Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Look at me

While writing Kindred I had cause to do some small research into the history and life ways of two First Nations tribes, the Cherokee of the southern Appalachians, and the Ojibwe (Chippewa) of the Great Lakes region. My new WIP, Willa, is requiring much more thorough research into the tribes that once inhabited (and still do!) the large tract of land now called New York. These are the original five nations comprising the Haudenosaunee, or the Iroquois League, the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida and Mohawk, brought together hundreds of years ago by the Great Law of Peace, and held together, until the conflicts of the Revolutionary War succeeded in tearing them apart (though today they are again a united league). 

Though my current research is focused on the Iroquois, particularly the Mohawk and Oneida, two tribes that for the most part chose opposing sides in the Revolutionary War, I've spent considerable time refreshing my knowledge of the overarching history of the First Nations tribes of North America, and the violent progression of the colonial and 19th century frontier advancement across the continent. It is not often a pleasant subject, and always I'm left with an aching heart. Yet it's a subject that has held my fascination from my earliest childhood memories.



Recently I came across a site called First People. Among much else, this site contains a wealth of historical photographs of Native Americans, most of which I'd never seen. There are hundreds of them, if not thousands.


Main page for the First People website.

The Index for Photographs of Native American People.

It's a large Index with galleries labeled A thru H. These are fascinating and heart-touching images. Those whose names are known are listed alphabetically in each gallery.

There's much more about First Nations history on this site, but the photos alone make it a treasure trove. Enjoy!
Why don't you look at me, smile at me? I am the same man. I have the same feet, legs, and hands, and the sun looks down on me a complete man. I want you to look and smile at me. ~ Geronimo

2 comments:

  1. This is SO interesting! It is hard to believe how people have treated other groups as non-people through the ages. I have a hard time fathoming that, but it is an unfortunate fact. I just started doing a little bit of research on the Hopi, myself.
    What a cool thing to have done beadwork on a loom (Cute pic, btw). I love that story do did as a child. That is so precious!

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  2. Carla, I got the most wonderful surprise in the mail several years ago, when my grandmother moved to a retirement home, and down-sized her household. I had completely forgotten I had sent that story to her... who knows how long ago. She kept it for decades and returned it to me when I was in my 30s. It's precious in more ways than one, as it was so long in her keeping. Margaret Johnson was my cheerleader, and encouraging of me in my writing. I wish she could have lived to see something of mine published.

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