Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Lascaux Summer Triangle

Map BBCIce Age Star Map Discovered
BBC News
August 9th, 2000
(Link)








"According to Dr Rappenglueck, these outlines form a map of the sky with the eyes of the bull, birdman and bird representing the three prominent stars Vega, Deneb and Altair [Summer Triangle]

"The ancient star map shows a bull, birdman and a bird on a stick.

"Together, these stars are popularly known as the Summer Triangle and are among the brightest objects that can be picked out high overhead during the middle months of the northern summer.

"Around 17,000 years ago, this region of sky would never have set below the horizon and would have been especially prominent at the start of spring.

""It is a map of the prehistoric cosmos," Dr Rappenglueck told BBC News Online. "It was their sky, full of animals and spirit guides.""

The Pleiades in the „Salle des Taureaux“, Grotte de Lascaux. Does a Rock Picture in the Cave of Lascaux Show the Open Star Cluster of the Pleiades at the Magdalenian era (ca 15.300 BC)?














Rappenglück, M.
"IVth SEAC Meeting "Astronomy and Culture", p. 217 - 225"
1997
(Link) pdf

"The cave of Lascaux is famous for its prehistoric paintings and above all for is magnificent portrayals of animals in the "Salle des Taureaux". Although the animals receive a great deal of attention during the guided tours, the sign-like shapes which are also depicted, are mostly passed over. But the puzzle surrounding one of these figures might now have been solved, thereby throwing light on the painting beneath it. The group of spots floating above the back of the largest Aurochs might represent the open cluster of the stars - the Pleiades (M 45/NGC 1432; 1m5), which lie above the constellation of the bull (Taurus)."

"The cave of Lascaux (Com. Montignac, Dép. Dordogne, Rég. Aquitaine; : 45°03'17" | N : 01°10´44''E, 216 m above NN) is famous for its prehistoric paintings and above all for is magnificent portrayals of animals in the „Salle des Taureaux“."

"Although the animals receive a great deal of attention during the guided tours the sign-like shapes which are also depicted are mostly passed over. But the puzzle surrounding one of these figures might now have been solved, thereby throwing light on the painting beneath it as well as on all the other pictures. The group of spots floating above the back of the largest Auroch might represent the open cluster of the stars - the Pleiades (M 45/NGC 1432; 3.m0), which lie above the constellation of the bull (Taurus)."

The Dog Days of Summer









The Structured World of the Niitsitapi: The Landscape as Historical Archive among Hunter-Gatherers of the Northern Plains
Gerald A. Oetelaar, D. Joy Oetelaar
in
Structured Worlds: The Archaeology of Hunter-Gatherer Thought and Action
Aubrey Cannon, editor
2014

pages 84-86

In addition to the problems of crossing major rivers, the Niitsitapi face further challenges when moving across the open prairie during the summer months. Critical among these is the shortage of essential resources, especially potable water. Although there is rarely a shortage of water on the prairies during the spring and early summer, by late August, many of the ponds and sloughs have dried up completely while the rivers are little more than mere trickles of lukewarm water. Fortunately, as indicated in the following narrative, a number of springs are scattered throughout the Niitsitapi homeland because the Sun and the Moon listened to six poor boys and a medicine dog.

Long ago, there was a poor family of six boys living in a large Blackfoot camp. Every spring, the other parents brought their children nice red robes from buffalo calves, but the six brothers had only poor brown robes. When the other children played buffalo together, putting the skins over their heads and running after each other, they made fun of the poor brothers and called them names.

Finally, the boys decided to leave their misery and escape to the sky country. As they left, they decided to pay back their tormentors by taking all the water away from the people.


Once in sky country, the Moon took pity on the boys and persuaded the Sun to withhold water fron the people for seven days. The next day on earth was so very hot, the water in the lakes and streams boiled until it all evaporated.

The Blackfoot people were desperate. They took two dogs to the river bed, and the dogs began to dig a hole in the bank. After they had dug a long time, water came out of the hole like a spring. This is the way springs were made.

Over the next days, the people dug holes in the hills, and crawled into them. It was so hot above the ground, they would have died there. When the water in the first springs gave out, the dogs dug other ones. On the seventh day, a medicine-dog prayed to the Sun and Moon, explaining the former life of the boys, and asking for pity. On the eighth day, the people were granted rain. It was a tremendous rain, which lasted for a long time.


The six boys remained in the sky, where they became the Bunched Stars [Mióhpokoiksi].

[Adapted from Wissler and Duvall 1995 (1908):71-72 and McClintock 1969 (1910):490]

As with many Niitsitapi stories, this one accounts for the way a number of things came to be. Primarily, the story narrates how six poor boys became the Bunched Stars, or Pleiades, an important constellation in the autumn night sky. The narrative also contains an important moral about the proper treatment of the less fortunate members of the community, especially the children. Significantly, the Bunched Stars are depicted on the smoke flaps of most painted tipis (e.g. Oetelaar 2000), and thus serve as a constant reminder of one’s oblication to the younger members of the community.

This story also accounts for the origin of springs and of their importance to the survival of the Niitsitapi while traveling across the prairies during the summer. Many of the rivers dry up or become little more than a succession of pools in late summer, but the majority of springs provide good, fresh water year round. Knowing where the springs are between major rivers valleys is thus critical for survival, especially during warmer months when the groups are travelling more. Even in the long ago, the Southern Peigan camped “at the edge of a little grove, close to which a large, clear spring bubbled up from a pile of sunken bowlders [sic]” on their annual trek to the Cypress Hills. (Grinnell 1982 [1901]:222). Further, the story of the Bunched Stars reminds Niitsitapi not only to examine the slopes of prominent landmarks and the banks of small streams, but also to rely on their dogs for assistance in this endeavor.

[text omitted]

. . . most of the other lodges were pitched around a clearing, which had a spring with good, cold water to drink. Since neither supply nor access to good water would have been a problem at this point on the river, there must have been other reasons for selecting a location with two water sources at hand. Convenience may have been one reason. River water was not always easy to procure, often involving movement down and up a relatively steep incline. Thus, a spring at hand would have provided water on demand for drinking as well as assorted daily tasks. Predictability may have been a second reason. Even large rivers such as the Oldman are subject to marked fluctuations in their seasonal flow. Camping next to a reliable spring guarantees a source of fresh water in years with little or no runoff, as well as years with torrential flow or abnormally high flood levels. Yet, the primary motive for camping near the spring was spiritual. Unlike the rivers which serve as the home of the Water Beings, springs are focal points of spiritual energy because they are related to the actions of spirit beings in the long, long ago. As a result, spring water not only quenches one’s thirst; it also renews one’s spirit.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Iinnii Initiative Update

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

It's great to see coverage in the Guardian newpaper of the reintroduction of bison to Blackfeet traditional lands in Montana.
 
Under the auspices of the Iinnii Initiative, the reintroduction of bison to the Blackfeet (Southern Piikani or Southern Peigan) lands of Montana from Elk Island National Park will take place in April.  There are also plans to reintroduce bison to traditional lands of the related Blackfoot (Kainai, Northern Piikani and Siksika) in Canada.
 

The Guardian article mentions highly successful rancher Michel Pablo, who's mother was a Southern Pikani Blackfeet woman (Otter Woman).
 
Michel Pablo was a fluent Blackfoot and Flathead speaker who worked for a time as a Native Language interpreter before becoming a rancher.  His father is said to have been of Spanish or part Spanish background.  After the death of his father, Michel, his brother and his mother were adopted into the Flathead People.

It was not unusual for someone such as Michel Pablo to have a Blackfeet/Blackfoot mother and a non Blackfeet/Blackfoot father.  Occasional adoption and intermarriage of Spanish, French, English, Scottish, Cree, Crow, Assiniboine, Shoshoni, Sioux, Tsuu T'ina, Flathead and other neighbours into the Blackfoot community was common throughout Blackfoot history, and is an aspect of their longstanding tradition of diplomacy.

The Michel Pablo and Charles Allard story is here:
http://www.oregonpioneers.com/bios/MichelPablo.pdf
 
I'll be sure to post articles as the story of the Iinnii Initiative unfolds.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Mióhpokoiksi

    Blackfoot Tipis, Alberta, Canada, 1898, Photographer:  Walter McClintock

in Feeding Sublimity:  Embodiment and Medicine in Blackfoot Experience
Ryan Heavy Head
Master's of Arts Thesis
University of Lethbridge,
Alberta, Canada
2005
pages 38-45
(Link) pdf

pages 139-140

"It will also be noticed that there are other depictions of kakató’siiksi on the ears, or smoke flaps, of the painted lodge. These too are important, and embodied, symbols. The southernmost design (five clustered kakató’siiksi) are called Mióhpokoiksi, bunched-children, the constellation of Pleiades. In kitawahsinnooni, this group is visible only during the winter, from October to late April, reflecting the annual cycle of seasons from the warmth of summer to the chill of winter. Its absence in spring marks the frost-free period, and signals to the beaver people that it is time to plant tobacco. There is, of course, a story that goes along with the name Mióhpokoiksi. One version of this tale begins with a number of impoverished young boys, disappointed during the springtime when all of their peers were receiving new red robes from the buffalo calves. Embarrassed by their own shabby, worn-out clothing, the oldest of these boys takes some weasel hair, spits on it, and blows it toward the sky, carrying all of them into the realm above. There they confer with Naato’si, the Sun, and Ko’komíki’somm, the Moon, requesting that the people be made to suffer for abusing their children. Hearing the account of the poverty they were made to suffer, Ko’komíki’somm, particularly empathetic toward the plight of youth, convinces Naato’si to bring drought to the Niitsitapi. The very next day, an intense heat converges upon the territory. Soon the people are thirsting, and are forced to live in burrows to escape the severe temperatures outside, using their dogs to dig for water. On the seventh day of this drought, the dogs themselves begin to howl prayers to Ko’komíki’somm, explaining why the boys had not received new robes, and asking that she at least take pity on the innocent four-legged. Ko’komíki’somm, hearing these requests, deliberates with her husband, and brings rain on the eighth day. Since that time, the people have cherished dogs for their protective abilities, and kept conscious of the dangers inherent in depriving their children. As a reminder of these lessons, Mióhpokoiksi can be seen huddled in the sky for warmth on winter nights, and disappearing in embarrassment around the time when the buffalo calves are born each spring."

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Land of Naato'si


    Trumpeter Swans.  Photo:  Bill Maynard (Link)

in Feeding Sublimity:  Embodiment and Medicine in Blackfoot Experience
Ryan Heavy Head
Master's of Arts Thesis
University of Lethbridge,
Alberta, Canada
2005
pages 38-45
(Link) pdf

"On the fourth night, Pawakksski was suddenly seized by a penetrating cold that embraced his entire body. It was the spirit of the giant mountain. But like the previous advisors, this being had no knowledge of how to reach Naato’si. It told Pawakksski that he would have to travel to the shore of the water with no end, the Pacific Ocean, and there he might find someone to show him the way.

"When Pawakksski awoke from this encounter, he was down at the base of the mountain again. He felt entirely defeated, and just sat there crying for some time, recalling all he’d gone through, and still being told to move further. He had no food left. His clothes were tattered. All of his extra moccasins had been used up, and his feet were raw and bloody. Eventually, he decided that there was nothing else to do but go that one last distance. He collected moss and leaves from the forest around him and tied them to the bottom of his feet as shoes. Then he walked on. Weakened and hungry, his gait was staggered and clumsy. Many times he stumbled into thorned brush that tore away at his skin. Some days later, he finally came to the water’s edge. There, looking out over the vast sea, Pawakksski gave up all hope. This was his end. It would be impossible to travel further, no matter what the spirits told him. He hadn’t energy enough remaining to even attempt a swim, and neither could he turn around and go home. All was through.

"Pawakksski walked out into the ocean to wash the blood and dirt off his body, then went to shore and lay there with his feet in the water, crying, praying, and singing. He called to the spirits and asked that they take pity on him – either show him to Naato’si or take away his life. The last thing he saw before falling asleep were some swans drifting far offshore. When he awoke, it was in a trance. A large white swan had floated up near him. It asked why he was crying. Pawakksski told the swan all that had transpired, from the teasing, to the girl, to the mountain spirits and his travels. He told the swan that all hope was lost, and that now he only wished his life would end. The swan felt sorry for Pawakksski, and told him that the journey was almost over, that he had only one more thing to do. He would fall asleep again, and when he woke up there would be a swan-head rattle beneath his robe to prove that what he was being told had actually happened. When he had retrieved the rattle, the swans would come to him, to take him to Naato’si. He would have to close his eyes, and not open them again until he was told to do so. If he slipped up and looked around, it would be over, and he would never achieve what he had come so far to do.

"The next morning when he awoke, the same group of swans were floating in the distance, and Pawakksski began to cry again, certain that he had only imagined his encounter. Reaching around to find his tobacco pouch, his hand came upon the swan-head rattle. In an instant, he realized that all he had experienced was real, and he quickly built a fire, so that he could make a smudge and pray in thanks to the large swan. Just before Naato’si could be seen in the east, the swans floated to shore and told Pawakksski to lay down on top of his robe and close his eyes. No sooner had he shut them than he felt himself being pulled rapidly away. Following their instructions, Pawakksski fought curiosity and kept his eyes closed until he fell asleep. When he woke again, the large swan had returned and was poking him in the ribs, telling him to open his eyes, that he was in the land of Naato’si. When Pawakksski looked up, the swans startled and took flight, eventually disappearing far out over the horizon of the waters.

"He sat there on this new shore, watching out over the waves and thinking about what he should do. Then he heard a piercing scream, and he looked down the beach to see a young boy running frantically toward him, seven giant white cranes giving chase from behind. Without a thought, Pawakksski jumped to his feet, ran at the enormous birds, and one by one thrust his flint knife into their throats. Each crane toppled and died instantly. Surprising even himself, Pawakksski glanced down at his feet and found that he wore a new pair of moccasins. The swans must have dressed him. While he stood over the defeated cranes, the boy came up to thank him, telling him that all the people of that land lived in fear of the giant birds. Exchanging greetings, Pawakksski learned that the boy’s name was Iipisówaahsi, Distant-Food, a term used to refer to raw chunks of buffalo meat that were hung up to dry as jerky. He also learned that this boy was the son of Naato’si, and that his mother was Ko’komíki’somm, the Night-sun, or Moon. Iipisówaahsi told Pawakksski that they would remove the skins from the dead cranes and take them back to his family’s lodge, and that Naato’si would be so elated by the victory that he would probably grant any wish Pawakksski had. So the two young men sat in waiting for Naato’si while she [Ko’komíki’somm] prepared a meal. Just before Naato’si arrived, Ko’komíki’somm told Pawakksski to hide behind the linings of their lodge, so that he would not be harmed by the intense heat of the old man. As soon as Naato’si stepped through the door, he put his nose to the air and sniffed around, claiming that he sensed the presence of a human being among them. He went and sat down to listen while Iipisówaahsi explained the day’s events. Naato’si was pleased to receive the scalps of the cranes, and told his son that the visitor should stay as their guest. Then Pawakksski was brought out from behind the linings, his eyes closed to the blinding light, and made to sit in front of Naato’si. The old man painted him from head to toe with in black, and after that Pawakksski was not bothered by either the light or the heat in the old man’s presence.

"For almost a full lunar cycle, Pawakksski lived at this lodge, in the company of these sacred beings. He started to become used to their routines – the way Naato’si would go away during the daylight hours, to return in the evenings when Ko’komíki’somm would take her turn outdoors, until just before dawn when Iipisówaahsi, the Morning Star, would go out for a short while, and so on. After living with them for some time, keeping company with Iipisówaahsi during the days, Pawakksski began to feel an urge to return home. He knew that the widow back in his camp had probably been suffering without his assistance, and his thoughts still remained with the young woman who had promised him her love. Naato’si had known of his guest’s intentions all along, but thought it best to wait until the boy approached him with a request. Now the old man was beginning to sense the youth’s urgency to return home, and so finally decided to give him an option. Assuring Pawakksski that they had thoroughly enjoyed his visit, and were very grateful for the way he had saved their son’s life, Naato’si suggested that it might be good for him to return to his own people, while the warmth of summer was still with them. In exchange for his altruistic act in slaying the seven cranes, he could ask for anything he wanted to take back home with him.

"Pawakksski recognized that his moment of opportunity had at last arrived. In full detail, he explained why he had come to their land, and all that he had suffered to get there. His only wish was to have the young woman by his side. But because she was already promised to Naato’si himself, her restrictions would have to be lifted and, as proof of this, the scar removed from his face. For a long while Naato’si just sat there silent, with Pawakksski growing increasingly nervous. When the old man did respond, it was with kindness, but also in a serious tone. What Pawakksski had requested was very unusual – it was not considered proper for a man and woman, once committed to one another, to be broken apart by a third party. Because of his debt to Pawakksski, and his empathy for the suffering the boy had endured, Naato’si would grant the wish. But since the nature of this change was so significant, something would have to be done to remind people that the break-up of a marriage is always incredibly damaging. Since Naato’si would feel sorrowed by the loss of this young woman, so she too, and Pawakksski as well, must suffer. He would teach the boy a new ceremony, to be brought to the people and used during the largest summer encampment each year, commemorating this important lesson about marriage. But before Pawakksski could be taught such sacred things, he needed to be cleansed.

"When Naato’si went out the next day, he left Pawakksski and Iipisówaahsi with instructions to gather four hundred willows and rocks with which they would construct four sweat lodges. That evening, when Naato’si returned, they held four sstsiiysskaani. Ko’komíki’somm sat outside these lodges, taking care of the doors and bringing in the stones for them. After they had finished the first steam-making, and the skins of the lodge were pulled up, Naato’si asked Ko’komíki’somm to look inside and identify their own son. She could clearly see the scar on Pawakksski, and so knew right away which boy was her own. After the second and third sweats, this test was repeated, and both times the old lady knew her boy right away. Then they sat through one final sstsiiysskaani, and when Ko’komíki’somm looked inside, neither boy had any blemishes.

"She couldn’t tell one from the other. Taking a guess at it, she selected Pawakksski as her son. This mistake was proof that the steam-making process had been successful.

"Over the next four nights, Naato’si instructed Pawakksski about the ceremony he would bring home to the people. He had already experienced sstsiiysskaani, and could always use that to heal, as well as to cleanse himself and his wife before they began the new ceremony – the construction of the okan lodge, for which they would fast and thirst for four days in recognition of the importance of marriage, and the pain that comes when such bonds are broken. In addition, Naato’si set out seven items in front of Pawakksski and told him to chose whichever it was he would like to take home with him. "There’s one for gambling, for stealing, for cutting with, there’s a weapon, one for killing, and one for taking out," Naato’si said, pointing to each item. The object he didn’t name was a white staff, so Pawakksski said that he would take it. "You don’t want that," Naato’si told him, "it’s nothing." Again he named each of the six other items, and once more Pawakksski indicated that he would take the staff. Only when he’d made the same choice four times did Naato’si agree to relinquish it, admitting that the white staff was the best choice of all, as it represented life itself. And for final departing gifts, Pawakksski was dressed in a new buckskin suit, the shirt of which held the emblem of Naato’si and had scalp-locks hanging from the sleeves that represented the seven cranes he had defeated. Two raven feathers, bound together, were tied to his hair, and Naato’si showed him how to get home quickly, following makóyoohsokoyi, the wolf-trail.

"Pawakksski returned to the camp of his people with a new name: Pahtsiipisówaahs, Mistaken-for-Morningstar. He won his bride and shared his knowledge of all the gifts that Naato’si had bestowed – the first sstsiiysskaani, okan lodge, scalp-lock suit, raven topknot, and white staff. Some time later, Pawakksski and his bride followed the wolf-trail once more, she to reclaim her position beside Naato’si, he as the bright star in the dawn sky often mistaken as Iipisówaahsi."


Vocabulary

Naato’si - the Sun
Ko'komíki'somm - the Moon
Ki'sómm - Sun/Moon

Makóyoohsokoyi - the Wolf Road - Milky Way
Iipisówaahsi - Morning Star
Ihkitsíkammiksi – the Seven Stars - the Big Dipper

waahkiaapiksistsiko - be the day midway between the summer and winter solstice - equinox

Amí’tsssokimi – Pacific Ocean

iksistto’simm – be a full moon
i'ni - be the last day of the last quarter (no moon)
inákoi – be the first quarter of the moon
omino'toohsi - second quarter of the Moon

Isskihta' - toward the open prairie - East
Nimm - West
Waami't - West

okan - dead branch
imiihkayii – swan
aapssííkam - whooping crane
sstsiiysskaani - sweatlodge

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Life Among 'The Reindeer People'

All Things Considered, NPR Radio Broadcast

Author Piers Vitebsky tells Debbie Elliott about The Reindeer People, his book about the Eveny herders of Siberia.
(Link)

"These elders told Tolya that reindeer were created by the sky god Hovki, not only to provide food and transport on earth, but also to lift the human soul up to the sun. From their childhood seventy, eighty, or more years before, they remembered a ritual that was carried out each year on Midsummer's Day, symbolizing the ascent of each person on the back of a winged reindeer. During the white night of the Arctic summer, a rope was stretched between two larch trees to represent a gateway to the sky. As the sun rose high above the horizon in the early dawn, this gateway was filled with the purifying smoke of the aromatic mountain rhododendron, which drifted over the area from two separate bonfires. Each person passed around the first fire anticlockwise, against the direction of the sun, to symbolize the death of the old year and to burn away its illnesses. They then moved around the second fire in a clockwise direction, following the sun's own motion, to symbolize the birth of the new year.

"It was at this moment, while elders prayed to the sun for success in hunting, an increase in reindeer, strong sons and beautiful daughters, that each person was said to be borne aloft on the back of a reindeer which carried its human passenger towards a land of happiness and plenty near the sun. There they received a blessing, salvation, and renewal. At the highest point, the reindeer turned for a while into a crane, a bird of extreme sacredness.

"I still do not understand how the old Eveny acted out the experience of flying through the air, but they would mime their return to earth by sitting on their own reindeer as if they were arriving from a long journey, expressing tiredness, unsaddling their mount, pitching a tent and lighting a fire. This rite was followed by a hedje, a circle dance in the direction of the sun, and a feast of plenty."

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Sunwise

Travels to Terra Incognitia: The Scottish Highlands and Hebrides in Early Modern Traveller’s Accounts c. 1600 to 1800

Martin Rackwitz
(Link) Amazon

pages 502-504.

"Other superstitious rites also had their origins in the time of pre-Christian sun-worship. Travellers, for example, unanimously agreed that the Highlanders paid great attention to the clockwise performance of certain tasks. Martin Martin, for example, reported that the locals and strangers always left the ‘Loch Siant Well’ on the Isle of Skye in the same direction.  They walked three times around the well sunways (i.e. clockwise) from east to west after drinking from its water, which was believed to cure diseases such as stitches, headaches, stones and consumption [222].

    Loch Siant Well on the Isle of Skye

"The tenant on the tiny island of Fladday (Eilean Fladday) in the Sound of Raasay always made a tour sunways round the island before going to sea in his boat [223]. Upon their arrival on the neighbouring island of Oronsay, the natives of Colonsay were accustomed to circle the church clockwise before entering upon any kind of business. The natives of Eigg were accustomed to walk clockwise round a heap of stones on their island that was called ‘Martin Deiseal’ and was consecrated to the saint of that name [224]. Martin was rowed several times from one island to another, and on every occasion the oarsmen insisted on a clockwise passage, even though Martin had forbidden them to do so. Despite the clockwise turn, the boat was repeatedly forced to return because of contrary winds. On embarking on a journey from Jura to Colonsay, he forbade his oarsmen to make such a turn. The boat arrived safely at its destination in spite of the superstitious oarsmen’s disbelief in the possibility of travelling without a clockwise turn [225].

"This superstition proved to be particularly hard to suppress, and there are numerous examples of it until the end of the eighteenth century. The Reverend Mr. Shaw, minister of Elgin, informed Pennant that in the shire of Moray, the herdsmen danced at Beltane three times clockwise round the fire. At marriages and baptisms they made a procession around the church, following the course of the sun [226]. The Reverend Mr. James Robertson, minister of Callander, reported in 1791 that the Highlanders considered it the ‘lucky way’ to perform tasks from east to west, following the course of the sun. The opposite way was considered ‘unlucky’. Therefore, when Highlanders bathed in or drank out of a consecrated fountain, they always approached it clockwise from east to west, going along the southern side. They approached graves in the same manner, and when the glass went round in company, it also imitated the course of the sun [227]."

Footnotes:

[222] Martin Martin, A Description of the Western Islands of Scotland, Circa 1695, p. 140.

[223] Martin Martin, Description, p. 167. Martin claimed that the birds made the same clockwise tour around the island before arriving in March and leaving in August.

[224] Martin Martin, Description, pp. 247-248, p. 277.

[225] Martin Martin, Description, p. 119. In Gaelic the right-hand turns, imitating the course of the sun, were called ‘Deiseal’.

[226] Thomas Pennant, A Tour in Scotland 1769, p. 291.

[227] The Statistical Account of Scotland (OSA), vol. xii, p. 184. In parts of 19th-century rural England the coffin was also carried clockwise round the churchyard. Throughout England leftward or anti-clockwise circling was linked to bad luck and witchcraft. See J. Simpsons and S. Roud (eds.), A Dictionary of English Folklore (Oxford 2000), pp. 295, 211-212.

Old Believer Christian Orthodox Easter Procession: Clockwise or Counterclockwise?

    Easter Procession in the Old Believer Community, Latvia (Link)

Clockwise or Counterclockwise?

Ora et Labora Blog
(Link)

Question: Why does the procession on the night of Pascha [Easter] go counter-clockwise? In general, does going clockwise or counter-clockwise play any role in [Christian] Orthodox rites?

Answer: Performing the procession, the Orthodox go out to meet the sun, inasmuch as the Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, by the definition of the Church, is the Sun of righteousness. We go out to meet our Lord.

Comments:
orrologion said...
Could you explain this to me? I've never understood what was meant by references to the sun when discussing whether processions go clockwise or counterclockwise, e.g., the Old Believer schism. I'm sure I'm dense, but I've never understood the sun reference. Perhaps it's clear to someone that hasn't lived their entire life in a city rather than on a farm.
 
Felix Culpa said...
I have to admit that I'm equally clueless. I generally assume my readers are smarter than I!

Help, anyone?
 
orrologion said...
My guess has been that it refers to the fact that the sun moves east to west along a line that tilts south, i.e., it isn't a straight line up and over from east to west. In the winter the path of the sun is lower towards the south and it is closer to the straight overhead line in summer. If we are in church facing east, then processing counterclockwise around the altar is moving in opposition to the curve the sun is following from the east (ahead) towards our right (south) ending in the west (behind).
 
orrologion said...
I know the Old Believers process clockwise and the Nikonian reforms following Greek practice process counterclockwise. "A history of Russia", Volume 3 by Vasiliĭ Osipovich Kliu͡c͡hevskiĭ, C. J. Hogarth refers to "the passage according to the sun" as meaning "from left to right according as the altar is faced". But, again, no explanation is given as to how the two are related.
 
Gabriel said...
Orr,

I've always understood that it's simply moving in the same direction as a sundial (in the northern hemisphere at least). But beyond that, I don't know anything further.

I do know that a number of early Old Believers (I assume Avvakum is included in this group) spoke out against the change on the grounds that "going against the sun" (i.e., counterclockwise) was tantamount to going against Christ, the Sun of Righteousness. I've also heard a few pragmatic arguments for why clockwise is better, but I can't seem to recall them now.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Beaver Bundle Sweat Lodge













 

George First Rider
Interview
December 1st, 1968
Interviewer:  John C. Hellson
Interpreter:  Dave Melting Tallow
Blackfoot Kainai Reserve, Alberta, Canada
(Link) pdf
 
Blog note:  Contrary to the note at the beginning of the transcript, George First Rider, a Blackfoot Kainai born in 1904, was not "converted" to Christianity.  He was also not uneducated.  He was tolerant of Christian traditions, but at the same time, was unapologetically proud of his Blackfoot customs and beliefs. Although George did struggle with alcoholism, it should also be said that he had to deal with the residential school system that forced him to suppress his language, beliefs and customs.  George somehow maintained his language.  The many transcripts that he made with the ethnographer and ethnobotanist John C. Hellson in the 1960s and 70s are recorded in long form Kainai Blackfoot.  The translation here by Dave Melting Tallow in places did not correctly translate the tense of some of George's statements.  For this reason, I have made minor tense corrections and edits to improve the readability of the translation.
 
Excerpt from the transcript:
 
[Text omitted.]
 
The Beaver Pipe was hung on a tripod on the west side [of the sweat lodge]. The Pipe would be put on top of the sweat lodge when the entrances were closed. When everyone was seated, dirt was spread out inside and then covered with water grass (aquatic plants).

Then the wife of the Beaver Bundle owner would pick up the Pipe and carry it around the sweat lodge in the direction that the Sun travels (clockwise) and then hand it in.

The Beaver Bundle owner, the man, he took it and offered a smoke to the one that sat at the back and the shaman said a prayer with it. He prayed to the former Beaver Bundle owners; then they lit the Pipe and they all smoked it. He blew a puff of smoke on the palm of his right hand and he touched himself with it on his left side. He blew a puff of smoke on his left hand and he touched himself with it on his right side. He blew a puff of smoke on his right hand and he did the same to his side. He blew a puff of smoke on his left hand and he did the same.

All the people that were going to have a sweat bath did the same, they touched themselves with the smoke . . . -- it's the Pipe that was smoked inside the sweat lodge -- he stuck the tamp stick into the Pipe bowl and he emptied it on the northwest side.

He turned the Pipe around in the direction that the sun goes and he emptied it again on the east side. He turned it around again and on the southeast side and on the west side. That is how he emptied the Pipe, then the Pipe was taken out and the stones were taken in.
 
Then stones were just rolled in [by the wife of the Beaver Bundle owner]. They call them striped rocks. Those were river rocks which had spots on them and were gray in color [granite river rocks].  It was said that [this type of rock] got very hot. That is what they call them, striped rocks. So the rocks were rolled inside.

A forked stick was weaved with bark into the shape of a shovel. They couldn't lift the stones with it because it would burn [so] they just pushed the rocks in with them and they shove them into the hole which was dug in a circle.

[The sticks] were called "the gnaw of the beavers through the ice."

The pail [for bringing in the water] was a real pail (cast iron pail). It contained the water that was poured on the hot stones.  

The forked sticks were made of willow gathered at the river from sticks that were gnawed off by the beavers.

[Text omitted.]

The one that sat at the back [the shaman] turned around to his right facing outside. It was afternoon at this time. He prayed to the Sun.  "The way you are gladly seen in the morning when you are rising, may we gladly see this Pipe in the same way, this Pipe that is going to be wrapped up," and then they went on with the sweat bath.

[Text omitted.]


Related Post on this Blog:

Peter Fidler's Journals - December 31th, 1792 - Oldman River, Livingstone Gap, Racehorse Creek and Naapi's Playground, Alberta
(Link)

Friday, March 18, 2016

Neandertal - Wherever i'll find you (Thrash Metal)


Dirty Online Blog Tactic #392: Slag the paper of your competitor anonymously, using a not so transparent pseudonym

A commenter, Matt, who is very likely an author of a paper that opposes this newly published R.M. Key paper, comments on the Eurogenes blog thread New insights into human adaptation and population structure thanks to ancient genomes.  My comments are under my own name.  This is very out in the open rotten behavior, childish, and tolerated by the paleo genomics community.

It will be a good example to bring up at the ethics committee meeting of the upcoming AAPA conference, in Atlanta.

Eurogenes blog thread comments:
Blogger Matt said...
I kind of had the following thoughts on this:

IIUC, the things this paper does is estimate that:

- At the most differentiated (from African) alleles Eurasians are enriched in genic SNPs .

(Makes sense; it's relatively difficult for an allele to drift its way to very high degrees of differentiation)

- Of these, modern day Europeans are relatively more enriched at genic SNPs compared to non-genic SNPs, compared to East Asians, particularly due to weaker effects of drift in modern day Europeans

(Makes sense; but note doesn't necessarily mean Europeans have more absolute numbers of highly differentiated genic SNPs from Africans, and in fact they probably have fewer based on previous work.

See also the figure S24 which shows that on a PCA based on genic SNPs, EAs as far away from Africans than Europeans are, so about as differentiated.)

- (I think) They claim Europeans being particularly more enriched at genic SNPs compared to non-genic SNPs compared to East Asians is also likely to be due to more differing selection forces in Europe (I'm not so sure about this).

- "In the genic European tail, Stuttgart has 10.4% fewer of the alleles that are highly differentiated from Africans in present day Europeans, compared to Loschbour"

- "Hunter gatherers contributed disproportionally to the highly differentiated alleles within genes in Europe but, intriguingly, not outside of genes"

What they don't do, really (although the probably can't), is estimate whether:

- WHG has an enrichment of genic SNPs relative to non-genic SNPs, compared to EEF

That's pretty important. It's particularly important due to the fact that WHG seems to have had really low population sizes compared to EEF, and to have had a much higher effect of drift (see - http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2015/151116/ncomms9912/images_article/ncomms9912-f3.jpg for instance), then lower contribution to Europeans.
Possible WHG had more highly differentiated SNPs both among genic and non-genic SNPs, and the genic SNPs "introgressed" out of proportion to the WHG population contribution.

I think they probably couldn't test this though. They did try to simulate out whether differences in NE (effective population size) could have contributed to the differences in contribution to Europeans highly derived SNPs, but I'm not too convinced by this indirect evidence.
March 18, 2016 at 4:25 PM
Blogger
 
 Matt said...
One thing I do question about the finding is:

"No ancestral genome carries rs16891982’s derived allele, but Loschbour carries the haplotype that, in present-day populations, is linked to the derived allele"

So does this contradict previous findings by Mathieson and Gamba that WHG did not have the rs16891982 variant on SLC45A2 (e.g. http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2014/141021/ncomms6257/images/ncomms6257-f3.jpg) or is more like WHG likely did not have the variant, but some related HG did?

And one thing particularly they do seem to be quite wrong about was "No ancestral genome carries rs16891982’s derived allele" yet Mathieson already showed that a good 40% of the Anatolian_Neolithic already did http://biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/early/2015/10/10/016477.full.pdf (and lower frequencies in the Iberia EN with higher WHG ancestry), by directly sampling the SNP. The AN also had some degree of the derived OCA2 variant.

If Reich lab have sampled AN, who may or may not have actually been admixed with WHG, and they actually have the SNPs, it seems a bit pointless to go "Oh, well EEF (based on Stuttgart) didn't have these haplotype", when the AN have the SNP.

At the same time, "But the European tail includes a large number of alleles in the lactase enhancer region and the LP haplotype (chr2:135859371-136740900) that are exclusively present in Stuttgart (65% of Stuttgart specific targets; Fig. 6c). Thus the haplotype that is today associated with LP in Europe originated most likely in this genetic background, which we detect only in the Stuttgart farmer, although this individual itself did not carry the LP allele. "

Yet it seems like the European LP variant is not necessarily likely to have come from an EEF like population (rather a Yamnaya / CHG like one).

This paper was kind of written on 16 June 2015, but then the first version of the Mathieson paper was published online 14 Mar 2015, and they actually reference it, already showing SLC45A2 in the EN, so kind of don't quite get that...

March 18, 2016 at 4:25 PM
 
Blogger
 
 Marnie said...
"Matt", I'll be sure to bring up, in the AAPA ethics discussion, that some authors actually slag their colleague's competitive papers using false identities online.

Are you really that much of a coward and a creep?

Why not at least blog under your real name?

March 18, 2016 at 5:02 PM


Blogger Romulus said...
"No ancestral genome carries rs16891982’s derived allele"

What about Stora Forvar? Reich lab created this myth of dark skinned hunter gatherers which has turned out to be totally false. Looks like 19th century anthropologists are proven to be SPOT ON once again thanks to ancient DNA.

The Stora Förvar 11 remains were found on Stora Karlsö, a small island off the west coast of the larger Swedish island of Gotland, in the Baltic Sea. The remains were dated to 7,500 to 7,250 years ago, and they were found in a late Mesolithic context.

Stora Förvar 11 belonged to mitochondrial haplogroup U5a1. He had two copies of the depigmentation allele in the gene SLC45A2, and since Motala 12 had at least one copy of the depigmentation allele in the gene SLC24A5, we now know that both of the two major Caucasoid depigmentation mutations were present in the hunter-gatherers of Mesolithic Europe.

March 18, 2016 at 6:49 PM
 

 
 
Blogger Marnie said...
@Romulus

"What about Stora Forvar? Reich lab created this myth of dark skinned hunter gatherers which has turned out to be totally false. Looks like 19th century anthropologists are proven to be SPOT ON once again thanks to ancient DNA. "

Without getting into the skin color of European Mesolithic gatherers, I will say that thinking that you can determine the skin color of people 10,000 years ago based on a few alleles that determine, to some degree, the skin color or hair color of people today, is a complete joke.

A very well known paleoanthropologist at UC Davis told me personally that this is methodologically very ill conceived, and not just for traits like skin color.

Certain traits come under selection. Traits determining appearance based on various papers, do seem to be under selection. But the alleles that lead to these traits can vary over time. So again, we don't know the skin color of Europeans 10,000 years ago. But chances are, they didn't look all that different from people today.

Methodologically, it would be far better to look at multiple alleles known to relate to appearance. Then maybe, you could start to get an understanding of how human appearance might have varied over time.

Anyway, I think far, far to much money has been thrown at this question.

But, hey, someone has to generate advertising revenue for Science/Nature/PNAS in order to pay those $300,000+ per year salaries of their executives.

So its all "Sex with Neanderthals" and hunter-gatherer skin color studies inferred from one or two alleles.

March 18, 2016 at 7:06 PM
Delete

 
Blogger Krefter said... 
@Matt,

The frequencies of SLC24A5 and SLC45A2 in pre-3000 BC times doesn't matter. They tell nothing about natural selection. They had been popular for 1,000s and 1,000s of years before the Neolithic(except in WHG). Their high frequency today have nothing to do with farming or Ice age climate or whatever.

The key is the Late Neolithic/Bronze age Europe. SLC45A2 more than tripled in frequency between 3000 and 2500 BC. That's pretty significant.

March 18, 2016 at 7:28 PM
 
Blogger Marnie said...
@Krefter

"The key is the Late Neolithic/Bronze age Europe. SLC45A2 more than tripled in frequency between 3000 and 2500 BC. That's pretty significant."

So? People went from being tanned to more fair skinned. Not exactly the earth shattering result that would warrant sucking up half the genomics budget of Europe for the last three years.

Only nuts spend this much time thinking about skin color.

March 18, 2016 at 8:14 PM

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Soldier-Poet Brian Turner to visit Royal Military College of Canada, Wednesday, March 16th, 2016



American soldier-poet Brian Turner will read from his works and give a talk on Wednesday, 16 March, 2016, at 7 pm in Currie Hall, at Royal Military College of Canada, followed by a book signing and refreshments in Baronial Hall.

This event is free and open to the larger Royal Military College (RMC) community as well as to the general public. Turner’s visit is jointly sponsored by the American Embassy and through a generous donation from the RMC Foundation.

Brian Turner served for seven years in the U.S. Army. He was deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1999-2000 and in 2003 served for a year in Iraq as an infantry team leader in the 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division. Before he entered military service, Turner earned a Masters of Fine Arts degree from the University of Oregon.

His many literary distinctions include a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in Poetry and the Poetry Prize in 2007 for his debut collection, Here, Bullet—considered the best work of poetry published in America at the time of the award, and a work that has been heralded by literary critics as one of the finest collections of war poems ever published. Poems from Here, Bullet have been on the syllabi of English courses offered at RMC for nearly a decade.

Turner has published two volumes of poetry and recently published a memoir, My Life as a Foreign Country (Norton 2016) that one reviewer describes as addressing the question, “How does someone leave a war behind and walk into the rest of their life?”

Turner currently directs the MFA program at Sierra Nevada College, located on the shores of beautiful Lake Tahoe.

Here, Bullet
Brian Turner
2005
(Link) Amazon

My Life as a Foreign Country: A Memoir
Brian Turner
2014
(Link) Amazon

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Ma Ninna Iihpawakksskiwa

Ma Ninna Iihpawakksskiwa
(That Man of Scarred Face)
 
in
 
Feeding Sublimity:  Embodiment and Medicine in Blackfoot Experience
Ryan Heavy Head
Master's of Arts Thesis
University of Lethbridge,
Alberta, Canada
2005
pages 30-45
(Link) pdf


Vocabulary of Ma Ninna Iihpawakksskiwa

Naato’si - the Sun
Ko'komíki'somm - the Moon
Ki'sómm - Sun/Moon

Makóyoohsokoyi - the Wolf Road - Milky Way
Iipisówaahsi - Morning Star
Ihkitsíkammiksi – the Seven Stars - the Big Dipper

waahkiaapiksistsiko - be the day midway between the summer and winter solstice - equinox

Amí’tsssokimi – Pacific Ocean

iksistto’simm – be a full moon
i'ni - be the last day of the last quarter (no moon)
inákoi – be the first quarter of the moon
omino'toohsi - second quarter of the Moon

Isskihta' - toward the open prairie - East
Nimm - West
Waami't - West

okan - dead branch
imiihkayii – swan
aapssííkam - whooping crane
sstsiiysskaani - sweatlodge

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

More on the Herd Following Hypothesis: 2016 Update


















Chipewyan (Denesuline) Migratory Caribou Hunters

More on the Herd Following Hypothesis: A 2016 Update
Bryan Gordon
Canadian Museum of History and Carleton University
(Link)