Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Indigelogy, maybe a better term.

I think I need to revise yesterday's term a little. Indigegogy would be the art or science of teaching a place, not very good. I think, if I have the definition right. Indigelogy would be the study of being or becoming indigenous, see also acculturation, enculturation. The process of being or becoming engendered. See also non-didactic. I have spent way too much time looking up definitions on and trying to assimilate them into a cohesive area of thought to define terms. It is very hard to provide a word to describe what I'm trying to do in my class. But the sun shines, and provides warmth, the rain and snow fall to provide drink, and the deer and elk are close enough to provide meat. The warmth is a big deal currently, as we are in the midst of one of the coldest times in recent years. The air is fairly clear, and crisp and cold, and if you breathe slow enough your nose doesn't freeze up. It is a beautiful time of the year, as the earth and plants rest for the coming spring, and a blanket of white covers the ground like a big fluffy comforter. I prefer down instead of snow, myself. I like this weather because it hopefully will be long enough to freeze some insects, keep snow in the mountains so we will have a good year of fishing, and it makes families spend time close together. In the native sense we tell stories, and shake hands with those we know when we meet them, hold medicine doings, and embrace the new year that comes after the winter solstice.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

New Word- "Indigegogy"

I coined a new word today, for my class at SKC called "Introduction to Indigenous Science." Yes, the word is Indigegogy. The etymology is the art or science of learning to or becoming indigenous. From this Site:
where terms like andragogy are also explained, which is the art or science of teaching adults. You are also probably most familiar with the word pedagogy, which is the same art or science, yet relating to children. Yep, children. why is it called pedagogy if we are not children? Do children learn the same as adults? I tend to think not in the same way. Tell me what you think, please.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cache: Native or Geo?

I have been working this week on the activity of geocaching. The thing I see about this is while it is great fun of a sort, you seem to spend an inordinate amount of time looking at the little digital dial as opposed to actually looking for landmarks. If you stop and look around, you have to start walking again (hopefully in the right direction) to get where you're going. Another caveat is that if the 27 geosynchronous satellites aren't in a good place, you can be off by 100 feet or so. Searching a 100 foot circle (or larger) it could take some time to find a quart jar sized object. And then, if you didn't pay enough attention going to the cache, you hopefully way pointed your car so you can get out and go home. Never mind if you run out of batteries. But again, these are some of the drawbacks. It is kind of a fun and recreational activity. If you have the $$ for a GPS unit. Let us contrast this to what I'm calling the Native Cache system. Say the tribal leader appoints me to take about 8 people and get a bison, dry the meat and bring it back. I'm probably going to be pretty resistant to the idea of taking all of my belongings and the food that my family (not to mention the other families involved) have collected throughout the spring and summer. I'd probably cache it somewhere my family spent time, or along a trade route, but not too close. I would also have to tell whoever was left behind where it was in case I didn't return. Using the descriptive Salish language, I might leave directions something like: Go to where the three big pines south of Ocqe'e'(Ronan) near Crow Creek and turn towards the mountains. There is a bunch of thorn apple trees halfway to the base of the mountain. Look for a tipi pole with red ribbons at the top in the closest bunch. From the bottom of that pole, walk 25 paces towards Sheepshead and look for a round rock as big as a baby's head. The cache is buried under that rock. The only problem with these directions is that the three big pine trees have succumbed to age, and the descriptors would not make much sense to non-indigenous personnel. There are several stories about that place, and things that happened there, so it lives in my memory, from the oral tradition. I'm quite sure it has some set of numbers associated with it, but my friends and other local people would know where it was from the description I just gave, which is all true except the tipi pole and the cache. For this to Native Cache system work you have to look around and be in touch with the local surroundings and landmarks. Both could be fun, even combined to appreciate both activities. She hoy

Today is Waxing Gibbous!

Monday, January 7, 2008

Drums and Strings

What about drums? What about Strings? An interesting thought, I said to myself this morning. A stringed instrument can have different pitches, and by changing the length you can have a cacophony of sound from even one string. With six strings like a guitar? Should be enough differences for anyone. The string resonates and through whatever it is attached to, creates a pleasing melody if you are skilled enough. Or think you are skilled enough. A drum resonates much like a string, but instead of being a line, it forms a plane, with a fixed length and width and in the western sense, one tone. The depth of tone may be reflected as the heartbeat of the world, and for some be a primal link. Do planes or lines appeal to you? I like both. I have a banjo, which is the best of both worlds. Now if I can just find a tiny little drumstick... Sound is an integral part of an indigenous scientist's arsenal of senses, and a beautiful thing. Have you ever sat near a stream in late summer an just listened to the crickets, just to listen? Have you heard the wind blowing in the trees during a storm and heard the cries if the trees as they bend and break? or heard heavy snow as it falls? Rhythm in nature is always there, just waiting to be discovered. Try listening to a large spider in her web after she's caught something. Pretty interesting, if you ask me. If you are a first-time reader, please answer my poll on indigenous lower on the page. Later.

Friday, January 4, 2008

What type are you?

The other day I was driving down the road (this is Western Montana, where you HAVE to drive unless you live in town) and noticed the grasses on the side of the road. I saw short and tall grass stems. Interesting, I thought to myself, what are the ecological ramifications of being either a short or tall grass? As a short grass, you could spend much of your effort producing seeds quickly, and allowing them to fall only a short distance, but allowing you to cover the ground easily. If you opted for the tall grass, and invested in better seeds and greater height, you would be able to spread through a greater distance, and eventually filling in the spaces in between. Benefits and costs all along the way for either path. You know, with much room in the middle for others. Again, Nature tries all the myriad ways, and some succeed, some don't. If you can, search out the Red Queen Hypothesis and see what I feel the heart of ecology really is.