NATIVE
AMERICAN
WOMEN
WRITERS
(345N)

                

Class NOTES /
Commentary
&
Immediate
ASSIGNMENTS

    Last Updated: 23 Aug 2019    


 


        
--To the Most RECENT "Class Notes" Updates--
   IMMEDIATE ASSIGNMENTS:
• For M, 8/26: get texts (at least Reinventing—the Harjo & Bird anthology—for now)

• For W, 8/28: P. G. Allen: Introduction to The Sacred Hoop {PDF on Canvas}; Reinventing: Harjo & Bird's Introduction (19-)

• For F, 8/30: Allen: "Going Home, December 1992" (Reinventing150-)

 

 TCG's Native Meme-of-the-Week:




NOTE: I am intentionally brief, even abbreviatory, in the following NOTES because I mean them to function as reminders & sources of review rather than to serve in lieu of coming to class: they DON'T. However, this page has a further usefulness: by "Commentary," I mean that some points in these class notes are expanded upon (and re-organized) in ways that our limited class time—and my rather manic teaching style—disallowed. . . .

Further Note: Highlighted author names are linked to each respective author's entry on my Native Authors & Readings Links page, for further research on your part.

 

 

 M, Aug. 26th:: Syllabus, etc.; excerpt from Peter Pan

"What Made the Red Man Red" (from Peter Pan [1953])

Why does he ask you, "How?"
Why does he ask you, "How?"
Once the Injun didn't know
All the things that he know now--
But the Injun, he sure learn a lot,
And it's all from asking, "How?"

Hana Mana Ganda--
Hana Mana Ganda--

We translate for you--
Hana means what mana means,
And ganda means that, too.

When did he first say, "Ugh!"
When did he first say, "Ugh!"
In the Injun book it say,
When the first brave married squaw,
He gave out with a big "ugh"
When he saw his mother-in-law--

What made the red man red?
What made the red man red?
Let's go back a million years
To the very first Injun prince--
He kissed a maid and start to blush,
And we've all been blushin' since--

You've got it from the headman--
The real true story of the red man,
No matter what's been written or said--
Now you know why the red man's red!



"What Made the Red Man Red?" —YouTube vid
 



 

SURE YOU CAN ASK ME A PERSONAL QUESTION

How do you do?
  No, I am not Chinese.
No, not Spanish.
  No, I am American Indi—Native American.
No, not from India.
  No, not Apache.
No, not Navajo.
  No, not Sioux.
No, we are not extinct.
  Yes, Indin.
Oh?
  So that's where you got those high cheekbones.
Your great grandmother, huh?
  An Indian Princess, huh?
Hair down to there?
  Let me guess. Cherokee?
Oh, so you've had an Indian friend?
  That close?
Oh, so you've had an Indian lover?
  That tight?
Oh, so you've had an Indian servant?
  That much?
Yeah, it was awful what you guys did to us.
  It's real decent of you to apologize.
No, I don't know where you can get peyote.
  No, I don't know where you can get Navajo rugs real cheap.
No, I didn't make this. I bought it at Bloomingdales.
  Thank you. I like your hair too.
I don't know if anyone knows whether or not Cher is really Indian.
  No, I didn't make it rain tonight.
Yeah. Uh-huh. Spirituality.
  Uh-huh. Yeah. Spirituality. Uh-huh. Mother
Earth. Yeah. Uh-huh. Uh-huh. Spirituality.
  No, I didn't major in archery.
Yeah, a lot of us drink too much.
  Some of us can't drink enough.
This ain't no stoic look.
  This is my face.

—Diane Burns, c. 1989


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 W, Aug. 28th:: incl. my Outline of U.S./Native American History (PDF on Canvas) . . .

"Grandma's Photo"
        Regarding questions of Native identity and Western patriarchy, my grandmother's photo (from 1943; click photo for larger version) is instructive.It is ostensibly authentic, at first glance: this is my little Lakota ("Cheyenne River Sioux") Granny, after all. On second glance, however, the fact that Grandma is wearing a traditional male Lakota headdress is entirely inauthentic—and just totally culturally inappropriate; it can easily be read as an imposition of the (Western) patriarchy.Note that the image is very much situated in a moment of U.S. history and ideology; Grandma's 1943 public display was for a Lewis & Clark celebration largely spurred by World War II American patriotism: "Hey, let's get some local Injuns all dressed up in full regalia, too!"—as further "moral support" (and with perhaps the implicit understanding that these "defeated people" are fine reminders of the U.S. military's might). And again, the fact they had her "crossdress" (as it were) as a male chief is symptomatic of a patriarchal culture & worldview.

** Several of our readings have already mentioned the Trail of Tears, the Little Bighorn, Wounded Knee, etc., and so--

MASSACRES & TEARS—(A Few) Dates that Live in Infamy
    —with an emphasis on events that have become "rallying points" in contemporary NatAmer lit.—
1830: Indian Removal Actfederal policy to (forcibly) move southeastern tribes west of the Mississippi—incl. Choctaw, Seminole, Creek, Chickasaw, and Cherokee; thus Oklahoma and environs was originally the "Indian Territory"
1838-1839: "Trail of Tears"forced march of the Cherokee from Georgia, etc., to Indian Territory (Oklahoma); plus, a similar fate for other southeastern tribes (the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek [Muscogee], & Seminole—although some of the latter got to stay in Florida to root for FSU football!)
1864: Navajo "Long Walk"forced march of the Navajo to Fort Sumner in New Mexico; more than 2,500 perish; returned to homeland in 1868
1864: Sand Creek Massacreslaughter of approx. 140 Cheyenne & Arapaho (incl. women & children) at Sand Creek (Colorado); the Cheyenne chief Black Kettle survived, until->
1868: Washita RiverCuster's Seventh Cavalry's massacre of Cheyennes led by Black Kettle in Indian Territory (Oklahoma); approx. 100 Native dead, incl. women & children
1868: Fort Laramie TreatyTHE "broken treaty": prelude to the Little Bighorn, the Black Hills land controversy, and the American Indian Movement (AIM)
1876: Battle of the Little BighornCuster's Seventh Cavalry versus the Lakota & Cheyenne, led by Sitting Bull (Tatanka Iotanka [Hunkpapa Lakota]) & Crazy Horse (Tashunka Witko [Oglala Lakota])
1883-1934: Federal ban on the Lakota Sun Dance—and comparable restrictions on other tribes' major ceremonies standard during this same period
1890: Wounded Knee Massacreslaughter of largely unarmed Lakota Ghost Dance adherents near Pine Ridge (South Dakota); Native dead: approx. >300, incl. many women & children
A decent, semi-brief history of The Ghost Dance Movement
Wovoka's "Messiah Letter" (—by the Paiute founder of the Ghost Dance movement)
1973: Wounded Knee Occupation71-day stand-off between federal authorities and A.I.M. (the American Indian Movement), led by Dennis Banks & Russell Means; demands: recognition of treaties, etc. (failed); death of two FBI agents led to arrest of Leonard Peltier—deemed by Amnesty International as a "political prisoner"
A full series of articles on the AIM's 1973 Wounded Knee Occupation (and background on the original massacre), from the Sioux Falls Argus Leader:The Legacy of Wounded Knee


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 F, Aug. 30th::


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 Course Syllabus/Schedule

 Native Authors & Readings Links

 Great "Indian" Moments in Pop Culture

 TCG's Native American Video Resources

ENGL/WMNS/ETHN 345N Class NOTES/Commentary Page--Fall 2019

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