1914: “The last of the ‘Indian potlatch’ “ — Chinook Jargon

From one of the great Canadian magazines, an impressively well reported account of the colonialist prohibition on potlatching. (Image credit: “Colonialism and the Potlatch Ban”, University of Alberta Law blog) This is an article still filled with prejudice and stereotyping of Native people, but I’m reproducing it here because it’s an in-depth look, it’s better informed […]

1914: “The last of the Indian ‘potlatch’ “ — Chinook Jargon

About Barbara Crane Navarro - Rainforest Art Project

I'm a French artist living near Paris. From 1968 to 1973 I studied at Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island, then at the San Francisco Art Institute in San Francisco, California, for my BFA. My work for many decades has been informed and inspired by time spent with indigenous communities. Various study trips devoted to the exploration of techniques and natural pigments took me originally to the Dogon of Mali, West Africa, and subsequently to Yanomami communities in Venezuela and Brazil. Over many years, during the winters, I studied the techniques of traditional Bogolan painting. Hand woven fabric is dyed with boiled bark from the Wolo tree or crushed leaves from other trees, then painted with mud from the Niger river which oxidizes in contact with the dye. Through the Dogon and the Yanomami, my interest in the multiplicity of techniques and supports for aesthetic expression influenced my artistic practice. The voyages to the Amazon Rainforest have informed several series of paintings created while living among the Yanomami. The support used is roughly woven canvas prepared with acrylic medium then textured with a mixture of sand from the river bank and lava. This supple canvas is then rolled and transported on expeditions into the forest. They are then painted using a mixture of acrylic colors and Achiote and Genipap, the vegetal pigments used by the Yanomami for their ritual body paintings and on practical and shamanic implements. My concern for the ongoing devastation of the Amazon Rainforest has inspired my films and installation projects. Since 2005, I've created a perfomance and film project - Fire Sculpture - to bring urgent attention to Rainforest issues. To protest against the continuing destruction, I've publicly set fire to my totemic sculptures. These burning sculptures symbolize the degradation of nature and the annihilation of indigenous cultures that depend on the forest for their survival.
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5 Responses to 1914: “The last of the ‘Indian potlatch’ “ — Chinook Jargon

  1. Pingback: 1914: “The last of the ‘Indian potlatch’ “ — Chinook Jargon — Barbara Crane Navarro – Tiny Life

  2. Pingback: 1914: “The last of the ‘Indian potlatch’ “ — Chinook Jargon | Ned Hamson's Second Line View of the News

  3. pflkwy says:

    🇺🇸🚯🇧🇷Em reportagem especial, a Sputnik mostra como países ricos violam a lei para enviar lixo ilegal ao Brasil.

    Embora a importação de material para fins recicláveis seja uma prática comum e legal, o tráfico internacional de dejetos descartáveis é proibido por lei no Brasil. Empresas estrangeiras que exportam o lixo imprestável burlam a legislação descrevendo a carga como um material, mas, na verdade, recheiam contêineres com detritos, em uma tentativa de que eles passem imperceptíveis pela fiscalização alfandegária.
    Essa é a proteção ao meio ambiente que vocês defendem. ONGs desfarçadas de protetoras dos povos primitivos da América do Sul. Que quanto seus patrocinadores da falsa pauta verde, cometem crimes ambientais se calam, fazem um silêncio acopolistico.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The writer of the article obviously didn’t understand what the potlatch was all about. I never read before that they were intoxicated when they did that. Seems like giving away belongings did not fit into the writer’s set of mind. “… that the feasting and dancing unsettles the Indian mind and disturbs their morals” – sounds like a modern day (Christian) Company Christmas party to me.

    There is a beautiful saying from Nigeria: “Show me how many poor people you feed, then I know how rich you are.” Just as unthinkable for white rich people it seems …

    We can simply not understand that some people do not cherish material things above all. A pity really.

    Liked by 1 person

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