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Grounded Hues Group

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Josiah Morgan
Josiah Morgan

Lay Of The land



In November 1969, the Native protest group Indians of All Tribes began a 19-month occupation of Alcatraz, reclaiming the land on which the former federal penitentiary was located for Indigenous peoples under the Treaty of Fort Laramie. Lomahaftewa contributed by submitting artwork to exhibitions mounted in support of the occupation.




Lay of the land



Compare it to her more recent monotype, Four Rivers #8 (2008), and you see a similar color sense at play, with deep red and yellow horizontal bands giving way, from bottom to top, to a dusky band of purple reminiscent of the nighttime sky. Swirls, wavy horizontal lines, and cross forms, which may represent stars, appear throughout the composition, giving it an overall sense of fluid motion. And the suggestion of landscape still remains.


By the time of the Beaver Wars of the 17th century, Senecas had expanded Haudenosaunee land farther west by defeating and assimilating tribes like the Huron, Erie and Neutrals, their rivals in the fur trade. As demand for pelts rose and beavers became scarce in Haudenosaunee territory, Jemison says, "we then had to act as middlemen, either conducting trading parties to the western Great Lakes or deciding who could travel through our territory to the Lakes. This is the role that we the Keepers of the Western Door were in and the main reason Denonville sent his army."


Anderson At Seneca communities like White Springs and Kanadesaga, "there was a sense of ownership of land but it was communal," explains Professor of Anthropology Jeffrey Anderson, who teaches courses focused on Indigenous Peoples and has for more than 30 years researched the language, culture and history of the Northern Arapaho Nation of Wyoming. Anderson notes that clans, rather than individuals, decided where and when to move to the next farming site, decisions influenced predominantly by women.


Haudenosaunee women represented the land in council meetings, both "because men were often away at war and trade for long periods of time,"as Anderson says, and also because of the central role women played in growing food and selecting farming sites. Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Whitney Mauer, an Indigenous Studies scholar whose work focuses on Indigenous development, self-determination and sovereignty, says that women were the driving force behind the evolution and success of Haudenosaunee agricultural practices, which relied on irrigation and planting without the use of plows or draft animals. Mauer, who is of Piscataway Nation descent and has worked with Indigenous tribes in the Pacific Northwest, says that by the time of colonial contact, the Haudenosaunee had developed a "very sophisticated" and "extremely productive" agricultural system, and "women were the primary knowledge keepers of this system."


During precontact history and through the arrival of early Europeans, the Senecas' political, social and agricultural stability also derived from the geography and topography of Western New York, says Rylee Wernoch '21. Her interdisciplinary portrait of Seneca Lake, created as part of a 2019 summer research project, explores the cultural, social, economic and biological importance of the lake through history, as well as initiatives currently underway to help protect the health of the lake and the watershed. Wernoch learned that in building their communities on hills, near springs and the heads of streams, the Senecas enjoyed a steady supply of fresh water, access to fertile land and rich fisheries, and vantage points from which to spot threats. "They also used the lake as a highway," she adds, noting that the speed of water travel was a strategic political and military advantage for the nation, which at the time was the largest and most powerful of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy.


"Seneca land was contested by the French, British and later the Americans through trade and settlement," Anderson says. "It was part of global struggle. By the 18th century, the Senecas were not a simple isolated Native people but connected to a global system of trade and political forces. They were a true nation and a powerful one for many years, and Kanadesaga was the capital of that nation."


John Updike’s first collection of new short fiction since the year 2000, My Father’s Tears finds the author in a valedictory mood as he mingles narratives of his native Pennsylvania with stories of New England suburbia and of foreign travel.


Almost two-thirds of Mexico consists of plateaus and high mountain ranges, which continue through Central America to form a nearly unbroken sequence with the Andes along the west coast of South America. These mountains connect with the large landmass of the Guiana Shield and extensive Brazilian highlands along the east coast of South America to form a huge rim around the relatively flat continental interior.


Many existing settlements were destroyed or built over by the Europeans, causing such devastation and disease that by 1650, the indigenous population of the Western Hemisphere had been reduced by about 90 percent (Denevan, 1992). Abandoned fields and settlements eventually vanished, and once-cleared forests reclaimed the grasslands. The eyewitness descriptions of wilderness originate from a period 300 years after Europeans first arrived, many of these observations from between 1750 and 1850 when the continental interior was just beginning to be explored, the number of European settlers was not yet significant, and previously decimated settlements had not yet begun to recover.


Although not all pre-Hispanic settlements featured earthworks or buildings on sloping land, those that survived usually had involved considerable earth moving and terrain modification, but most scholarship has focused on the buildings, while the land on which they were constructed is rarely discussed (Hyslop, 1990). It is therefore not surprising that the impact of regional topography and ecology on the pre-Hispanic built environment has also been mostly ignored, perpetuating the notion that the significant built works that survived had emerged in a few isolated spots, often surrounded by what was presumed to be untouched, endangered, but still transcendent nature, as the only surviving vestiges of cultures that had vanished long ago. As William Cronon has observed, the wilderness is as much of a human construct as the works themselves, and the same physical conditions that contributed to the much-admired pre-Hispanic architecture continue to inspire formal and technological innovation (Cronon, 1995).


Rivers are the movers and shakers on a planetary surface. Their flowing waters cut into the earth, picking up soil and rocks and carrying them away. These sediments build up other parts of the landscape when they are eventually deposited somewhere downstream. Meanwhile, upstream, the river cuts deeper and deeper into the ground, creating steep banks that lead the surrounding soils to tumble downhill in landslides. The rate of this erosion varies by location. But over geologic timescales, rivers are ultimately responsible for lowering the level of the entire surrounding landscape.


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