Tag Archives: Ethnicity

article: Totem Poles


Totem Poles

Totem poles are towering sculptures carved from trees by a number of Native American peoples along the Pacific Northwest coast of North America. They display mythological images, usually animal spirits. The poles

Totem poles in front of houses in Alert Bay, B...

Totem poles in front of houses in Alert Bay, British Columbia in the 1900s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

are erected to identify the owner of a house or other property, welcome visitors, indicate a portal or passageway, mark a gravesite, and even to ridicule an important person who failed in some way. Why was this last type of pole—a “shame pole”—erected in Cordova, Alaska, in 2007? More… Discuss

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THIS DAY IN THE YESTERYEAR: BUREAU OF INDIAN AFFAIRS CREATED (1824)


Bureau of Indian Affairs Created (1824)

Though the Bureau of Indian Affairs was given jurisdiction over trade with Native Americans and was responsible for protecting them from exploitation, it had little success safeguarding Native American rights and, instead, evolved primarily into a land-administering agency. It now acts as trustee over Native American funds and lands, promotes development, and provides Native Americans with various social services. How was the Bureau involved in a class-action lawsuit against the US government? More… Discuss

 

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TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: GERTRUDE SIMMONS BONNIN, AKA ZITKALA-SA (1876)


Gertrude Simmons Bonnin, AKA Zitkala-Sa (1876)

Born to a Sioux mother and white father, Bonnin was raised on a reservation in present-day South Dakota. When she was eight, she was sent to a Quaker missionary school for Native Americans and was profoundly affected by the school’s efforts to suppress students’ cultural identity and assimilate them into mainstream American culture. As an adult, she dedicated herself to preserving Native American culture through her writing and political activism. What is the meaning of her pen name, Zitkala-Sa? More… Discuss

 

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Today’s Birthday: SADIE TANNER MOSSELL ALEXANDER (1898)


Sadie Tanner Mossell Alexander (1898)

Alexander came from a family of academic achievers—her father and uncle both graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, studying law and medicine respectively. Alexander also earned a degree from the school—becoming one of the first African-American women with a PhD in the US—and moved on to Penn’s law school, where she was the first African-American woman graduate. She also served as the first national president of the Delta Sigma Theta sorority. In which subject was Alexander’s PhD? More… Discuss

 

TODAY’S BIRTHDAY: MADAM C.J. WALKER (1867)


Madam C.J. Walker (1867)

Thought to be America’s first black female millionaire, this daughter of ex-slaves was orphaned at 7, working at 10, married at 14, and a widow with an infant at 20. She worked as a domestic and laundress and in her scant spare time developed a treatment system to stop hair loss in African-American women and create smooth, shiny coiffures. She soon expanded her product line, and by 1917, her cosmetics empire was the largest black-owned business in the US. What did she do with her riches? More… Discuss

 

Leonid Kogan plays Brahms Hungarian Dance, no.1



Leonid Kogan (1924-1982), the great Russian violinist.

Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
Hungarian Dance (trans. Joseph Joachim)
no.1 in G minor

Andrei Mytnik, piano
Recorded in 1951-1955

 

Bartók: Hungarian Sketches (Reiner / Chicago Symphony)



Bartók: Hungarian Sketches
0:00 I. An Evening in the Village
2:45 II. Bear Dance
4:27 III. Melody
6:32 IV. Slightly Tipsy
8:51 V. Swineherd’s Dance
Reiner / Chicago Symphony

 

This Day in the Yesteryear: GERTRUDE OF MERANIA KILLED BY DISCONTENTED HUNGARIAN NOBLES (1213)


Gertrude of Merania Killed by Discontented Hungarian Nobles (1213)

The first wife of Andrew II of Hungary, Gertrude played an active role in the political machinations of his early reign. She used her influence to advance her German relatives at court and gifted Hungarian lands to them, angering the Hungarian nobility and inciting them to action. While her husband was off on a military campaign, Gertrude was murdered by a group of discontented nobles. The unsavory affair served as the inspiration for what Hungarian composer’s famous opera, Bánk bánMore… Discuss

 

Celtic Woman – Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring


Celtic Woman – Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring 

 

Today’s Birthday (July 9):Franz Boas (1858)


Franz Boas (1858)

Boas was a German-American anthropologist. Trained in physics, he was part of an early scientific expedition to Baffin Island, where he turned to studying Eskimo culture. He is largely credited with establishing anthropology as an academic discipline in the US, and his achievements in anthropology are virtually unrivaled. It is largely because of his work that anthropologists today attribute human differences to cultural, rather than genetic, factors. Who were some of his famous students? More… Discuss