power to name reflects an underlying power to control lands, Indigenous people, and histories,” he writes. Continue reading

Posted in american indian, authenticity, framing, human origin, Indian, James Chatters, John Artichoker, Kennewick Man, NAGPRA, Naia, native american, native press, Native Science, Oglala, rhetoric, science, science communication, Who are the Osage | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

About face on Kennewick Man

skullTurns out American Indians were right all along.

A bitter conflict of values, race, sovereignty and politics began two decades ago when a pair of Washington State college students unearthed a skeleton in the Columbia River.

Local Indian tribes wanted the skeleton—which was more than 9,000 years old—returned to the native community as required by federal laws that protect Indian remains and objects. Continue reading

Posted in american indian, authenticity, human origin, Indian, Kennewick Man, NAGPRA, native american, native press, Native Science, race, science, science communication | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Sacred Masks

Cynthia-Lou Coleman:

Excellent insights into Native spirituality

Originally posted on Desert Spirit Press:

Hopi Mask

Hopi Mask

“The Sale of a sacred object cannot be dismissed with the wave of a hand as a mere commercial transaction”

Philip J. Breeden, US Embassy, Paris; quoted in NY Times 6-30-2014.

The ancient carved cottonwood mask, decorated with eagle feathers and earthen pigment paint stares blankly at an observer from a shelf in a Paris auction house. The display counter is cluttered with Hopi pottery, kachina figures and sacred altar decorations once hidden in the protective darkness of a kiva.

As I studied the photograph in the New York Times article, I imagined other sacred items that could be on another shelf: a silver pyxis containing hosts of the blessed body of Christ; a treasured Torah scroll from Jerusalem; a hand copied Quran from Kufa, Iraq; a revered scroll of the Rig Veda from India; and a Tibetan Buddhist Sutra from a monastery high in the Himalayas.  I…

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Sacred Masks

Sacred Masks.

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Redskins: bad for business

imageA new argument emerged this week when a pair of researchers claimed the name of the Washington DC football team, The Redskins, is bad for business.

Denizens from Indian Country say the name is offensive and denigrates indigenous North Americans.

But a recent New York Times opinion piece makes the argument the name is bad for business. Continue reading

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A different kind of heirloom

Heritage corn and squash

Heritage corn and squash

My relative Leaf gave us an heirloom while we were visiting Oklahoma.

It’s the sort of heirloom whose value unfolds in a material way.

I’m not talking about materialism—the need to acquire stuff.

Rather, this heirloom recalls the past in a somatic fashion. Continue reading

Posted in american indian, authenticity, human origin, Indian, Indian relocation, native american, native press, Native Science, Osage, science, science communication, Who are the Osage | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Wait: There’s jewelry?

CleopatraMy lung disease has a luscious nickname of Lady Windermere’s Syndrome, thanks to folks who snatched the character from an Oscar Wilde play.

And the syndrome even has its own website.

This is the first time I’ve ventured onto the internet labyrinth to see what news and materials are available for lay publics. Continue reading

Posted in american indian, authenticity, Family, health, journalism, media effects, medicine, micobacterium avian, native american, native press, Native Science, NTM, Oglala, Osage, writing | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments