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Forum Home - Go Back > Pow Wow Arena > Ask PowWows.com Artifacts and Tools - TX Farm Artifacts and Tools - TX Farm

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Old 11-30-2016, 01:04 AM   #1
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Artifacts and Tools - TX Farm

Hello!

Before I continue, please know that I mean no offense to anyone. I don't know much about Native American cultures beyond what I learned in school, so please forgive me if I cause offense.

I'd like to start by introducing myself: My name is Jesse, and I'm 31 years old. I was born and raised in Dallas, TX. As far as ancestry, I'll soon learn a lot more than I currently know (genetics testing), but from my mother's side I'm German, Swedish, and Scottish. There is also a small percentage of Native American (my mother's grandma, I believe). I think she was Cherokee (100%, or close to it I guess). But there is almost no paper trail for her, so we don't know much else about her.

So, I recently visited the family farm, which has been in our family for a little over a century. It is in Commanche, Texas. My family and my neighbors over the years have found hundreds (or more) of Native American stone tools (arrowheads, tomahawk blades, things of the sort). While visiting, I was walking from the gate to the farm house and found what looks to be a large skinning tool (I honestly have no idea what it was really for; skinning tool is just a guess from its appearance). I started wondering how many more of these and other little treasures (I don't mean monetarily--I mean culturally) are spread out across the land.

I was considering doing some excavations sometime to see what I can find, and donating the findings to the appropriate entity (tribal museum, perhaps?). Or inviting a team of local Native Americans to come out? But I'm not sure what--if anything--would be appropriate, especially when considering the fact that stumbling across human remains, which may or may not be Native American, is always a possibility.

Is this an endeavor I can/should pursue, or should I just leave things be?

Thank you :)
Jesse
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Old 11-30-2016, 11:32 AM   #2
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Hello and welcome to powwows.calm.

Don't go digging.

This farm has been in your family for a long time, so I can assume it has been productive for your family?

The tools that you have found; what have you done with them?

Just understand that every item you pick up has a story. It may be something entirely insignificant, but it may not be. As an example I have a white friend at work who's mother brought an item home she had "dug up" one day and put it on a shelf because it was pretty. Within 2 weeks her whole family had been in and out of the ICU with a rare illness.

If this farm has been productive, or even a good home for your family for a long time, don't go digging.

But that's just my opinion, and I'm nobody. I'm that one NDN who thinks he knows everything, but really don't know chit!
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Old 11-30-2016, 01:19 PM   #3
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But that's just my opinion, and I'm nobody. I'm that one NDN who thinks he knows everything, but really don't know chit!
Good advice ! Aren't you supposed to be in class ???
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Old 11-30-2016, 01:31 PM   #4
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Thank you for the reply!

Eeek! That doesn't sound pleasant. It used to be a much more active farm a long time ago, but things slowed down as my grandma got older. Eventually we just started leasing our land to our neighbor who is an active farmer. The neighboring family owns most of the land around our farm, and they grow crops every year. But about half of our land is forested. It was never cleared for farming crops.

I remember when I was about 5 or 6 years old, the neighbor came over with a big bag of hundreds of arrowheads he had found while walking around. We've found a bunch of different stuff and leave it all together in a basket. I find these things fascinating, so my little find (I'll try to post a picture even though it's hard to get a feel for the item unless you're turning it about in your hand) is still with me at my home in Dallas. I'd like to document where it was found and turn it over to a local Native American group if I can get in touch with them, assuming they would want it even though it is just one little piece.

I cleaned it off when I found it because it was covered in dirt (mostly buried when I found it), so I'm not too worried it will make me sick somehow :)
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Old 11-30-2016, 02:38 PM   #5
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Has it ever occurred to you that perhaps the spirits of those that used these items may want them to stay right where they are?

When I was little I was told those tools and arrowheads were made by Spirits. I was told to leave them where they lay. I was also taught that the tools and other objects sent with the dead belonged to the dead. Not all sickness comes from germs.

Your culture may dig up its ancestor's graves and display the grave goods and bones. Your culture may believe those old Powers and Gods dead and buried by your western scientific objectivity. Therefore you choose not to respect the customs of your pagan antecedents. Can you respect that our still living peoples may believe otherwise?

We know our history. We need no arrowheads to know we were on the land where the Creator placed us, long before Manifest Destiny took sail from Europe. Instead we want our ancestors to be at peace.

Last edited by OLChemist; 11-30-2016 at 02:40 PM..
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Old 11-30-2016, 03:12 PM   #6
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Fair enough, and thank you for the reply. I'll return the item to the farm next time I go out there.
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Old 11-30-2016, 05:20 PM   #7
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But that's just my opinion, and I'm nobody. I'm that one NDN who thinks he knows everything, but really don't know chit!
oh we know......all to well
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Old 11-30-2016, 05:32 PM   #8
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one idea you suggested may be appropriate

not sure what part of texas your farm is in.....but try to find out which tribe once populated the area and then we can help give you contact info on tribal offices of descendants and politely invite them to survey your land

they may say it has cultural significance and ask you to agree not to sell it to harmful entities....tribes are usually reasonable when someone is willing to work with them

and the good part is....if it is significant you can probably save you and your neighbors from a pipeline or a pit-mine in the future and keep the area as farmland and woodland
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Old 11-30-2016, 06:04 PM   #9
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one idea you suggested may be appropriate

not sure what part of texas your farm is in.....but try to find out which tribe once populated the area and then we can help give you contact info on tribal offices of descendants and politely invite them to survey your land

they may say it has cultural significance and ask you to agree not to sell it to harmful entities....tribes are usually reasonable when someone is willing to work with them

and the good part is....if it is significant you can probably save you and your neighbors from a pipeline or a pit-mine in the future and keep the area as farmland and woodland
The farm is between Proctor and Comanche City and resides in Comanche County, about two hours south of Fort Worth (just off of Highway 377).

Unfortunately, I have zero legal claim to the farm for now. My mom and her brother, my uncle, are the owners. My uncle and his wife, very kind and great people, actually reside on the farm and have no intention of selling. However, my mom has been a little...crazy... since her recent divorce. She now is planning to sell two substantial pieces ( 25-30%?) of the farmland. The latter is one of the reasons I wanted to ask about artifacts. These pieces of land will be sold, and who knows what will happen after that. The land will most likely be used for farming or orchards (pecan fields, for example).

Being that my mom is now typically in an unreasonable, irrational state of mind, I'm hesitant to even consider bringing this up to her. However, I would gladly bring it up to my uncle. I'll bet he would love the idea of having the local tribe come out and survey the land.

And you do bring up a good point. The government already took a substantial chunk of our farm land (15%?) in order to build a reservoir. My grandfather (or my mom's grandfather?) was forced to accept a very small sum of money for the land... This also happened to my father and grandfather (in a separate instance) for a railraod... They were given 15% of the actual value of the land. Eminent Domain...

Anyway, when I get more information I will talk to my uncle :)
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Old 11-30-2016, 07:07 PM   #10
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...The government already took a substantial chunk of our farm land (15%?) in order to build a reservoir. My grandfather (or my mom's grandfather?) was forced to accept a very small sum of money for the land... This also happened to my father and grandfather (in a separate instance) for a railraod... They were given 15% of the actual value of the land. Eminent Domain...
At the risk of enhancing my reputation as a general meanie, I invite you to consider irony of complaining about having your lands seized by government on a Native American website.
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Old 11-30-2016, 09:27 PM   #11
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At the risk of enhancing my reputation as a general meanie, I invite you to consider irony of complaining about having your lands seized by government on a Native American website.
I guess I'm not allowed to mention things that have happened recently in my family in a legitimate and relevant response to someone's comment because it parallels history. How insensitive of me to trigger your delicate sensibilities.

Also, you do realize that I'm not the U.S. government? And I have never had any affiliation with the U.S. government or its operations? And neither has my immediate family? So, if anything, should you not be sympathetic to someone whose land was taken by the U.S. government? Or is it only relevant if you're Native American? For anyone else it's somehow deserved because they weren't born on a reservation?

And I'm fairly certain there was a good bit of tribal warfare over land... You know, that pesky thing that has happened everywhere throughout history?

But it appears that my good intentions are not well received here. So I'll go.
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Old 12-01-2016, 12:21 AM   #12
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Sheesh, please read the humor font. If you want to hang with Indians you're going to need to grow a thicker skin. The above comment is where you pause, reconsider how you see the world, and laugh with us.


You accuse me of delicate sensibilities. I invite you walk a mile in my steel toed shoes. Maybe then you'll understand. Pretend with me for a moment....

You get in a discussion with a non-Indian stranger about land and possible grave goods. It is going well. He is understanding your POV. Then he relates an incident about the seizure, with compensation, of some land by the government. As you read, you recall: the coerced overturn of the Treaty of 1868, 7.7 million acres lost; the General Allotment Act, 9 million acres lost; Roosevelt's executive order seizing the White Clay extension; the Pine Ridge Act of May 27, 1910 taking Bennett County; the Badlands Bombing Range, 340,000 acres; Pick-Sloan; and on and on.

Would you perhaps comment? In light of your violent response, I'd guess that you would. And you do, making a comment on the irony, hoping to get in another teachable moment.

And guess what will greet your effort to educate. A howl of rage. The old saw about intertribal warfare over resources being the constant of human history is thrown in your face, yet again. This argument is supposed to invalidate your experience of history, minimize your community's pain, and deny the legitimacy of your grievances.

And this happens all the time when you fail to tread lightly on sensibilities of colonizer's children. How does it feel?

It isn't delicate sensibilities, it is frustration.
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Old 12-01-2016, 10:10 AM   #13
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Hawa!

Good talk guys. Imma go burn a wagon or two and steal some settlers kid, raise him up right.

.
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Old 12-01-2016, 11:12 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimhound View Post
I guess I'm not allowed to mention things that have happened recently in my family in a legitimate and relevant response to someone's comment because it parallels history. How insensitive of me to trigger your delicate sensibilities.

Also, you do realize that I'm not the U.S. government? And I have never had any affiliation with the U.S. government or its operations? And neither has my immediate family? So, if anything, should you not be sympathetic to someone whose land was taken by the U.S. government? Or is it only relevant if you're Native American? For anyone else it's somehow deserved because they weren't born on a reservation?

And I'm fairly certain there was a good bit of tribal warfare over land... You know, that pesky thing that has happened everywhere throughout history?

But it appears that my good intentions are not well received here. So I'll go.
dude.....it IS a funny ironic twist......look at it from our eyes....it IS humorous that a non-indian is on a group full of indians telling them that the govt bastages took their land

no one is mad at ya.....in fact you came on here with better intentions than most

good luck to you
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Old 12-01-2016, 01:46 PM   #15
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I guess I'm not allowed to mention things that have happened recently in my family in a legitimate and relevant response to someone's comment because it parallels history. How insensitive of me to trigger your delicate sensibilities.
OUR delicate sensibilities? Hmmmmmm.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grimhound View Post
Also, you do realize that I'm not the U.S. government? And I have never had any affiliation with the U.S. government or its operations? And neither has my immediate family? So, if anything, should you not be sympathetic to someone whose land was taken by the U.S. government? Or is it only relevant if you're Native American? For anyone else it's somehow deserved because they weren't born on a reservation?
This statement brings you under scrutiny. Who did you vote for? Why? Did you vote? My NDN azz HAS had affiliation with the U.S. government and still does. Don't lie to yourself and say you are an "unafilliated" victim because some NDN made a joke about the irony of your post. I'm glad you said these things and showed your true colors. You prolly ate turkey on takesgiving without even a thought for the NDN's on the front lines at Standing Rock getting routed with tear gas and shot with rubber bullets.
Quote:
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And I'm fairly certain there was a good bit of tribal warfare over land... You know, that pesky thing that has happened everywhere throughout history?
Oh you mean we had borders? DUHHHH. Typical white guy. Even claimed to be Cherokee.

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But it appears that my good intentions are not well received here. So I'll go.
I call bullpuckey!! Good intentions my butt! You came here with an interest in archeology. You don't even believe the things that were shared with you about NDN ways. You won't go put that tool back cause you had SELFISH, not GOOD intentions. You even talked smack about your own mom. I need to get off line for a while cause I just overdosed on baloney.
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Last edited by OLChemist; 12-01-2016 at 03:58 PM.. Reason: Fixing broken quote markup.
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Old 12-08-2016, 09:50 PM   #16
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I guess they aren't coming back..
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Old 12-12-2016, 11:52 AM   #17
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hey i was nice......i let gilisi wear my azzhat
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Old 12-19-2016, 01:29 AM   #18
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Goodness, don't some people take offense easily. When I read that paragraph about the government taking some of the land I actually thought the OP would follow up with "now I know how the Indians felt", which is what I was thinking. Heaven forbid someone point out the irony of that.

Not being Indian, I'm not qualified to post on most issues on this forum, but as a white person I have to say it disappoints me when fellow white people get soooo worked up over a little reminder of our shared history. You feel that you're not being judged fairly? That your concerns are not being heard? That it's all so unfair to you?? Sit on that feeling for a while and realize maybe that is exactly how people of other races and cultures feel probably much more often than we have to feel!

No, you're not "the government" but you do realize the people who left those artifacts lost that very land at some point? Don't rationalize that they fought each other or some such thing, or they didn't deserve to keep it. The land was taken from them, and has benefitted your family. Yes, that was a long time ago and neither you nor I were the white people who were directly responsible for that happening. BUT, there is still a debt of history here. We can't go back in time and fix things, but we can have open minds, try to learn and listen to others, and be a little more humble. You're on the right track by caring about the artifacts, but jeez, no need to get so huffy.
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