Pre-Anthropologists and Colonization

Anthropology as a science grew out of needs of colonizing countries to gain more information about the frontier. The United States in the early 19th century needed to have more information about the North American frontier for the purpose of claiming and colonizing the area for the expansion of the nation. The earliest beginnings of Anthropology, collections of the oddities of natural history, the gathering of native languages and unique material cultural artifacts, was part of the colonization of the world by European powers as well. The impetus of exploration, of finding new lands, new animals and plants, new things … Continue reading Pre-Anthropologists and Colonization

Popular American Cultural Theft of Totem Poles

The story of the Ritz Sauna Totem pole is rich with cultural history. The Ritz Sauna has been associated with the Oregon Country Fair since the beginnings of the fair. They have a large display area at the fair full of copies of native art. They have a replica plank house with native style art and large extravagant raptor figures. It is very interesting that some people have segregated the one issue of a native totem pole from the long history and practice of using native cultural art and figures and even mascot-like figures at the fair. The fair is … Continue reading Popular American Cultural Theft of Totem Poles

Decolonizing Anthropology: Comprehensive Exam Practice

Describe what is meant when anthropology is labeled “colonial.” Anthropology has aided colonization by dehumanizing and stereotyping Natives, by causing an erasure of Native history and identity, by helping the colonial authorities manage native peoples, and by appropriating Native culture and knowledge. This essay will serve as a definition of the colonial effects of anthropology and provides an articulated Native theory of “Native Studies” called for by Warrior (1994). In the absence of an articulated theory and accompanying body of literature, Native and non-native scholars have sought to be critical and at times decolonizing in their reviews of anthropology and … Continue reading Decolonizing Anthropology: Comprehensive Exam Practice

Foundations of American Ethnography of the Northwest Coast: Comprehensive Exam Practice

Area 2: Ethnographic Accounts of Pacific Northwest Native peoples   This subject entails the discourse and dialogue between Native peoples and societies and ethnographers on the Pacific Northwest Coast. What is intrinsically part of the discussion is an analysis of the history and progress of ethnography, and of the interactions between ethnographers and Native peoples. Thus the subject may be broken into several different areas, the ethnography, how it progressed, and how it is changing, the ethnographers, how they did their work, and all that entails, and the Native peoples themselves, their interaction with ethnographic research, their contributions, and their … Continue reading Foundations of American Ethnography of the Northwest Coast: Comprehensive Exam Practice

Kalapuyan Eyewitnesses to the Megaflood in the Willamette Valley

Native oral history is based on actual historic events of their tribal past. For the Kalapuyans this is also true. Some  15,000 to 12,000 years ago a series of megafloods occurred (upwards of 40 in some theories) in western Oregon. The glacial dams created by the glacial masses which reached the Columbia River during this period, caused a  massive lake or series of lakes to form up to Missoula, Montana, which scholars call Lake Missoula. When the earth began warming, the glaciers began receding causing cracks to form in the ice dams. A series of catastrophic breaches of the dams … Continue reading Kalapuyan Eyewitnesses to the Megaflood in the Willamette Valley