Watch this amazing, sobering documentary on a California Native American. State-approved massacre’s of the Yahi people killed off most of his tribe but he survived. Rayna Green, Director of Native American studies at the Smithsonian, said of society once Ishi entered the scene, “The focus was on the disappearance, not the survival [of the Yahi].” But, at the end of the film, over 150,000 California Natives were reported to still live there. Resilience. Perseverance. It’s amazing considering all the terrible things done to the Native American people.
2nd cake since I’ve been in the WCRA office, which is completely awesome.
Today, I finished reading Authentic Indians by historian Paige Raibmon. She notes the difficulty of binary ideas of “authentic” vs. “inauthentic” as a mode of thinking that makes aboriginal cultural practices a part of the past, romantic and always vanishing. In the conclusion, she quotes an aboriginal British Columbia elder saying, “I think sometimes you get fooled into thinking the only way we can be a true Indian is to live how people did 100 years ago… Tradition evolves. It’s ongoing every day.”
Thank you, Dave Ellis, of WCRA who recommended this read.
I’m so inspired by what some people did with the book I made of 2011’s Friend Me series. It’s been turned into a type of yearbook- different people took different pages and played off the titles of the images to create a personal message to the person they gave it to. I got a little teary-eyed at this unexpected way that people interacted with the work. Love it!
I volunteer at Disjecta and the current show inspires. Often the simple things, like the way light refracts through a crack in the wall, move me the most. Curated by Josephine Zarkovich. Up through March.