native american influence

A question for the Wheel of Time fandom

Do you guys read the Aiel as white? I picture them as white given that they are all described as pale, red haired and light eyed, and since I read Rand as white mainly because of his Aiel heritage… but I don’t really like it since they are so heavily based on especially Native American culture.

What do you think of RJs decision to create a culture heavily coded as Native American, with Zulu influences, and then describe all the people of that culture as very… white? It rubs me the wrong way. 

anonymous asked:

hey i just wanted to say that as a native american, im really happy youre using the term "smoke cleansing" instead of smudging. so many people use the term "smudging" nowadays and its honestly a bit offensive. so i just wanted to say A++ and i love the blog!

Honestly I always thought people using the term smudging was weird to me, because I grew up in areas that are very heavily native American influenced, and I have a huge respect for the different cultures and practices. Smoke cleansing is a clear term and gets the point across to people just as much as smudging does, but without trying to steal the name. Because while what this community is doing (smoke cleansing) is similar, it is not the same.

Anyway, i’m glad! 😊


Thought about how Ilvermorny uniforms should look like! Stuck to the blue & red color scheme and gordian knot uniform descriptions via and added Native American & Hogwarts influenced aesthetics to the robes. 

Bronze/gold brooches pinned to the top of student robes signify house symbols, while ponchos showcase the year of the student via number of stripes/bands similar to how the age of trees are read (tree rings). Robe style follows Hogwarts robes. 

Note: Cultural fact (which I’ve just recently learned from an Anon - thank you so much!) headdress feathers that are showcased to be flared and upright indicates hostility and war, while headdress feathers that are faced down symbolizes peace. 

The character above just happens to have feathers raised up for purely aesthetic reasons, although this’ll be a point that I’ll remember for future fanart :P

How do you think Ivermorny uniforms should look like? :) 

I don’t think a lot of people realize this, but the Eye of Dashi is basically a God’s Eye or Ojo de Dios.  An Eye of God is a wooden cross with an intricate weaving of yarn around it, typically with a hole or small mirror at the center.  This hole represents the path to the Spiritual world, while the four points represent the four elemental directions of earth, water, fire, and air.  God’s eyes represent confidence in all-seeing Providence, as well as the power to see and understand things unknown.  The spiritual power contained in a God’s Eye is why they are typically created as a part of extended meditation or prayer.  A tradition among the Huichol Natives in Western Mexico is to have the father of a newborn make an Ojo de Dios.  A new Ojo de Dios is added for each year of the child’s life until the child reaches the age of five.  The God’s Eyes that are added after the initial one are smaller, and attached adjacent to the four points of the larger, central God’s Eye.  This is meant to act as a symbol of protection and long life for the child.

What does this all mean for the Eye of Dashi?  Well, with Dashi being the creator of Xiaolin, he effectively is like a god in a sense.  Furthermore, he was able to see spiritual power and come to understand things unknown to the masses.  After the events of XC’s finale, wherein Moonata, the spirit of the first Xiaolin Dragon of Water, showed how she created the famous Orb of Torpedo in a solitary setting, it is likely that Dashi–the first Xiaolin Dragon, and first to create a Shen Gong Wu–created the Eye of Dashi during a long meditation.  Interestingly enough the colors of the Eye spell a rather intriguing story.  Red (the central gem that produces lightning; the spiritual gate) represents Life, brown (the majority of the structure or housing) represents soil, and black (the trim) represents death.

Typically the Huichol gather and take Peyote to have visions, and then base the design of their Ojo de Dios off of that vision.  Based on the design of the Eye, there are four out of five paths.  Potentially Dashi mastered multiple elements, or opened himself to those elements, but was unable to attain the fifth.  This is reflected in all of the Heylin affiliates who exhibit use of, or against, at most three elements.  The crescent shaped prongs mildly suggest that the Eye was meant to be part of something larger at some point, but the crescents could also just be to make the Native American influence less obvious.

Remember the center of the Eye, and how it represents the Spiritual realm?  It can also act as a path or portal to the Spirit World.  Sound like another Eye-themed Shen Gong Wu?

While the Eye of Onyx was never shown in use, Tigress warned Kimiko that when combined with the Mask of the Green Monkey it would have the power to close all dimensional portals.  It is a feasible stretch then, that on its own the Eye of Onyx can open and close dimensional portals, or simply create one at a time for the user.

anonymous asked:

May I please also suggest that if Black or Native American Wizards were a significant part of American Wizardry from first to last it is REALLY Easy to understand why the MACUSA doesn't seem to have modelled itself on the ideals or practices of the US Government at all: the fact that (unlike their British Counterparts) the US Wizarding World faced an actively predatory opponent working through non-Magical Institutions (The Scourers) would also foster a very distant remove.

1.) I’m not necessarily against the American magical government being structured completely differently than the US government! But then…..why is it modeled after the British system? Why are there aurors? Or a president? Why ‘Magical Congress’ unless you’re trying to point to the already-extant congress that the United States has? Also, if your system predates the founding of the US by a bunch of British-descendant white dudes, why put “United States of America” in the name?

And then where does this system come from and what forces shaped it? Did slaves bring their memories of the West African empires and kingdoms, or was it more modeled after the loose network of farms and plantations, or was it founded by free blacks in urban areas? (Did wizards participate in the slave trade? Did wizards have wizard slaves? Muggle slaves? I can’t imagine a Muggle keeping a wizard in slavery for very long, but idk, maybe it happened.) 

Or maybe MACUSA was more Native American-influenced, in which case—who? The politics of Native American tribes in the early colonial period alone is incredibly complex, with just as many ties, blood feuds, old grudges, and nationalist pride as Europe circa WWI. It seems incredibly simplistic to argue that an Iroquois witch and a Potawatomi wizard would hold hands and come together under one government. Especially when there’s no incentive to obey the statute of secrecy (is there? who the fuck knows) and both cultures would seem to embrace magic as part of the regular fabric of life.

And then what incentive do European wizards have to join in? Why abandon their beloved Wizengamot and Ministry ways for a foreign system they don’t necessarily trust? Honestly if it wasn’t for self-governance or economic opportunities why would wizards come to America at all this doesn’t even make sense???

But this speaks to a larger problem with JKR’s worldbuilding, which is that everything is a lot older than she wants it to be, different cultures exist, and unfortunately, you need to research them in order to write about them.

2.) I admittedly had to look up ‘scourers’ because I try not to pay attention to Pottermore. (I like my blood pressure in the ‘normal to slightly elevated’ range, thanks.) But I can tell your right now that JK Rowling probably should not have watched Twelve Years a Slave before she wrote that section of Pottermore. 

Scourers were a real thing in history—of course, they were called slave catchers, and in antebellum America and the wake of the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act, they targeted free African Americans, kidnapping them and selling them into slavery. These kidnapped men and women had almost no legal recourse, absent the lucky intervention of white abolitionists or community support. Most of them simply disappeared out of the historical record.

I’m not entirely opposed to using metaphors or alternate histories to talk about actual realities and horrors, I think they can be extremely useful tools. But you can’t do it without nuance, and you definitely can’t do it when taking those narratives away from the groups they genuinely impacted. It’s why you can’t talk about slavery in the US with all white characters, even if it’s a fictional slavery in a fictional US, with fictional white characters. It’s not a metaphor at that point, it’s being willfully blind.

Watching this movie again, and I’ve come to realise that it contains a lot of the characters that SJW extremists constantly demand from entertainment and explores a lot of themes they complain about, and yet largely gets ignored.

Milo - stereotypical nerdy white kid who takes an interest in cultures (and multiple times in the film argues that Atlantean culture is superior to his own) and languages other than his own and understands their values. If he agreed with the Tumblr definition of cultural appropriation, he’d still be sitting at the museum fixing that boiler while Atlantis slowly withered away. He’s a side character by the end of the movie: the star is really Kida.

Lieutenant Helga - no-nonsense woman who worked her way up the ranks: her subordinates respect and obey her authority without question and she’s the one who enables the defeat of Commander Rourke. Without her, Atlantis would have perished.

Audrey - Hispanic teen from Michigan who, despite her father’s expectations of not being able to do “boy’s work” becomes the best mechanic of a multi-million dollar operation through hard work and talent

Sweets - a biracial (black and native American) doctor (which makes him the most educated of the bunch), is kind and serves as the conflict-resolver, and is also the first to start doubting the actions of Commander Rourke other than Milo

Kida - a woman desperate to explore her heritage and recognizes that their ignorance of their own past is slowly choking the life out of the populance, who uses (yes, USES) Milo to understand said past, and eventually is the one who saves the city. The amount of effort put into this character and her culture is staggering: the Atlantean language was crafted by a linguist who based it on Proto Indo-European, with a full grammatical structure, alphabet, and even differences in the spoken and written forms. The architecture is based on Sumerian architecture, and there are even Native American and Aborigine influences in the tattoos and dress of the native Atlanteans. 

Of all the stereotypes used in the characters, I’d argue the white characters got the short end of the stick: Cookie is an old, ignorant, Western pioneer stuck in the past, Milo’s a nerd and outcast, and Mole is portrayed as a creepy freak obsessed with dirt and filth.

And the villain is of course, big bad whitey who wants to exploit the culture and life of Atlantis for profit. And in the end, he’s killed and the culture is left to flourish and recover at its own pace, still isolated and protected from the rest of the world and DA EVIL WHITE MAN.

So why is this movie ignored and not put on the pedestal of the week? Because extremists don’t actually care about representation: they want something to complain and feel righteous about.

renee-reynolds  asked:

I am writing a fantasy novel with various countries and their own cultures. One country is inspired by Native American tribal culture. Is it appropriate for me to make up a mythology for that country or should I look for a particular tribe/mythology that relates to my story and plot? I truly appreciate this blog, btw! Thank you!

Native American “Tribal Culture” Inspiration

You cannot draw inspiration from “Native American tribal culture” because that thing does not exist. There is absolutely, positively, no one item that makes up a single “Native American culture”. Pow Wows are Plains Indian, Confederacies are Great Lakes region tribes, Potlatches are in BC, and cliff dwellings are Pueblo. While all of these are Native American customs, they are often the exact antithesis of each other. They come from their environments and when you consider just how big and varied North America is, you start to realize just how much there can’t be a singular culture.

The primary unifying factor among Native peoples is “stewardship of the land”, but that is so nebulous and broad that it’s not anywhere near a solid foundation. For some tribes, it means using the desert environment in absolutely genial ways to get the most out of the harsh surroundings. For others, it means spreading wealth as far as possible because there’s almost always enough to go around so long as everything is properly divided. Sometimes it looks like underbrush burning, while others it takes the form of canals. Horticulture, agriculture, and hunter-gathering are all fair game— depending on the region. Even the tribe structure changes, depending on what’s required for the area.

Therefore, yes, you will have to look for a particular nation (yes, nation, because that’s what each tribe is: a nation) that relates to the environment. Not just the plot and story, but to the actual physical geography of your world. I would not expect to see confederacies unless you have a geographical region similar to the Iroquois and Wyandot, because forming a confederacy was the natural progression for their culture.

In fact, I’d caution you that simply trying to fit the culture into your plot is the exact opposite of how you should be approaching this. Your plot and story should come from the culture you have already picked, instead of the other way around. Culture influences so much in terms of how people behave that if you try to fit something preexisting into a story and prioritize the story over the culture, you’re going to end up throwing out whatever parts of the culture don’t fit your vision of the story. This will cause problems and lead to poor representation.

Another caution: tribal stories are not “mythology”. They are religions. These are living, breathing spiritual practices that incorporate into every day life and do not exist for you to pick gods from because you want some Native American influence in your pantheon. And yes, these customs still exist in modern day because Native Americans follow their own spiritual practices despite generations of attempted assimilation. As a result, you cannot simply modify them without some very real repercussions to existing tribes.

Figure out the geography of your world, find a nation that matches that geography, and modify your plot to fit the nation. Do not casually dismiss the huge variety of Native cultures as something you can simply “draw inspiration from.” Take the time to properly respect the peoples you’re representing. “Native American” is not a country; it is an umbrella. Do not treat it with less dignity than the countries you’ve already included.

~ Mod Lesya


Notice the bags tied to this nkisi on the left and in the front. Our enslaved Ancestors could not carve wood objects over here, but they still made the bags. They were/are most commonly known as mojo bags in the Deep South, and Gris-Gris or gree-gree in Louisiana. Outsiders (marketeers) to African culture will try to tell you this practice as it is known here in the States has European and Native American influences. As you can see from this image, this is strictly, straight up KONGO. Has been since forever. Don’t let them fool you with their revisionist history and whitewashing.

sour-rocks  asked:

Hi Josh, I was wondering if I could ask for your insight about something Fallout-related. Across Fallout 1, 2 and New Vegas, we see several different ethnic groups in various places and roles, but I don't believe we've ever seen a Native American influence, not even in Honest Hearts. Does it have to do with the series' lore?

There is a small Native American influence (Navajo) in Honest Hearts via the Dead Horses.  The Dead Horses are descendants of (primarily) Dutch and German tourists and Navajo from southern Utah.  The Navajo elements are present in the Dead Horses’ creole language.
Gajihsondis Jemison's "History of Magic on Turtle Island, Volume I" • /r/harrypotter

A fellow flaired user on Reddit wrote up this great reimaging of New World magic for the Harry Potter universe that I wanted to share. Hope you enjoy!

Meta-Introduction: This is something I’ve been working on off and on since March. The primarily inspiration came from a conversation we had over at/r/IndianCountry about how Native American lore was handled in Rowling’s History of Magic in North America. The in-setting author is Gajihsondis Jemison, a Seneca wizard who I picture as a professor of History at Ilvermorny as well as being the wizarding world’s equivalent of Arthur C. Parker. He’s writing in response to the publication of a text similar to theHistory of Magic in North America. Volume I is concerned with pre-colonial and early colonial history up to about 1692, and is divided geographically.

Volume II will be concerned with Native American influences the early days of Ilvermorny and the affects of the Statute of Secrecy and the expansion of MACUSA on indigenous communities in North America. It’ll be a while before that’s ready though.


When I learned that the esteemed professor of history at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry had undertaken the challenge of penning a history of magic on Turtle Island - as North America is often called in indigenous circles - I was thrilled. This is an admirable task. There is much that students at Hogwarts and elsewhere can learn by studying this topic. However, after reading the initial samples submitted for review, I must confess I found the work thus far lacking, particularly in its understanding of indigenous traditions. In light of this, I find myself compelled to supplement this work so that students may gain a deeper understanding of the rich history of this continent.The magical history of Turtle Island is as old and diverse as the continent itself. That said, there are some general issues that we must address early, especially for the benefit of those students more familiar with the magical paradigms of Europe.For as long as there have been people, there have been those who study and draw power for the Mystery that surrounds us. In English, we are known as wizards and witches today, though many traditional practitioners reject these terms. While I respect our European brothers’ and sisters’ right to reclaim names that have long been demonized in their own lands, this rejection is completely understandable. These terms came to us in their vilified forms and have long been associated with those who have succumbed to the Dark Arts. In our own languages, we are known by many names: támali, wakondagi (Old and New), tarriassuit, halait, yaya’t, nagual, and countless others. These are prefered, but in this work I will also be employing “magician” as a general term for a practitioner of magic.Until the imposed segregation by MACUSA in 1692, most indigenous societies made little distinction between magicians and no-majes. Magic is just one of many ways a person may accrue power and prestige and not necessarily regarded as the best due to the temptation of the Dark Arts. That distinction, between practitioners of the Dark Arts and everyone else, is given far greater importance.It is also important to note here that, while there are religious magicians, there are no magical religions. Religious beliefs in the Americas are no more tied to magic than they are in the Old World. What power religions possess appears deeper and more mysterious than our current theories of magic can comprehend, and also do not distinguish between magician and no-maj. Religions, therefore, are beyond the scope of this work and should not be confused with magic.Since magician and no-maj have historically been socially integrated, the concept of a magical government separate from its no-maj counterpart is a colonial imposition. That said, magicians did create formal societies for the spread and maintenance of magical knowledge. We might call these “schools” if that term did not call to mind the erroneous notion of an academic institution, which were rare in the Americas where systems of apprenticeship abound. Instead, they are known as Paths and five dominate the history of Turtle Island prior to 1692.


Of the Magician Paths, the Northern Path is the oldest in its current form. The Tuniq magician Kulluittumuk established the path in the 9th Century, drawing inspiration and followers from all over the tundra and taiga. Initially, the teachings of the Northern path emphasized protective magic, such as warding Enchantments and counter-Spells. Such skills remain essential. The long winter nights and the sparse human population of the high Arctic have allowed all manner of Beings and Beasts, many malevolent, to flourish.

The Northern Path is composed of two major communities. The more numerous are the tarriassuit, a hidden society much like the reclusive wizarding communities of Europe. Today the tarriassuit are a multi-ethnic people, but originally they were Tuniit who chose seclusion over confrontation during the Inuit migrations of the 11th Century. The later infusion of Inuit into tarriassuit society led to their language become the lingua magi of the Northern Path. The tarriassuit live in communities composed mostly of magicians and any no-maj spouses and children they may have. From a young age, tarriassuit magicians are taught spells to befuddle the senses and cloud memories to elude the detection of outsiders. If a no-maj does happen to catch a glimpse of a tarriassuq, they often confuse the magician for an ijiraq - a caribou-headed humanoid Being that live among the tarriassuit. Antlered headdresses, as common among the tarriassuit as pointed hats are among European magicians, no doubt contributes to this confusion.

The second community of magicians are the angakkuit. They maintain the old traditions of the Northern Path, living among no-maj communities to protect them from malevolent entities and maintaining the peace between humans and the other Beings that dwell in the Arctic. Technically anyone - magician and no-maj - who performs this function is worthy of the title angakkuq. While a few angakkuit are born in tarriassuit communities, most have lived among their own people all their lives. Due to suppression by both Scourers and MACUSA, there are few angakkuit magicians left practicing. Despite their own preference for secrecy, the tarriassuit offer whatever aid they can to any magician (and even a few no-majes) who take up the mantle of angakkuq in the face of such adversity. They know all too well the necessity of such protection.

The magical dangers of the North are many but have changed over time. In Kulluittumuk’s day, the principal threat were the inugarulligait, diminutive goblins famed for their ability to Transfigure their own size. While an individual inugarulligaq may still seek harm humans, the protective magic of the Northern Path prevents them from being a wide-scale danger and they have since become more accustomed to living alongside, though rarely among, humans. The 12th Century saw the rise of the Dark Witch Nava who founded a tribe of werewolves known as the Itqiliit (also commonly known as the Ts’el’eni in the western forests). Though Nava herself was defeated long ago, the Itqiliit still prowl the Arctic forests, disorganized but always eager for a chance to avenge their great Den Mother. In 1384, the Hekslov banished the infamous Durmstrang instructor Yngvar the Burned to Greenland. The Dark Wizard terrorized Inuit and Norse alike, until he was ultimately defeated by the angakkuq Ukaleq in 1408. The qallupilluit, scaly humanoid Beasts that lurk in frigid Arctic waters, have been one dreaded constant. To them, a crying child is the sweetest music and they will stop at nothing to seize one to “sing” in their dens within sea ice and glaciers.

To aid their struggle against such dangers, a Northern magician’s most important tool is their tupilaq. This is a wand-like device used to channel and focus one’s magic. The magician carves their tupilaq from antler, ivory, or bone, tapping into some residual essence of the creature. Crafting tupilait from any part of a Being is tantamount to, and often preceded by, murder and thus rightly condemned and punished by the Northern Path. Dark Wizards may seek to make tupilait from their victims; the more powerful and intelligent the source was in life, the more powerful the tupilaq will be. Such tupilait also seem possessed of a will of their own and seek to avenge themselves as Nava’s did. While some European magicians have claimed that the tupilaq must have been inspired by their own wands, it is well established that such items existed before contact with Europe. Kulluittumuk himself possessed a legendary tupilaq made of mammoth ivory.


Over its long history, Mesoamerica has been home to numerous magical schools. Sadly, only one has survived to the present day. The B’alam-hal Naah, secluded in the forests of the Yucatan, has long set the standard for the Southern Path, emphasizing arthimancy, astronomy, weather Charms, and many practical skills associated with good governance. Though the Southern Path has its origins among the Maya, a dialect of Nahuatl soon became the lingua magi of the region. Today, the prefered general term in the region for a magician is teixcuepani - a term adopted from incredulous no-majes who could not believe the feats performed by their magical kin. Magicians of exceptional skill, having past their final tests and become an Animagi1, are universally hailed as nagual.

In ages past, the various kingdoms of Mesoamerica had been ruled by kings and queens well versed in the magical arts or attended by magical advisers. In the 9th and early 10th Centuries, the common people - magician and no-maj alike - rebelled against these magical dynasties. In 907, a common-born magician from Uxmal, Itzamnaaj the Builder, overthrew the previous magician-king. Hoping to quell any further calamity caused by the rebellions, Itzamnaaj summoned representatives from a dozen kingdoms throughout Mesoamerica. Together they formed Council of the Thirteen Nagual Lords.

To accomplish their goal, the Thirteen Nagual Lords founded the B’alam-hal Naah to instruct magicians, not only to safely harness their powers, but also to manage the affairs of their kingdoms justly. The famed Toltec prince Ce Acatl was among the first to graduate from the school. He excelled in both magic and governance, overseeing a golden age for both his own city-state of Tollan and much of Mesoamerica in general, where today he is even more revered than either Arthur or Merlin are among Europe’s magical communities.

Under Ce Acatl’s reign, the chiquacolli became a popular tool among the teixcuepani. Originating as a magical variant of the atlatl, or spearthrower, overtime chiquacolli became increasingly elaborate and ornamental, until they could no longer perform such a mundane function. They are made primarily from cypress or kapok wood that, like European wands, are imbued with a bit of a magical creature. Ce Acatl’s own chiquacolli was made of cypress, spiralling at the end, and containing the feather of a vision serpent. Chiquacolli produce powerful spells, but slow the casting to the point that defense spells are difficult, if not impossible, to cast reliably with them.

The 15th Century saw rise of the most insidious Dark Wizard in the history of North America. Born to the royal family of Tenochtitlan, Tlacaelel attended the B’alam-hal Naah in the 1410s. He mastered both magic and politics. Returning home, he quickly became the prime minister and forged the Aztecs into a brutal, conquering empire. He instituted new laws that oppressed his no-maj subjects. His forces ransacked the magical schools at Texcoco and Cholula, destroying any teachings that did not adhere to the new hegemony. In 1446, he harnessed the Aztec war machine to provide a nearly endless supply of human sacrifices to fuel his dark magic. The Tlamatini resistance movement tirelessly opposed Tlacaelel. The core of this group were teachers from the Texcoco and Cholula schools prior to their corruption, with clandestine assistance from the B’alam-hal Naah. They saw little success against Tlacaelel until the 1470s, when the magicians of the Kingdom of Tzintzuntzan joined the fight. In 1487, Tlacaelel himself was finally defeated, at great cost, by anonymous Tlamatini agents, but his followers continued to control the empire until its ultimate defeat at the hands of the Spanish.

Relief that the cruel excesses of Tlacaelel’s empire had finally ended was short lived. The Spanish brought with them a brutality of their own. In 1536, Bishop Zumarraga founded the Mexican Inquisition, bringing the formal persecution of magicians that had begun fifty years earlier in Europe to the Americas. Zumarraga’s Inquisition devastated the indigenous magical communities in the Valley of Mexico, destroying even what Tlacaelel had left behind at Texcoco and Cholula and making room for the introduction of European magical teachings now taught at the Palacio de los Milagros. The B’alam-hal Naah escaped the attention of the Mexican Inquisition until 1562, when Bishop de Landa collected thousands of Maya documents destined for destruction and learned of the school’s existence. Shanarani, a student from Tzintzuntzan, saved the school by channeling her magic into ancient enchantments created by Itzamnaaj and causing it to move beyond de Landa’s reach. The inquisitor spent years searching for the school until he again discovered it’s location in 1579. Shanarani, now a teacher, successfully led the defense of the school when any further attempts to alter its location failed. With de Landa’s death, the location of the school has safely remained secret for its enemies. Ever since, it has continued to promote indigenous magical teachings for any who wish to learn.

1. Students of herbology may well question how pre-Columbian magicians became Animagi as today this requires the use of mandrake root, native to Eurasia. In the Americas, moonflower seeds has long filled the same role.


The Eastern Path will be most familiar to students of Ilvermorny, as it is the indigenous tradition to which our school owes the greatest debt. As it is currently practiced, the Eastern Path emphasizes the studies of herbology, potions, and divination. In ancient times, the Old Wakondagi also mastered the arts of geomancy and Patronic Charms that have long since been lost. For all their wisdom, the Old Wakondagi fell to their own folly in the 5th Century, leading to a nearly complete loss of magic from a huge swath of North America in an event known as the Binding of the Council.

By the 5th Century, the influence of the Old Wakondagi spread from the shores of the Atlantic to the slopes of the Rockies. Everywhere they pursued new ways to unravel the Mysteries of magic and in particular hoped to claim powers that had thus far been the purview only of other Beings. The miagthushka, elf-like Beings that form their own societies throughout North America, became increasingly concerned at the power the magicians’ accumulated. According to the miagthushka accounts from the Payiihsa Nation, Keešaakosita Mamahkiihsia - their leader at the time - devised a plan.

When the Great Council of Wakondagi convened, he walked among them, secretly offering to teach each all he knew of magic on the condition that they would never speak a word of what they have learned to anyone. So tempted, the Old Wakondagi all agreed and all failed to see the trap Mamahkiihsia had laid for them. From that day, no magician of the old Eastern Path could teach magic. As the old masters died, their arts and their knowledge died with them. Of course, many magicians doubt that Mamahkiihsia could be so clever or so powerful, or the Old Wakondagi so foolish, for such a scheme to have been successful and blame some yet unknown cause for the temporary loss of magic in the region. Perhaps they are right. The effects of the Binding appear to have been more far-reaching and long-lasting the Payiihsa account would suggest.

Following the Binding, only the use of magical plants persisted with any level of continuity, as such skills can be taught without ever speaking a word if the student is dutifully observant. Those with a proficiency for divination arose from time to time, though that it has always been a skill that is more cultivated than taught. Armed with only these talents, the New Wakondagi gathered on the banks of the Mississippi and in 1054 finally broke the curse that had long withheld the ability to teach magic. This first new generation of magicians established the Eastern Path in the city of Nondse Wacpe, and from here the New Wakondagi set about hoping to restore the grandeur of their predecessors. Because of their influence, an archaic Dhegiha dialect is the most commonly employed lingua magi in the Eastern Woodlands, though it is not as dominant as Inuit or Nahuatl is in the North and Southern Path.

The 1130s saw the rise and redemption of the Iroquoian Dark Wizard Tadodaho. When Tadodaho abandoned his wicked ways in 1142 and helped establish the Haudenosaunee - the Iroquois Confederacy - he also initiated a schism within the Eastern Path. The New Wakondagi taught only those who could demonstrate ancestry with the Old Wakondagi and, consequently favored those of high birth. While Tadodaho himself had benefited from this elitism, he became convinced that if magic remained only in the hands of the powerful, there would be too few to stop him, or another like him, should he once again fall to the Dark Arts. He proposed to the Great Council that anyone who displayed a talent for magic should be permitted to learn, provided they can find a mentor willing to instruct them. The majority of wakondagi disagreed, fearing that magic in the hands of many was more dangerous than in the hands of a few, but they had no authority of stop the Iroquoian delegation from pursuing such a course if they chose to do so. While the elitist faction of wakondagi continued to look down the more egalitarian faction established by Tadodaho as reckless, as the centuries rolled on, they found themselves increasingly outnumbered. By the early 17th Century, the egalitarian wakondagi were the overwhelming majority.

Much has been made about the absence of wands from magic in the Eastern Path. While it is true that wands were introduced to the area from Europe, practitioners of the Eastern Path have long had their own magical tools which are typically more subtle than those wielded elsewhere and are often incompatible with the use of wands. The most commonly used is the magic bundle. The bundle is a satchel made from the specially prepared animal skin. Otter or ermine is prefered while snakeskin is shunned. Like wands, the bundle receives its initial magical spark from some part of a magical creature, such as a the jeweled scale of horned serpent, the claws of a water panther, or a strand of hair from a flying head. Unlike wands, which can be purchased, a bundle must be crafted by its owner or inherited from a mentor or relative. Without a proper heir, the bundles become dangerously unstable and must be destroyed. To avoid this problem, most are now enchanted to seek out an heir upon the death of their owner. Over time, magician fills his bundles with tokens of his power, and each further augments his power, allowing the magician to perform feats that few others could perform - wand or no wand. Today the art of bundle-making is practiced only by the most traditional magicians of the Eastern Path as most have come to prefer the immediate benefits of a wand over the long-term investment of a bundle.


For centuries the Southwestern Path has been entangled in a clandestine war between two principal factions, along with several minor factions that have allied themselves to one or the other major players or seek to take advantage of the chaos to their own ends. On one side stands the the Yaya’wimi, the general magician society in the region; on the other are the Kwitavit, a society that long ago embraced the teachings of the Dark Wizard Powaqtaqa and seized power. While skillful use of magical stealth and subterfuge has become essential, the Southwestern Path is now subdivided into numerous secret societies, each with their own specialization.

The Southwestern Path formally began in 1060, when the Yaya’wimi united and agreed to create the first magical school north of Mesoamerica. Built into a cleft of a canyon wall, the now infamous Palangw has countless rooms spirally deeper and deeper into the rock. A century later, the Dark Wizard Powaqtaqa became the leader of the school and corrupted all its teachings. Those who followed him became the Kwitavit, while those yaya’t that resisted went into hiding for their own safety.

Throughout the 12th Century, a brutal war raged between the Yaya’wimi and the Kwitavit. The end result was a great calamity that brought down the societies of the day and forced magician and no-maj alike to flee to safer refuges. While the Kwitavit retained Palangw and a few hidden pueblos exclusively for themselves, the Yaya’wimi integrated into the surrounding no-maj communities. Around this time, Navajo and Apache magicians introduced powerful protective magics from the Northern Path into the region and shielded the Yaya’wimi from the Kwitavit scrying. Since they could not practice their magic openly, the Yaya’wimi formed or joined various secret societies modeled after the ceremonial societies common in the region. They soon learned new ways of casting their spells through song and dance, so that they might disguise their actions in such performances.

This has not gone unnoticed by the Kwitavit, who seek to infiltrate and undermine the works of both magical and ceremonial societies. Failing that, they also infiltrate the magical and no-maj organizations charged with apprehending, trying, and punishing those who practice the Dark Arts, turning them against the enemies of the Kwitavit or upon some hapless no-maj caught in the middle of this secret war. Tragically, however, paranoia and fear run high in the region; a Dark Wizard is not necessarily behind every overzealous accusation and misplaced punishment.

At the very end of the 16th Century, the Spanish Empire conquered the Southwest and brought the Mexican Inquisition with them. While the Inquisition did help break the insidious domination of the Kwitavit, they treated the Yaya’wimi and no-maj just the same. Many yaya’t assisted the no-majes in the Pueblo Revolt which drove the Spanish from the region for more than a decade. When the Spanish did return, most of the Yaya’wimi fled west to the Hopi pueblos that continued to remain largely independent of imperial influences. For this reason, a dialect of Hopi has become the lingua magi of the Southwest, though many of the secret societies also maintain the language of their ancestors. The Sioyaya’t, for example, speak Zuni regularly and employ it in their own magic.

The turmoil of caused by the Mexican Inquisition and the subsequent revolt allowed another faction of Dark Wizards to gain a foothold in the region. They are known euphemistically today as the Crawlers because they often travel in animal disguises and have cursed the usage of their true names. While the Kwitavit have sought ideological domination of the region, the Crawlers are driven primarily by desire for wealth. The Crawlers have their origins among with Navajo and Apache traders who kept the supply of moonflower flowing in the region even after it was outlawed by the Inquisition. Anyone could be a Crawler today, though Navajo and Apache Crawlers still dominate. They have moved onto smuggling all manner of illicit magical plants, but still ruthlessly slay anyone who stands between them and their profits.

Monster hunters, both ancient and recent, have extirpated most species of magical creatures from the Southwest. Only a few like rock-eagles and ghost-owls, which nest atop inaccessible peaks, remain, but even these are exceptionally rare. Because of this, the Southwestern Path does indeed lack any direct parallel to wands. Yet it is not without a host of inventive magical devices. Crystallomancy is highly developed, and many yaya’t keep a collection of magical gemstones, often disguised as a common piece of jewelry. The Southwestern Path was the also the first in North America to develop flying devices. The paatuwvota is the most commonly employed, functioning similarly to the flying carpets of the Middle East, except that they are usually disguised as articles of clothing and come in a variety of styles.


Compared to the other major precolonial Magician Paths, the Northwestern Path is quite young. The Southern Path was already facing off against the Mexican Inquisition before the magical communities of Pacific Northwest united during Sxwayok’s War. The legacy of that war forged a strong alliance between the magicians- known locally as the halait - and the other Beings that inhabit the region. The Path is renowned for its advances in the art and science of Transfiguration. Quick and creative uses of such spells has allowed many halait to become famed duelist, such a Gwilkshanaqs who won the championship for both the men’s and women’s leagues in 1912.

In the first half of the 16th Century, the ogress Sxwayok roused the fury of her people against humanity and the other Beings of the Pacific Northwest. Above all else she craved children who had not yet begun to manifest their magical abilities. She had discovered a way of consuming their latent magic and channeling it into herself. Armed with this hideous magic, she dried up rivers, battered the coasts with monstrous waves, and toppled mountains with rain-soaked landslides. In 1566, the Makah halait Haatse gave his life to defeat Sxwayok in a cataclysmic battle on the slopes overlooking Ozette Lake. Without a charismatic leader to galvanize them, the ogres succumbed to infighting and factionalism. Despite that, Sxwayok’s War never truly ended. Ogre attacks eventually diminished, but even to this day, one band of ogres or another will claim that Sxwayok has been reborn among them and strike out against their enemies. Fortunately none of these new claimants has succeeded in uniting the ogres.

During Sxwayok’s War, humanity did not fight alone. They were joined by communities of kushtaka and sasquatches who also suffered from the ogres’ attacks. The kushtaka, or Land-Otter People, live up and down the coasts and along the major rivers of the region. Stories abound with tales of humans becoming kushtaka after being saved from drowning (sometimes after the kushtaka capsized the victim’s canoe). Before the alliance, kushtaka often rescued drowning men and women only to enslave them. After the alliance, people rescued in this fashion have been obligated to work for the kushtaka for a brief time before being allowed to return to their own people. The kushtaka adopt the names of any person they rescue, and refer to the individual only by their occupation (often simply calling them “servant”) even after the period of servitude has been completed.

While sasquatches are found throughout North America, they are most populous in the Pacific Northwest. Unlike humans or kushtaka, they do not form nations, tribes, villages or large communities of any sort and instead prefer to live in relative isolation even from their own kind. Combining tremendous physical strength with mastery of stealth and evasion, the sasquatches are fearsome warrior when stirred (as MACUSA discovered to their detriment in 1892), but fortunately they are slow to anger.

The Northwestern Path employs two principal tools. The magician’s staff is an ancient device, found throughout the world since deepest prehistory. Northwestern magicians still hold it as a badge of honor. While European wizards miniaturized their staffs into the wands, the Northwestern Path went in the other direction. Totem poles had been carved by no-maj artisans for generations, but in 1605, the Haida halait Sandlenee successfully merged the techniques of staff carving and pole carving. She had her new pole erected with the others in her village. So long as she remained within a few miles of the pole, she found she could cast spells without needing a staff at all. After Sandlenee’s initial creation, the technique spread rapidly. As totem poles grew ever larger and more elaborate, so too did the radius and amplifying power of their magical counterparts.

Though far removed from the initial wave of European colonialism, the magicians of the Northwestern Path were not completely isolated from the rest of the world. Magical transportation in the form of spirit-boards, resembling a cross between a totem pole and surfboard, have allowed halait to travel great distances. Following the advice of Aleut and Yupik fishermen, Kaasanak flew her spirit-board all the way around the northern coast of the Pacific in 1613, and arrived at Japan’s Mahoutokoro. Inspired by her brief encounter with the magical school, she returned home and established the Heixwaa Hit, which is less a school and more of a feasting hall for magicians. Still, young practitioners from far and wide came to the Heixwaa Hit to find a mentor willing to instruct them further.

Unfortunately, those across the sea did not forget Kaasanak’s visit. During the Topattumi, the Ainu Dark Wizard Ramaushain guided his followers east to raid and pillage the coast of North America. They came in search of slaves and bark of the Sun Cedar, a critically endangered magical plant endemic to region. For Ramaushain, the raids against the people of the Pacific Northwest were merely a means to his ultimate goal: victory in the Tapottumi and the conquest of Hokkaido. He had no interest in establishing a permanent presence in North America. Reliably as the change of the seasons, Ramaushain and his minions swept out of the setting sun each spring to terrorize the coast. In 1678, Ramaushain met his final end near the mouth of the Columbia River, thanks to the efforts of Chinook halait and their kushtaka allies, with some assistance from a mysterious figure from across the mountains known only as the Interpreter.

The lingua magi of the Northwestern Path is a mix of an archaic dialect of Sm’algyax - the Tsimshian language - overlaid with a later introduction of Chinook Jargon. Even before the Northwestern Path formally came together, Tsimshian halaits crafted the finest magical tools, including not only staffs but spirit-boards and soul-catchers (devices to negate the power of curses laid upon a victim). Even after the introduction of magical poles, Tsimshian halaits continue their legacy of exceptional craftsmanship and create most of the enchanted chisels necessary for such work. Today, wands made by Sga’tiin are as highly regarded by halaits as any crafted by Shikoba Wolfe or Ollivander. As the epicenter of magical trade on the Pacific Coast, the Tsimshian have been able to influence the magical terminology for quite some time. Whether the halait is creating a staff, a pole, or a wand, moksgm’ol bone is the most popular choice for providing the initial magical spark. After the unification of the Northwest Path, Chinook Jargon became the language of more mundane trade, but eventually the halait adopted bits and pieces of it, too. The words used for foreign magical concepts, items, and creatures in particular are typically based on Chinook Jargon rather than Sm’algyax.

i was in the bath and like tends to happen when you’re doing nothing else but hanging in hot water, i started to think

and i’ve seen a lot of cool harry potter posts about queer headcanons and historical magic

but i don’t ever recall seeing one on north america, specifically. and i can’t help but think american magic is so vastly different from british magic. 

like, you had some wizards coming over with the puritans, but you can’t have had many, they knew full well they’d have been burned or stoned. like, i think there’s a lot of native american influence in american magic in the early days, there’s like maybe one or two muggleborn white european wizards, or a half-blood 

but in america all the pureblood families of any note are definitely native

and the american school of magic starts out really more in word of mouth and parental tutelage, but like, the wizarding community finds each other so easily; there’s this sense of adventure and movement in early america that allows for people with magic to find one another; there’s no official school or official places like diagon alley or hogsmeade at first, but it doesn’t bother them much because the wizarding population starts out so tiny?

and you have that in the early days, before the huge immigrant boom from europe, and then you have this uniquely american wizard tendencies to carve out places for themselves in muggle cities; there’s not really entire all-wizarding villages so much as like

Little Italy and Chinatown, only for wizards. alleys and streets that look abandoned and run down but are just streets for potions and robes

(the american wizard does not put much stock in robes, though, hard to wear robes working heavy machinery in the factories)

there’s a huge wizarding community in new york in the 1800s because for the first time there’s immigrants coming over with this sense of how magic should be done, who aren’t afraid of being burned to death by their religious shipmates; even so, they write down spells in their native tongues and their kids grow up speaking english and eventually, american magic becomes this hodgepodge of dog latin and half-assed italian and spanish and french and the old pureblooded families have allowed for some native words to be added into the spell lexicon

and american wizards from the old pureblooded native families are much better at casting patronus spells; while there’s not a lot of native influence in spells, there’s a lot in how potions are made and how divination is performed; less “crystal balls and tea leaves” and more dreams and dream interpretation 

and the slaves who grow up and bring over spells from africa and african magic concepts–the idea of voodoo and necromancy spreads like wildfire in the southern states; after the civil war, the idea of ghosts was so strong, and stronger so among wizards and witches.

the thing about american magic is there’s no “one form” of american magic. it’s not nearly as coherent or cohesive as european magic; it’s a mix of native culture and immigrant parent hand me downs from parents who taught their kids english and so could not teach them spells in their native tongues

it takes until the late 1800s to even have an american school established; the railroad craze allows for transport faster than ever and kids can actually go to a wizard school without taking seven months to get there. there’s less emphasis on houses or status; there is no ministry of magic, but something more akin to “wizard mayors,” enforcing local order where it needs to be enforced. the idea of an individual is so important here, and on top of that, it’s hard to enforce such a scattered wizard community; everyone takes care of their own local community more than anything.

also there are a lot less purebloods than anywhere else in the world in america, as native americans were the only real purebloods in america and we all know how that went

there are also a lot less in the way of actual magical creatures early on; some wizards manage to smuggle them over, unicorns disguised as horses, dragons who set up shop in the appalachian mountains, but it takes time before there’s “standard” magical creatures. but the native wizards know about the thunderbird. and creatures like zombies and the bigfoot, those are more america’s style; odd urban myths that become something more.

Parallels between Life is Strange and Until Dawn
  • referencing the butterfly effect and using butterfly imagery to signify that your choices have changed the game’s outcomes
  • significant Native American influence in the setting with no actual representation of Native Americans
  • someone shoots bottles and a girl watching says “Nice shootin’, Tex”

anonymous asked:

that post about homosexuality in Demacia was really well thought out. good work.

Honey that’s not my work. Go thank @askthewolfandthelamb for her insight!

I do honestly agree with her. As a bisexual woman, I put a lot of thought into what cultures accept LGBTQ into their cultures.

To elaborate (kind of), here’s my own list of what I think. Before I get pissed off asks, please remember this is what I think, not “I want everyone to listen and follow what I say”.

  • Bandle City: They work on a system of “partnerships” where gender is irrelevant. Yordle’s don’t care what your gender is…they only care about compatibility and what you bring to the dinner table.
  • Bilgewater: This city of new beginnings is a haven for people who were cast out fo their orientation. There are lots of homosexual relationships here, but more importantly this is a haven for Transgender people (This was touched on by sea-hunter-aatrox forever ago during the bilgewater event and by @scarletgunslinger earlier today.)
  • Demacia: Like @askthewolfandthelamb said, it’s probably frowned upon to be gay in Demacia. things are one way there. You do things like you’re supposed to, or you get demoted, exiled, or killed. I’ll go far as saying it’s illegal in Demacia, and all homosexual relations are done in secret. Being gay is probably a “disgrace to the family name”….and if history has anything to say…a family would sooner institutionalize someone BEFORE the public found out they were gay.
  • Freljord: I don’t think being gay is AS common in Freljord, but it’s still there. Again, there’s a monarchy system and producing an heir is important. However, I think Freljordians have a little native american influence…In particular my headcannon is that the Ursine have “two-spirit” people.
  • Ionia: LGBTQ acceptance is relatively new. It was frowned upon for centuries in past dynasties, but it started to gain acceptance in the past Dynasty and the current Dynasty.
  • Mount Targon: Considering Mount Targon is very Greek/Roman based, and they were totally fine about homosexual relationships in ancient times, I think it goes to say it’s cool here as well.
  • Noxus: Noxus values strength over everything else. Like Demacia, if you’re a noble you’re expected to marry to make your family ties stronger, and you make children for more soldiers. I don’t think it’s AS frowned on as it is in Demacia, but it IS still frowned upon though. You may get some judgemental looks, but it’s not illegal. There’s most likely circles of nobles who share it as a “secret”…but Noxus won’t ruin their lives if they’re found out.
  • Piltover: Piltover is the City of Progress. I assume that (much like Bilgewater and Zaun), this is a haven for people who are thrown out because of orientation. Piltover was the first to have specifically made wedding certificates for LGBTQ people.
  • Shadow Isles: Everyone’s dead and lives forever as spirits. I don’t think gender matters. Only death and torturing the living.
  • Shurima: I just covered this here.
  • Zaun: You’re fine to be Gay here. I headcannon that Zaunites attempted the first sex change surgery, but it was considered “too dangerous” by the Piltovian populace (up until Piltover stole it and perfected it).
  • Kumungu Jungle: Considering this is all Plant People and Animal People, and homosexuality is observed EVERYWHERE in nature, I assume no one cares about what you fuck in the Jungle.
  • the Void: Nobody cares about love or affection in the Void, only destruction. Though, I headcannon that certain Voidbeasts can change their gender at will (kind of like frogs) for mating purposes.

anonymous asked:

How would you define "black culture?" Some friends of mine were having a discussion on this, some believe it doesn't exist at all, while others believe it's something along the lines of soul food and hip hop and an understanding of our deepest ancestors from Africa. Your take?

Black culture is usually referring to Black American culture due to our history in the African Diaspora. Influenced by various cultures and traditions, Black culture includes subcultures like Hip Hop, cuisines that are known as soul food, music like rap, rhythm and blues, the blues, jazz, etc.

 In all, black culture exists due to the blend of various African cultures and traditions, and Native American and European influences. 



Something that I like regarding Megaten guidebooks is that some of them (in particular the older ones) also include paintings of sometimes even famous artists very often to imply the background of the game.

The Shin Megami Tensei II  悪魔大事典 (akuma daijiten) book uses the Ghent Altar piece as its cover. The altar piece was designed by the van Eyck brothers (Hubert van Eyck and Jan van Eyck) and includes various figures like Virgin Mary, John the Baptist, Adam and Eve for example.

The index uses Leonardo da Vinci’s Announciation. This was chosen so well. SMTII is kinda were SMT started with the New Testament. Also notice that the New Testament figures that play a role are Jesus (Aleph), Mary (Hiroko) and Gabriel (from SMTII onwards potrayed as female just like in Christian art).

The Soul Hackers books are cool as well:

In the Soul Hackers Revision book there is a section dedicated to the Native American influence for the game. That was sweet.

Also: One of my favorite paintings was featured in the Soul Hackers guide: The Execution of Lady Jane Grey by Paul Delaroche. I saw it in the National Gallery when I went to London last year. I have always liked this one and always felt sorry for Jane (the Nine Day Queen had a really short life).