- Mar 2022
The sky is a textbook. The sky is a lawbook. The sky is a science book. —Duane Hamacher, (1:24)
Hamacher uses the Western description "method of loci" rather than an Indigenous word or translated word.
The words "myth", "legend", "magic", "ritual", and "religion" in both colloquial English and even anthropology are highly loaded terms.
Words like "narrative" and "story" are better used instead for describing portions of the Indigenous cultures which we have long ignored and written off for their seeming simplicity.
- Dec 2021
Note the proximity to New Echota, the capital of the Cherokee nation.
- Nov 2021
Our elders say that ceremonies are the way we “remember to remember,”
The Western word "ceremony" is certainly not the best word for describing these traditions. It has too much baggage and hidden meaning with religious overtones. It's a close-enough word to convey some meaning to those who don't have the cultural background to understand the underlying orality and memory culture. It is one of those words that gets "lost in translation" because of the dramatic differences in culture and contextual collapse.
Most Western-based anthropology presumes a Western idea of "religion" and impinges it upon oral cultures. I would maintain that what we would call their "religion" is really an oral-based mnemonic tradition that creates the power of their culture through knowledge. The West mistakes this for superstitious religious practices, but primarily because we can't see (or have never been shown) the larger structures behind what is going on. Our hubris and lack of respect (the evils of the scala naturae) has prevented us from listening and gaining entrance to this knowledge.
I think that the archaeological ideas of cultish practices or ritual and religion are all more likely better viewed as oral practices of mnemonic tradition. To see this more easily compare the Western idea of the memory palace with the Australian indigenous idea of songline.
- lost in translation
- cultish practices
- indigenous "religion"
- evils of the scala naturae
- remember to remember
- ritual and religion
- context collapse
- Jun 2021
Boadle, A. (2021, February 12). Indigenous leaders warn of missionaries turning Amazon villages against vaccines. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-brazil-amazon-idUKKBN2AB2JR
- Nov 2019
when approaching indigenous artifacts from the lense of “how was this actually practical, how did it help them survive?” you can come up with a lot more compelling (and interesting) answers than assuming it’s all kooky religious nonsense!
indigenous peoples, religion,