ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
I loved this article about the ongoing evolution of regalia at powwows.  

As much as I love the traditional materials, I understand that novelty is a crucial indicator of cultural survival.  If people are only copying the past, then the culture is stagnant.  Tribal spirit depends on each individual finding their own dreamvision.  So if a person's regalia is exuberant and unique -- if they're incorporating current resources into their outfit -- then it's a healthy sign of a living, growing culture.  Then when you see the traditional work, it's about the challenge of keeping the old ways alive, taking a consistent set of materials and learning what you can do with those.  Innovation there looks a bit different.  And then there's fusion, where you might see someone making motherboard lines in quillwork and beads. 

Hints of this show up in my writing occasionally.  The Iron Horses are a superpowered, intertribal, motorcycle gang over in Polychrome Heroics.  Their uniforms are a cross between regalia and biker leathers.  That was inspired by something I've seen a lot of tribal folks doing, where they'll take their cultural background and look for a way to merge it with whatever their contemporary interests are.  It's not something that only exists in the past.  Native culture is still here, and it interacts with the mainstream, sometimes in breathtaking ways.

And you can see it in my aesthetic tastes: my favorite dances include men's traditional, men's fancy dance, jingle dress, and hoop.  A pretty even mix of classes that are straight historic and ones that have the most modern influence.  *ponder*  Though after having recently seen a white girl in a circus who did a brilliant hula routine with holographic hoops, I have to say I would really like to see what a native dancer could do with a set of blinged-up hoops.  Because fusion is awesome.  Traditional is awesome.  Modern is awesome.  Dance ALL the things!

Read this, followed a rabbit trail--

Date: 2014-07-14 10:09 pm (UTC)
dialecticdreamer: My work (Default)
From: [personal profile] dialecticdreamer
And I got --three HOURS worth of-- lost in reading about Native American politics from the INSIDE, rather than the outside.

So, before I gulp down some water and head back in, I want to know-- did Terramagne have a DIFFERENT solution to the Native "problem" than we did? IS there even a BIA? How honest is it? How accurately and securely are the books kept, or were they looted throughout the last century or so?

The /culture/ is one thing, but I want to know what a day to day white like me would know about Native American /politics/ today. Frex, if I have a reservation near my home in Terramagne, how is it different than it is here? And /why/?

(no subject)

Date: 2014-07-14 10:19 pm (UTC)
peoriapeoriawhereart: Blair freaking and Jim hands on his knees (Jim calms Blair)
From: [personal profile] peoriapeoriawhereart
I had an anthropology professor that was very dismissive of our Scottish Country Fair and Highland Games, I suspect because without a lot of sun exposure it's hard to get nut brown for 'Celts'. Her explicit reason was that it wasn't "authentic".

There is some interesting archaeology of early contact, including the fine distinctions of trade goods, English wool and blades were sought, 'German' blades were good too, and various other goods were specified by their manufacture.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-07-15 02:34 am (UTC)
clare_dragonfly: woman with green feathery wings, text: stories last longer: but only by becoming only stories (Writing: stories last longer)
From: [personal profile] clare_dragonfly
This reminds me of the anthropology museum I went to recently. There were a number of items in the museum that had been sold to it by their original owners. These were ritual items that might have been in use for generations, but the owners needed the money--and in many cases, the description stated that the tribe/nation/family had immediately made new versions for ritual use. I thought that was great. They weren't too attached to their ancestral possessions to be practical.


Date: 2014-07-14 09:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
Those are fascinating. Yes, I've seen a few people incorporating that kind of stuff, but it's really at the cutting edge.

Technoshamanism is barely recognized yet. I have a technoshaman character, Ash in Schrodinger's Heroes, and she finds it challenging to mesh her technological fluency with a tribal culture that has much more naturalistic roots. That's not just the cultural background itself, but also a reflection of class issues: most people of native descent are poor, and that influences not just the materials they use but their education and thought patterns.

Re: Wow!

Date: 2014-07-14 09:41 pm (UTC)
ext_74: Baron Samadai in cat form (Mad Scientist Me)
From: [identity profile] siliconshaman.livejournal.com
I'd be one of those people, although different cultural background of course... I've got a set of runestones carved on old Z80A chips.

Re: Wow!

Date: 2014-07-14 09:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
DUDE. That is hardcore fusion.

(no subject)

Date: 2014-07-15 06:50 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] westrider.livejournal.com
Very Shadowrun. That game always did some pretty cool mixes of tech and traditional or fantasy styles.


Date: 2014-07-15 06:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ysabetwordsmith.livejournal.com
Agreed. I've known technoshamans to use that and other imaginative sources, because there is almost nothing in nonfiction. I think I have two, maybe three nonfiction books on technoshamanism.


ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)

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