Ranald MacDonald, Teacher of English to the Japanese

In 1853 Commodore Matthew C. Perry brought the American Navy to Japan and forced Japan to end its policy of isolation from the rest of the world. In the negotiations, the Japanese government had interpreters who spoke English. Since Japan had isolated itself from the rest of the world and had barred foreigners from their island nation, how did Japanese interpreters come to speak English? The answer to this question lies in the hidden history of American Indians.  

About Japan:

At the beginning of the seventeenth century, Japan had closed its doors to the outside world. This was in response to aggressive Christian missionaries from Spain and Portugal who were converting Japanese and threatening traditional Japanese society. The Shogunate expelled the missionaries and then forced the converts to revert to Japanese religions or die.

After 1635 and the introduction of Seclusion laws, foreigners were forbidden to enter Japan and the Japanese were not allowed to leave. Some foreign trade was allowed from the southern port of Nagasaki, but here the foreigners, mostly irreligious Chinese and a few Protestant Dutch, lived in prison-like conditions. Inbound ships were allowed only from China, Korea, and the Netherlands. These ships, known as Red Seal Ships, were required to have a permit from the Shogun.

With the discovery of Hawaii by Americans and Europeans in the late eighteenth century, the establishment of Fort Astoria in the early nineteenth century, and the development of the fur trade in the Pacific Northwest generated a great deal of interest in Japan. A lucrative system of triangular trade developed in which American ships acquired furs from Indians along the coast of present-day Oregon and Washington, then took these furs to China where they were traded for Chinese goods, and then transported their Chinese cargoes to the Northeastern United States. Now if Japan could be added to this trade, American and English businessmen speculated, even greater profits could be made.

In 1822, John Quincy Adams urged that:

“it was the duty of Christian nations to open Japan, and that it was the duty of Japan to respond to the demands of the world, as no nation had a right to withhold its quota to the general progress of mankind.”

Ranald MacDonald:

Ranald MacDonald was born near present-day Astoria, Oregon in 1824. His mother was generally called Princess Raven or Princess Sunday. Her Chinook name was Koale’xoa and her father was  the prominent Chinook leader Comcomly MacDonald’s father, of Scots heritage, was Archibald McDonald, the Chief Factor of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Shortly after he was born, the Hudson’s Bay Company moved its operations from Fort George (now Astoria, Oregon) 90 miles upstream to Fort Vancouver. As a Métis child in a fur trading community and household, he grew up hearing a mixture of languages-French, English, Gaelic, Chinook, Iroquois, and other Indian languages. Thus he was able to quickly adapt to different cultures.

In 1833, the Japanese ship Hojun-maru washed ashore near Cape Flattery. The ship had set sail more than a year before from the Japanese port of Toba with a cargo of rice and ceramics. A storm blew the ship off course. When the crippled junk made landfall, the Makah captured three Japanese sailors. The Hudson’s Bay Company bought the sailors from the Makah hoping to use them to open up trading with the Japanese. As a child growing up in the Hudson’s Bay Company trading post of Fort Vancouver, he heard many stories about Japan and about the Japanese sailors who had been shipwrecked.

For hundreds and perhaps thousands of years, ships from Japan and China had been riding the Kuroshio (Black) Current from Asia to North America. The Hojun-Maru was not the first crippled Asian ship to make the trip, nor would it be the last. MacDonald, like many others, felt that his Native American ancestry was linked somehow to Japan. The stories of the Japanese ships coming to North America nourished within him the dream of visiting this island nation.

As an aside, it should be noted that the Hudson’s Bay Company, once they had purchased the Japanese sailors from the Makah, transported them first to Fort Vancouver in present-day Washington, and then to London. In London, they were placed on a ship with Christian missionaries to return them to Japan with the hope of opening up Japan to both trade and Christianity. The Japanese, however, fired upon the vessel and refused to allow it to land.

Ranald MacDonald started his formal education by attending a Hudson’s Bay Company school at Fort Vancouver, Washington. At the age of ten he was then sent to the Hudson’s Bay Company school at the Red River Settlement in Manitoba (Canada). After graduating from school, he became a bank clerk apprentice, but soon quit, journeyed to New York City, and looked for a ship to take him to Japan. Failing to find such a ship, he went to Europe and later to San Francisco as a sailor.

One of his shipmates describes him this way:

“a man of about five feet, seven inches; thick set; straight hair and dark complexion…He was a good sailor, well-educated, a firm mind, well calculated for the expedition upon which he embarked.”

In 1848, Ranald MacDonald made a deal with the captain of a U.S. whaling ship in Hawaii. The ship carried him across the Pacific. After successfully taking a number of whales near Japan, MacDonald purchased from the captain a small boat rigged for sailing. With supplies for 36 days and located about five miles from the nearest island, he bid farewell to the ship to set out on his adventure.

He came ashore on Rishiri Island in northern Japan. When he landed he was met not by Japanese but by Ainu, the indigenous people of Japan. The Ainu, whose men have beards and abundant body hair and whose women tattooed their upper lips, do not look Japanese. The Ainu, after welcoming him, turned him over to the Japanese authorities. The first word spoken by the high-ranking Japanese official who first interviewed him was Nippon-jin (Japan-man, indicating that MacDonald looked Japanese).

The Japanese took him to Nagasaki. Here he spent six months as a prisoner. The question of his citizenship at this point in time is interesting: he was Chinook, an American Indian nation, because of his mother; he had been born in Astoria when the British flag was flying there and his father was British; he had been educated in Canada; but at the time of his capture, Astoria had just become a part of the United States.

During his time in Nagasaki he taught English to the Japanese interpreters, Moriyama and Tokojiro, who would later carry out the negotiations with Commodore Perry. He would later write:

“Without boast, I may say that I picked up their language easily, many of their words sounding familiar to me-possibly through my maternal ancestry.”

He also wrote:

“In look, facial features, etc. I was not unlike them; my sea life and rather dark complexion, moreover giving me their general colour-a healthy bronze.”

He was deported from Japan in 1849, but instead of returning to the United States or Canada, he continued traveling around the world. He spent some time working at various jobs in British Columbia and in 1882 moved to the old Hudson’s Bay Company trading post of Fort Colville in Washington.

MacDonald wrote a book about his adventures in Japan and in 1853 left the original manuscript with a friend of his father’s, Malcolm McLeod, in Ottawa. He did not communicate with McLeod again for 25 years. By 1887, he had prepared a second draft of the manuscript and a third by 1891. At this time, however, no publisher was willing to produce the book as public interest in Japan had faded.

By 1891 he had returned to Astoria, Oregon where he was respected as the only lineal descendent of chief Comcomly. He died in 1894 on the Colville Reservation in Washington. As he died in his niece’s arms, his last words were “Sayonara, my dear, sayonara…”

Today, the Japanese remember Ranald McDonald as the “first teacher of English.” There is a monument to him in Nagasaki, Japan. In addition, there is another monument to him in Astoria, Oregon with the inscription written in Japanese.

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Honoring Tulalip Veterans (Photo Diary)

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As with other American Indian nations, people from the Tulalip tribes in western Washington–Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Skykomish, and others-have served in the American military during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. One room in the Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve honors the Tulalip veterans and tells many of their stories.  

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The drum shown above belongs to Raymond Moses who served in the Army during the Korean War from 1950-53. The drum depicts images of his guardian spirits; grizzly bears from his father’s side and wolf from his mother’s side. He had visions of his guardian spirits right before he stepped on a grenade that fortunately did not detonate.

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While in the past, Indian veterans were denied the use of their traditional religions in dealing with post traumatic stress disorder, today this is not the case.

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Traditional Peoples of Grays Harbor (Photo Diary)

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The Polson Museum in Hoquiam, Washington, has a room dedicated to “Common Land, Uncommon Cultures: Traditional Peoples of Grays Harbor.” Shown below are some photographs from these displays.  

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Shown above is an iron harpoon point. At the time of first contact with the Europeans, Indians were already familiar with iron. They made items such as the one shown above from meteorite iron.

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Canoe paddles such as those shown above were designed with pointed ends. On the return stroke, paddlers rotated their paddles 90 degrees and kept the tips in the water to prevent water drips from spooking their prey. If done properly, the operation was virtually silent. In addition to providing stealth, the pointed ends also serve as stakes for the canoe when driven into the beach. The dark stain on the paddles was created by slightly charring the wood and rubbing it down with seal or salmon oil.

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The Tulalip Longhouse (Photo Diary)

The people of the Tulalip tribes would traditionally spend the winter in their longhouses situated in permanent villages. During the winter months, a great deal of teaching would take place around the longhouse fires. During this time, the elders would pass on the family stories, songs, lineages, and moral teachings. According to the display:

“Our songs, dances, stories, basket designs and carvings are owned by certain families and are used only with their permission. Ownership of this knowledge may be given by families to particular family members, other selected people, or the whole tribe. We have a strict process of granting rights and permission to use this type of knowledge.”

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Shown above is the entrance to the longhouse in the Hibulb Culture Center.  

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The poles shown above were carved about 1914 by William Shelton. As a young boy in the 1870s, he had been to the great potlatch house at Skagit Bay Head. In 1912, he advocated for a longhouse to be built on the Tulalip Bay. These posts were carved for this longhouse according to his childhood memories of the posts at the great potlatch house. The television screen provides visitors with the stories of the Tulalip peoples.

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Shown above is the outside of the longhouse showing the shed roof configuration.  

Suquamish Canoes (Photo Diary)

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The Northwest Coast culture area is oriented toward water: both the ocean and the many rivers flowing into it. Before the coming of the Europeans, the villages were built near water, either on the sea coast or on a river. Transportation was primarily by water. Distances were measured by how far a canoe could travel in a single day. The traditional cultures of the Norwest Coast Indians nations, such as the Suquamish, is often characterized as a canoe culture.

The Suquamish are the people of the clear salt water. For more than 10,000 years they have occupied that area known today as the Kitsap Peninsula, Bainbridge Island, Blake Island, and parts of Whidbey Island.

Traditionally the Suquamish, a Salish-speaking people, were a maritime people. Since settling in the area thousands of years ago, they carried out trade by travelling long distances throughout the Salish Sea. They travelled northward to the islands, westward to the Pacific Ocean and down the coast. They travelled for fishing, trading, visiting, and warfare against enemy nations.

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During the 20th century the canoe culture which had characterized Suquamish life nearly disappeared. Then in 1989, a revitalization began with Paddle to Seattle. This event marked the beginning of the re-emergence of many aspects of Suqamish culture.

Carriers of the Canoe Culture Through Time

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There are many creation stories among the people: these stories do not contradict one another. In the Suquamish Museum there are six sculptures holding up a canoe giving homage to Carriers of the Canoe Culture through Time.

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The two animals at the back of the canoe are Otters: they represent the earliest times of creation, when people and animals could shape shift and had the full freedom of communication.

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The two figures in the center represent the Ancestors, from a time before the land was shared with non-Indians.

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The two people in the front of the canoe are the Suquamish people today.

Modern Canoes:

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Non-Indians and the Makah, 1788 to 1855

Non-Indians first encountered the Makah in 1788 when the British sloop Princess Royal anchored at the Makah village of Classet on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. The Makah, who occupy the western-most part of what is now the lower forty-eight states of the United States, had lived in this territory for thousands of years. Unlike the other Indian nations of coastal Washington and the Puget Sound area, the Makah are not a Salish-speaking group, but are instead the southern-most members of the Wakashan language family. Linguistically, the Makah are most closely related to the Nootka (Nuu-cha-nulth) of British Columbia.  

Two years later, the Spanish explorer Manual Quimper traded with the Makah under chief Tutusi at Neah Bay. The following year, the Spanish explorer Francisco de Liza visited the Makah in Neah Bay and traded 33 sheets of copper for 20 small boys and girls. Slavery was common among the tribe of the Pacific Northwest long before European contact. Among the Makah, slaves were captured in warfare, or sometimes they were purchased from other tribes who had acquired them by capture.

In 1792, the Spanish returned with the intent of establishing a permanent colony on Makah territory on the Olympic Peninsula. Under the Doctrine of Discovery, the Spanish, as a Christian nation, felt that they had legal, moral, and religious rights in claiming Indian land. The colonists of Nunez Gaona came to describe the Makah as warlike, thievish, and treacherous. As a result, they soon abandoned the colony. José Cardero, the Spanish artist with the colony, painted the portrait of Chief Tatoosh and his two wives.

In 1828, Captain Henry Kellet landed at a Makah village for fresh water. He met Chief Dee-ah. Kellet was unable to pronounce the name correctly and recorded the site as Neah Bay.

In 1833, the Japanese ship Hojun-maru washed ashore near Cape Flattery. The ship had set sail more than a year before from the Japanese port of Toba with a cargo of rice and ceramics. A storm blew the ship off course. When the crippled junk made landfall, the Makah captured three Japanese sailors. The Hudson’s Bay Company bought the sailors from the Makah hoping to use them to open up trading with the Japanese.

For hundreds and perhaps thousands of years, ships from Japan and China had been riding the Kuroshio (Black) Current from Asia to North America. The Hojun-Maru was not the first crippled Asian ship to make the trip, nor would it be the last.

In 1849, Samuel Hancock established a trading post among the Makah at Neah Bay. The Makah had not requested the trading post and were unhappy about this intrusion on their land. They tried to make Hancock leave and threatened to kill him. Hancock threatened to contact the American government for military support and the Makah backed off their threats.

The non-Indians brought in more than manufactured trade goods, such as metal axes, guns, glass beads, and other items: they also brought with them epidemic diseases such as smallpox, measles, mumps, influenza, and more. These new diseases devastated Indian communities.

In the 1850s, smallpox ravaged the Makah, decimating their population. There was not a single epidemic, but several. Many elders died before they could transmit their cultural knowledge to others. In 1852, the Makah abandoned the village of Biheda because of smallpox. The residents moved to nearby Neah Bay.

Trading vessels from San Francisco carried smallpox to the coastal tribes of Washington and Oregon in 1853. An estimated 2,000-3,000 Indians died. One witness described the impact of the epidemic on the Makah at Neah Bay, Washington:

“The beach for a distance of eight miles was literally strewn with the dead bodies of these people.”

On the heels of the smallpox epidemic, and reeling from the deaths of so many tribal members, the Makah had to deal with another new disease: American greed. Washington Territorial Governor Isaac Stevens imposed a series of treaties on the coastal Indian nations in which they gave up much of their homeland and moved out of the way of American settlement.

The Americans concluded the Treaty of Neah Bay on the Olympic Peninsula in 1855. The Makah agreed to the establishment of a reservation at Neah Bay. None of the five main Makah villages were included within the new reservation. While the Makah had been successful fishing people for thousands of years, the United States wanted them to become farmers on land which is not suited for agriculture.

As in other treaty councils, Stevens told the Makah to select a single man to serve as their supreme chief even though this had never been their traditional way. When they declined to do so, he simply appointed Tse-kow-wootl, an Ozette, as supreme chief.

The Makah, whose orientation was toward the sea, were willing to sign the treaty as long as it allowed them to continue to venture out onto the Pacific Ocean to fish and hunt whales so that they could support their people. The treaty called for the Makah to be paid $30,000 in goods.

In understanding the treaty, it must be kept in mind that the Makah had been devastated by smallpox and many of their traditional leaders were dead. Many of those who signed the treaty were not the traditional leaders.

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Shown above is the longhouse in front of the Makah Cultural and Research Center.

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The figures shown above are in front of the Makah Cultural and Research Center.

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Shown above is a photograph of a Makah woman by Edward Curtis.

Traditional Indian Leadership and Harmony

An important part of daily life among many traditional American Indian people was-and for many still is-the maintenance of harmony. Harmony is about living with other human beings and non-human beings, about living with the environment, and about living within the physical limitations of your own body.  

Living in harmony with other human beings is difficult, and sometimes feels as though it is impossible. Traditional Indian people prior to the European invasion knew that for the individual to survive there must be a group. While individual freedom was highly esteemed, there was a recognition that decisions had to be made based on the common welfare. Although many decisions dealt with immediate needs, future survival had to be considered. With most decisions the community considered: How will this impact the seventh generation?

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The role of the leaders-sometimes called “chiefs” by non-Indians-was not to impose their will upon the people, but to listen respectfully to all and to summarize the comments. Being a leader required humility, an ability to listen, and good oratory skills. Good oratory was expected to bring the people together, not to separate, segregate, or alienate them. Leaders chose their words carefully, fully understanding that words are living things and will continue to have impact long after they are first spoken.

It was also said in many tribes that a leader must have skin at least two thumbs deep. In other words, leaders must be focused on the common welfare of the people and not on themselves. They must not take the words spoken by others personally. Again, there is a focus on humility, not personal aggrandizement, fame, wealth, or ego.

Living in harmony with the environment was easier for animists: everything was seen as having a soul, as being a living person, and thus the same courtesies afforded to humans applied to the environment. When thinking about the environment-about the plant people, the animal people, the water people, and so on-the human people had to consider the common welfare. This was the common welfare of the human people and the other people.  

In dealing with the environment, traditional Indian leaders had to be able to listen. They studied the plant people, the animal people, the stone people, and all of the other things around them. As with their dealings with humans, the leaders did not impose their wills upon these other people. Their decisions were based on observation and knowledge-today, we would call this science. People in a position of leadership required humility, an awareness that they did not fully understand everything, and a realization that they must continue to learn from the other people in the world.

A final note on humility: the idea of erecting a statue of a leader, or carving the likeness of their face into the side of a mountain, or even naming the mountain after them would have been unthinkable. All of these actions honor the ego of the leader, and true leaders acted in the spirit of humility. It was not their name that was important, but the impact of their actions on the seventh generation.

Tulalip Canoes (Photo Diary)

For the Salish-speaking tribes of the Washington coast, canoes were traditionally not only their most important form of transportation, they were also cultural icons. The Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve honors the Tulalip (Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Skykomish, and others) cultures.

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The importance of canoes to the Tulalip peoples is evident in the Hibulb Culture Center. The canoe theme shown in the windows above is repeated throughout the Center.  

Canoes were made by hollowing out a single log with fire and adzes. By filling the hollowed out log with hot water, the canoe makers could then widen the canoe by forcing stout cross-pieces between the gunwales.

Carving a canoe begins with spiritual preparation: the carvers must prepare themselves with fasting, prayers, and the sweatlodge. It is not uncommon for the task of carving a large canoe to take two years. Once the log is chosen, a prayer is said for the cedar and an offering is given to thank it for its sacrifice.

The final stage in carving the canoe involves the use of hot rocks and water to steam-bend the sides outwards. This steaming also draws the bow and stern upwards as well as adding strength to the vessel. For the large ocean-going canoes, the prow and stern pieces are added last, the thwarts and seats are installed, and the exterior is finished. Then the canoe is given a name and is ready to begin its life on the water.

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Three canoes are displayed in the Center.

River Canoe:

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The river canoe shown above was carved about 1880 by William Shelton. It was restored by the Tulalip Tribes Carving and Arts Department.

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The bow of the canoe is shown above.

Small Canoe:

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This small canoe was carved about 1930 from a single log by William Shelton.

Ocean-Going Canoe:

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This canoe was made about 1880 as part of a wedding dowry. The canoe was built by the bride’s family from the Quinault Nation and given to the Tulalip groom is a wedding present.

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Shown above is a detail of where the mast would have been placed. Sails, prior to the arrival of the Europeans, were made from woven mats.

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The canoe was made from hollowing out a single large cedar log. The sides were then spread apart and the bow and stern pieces were then added.

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The bow is shown above.

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The stern of the canoe is shown above. The stern piece was added to the dugout form.

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The photograph above shows the additional piece which was added to the gunnels.

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The photograph above shows how the thwarts (i.e. seats) were attached.

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Suquamish Art (Photo Diary)

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The Northwest Coast is a region in which an entrenched and highly valued artistic tradition flourished and continues to flourish. The Suquamish are the people of the clear salt water. For more than 10,000 years they have occupied that area known today as the Kitsap Peninsula, Bainbridge Island, Blake Island, and parts of Whidbey Island in what is now the state of Washington.  Suquamish art continues today in a variety of different media. One room of the Suquamish Museum is dedicated to contemporary art forms.  

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Basketry:

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Woodwork:

One of the outstanding characteristics of the tribes of Northwest Coast is the highly developed skill of woodworking. Contemporary Suquamish artists continue to work in wood.

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One of the unique items among Northwest Coast Indians are kerfed boxes in which the sides of the box are made by scoring and then bending a single board to form the sides of the box. The single side seam is then carefully fitted and sewn together with spruce root. The bottom of the box is also carefully fitted and sewn to the sides. Shown above is a contemporary version of this traditional box.

Personal Adornment and Clothing:

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Masks:

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Wall Art:

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The design shown above is needlepoint.

Other art:

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Suquamish Basketry (Photo Diary)

The Northwest Coast is a region in which an entrenched and highly valued artistic tradition flourished and continues to flourish. The Suquamish are the people of the clear salt water. For more than 10,000 years they have occupied that area known today as the Kitsap Peninsula, Bainbridge Island, Blake Island, and parts of Whidbey Island in what is now the state of Washington.  

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Traditionally, the Suqamish made several different kinds of baskets, each with a special use. Writing in 1895, anthropologist Franz Boas reported:

“A great variety of baskets are used-large wicker baskets for carrying fish and clams, cedar bark baskets for purposes of storage.”

Coiled baskets were used for collecting berries, carrying water (yes, they were woven tight enough to be waterproof), cooking (hot stones were dropped in the water filled baskets to cook the food), and for storing dried foods. Open weave baskets were used for gathering clams, small fish, and seaweed.

After the European invasion began, the Suquamish basketmakers began making special baskets for sale as collectables. They also wove other small items for sale including dolls and toys.

Shown below are some of the baskets which are on display in the Suquamish Museum.

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Ancient America: Tulalip Archaeology

The Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve has several displays of artifacts found during the archaeological excavation of sites occupied by their ancestors. While it is not a part of the Tulalip cultural beliefs to uncover ancestral remains or ancient village sites, the Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve was gifted these artifacts and is now charged with the responsibility to care for them in perpetuity for the ancestors who once owned them. The artifacts were gifted by archaeologist John L. Mattson.  

Hibulb Site:

The Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve is named in honor of the great village of Hibulb which was the largest village of the Snohomish Tribe. The village was built within a large palisade of upright cedar poles approximately 18 feet high. The village was positioned so that the people could defend themselves against hostile tribe and communicate by messengers with the smaller villages along the shoreline.

Hibulb had the largest longhouse in Snohomish territory: 115 feet and 43 feet. In addition to the big longhouse, the village contained four smaller longhouses (100 feet by 40 feet) and other structures.

Some of the archaeological artifacts from this site are shown below.

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Biderbost Site:

The Biderbost Site (45/SN/100) was the first significant wet site excavated in Washington. Archaeological wet sites exist when waterlogged artifacts like wood weirs, nets, and basketry are preserved in an oxygen-free environment. The site was uncovered during a flood on the lower Snoqualmie River in 1959. The site was occupied about 2,000 years ago.

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Peterson Site:

While Dr. Mattson estimates that this site is probably not more than 3,000 years old, tribal elders feel that it goes back to time immemorial. This was a large fishing and hunting village.

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The Suquamish Museum (Photo Diary)

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The area along the Pacific Coast north of California and between the Cascade Mountains and the ocean, is the home to many Indian nations who traditionally based their economy on the use of sea coast and river ecological resources. The Suquamish are the people of the clear salt water. For more than 10,000 years they have occupied that area known today as the Kitsap Peninsula, Bainbridge Island, Blake Island, and parts of Whidbey Island.  

“We are the Suquamish people. We are a tribe, a nation, a culture, and a family.

We share a proud heritage founded on the teachings of our ancestors, and an enduring future forged from our spirit, wisdom, and enterprise.

We are born of these ancient shores, where the water touches the land, and where the gifts of opportunity are revealed with every changing tide.

Wherever those tides may carry us, these shores will always be our home.”

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One wall of the museum (shown above) presents a time-line history of the Suquamish people.

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One of the most important Suquamish villages once stood on the shores of Agate Passage. This is where the Suquamish built Old Man House, the largest longhouse on the Salish Sea. This was a major intertribal gathering place where people from all across the region came together for trade, celebrations, and diplomacy. In 1841, Joseph Perry Sanford, a member of the United States Exploring Expedition, described the Old Man House:

“It measured 200 ft by 100 ft. The floor is of earth and sunken. It had on either side 20 uprights and on which were rudely carved uncouth figures with head, eyes &c.”

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The entrance to the museum is between two carved house poles which are sometimes called the welcoming figures.

The Museum:

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Shown below are some of the items displayed at the museum:

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The Squamish were traditionally a fishing people. Mounted on the museum’s ceiling is a display (see photos above) showing a woven net/basket and a school of fish.

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The rather nondescript rocks shown above, labeled as “cooking rocks”, were heated in a fire, then dropped into a water-filled basket. In this way, the water could be brought to a boil and the food cooked. It should be noted that not just any rocks can be used for this since many rocks simply disintegrate when heated.

Spirituality:

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As with other Indian tribes, living a successful life depended on the assistance of spiritual helpers. Individuals had songs and dances, set to the rhythms of hand drums, to obtain their help. Much of the carving and painting on both common and ceremonial objects was designed to gain cooperation from one’s spiritual guides.

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Shown above is a raven rattle.

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The Cedar People (Photo Diary)

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The Heritage Museum in Astoria, Oregon has one gallery devoted to displays and interpretation of the Native peoples of the Columbia River: Clatsop, Chinook, Kathlament, Klatskanie, and Tillamook. The Clatsop occupied the areas of Astoria, Warrenton, and down the coast to Seaside. The Klatskanie lived inland along the coastal range. The Kathlamet lived farther upriver. The Tillamook and Nehalem lived on the coast south of Seaside. To the north of the river lived the Chinook, Wahkiakum, and Shoalwater. Shown below are photographs of some of the displays.  

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Fishing was an important economic activity. Shown above is a fishing spear.

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Shown above is a net weight used for anchoring fishing nets.

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The Indian nations of the lower Columbia were well-known for their basketry skills (see above).

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One of the unique features of the Indian cultures of the Northwest Coast is the basketry hats such as the one shown above, often used to protect the wearer from rain.

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Shown above is a picture of food preparation.

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One of the cultural practices of the Indian people of the Lower Columbia was cranial deformation: the flattening of the head. As an infant, the child would be placed in a cradleboard which had a board that came down over the child’s forehead. The board would then be tied firmly in place. The result, seen in the painting above, was the high forehead. This custom was practiced especially by more prestigious members of the tribes.

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The Indian nations of the Lower Columbia traditionally buried their dead in raised canoes along with all their worldly possessions. The name of the dead person was never spoken again. A burial in a raised box is shown in the painting above.

Language:  

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The Chinook, Clatsop, and Kathlamet languages all belong to the Chinookan language family. The Tillamook language, spoken farther south, belongs to the Salish language family, and the Klatskanie language, spoken to the east, belongs to the Athapascan language family.

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Shown above is Charles Cultee (1850-1897). According to the display:

“Little would be known about the Lower Chinook proper and Kathlamet languages once spoken along the Lower Columbia River if not for Charles Cultee. He was one of the last speakers of those two languages.”

Franz Boas, often regarded as the “Father of American Anthropology,” interviewed Cultee over a period of several years beginning in 1890.  Cultee told Boas the old stories in Chinook proper and in Kathlamet. Boas wrote these stories down and published them along with an English translation as Chinook Texts (1894) and Kathlamet Texts (1901). As a result of their collaboration, the languages, myths, and traditions of both groups were preserved.

Housing:

The Indians of the Lower Columbia River lived in villages of 5 to 20 permanent longhouses. The houses, made from cedar planks and cedar logs, ranged in size from 20 to 60 feet in length and from 14 to 20 feet in width. The roof was a pitched gable with a long overhanging eve. The houses were built over a pit that was 4-5 feet deep and roughly the same size as the dwelling.

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The doorway to the house (shown above) was an oval shaped opening just large enough for one person to pass through at a time.

Several families would live in a single longhouse. Bunks made from cedar planks lined the interior of the outside walls and served as shelving and storage areas as well as providing sleeping quarters. A single house might be home to 20 to 50 people. Cooking was done over a large fire pit in the center of the house. Large houses might have more than one hearth.

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Shown above is the inside of the longhouse at the Heritage Museum.

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The Heritage Museum is shown above.

Suquamish Veterans Memorial (Photo Diary)

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While the United States government has generally been less than honorable in its dealings with Indian nations and with Indian people, during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries Indian people have shown great loyalty and patriotism by serving in the U.S. military. As a result of their service in World War I, all Indian veterans were granted U.S. citizenship in 1919 and all Indians were given citizenship in 1924. Indians were given citizenship again in 1940 to make sure that they would be eligible for the draft.  

Shown below are some photographs of the Suquamish Veterans Memorial.

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A few hundred meters up the hill from the memorial is the cemetery where Chief Seattle was buried. The American flags dotted the burial grounds mark the graves of Indian veterans.

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Modern Indian Scouts For Christian Fascists

A historical paradox is that once a people are freed, they sometimes become the aggressors. For instance, the Texans who defeated the Mexicans in the Texas Revolution fought exterminated the Comanche; some freed slaves became Buffalo Soldiers and joined the genocide campaign. Today, there are Christianized American Indians, and Christianized into Dominionism, who commit cultural genocide. They are the hidden face of Dominionism.

These dominionist American Indians are either ignorant of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act and their history, or they do not care (anymore).


American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978

On and after August 11, 1978, it shall be the policy of the United States to protect and preserve for American Indians their inherent right of freedom to believe, express, and exercise the traditional religions of the American Indian, Eskimo, Aleut, and Native Hawaiians, including but not limited to access to sites, use and possession of sacred objects, and the freedom to worship through ceremonials and traditional rites.

These modern day Indian scouts for the Christian Fascists may do it for one reason or another, but no one knows why they do it but them.


Source

After his conversion Chief Red Cloud gave up the land where Holy Rosary Mission was built. He asked to be buried at the Holy Rosary cemetery in the black robe of the Catholic priests. He was granted his wish. He and other tribal leaders then proceeded to give up land for other religious orders to build their churches and schools.

Would Crazy Horse have done the same if he had surrendered his freedom to become an Agency Indian?

Despite the general history.


Source

Since the colonizing British, and subsequently the Americans, had little use for Indian servitude, but only wanted Indian land, they appealed to other Christian and European sources of wisdom to justify their genocide: the Indians were Satan’s helpers, they were lascivious and murderous wild men of the forest, they were bears, they were wolves, they were vermin. Allegedly having shown themselves to be beyond conversion to Christian or to civil life-and with little British or American need for them as slaves-in this case, straightforward mass killing of the Indians was deemed the only thing to do.

Or despite the more specific history.

Theodore Roosevelt…

The fourth face you see on that “Stony Mountain” is America’s first twentieth century president, alleged American hero, and Nobel peace prize recipient, Theodore Roosevelt. This Indian fighter firmly grasped the notion of Manifest Destiny saying that America’s extermination of the Indians and thefts our their lands “was ultimately beneficial as it was inevitable”. Roosevelt once said, “I don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe nine out of ten are, and I shouldn’t like to inquire too closely into the case of the tenth”. (Stannard, Op.Cit.)

They have nonetheless chosen to be modern Indian scouts for the Christian Fascists.


Researching U.S. Army Indian Scouts, 1866-1914 By Trevor K. Plante

The Army Reorganization Act of 1866 authorized the President “to enlist and employ in the Territories and Indian country a force of Indians not to exceed one thousand to act as scouts, who shall receive the pay and allowances of cavalry soldiers, and be discharged whenever the necessity for further employment is abated, at the discretion of the department commander.” One of the most significant measures in the act was that Indians would receive the same pay as white cavalry soldiers.

Jay Swallow of the New Apostolic Reformation, Cheyenne-Sioux, is in charge of Christianizing Native Americans nationally, and he runs the Spiritual Warfare Military training camp in Bixby, Oklahoma.


In 2004 Drs. Swallow and Bigpond saw the need of Spiritual Warfare Training and developed The Strategic Warriors At Training Boot Camps. There was an enormous amount of prophetic information throughout this nation concerning a major move of the Spirit of God in visiting the Tribes of this hemisphere. It was discerned that the enemy had planted himself within the areas targeted for transformation. A state of emergency had risen as the result of this resistance by the enemy in Indian country.

(Start at 5:50)

You Tube Video

They “practice” burning sacred Native American objects at that “training camp” in Oklahoma. Directly or indirectly, his influence to motivate somebody to commit cultural genocide spread up to Wisconsin (2012) and down to Texas (2007).


Will Arson Attack Cause Holy War Between Born-Agains and Natives?

On the night of July 17 and early morning of July 18, six suspicious fires destroyed three traditional ceremonial structures on the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe (LCO) reservation in northern Wisconsin, and two other structures were also severely damaged. The destroyed buildings included a ceremonial lodge, historic home for generations of big drum ceremonies and two private sweat lodges. A big drum dance ring as well as a structure at the pow wow grounds, home of the long-running Honor the Earth pow wow was damaged. An RV that served as the residence for Paul DeMain, a longtime journalist on LCO, was completely destroyed, and the main building on his property, home to News From Indian Country was also partially burned.

snip

Christopher Grover, an LCO tribal member, was reportedly arrested not long after as a “person of interest” in the cases. Grover, 38, has ties to local evangelicals who embrace elements of a growing ideological movement that has been known to equate  traditional Native spirituality with a dangerous form of idolatry, even witchcraft.

snip

Bruce Wilson of Talk2Action, a website dedicated to challenging the claims of the religious right, published what he says is an archived report by International Coalition of Apostles member Tom Schlueter in which he describes a ceremony in Olney, Texas in 2007 during which apostles-including Jay Swallow, Cheyenne-Sioux-smashed “Native American matrimonial vases” representing the demon powers of Baal and Leviathan.

And what is the correlation between the States and Canada in 2011, insofar as this Cultural Genocide is concerned?


“The Council hereby unanimously declares that the sweat lodge is to be dismantled and removed, and that all sweat lodge practices in the community immediately cease. Oujé-Bougoumou will continue to uphold its faith in and guidance by God.”

Though disappointed by this ruling, Mianscum hoped the council would reconsider, but he also began seeking legal and political assistance, writing to human rights attorneys and other Cree leadership.

Meanwhile, the Oujé-Bougoumou band council notified Lana Wapachee by letter in early December that several elders and community members were coming to her property to take the sweat lodge down. And they did. It was dismantled on Dec. 6 as Mianscum and dozens of community members stood witness. Police said the outer structure had to be dismantled as well. All the materials were left in a pile in the yard.

I can’t say if there is a direct correlation, yet the mindset is very similar here and in Canada. I’ve written 8 diaries over this since 2009, and I can only come to one conclusion.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/…

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The Sand Creek Massacre brought to light one predominant thought: the whites didn’t kill them just for the land, the whites wanted all Indians dead. So, these plastic Christians aren’t assimilating Native Americans to “save” them, they want ALL INDIAN RELIGION DEAD. Furthermore, they must use modern Indian Scouts to “track” them. Combat tracking was used as a method of trailing and gathering information on the enemy until finally locating and attacking them. Units such as Churches Rangers tracked enemy Indian bands through forests and swamps to conduct attacks on their camps.

I conclude with a line from the Two Rivers Native American Training Center’s website.

(bold mine)


A state of emergency had risen as the result of this resistance by the enemy in Indian country.

Indeed.


Source

Greatly varied though the specific details of individual cases may be, throughout the Americas today indigenous peoples continue to be faced with one form or another of a five-centuries-old dilemma. At the dawn of the fifteenth century, Spanish conquistadors and priests presented the Indians they encountered with a choice: either give up your religion and culture and land and independence, swearing allegiance “as vassals” to the Catholic Church and the Spanish Crown, or suffer “all the mischief and damage” that the European invaders choose to inflict upon you. It was called the requerimiento. The deadly predicament that now confronts native peoples is simply a modern requerimiento: surrender all hope of continued cultural integrity and effectively cease to exist as autonomous peoples, or endure as independent peoples the torment and deprivation we select as your fate.

Indian Water Rights on the Klamath

In Oregon, the Klamath tribes are making what is known as a “call” on their water rights for rivers flowing into Upper Klamath Lake. The tribes want to maintain river flows for fish. The tribes have the oldest water rights in the basin and therefore they have first say over controlling it.

The tribes will use their water to maintain flows in the Wood, Williamson, Sprague, and Sycan rivers for fish. The fish include endangered suckers which are held sacred by the tribes, redband trout, and ultimately salmon when the dams on the Klamath River are removed.

According to one news story:

The calls authorized the local water master, who works for the Oregon Department of Water Resources, to start checking river flows and telling ranchers with junior rights to turn off pumps and shut headgates on diversion dams until enough water remains in the rivers to meet the bureau and tribes’ rights. That process is likely to take several weeks. The state Department of Water Resources sent in extra personnel so three two-person teams will handle the shutoffs. Each team will notify the sheriff where they are at all times for safety. As the summer continues and rivers continue to drop, even more ranches will be shut off.

Non-Indians have suggested that there could be violence over this.

Water rights in the west are not riparian-that is, you may not have the right to use water flowing through your property. In the west, water law is based on use and users with superior water rights-i.e. first in time-get first call on the rights. A century ago, the Supreme Court in the Winters Doctrine ruled that water rights for the tribes must be dated to the formation of the reservation. In most areas, tribes have superior water rights. The water does not have to be on the reservation for the tribes to claim it.  

A law for all (again)

Does anyone have access to laws that have been enacted to allow tobacco and snudging for american indian religious ceremonies? I thought it would be in the AIRFA but no mention of tobacco or tobacco products is mentioned.

Any info would be appreciated.

Megwitch

I Repent For My Ancestor’s Sins, Cindy Jacobs…

I repent, Cindy Jacobs, of my ancestor’s sins – for the powers of darkness have no hold on your fundamentalist Christianity.


Source

“…people with Native American or any sort of indigenous heritage need to renounce it and repent for their ancestor’s animism and worship of pagan spirits because otherwise this Leviathan spirit “will be very active in your bloodline.”

While your ancestors fought your Holy Wars and brought over the vast ocean your desensitized – to – war – ancestors, perhaps you brought demons with you from the plague. And maybe they brought the smallpox and diseases that wiped out 90% or more of the indigenous population.


Source

RESHEPH is another major god of the Canaanite religion who becomes a demonic figure in biblical literature. Resheph is known as the god of plague over much of the ancient Near East, in texts and artistic representations spanning more than a millennium from 1850 B.C.E. to 350 B.C.E. In Habakkuk 3:5, YHWH on the warpath is said to be preceded and followed by respectively Dever and Resheph. (This is similar to the picture of two divine attendants who escort major gods in ancient myths.) Just as some other names of deities are used as common nouns in biblical Hebrew (Dagon (dagon, “grain”); Ashtaroth (ashtarot, “increase [of the flock]”), etc.) so Reshef (reshef) has come to mean simply “plague” (Deut. 33:29; Ps. 78:48), and the fiery darts of the bow (Ps. 76:4 [Eng. 76:3]; Song 8:6), apparently from the common association of plague and arrows.

Smallpox was obviously my ancestor’s fault, since they had a cure for everything till your ancestors came. I now clearly see that they deserved it, since they didn’t believe like yours did. But yours didn’t believe in Jesus, I might add.


Matthew 23:15

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)

Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.

Maybe there’s a reason it’s so hard for you to “cast out demons,” a power Jesus gave to his disciples, your being a “child of hell” and all.

And I’m sorry my ancestors defended themselves and when they won it was a “massacre,” but yours had it coming, didn’t they?


Matthew 26:52

King James 2000 Bible (©2003)

Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again your sword into its place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.

Truth is, Ms. Jacobs, I can’t repent of my ancestor’s “sins” or mistakes. I can’t hop in a time machine and yell “don’t trust them, they intent to break every treaty they’ll ever make, and all they want to do is exterminate you.” I can read books about it and go see movies about it, but like some bad gas Ms. Jacobs – your ignorance will go with the wind one day and the sun will shine as I and others like me keep our pledges to the Creator and to the people.


Chief Red Jacket’s Address to the Iroqois Six Nations and White Missionaries

Brother: Continue to listen. You say that you are sent to instruct us how to worship the Great Spirit agreeable to His mind. And if we do not take hold of the religion which you white people teach, we shall be unhappy hereafter. You say that you are right, and we are lost. How do you know this to be true? We understand that your religion is written in a book. If it was intended for us as well as for you, why has not the Great Spirit given it to us, and not only to us, but why did He not give to our forefathers knowledge of that book, with the means of understanding it rightly? We only know what you tell us about it. How shall we know when to believe, being so often deceived by the white man?

Brother: You say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit. If there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about it? Why not all agree, as you can all read the book?

Brother: We do not understand these things. We are told that your religion was given to your forefathers and has been handed down — father to son. We also have a religion, which was given to our forefathers, and has been handed down to us, their children. We worship that way. It teaches us to be thankful for all the favors we receive; to love each other, and to be united. We never quarrel about religion.

Mitakuye Oyasin