All posts tagged: Indigenous

Indigenous Futurisms

A mix tape opens with a NASA countdown. It transitions to the words of John Mohawk, journalist, negotiator in regional and global conflicts, and Indigenous activist of the Seneca Turtle Reserve. The beats that follow are ambient, rhythmic, and transient; each fragment of a song, speech or manifesto morphs into the next without abating.

Rochester and Native Art in the 1930s

  When a young, pregnant woman fell through a hole near the uprooted Celestial Tree above the dome of the sky, no one knew where she would go. The world below was inhospitable to her, covered in water. As Sky Woman fell, duck-creatures carried her on their wings to rest on the back of a great turtle. A muskrat then emerged from the water carrying a bit of soil from the sea floor. Smearing it on the back of the turtle, the earth grew wider. Sky Woman walked across the expanding ground, beginning Seneca inhabitance of the earth.1 In 1936 when Ernest Smith completed his painting of the Sky Woman diving into a dark and watery world, many people believed Seneca culture continued a long fall. Centuries of encounter deeply affected pre-contact Seneca culture. The dispersal of land holdings, introduction of Christianity and flooding of Seneca world with new goods all impacted the character of daily life. Finding deep fault with the effects of settler society on the Seneca world, Director of the Rochester Museum …