nez perce tribe

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Seafair Pow-Wow 2015

Wally, the Wallowa Lake Monster- Oregon (part 1)

Thousands of years ago massive glaciers covered the land that is today called Oregon. As these rivers of ice made their centuries-long trek across the land, they gouged up soil and stone and piled the debris up at their leading edges to create huge earth ridges called moraines. If these moraines were built up high enough in the right locations, they would become dams that trapped water from the melting glacier, creating large cold and clear lakes. Such was the genesis of Wallowa Lake in Oregon.

In historical times the area around the lake was inhabited by the Wallowa band of the Nez Perce Native American tribe. When Europeans settlers came to the area, the lands around the lake were set aside for the Nez Perce through a Treaty. As you can probably guess, sadly, this Treaty was quickly broken once gold was discovered in the West in the 1860s. Tensions between settlers and the Wallowa led to violence. Rather than submit to European standards of justice, the Nez Perce, led by Chiefs Joseph, Looking Glass, White Bird and others, left their ancestral home around the lake and tried to flee to Montana to join the Crow. In the end, though, they were harried by the U.S. military and forced to settle in Oklahoma, though they were eventually allowed to settle in the Colville reservation in Washington.

The first recorded account of a monster in Wallowa Lake comes from an 1885 article in the Wallowa Chieftain, which gave an account from an unnamed gold prospector who claimed to have seen a long-necked beast with a flat head gliding through the water near his boat. Sporadic sightings of the creature continued for decades after. Eyewitnesses described the animal as resembling a Chinese dragon or a black, hump-backed serpent. In time the enigmatic creature was given the affectionate nickname “Wally”.

Like most of my lake monsters, I wanted to avoid making Wally into the typical long-necked serpent or modern-day plesiosaur. Instead, I drew on Wallowa Lake’s glacial origin as inspiration for the beast’s identity. Glaciers of Northwestern America are home to an unusual creature called an ice worm (Mesenchytraeus solifugus). These tiny, black, hair-like crawlers are annelids, part of the same phylum that includes common earthworms along with leeches and the famous giant tube worms found on hydrothermal vents. During the day ice worms inhabit tiny channels within the ice and emerge at night to scour the glacier’s surface for algae, pollen and other bits of food. Unique enzymes and other proteins in the worms’ bodies allow them to survive in the freezing temperatures of the ice fields. They are, in fact, so specialized to this extreme environment that heating them to even 40 degrees Fahrenheit will cause the worms to literally melt.

I imagined Wally- or rather, Wallys, since there would have to be a small population of these creatures- to be gigantic descendents of Mesenchytraeus. Being a cold glacially-derived lake, Wallowa does not have much life in it. Algae is scarce, making the water remarkably clear. Fish and aquatic insects are also sparse. The Wallys thus live on the bottom, slowly burrowing through the muck to feed on bacteria and other microorganisms. Why they occasionally come to the surface, and why they have grown so big compared to their ice worm ancestors, is unknown.

On This Day: August 9
  • 1814: The Treaty of Fort Jackson is signed by the Creek. By the terms of the treaty, the Creek were forced to cede 23 million acres (93,000 km²) of their territory: their remaining land in Georgia and much of central Alabama, to the United States government.
  • 1877: Battle of the Big Hole between the US Army and the Nez Perce tribe.
  • 1888: During a meeting of the terrassiers strikers Joseph Tortelier, an ardent advocate of the “General Strike,” is selected as their lawyer.
  • 1890: Knights of Labor strike on the New York Central railroad.
  • 1898: Anti-fascist anarchist guerrilla fighter Vassil Ikonomov born in Aïtos, Bulgaria. He was an important figure in anarchism in Bulgaria.
  • 1927: California School Employees Association formed. Representing over 230,000 school workers, it is the largest labour union of its kind in the US.
  • 1929: Abdi İpekçi born in Istanbul. He was a journalist and human rights activist who was murdered by fascists while editor of the newspaper Milliyet.
  • 1938: Emma Goldman offers the International Institute of Social History (IISH) her unpublished sketches and large collection of newspaper clippings as well as Alexander Berkman’s diary. She agrees to help IISH obtain other collections of personal papers from her circle of anarchist friends.
  • 1943: Austrian Franz Jägerstätter, who refused to serve in German army, publicly beheaded in Berlin for “undermining of military morale”.
  • 1945: US drops “Fatman” on Nagasaki, as a test to see whether it or the Hiroshima atomic bomb design was more effective; 39,000 are killed.
  • 1956: 20,000 women march in Pretoria to protest against the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act in South Africa.
  • 1971: British forces in Northern Ireland start Operation Demetrius. Hundreds are arrested and interned and twenty are killed in the violence that followed.
  • 1983: Spanish anarchist Francisco Abarca Gomez dies in Hui, Belgium. He was active with the CNT and FAI.
  • 1994: Manuel Cepeda Vargas, Senator for the communist party in Colombia assassinated by paramilitaries.
  • 1998: Workers at Bell Atlantic on US East Coast end successful strike.
  • 2002: Anarchist sociologist and activist Peter Neville dies.
  • 2014: Michael Brown, an 18-yr-old black man shot and killed by policeman in Ferguson, which sparked mass protests.
  • 2014: 150,000 march in London, UK, in solidarity with Gaza and against Israeli attacks on Palestine.
Chief Joseph 
Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekht


The first white men of your people who came to our country were named Lewis and Clark. They brought many things which our people had never seen. They talked straight and our people gave them a great feast as proof that their hearts were friendly. They made presents to our chiefs and our people made presents to them. We had a great many horses of which we gave them what they needed, and they gave us guns and tobacco in return. All the Nez Perce made friends with Lewis and Clark and agreed to let them pass through their country and never to make war on white men. This promise the Nez Perce have never broken.


For a short time we lived quietly. But this could not last. White men had found gold in the mountains around the land of the Winding Water. They stole a great many horses from us and we could not get them back because we were Indians. The white men told lies for each other. They drove off a great many of our cattle. Some white men branded our young cattle so they could claim them. We had no friends who would plead our cause before the law councils. It seemed to me that some of the white men in Wallowa were doing these things on purpose to get up a war. They knew we were not stong enough to fight them. I labored hard to avoid trouble and bloodshed. We gave up some of our country to the white men, thinking that then we could have peace. We were mistaken. The white men would not let us alone. We could have avenged our wrongs many times, but we did not. Whenever the Government has asked for help against other Indians we have never refused. When the white men were few and we were strong we could have killed them off, but the Nez Perce wishes to live at peace.
On account of the treaty made by the other bands of the Nez Perce the white man claimed my lands. We were troubled with white men crowding over the line. Some of them were good men, and we lived on peaceful terms with them, but they were not all good. Nearly every year the agent came over from Lapwai and ordered us to the reservation. We always replied that we were satisfied to live in Wallowa. We were careful to refuse the presents or annuities which he offered.
Through all the years since the white man came to Wallowa we have been threatened and taunted by them and the treaty Nez Perce. They have given us no rest. We have had a few good friends among the white men, and they have always advised my people to bear these taunts without fighting. Our young men are quick tempered and I have had great trouble in keeping them from doing rash things. I have carried a heavy load on my back ever since I was a boy. I learned then that we were but few while the white men were many, and that we could not hold our own with them. We were like deer. They were like grizzly bears. We had a small country. Their country was large. We were contented to let things remain as the Great Spirit Chief made them. They were not; and would change the mountains and rivers if they did not suit them.


[At his surrender in the Bear Paw Mountains, 1877]


Tell General Howard that I know his heart. What he told me before I have in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. Looking Glass is dead, Tu-hul-hil-sote is dead. the old men are all dead. It is the young men who now say yes or no. He who led the young men [Joseph’s brother Alikut] is dead. It is cold and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people – some of them have run away to the hills and have no blankets and no food. No one knows where they are – perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs, my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more against the white man.
 


[On a visit to Washington, D.C., 1879]


At last I was granted permission to come to Washington and bring my friend Yellow Bull and our interpreter with me. I am glad I came. I have shaken hands with a good many friends, but there are some things I want to know which no one seems able to explain. I cannot understand how the Government sends a man out to fight us, as it did General Miles, and then breaks his word. Such a government has something wrong about it. I cannot understand why so many chiefs are allowed to talk so many different ways, and promise so many different things. I have seen the Great Father Chief [President Hayes]; the Next Great Chief [Secretary of the Interior]; the Commissioner Chief; the Law Chief; and many other law chiefs [Congressmen] and they all say they are my friends, and that I shall have justice, but while all their mouths talk right I do not understand why nothing is done for my people. I have heard talk and talk but nothing is done. Good words do not last long unless they amount to something. Words do not pay for my dead people. They do not pay for my country now overrun by white men. They do not protect my father’s grave. They do not pay for my horses and cattle. Good words do not give me back my children. Good words will not make good the promise of your war chief, General Miles. Good words will not give my people a home where they can live in peace and take care of themselves. I am tired of talk that comes to nothing. It makes my heart sick when I remember all the good words and all the broken promises. There has been too much talking by men who had no right to talk. Too many misinterpretations have been made; too many misunderstandings have come up between the white men and the Indians. If the white man wants to live in peace with the Indian he can live in peace. There need be no trouble. Treat all men alike. Give them the same laws. Give them all an even chance to live and grow. All men were made by the same Great Spirit Chief. They are all brothers. The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it. You might as well expect all rivers to run backward as that any man who was born a free man should be contented penned up and denied liberty to go where he pleases. If you tie a horse to a stake, do you expect he will grow fat? If you pen an Indian up on a small spot of earth and compel him to stay there, he will not be contented nor will he grow and prosper. I have asked some of the Great White Chiefs where they get their authority to say to the Indian that he shall stay in one place, while he sees white men going where they please. They cannot tell me.
I only ask of the Government to be treated as all other men are treated. If I cannot go to my own home, let me have a home in a country where my people will not die so fast. I would like to go to Bitter Root Valley. There my people would be happy; where they are now they are dying. Three have died since I left my camp to come to Washington.

When I think of our condition, my heart is heavy. I see men of my own race treated as outlaws and driven from country to country, or shot down like animals.

I know that my race must change. We cannot hold our own with the white men as we are. We only ask an even chance to live as other men live. We ask to be recognized as men. We ask that the same law shall work alike on all men. If an Indian breaks the law, punish him by the law. If a white man breaks the law, punish him also.

Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think and act for myself – and I will obey every law or submit to the penalty.
Whenever the white man treats the Indian as they treat each other then we shall have no more wars. We shall be all alike – brothers of one father and mother, with one sky above us and one country around us and one government for all. Then the Great Spirit Chief who rules above will smile upon this land and send rain to wash out the bloody spots made by brothers’ hands upon the face of the earth. For this time the Indian race is waiting and praying. I hope no more groans of wounded men and women will ever go to the ear of the Great Spirit Chief above, and that all people may be one people.


Chester Anders Fee, Chief Joseph: The Biography of a Great Indian, Wilson-Erickson, 1936.

The Nez Perce Indians, who have called these empty spaces and rushing rivers home for thousands of years, were drawn into the national brawl over the future of energy last month when they tried to stop a giant load of oil-processing equipment from coming through their lands.

The setting was U.S. Highway 12, a winding, mostly two-lane ribbon of blacktop that bisects the tribal homeland here in North Central Idaho.

That road, a hauling company said in getting a permit for transit last month from the state, is essential for transporting enormous loads of oil-processing equipment bound for the Canadian tar sands oil fields in Alberta.

When the hauler’s giant load arrived one night in early August, more than 200 feet long and escorted by the police under glaring lights, the tribe tried to halt the vehicle, with leaders and tribe members barricading the road, willingly facing arrest. Tribal lawyers argued that the river corridor, much of it beyond the reservation, was protected by federal law, and by old, rarely tested treaty rights.

And so the Nez Perce, who famously befriended Lewis and Clark in 1805, and were later chased across the West by the Army (“I will fight no more forever,” Chief Joseph said in surrender, in 1877), were once again drawn into questions with no neat answers: Where will energy come from, and who will be harmed or helped by the industry that supplies it?

Tribal leaders, in defending their actions, linked their protest of the shipments, known as megaload transports, to the fate of indigenous people everywhere, to climate change and — in terms that echo an Occupy Wall Street manifesto — to questions of economic power and powerlessness.

“The development of American corporate society has always been — and it’s true throughout the world — on the backs of those who are oppressed, repressed or depressed,” said Silas Whitman, the chairman of the tribal executive committee, in an interview.

Mr. Whitman called a special meeting of the committee as the transport convoy approached, and announced that he would obstruct it and face arrest. Every other board member present, he and other tribe members said, immediately followed his lead.

“We couldn’t turn the cheek anymore,” said Mr. Whitman, 72.

What Does Bill Want With: Dipper Pines?

Aha, Dipper’s “name” is pretty much a combination of both symbols that are associated with him. So, let’s look into BOTH of these! A sequel to my previous symbolism theory: http://awkward-and-fluffy.tumblr.com/post/115565640627/bill-cipher-and-shamans

And I’ll be elaborating on Dipper’s section from this: http://awkward-and-fluffy.tumblr.com/post/115439379602/potential-vessels-for-bill-cipher-and-more

We’ll see what else Bill could want with Dipper, as well as others on the wheel (in future posts).

Pacifica’s symbol is mostly covered in the previous post, too. It was pretty simple, but I have plans for a future post on her family and the town’s mysterious history.

Mabel is next on my list, though her symbolic roots are going to need more research just to be certain I’m on the right track with her. I definitely want to write about Mabel, because her possible purpose for the show intrigues me! (These two shall receive equal love in my theory posts, worry not <3)

Alright, what’s behind the more evident symbols of Dipper? I covered potential animal symbolism that Dipper may have, and a little on his birthmark. However, it’s time to go deeper and this time around I’ll only talk about pine trees and the Big Dipper - as well as what these symbols may have connection toward in Gravity Falls. Why does Bill have a seemingly favored focus on Dipper too?


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