Ecofeminism, Subsistence Living & Nature Awareness

November 28, 2014

Indigenous Knowledge in At The Crossroads – Issue Four

Filed under: — Jeanne Neath @ 10:45 am

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At The Crossroads Issue 4 - Indigenous Knowledge

Issue Four of At The Crossroads

Issue Four $6.50 + shipping (U.S. only – International orders please contact us)

Issue Four features articles by Barbara Mann and Paula Underwood, each discussing indigenous knowledge important to tribes of the Iroquois Confederacy. Paula Underwood, an Oneida, in her article, “A Native American Worldview”, compares western based science with the tradition of indigenous knowledge she was trained in.(See excerpts from Paula Underwood and Barbara Mann below)

Feature Articles
A Native American Worldview by Paula Underwood
Space to Grow: Woman-Centered Spirituality in Action by Donna Fontanarose Rabuck
Eve is Calling by Cheryl E. Plunkett
The Fire at Onondaga: Wampum as Proto-Writing by Barbara Mann
Toni Herring and Her Art by Toni Herring

Forum
Is the concept of a transcendent God a self-serving concept of patriarchy or is spirit both immanent and transcendent?

Book Reviews
Ruth Geiger reviews The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk
Paula Mariedaughter reviews Gossips, Gorgons & Crones by Jane Caputi
Jeanne Neath reviews The Interrelationship Between Mind and Matter edited by Beverly Rubik

New Paradigm Science News
Does prayer work?
UFO experiencers sane according to study
Estrogen alligator blues: Estrogenic pesticides feminize male alligators

Indigenous Knowledge Featured in Issue Four – Barbara Mann and Paula Underwood

Paula Underwood (excerpt from A Native American Worldview):

As a part of the Native American training I received from my father, one of the aspects of perception that I was asked to understand was the distinction between Hawk and Eagle, between the way Hawk perceives and the way Eagle perceives…
When hunting, Hawk sees Mouse… and dives directly for it.
When hunting, Eagle sees the whole pattern…sees movement in the general pattern… and dives for the movement, learing only later that it is Mouse.
What we are talking about here is Specificity and Wholeness.
Western science deals from the specific to generalities about the whole.
Indigenous science begins with an apprehension of the Whole, only very carefully and on close inspection reaching tentative conclusions about any Specificity.

Barbara Mann
In her article, The Fire at Onondaga: Wampum As Proto-Writing, Barbara Mann explains that the Iroquois Confederacy used wampum as a record-keeping technique; the indigenous knowledge of the Iroquois therefore included proto-writing. Barbara Mann writes:

“Dream lore was not a toy to the Iroquois. It was, instead, a serious, physically real and potentially perilous business. One might literally come face to face with the ancestors, the Sky People, or even one’s own soul – scary propositions. At the very last, one entered an altered state to meet spirits, gain insight into medicine (ie. the meaning and power of plants, herbs, animals, objects, etc.) and be instructed on the civic or ceremonial use of major innoveations like wampum. Once a dream had been read, an important role of women, it was then re-enacted with excruciating precision, lest serious consequences ensue.

It is beyond the scope of this paper to detail Iroquois shamanism, so suffice it to say here that very early on in their cutlureal development, the Irouois “discovered” wampum in the dream-world and mined it in the counter-world of the physical. Wampum became one of their most important “technologies.” To dream of wampum was to be touched by sacred purpose.”

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