45 Cultural Tapestry: Indigenous Tribes in a Global Context – Part 2

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26Aka Tribe

Aka Tribe

Fathers of the Central African tribe of Aka spend more time in close contact with their babies than in any other known society. Aka fathers have their infant within arm’s reach 47% of the time and make physical contact with them five times as often per day as fathers in some other societies.


27. In 1763, members of the Ojibwe and Sauk tribes took over a British fort by holding a baggatiway (like lacross) match in front of it on King George III's birthday and inviting the British, who let players chase the ball through the fort gate, secretly being handed tomahawks by women as they went in.


28. Kanontsistóntie's is a cannibalistic spirit from the Iroquois mythology. Described as a human head with bat wings, long dark hair, and razor-sharp teeth, they are ravenous spirits that are cursed with an insatiable hunger. The legend caused tribes to steer clear of Lake Sacandaga for years.


29. The Burkitshi tribe hunts with eagles (only female eagles as they are larger and believed to be fiercer). While eagles can live for decades, theirs are captured at the age of four and released after 10 years to live out their lives in the wild.


30. Many plains tribes recognized certain persons as having the role of “reverse” warriors. These were experienced warriors who in battle purposely abided by contrary, foolish or crazy principles. The “reverse” warrior charged when ordered to retreat and could only fall back when he was commanded to attack.


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31Tlingit Tribe

Tlingit Tribe

The Tlingit tribe of Alaska has a very peculiar origin story of the mosquitoes. According to their legends, a young man got revenge on a cannibal which had killed his two older brothers while they were out hunting. After he burned the cannibal’s body into ashes, he blew on the ashes and they flew off, turning into mosquitoes.


32. The famously isolated Sentinelese hunter-gatherer tribe appears not to know how to set fire. They rely on natural fire from thunderstorms and keep the embers burning as long as they can.


33. Kenya has produced the world’s best long distance runners for decades and most of them belong to the Kalenjin tribe. Until 2011, there only about 17 American men who ran under 2:10 in a marathon. There were 32 Kalenjin who did it in October of 2011 alone.


34. The sport of lacrosse was originally a form of ceremonial combat played by Native American tribes with teams of 100-1,000 players, on a field several kilometers long, in games that lasted two to three days straight.


35. One of the reasons why Northern Cheyenne reservation traditionalists oppose coal mining on the reservation is that the 1700s Cheyenne mystic Sweet Medicine prophecized that mining the "black rock" would change the tribe forever.


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36Moriori Genocide

Moriori Genocide

The Taranaki Tribe of the South Island of New Zealand slaughtered almost all of the peaceful and non-violent Moriori of the Chatham Archipelago from 1835 to the early 1860s. Moriori were Pacifists, who when being wiped out by their neighboring Polynesian tribe, decided that their non-violent beliefs were more important than their own survival.


37. The Guugu Yimithirr is an Australian Aboriginal tribe, that doesn't use terms like "left" and "right". Instead, they use the geographical directions "north, east, south, and west". That means, that there can't be confused about your left or my left, since the directions are absolute for everyone.


38. The skin of the members of arctic tribes is dark because they get all their vitamin D from fish instead of sunlight. Their skin does not need to lighten to try and get more sun for vitamin D production.


39. Maroons are enslaved Africans who quickly escaped in the countries they were brought to and often joined indigenous populations to form warrior tribes with their own complex language, war, and living cultures. Many Maroon warfare tactics have been co-opted into global army training today.


40. The Chang Tang region, which is spread over 1600 km (990 miles) in the Tibetan Plateau is home to the nomadic Changpa tribe, with almost half a million people. However, they are often difficult to find. One Swedish explorer reported not seeing a single person in 81 days while crossing Chang Tang.


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41Ishi

Ishi

In 1911, a lone man named Ishi emerged from the wilderness in California, the last member of his tribe and also "the last wild Indian". With the help of university professors, he was able to preserve parts of his language and culture.


42. During World War 2, Americans stationed in Papua New Guinea shared The Phantom comics with the Wahgi tribe. The character became an icon and is represented in tribal art.


43. Britain fought a war with the Ashanti tribe of West Africa because a British governor wanted to sit on a golden stool.


44. So many American Indians joined the military during World War 2 that had all Americans joined at the same proportion, conscription would not have been necessary. The Blackfeet tribe mocked the idea of a draft: "Since when has it been necessary for Blackfeet to draw lots to fight?"


45. Laboring women of the Huichol tribe in Mexico held onto a string that was tied to her husband's testicles. "With each painful contraction, she would give the string a yank so that the man could share the burden."

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