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Tuesday afternoon sportz journalizm chuckles

An Oral History of the 1989 Cleveland Indians. It was 1989, and no one knew that the usually predictable world of Major League Baseball was about to get as topsy turvy as it could. Here's the story of a plucky band of misfits, fighting against the entrenched baseball establishment, to obtain success in their efforts against their playing opponents, and an evil owner bent on relocation. [more inside]
posted by LoRichTimes on Jul 22, 2014 - 35 comments

"Let's go get 'em, boys," he said, arming himself with a fungo bat....

The 1974 Cleveland Indians baseball team "were a smorgasbord of mediocre and forgettable talent playing in an open-air mausoleum" where 85% of the seats at home games went unsold. So the Indians tried to drum up business with a "10-Cent Beer Night" promotion. What could possibly go wrong? The final tally, 40 years ago this evening: 25,134 fans in attendance. 60,000 Genesee beers at 10¢ each. 50 cops. 19 streakers. 7 emergency room injuries. 9 arrests. 2 bare moons. 2 bouncing breasts and 1 sportswriter, punched in the jaw. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jun 4, 2014 - 28 comments

Native Fashion 101: Not doing it wrong, at least

How to wear Native fashions without committing cultural appropriation. Also included: a photo album of gorgeous Native designs. (via)
posted by desjardins on Jan 24, 2014 - 135 comments

Skull and Bones gangs of New Orleans, a Mardi Gras tradition from 1819

Doors cracked, and people peered out at the apparitions on the street. Most of the grown-ups smiled and said “Good morning”, or “Happy Mardi Gras!” Kids peeked around their parents, looking thunderstruck. “Get up outta that bed! It's Mardi Gras morning!” the bone men yelled, “You gotta get your life straight!” One of the less well-known traditions of Mardi Gras in New Orleans are the Skull and Bone gangs who come out in the early morning. Their mission, besides the celebration of Mardi Gras, is to seek out small children and warn to live their lives rightly least the skull and bone spirits should have to come to them too soon. The tradition lives on, continuing what began around 1819, now mingling with the "younger" traditions of the Mardi Gras Indians and the Baby Dolls. For more history, check out Gumbo Ya-Ya, a collection of Louisana Folk Tales, on Archive.org
posted by filthy light thief on Oct 24, 2013 - 15 comments

The Lost Tribes of the Amazon

Franco believes that governments must increase efforts to preserve indigenous cultures. “The Indians represent a special culture, and resistance to the world,” argues the historian, who has spent three decades researching isolated tribes in Colombia. Martínez says that the Indians have a unique view of the cosmos, stressing “the unity of human beings with nature, the interconnectedness of all things.” It is a philosophy that makes them natural environmentalists, since damage to the forest or to members of one tribe, the Indians believe, can reverberate across society and history with lasting consequences. “They are protecting the jungle by chasing off gold miners and whoever else goes in there,” Franco says. He adds: “We must respect their decision not to be our friends—even to hate us.”
posted by jason's_planet on Apr 13, 2013 - 21 comments

Breaking A Legacy of Silence

"An April 17, 1981, a CIA cable[pdf] described an army massacre at Cocob, near Nebaj in the Ixil Indian territory, because the population was believed to support leftist guerrillas. A CIA source reported that “the social population appeared to fully support the guerrillas” and “the soldiers were forced to fire at anything that moved.” The CIA cable added that “the Guatemalan authorities admitted that ‘many civilians’ were killed in Cocob, many of whom undoubtedly were non-combatants.” In May 1981, despite these ongoing atrocities, Reagan dispatched Walters to tell the Guatemalan leaders that the new U.S. administration wanted to lift the human rights embargoes on military equipment that former President Jimmy Carter and Congress had imposed."
The Guatemala Documentation Project, part of the National Security Archive, collects information about the decades long civil war in Guatemala, including State Department documents that point to Washington's complicity in massacres, assassinations and human rights violations.
posted by empath on Mar 5, 2013 - 21 comments

The Curse of Chief Wahoo

The Curse of Chief Wahoo. "Are we paying the price for embracing America's last acceptable racist symbol?".
posted by josher71 on May 9, 2012 - 138 comments

Join the Adventure

The Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail is America’s first water-based national historic trail. It consists of the combined routes of Smith’s historic voyages on the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries in 1607-1609. Designated by Congress in December 2006, the trail stretches approximately 3,000 miles up and down the Bay and along tributaries in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Apr 16, 2011 - 5 comments

Avatar Activism, The Harry Potter Alliance, and Pop Culture Fandom as the gateway to Social Activism

Back in February 2010, Palestinian activists dressed up as Na'vi and Avatars to bring more attention to the weekly protests against the West Bank barrier. Video of the costumed protest was edited to blend with Avatar footage, to emphasize the protesters' message. In another pop-culture world, The Harry Potter Alliance have run campaigns that tie themes from the stories to real-world issues, in an effort to translate the energy of fans into energy to get active in civil engagement, including a a fundraiser in January that raise raised $34,000 to support Haiti relief efforts. These efforts have been labeled "Avatar Activism," as discussed in a a recent Le Monde diplomatique article and a related piece on NPR. [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Nov 18, 2010 - 15 comments

You Know That's Saag Paneer, Dude

In the wake of increasingly prominent appearances by South Asians in American television (Mindy Kaling, Aziz Ansari, Danny Pudi), NBC has launched Outsourced (preview) (full pilot on Hulu), a comedy about an American who moves to Mumbai to manage a call center. Featuring a mostly South Asian cast, the show is a potential high-water mark for Indians in popular American media. But is the show's portrayal of Indians progressive, or does it get bogged down in stereotypes and clichéd jokes about spicy food and funny names? Himanshu Suri of art rap trio Das Racist weighs in. [more inside]
posted by naju on Sep 24, 2010 - 89 comments

Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Is this just another version of the minstrel show? The Pendleton Round-up is celebrating its 100th anniversary. Part of its attraction is the performance of a "American Indian" dance pageant, whose participants are compensated traditionally. "A century later, the mill still provides blankets, and families are still paid to appear, $5 per person each day at the arena. Beef and vegetables are provided, as are tokens for other food. The winner of the “Best Dressed Indian Award” at the parade gets 50 silver dollars. The winner of the “Oldest Indian Couple Award” gets 100 silver dollars in a pouch."
posted by Xurando on Sep 24, 2010 - 17 comments

The Occupation of Alcatraz 1969-71

Forty Thanksgivings ago Alcatraz Island was occupied by a number of Native American activists as a protest. The occupation lasted until June of 1971 The best place to learn about it is PBS's website for Alcatraz Is Not an Island, Jim Fortier's documentary about the Alcatraz Occupation. Besides an overview of the events it has video interviews with the people involved. [RealPlayer required] Here are photographs of the occupation, mostly from newspapers. For a flavor of how the local media covered the events, here's the San Francisco Bay Area Television Archive's Occupation of Alcatraz Collection which has over 40 contemporary newsreports [MPEG4]
posted by Kattullus on Nov 26, 2009 - 10 comments

Autographs of famous Indians

An avid collector of autographs, Praful Thakkar has created an online archive of his collection of autographs of famous Indians. There are politicians, authors, Nobel Laureates, actors ...
posted by darsh on Sep 18, 2009 - 1 comment

Ledger Art of Plains Indians

Plains Indian Ledger Art is a website devoted to the art that Plains Indians developed in the latter half of the 19th Century when they got access to paper and modern painting tools. The gallery has 14 different ledgers, including the famous ledger by Black Hawk. The ledgers depict all kinds of scenes, amusing, violent, mythical, mundane and lots of other facets of life for the Plains Indians. There is also a short history of ledger art but for a bit more information read Drawing on Tribal History by Inga Kiderra.
posted by Kattullus on Jun 13, 2008 - 12 comments

Remembering 10-Cent Beer Night

ESPN's Paul Jackson tells the tale of 10-Cent Beer Night and the ensuing riot in Cleveland on June 4, 1974.
posted by togdon on Jun 4, 2008 - 28 comments

Lakota Indians Declare Independence

The Lakota People have withdrawn from their treaties with the United States, citing numerous violations of those treaties by the US. They plan to start their own country, issuing passports and drivers' licenses and living tax-free.
posted by JDHarper on Dec 20, 2007 - 222 comments

Who is Billy Jack?

Who is Billy Jack? Tom Laughlin? The Born Losers, was the first in the series of counter culture action flicks. Here's a clip from the film named Billy Jack, that captures the character's response to racism. Eventually this series of films turn to poop, that is politics, with the film Billy Jack goes to Washington. As hokey as this character may seem, there is really something good about Billy Jack.
posted by snsranch on Aug 8, 2007 - 39 comments

The other Bob Livingston

Cowboys & Indians. Literally.
posted by phaedon on Feb 7, 2007 - 8 comments

Let Me Take My Ride

The Wall of Death. Celebrated in song and art, the act of riding a motorcycle on the vertical wall of the inside of a cylinder, was a popular carnival attraction, mid-century. Although on the wane since the 70's, there are still a few practitioners, some of whom have better websites than others.
posted by Devils Rancher on Dec 31, 2006 - 9 comments

Forever-Flying-Bird

When Everybody Called Me Gah-bay-bi-nayss - an ethnographic biography of Paul Peter Buffalo, son of Ojibwa medicine woman and grandson of the great chief Pezeke. Buffalo died in 1977, but spent his last dozen years chronicling his heritage and the things the elders told him. Be sure to check out the entry on John Smith, a wonderful character more popularly known as Wrinkle Meat.
posted by madamjujujive on Nov 16, 2006 - 8 comments

n layman’s terms, this is called a con.

"Mortgaging Old Black People" --Abramoff, Ralph Reed, the Black Churches Insurance Program, with the old folks' benefits going to Abramoff. They had previously tried it with the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo Tribe of El Paso. (original GQ story here)
posted by amberglow on Jul 13, 2006 - 18 comments

Custer Died for Your Sins

One hundred and thirty years ago today, George Armstrong Custer divided his forces in the face of a superior enemy and rode to his death at the Little Big Horn. The actual battle lasted about 15 minutes, but the fight over Custer's legacy is going into its second century. Visit the battle memorial (webcam view) explore the archeology of the site, or read an Indian account of the battle. The battle has attracted artists as varied as Charlie Russell (this poster of his painting was distributed by Anheiser Busch and hung in bars across the United States), Thomas Hart Benton, and Kicking Bear (Mato Wanartaka). Little Big Horn is a lonely place today.
posted by LarryC on Jun 25, 2006 - 33 comments

Drug War (remember that?) Roundup

Drugs on the Rez. It's a hell of a life going from utter poverty, where your mom gets you drunk so you'll stop complaining about being hungry, to being able to buy your kids toys with $100 accessories and sending them to private schools, to going back to literally not having a quarter to call your dad. In this case, the money came from Canadian oxycontin. It's not just Native Americans who are targeted by the authorities. It's also Indians. There's a pretty good newish book on the subject of black markets, Illicit. Laos' opium market is apparently gone -- in favor of meth and Afghanistan's market is black in name only, so why keep up the facade?
posted by raaka on Feb 20, 2006 - 14 comments

Acts of sacred violence

What’s "Sacred" about Violence in Early America? Susan Juster discusses the "oversized colonial martyr complex" with its attendant paradox: "colonial martyrs were everywhere, religious violence... in short supply." She begins:
One of the most chilling images in early American history is the deliberate firing of Fort Mystic during the Pequot War of 1637. Five hundred Indian men, women, and children died that day, burned alive along with their homes and possessions by a vengeful Puritan militia intent on doing God’s will. "We must burn them!" the militia captain famously insisted to his troops on the eve of the massacre, in words that echo the classic early modern response to heretics. Just five months before, the Puritan minister at Salem had exhorted his congregation in strikingly similar terms to destroy a more familiar enemy, Satan; "We must burne him," John Wheelwright told his parishioners. Indians and devils may have been scarcely distinguishable to many a Puritan, but their rhetorical conflation in these two calls to arms raises a question: Was the burning of Fort Mystic a racial or a religious killing?
She avoids easy answers and makes some interesting connections. If you want to find out more about the Pequot War, there's good material in the History section of this site. (Main link via wood s lot.)
posted by languagehat on Jan 9, 2006 - 35 comments

What do you mean "we," white man?

Indian Country Today is the national newspaper for American Indians. With news from tribes across the United States and around the world and articles like "Qitsualik: The last great polar bear hunt." And they were down on Ward Churchill before it was cool. Don't have time to add another newspaper to your reading list? Try the podcast.
posted by LarryC on Jan 6, 2006 - 10 comments

Native American Exploration

A Native American Scoops Lewis and Clark. Moncacht-apé, a Yazoo Indian, traveled up the Missouri and to the Pacific 100 years before Lewis and Clark. He told his story to the Frenchman Le Page du Pratz, who recorded it as part of his 1758 Histoire de la Lousiane (new translations here). Thomas Jefferson owned the book, as did Meriwether Lewis. But a walk to the Pacific Ocean was no big deal for the Mississippi native--after all he had walked to Niagara Falls a few years earlier.
posted by LarryC on Sep 26, 2005 - 21 comments

Photos from Brazils' second Indigenous Nations' Games

The second Indigenous Nations' Games of Para doesn't have a website and there's not even an AP story describing the events, but there are a lot of photos from the games.
posted by hellx on Aug 23, 2005 - 6 comments

Indian Arranged Marriages

A look at arranged marriages for Indian-Americans.
posted by daksya on Mar 30, 2005 - 26 comments

USDAOPCL (L is for Library)

The USDA On Line Photography Center mingles what you might expect with what you might not.
posted by breezeway on Feb 25, 2005 - 7 comments

To see a buffalo is to remind us

Catalina Bison, lovingly returned. Montana Bison, not so much.
posted by xowie on Dec 16, 2004 - 3 comments

Entombed below a 10-acre concrete slab

Tse-whit-zen. Excavation for the Hood Canal Bridge near Seattle has unearthed a huge prehistoric Indian village and alienated tribal spiritual leaders.
posted by xowie on Nov 21, 2004 - 18 comments

I'd never sell an idolatrous wig, madam...

"A hair-raising fear of idols" - Orthodox hair crisis ".....The storm began four weeks ago, when someone told the rabbis that most natural wigs imported from Europe are actually made of Indian hair. Two years ago, rumors had begun circulating that this hair was bought from Indian priests who gathered it up after the women cut it during a Hindu religious ceremony. This would be a serious problem, since Jewish law forbids the use of objects employed in idol worship (which in Judaism means all polytheistic religions). Apparently many wig-sellers concealed the fact that their wigs, though made in Europe, used Indian hair" (Ha'aretz, Friday, May 14 2004)
posted by troutfishing on May 16, 2004 - 50 comments

We'Wha: The Zuni Man-Woman

Poppin' Fresh from the newly launched QueerMeta community weblog: We'Wha: The Zuni Man-Woman. How could a six-foot tall Indian man be mistaken for a "maiden" and a "princess"? This was no Pocahontas! Even more intriguing is the relationship between Stevenson and We'wha. According to one gossip, "she" regularly entered the ladies rooms and boudoirs of Washington. How could Stevenson not know that her intelligent Zuni informant was really, in the words of one gossip, a "bold, bad man"? More about the 'berdaches' of the Zuni [ 1, 2, 3]. Google cache of last (Geocities) link here.
posted by taz on Mar 10, 2004 - 8 comments

Mardi Gras Indians

two way pocky way: Looking at boobies and getting drunk are certainly worthwhile endeavors, but for my money the Mardi Gras Indians are the most intriguing aspect of Mardi Gras. With their arcane system of rank, complex costumes, and great music, the Mardi Gras Indians represent the finest in Carnival tradition.
posted by monkeyman on Mar 3, 2003 - 9 comments

Royalties? don't they get those from the casinos?...

US Bureau of Indian Affairs 'misplaces' about $137 billion "...hundreds of thousands of Indians in the largest-ever class-action lawsuit against the government have put the cumulative total at $137.2 billion owed [royalties due from BIA leasing of Indian land for lucrative mineral, oil, logging, cattle grazing, and other concessions]....Sometimes the checks might arrive for hundreds or thousands of dollars, and sometimes those checks might only amount to pennies on the dollar. On Indian reservations, the problem has reached crisis levels; a check written out for a smaller amount than expected—or no check at all—can mean the difference between housing and homelessness. " ....but we don't have the money, I told you: it must have fallen out through that hole in my pants' pocket... Treaty, what treaty? Oh, that treaty....
posted by troutfishing on Feb 13, 2003 - 9 comments

Gone To Croatan: Runaway Slaves, Lost Tribes, Tri-Racial Isolates & Hi, Iconomy!

In the late 18th or early 19th century a group of runaway slaves and serfs fled from Kentucky into the Ohio Territory, where they inter-married with Natives and formed a tribe - red, white & black - called the Ben Ishmael tribe. The Ishmaels (who seem to have been Islamically inclined) followed an annual nomadic route through the territory, hunting & fishing, and finding work as tinkers and minstrels. They were polygamists, and drank no alcohol. Every winter they returned to their original settlement, where a village had grown.

But eventually the US Govt. opened the Territory to settlement, and the ~official~ pioneers arrived. Around the Ishmael village a town began to spring up, called Cincinnati. Soon it was a big city. But Ishmael village was still there, engulfed & surrounded by "civilization." Now it was a ~slum~.


Maroons, Ramapaughs, Jackson Whites, the Moors of Delaware, Melungeons, the Ben Ishmaels--hat tip to Footnotes of History on that last--Red Bones, Brass Ankles, Turks, Lumbees, Croatans and other lost tribes and rebel slave communities.

The questions raised are what is race, tribe and family ...among others.

Included by extension are Hakim Bey, The Moorish Orthodox Church, various tribes of Black Indians, Jukes, Kallikaks, Margaret Sanger, The Bell Curve and Heather Locklear. (Step within the tent for the latter's interpetive dance)
posted by y2karl on Nov 15, 2002 - 38 comments

Some Good News for a Tuesday

Some Good News for a Tuesday Now that a third cabinet official has been held in contempt over the handling of funds owed to Native Americans, is a big check in the mail? Or will the Interior Department claim that they are out of stamps?
posted by tommyspoon on Sep 17, 2002 - 25 comments

People are reduced to cartoons says a Native American activist regarding sports teams with "Indian" mascots. The NFL's Redskins are dropping the Indian head from their helmets. Is this a sign they may one day consider changing the name? Maybe the designers of the Salt Lake City Olympic mascots can teach us Washingtonians something about honoring native traditions while respecting their wishes. (or maybe the SLC designs are just goofy. me, i just wanna be able to wear my team's logo without a crisis of conscience.)
posted by danOstuporStar on Feb 5, 2002 - 39 comments

In 1545 and 1576, plagues swept across the Yucatan peninsual in Mexico and killed 17 million people, including 80 percent of the native Indians. The traditional view is that American Indians succumbed to European diseases to which they had no natural resistance. A new and subtle theory says that the plagues were not imported but were in fact of local origin. It doesn't let the Europeans off the hook though.
posted by lagado on Dec 29, 2000 - 2 comments

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