a-noble-savage

What do Natives Want to See Ourselves In?

@impassiverevelation asked:

I really liked that post about what kind of stories different people want to see themselves in. But I was wondering what kind of stories Native Americans want to see of themselves?

Short answer: Everything.

Long answer!

Something that isn’t built on the backs of Noble Savage or Magical Native American. I would love to see more stories where there’s everything about the culture pulled, and it genuinely feels like a specific nation, especially in fantasy.

Like, I get it’s easy to cast us as nature protectors. In a sense, it’s necessary, because “stewardship of the land” is part of being Native. But I get really tired of picking up a story that’s Native coded and all I see is “the land is in danger and these special magic users are the ones to save it.”

All magic ends up being either soul-healing or nature based, and can we have something that doesn’t feel like shamanism or just those tropes? Can’t we have a different conflict? Something maybe based on our own legends?

Also, less racism narratives would be very nice. Very very very nice. They’re important, but it gets exhausting to only read struggle narratives.

I’m a fantasy individual. I love high fantasy. But I’d love to see more Natives everywhere— pre-contact narratives that don’t include a single white person; romances that aren’t “strong man loves you” or overly sexualized; urban Natives reconciling all they left behind and all they can build again; horror novels on our terms, where the monster isn’t just a cannibal wendigo; sci fi where we’re in space (maybe making sure none of our activities invade other planets like white people invaded ours).

But, really, everything Native coded I read falls under the camp of either:

  • Horror monster (see: nearly every use of the wendigo by white people in the past century…)
  • Special magic users who are just more in tune with nature/souls

  • Something about racism/colonialism

I’d really like more.

If you want to see what other mods want, check out the Writing with Colour Wishlist.

~Mod Lesya

ok i finally got around to making a list of everyone’s instagrams

alex ernst- ernst
amanda swearingen - amandaswears
andrew siwicki - andrewsiwicki
bruce wiegner - brucewiegner
carly and erin - carlyanderin
carly incontro - carlyincontro
charles fowler -_noble_savage
christine sydelko - csydelko
corinna kopf - corinnakopf
david dobrik - daviddobrik
durte dom - durtedom
elijah daniel - elijahdanielistrash
elton castee - eltoncastee
erin gilfoy - eringilfoy
gabbie hanna - thegabbieshow
heath hussar - heathhussar
jason nash - jasonnash
josh peck - shuapeck
kristen mcatee - kristenmcatee
liza koshy - lizakoshy and lizzzak
matt king - mattrking
scotty sire - vanilladingdong
tj petracca - tronstamos
toddy smithy - todderic_
tom harlock - tom_harlock
zane hijazi - zane

I’m constantly fascinated by the ways in which the image of the “Plains Indian” has been brought into Orisha religions and reworked into sacred iconography. Ochosi, or Oxossi, is a hunter symbolized by a bow and arrow who lives in the wild and would fit a lot of “noble savage” stereotypes people in the Americas have about Indigenous peoples. Ochosi is not only a wild warrior, he is also noble in that he is a royal Orisha. As a result, his images both in Cuba and Brazil have been synthesized with the popular 19th Century image of the “Plains Indian” propagated most prolifically by the photography of Edward Curtis.

In Cuba, the “Indio,” a cultural memory of the Arawak, Guanajatabey, and Ciboney peoples whom the colonizers had committed almost total genocide against right before the beginning of the trans-Atlantic slave trade, became not only identified with Ochosi but also with a “commission” of spirit guides in espiritismo. These spirits are frequently represented on bóvedas (espiritismo altars) with American or American-influenced wood carvings and plaster statues of Plains Indians and the frequent use of tobacco.

In Brazil, some Indigenous nations had similar feathered headdresses to those worn by the iconic images of Plains Indians. A similar process of identification with both Oxossi and with a group of spirit guides in espiritismo occurred - but on an even greater level. Here they formed a new class of spirits entirely, the Caboclo, who have their own Candomblé-like rituals. As in Cuba, tobacco became a staple of Afro-Diasporic religions in Brazil.

I’ve spent the past three years in University studying Indigenous art and culture in Canada, and my gut-reaction from that perspective is that the images border on or go directly into the realm of appropriation. On the other hand, I’ve been an Olorisha and espiritista for six years now, and from that perspective it all makes sense - I’ve even ‘seen’ Indio spirits ‘on’ people myself in misas (espiritismo séances). I guess while much has been made of the supposed syncretism between the Yoruba diaspora and Catholicism, little has been discussed of the syncretism between the Yoruba and the (memories of, in the case of Cuba) Indigenous peoples of the New World. Anyway, just a few thoughts.

Avatar ramblings

Re-watching Avatar (the blue people one) and…objectively, it’s just. UGH. The writing is clunky and cliche, and it’s not at all an original take on the whole “foreigners conquer indigenous peoples” theme. It leans heavily towards the “noble savage” trope, and it’s presented in such a way that it’s impossible to divorce it from happenings on Earth. 

And then there’s the whole “scientist vs. jock” which, after being in a biology program, has lost its charm since I was 14. The scientists are painted like nerds, the marines painted like brainless idiots without hearts, with the exception of Jake. Fortunately, real life is not so conveniently black and white, and human beings are much more complex. 

BUT

There’s a very central theme of awe that makes it watchable for me. And the drop-dead stunning animation. You can totally see just how it feels to be a part of the world and the movie, and to be experiencing all that beauty for the first time. 

Which brings me to the other thing I never understood about the movie and the hype surrounding it when it came out. There was this thing people reported having called the “Pandora Blues” - basically, a sense of sadness that you couldn’t actually go to Pandora, which is wild to me, because…well, it’s all around us too. Sure, we’ve muted the Earth with concrete and clear-cuts, but that sense of feeling, that awe-inspiring beauty, is present in every cloud, tree, and blade of grass. We don’t need a Pandora, we’ve got a Gaia. 

“When you find yourself in the thick of it, 
Help yourself to a bit of what is all around you
Silly girl”

tl;dr: Avatar was good, but had unhelpful stereotypes and rather flat characters, but it was pretty. Also, go hug a tree once in a while. 

anonymous asked:

What's Charles Snapchat and twitter?

his snapchat is thenobletarzan and insta is _noble_savage . i don’t know what his twitter his