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Ethics of Native Reenacting
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Mario
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Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 560
Location: Mohawk Valley, NY
Real Name: Mario Doreste

PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2010 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

TiminIndiana wrote:
Missed your response Mario. The loyalists you speak of may be direct descendants, but they are direct descendants of participants in a political group. The loyalists were about politics and a land grant payoff for maintaining political allegiance.


And the tribes loyal to Britain (or France, etc) didn't get land grants? They weren't looking out for their best interests?

The only difference is in race.


TiminIndiana wrote:

I said it would be a good idea to contact them to see if your portrayal was accurate and respectful. Isn't that what we do here? Don't we go to sources to make sure we're doing it right?


I venture to guess that most 21st Century Shawnee, Mohawk, etc have little to no idea what "correct" is for they're 18th century ancestors.

Besides. If they care that much, shouldn't they be doing events like some Abnaki and Oneida groups do?

The local Oneidas have a living history group and personally, most of them look like Rondy Rejects. I'm supposed to ask them if what I'm doing is accurate?

As I am working on a Mohawk impression, it would be better to contact someone like Mike Galban and ask his opinion (as this is his area of study) rather than the folks on the Grand River who are the actual descendants.

Mario

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Mountain Gummer
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 7:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All,

What about moiety, clan, or specific tribal societies? These are issues I have seen cropping up in different places.

Now, I know that two of those mentioned are honors that are given to men and women and the other is through a birth-right. Recently, I had an opportunity to attend an event as apart of the plebian mass (I will not name it due to the fact that I did learn a lot at that event). As one of the actors explained his kit he kept mentioning his moiety, clan, and society and that he "had to have" certain colors, animals, and plants portrayed on him as apart of his associations of clan, moiety, and society. My only hope is that the gent I am referring to might actually be apart of this forum.

Isn't this an example of going too far? Do we call-out such declarations especially in regard to these types of native associations?

One of my ancestors was allowed his land durring the relocation of the Five Tribes because he and his immediate family could "pass" as being white. He even had a Welsh surname from a grandfather who married into the Cherokee nation. While his Twin brother in the neighboring town was forced west with the rest of the nation because he appeared/ looked Cherokee. I have records of thier matrilineal clan, moietys, and thier individual societies; this, however, does not allow me to use or discuss these items outside of family using the family Bible (yes, we still have one of those).

Do I claim any rights or privileges from this ancestry? No. I want to learn as much as I can about my family, and I want to walk the trails they walked so many years before me.

I think that we need to have the right heart and strive to represent truth to the best of our abilities, allowing others thier due when we are able.

I second the statement: this is a good post. It allows us to pause and reflect on why we do what we do (when our careers to put food on the table and a roof over our heads doesn't get in the way), and look at how we portray those who went on before us regardless of where we each of us started from, either old families or new pioneers, to this great nation of ours.

Thank you all for your comments.
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longhunter49
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Joined: 15 May 2007
Posts: 64
Location: KY
Real Name: Walter Waitkus

PostPosted: Wed Jul 06, 2011 11:50 pm    Post subject: Reenacting Reply with quote

Well...I guess I'm done then. Being 1st generation American of Lithuanian and English parents, I guess I have no right to portray anyone on the continent, so I'll just give up a 35 year hobby , sell my breechclouts and leggings and sit my fat rump at home so the historians and librarians can show us how it should be done.

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Michael Galban
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Joined: 15 May 2007
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Location: Iroquoia
Real Name: Michael Galban

PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Been nearly a month since you caught anything on your fishing trip...

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Wahkahchim
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Joined: 29 Jul 2010
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Real Name: Peter Andresen

PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just bumbled into this discussion, but I thought I'd comment.

I am 1/8 Native American, Chickasaw. What I am finding puzzling is that by about 1850 there were MANY Chickasaws who were already multicultural, and actually trying hard to assimilate in a variety of ways. They were trapped between the Comanches on the west and the US on the east and the Texans to the south. Like most if not all of the tribes in Oklahoma Territory, they were building a fascinating eclectic hybrid culture which is just as real and historical as what came before or after.

What's interesting is that nobody seems to be protraying this period, and it would make a fascinating experience: so many European cutural practices, but also so many Native lifeways. All wrapped up in literacy and Chickasaw and English and some French and Spanish language.

I can't think there is any problem for us multi-ethnic types to portray this, since we are literally portraying our ancestors on both sides.

Thoughts?

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Mario
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Real Name: Mario Doreste

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not many portray the 1850 period, because not much happened.





Mario

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GreyWolf
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Joined: 15 May 2007
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Location: Southern Rockies
Real Name: Chuck Burrows

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mario wrote:
Not many portray the 1850 period, because not much happened.

A bit of a narrow view since it would depend on where you were:

The California Gold Rush was still in full steam mode from 1849 on into the early/mid 1850's
Increase in USA trade with China
the Border Wars in Kansas and Missouri particularly i.e. Bloody/Bleeding Kansas
A major increase in the black slave trade and the increase in abolitionism and the Dred Scott decision
John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry
The Colorado Gold/Silver Rush
Major expansion of the US from sea to shining sea including the Gadsen Purchase which finalized the USA borders ie Manifest Destiny
The first of the western Indian Wars began in 1853 which continued on until Wounded Knee 1
a major increase in the Buffalo Robe Trade which eventually led to the almost extinction of them in the 1870's when buffalo hides rathe rthan robes became important.
The opening of USA trade with Japan
just to name a few..




Mario

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Wahkahchim
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Real Name: Peter Andresen

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the 1830-1860 period the tribes in Oklahoma were attempting to build a whole new society based on what was needed to live in a new land. The Comanches were attacking from the west in a series of brutal Indian-on-Indian attacks, the Texans were launching punitive raids from the south, "Comancheros" and slavers were raiding, and a wide variety of European Americans were providing a whole spectrum of influences. Some of those influences were overtly good, and altruistic, and provided wonderful enhancements to life, while other influences were overtly criminal. Meanwhile members of the tribes, with multi-race relatives, were deciding to stay in Oklahoma or emigrate to Mexico, to sign on as scouts, to move up to Canada, or to simply head towards California as "faux-European Americans". There was an arms race as percussion long guns and revolvers provided profound advantages to those who possessed them. There was a lot of cultural confusion. Slave ownership was tremendously divisive within the tribes, since some families had black and partially black members. Christianity and literacy were having a remendous effect. What appears to set this somewhat apart from the era that Mario appears most interested in is the "micro" level of a lot of this: most if not all was happening at the homestead level, without the grand sweep of events such as Roger's Rangers or the Revolutionary War. But down at the family and clan level, LOTS was happening. There was ubiquitous violence, the rising awareness of the larger world, and vast cultural change. To me that's all fascinating. To each their own...

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Mario
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Real Name: Mario Doreste

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me rephrase that.

Because nothing huge happened to over-shadow the modern interest in the RM Fur Trade before or the Civil War after.

KS/MO/John Brown being a touchy issue until this day, no one is re-enacting slaves being sold, buffalo runners of the post CW era being much more popular (you get to use cartridge guns), etc.

Mario

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Wahkahchim
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

But Mario, you still are the "go to" guy for darn near everything about living history. :)

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Mario
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2012 11:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wahkahchim wrote:
But Mario, you still are the "go to" guy for darn near everything about living history. :)


I appreciate the compliment, but I wouldn't go that far. There are many better versed than I am.

I just have no life and I read a lot...

Mario

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Wahkahchim
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mario, if there was a 'like' button on this forum I would use it. :) LOL. I'm what you get after 3 kids and 2 divorces. Like you, I try to read a lot. :)

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Isaac
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Joined: 21 May 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 8:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mario wrote:
Not many portray the 1850 period, because not much happened.
o



Or at least not much miltary-wise. People like to reenact wars and not the everyday.

Your interest in that period is similar to here in WI. THere is some cool history post 1800 dealing with settlement (Metis folks, Americans coming in, a lot of politicking, etc.), especially the 1820-30s, but if it is not F&I, Rev. War, or something similar... people aren't interested. It is also hard to portray a period when there are no events or no other people interested in reenacting it.

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Wahkahchim
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 23, 2012 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankly for whatever reason I like the "small stuff". In WI all sorts of things were happening, just like in OK. For example, the Metis were a genuine, stand-alone, cultural phenomenon. How do you keep changing when the whole world is changing around you? What do you choose to keep, and what do you choose to let go? We're still doing that today

The original Native Americans don't seem to have had any problem absorbing other genetics. for example there was Blue Jacket with the Shawnee, and the entire Black Seminole phonomenon. So why should we? One interesting challenge facing the legal tribes now has to do with sharing: do we let everyone learn our language and let it become like French or Spanish, essentially free-ware, or do we hold it close and keep it a feature of tribal membership?

The tribes which hold it close are losing the language, while the tribes who are sharing openly are at least being able to use non-tribal members as cultural lifeboats. That's how non-tribal native reenactors should ideally be as well; genuine cultural lifeboats.

One interesting factoid: when I applied to manage BIA accounts, the application looked like something which one would have seen in Hitler's Germany: overtly racist. So we don't want to get into the "you can't do that because you aren't _______". Better to simply apply a professional standard of truth and sharing.

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Birdwatcher
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Location: San Antonio, TX
Real Name: Mike Scully

PostPosted: Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A reply sent sorta in mourning for what once was a going concern. This forum I mean.

Living in close proximity to the Alamo I have gone from never reenacting at all just three years back to reenacting two and three times a month. Always as a Euro. Thousands of people visit the Alamo every day and I am talking all day long in front of my lean to set-up.

They ask me who I am and I say at the Alamo I'm probably from Tennessee in particular or the Southern States in general and I'm dressed after the fashion of an American of that era. Sometimes I'll refer to my green vest and Celtic buttons (if I'm wearing it) and mention the Irish settlements down by Goliad and how many of them, being Catholic, came down on the Mexican side.

I don't claim to BE anybody.

Dunno that I could pull off an Indian impression.

But if I was dressed 1830's Native in Texas, especially Shawnee/Cherokee/Delaware (which I would actually like to do since that part of Texas history is so under-reported)...

I would simply say I'm dressed about like the guy would be in that era.

Birdwatcher

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