anonymous asked:

Do you think that one needs to actively maintain claim to a culture in any way to have rights to "use" it? Eg, I'm 1/16 Cherokee, but I don't really feel like I have any legitimate claim, given my upbringing, and it'd be appropriation for me to use Cherokee culture in some ways, improvising off stories, changing key details, etc. What about a religion? In contrast, I think I could do anything within my own culture/relig without it being appropriation even if intentionally misrepresented b/c art.

Cherokee Culture, Rewritten Aspects

Hello,

Well let me tell you this. My grandfather (whom I never met) was half Native. I have had no part in his culture and i’m not sure how much he did either so no traditions were really passed down to my mother (that I know of) or to me. If these traditions were passed down, I would definitely feel comfortable partake in such culture. But since I don’t, I’d honestly feel very uncomfortable waltzing in and “using” the culture i’ve had no strong connection to before just because I now felt like it. I’d at least want to connect with a relative and be lead into the knowledge first.

I also don’t think in terms of entitlement of whether it’s a given right. It’s all about the people, and making sure one respects them and aren’t stomping over them or their culture which they do partake in actively.

Now, as for your story, no, I really do not think it’s right to take a culture and just switch up aspects, especially when you have no strong ties to it at all. That is definitely offensive. The same goes with religion as has been discussed here in the post “Muslim Genies & Rewriting a Religion.”

Do you actively identify as Cherokee? Would you really not mind if someone approached your culture, pulled it apart, and misrepresented it for the sake of story? Be mindful that readers generally will see your portrayals of a culture, partially one connected to PoC for face value, so I find it harmful to pick apart a marginalized people’s culture and change up “key details.”

I would like to hear from Native and Cherokee followers!

~Mod Colette

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Tales of the Mighty Code Talkers: We Speak In Secret

We Speak In Secret tales the story of Running Smoke and the Cherokee Code Talkers of World War One. The story blends past and present to weave a tale of the ingenuity and heroism of the Cherokee soldiers who learned that their greatest weapon was the ancient words given to them by Creator.

Written and illustrated by Roy Boney

“The first known use of Native Americans in the American military to transmit messages under fire was a group of Cherokee troops used by the American 30th Infantry Division serving alongside the British during the Second Battle of the Somme. According to the Division Signal Officer, this took place in September 1918. ”  (X)

Available at inccomics.com

Cherokee language faces extinction

There are less than 250 native Cherokee speakers left. Just a few years ago, that number was at 500. The decline is happening so fast, it would be easy for Cherokee linguists to despair, but they haven’t. They won’t. Instead, they have been working tirelessly to reclaim the Cherokee language. Language and culture are one…

Cherokee language faces extinction was originally published on CisternYard Media

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Tommy , Prey (2006)   //  Human Head Studios Videogame

Prey is a Sci-Fi FPS made by Human Head Studios, using id’s Doom 3 engine. The game features the traditional shooter banter, as well as some unique puzzles. To solve these puzzles, you need to walk on the ceiling, walls, and go through portals to complete.

The story focuses on Domasi Tawodi (also known as “Tommy”), a Cherokee garage mechanic and former United States Army soldier living on a Native American reservation in Oklahoma. At the beginning of the game, Tommy is in a bar owned by his girlfriend, Jen. After an unfortunate bar fight, the entire building is lifted up by a gravitational force into a green light above. Tommy, Jen, and Tommy’s grandfather, Enisi, are transported skyward to the massive alien starship called the Sphere.

Domasi (Tommy) Tawodi’s background was chosen due to the amount of mythology in Cherokee oral tradition. Tommy is voiced by Michael Greyeyes, and Jen is voiced by Crystle Lightning, who are both Plains Cree.

“I was impressed with the way [3D Realms] conceived of and wrote Tommy… Hollywood typically relegates our different indigenous cultures either into a single pan-Indian construct of some type — radical AIM protester type; slick, corporate, anglicized casino businessman type; etcetera — or, most commonly, as a historical figure, typically from a Plains culture. In fact, the overwhelming majority of roles written for native actors are in the Western genre. There are few opportunities for us to appear outside that paradigm, and when we do it is often equally narrow in focus… The writers [at 3D Realms] were always open to my comments — which I freely offered — and took my notes seriously, in nearly all instances changing dialogue or thematic content.” - Michael Greyeyes

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Evolution of the Cherokee syllabary  by Ray Boney Jr. 

“The Cherokee syllabary is a syllabary invented by Sequoyah to write the Cherokee language in the late 1810s and early 1820s. His creation of the syllabary is particularly noteworthy in that he could not previously read any script. 

He first experimented with logograms, but his system later developed into a syllabary. In his system, each symbol represents a syllable rather than a single phoneme; the 85 (originally 86) characters in the Cherokee syllabary provide a suitable method to write Cherokee. Some symbols do resemble Latin, Greek and even the Cyrillic scripts’ letters, but the sounds are completely different (for example, the sound /a/ is written with a letter that resembles Latin D).

Cherokee was added to the Unicode Standard in September, 1999 with the release of version 3.0.” (X)

Watch on ndnknowledgeispower.tumblr.com

THE NEXT PROJECT FROM THE WALKING DEAD’S EXEC PRODUCER IS CALLED “MANKILLER,” BUT IT’S NOT WHAT YOU THINK

Mankiller sounds like the kind of movie title you’d expect from the The Walking Dead’s executive producer—a filmmaker who, long before her post-apocalyptic smash hit, was already known as the “First Lady of Sci-Fi” for her writing and producing credits on Terminator and Aliens. But the arresting title of Gale Anne Hurd’s new documentary-in-progress is not a symbol of dystopia or even violence. Mankiller is the last name of a remarkable person—Wilma Mankiller, the first female Chief of the Cherokee Nation. But though Mankiller made tremendous social and economic strides for her people and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, today, only five years after her death, she risks being lost to history. Most people have never heard of her or know little about her accomplishments.

Hurd now hopes to cement Mankiller’s place as a 20th-century American heroine, though she’s taking an unlikely approach, especially for someone who has a record-breaking television show to her credit: she’s launched a Kickstarter. “Documentarians need to be able to tell the truth, without bias or pressure from corporate sponsors who might have a particular agenda,” says Hurd. “Kickstarter supporters want the real story to be told, not one that is manufactured.”

In addition to ensuring that the project maintains narrative autonomy, the Kickstarter campaign is also a way of publicizing the film before it’s even finished. Selling a documentary is always a struggle, even for the producer of The Walking Dead. “The documentary as a medium is one that very often misses out on mainstream attention,” says Hurd. “Even the documentary films nominated for Academy Awards are unknown to many people, so building up a community that cares about real stores, not just scripted ones, is so very important.”

The documentary has already received half of its funding from Vision Maker Media for PBS, but it does not have a distributor. Understandably, then, Hurd is drawing on The Walking Dead’s success to help fuel interest in the project. A number of Walking Dead actors appear in the doc’s promo video, including Scott Wilson (Hershel Greene), who has Native American heritage. Backers will receive a plethora of Walking Dead memorabilia from comic books to season box sets, signed by the show’s creators.

Hurd has long been interested in telling Native American stories. With director Valerie Red-Horse, she co-produced True Whispers and Choctaw Code Talkers, two films about Native Americans who were conscripted to help the U.S. military create coded messages during both world wars. “Native Americans, sadly, are perhaps the most overlooked and marginalized minority in America, and yet they were indeed the original Americans,” says Hurd. In the U.S., we tend to view the country’s indigenous peoples with fascination and discomfort. We glorify them in films like Dances With Wolves and Windtalkers. But as Hurd points out, “how many of those films have been about Native American women—and not just Native American women who helped white settlers or explorers to survive? Far too few.”

The Mankiller campaign runs for 30 days, starting March 9. The documentary will be co-produced by Gale Anne Hurd via Valhalla Entertainment, and Valerie Red-Horse, a director of Cherokee ancestry and founder of Red-Horse Native Productions, Inc.

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Here are some pictures of my finished tattoo and blushing work on my friend’s Iplehouse EID Lawrence :)!  (And old tattoo/blushing work I did on my Stella last year.)

It was the first time the both of us have taken outside pictures, like on grass, with our dolls in these pictures. Stacia, my friend, was kind enough to provide some shade for me while I took the pictures. And yes, she did flare her jacket out. ;)