Where Native America meets pop culture
concerning The "buffalo mask is terribly wrong because the buffalo lived far from Iroquois territory. It's also weird if you think about it"I figured I'd check this one.The map here:http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/ab/elkisland/natcul/natcul1biii_E.aspshows the vast historic range of the bison in North America. It includes the southwestern HALF of New York State. It covers the territory of 5 of the 6 Iroquois nations as they were defined in a 1720 map I found. Only the Mohawk nation appeared to lie outside the range.Yes, the Iroquois did live in what was once buffalo country. However, I have some doubts that the Super Chief creators knew this, and were instead thinking of the Plains. I certainly did not know it until looking it up. I knew the bison extended into Ohio, but not as far east as New York State.
Writerfella here -- The American Bison's range was even greater than is displayed on that map. However, like the forests of the eastern U.S., they fell victim to the European onslaught. Yet another amazing thing about the bison was this: though wiped out to cripple Native existence, they really never were as near extinction as once was thought. The bison population of the United States fell to just over 1,000 in 1900, just as Native populations also fell to a lower limit in the same year. But the forest bison of Canada numbered in the hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions, but no one knew they were there. They grazed the forested slopes of remote mountain areas in Canada and were not 'discovered' until highways were built into those outlying regions around WWII. Nature has diversity that can prevent extinction of its most successful species. However, this principle does not come into play regarding humans. They may have diasporized and overpopulated the planet but their success has been at the expense of nature and was not due to natural perfection. A vast calamity is due the human world but the hairless apes just go about their business, blissfully unaware that they are creating their own fateful, and perhaps fatal, future.All BestRuss Bates'writerfella'
Fewer than 1,000 Natives in 1900? Just a little off:"After four centuries of precipitous population decline to a low of about 237,000 in 1900"from:http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~jar/AIE/Ind_Ed.htmlWhat happened to the millions of forest bison discovered in Canada in the 1940s?
Funny you mention Super-Chief. I did a whole post on "How to Create a Native American Superhero" with him specifically in mind...http://angelthorne.blogspot.com/2006/10/create-your-own-native-american.html
I know buffalo used to roam across much of the United States. Nevertheless, about half of New York and all of eastern Canada lie outside the buffalo's historic range. That means the Iroquois were on the outskirts of the buffalo's range at best.More important, I've never heard of the buffalo playing any part in woodland cultures such as the Iroquois'. Not to mention the central role denoted by having their "super-chief" wear a buffalo mask. So the concept is still terribly wrong. But I'll change the posting to say "most buffalo" rather than "the buffalo."
Writerfella here -- Not A Sioux is not a Sioux for a reason. Even a Sioux would have read my post as, "...,just as Native populations also fell to a lower limit in the same year." Find a number in that phrase other than the year 1900, and I'll give you a cookie. Cliches can be the same as stereotypes because they are so pervasive and omnipresent. There was a movie with Susan Hayward and Gary Cooper called GARDEN OF EVIL that portrayed Yaqui Natives in Mexico as nicely Mohawked and wearing Eastern forest buckskins as though they were in the Appalachians. Sorry, but no cigar!All BestRuss Bates'writerfella'
Writerfella here -- POSTSCRIPTUM: as far as writerfella knows, they are still there on the mountain slopes of Canada, sticking their tongues out at people who can't read straight.All BestRuss Bates'writerfella'
The "other number" is 1,000. No source claims Native numbers in the US ever got that low.
Writerfella here -- English must be Not A Sioux's 0.5 language. Herewith the sentence he purports to have read: "The bison population of the United States fell to just over 1,000 in 1900, just as Native populations also fell to a lower limit in the same year." The dependent clause uses 1900 as the referrent, NOT 1,000, and plainly says, "...also fell to a lower limit..." instead of as he somehow read it to mean "...also fell to the SAME lower limit...". Get me his address and I'll enroll him into remedial composition and English usage classes pronto!All BestRuss Bates'writerfella'
Writerfella here -- POSTSCRIPTUM: after all, this being the 21st Century, we should institute a program of "no Blogger left behind..."All BestRuss Bates'writerfella'
Sorry, you are the writerfella, and I guess I am not the readerfella!
....and for dragging this out, perhaps there is more than one bull-headed man around here (Aside from the one in the illustration for ths blog entry).Back to the topic, do a search on image.google.com for "Super Chief". I expected to find pictures of the old Pontiac car: the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Super Chief. However, I was surprised to also find picture of a modern Ford also called "Super Chief."
Writerfella here -- Superb riposte! I'm mailing that cookie!All BestRuss Bates'writerfella'
I was surprised to find only one picture of Super-Chief on Google. Lots of trains and cars, but no superheroes.
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