historical region

anonymous asked:

I've been trying to write the plot for characters I've developed for months and I can never come up with a good enough conflict. I can develop characters for days but once it comes to writing conflict I'm at a complete loss. Nothing ever seems good enough or interesting enough. The story is supposed to have a dark undertone and takes place near the sea in the 20's. I'm at a loss after that...

Characters Without Conflict

Before we talk about conflicts, make sure that you’re judging what’s good enough and interest enough on the right scale. Your scale. You might be afraid that no one will like it because it’s been done, or because no one is reading stuff like this, or because it doesn’t feel like enough action. But whether or not something is good enough starts with you

The first thing you need to do is gain some confidence. Take a look @maxkirin‘s story idea test. Once you accept the truth of this post, you’ll feel a lot better. But now, onto adding conflict when all you’ve got is characters.

1) Character Drama

Examine the relationships between your characters and find things for them to fight about. The way they’re each living their lives, or a crucial decision that needs to be made, an unforgivable act that one of them committed, a secret that was kept. Find sources of drama between the two of them. It may be that whatever you come up with is enough to drive an entire story. 

2) The Dead Body Trick

This is going to sound cliche, but the dead body trick works well. Have your characters stumble onto a body or witness something being murdered. Then imagine the possibilities of what comes after. Do they become suspects in the murder when they discover the body? Are they threatened by the murderer when their presence is discovered? Are they more tied to the murder than it seems on the surface? 

The dead body trick need not apply only to strangers either. Have one of your characters going through a recent loss of someone, and write how the person died to help inspire you to tell the story. 

You can also apply this trick to one of your existing characters. Choose someone from your cast and say “This person is going to die at the end of the story.” Now you work backwards to determine why and how that’s going to happen. You’re forced to develop a conflict that results in this outcome. 

3) Use Your Setting

In the case of this anon, setting can help you develop conflict. If the story takes place in a specific time period and location, there will likely be historical and regional events that can create conflict surrounding your characters. If we’re talking the 1920s in America, you’ve got prohibition that immediately creates conflict as people choose sides. If the story takes place near waterways, you’ve got potential issues of storms, tourism, merchant and commercial importing/exporting, fishermen trade and their agreements with local restaurants and seafood shops. Look at the issues facing the people in your time period/setting and see how your characters fit into those issues. What roles do they play? What problems will they face in these roles?

4) Start With Just One Problem

Don’t try to overwhelm yourself by thinking of a half a dozen plot arcs to keep the story moving. Start with just one, and follow it through to conclusion. When you’ve identified one problem, keep asking yourself A) How can it get worse and B) What will my character do about it? Both of these questions will help you move to the next part of the story. When you have a complete narrative arc surrounding one problem, it’ll be easier to think about things like subplots and how to add complexity to the story overall. 

These are just some ideas to get you going. Keep brainstorming and thinking. Be patient with yourself through this process. It can take months before you find that magical “Aha!” revelation where everything in your story just falls into place. 



Traditional costumes of Sorbs (also known as Wends, Lusatians, Lusatian Sorbs or Lusatian Serbs) - Western Slavic minority in the territory of Germany. They live predominantly in the historical region of Lusatia - in the modern states of Brandenburg and Saxony. They speak Sorbian languages (Wendish, Lusatian) - closely related to Polish and Czech, divided into two main groups: Upper Sorbian and Lower Sorbian. Collection of archival photographs from vintage postcards.

Sorbian Bescherkinder. Photographed by Iwajla Klinke.

The Bescherkinder is an old Sorbian folk character found in the rituals that are associated with the celebration of the winter solstice. Being touched by one is believed to protect against the evil eye. 

The Sorbs, historically known also as Lusatians and Wends, are a West Slavic minority group whose homeland is found in the historic region of Lusatia located between Germany and Poland. Starting from the 12th century to the modern period they have undergone heavy Germanization processes, but despite this they have managed to keep their ancestral Slavic identity, language, and distinct culture. Geneticist have also found a degree of genetic isolation among them when compared to their German neighbors, however at the same time have noted markers linking them closely to their West Slavic kin; the Poles, Kaszubs, Slovaks, and Czechs. Throughout history it has been believed that the Sorbs migrated from Lusatia to the Balkans initiating the birth of the Serbian people.

how to tell if a history post is legit

Tumblr is full of bad lgbt history posts. Here are some ways you can avoid being bamboozled.

  • Look carefully at sources. Be on the lookout for websites that are satirical or right wing, or are pushing something else, like alternative medicine.
  • If a post doesn’t have a source, Google it, and then follow the above. If there are no sources on the internet, this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not true, but you should be cautious. If you ask the OP and they won’t tell you, be skeptical. 
  • Sometimes posts will have a mix of truth and fiction. Sometimes photos will be put together with unrelated text. 
  • Also look at the original tumblr poster’s blog, and consider if they appear to have a specific ideology they want to spread. 
  • Events from the distant past often have murky facts. There are also modern nationalist movements that make up, falsify, or exaggerate the truth about certain historical regions/ethnic groups, so be extra careful when checking sources. 
  • Not all scientific studies are accurate. Some have been discredited, but a larger issue is frequently a low number of participants (small sample size). Even if the whole article isn’t free to read, the abstract usually is. 
  • Not all books are accurate, either. If you’ve come across a bad lgbt history book (or a good one!)…consider submitting it to our blog

anonymous asked:

Do you have any images of the henna designs used and how they vary across different ethnic groups? I'm familiar with henna and my Indian neighbour taught me her traditions around it and applied some designs to me when I was a curious child and she was getting ready for a wedding, but I would assume designs very considerably between cultures as well as the context in which they are used. Would you be able to direct me to info on this? Thanks :)

You’re absolutely right — henna designs vary considerably from region to region… I often post pictures about it if you look through my henna tag. Here are some examples of different styles:

This is the style traditionally done in much of Morocco, known today simply as “bildi” (’rustic’ or ‘old-fashioned’)… Commonly associated with the “Imperial Cities” of Fes, Meknes, and Marrakech, it shares many similarities with the traditional embroidery (terz) of that region — note the division of space into diamonds and triangles, the use of parallel lines, and the toothed edging. Photo taken by me in Fes, 2014:

This is another style seen in Morocco, in the southern regions and Sahara. This “Sahrawi” style shares some elements with the henna of central and northern Morocco, but is similar in layout to the henna done in Mauritania. Photo from Flickr:

The henna of Mauritania is breathtakingly unique and immediately recognizable. In my opinion the henna artists of Mauritania are among the most talented and technically accomplished in the world; designs were traditionally done in reverse with a tape resist, and today they are also drawn (there’s actually a whole book about it!). Photo from Flickr:

And West Africa has its own style as well, commonly seen in Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, and other places in the region — done in reverse with tape, like in Mauritania, but with longer lines and different layouts. Photo by Casey McMenemy, from my article on henna in West Africa:

There is also a unique and recognizable style in East Africa, on the Swahili Coast (Kenya, Tanzania, etc.). Unfortunately today they often use the dangerous “black henna” chemical dye, but as you can see it can be easily replicated with natural henna (from this article on henna on the Swahili Coast):

The countries of the Arabian Peninsula have their own set of styles too, known as khaleeji (“Gulf”), which are today immensely popular around the world (even in places like Morocco and India which have their own longstanding traditions of henna design). In the Khaleej itself there are many henna salons with local and international artists, and so the designs are constantly evolving; the constant, for me, is the open layout and the contrast between thick and thin. Here’s an example of some contemporary khaleeji-style work (from Instagram):

Of course, Persia was once the heartland of henna, and in the Safavid period we have many depictions of beautiful, elaborate henna patterns in illustrated manuscripts. While the tradition died out during the Qajar period under the influence of Western fashion, it is clear that there was once a “Persian style” of henna, which some artists have attempted to continue or revive. This is a (very zoomed-in) detail from Mir Sayyid Ali’s 1540 masterpiece “A Nomadic Encampment” (and for more on Persian henna, see this article):

And while India came rather late to the henna-pattern game, developing traditions of henna art only in the 18th-19th century, by the 20th century South Asia had become one of the centres of henna art worldwide, and the henna styles from the region are probably the most common and recognizable today. That’s not to say that they were always what we think of today as “Indian-style” henna — here’s an example of Rajasthani designs from the 1950s recorded by Jogendra Saksena, which are quite different than the style of henna common in India today:

Not to mention the fact that within the Indian subcontinent, there are (or have been, historically) distinct regional styles: Pakistani, Marwari, Rajasthani, and more… And of course, henna designs are constantly changing! What was popular and stylish twenty years ago is not the same as what was popular ten years ago, or what is popular now. Especially with the interconnectedness of the internet, artists around the world are able to learn from each other, spread innovations, and merge styles in new and exciting ways.

Compare this old-fashioned, recognizably Pakistani-style design (from Flickr):

To the contemporary work of Pakistani-American artist (and dear friend of mine) Sabreena Haque, who combines motifs and layouts from Indian, Pakistani, Gulf, and Moroccan patterns, along with inspiration from many other areas of art and nature (from her Instagram):

And there’s so much more to explore! There seems to be a unique style of henna patterns in the Balkans, similar to their tattooing and embroidery. What were henna designs like in medieval Spain? Yemenite Jews had their own unique patterns and techniques as well, which still need more research. And there’s more to say about the evolution of henna designs in Morocco too!

I could go on and on, but perhaps that’s enough for now. Let me know if I can answer any other questions!


“In the spring of 1915, some months after Russia’s declaration of war against Turkey, a band of twelfth-century Crusaders, covered from head to foot in rusty chain armour and carrying shields and broad-swords came riding on horseback down the main avenue of Tiflis [Tbilisi]. People’s eyes almost popped out of their heads. Obviously this was no cinema company going on location. These were Crusaders – or their ghosts.“

The incredible troop clanked up to the governor’s palace. ‘Where’s the war?’ They asked. ‘We hear there’s a war’.

They had heard in April 1915 that there was a war. It had been declared in September 1914. The news took seven months to reach the last of the Crusaders.

The warriors were Khevsurs from the historical Khevsureti region (Georgian: ხევსურეთი) of north east Georgia. Legend tells that they are descended from Crusaders who left France 800 years ago and became detached from the main army, marched through Turkey and Armenia and settled in the Greater Caucasus mountains in Georgia.

Though the legend is not supported by some historians it is curious that Khevsur chain armor is in the french style and the letters A.M.D. – Ave Mater Dei, the motto of the Crusaders – is carved on their shields, and Crusader crosses adorn the handles of their broadswords and are embroidered on their garments.

The pure European origin of Khevsurs is not supported by most modern scholars. However, Crusaders are mentioned in several manuscripts of the time as participants of several battles against the Muslims in Georgia (100 “Frankish” Crusaders participated in King David’s army in the Battle of Didgori), and some did pass through Georgia after the fall of the Holy Land.

The origin of the Khevsurs remains one of the most curious legends of the Caucasus and it is perhaps more romantic to believe that the warriors who rode in full armor down the main avenue in Tbilisi in 1915 really were the ‘last of the crusaders’.”

From Richard Halliburton’s “Seven League Boots”, 1935

vorpalgirl  asked:

Since you're US-based, I'd like to run this thought past you: I don't know if you're into Harry Potter much but I keep thinking about the canon fact that supposedly the USA only has, implication is ever had, ONE wizarding school in the vein of Hogwarts (Ilvermorny, for reference - East Coast, North); do you find this to seem a little implausible, given if nothing else the historical regional splits and cultural differences in our country? Because I'm wondering how to reconcile that in fic. :\

Oh man, I have a solid hour-long rant about how implausible Ilvermorny is. There is just so much suspension of disbelief (plus an utter lack of historical knowledge) that JK Rowling was depending on for that school, and none of it worked for me.

First of all, you’re 100% on track with the issues around regional splits and cultural differences. The US is huge. Like, it’s [number 3 on the list of largest countries by land mass], which JK Rowling definitely did not take into consideration, from both a technical and cultural standpoint. Going off of the knowledge we have from HP canon, there are limited ways for families to travel: most don’t seem to want to apparate with their children, floo powder and portkeys are logistical nightmares for the Ministry, and brooms are expensive and not feasible for long distances. But a train to Ilvermorny could take days, if not a good week depending on where you’re from (I’m not even going to touch Alaska and Hawai’i here). Also, the Appalachians are relatively easy mountains to climb for even semi-experienced hikers. If you want a school up in the mountains out of the reach of Muggles, put it in the Rockies or up on Denali.

From a cultural perspective… America is split into very distinct cultural regions, and each of those regions has smaller, less distinct parts dividing them. I will say that sending all magical children to the same school would be great for diversity (so many different people in one place! Sharing knowledge and experiences! Learning about people from outside their limited scope! It’s the breeding ground for tolerance and peace!), and that, given English wizards history with being willing to send all their kids to one school, it’s likely they would be willing to, they just may not be physically able to.

But, this brings another issue up… America is not just English descendants. For one, we have to take the Native tribes into consideration. Now, Rowling’s claim is that Native wizards did not hide. I have two points of contention to this: 1) You cannot claim anything universally with Native peoples. At the moment, there are over 500 federally recognized tribes, but before the English colonialists arrived, there were so, so much more. That’s 500+ societies, each with their own beliefs, practices, and customs. Assuming wizards are real, I highly doubt each and every one of the tribes would be pro-wizard.

2) If even half of the Native tribes had active, known wizards in their ranks, the English settlement of America would have gone much, much differently. Remember, wizards in England were in hiding, and have a history of absolutely no involvement with muggle affairs. So that brings two questions - a) what incentives would many wizards have to come over here? and b) why would the ones that did help the English settle the place, and not just go out and try to set up their own society or join a pro-magic tribe? So, we’d have to assume that there are no wizard fighting on the side of the English, but there are wizards fighting on the side of the Natives. I’m not seeing many situations where the Native tribes don’t stop the colonization, unless Native wizards are as susceptible to European diseases as their non-magical brethren. That would change the history of America, and the rest of the world, profoundly.

tl;dr: JK Rowling’s version of events is honestly implausible in every conceivable way. For it to work, there would need to be fundamental changes to the situation. One, either more than one magic school, or an easy, non-dangerous, and inexpensive method of moving hundreds (maybe thousands) of people from across the country to Ilvermorny. If you go with more than one magic school, you could easily put one in each region of the US - Wikipedia has a pretty cool breakdown of the different regions and the districts within each you can base school placement on. (Though I’d personally put Alaska and Hawai’i in their own regions.)

And two, a different assumption of Native tribal relations with magical folk. That can go a lot of ways: Most tribes aren’t pro-magic; there’s too much in-fighting between wizards of different tribes to focus on the English threat; the proportion of wizard-to-muggle is even lower among Native populations than European; English wizards did get involved in colonization for some reason… there are probably more I’m not thinking of. The issue with a lot of these is that you’d have to know a fair amount about different Native tribes’ sociocultural history to pull it off, which is out of the scope of my capabilities.

-Mod Mix

Ok wait

In Kevin Party Steven said he argued with Connie “a few weeks ago” thus contradicting the Lars of The Stars leak, that said a week had passed from last time Steven saw Lars :o So:

1. Lars has been a pirate captain for like a month
2. Steven visits Lars a first time, he’s not a captain yet, then they visit him again after a week and suddenly he’s a captain? (?)

The development of race as a social construct. The Latin European colonies vs. British colonies, Part 1: the birth of the Mestizo and the genesis of mixed-race people as distinct racial groups


Western-European colonialism, slavery, and white supremacy have all affected each country in the Americas simultaneously. However, the way white-supremacy has operated and the way that it has lead to the development of social constructs, such as race, differs drastically between what can be referred to as historical/cultural-regions. The two main regions I will be focusing on in this post, and comparing-contrasting can be defined as:

Region (A): Latin America or the former Latin European colonies. Defined as all regions of the American continent which were colonized by Latin Europeans and where Spanish, French, and Portuguese are legislated as official languages, with the exception of Canada. The Catholics Church played a key role in the colonization process by Latin Europeans, and this is an important aspect to keep in mind, as it had somewhat of a regulated structure unlike the more chaotic process of the British colonizers.

Region (B): Anglo America or the former British colonies. Defined as all regions of the American continent which were colonized by the British and English is legislated as an official language. The main focus will be on the United States.

The grouping of Latin America into one metacultural-region can often be highly problematic given its greats social diversity; cultural, racial, ethnic, historical, political, and so on. However in this context it is appropriate to do so due to many overlapping historical and cultural factors of the former Latin European colonies, which helped shape a unique perception of race in today’s Latin America in contrast to that of Anglo America. In this post I will explain how modern racial categories and views of race developed in Latin America, and why they differ from those in the United States.

The Spaniards first encounter with Indigenous people of the Americas: the genesis of the western concept of race

The foundation set for the creation of the modern western concept of race began with the arrival of the Spaniards to the Americas.The Spanish conquistadors encountered various Indigenous people as they began to explore and conquer different areas of the Caribbean and the two continents. These Native American groups generally did not share any overarching social identity, but this came to be of no importance to the Spaniards who soon began to refer to them all as “Indians” thus racializing them. The reason these diverse groups of people came to be classified as “Indians” had a basis on two factors; the first factor being that to the Spaniards they shared similar phenotypical (racial) characteristics such as brown skin and facial features, and the second was that they shared lifestyles foreign to those of Christians. As “Indians” this also lead the Spaniards to generalize overlapping social traits among them, characteristics which conflicted with Christian dogma such as polytheistic or animistic theologies. This became a pretext for the Spaniards to conquer and exploit the Native Americans who they labeled uniformly as Indian, claiming they were doing their Christian duty by trying to help redeem from their “sinful” ways of life.

The formation of unique castes of race and racial mixtures which distinguished Latin European colonizers from their British counter-parts

Similar views of Indigenous people were later adopted by all Western European colonial powers once they themselves began colonizing the Americas, but what makes the Latin colonizers unique is the how the process of colonization was initially enacted by them. When the first waves of Latin colonizers ventured to the Americas, the majority of them came as single men with only a few women accompanying them. It was not until decades later that more women and eventually families began to migrate in greater numbers. It should be noted that the latter part is an important aspect to keep in mind as there is a misinformed belief that Latin women, especially Spanish women, were not present in the colonies and that the colonial process was completely anchored by Spanish men. This is not true at all, as Spanish women had been present in the Americas starting from Columbus’ third voyage; the Spanish crown specifically sought out women to settle in the Americas in order to help the colonies develop. The reason this is an important aspect to remember, is because the presence of Spanish women in the colonies would be essential for forming racial purity legislates and maintaining a white population throughout these colonies, particularly an elite. I’ll expand on these ideas a little later on though, when they become more relevant to the context.

With that being said, it is correct to say that the majority of the Latin colonizers in the first few decades of colonization were single men. This was unlike the case of many of the first British colonizers, who partook in the colonization of the Americas much later, and who were more likely to emigrate with entire families. The insufficiency of European women in the Latin colonies caused a dilemma for male colonizers, since the bequest of estate and power to heirs was an essential factor in maintaining control over colonial territories. A solution to this issue was for the colonizers to seek out Indigenous women as mates, so that they could have children with them and thus heirs.This would also be beneficial to them as in certain Indigenous ethnic groups, such as the Guarani, there were common cultural  practices in which men of certain tribes would swap their wives or marry out their daughters to men of different tribes, this was then in order to establish bonds between both tribes. In many areas of the Latin colonies this would also be an established practice for European men to partake in; in order to trade, keep peace, and expect protection from these Indigenous groups.

This soon lead to the common societal manifestations of concubinage, cohabitation, and even interracial marriage in the Latin colonies among white men and non-white women, something highly criticized and shunned by their Anglo counterparts (even if similar phenomenons occurred in their societies too, just more subtly).

In the foundation stages of the colonies the children of mixed-race unions simply fell into the dichotomous “racial” categories of European or Native American.

****It should also be noted that the term racial should be used loosely here, since even though the Spaniards had began to racialize Indigenous people due to their phenotypical characteristics, the most significant difference they saw between themselves and the Natives of America was their lack of Christian beliefs and what they deemed as “primitive” ways of life. The Spaniards would being to refer to the Indigenous people as “people without reason”, in contrast to themselves as “people with reason.” The use of the term white only gained colloquial use in latter parts of history, however the premise had been formed from the beginning of the Spanish conquest.******

Meaning that the progeny of mixed-unions that were embraced and accepted by their fathers were raised as Spaniards, Portuguese, and French people respectfully. These children raised in such families were most often socialized to adopt the European identity, cultural habits, philosophy, and general way of life of their fathers, and thus generally became detached from there mothers Indigenous identity; ergo Latin Europeans were more prone to practice hyperdescent, whereas British colonizers in the United States were more likely to practice hypodescent. However, this was not always the case, and it can be problematic to make such generalizations, because even within different French colonies, within different Spanish colonies, and within different regions of Brazil, social dynamics and relationships between such families could drastically differ depending on the conditions surrounding them. We can take New France, the Captaincy of São Vicente ( São Paulo, Brazil), and Paraguay as examples; in these regions many children of such mixed unions were raised speaking their mothers Indigenous language and in a more Indigenous infused lifestyle compared to other regions where European ways of life heavily dominated. However a shift towards European ways of life, paradigms, and cultures was almost always encouraged even in such social environments and such families still practiced hyperdescent in which these children were more prone to identify with the Europeaness of their fathers.

The children who were abandoned by their fathers, typically were absorbed back into the Indigenous communities of their mothers, if the mother was successfully able to reintegrate herself as well. There were however many cases of Indigenous women abandoned by both the European fathers of their children and their own communities, and in other cases children of mixed-unions abandoned by both their European fathers and Indigenous mothers. Often the later was the fate of those children born out of sexual assault against Indigenous women, which was an occurrence that was very prominent within the colonies. These abandoned children would eventually become the first generation of a unique social group that would come to be known as Mestizos in Spanish; Métis in French; and Mestiços, Mamelucos, or Caboclos in Portuguese. These children were viewed as being neither Indigenous or European, but a completely distinct new “race” made up of a combination of the former two groups. The main reason these children were stigmatized by the Latin Catholic colonizers was because they were born out of wedlock, and therefore out of sin in their eyes of the church. However, it should be noted that these children were born as free-men and held the same [generally low-ranking] social status as full-blooded illegitimate European children born out of wedlock.

As the colonies developed, more women migrated to them from Latin Europe, which lead the colonists to start favoring the practice of endogamy amongst whites, and a discouragement of taking Indigenous women as sexual partners. This allowed the unmxied white population to grow at an increasingly larger rate than it had ever before. However, despite the fact that white women were no longer scarce in the colonies, this did little to detour the colonist men from having extramarital affairs, coercing Indigenous women into concubinage, or out-right sexually assaulting them. Which meant that even though a new generation of white children were being born, an even larger new generation of Mestizo children were also being born at the same time. This made the reality of the differences between those children born in the Americas who were of unmixed European heritage and those who were of mixed European/Indigenous descent more apparent. As more white men began to take white women entering the colonies a wives, they also began abandoning any Indigenous women they were in relationships with before, and also often the children they had with them.

At the same time many Indigenous communities were growing hostile to the children born of European fathers entering and living in their communities, often refusing to distinguish them from unmixed Europeans and thus viewing them in the same light as their colonizers. The feelings these Indigenous communities had towards mixed-race children, and the fears the colonizers had about the growing presence of Mestizos in these Indigenous communities lead both the Spanish and Portuguese crowns to enact legislation’s that barred Mestizos/Mestiços and white vagabonds from entering Indigenous settlements, with the exception of those raised by a mother living in such community. These legislation’s were the beginning of a societal isolation of Mestizos from Indigenous people in much of the Latin colonies, and would eventually push the Mestizos to more staunchly adopt European-dominated identity, despite being seen as racially distinct from full-blooded Europeans, something rarely seen in U.S. American history.

As most people who were identified as Mestizo came to be shunned or stigmatized by both European and Indigenous societies, many of them began living on the edged of society, alongside European vagrants, who would roam the colonies without stable homes, and who were also marginalized by their more affluent counterparts. The large number of Mestizos who lived in such vagrant communities and their status as illegitimate children, were two of the main elements that lead them to be viewed as having inherent “delinquent” qualities by the unmixed Europeans. This in turn often lead to further discrimination, marginalization, and disdain towards this distinct group of mixed-race people in different areas of the Spanish, French, Portuguese colonies.

**Again, we need to take into account the diversity of social dynamics within individual colonies. What I mention above was usually the case in areas where a growing white population was analogously present, alongside the growing Mestizo population. In areas where there was very little additional white settlement, the Mestizo population would often simply identify with their Spanish, Portuguese, or French heritage (whiteness) and thus would often hold positions of power. A key example of this would be Paraguay, where a unique Mestizo identity was never actually formed and solidified. **

Eventually, the Spanish crown specifically, in fear of the rising Mestizo population took actions to maintain their control by introducing a racially based caste system that would dictate all aspects of life in the colonies. The limpieza de sangre or “purity of blood” caste-system as it was called, was a very complex method of assigning a social status to someone on the basis of their race or racial mixture. This system was based on one employed in the Iberian peninsula after the reconquest of Moorish occupied areas of the peninsula, which eventually lead to the expulsion of anyone suspected of having Moorish blood from Spain and Portugal. In the Americas however the focus was turned to the Spaniards interaction with Indigenous and African people. Spaniards and their unmixed white children (called Criollos or Creoles) made up the highest positions of the system, while people of unmixed Indigenous and African descent made up the lowest ranks of the system. This left the majority of mixed-race people occupying various ranks in the middle which were based on the degree of white blood they had. Although race-mixing was never lawfully forbidden by the Spanish crown, various edicts did lead to it being highly discouraged among white colonials, and this also helped create an obsession with racial purity among the white colonials and their descendants. As many new Spanish settlers were coming to the colonies, a lot the old-stock families were paranoid of being accused of having non-white blood, and so it was common for them to marry off their daughters to the first new settler looking for a wife they could. This is because after a few generations of a mixed-race individual only having children with a white partner, their descendants could become racially white themselves.

The social dominance of the white population and the possibility of their descendants becoming white in a future generation had a huge influence on mixed race people, leading them to also discriminate against and oppress the unmixed-non white populations of the colonies, and to seek out sexual partners who were either white or had larger amounts of white blood than them. Thus, the caste-system helped keep mixed-race people conscious of the fact that they did not belong to either group they descended from. Futhermore, the contempt that white people had for non-white people, that mixed people had for unmixed non-white people, and that Indigenous people had for white and Mestizos also played a huge part in the racialization of mixed-race people, as completely distinguished anomalies in much of the Spanish American empire.

Although such drastic legislated measures, such as a highly developed and complex caste system, may not have been employed by the Portuguese and French in the way they were with by the Spanish; both groups nonetheless did distinguish and often discriminate between white and Métis/Mestiços people, which lead to the creation of those distinct racialized identities within their own colonies. Both the French and the Portuguese also adopted similar names for the various types of mixed-race people that the Spaniards gave, and also considered degrees of whiteness among those who were mixed-race with the possibility of racial mobility. However, due to factors such as slavery, diseases, and massacre the numbers of Indigenous people soon left in Portuguese, French, and certain Spanish colonies were often minuscule. In these areas more frequently, the colonizers would turn to enslaved Africans that they brought to the Americas, in order to exploit them for their labour which before had been done by Indigenous people. The descendants of mixed European-African soon also followed a similar path as Mestizos into becoming their own distinct racial groups. Having said that, I’ll discuss the racial identity of mixed African-descendants in colonial Latin America in a following post.

Considering all that has been written, it can be easy to see how the Latin European colonizers differed from the Anglo European colonizers. Latin Europeans were more likely to try to assimilate their colonized Indigenous subjects, and they were also more likely to be unopposed to mixing with them, at least in the initial stages of colonization. This was unlike the British who did not have much interest in evangelizing Indigenous people, nor assimilating, or living among them in their own initial stages of colonization. This helped the Latin Europeans create an environment which made it possible for distinct mixed race identities to be developed, rather than keeping dichotomous (black/white) views of race their Anglo counter-parts often had.

To understand race in Latin America, it’s important to keep all this in mind. A lack of understanding this aforementioned history often brings up conflict among mixed-race Latin Americans living in the United States and non-Latin Americans. This is especially true when it comes to mixed race African-descendants who, like I previously mentioned, will be discussed in a following post in detail.

anonymous asked:

May we have what the accents from each region sound like? Ex: sinnohans have what our world calls british accents. (I'm not quite sure, that was just an example, you by no means have to use it.) As someone with a very heavy british accent, I would be really glad to know what the counterpart accent would be in the Pokemon world! Also, if it's not too much of a bother, may we also have stereotypes for each region and the people of it? I'm in love with your blog btw! Keep at it!

Kanto: People often say Kantonians talk too fast, words get smashed together sometimes. However, much of the Kanto accent is a fairly plain accent, often heard in adverts and news reports. Near Johto, the speech tends slow down a bit more.

Johto: Johtonian accents sound similar to Japanese accents. Johtonians tend to hold onto old words longer than other regions, perhaps due to the historical preservation of the region. Parts of Johto have Sinnohan influences, especially surrounding the Ruins of Alph.

Hoenn: Hoennians often pronounce their own region as “Hone”, or “Laying” as “Lane”. The Hoenn accent is immeadiately recognizable for the rest of the world, especially in movies. The Hoenn islands have very distinct accents from the mainland.

Sinnoh: Sinnoh accents are similar to accents in England and Scotland. Near Mount Coronet you will hear a lot of drawn out “Oo” and “Aw” sounds. Parts of Sinnoh have Johtonnian influences.

Unova: Unovan accents vary quite a bit. In one area, you might never notice an accent, and then hear an intense accent the next city over. “Eee” sounds tend to be exaggerated in cities. A few people may sound a bit like Meowth from the anime…

Kalos: The Kalosian accent sounds very similar to a French accent. Tourists think they know the Kalosian accent until they head East; the mountains separating parts of the region have caused some vastly different accents to form there.

Alola: In contrast to Kanto, people often say Alolans talk too slow. The accent is comparable to the Hawaiian accent, and varies a bit between the islands.  Ula’Ula has a lot of Johtonnian influence.

I’ll dedicate another post to regional stereotypes…there’s a few in here!


Today being the last day of classes before exams, I decided to go treat myself this afternoon. This involved going to the linguistics section of one of my university libraries and reading for an entire afternoon instead of studying for my finals. 

There was lots of cool stuff, though, so it was totally worth it.

The Natural Regions of Germany (4): The Upper Rhine Valley

The Upper Rhine Valley is a rift valley of the European continental plate, which broke open as a result of geological forces. Its accompanying mountain ridges are the Vosges Mountains (France) and the Black Forest. The valley itself is filled with sediments, giving it a very flat surface.

The Upper Rhine Valley with its sedimental soils and warm climate is intensely used for growing demanding agricultural products such as vegetables, sugarbeet and wine. Farmers there have on average one more harvest than in the rest of Germany.

The Upper Rhine Valley is also one of the most intensely used transit routes for goods transportation by train and road since ancient times. A chain of cities is lined up there, forming part of Germany’s economic powerhouse. It is part of the so-called Blue Banana, an economically particularly active strip and megalopolis extending from the British Islands to Northern Italy.

The old trade city of Frankfurt am Main is now home to Germany’s most active air transportation hub, and is Germany’s banking and financial center. It is the only city in Germany with an American-style skyline, but also features a reconstructed historic city center. The Rhine-Main region also encompasses Mainz (capital of Rhineland-Palatinate), Wiesbaden (capital of Hesse), Darmstadt (home of a traditional university), Rüsselsheim (headquarters of carmaker Opel), Hanau (center of high-tech industry), and Aschaffenburg (center of the Bavarian North Main region).

The metropolitan region of Mannheim - Ludwigshafen - Heidelberg is another historical region and industrial center. Heidelberg is known for its university and castle. The former residence of Mannheim is known for its planned city architecture in a checkerboard layout. It was here that Carl Benz developed the first car. Ludwigshafen is an industrial city, home of the chemical company BASF, which operates the world’s largest chemical factory here.

Further centers are Karlsruhe (administrative center, seat of the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany), Strasbourg (France), Freiburg im Breisgau, and the metropolitan region of Basel (Switzerland) - Saint-Louis (France) - Weil am Rhein (Germany).

Antique Roman remains can be frequently found. Historical places include Mainz, Worms, and Speyer, the latter with the largest preserved Romanesque church. Many other places testify from the rich cultural herigate of the region.

Umbria is a region of historic and modern central Italy. It is the only Italian region having neither a coastline nor a border with other countries. It includes the Lake Trasimeno, Cascata delle Marmore, and is crossed by the River Tiber. The regional capital is Perugia. Umbria is known for its landscapes, traditions, history, artistic legacy, and influence on culture. The region is characterized by hills and historical towns such as Assisi (a World Heritage Site associated with St. Francis of Assisi, the Basilica of San Francesco and other Franciscan sites, works by Giotto and Cimabue), Norcia (the hometown of St. Benedict), Gubbio, Perugia, Spoleto, Todi, Città di Castello, Orvieto, Castiglione del Lago, Narni, Amelia, and other small cities.

Traditional costume of the Sorbs (also known as Wends, Lusatians, Lusatian Sorbs or Lusatian Serbs) - Western Slavic minority in the territory of Germany. They live predominantly in the historical region of Lusatia - in the modern states of Brandenburg and Saxony. They speak Sorbian languages (Wendish, Lusatian) - closely related to Polish and Czech, divided into two main groups: Upper Sorbian and Lower Sorbian. Photograph by Iwajla Klinke