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Old 02-06-2013, 11:29 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe's Dad View Post
Fang, if you are in the Baltimore area, check out the Baltimore American Indian Center (BAIC). Keith Colston was the Ex. Dir. there. Don't know if he still is, though. I believe the center was opened to serve the large population of Lumbees who moved there from North Carolina. I'm sure they serve all skins.
Heh, small world! Keith is a friend/acquaintance of mine and I recently worked as an intern for him at the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs (would have done a second term, but family issues came up). I occasionally work with the BAIC and participate in their events. There's a quarter auction coming up at the center to help with funding that I'll be attending... and want to discuss with them the possibilities of helping to teach beading and crafts occasionally.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:32 AM   #22
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I know there is another thread on here (archives) that touches on these symbols and their use by Nazi Germans. Here is a little graphic to add to the conversation:
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:37 AM   #23
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I used to attend the powwows over at Festival Hall before the opened Camden Yards.

I forgot Keith was with the state commission now. I remember when he was moving up from Teens to Men's in Fancy. LOL He has a sister who could dance his pants off. Love his mom and dad.

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Old 02-06-2013, 11:42 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fang View Post
A question for Elo: If you don't know what the symbol truly means (to both the Oyate and your immediate family), why use it? It's sometimes good to want to revive parts of one's culture, but only if you have a deep understanding and connection to its meaning. Or else it loses all purpose.
I agree with what you state regarding using any part ONLY if one has a deep understanding and connection to its meaning. That is why I am attempting to find out more about it's use and/or meaning (which all of the bright people on this site reading this thread have failed to produce for me) before I proceed to make it a part of the beadwork I am now working on.
As I stated before looking through all other pics I possess of family wearing original pieces of regalia, I have not found any part of any piece of family regalia where this 'swastika' is a part of the original design.
So to expand on my stupid and ignorant question what would be the purpose of only one of my elders using it on her dress?
Is this something that is common to any other families...that being using an original family design and adding an uncommon portion of a design for only one dress?
This is now becoming a question that is going to occupy a large part of my mind until I find out more about how it came to appear on only one dress. And that is going to put my whole beading project on hold until I can verify it's use and symbolism. I have the whole of the design done (for a pair of leggings) but am not stopped as the part of where the symbol is located is where I am now in the process.
As it stands now if I can't find out more about it I will simply disregard and omit it on these leggings.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:46 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elo Janis View Post
Since I have yet to post a picture of my Unchi in her dress, in which only a small portion of the original family design is visible, how can you say it is "quite common"?
Perhaps to you placement of what is now being referred to, as pertains to this one dress, a 'swastika' on other designs are quite common but for the life of me I have never seen this on any other article of adornment, family or not. Ignorance on my part? Perhaps but I need not have you tell me that in the tone you have chosen to take in this discussion.
I know it is a PART of the of the design but the symbol itself is not utilized on any other part of my family regalia. For some reason, it appears only on this one dress belonging to my great great Grandmother. I spent the whole of last night into this morning looking at all pictures in my possession of our entire families regalia trying to find it used in any other article of clothing.
.............
Ask a question and all I am receiving are derogatory comments.
Sad.
1) Quite common as in, it is not uncommon to see such a symbol in an older piece of native work.
2) I will include pictures of other tribal works from various nations, who have incorporated the symbol. Perhaps it will help in your research or coming to understand the native usage of the symbol
3) Perhaps that one particular dress was made for a certain reason. Symbols are often used to convey a message, invoke a feeling or energy, or actually do something. I hope that your family continues their research, as it will bring you more connection to your ancestors and your nation.
4)I sense a tone of righteous indignation here.




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Old 02-06-2013, 11:47 AM   #26
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Attached picture of dress in question. The symbol is located on her left arm near the wrist.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:55 AM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elo Janis View Post
Attached picture of dress in question. The symbol is located on her left arm near the wrist.
It seems very common, and definitely put there for a reason. Perhaps you should call your tribal office and see if they can direct you on where to look into the history of the symbol for your particular tribe. If may give you an idea on exactly why your great grandmother used it n that particular dress.

For instance, let's say the symbol was used tribally for healing. Then you know that when she wore that dress, part of her reason and thoughts were towards healing someone or something.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:59 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe's Dad View Post
I used to attend the powwows over at Festival Hall before the opened Camden Yards.

I forgot Keith was with the state commission now. I remember when he was moving up from Teens to Men's in Fancy. LOL He has a sister who could dance his pants off. Love his mom and dad.

If you want to help, write grants for the center to the Humanities or other philanthropist organizations.
Haha I can't picture him as a teen! Sounds like good times.

Thanks for the tip! Somehow I completely overlooked grant writing. It seems to be the most straightforward and effective way to provide assistance.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:03 PM   #29
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Thank You Fang for producing pictures of the debated/discussed symbol for me to use to understand more about how or why this dress contains this symbol. You provided me with more information and for that I am grateful.
Please though, do not misinterpret my frustration for righteous indignation. After hours of seeking answers and reasons as to why this symbol appears without any understandable reason, as it now only frustration that is taking over.
What is very hurtful to me, especially in being amongst my own people, is being accused of being ignorant of my family and of my people in general. These uncalled for accusations serve no importance in what I am asking about.
So to those who chose to take such a path, I wish only the best for you.
And one more thing, does providing directions from 'the agency' (how many agencies are there in SD?) through various paths to Rapid City somehow show my true ancestory?
Now THAT is what I would call an ATTEMPT at sorry *** humor!! SO thanks for the laugh!! I surely needed one bad today as I sit here with raw fingers and a swastika image permanently seared into my mind!!
Is this Indian Humor? Or just Ignorant pretend Indian humor?
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:10 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fang View Post
It seems very common, and definitely put there for a reason. Perhaps you should call your tribal office and see if they can direct you on where to look into the history of the symbol for your particular tribe. If may give you an idea on exactly why your great grandmother used it n that particular dress.

For instance, let's say the symbol was used tribally for healing. Then you know that when she wore that dress, part of her reason and thoughts were towards healing someone or something.
In reading through a ton of threads here I once read that it would be an exercise in futility to try to call any tribal office to seek information of this sort. The op of that particular thread said the ppl would probably either cuss you out and hang up or tell you that you are wasting their valuable (?) time.
So off to other avenues to attempt to find the reasoning for such placement.
Slowly, with your help, I am coming to a conclusion to my research.

And yes, in the interest of retaining what is left of my sanity, I will not be placing this symbol on the leggings I am currently working on.
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Old 02-06-2013, 12:11 PM   #31
Ugh. As. If.
 
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:02 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elo Janis View Post
I fail to realize any humor or sarcasm in your comment. I asked a simple question and you make an out of line reply. If I were you I would review history as to the 'Nazism' origin instead of trying to slam me for asking a simple question.
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Originally Posted by Chevy_truckin_NDN View Post
I think it's called humor, because I would say the same thing...that "nazi" symbol you are referring to was used by many people, for many years, but when the nazi's got a hold of it, is when it was turned from a good symbol to a symbol which symbolized hate and represented hate. That symbol was used by the retired veterans groups, even back before "nazism", natives, the boyscouts, I think, and has been disassociated because of what the symbol now symbolizes...

stop being offended....
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Originally Posted by wardancer View Post
Lighten up ! Nothing is so serious. your ancestors have gone on and your "family design" is quite common. A lot of different tribes/families used it. At least until it became a symbol of the Nazi regime.

And don't slam Joe's Dad for his sarcasm , He just brought points to ponder about your stupid statement !
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Originally Posted by Elo Janis View Post
When a member of the our community is seeking serious discussion and information about something so personal, imho, that is not the time for such a pointedly sarcastic response to a question asked in all seriousness and good faith.
Seriously, this is the internet and you've got to expect all kinds of responses, take the information you want and ignore the rest, but like other have stated lighten up!

If this is really meaningful for you then I would suggest going back to the reservation and ask your tribal elders in a more cultural way that does not involve the internet. I'm sure you know what that all involves since you state you are aware of your cultural ways. Juss my two cents.
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:47 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elo Janis View Post
I have to SERIOUSLY object to you accusing me of being ignorant to my own culture...who the hell are you to imply that I am ignorant of anything? Especially my own background and family. How dare you!
When I said I went to research the swastika it was because I was interested in finding out more about it...through education...
Do you make it a habit of criticizing all people esp your own when they are interested enough about something that does not seem to be common place? I had no idea that this was used in my own tribe and so I had to learn more about it. It is not your place, in any way to question anyone's motives about learning more of what is in our past even more so when that entails learning more about what or why this symbol existed in my family.
Regarding the correct or incorrect spelling of Lakota words, it has been long been known and realized that our language is not a written one and therefore any part of our language, when being translated could be interpreted in many different ways.
So if I chose to spell it Unchi (rather than your spelling) just as all of my family has spelled it since the English language was used in our household, don't you think that is my own choice? Your spelling, if sounded out would not be the phonetically correct pronunciation.
So along with implying that I am ignorant of MY culture you go on to say I don't know how to spell a word that has never been correctly translated into English?
I think you can imagine where I am suggesting you go.
Not at all happy with this thread at this point but I will ignore further posts from you and request you do the same for me.
Good day!
@eloJanis
I agree with you not using the phonetic alphabet, it is a pain to figure out how to use it. there are different phonetic representations of sounds, the c can have different sounds. When I write with friends we will use ch sometimes, it is a spoken language. And you do know how it is pronounced, which is what matters in my opinion, as opposed to people who spell it as Unci minus the appropriate phonetic marker over the c, which would still be incorrect, and some who would go on to pronounce it Un-si. There are different systems of phonetic markings, so phonetically, there is no one "right" way. Using ch and sh I find to be more user friendly amongst English speakers, though people accustomed to reading Lakota might find it a little strange. I think trying to write everything phonetically is a non-solution to bridging the gap between spoken and written languages, phonetic systems were designed to represent sounds not to be writing systems. And if you want people to use the language you got to make it so you don't have to switch keyboards, since we all have to use English too, at least for now.
I do think the symbol is interesting and I agree with you I'd want to know more. I had seen the symbol in books when I was a child as being part of NDN symbology, and later in life in vedic stuff, which is where the nazis got it from but screwed it up and put it backwards, because they were idiots. They believed in an Indo-European Aryan superrace, this would have grown out of East Indian "whites", which never existed but the nazis were bent on proving it anyway, its all made up on their part. Even the current Indo-European language tree taught in every university linguistics department is untrue, a product of racism.
Maybe someone made that for your g-g-gran as a gift. Since it hasn't carried through time, it seems it was just a one-time inclusion. Since the symbol did carry an added meaning in US culture in the 30s, it could have been dropped I guess. You would need to speak to your family about this. It does seem like you got jumped on. I wish I could help you more. I know how it feels to be cut off and trying to rebuild. Its the result of genocide and discrimination, not everyone made the same decisions, because we are not all robots and stereotypes, and especially women suffered more in this way, often married to non-Indians and drug along away from the community. People will cry out about the genocide and discrimination, but don't like to deal with the resulting fragmentation, which everyone has to some degree. You are asking a question, and that does imply you don't know something, which is fine. That makes you learning, not ignorant. You cannot be ignorant and learning at the same time. Not possible. I hope you get an answer.
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Old 02-06-2013, 02:54 PM   #34
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The whirling logs
http://nativeamericanjewelrytips.wor...-log-swastika/

a website dedicated to its history
http://whirlinglog.com/
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:25 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elo Janis View Post
Since I have yet to post a picture of my Unchi in her dress, in which only a small portion of the original family design is visible, how can you say it is "quite common"?
Perhaps to you placement of what is now being referred to, as pertains to this one dress, a 'swastika' on other designs are quite common but for the life of me I have never seen this on any other article of adornment, family or not. Ignorance on my part? Perhaps but I need not have you tell me that in the tone you have chosen to take in this discussion.
I know it is a PART of the of the design but the symbol itself is not utilized on any other part of my family regalia. For some reason, it appears only on this one dress belonging to my great great Grandmother. I spent the whole of last night into this morning looking at all pictures in my possession of our entire families regalia trying to find it used in any other article of clothing.
What I, well now we as I have my whole family seeking to find out why and how it ended up on this ONE dress, am trying to determine is how wide spread was this symbol used in decorating regalia? It is not as I am repeatedly saying now, a part of my family design, it is only on this one dress.
Had you read and understood my comments as I intended it to be understood, you would realize I said it was NOT an integral part of the design itself but rather it appears outside the main portion of what the real design itself is. It is not as though the swastika is the central focal point of the design. It is randomly placed on what would be considered outside of the main part of the design. I said to me it appeared to be an afterthought as the design, my family design, did not contain the swastika itself.
And what part of my statement do you consider 'stupid'? In normal conversation I find it in extremely bad taste to call any question regardless of the source of the question, stupid.
And once again, I don't believe the original statement from _____________ has any sort of sarcasm or humor...at least what I would consider sarcasm/humor.
Ask a question and all I am receiving are derogatory comments.
Sad.
First off you claim the design as 'your family' design. I say it's probably a generic design not owned by your family.
Secondly , If you bothered to do any real research, you would find the design is quite common.
Thirdly , you did some research after asking and you still don't know what it is !
I think you should give up.......awww no go ask an elder !
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:27 PM   #36
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muskrat_skull,
Thank you for clarifying the language issue as it was hard to explain what I was attempting to say.
When I was a youngster the whole 'let's all be bi-lingual' push in SD schools was underway when I was first learning the English language. I made unchi holiday & birthday cards with our language written as it sounded.
She was as confused as to how our language was being wasechu-ized as I was standing on the other side. I would just sound it out and try to spell it. She would calmly and patiently sit there doing the same thing in trying to figure out what I was attempting to say to her using Lakolish if you will.

But back to the use of this symbol. From what I have gathered from elders, at the time that particular picture was taken, a family member was suffering from repeated miscarriages. It is believed that the symbol signified hope for successful pregnancies. In then looking at a family tree, there were several children born around that time period, including two sets of twins.
So I am going to accept the symbol signified 'circle of life' prayers for success at starting a family. Since it was placed near the hand, the interpretation now makes perfect sense as the maternal head of the family was seeking a hand from the Great Spirit for fertility to grow our family.
It now makes perfect sense that instead of being placed directly into the design, it was placed on the outer part of the main part of the design meaning that an outside force was in part responsible for 'lending a hand' and helping with the reproductive process.
I knew there was a deep spiritual meaning to the symbol and with a collective thought, we will accept this symbolism. I have decided against including this symbol in the beadwork I am in the middle of assembling. The elders I spoke to agree with this decision.

Interesting few days to say the least!
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:20 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wardancer View Post
First off you claim the design as 'your family' design. I say it's probably a generic design not owned by your family.
Secondly , If you bothered to do any real research, you would find the design is quite common.
Thirdly , you did some research after asking and you still don't know what it is !
I think you should give up.......awww no go ask an elder !
Once again...now listen...I am not disputing the symbol's use by itself and I NOW realize it is a generic one. I just have never seen it used in MY family before, nor have I seen it on anyone's regalia in the LAKOTA tribe...EVER!! That was my original question as I am not at all familiar with its use. I was born in the 50's, well past the time the symbol fell out of favor by members of Indian tribes. Hence my not being aware of it.

As I have repeatedly stated, it was merely an outside "addition" to OUR FAMILY design on that one buckskin dress in the picture I posted. I am fully aware of my family design that has been used for generations without change of style or of the colors used. I know full well what my family design means and what the colors themselves mean to us as a family. I am not questioning that in any way. This design has been used on all of our outfits for as long as I know. My grandma explained this to us as kids and kept us aware of it and it's deep meanings.
Repeating it once more. The swastika was added ONLY on the outside of this ONE dress that is in the picture. See my last post as to the meaning of it's use on this one dress. As far as everyone knows, this is the ONLY time any member of my family has had this symbol as a part of the decoration on our regalia. I found out this fact over the last two days after contacting every surviving member of my family for an explanation.
So yes your accusation is correct, the swastika like design is a generic one that was used by many tribes before Hitler took it on to represent the evilness of his beliefs and actions. I was asking if anyone knew the exact meaning of this symbol as it was used before my time and I was not aware of it at all.
I did do my due diligence and only today came up with the answers I was seeking. But yeah, thanks for your valuable help and tremendous input!! Next time I need to know anything about Indian culture I will directly private message you.
Agree?
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Old 02-06-2013, 04:34 PM   #38
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Now to bring up another issue that probably needs its own thread.
If the elders were so wise and a go to source for all our Indian wants and needs, why would the current generation be so set on using, as an example, that tacky shiny disco fabric for their jingle dresses and for the shawls used by young women for their dresses?
Why was there such a dramatic collaboration between all tribes making us seem like one big movie land tribe indistinguishable by the regalia worn during our wacipis? It used to be that each tribe had their own unique way of dressing and one was not allowed to wear another tribe's regalia or even dance to another's music.
We as Lakota people used to dance only to Lakota songs that had words and meanings. Now if you are a dancer you have to be aware of and ready to dance to whatever the drums happen to play while wearing a combination of all tribes styles.
Where were the elders and all their wisdom when this was allowed to happen. In the old days tribes battled against each other and even in my youngster days you were never to associate with other tribes and it was almost forbidden to marry outside your own tribe and to mix bloodlines.
Times change I realize that but why and when was it suddenly acceptable to mix everything and to lose our individual tribal identity? This would never have been accepted by our ancestors as long as two or three generations ago.

Was there a meeting of all tribal elders and leaders where it was decided "hey lets let the white man take away our individual identity and look like we are all one huge tribe? When did this happen and why was it allowed to happen?
To me that is sad as it signals the next generations total and complete assimilation to not only the white man but to each others own tribal customs and beliefs.

Comments anyone? Are there any elders in the house to answer that or do you want me to drive back to Rosebud and talk to the elders about this change that spells the end to our original and beautiful ways of life?
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Last edited by Elo Janis; 02-06-2013 at 04:45 PM.. Reason: Correct typos made in frustration!!
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Old 02-06-2013, 07:42 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Elo Janis View Post
Now to bring up another issue that probably needs its own thread.
If the elders were so wise and a go to source for all our Indian wants and needs, why would the current generation be so set on using, as an example, that tacky shiny disco fabric for their jingle dresses and for the shawls used by young women for their dresses?
Why was there such a dramatic collaboration between all tribes making us seem like one big movie land tribe indistinguishable by the regalia worn during our wacipis? It used to be that each tribe had their own unique way of dressing and one was not allowed to wear another tribe's regalia or even dance to another's music.
We as Lakota people used to dance only to Lakota songs that had words and meanings. Now if you are a dancer you have to be aware of and ready to dance to whatever the drums happen to play while wearing a combination of all tribes styles.
Where were the elders and all their wisdom when this was allowed to happen. In the old days tribes battled against each other and even in my youngster days you were never to associate with other tribes and it was almost forbidden to marry outside your own tribe and to mix bloodlines.
Times change I realize that but why and when was it suddenly acceptable to mix everything and to lose our individual tribal identity? This would never have been accepted by our ancestors as long as two or three generations ago.

Was there a meeting of all tribal elders and leaders where it was decided "hey lets let the white man take away our individual identity and look like we are all one huge tribe? When did this happen and why was it allowed to happen?
To me that is sad as it signals the next generations total and complete assimilation to not only the white man but to each others own tribal customs and beliefs.

Comments anyone? Are there any elders in the house to answer that or do you want me to drive back to Rosebud and talk to the elders about this change that spells the end to our original and beautiful ways of life?
You should consult with @Zeke !
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They say blood is thicker than water ! Now maple syrup is thicker than blood , so are pancakes more important than family ?

There are "Elders" and there are "Olders". Being the second one doesn't make the first one true !

Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
It's not me....I think you're an idiot !





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Old 02-06-2013, 10:19 PM   #40
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