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Old 08-13-2014, 10:36 AM   #1
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Saying Hello

Hi
I thought I would leap in and introduce myself.
My name is Kevin,
I should say Iím in Wales.
I first came across Native American Dance when I was about 18 at the International Eisteddfod in the late 1970ís, I was awestruck, the sound, colour, speed and rhythm was captivating, but was too shy to speak to any of them. I wish I had. This was well before the internet, and things move on.
I now wonder if this group were truly what they appeared to be. Iím not implying that they were frauds, but they may easily have originated from nearby.
Do you know if anyone travelled over here back then? If not perhaps you might consider coming over. I (and my family) would love to see the dance again.
Since then I have always had an interest in American native culture. Over the years Iíve read many books, watched lots of movies and TV documentaries, most no doubt making huge gaffs and inaccuracies.
K
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Old 08-13-2014, 01:43 PM   #2
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We do know how to get down...
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Old 08-13-2014, 02:41 PM   #3
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Do you know if anyone travelled over here back then? If not perhaps you might consider coming over. I (and my family) would love to see the dance again.

Welcome, Kevin. Please explore our forums and learn more about our many cultures and art forms.


BTW, Wales is a beautiful county. I have a great-grandmother from Llanelli. While I was in college, I went over there to see where some of my non-Native ancestors came from.


Our people have been Transatlantic travelers since the "Columbian Exchange" began. It is a fallacy to think of us as an isolated, provincial people. Our various nations have been involved in trade, diplomacy, and exogamy since the first Europeans washed up on shore. Thayendanegea (Joseph Brant) traveled to the court of George III in 1775 on a diplomatic mission for his people, just as his grandfather had journeyed to England 65 years before. And this wasn't unique to the Mohawks. Men from many New England tribes served in 18th century whaling fleets, traveling all over the world. Many of my own people had grandparents and great grandparents who traveled to the UK and Europe as entertainers in Wild West shows. We had even more who served in both World Wars. We have long been as curious about your lands and cultures as you have been about ours.

So, yes I'm sure Native peoples traveled over to the UK in the 1970's. Who those particular dancers were I have no idea. I'm sure someday in the future Native people will again perform in the UK.
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Old 08-13-2014, 04:18 PM   #4
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Kevin Welcome to pws.com enjoy!!
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Old 08-14-2014, 05:18 AM   #5
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Hi Kevin and welcome to the forum.
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Old 08-14-2014, 08:49 AM   #6
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Thank you all for the warm welcome, I will certainly keep reading about your culture.

Iím sure you will understand that much of the information available here is of a dubious nature. If I have any questions I hope should I post them here someone will put me right.

Are there any books etc. anyone would recommend?

Kevin
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Old 08-14-2014, 11:49 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mogs View Post
I’m sure you will understand that much of the information available here is of a dubious nature.
I hope by here you mean the UK. Most of the information on this site is decent. Except for @Joe's Dad's instructions on how to flirt with water moccasins. Sorry, inside joke.


Kevin, there is an enormous cultural range in just Native North America. There are 500+ nations, speaking as many languages, practicing lifeways as different as the French are the Zulus. We have thousands of years of history and culture.

It might be helpful if you could be a bit more specific. Are you interested in arts, literature, dance, history, modern political movements, philosophy, land tenure, traditional technologies, biographies?

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Old 08-14-2014, 02:49 PM   #8
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Or would you like to know how to seduce aa water mocassin? LOL
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Old 08-14-2014, 02:57 PM   #9
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Or would you like to know how to seduce aa water mocassin? LOL
You must have a thang for snakes, I remember you had something about an interaction of sorts between a snake and horse in the signature area of posts before
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Old 08-14-2014, 03:08 PM   #10
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Do you know if anyone travelled over here back then? If not perhaps you might consider coming over. I (and my family) would love to see the dance again.
Since then I have always had an interest in American native culture. Over the years Iíve read many books, watched lots of movies and TV documentaries, most no doubt making huge gaffs and inaccuracies.
K
Quote:
Originally Posted by OLChemist View Post
We have long been as curious about your lands and cultures as you have been about ours.
I agree as well, perhaps your people can come over and perform some of your dances, share some customs and allow us to taste some of your peoples food. I know there will be some natives who would interested in what your people are willing share, I know I am...
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Old 08-14-2014, 10:46 PM   #11
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Or would you like to know how to seduce aa water mocassin? LOL

Wasn't the water mocassin a character on Kill Bill? LOL
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Old 08-15-2014, 04:02 AM   #12
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I hope by here you mean the UK. Most of the information on this site is decent.
I knew that I would put my foot in it, the more I post to this forum. I didn't think I would do so quite as quickly. Yes, I meant geographically "here" in the UK.
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Old 08-15-2014, 08:23 AM   #13
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Perhaps it would be better if I were to explain a little bit more about myself and the where Iím coming from, and my story of discovery so far.

I have already stated that my interest was initially tweaked after seeing tradition dance years ago. That interest got put aside once it was overtaken by girls Ė one particular girl Ė marriage Ė children etc. My children are now grown up and I have time to pursue and revisit my interests.

In 2012, my family and I took a holiday coach tour of the North East of the US and Canada, (New York, Boston, Quebec, Ottawa, Toronto, York (PA), Washington, Philadelphia and back to New York). Fantastic it was, but it did not cover anything specifically Native American which I had hoped it would. (of course it can be said that all the amazing landscape we saw is Native American).

Since then I have tried to read as much as I can on your culture(s) etc., (the books Iíve got mostly from our local lending library) and I have watched as many documentaries as I can on the Discovery Channel etc. Many of the books are written from the colonial perspective and if ďIndiansĒ are mentioned, itís usually only briefly. I also recently watched the dramatization of Dee Browns book ďBury my Heart at Wounded KneeĒ which has inspired me to read his book, (Iím halfway through). Much of it I find shameful from my Celtic / Anglo Saxon background.

During my lunch hours I spend time surfing the web, which is how I came across this site. I donít have web access at home, thatís not strictly true, I do, but I would have to wrest it off my daughters, no contest there, I lose out.

The book ends in 1890 (I read the last chapter). What happens next? I hadnít realised that Reservations still exist until recently; obviously they must be much better than they were 120ish years ago. From what Iíve read so far poverty and bigotry is still a major problem and inter-tribal conflict is getting worse, I hope this is an over-exaggeration.

About me:
Iím in my early 50ís, overweight and unfit. Iím a qualified Builder, carpentry is my trade background. I work as an administrator for the local authority. My hobbies include building and flying model Radio Controlled Aircraft, History and Music.

Kevin
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:23 AM   #14
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So you would be interested books about more contemporary events?

Here are a (very) few of my recommendations:

Non-Native authors --

Jim Kristofic, Navajos Wear Nikes, University of New Mexico Press, 2011.

Stew Magnuson, The Death of Raymond Yellow Thunder: And Other True Stories form the Nebraska-Pine Ridge Border Towns, Texas Tech University Press, 2008.


Native authors --

David Treuer, Rez Life, Grove Press, 2013.

Anton Trueur, Everything You Wanted to Know about Indians But Were Afraid to Ask, Borealis Books, 2012.

Vic Glover, Keeping Heart on Pine Ridge, Native Voices, 2004.

Vine Deloria, Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto, University of Oklahoma Press, 1969.


Novels by Native authors

Leslie Silko, Ceremony, Penguin Classics, 2006.

Susan Power, The Grass Dancer, Berkley, 1995.
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Old 08-15-2014, 09:39 AM   #15
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OLChemist Thank you.

I will take the full list to the library, this will shock them.

Previously I've been asking general requests. Hopefully they will be able to source some of them, if not all.

Kevin
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Old 08-15-2014, 10:02 AM   #16
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First Kevin, please do not take my comments as criticism. Then are intended to present my views and not to condemn yours. :)


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What happens next? I hadn’t realised that Reservations still exist until recently; obviously they must be much better than they were 120ish years ago. From what I’ve read so far poverty and bigotry is still a major problem and inter-tribal conflict is getting worse, I hope this is an over-exaggeration.

I'm glad you asked what's happened next. Dee Brown's book is a survey of the major atrocities of the end at "the Indian Wars." It is a vast over-simplication. It is widely used in schools in the US. In my experience, it tends to leave its readers with the idea we all got killed and are gone now.

Whether reservations are better or worse is a matter of debate and depends on which reservation. And on who you talk to. But reservations aren't the whole picture. According to the last US census, only 22% of Native people live on reservations or Alaska Native Villages.

While poverty is a significant factor in the lives of too many Native people in the US, particularly on some reservations, be cautious about viewing Native people's lives solely through that lens. Just under 30% of Native people in the US live in poverty, about twice the rate of the general population.

I'm not sure what you mean by inter-tribal conflicts. Did you perhaps mean intratribal conflict? People often seem to have this idea that in the pre-contact world we lived in blissful harmony, sitting next to our tipis petting our wolves, never having a moment conflict with our next door neighbor, LOL. Human nature then is human nature now. My people certainly found things to argue over and reasons to start dissenting/competing political groups before contact. I strongly suspect tribal politics has always been a fractious affair, but that consensus was easier to arrive at when the goals were more clearly defined and agreed upon.
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Old 08-15-2014, 11:19 AM   #17
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ďInter-tribal / Intratribal conflictĒ I canít now recall where I read that, it was linked to gang violence, Iím glad I got that wrong. As such Iím not sure I wholly understood what it meant either. Hopefully Inter-tribal rivalry is equivalent to our Welsh/English enmity, which is most notable at Rugby Football Games (During the match we hate them. After weíre all friends again, laughing and joking with each other in the pub).

I havenít got to the end of BMHAWK yet, I skipped to the last chapter. It infuriates me and I am so distant from the events in miles as well as time. I find it astonishing that this is used as a text in schools. Does this not stir up racial tensions? Only today I discovered that Dee Brown was not Native American and he's no longer with us.

I may be sailing too close to the wind on this issue, if I am tell me?

I guess I'm an incurable optimist, looking for the happy ending, Dum on my part that could be!

I really don't understand the mindset/politics of the day. I can't get past how the North could be in conflict with the South over slavery, whilst at the same time doing the horrors outlined in the book.


Kevin
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Old 08-15-2014, 02:28 PM   #18
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ďInter-tribal / Intratribal conflictĒ I canít now recall where I read that, it was linked to gang violenceÖ

Gangs in Indian Cuuntry are a hot topic right now. The dominant culture seems to only discuss Native peoples, communities and cultures in the context of dysfunction -- be it alcohol, drugs, FAS/FAE, gangs, child abuse, rape, etcÖ I do not deny these are problems, often significant. However, they are not the sum total of our communities.


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I find it astonishing that this is used as a text in schools. Does this not stir up racial tensions?
The teaching of Native history in classrooms in the US has long been problematic. During my school years (4 decades ago) we appeared next to Miles Standish eating dinner and then disappeared until it was time to give Custer his arrow shirt. (In the US there is a brand of men's shirts called Arrow Shirts, hence the really old and bad pun.) In broader surveys, we killed off God-fearing Purtians during King Phillips War, went of the Trail of Tears, killed settlers on the Oregon Trail, and scared little Laura Ingalls.

Now things are better. There is a somewhat more balanced presentations. But, just this morning I was listening to a podcast of the radio show about the Dakota War. Near the end they talked with a 3rd grade teacher who was preparing her class to attend a Native event. She told the interviewer that she talked about the war in the context of conflict resolution. She basically said the Dakota didn't know how to resolve disputes any other way than to fight, unlike her (probably non-Indian) students who "use our words". This forced the settlers to fight back. Shall we just say that was a gross oversimplification and mischaracterization of the events of the Dakota War. And it did leave me wondering how her students were going to feel surrounded by Dakota people at the powwow they were preparing to attend.

Little War On the Prairie

As for racial tensionsÖ Native people are 1.2% of the US population. Most people have never even talked to a Native person. So, except in certain areas where larger groups of Native people live along side non-Indians, there isn't enough mass for any significant tension.
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Old 08-17-2014, 04:02 AM   #19
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Welcome to the forums, Kevin. It's nice to run across someone who is interested without being condescending. Bury My Heart...the book is a whole lot different than the movie. I read the book at a young age, and was quite surprised when I saw the movie. Like many books and movies, they seem to me to be miles apart.

At the top of the page, you will see a heading for Pow-Wow videos. Check those out when you have time. I am Welsh on my maternal side. I have a cousin who traced the family back to the early 1500s. She had to stop there because the church who held the previous records had burned down.

As for the "happy ending" you are looking for, I don't know. There are many things that have improved-such as educational and job opportunities, but NDN children are still being taken from their families,(for small reasons-and reasons that would not get a white child removed from the home) and placed in foster care with white families. The state gets more money that way. That's gone on for decades and decades. It happened to my Grandfather-and thousands of other NDN children around the turn of the century, and continues still.
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Old 08-18-2014, 08:19 AM   #20
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Ö the book is a whole lot different than the movieÖ .
Iíve not come across a book from which a film is made that has not been infinitely better than itís portrayed.

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At the top of the page, you will see a heading for Pow-Wow videos. Check those out when you have time.
We are blocked from downloading video at work, but I shall persuade one of my daughters to allow me access to a laptop, for some reason they are reluctant, I canít imagine why

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I am Welsh on my maternal side. I have a cousin who traced the family back to the early 1500s.
Wow, thatís about 20 generations. In which case statistically itís very likely we are related Ė Hello Cousin . Do you know where in Wales?

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Ö NDN children are still being taken from their families, Öand placed in foster care with white familiesÖ It happened to my Grandfather-and thousands of other NDN children around the turn of the century, and continues still.
Thatís another shocker, we are sold the line that the US is the most compassionate and caring society in the world.

We are given to believe that Native Americanís back then had no concept of individual land ownership, is this true or is it another load of simplistic rubbish? Group ownership must have existed, for there are many cases of Native American leaders asking/demanding settlers leave ďOur LandsĒ.

Which brings me onto my next question.

What do you think makes a reservation special, is it just that there is a degree of autonomy from the state and federal Government?

We in Wales are currently undergoing change in our government structures, gradually pulling away from the government in London. We have control over Education, Health and Environmental Matters. We are gradually getting some powers over taxation. I suspect there are some parallels; I am interested to hear you views on this?

The Scots are currently taking greater steps, actively seeking independence from the UK government. Weíre in for an interesting time, I canít imagine having to change currency when visiting Scotland but thatís where itís heading.

The acromyn ďNDNĒ. The use of the term Indian in the UK is considered to fall foul of the Politically Correct brigade. I have read that it is considered offensive, conversely I have also read ďthe white man gave us the name Indians and now they want to take that away tooĒ.

Iím not one that is usually concerned over PC matters, I think it often gets in the way. Provided that what is said/written is not done deliberately to be offensive. You guys use the term a lot, where would I stand on this? Typing Native American often ties up my fingers but using NA doesnít work either. We do use the word ďIndianĒ in the UK but in all cases it refers to persons coming from India, when itís okay.

K
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