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Author Topic: Is this a symbol?  (Read 2157 times)

MadZealot

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Re: Is this a symbol?
« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2013, 08:59:26 pm »
Quote from: Altair;123671

And yet ravens seem to occupy a distinct niche in our cultural landscape, and crows another niche. Why is that?

 
Dunno.  I'm pretty sure we only get crows in my area, and I've only ever seen gulls at our beaches.  Then again, I'd probably not be able to tell unless the two were standing together-- then I'd be sure to look for the bigger pecker.  Erm.  I mean schnoz.  

Fwiw when I think of crows I think of cornfields and fall.  When I think of ravens I think Poe.
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Nyktipolos

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Re: Is this a symbol?
« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2013, 11:42:29 pm »
Quote from: stephyjh;123675
The honorific "Lord" is European in origin, not indigenous to North America. It's associated with heredity nobility, a foreign concept to most NA/FN groups.

 
Plus well ... most gods or spirits common to Inuit-Yupik groups are usually referred to by their indigenous name. While I'm certainly not discounting certain figures are more well known to a non-Inuit public by an English name, I wouldn't say it's the norm.

I did actually try to research if there is a raven-affiliated god in Inuit cultures, and the only thing I found was a brief mention on an interactive website for European primary school classrooms that had zero references and seemed pretty out of place? It also seems like a lot of websites are echoing the information from this particular source. Like I said, most of the names that we know of are of a name IN the language, so "Raven" sticks out like a sore thumb.

One of the reasons for my wariness is that there is A LOT out there on the web that is "Native American tale" this and "Cree tale" that have no source information. In many cases, stories come down to us from our elders or people who communicate with elders and share their stories with others. I can't see a point, in the traditional view I am familiar with, in telling a story without honouring where you got it from. So then, I usually take stories I see online with zero credit with a grain of salt, but there's a good chance it was fabricated, or stolen from another source (and may have been altered since there).
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Riothamus12

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Re: Is this a symbol?
« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2013, 11:47:27 pm »
Quote from: stephyjh;123675
The honorific "Lord" is European in origin, not indigenous to North America. It's associated with heredity nobility, a foreign concept to most NA/FN groups.

 
I suppose father would have been a better choice there.
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stephyjh

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Re: Is this a symbol?
« Reply #18 on: October 01, 2013, 02:03:46 am »
Quote from: Riothamus12;123692
I suppose father would have been a better choice there.

 
Except that Native people are telling you how being Native works, because your attempts at whitesplaining aren't working. Where did you get this information? Because your reluctance to name your sources seems almost as suspicious to me as any other attempt by a non-Native person to tell us how our cultures work.
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veggiewolf

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Re: Is this a symbol?
« Reply #19 on: October 01, 2013, 09:45:10 am »
Quote from: MadZealot;123681
Dunno.  I'm pretty sure we only get crows in my area, and I've only ever seen gulls at our beaches.  Then again, I'd probably not be able to tell unless the two were standing together-- then I'd be sure to look for the bigger pecker.  Erm.  I mean schnoz.  

Fwiw when I think of crows I think of cornfields and fall.  When I think of ravens I think Poe.

 
We have both here, but I can only tell them apart when they start calling unless I have binoculars.  My birding skills aren't good - every small brown bird is an LBJ (little brown job) to me.
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Aeronis

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Re: Is this a symbol?
« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2013, 01:44:43 pm »
Quote from: Riothamus12;123619
There many. Lord Raven of Inuit lore is one such deity. Apollo, Morrigan, and Odin were associated with the raven.

 
I once heard something about Morrigan evolving into the lady of the lake from Arthurian legend. Or something about one aspect of her triad being related to water. Perhaps this is significant? I just heard it as a snippet from one of my CR friends.

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Re: Is this a symbol?
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2013, 08:07:31 am »
Quote from: Lauren L.;124433
I once heard something about Morrigan evolving into the lady of the lake from Arthurian legend. Or something about one aspect of her triad being related to water.


According to Morpheus Ravenna, there is no historical or linguistic evidence of such. She has written a detailed, well-argued blog post on the subject.

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Re: Is this a symbol?
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2014, 08:22:19 pm »
Quote from: Altair;123671
I agree, and I've always found that fascinating. Our North American crows and the Common Raven are so similar in appearance that many an untrained eye can't tell the difference. They're very closely related animals, and they overlap in habits and habitat, enough that you would think they'd be readily interchangeable in lore.

And yet ravens seem to occupy a distinct niche in our cultural landscape, and crows another niche. Why is that?


They are, fundamentally, quite different animals in terms of how they interact with one another and with their environment. They overlap in habitat and are both opportunistic omnivores, but ravens are a whole 'nuther can of fish compared to crows. In my experience, ravens are smarter and less gregarious than crows, tending to occur as singletons or pairs unless joining a foraging group or tackling a popular moose carcass. Crows are quite sharp themselves, of course, but are very communal in their lifestyles, especially as it comes to raising young. The previous years' juveniles usually help the parents raise the current year's babies, and until they get a breeding territory of their own, many live in large non-breeding flocks. This changes their outlook, to anthropomorphize slightly, from "how do I do this?" to "How do we do this?" in response to challenges. It's a different kind of intelligence, roughly similar to how while scientists agree chimpanzees are extremely intelligent, they don't do as well on problems where group cooperation is required as more social animals like spotted hyenas do.

Fun fact: best way to tell them apart at a distance? Crows have a squared-off tail, ravens have a rounded tail. http://www.allaboutbirds.org/page.aspx?pid=250

Because of their social differences, they tend to end up in different kinds of stories, and get different reputations. Ravens tend to be loners, crows come en masse. I'm not aware of any Tlingit legends about crows, and I'm fairly certain they are not considered equivalent to ravens. They are referred to by a different word (ts'axweil), and there is a Crow clan within the Raven moiety if I recall correctly. I am not an expert or an elder, though. I end up having to look a lot of stuff up, because we got hit pretty hard with the colonialism stick and my family moved away from Alaska to avoid the No Indians or Dogs Allowed signs up in the shop windows. My cultural knowledge is admittedly scattershot.

Quote from: Nyktipolos;123691
One of the reasons for my wariness is that there is A LOT out there on the web that is "Native American tale" this and "Cree tale" that have no source information. In many cases, stories come down to us from our elders or people who communicate with elders and share their stories with others. I can't see a point, in the traditional view I am familiar with, in telling a story without honouring where you got it from. So then, I usually take stories I see online with zero credit with a grain of salt, but there's a good chance it was fabricated, or stolen from another source (and may have been altered since there).


Thank you for mentioning this! There are waaaay too many Things On The Internet given undue validity because they are cited as "Native American." Which one? We have individuation. Some people may not have heard.

Also, there is an oft-overlooked long and proud history of Messing With Anthropologists and Selling People Stuff. Not everything told to outside scholars or travelers was necessarily true, in addition to the fact that said outsiders lacked the cultural context to understand most of it, and wrote a lot of it down wrong. We're all human.
 
Quote from: Riothamus12;123692
I suppose father would have been a better choice there.


Nope. It depends entirely on the nation or culture. We ain't all the same, see? In my nation (Tlingit), we call him Yéil, which means "Raven." He's not a Lord or Father anything in the Western sense. He's just Yéil, although he has a few story-related epithets. There's also Naas-sháki Yéil, or Raven-at-the-head-of-the-Nass-River, who is considered a different person entirely from Raven in some versions of the creation story.
 
Quote from: stephyjh;123694
Except that Native people are telling you how being Native works, because your attempts at whitesplaining aren't working. Where did you get this information? Because your reluctance to name your sources seems almost as suspicious to me as any other attempt by a non-Native person to tell us how our cultures work.

 
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