I asked seven anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians if they would rather have been a typical Indian or a typical European in 1491. None was delighted by the question, because it required judging the past by the standards of today—a fallacy disparaged as “presentism” by social scientists. But every one chose to be an Indian. Some early colonists gave the same answer. Horrifying the leaders of Jamestown and Plymouth, scores of English ran off to live with the Indians. My ancestor shared their desire, which is what led to the trumped-up murder charges against him—or that’s what my grandfather told me, anyway.

As for the Indians, evidence suggests that they often viewed Europeans with disdain. The Hurons, a chagrined missionary reported, thought the French possessed “little intelligence in comparison to themselves.” Europeans, Indians said, were physically weak, sexually untrustworthy, atrociously ugly, and just plain dirty. (Spaniards, who seldom if ever bathed, were amazed by the Aztec desire for personal cleanliness.) A Jesuit reported that the “Savages” were disgusted by handkerchiefs: “They say, we place what is unclean in a fine white piece of linen, and put it away in our pockets as something very precious, while they throw it upon the ground.” The Micmac scoffed at the notion of French superiority. If Christian civilization was so wonderful, why were its inhabitants leaving?

Like people everywhere, Indians survived by cleverly exploiting their environment. Europeans tended to manage land by breaking it into fragments for farmers and herders. Indians often worked on such a grand scale that the scope of their ambition can be hard to grasp. They created small plots, as Europeans did (about 1.5 million acres of terraces still exist in the Peruvian Andes), but they also reshaped entire landscapes to suit their purposes. A principal tool was fire, used to keep down underbrush and create the open, grassy conditions favorable for game. Rather than domesticating animals for meat, Indians retooled whole ecosystems to grow bumper crops of elk, deer, and bison. The first white settlers in Ohio found forests as open as English parks—they could drive carriages through the woods. Along the Hudson River the annual fall burning lit up the banks for miles on end; so flashy was the show that the Dutch in New Amsterdam boated upriver to goggle at the blaze like children at fireworks. In North America, Indian torches had their biggest impact on the Midwestern prairie, much or most of which was created and maintained by fire. Millennia of exuberant burning shaped the plains into vast buffalo farms. When Indian societies disintegrated, forest invaded savannah in Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas, Nebraska, and the Texas Hill Country. Is it possible that the Indians changed the Americas more than the invading Europeans did? “The answer is probably yes for most regions for the next 250 years or so” after Columbus, William Denevan wrote, “and for some regions right up to the present time.”

Quoted from the essay "1941" written by Charles C. Mann, about the major impact that Native Americans had on the Americas (ecologically and culturally) before white people invaded, bringing their diseases and shoving Christianity down the Indians’ throats and murdering them and banning their cultures.

Check out the whole piece (which is rather long). (P.S thanks to @cazalis for sending me this great link)

another excerpt:

Human history, in Crosby’s interpretation, is marked by two world-altering centers of invention: the Middle East and central Mexico, where Indian groups independently created nearly all of the Neolithic innovations, writing included. The Neolithic Revolution began in the Middle East about 10,000 years ago. In the next few millennia humankind invented the wheel, the metal tool, and agriculture. The Sumerians eventually put these inventions together, added writing, and became the world’s first civilization. Afterward Sumeria’s heirs in Europe and Asia frantically copied one another’s happiest discoveries; innovations ricocheted from one corner of Eurasia to another, stimulating technological progress. Native Americans, who had crossed to Alaska before Sumeria, missed out on the bounty. “They had to do everything on their own,” Crosby says. Remarkably, they succeeded.

When Columbus appeared in the Caribbean, the descendants of the world’s two Neolithic civilizations collided, with overwhelming consequences for both. American Neolithic development occurred later than that of the Middle East, possibly because the Indians needed more time to build up the requisite population density. Without beasts of burden they could not capitalize on the wheel (for individual workers on uneven terrain skids are nearly as effective as carts for hauling), and they never developed steel. But in agriculture they handily outstripped the children of Sumeria. Every tomato in Italy, every potato in Ireland, and every hot pepper in Thailand came from this hemisphere. Worldwide, more than half the crops grown today were initially developed in the Americas.

Maize, as corn is called in the rest of the world, was a triumph with global implications. Indians developed an extraordinary number of maize varieties for different growing conditions, which meant that the crop could and did spread throughout the planet. Central and Southern Europeans became particularly dependent on it; maize was the staple of Serbia, Romania, and Moldavia by the nineteenth century. Indian crops dramatically reduced hunger, Crosby says, which led to an Old World population boom.

Along with peanuts and manioc, maize came to Africa and transformed agriculture there, too. “The probability is that the population of Africa was greatly increased because of maize and other American Indian crops,” Crosby says. “Those extra people helped make the slave trade possible.” Maize conquered Africa at the time when introduced diseases were leveling Indian societies. The Spanish, the Portuguese, and the British were alarmed by the death rate among Indians, because they wanted to exploit them as workers. Faced with a labor shortage, the Europeans turned their eyes to Africa. The continent’s quarrelsome societies helped slave traders to siphon off millions of people. The maize-fed population boom, Crosby believes, let the awful trade continue without pumping the well dry.

Back home in the Americas, Indian agriculture long sustained some of the world’s largest cities. The Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán dazzled Hernán Cortés in 1519; it was bigger than Paris, Europe’s greatest metropolis. The Spaniards gawped like hayseeds at the wide streets, ornately carved buildings, and markets bright with goods from hundreds of miles away. They had never before seen a city with botanical gardens, for the excellent reason that none existed in Europe. The same novelty attended the force of a thousand men that kept the crowded streets immaculate. (Streets that weren’t ankle-deep in sewage! The conquistadors had never heard of such a thing.) Central America was not the only locus of prosperity. Thousands of miles north, John Smith, of Pocahontas fame, visited Massachusetts in 1614, before it was emptied by disease, and declared that the land was “so planted with Gardens and Corne fields, and so well inhabited with a goodly, strong and well proportioned people … [that] I would rather live here than any where.”

and another excerpt:

In as yet unpublished research the archaeologists Eduardo Neves, of the University of São Paulo; Michael Heckenberger, of the University of Florida; and their colleagues examined terra preta in the upper Xingu, a huge southern tributary of the Amazon. Not all Xingu cultures left behind this living earth, they discovered. But the ones that did generated it rapidly—suggesting to Woods that terra preta was created deliberately. In a process reminiscent of dropping microorganism-rich starter into plain dough to create sourdough bread, Amazonian peoples, he believes, inoculated bad soil with a transforming bacterial charge. Not every group of Indians there did this, but quite a few did, and over an extended period of time.

When Woods told me this, I was so amazed that I almost dropped the phone. I ceased to be articulate for a moment and said things like “wow” and “gosh.” Woods chuckled at my reaction, probably because he understood what was passing through my mind. Faced with an ecological problem, I was thinking, the Indians fixed it. They were in the process of terraforming the Amazon when Columbus showed up and ruined everything.

(via badass-bharat-deafmuslim-artista)

This barely even touches on some of the differences in agriculture and forestry practices. Where I’m from, if you don’t have people managing the undergrowth with controlled burns, etc., you basically get temperate jungle. Combine that with widespread settler deforestation in the past for timber so it’s mostly secondary growth forest, and you’ve got a difficult to use mess, lower biodiversity because some things just get choked out and other things need periodic burning to germinate, and a lot of forest fires whenever it gets dry wherever people have not been able to continue traditional forest management.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appalachian_mixed_mesophytic_forests

I was also surprised at the big deal made out of the tierra prieta “discovery”, though I probably should not have been. There are still a lot of common assumptions going that indigenous people must have been just plain stupid because they were not doing things in exactly the same ways as invading Europeans—and were obviously so inferior in general. But, people also used similar practices elsewhere to enrich soil. Where I’m from, some people still haul rich cove humus (along with ashes) to improve garden soil. I have helped my Nana with that.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cove_(Appalachian_Mountains)

In that case, you get particularly rich soil from sometimes meters-deep layers of leaf mold collecting over the years/centuries, no doubt with its own distinctive microorganism communities. It doesn’t just add more organic material to areas of clay soil, but AFAICT acts very similarly to the tierra prieta. And I am sure that’s not the only area in North America where people figured out some similar ways of enriching soil. (Besides using river bottoms full of rich silt and built-in irrigation for growing staple crops, for incredible yields. And so forth.)

Because they were not stupid.

(via meridok)

realniggaannouncements:

I had a dream last night that Jesus finally resurrected and when white people found out he wasn’t white they arrested him for 2000 something years of tax evasion  

(via atlashuggedd)

mostlycatsmostly:

(by MrBorisKitty)

haveahiddles:

musewhipped:

0hfaithful:

LOOK AT THIS BEAUTIFUL LITTLE THING OH MY GOD

Pretty sure that cat is using its magical powers to turn the plants around itself orange for camouflage. Yup, that’s it.

They say Aslan is on the move.

(via merry-go-roundoflife)

piggyazalea:

White, stomping with misandry in your litas and Tina Fey gifs while simultaneously ignoring women of color and their feelings but having plenty of time to talk about winged eyeliner and discussing which white basic actor is your new “bae”, feminists keep messaging me saying I’m sexist for the piggy part of my url and I laughed and scrolled but then scrolled back cause I remembered I had a lil somethin somethin that might be relevant.

The title of this blog refers to these tweets that were the cause of me unfollowing her (how did you think I found all these in the first place, duh). If this isn’t acting like a misogynistic pig I don’t know what is. Let’s be real, azaleans (is that a type of enemy alien race?) do anything to excuse her behavior cause she’s a white woman doing black music with a body and mannerisms typically associated with black women. She’s pear shaped with a “fat” ass. Black girls with literally the same measurements are called ghetto and shamed for their curves. She raps like a non archival photo copied T.I., southern twang and all, but since she’s actually Australian and white her stans are okay with it cause once the mic drops she has an ~exotic accent~ and ~cute voice.~ Her use of misogynistic slurs to put down other women and build up herself are in your twitter bio cause it’s so swaggy hunty gurl spill that fancy tea!!! But when Beyonce, Lil Kim, Nicki Minaj, Trina, or any black female artist (who im not saying are without flaws) talks about “slaying hos” and how bitches should bow down, it’s suddenly a problem that requires full length articles in actual publications and countless tumblr posts. Like Miley Cyrus, she’s used black women as props and until recently had exclusively black dancers who twerked the fuck out on a hand stand, doin that thang while she stood there and occasionally gave a D- booty shake that the crowd still went off for more than the actual pros popping their pussies off the damn ceiling and filling me with the holy spirit. Do us all a favor and accept you’re excusing her being a careless racist because of her appearance. You can still wanna lick her pussy, bop to her white girl anthems or have your body tied to a carriage and dragged by Brad Pitt like Eric Bana in Troy just to reach that ass. But be real and quit denying that what she’s said is okay by anything but Donald Sterling’s standards. As Paul Mooney once said, “Everybody wants to be a nigga, but nobody wants to be a nigga." She’s a low quality xerox of black female rappers and white America couldn’t wait so they didn’t have to bop to actual hip hop anymore from the people who created it.

And for the 956 messages calling me a hater, a hater is someone who reads with no resume and critiques with no credentials. I have more degrees than a thermometer. I don’t know what bullet-less gun y’all were holding when you thought you had a shot at rationalizing these “jokes” when they’re not hot, not even lukewarm. Now run and tell that.

and have a lovely evening! xxx

 

*feel free to reblog this without the text, i don’t want my opinion to dominate the conversation regardless of whether I feel I’m right (I am 💅) or not.  

I really have not kept up with what Iggy Azalea has been doing. But, the more I see, the less I want to. And I already was not that interested. :/

(via lisaquestions)

#ugh  #just ugh  

It was totally coincidental that I ended up marrying someone who is, if anything, bendier than I am. (Also with some skin involvement, etc. AFAICT he would fit EDS criteria too.)

Though it is very nice sometimes to live with somebody who totally understands things like, “I slept on that damned shoulder funny again. It’s takeout night.” Instead of acting like you must be malingering or something, when this turns into a frequent kind of thing. Or if you “improbably” have multiple things acting up at the same time. No, I just get tips for specific exercises to help stabilize it once it calms down again. *wry smile*

Maybe not completely coincidental, though, since this is kinda more anecdotal evidence for a correlation between being troublesome-bendy and being on the spectrum. Didn’t know either one of us might be when we got together, but yeah. Living with someone who gets things like sensory overload too, and doesn’t act shitty about it? Maybe even better.

And I am reminded again that I really ought to look for another memory foam mattress pad. We have one, but it’s probably 5 years old now and they do squash down with use.

Mr. C has probably at least 80 lbs. on me now, and he is sleeping in a Mr. C-shaped depression. It apparently doesn’t bother him, but yeah. He wasn’t the one who needed the mattress pad. It’s not as obvious on my side of the bed, but it’s still kind of flattened.

So now I am also wondering if that might be helping aggravate the hypermobility-related pain flare he’s been having, too. Hmm. It’s definitely not been helping my bendy sleeping problems, either, so no clue why that hadn’t occurred to me before. :-|

I may not have the same super-pressing (ha! unintentional) need now since the celiac osteomalacia rib and hip pain with any pressure has pretty much gone away, thank goodness. But it’s still helpful with other musculoskeletal stuff.

And I have basically been overly cheap by habit, putting low priority on self care stuff again. Even if I hadn’t found a good deal on high quality foam from a manufacturer before, we could afford a new mattress pad. I still react like maybe £300-350 now is prohibitive, though, from plenty of past experience. :/ Yeah, we have a big bed and it’s more expensive to buy a mattress pad. We can still afford one.

Though I am still frugal enough by habit that I am totally planning to cut out the middle part that’s not crushed down like that, and turn it into cushions for the animals who all love the memory foam. ;) I’d been thinking of buying Max a memory foam dog bed anyway, hoping it would be more comfortable on his arthritic hip. He spends enough time sacked out in our bed that it seemed less urgent, though. We’re a great bunch around here for the musculoskeletal stuff lately. *wry smile*

youneedacat:

mrsnobodyjustawifejustamum:

The many stages of…….#invisibleillness #chronicpain when trying to sleep - now if you believe #itsreal xx (at Simply Living xx - Centre For Lifestyle. & Wellness)

This is sort of me right now.  I slept for awhile (by my standards — about 3 hours) but I woke up in nasty pain, and here I am.  Except I can’t even get into most of those positions because I’m not allowed to lie flat, ever, because it’s an aspiration risk.  So my tossing and turning ability is quite limited because I sleep (and do everything else) sitting with my back up.

That sounds like it would make things even more awkward and uncomfortable. My tossing and turning positions aren’t nearly as limited, though I can’t really lie on my back with the damned persistent sacral fracture. Sometimes I will wake up that way anyway, and it’s not good. (To the point that it will wake me up.) Also a lot more prone to asthma attacks on my back. When that’s really acting up from a cold or flu are the only times I have needed to sleep propped mostly sitting up, and that’s never been good for restful sleep especially with painful subluxating ribs from the hellacious coughing. It’s hard to ease pressure on whatever is hurting, IME. Maybe you would get a little more used to that kind of position over time. I hope so.

mrsnobodyjustawifejustamum:

The many stages of…….#invisibleillness #chronicpain when trying to sleep - now if you believe #itsreal xx (at Simply Living xx - Centre For Lifestyle. & Wellness)

(via positivity-in-pain)

White privilege

sikssaapo-p:

afro-dominicano:

ethiopianbutamerican:

Forty-six million white adults today can trace the origins of their family wealth to the Homestead Act of 1862. This bill gave away valuable acres of land for free to white families, but expressly precluded participation by Blacks.

"how do I have privilege?"

" The Homestead Act also brought settlers into conflict with indigenous Americans, displacing them, and accelerating the decline in their population.

Related acts in other countries[edit]

Canada passed a similar act, with some modifications, in the form of the Dominion Lands Act. Similar in intent, the British Crown Lands Acts were extended to several of the Empire’s territories, and many are still in effect, to some extent, today. For instance, the Australian selection acts were passed in the various Australian colonies following the first, in 1861, in New South Wales.” (Wiki)

Curious thing, when your Native how your history is …involved.