Blog Posts - Tribes



A Divided View

White society saw Native American dancing in two ways: immoral and/or depraved, or as perfectly acceptable cultural expression (see last two posts). Native Americans often pointed out that their dances were not as immoral as white dancing, which incl...

Why All the Concern?

The controversy over Native American dancing did not arise all at once, of course (see last post). European settlers were often surprised at the energy and freedom inherent in many ceremonial dances, but unfortunately attributed much of it to the ...

Fear of Dancing

Though the federal government wanted to suppress anything that kept Native Americans from assimilating into white culture, dancing seemed to be of special concern. Dances were central to many traditional rituals and ceremonies, and therefore, suspect...

Fourth of July

The Indian Bureau was never culturally sensitive, especially when it came to Native American celebrations. It actively discouraged or forbade ceremonial dances, feasts, and other gatherings, fearing that they might unite tribes or keep them from assi...

Another Canton Patient History

Some of the only Canton Asylum for Insane Indians’ patient histories available come from assessments St. Elizabeths staff made when patients were transferred in 1933 (see last two posts). Here is one more sample patient history: Meda Ensign (Tr...

Canton’s Patients

Few patient records from the Canton Asylum for Insane Indians are intact or complete. This is not unusual–many asylums destroyed their records over the years, since early administrators did not see any potentially historical value in them. The...

Patient Histories

An important innovation in the treatment of the insane was to obtain a history of patients’ past life and behavior. This allowed doctors to see how much the patient was deviating from previous behavior that was “normal” for that per...

Berlin there, done that..

Hello lovely people!! As you may have noticed  from my previous post (and several of my instagram posts/tweets) I was in Berlin Germany last week. Now it’s no secret that I love Berlin as I’ve been there several times in the past but eve...
by RedD Forum on May 26, 2014

Tribal Instinct: Michael Geszel talks about Tribes: The Dog Years

Trevor Hogg chats with Michael Geszel about his tribal vision of the future… “My parents always loved art and movies, and read a lot,” remarks Michael Geszel who was very young when he became aware of comic books; a fan of We3, Transmetrop...
by Flickering Myth Movie Blog on May 25, 2014

Tribal Instinct: Michael Geszel talks about Tribes

Trevor Hogg chats with Michael Geszel about his tribal vision of the future… “My parents always loved art and movies, and read a lot,” remarks Michael Geszel who was very young when he became aware of comic books; a fan of We3, Transmetrop...
by Flickering Myth Movie Blog on May 25, 2014

Make it Pretty

Occupational therapy was an important part of patient care in nearly all asylums. Patients were encouraged to do skilled work that got their minds off their problems/issues and produced a tangible object in which they could take pride. Genteel ladies...

Precedent for Asylum Care

In its treaties, the federal government routinely promised many material goods to Native Americans, as well as less tangible goods such as health care and education. Much of the government’s early health care consisted more of record-keeping th...

Appropriate Care

Though some patients may have considered their stay at an asylum as a period of respite from the cares of the world, most patients just wanted out. Some understood that they needed help and could agree with the commitment decision, but even these pat...

No Discounts on Ration Day

Annuity payments could be a time of festivity (see last post) even though merchants and alcohol traders were often on hand with bad deals for Native Americans with spending money. Ration disbursements, though also eagerly anticipated, could be an opp...

Payments on Reservations

Treaties between the U.S. government and Native Americans almost always stipulated annual payments of money and/or goods to tribes which had signed the treaties. On most reservations, one day was set aside for these annuity payments, and that specifi...

Reservation Food

Native Americans ate what was on hand in the regions where they lived. (See last post.) Once they were forced onto reservations, their freedom to secure food was severely reined in. The government began to issue rations, partly in recognition that mu...

Entering Dogon Land (Mali)

Memories of a trip to Mali in April 2009 The night had been a cold one, the dewdrops on our tent made me think of all the plants that were […]...
by Pinch of Adventure on Apr 21, 2014

Changes in Native American Diet

Traditional Native American diets depended upon the foods available regionally, with some tribes depending primarily on hunting and others on agriculture. Most foods were minimally processed and fresh, though dried foods certainly played a part in wi...

More Food Changes

As Native Americans were forced onto reservations, they were also forced to abandon their healthy diets of fresh meat and produce in favor of canned goods and poor-quality staples. Their experience has ultimately been echoed throughout the country as...

Spring Planting

Native American tribes pursued different lifestyles depending on where they lived. Though most did not farm in the European sense of having large, established plots owned by one owner/family group, farming was a well-developed practice in many areas.


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