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 -
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 -
"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
and human rights violations
posted by empath
on Mar 5, 2013 -
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 -
In the wake of increasingly prominent appearances by South Asians in American television (Mindy Kaling, Aziz Ansari, Danny Pudi), NBC has launched Outsourced
) (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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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
]. Google cache of last (Geocities) link here.
posted by taz
on Mar 10, 2004 -
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 -
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~.
, Jackson Whites
, the Moors of Delaware
, the Ben Ishmaels--hat tip to Footnotes of History on that
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 -
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 -