Tag Archives: Native Americans

Weekly Photo Challenge: Wall


For more of this week’s photo challenge, wall, check out The Daily Post.

Last month, I visited one of my favorite book stores, Gingles Books and Baubles. It had been awhile since I’ve been there and I had stopped to search for a few books for a couple of classes. When I arrived, I noticed a huge, beautiful wall mural, covering the entire wall of the building (old Bell building) across the street from the book store (South Street). I walked over towards it and noticed that it’s actually a painting of the history of Arkansas and quite possible, some of it depicted history in the town of Benton (Niloak pottery).

Mural2mural1

Spanish conquistador, Hernando de Soto traveled through Arkansas in 1541-42, when he had encountered the Quapaws, in the city known today as Parkin. For more information on de Soto’s travels through Arkansas, click here.

*Please note, the tribe depicted in the mural is Caddo. In Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca’s book Castaways, he was the first Spaniard to encounter the Caddos. Hernando de Soto died in May 1942, having never met with the Caddos. It was his successor, Luis Moscoso de Alvarado, who after de Soto’s death, followed along the Red River, into Southwest Arkansas, where the Caddo tribe flourished. For more info on the remainder of the de Soto expedition, click here.

Arkansas is also known for it’s timbers and timber mills, as well as it’s diamonds in Murfreesboro, and bauxite ore found in Bauxite. Arkansas had a hand in helping the US military during both WWI and WWII. Aluminum comes from bauxite ore and the town of Bauxite has an abundance of it.

Arkansas was also known for its pottery called Niloak, which is kaolin spelled backwards. Kaolin is the type of find grade clay found here in Benton, Arkansas. It was popular in 1909 to 1946. Niloak had a hard time making it through the depression, but it was successful during WWII when they produced over a million clay pigeons for the military. After the war, the company hit another downfall and it sadly went out of business.

The mural artwork was done by Dianne Roberts, who was hired by the Gann Museum to paint the mural. You can check out their FB pages by clicking on their names and see pictures she used to help her create her beautiful mural.

Sadly, Books and Baubles will be closing it’s doors for good in April, unless a new owner can step forward and keep it open. Click here, for more information.

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One Word Photo Challenge: Strawberry


This week’s One Word Photo Challenge reminds me of when a few classmates, an instructor, my daughter, two dogs, and I went foraging through fields, woods, as well as through the muddy banks of the Arkansas River, for a project that involved our Anthropology Club. Another student and I had written about our foraging experience and the reason behind it; hopefully our articles will be published soon so that I can share them with you.

Nevertheless, it’s always great being a college student. You never know who you’ll meet, what you’ll learn, or what events, projects, and/or experiences you’ll sign up for. I have never had a doubtful moment, nor have I ever looked back and wished I did something better that day. I can say that our Anthropology Club is backed by some really awesome professors/instructors, who has opened quite a few doors for their students. And beyond those doors is nothing but awesomeness!

The pictures below are of some wild strawberries we found on some property owned by one of our instructors. They’re okay for eating, though the ones we had picked weren’t ripe enough to enjoy and had a watery taste, rather than the sweet flavor strawberries from the farmer’s market or store are known for. It was for a farmer’s market project, as to why we picked them, as well as many other wild fruits, vegetables, and other vegetation. My Anthropology Club set up a table at Bernice Gardens during their National Heritage Month last year. It was a great experience that taught us quite a lot about our state’s naturally grown food and what Native American’s from this area several hundred years ago ate.

Wild strawberries - though a little to early for picking, they were used for a college project.

Wild strawberries – though a little to early for picking, they were used for a college project.

Wild strawberries

Wild strawberries

Native American Ghost Dance


For my Cultural Anthropology class we are to write an essay on a topic that has to do with a culture; be it religion, food, an actual culture of people. I had picked Traditional Native Americans. Being Cherokee/Choctaw I know a little bit about Native American history.

In my essay I’m adding powwows and some of the dances. One of the dances is the Ghost Dance.

The Ghost Dance began in the 1860’s; created by a Northern Paiute Indian named Wodziwab.  He and his son Wovoka were the first Ghost Dance prophets. They both foresaw that all Indian ancestors will return and that all the whites would die, the Native American’s will be saved and the Great Spirit will return to Earth and live among them. The prophets began having a group of followers and taught them that this arrival would come more quickly if they began doing certain rituals such as, a series of dances, songs and wearing special painted clothing; these special painted shirts were to protect them from bullets.

Ghost Dancing soon spread to other tribes, including the Sioux. The Government was scared of the Sioux Ghost Dancing because they knew the meaning behind it and ordered them to stop. Only a small group listened, but the ones that didn’t met a tragic end. On 28 and 29 of Dec, 1890 the Seventh Cavalry arrived at Wounded Knee, killing 350 Sioux Ghost Dancers. Most of them were women and children.

With the Native American population declining heavily and the white population increasing rapidly, Ghost Dancing came to a stop.

Global Warming and the Arctic Alaskan tribes


For my Cultural Anthropology class we had to write a ‘response paper’ about something out of the chapter we are currently working on. I decided to write about an Ethnography that was in my book on “Global Warming and the Inuit Foraging Strategy”. They wrote about two Native American tribes that live in the Arctic regions, who are affected by Global Warming.

There are two Native American tribes that live in Alaska called the Inuit and the Gwich’in. The Inuit’s have been living in the Arctic for over six thousand years, while the Gwich’in has been living in the sub-Arctic for over eight thousand years. Both are foraging tribes that utilize the Arctic ice for building and traveling across. Within the last decade they have been hunting and foraging these regions unsuccessfully due to Global Warming.

“Global Warming is the increase of Earth’s average surface temperature due to effect of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels or from deforestation, which trap heat that would otherwise escape from Earth.”

Global Warming not only affects humans, it affects animals as well. The animals that live in the Arctic are having a difficult time with the major climate change. The ice melts earlier and the lakes and streams take longer to freeze. The ice plays a big part in the Arctic animal’s lives. Walrus and seals use it for shelter and protection from the dangers of the water. The Polar Bears can walk across the solid sheets of ice to find their food. The early melting of the ice poses threats to the Caribou young, and other land based animals as they can fall through the ice and drown. Polar Bears have to travel much further to find food, but rarely find any and starve to death. The numbers of the population of the Arctic animals are rapidly decreasing each decade.

The melting ice, as well as the late freezing lakes and streams, is hard for the two tribes to travel across as the main use of travel is either by dogsled or by snowmobile. The warmer weather also poses a danger to the humans when they are foraging for animal pelts or firewood as a hungry polar bear could be lurking nearby. Both tribes use animal pelts as a form of currency. But with animals young falling through the weakened ice, the tribe’s currency is dwindling.

Global Warming is destroying the Arctic’s ecosystems, as well as the Arctic Native Americans traditions and culture. Without the Arctic animals, the Arctic Native Americans would not have anything to pass down to the next coming generations.