Jun 012016
 

For the ancestors, Tihuluhiyi [June], the Green Corn Moon, signals the emergence of plants in the fields and the first sign of “corn in tassel”.  With the beginning of summer, it was a time to repair the Council House and build or repair new homes.  Note: The Green Corn Moon should not be confused with the Green Corn Ceremony that happens in August (Galoni: The Fruit Moon).

Art logo

Native American Antiquity is honored to have one of its videos featured on the fantastic “Rock Art Blog”, by Peter Faris, [CLICK HERE to view his collection of Rock Art Virtual Tours and Videos.  Look for “Shavano Valley Tunnel Cave” Featuring Carol Patterson and Clifford Duncan (a Ute Elder).   The Tunnel Cave video is part of a series of videos featured on Native American Antiquity, entitled Shavano Valley Petroglyphs, where Carol Patterson explains the meanings behind the petroglyphs in Shavano Valley, near Montrose, Colorado. 

The Ute tribe migrated throughout the mountains and valleys around Shavano Valley.  They pecked their stories of the origins of man into the patina of the stone cliffs.  They even chiseled maps depicting where to find game, the rivers and where to camp.   It is a fascinating look into the prehistoric life of the Ute.  [CLICK HERE to read the 5-part series]

Archaeology LogoWhile reviewing the Rock Art Blog of Peter Faris, I noticed a very interesting article on Petroglyphs at Mesa Verde.  The article is titled: Geology in Rock Art – A Volcano at Petroglyph Point, Mesa Verde? – Not by a Long Shot.

Peter Faris presents a convincing argument that an interpretation of a petroglyph by William Eaton in 1999, may be wrong. 

The above panel is from Eaton’s “Petroglyph Point Panel, Fig. 12.5.1, p. 171” and he describes “u.” as “The subject petroglyph included a subpanel of five volcanic cones with one in the process of eruption.”

Peter Faris argues that although there was a volcanic “flow” in the area, it was not an eruption and was not from a large peak.  Faris explains that the drawing by Eaton omits details that tell a very different story.  [CLICK HERE for the full story]

Medicine Wheel Summer Solstice Sunrise

Summer solstice sunrise at Bighorn Medicine Wheel, Wyoming. [Living the Sky, Ray A. Williamson]

Astronomy LogoMonday, June 20th, 2016, is the day of the  summer solstice–the beginning of summer!  It is that time when the sun stops its journey north, hesitates for several days, and then starts its journey southward.  It is an event that all cultures observed and noted.   It was so important that the various tribes of the ancient Americas were inspired to construct incredibly creative methods for predicting and determining the event.

Even the nomadic tribes were motivated to construct rare permanent structures like the Big Horn Medicine Wheel  in northern Wyoming.  The structure is made out of stones placed like a wheel with spokes.  Some of the spokes are extended beyond the “wheel” and terminate in a cairn.  One of these aligns with the sun rising on the solstice [see picture to the right].   Here are some memorable articles from Native American Antiquity on the subject:

Great Sites: Medicine Wheel–What Does it Mean?

Native American Skies: Winter Solstice

Great Sites: Cahokia: New Findings

History LogoOn June 25, 1865, two months after Robert E. Lee surrendered at Appomattox, Stand Watie, Cherokee, became the last Confederate General to stand down.  It was the end of a turbulent career for Stand Watie.  He was a man of principal but for most of his life, he found himself in opposition to the majority of his fellow Cherokees.   He was born into the prominent Uwatie family.  His brother Elias Boudinot was the first editor of the Cherokee Phoenix newspaper (before relocation).   Stand Watie, also wrote articles for the Cherokee Phoenix and, after Elias was fired from the paper, joined his brother and others who believed that relocation was inevitable and that the Cherokee should secure their rights by treaty before relocation.  Even though Boudinot and Stand Watie held no representative power in the Cherokee Nation, they and some of their cohorts signed the “Treaty of New Echota” in 1835.

Stand Watie

Stand Watie

After relocation, the “Treaty Party” was tried for giving up tribal lands, which was a “blood” or capital offense under Cherokee law. Stand Watie, his brother Elias Boudinot, their uncle Major Ridge and cousin John Ridge, along with several other Treaty Party men, were all sentenced to death on June 22, 1839.  All were executed except Stand Watie who managed to escape.

Three years later, Watie located one of the  executioners and murdered him.   He was tried in Arkansas for the murder and  was acquitted on the grounds of self-defense.  His nephew Elias Cornelius Boudinot, who had become a lawyer, defended him.

Watie, a slave holder, developed a successful plantation in Indian Territory and served on the Cherokee Council from 1845 to 1861, and served as Speaker from 1857 to 1859.   He even rose to replace John Ross as principal chief in 1862.  But he found himself once again in the minority when he sided with the Confederacy in the Civil War..  After Cherokee support for the Confederacy sharply declined, Watie continued to lead the remnant of his cavalry and was promoted to Brigadier General on May 10, 1864.

After the war, he retired and spent the rest of his life managing his plantation. 

For more on the story of the Cherokee struggle during the relocation years:

Preserving the Culture: Elias Boudinot

Preserving the Culture: Andrew Jackson

 

Culture Logoand …   Great Sites, Part 2: Tahlequah

 

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