Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Redskins and War Paint

Red Was the Color of War

The image is of William "Lone Star" Dietz, whose mother was a full blooded Sioux Indian. Dietz was the first coach of the Redskins football team, and it was in his honor that the team was named "Redskins". He brought a number of Indian players with him to the team and they wore war paint and Indian bonnets at games.

There seems to be no etymological evidence that the word "redskin" originally meant anything other than "an aborigine with red skin". According to Take Our Word For It, the earliest recorded use of the word was found in a quotation from 1699: "Ye firste Meetinge House was solid mayde to withstande ye wicked onsaults of ye Red Skins."

Most people assume that the word described the natural skin color of the North American Indians. However, there exists documentation that the name "redskin" was conferred upon the native inhabitants by the English Colonists because of the red body paint they wore in battle. Because the 1699 quotation would certainly be referring to Indian warriors, this seems to be the most likely explanation of the origin of "redskin"..

Some say the term is disparaging. The "Webster's Third New International Dictionary", Unabridged, 1976, gives "a North American Indian" and nothing more. The Oxford English says "redskin" is "generally benign". If the origin of the word had to do with painted warriors in battle, I find it suspect that it would have become an insult. Yet, beginning about 1967, dictionaries began to describe it as "usually offensive".

There are other early instances in history when the native Americans were described as "Red Indians" by the British. This too seems quite innocent, as it was necessary to differentiate them from the East Indians. In "The History of Our Country" by Edward S. Ellis, copyright 1918, volume 1, page 12, the author writes in awe of the American Indians of the Colonial period.
"General Cook has seen Apache scouts trot fifteen hundred feet up the side of a mountain, without showing any increase of respiration or sign of fatigue. The Indians trained their bodies from infancy to repress all expression of pain, even when suffering the tortures of death. They underwent hunger, thirst and fatigue without a murmur. ... they were merciless in war, and inflicted frightful cruelties upon their prisoners."
The author continues speaking of the admirable traits of the native people, "The exploits of some of the red men in this respect seem incredible."

How did it come to be that the football team in Washington D.C. is named "The Redskins"? Marc Fisher, Metro Columnist for the Washington Post, 2002, explains saying that the official story is that when the Boston Braves football team left Braves Field to play at Fenway Park in 1933, the owner needed to find a new name for his squad.
He chose Redskins in honor of Lone Star Dietz, the team's coach and an Indian who often wore an eagle feather headdress, beaded deerskin jacket and buckskin moccasins. Dietz brought four to six -- accounts vary -- Indian players with him to Boston from the Haskell Indian School in Kansas, where he had coached for four years.

Another version has the team being named for the white men who dressed up as Indians to stage the Boston Tea Party at the start of the American Revolution. Yet another genesis story says the name stems from the colored clay that Plains Indians used to paint themselves for tribal ceremonies.

Whichever version is right, "the reality is more benign than people on both sides of the fence are attributing to it," says sports historian and museum consultant Frank Ceresi. "The name was meant very, very positively."

The genesis may always remain murky ... . But it is clear that the Boston Redskins, who moved to Washington in 1937, sought to capitalize on their Indian players and coach: The team played wearing red war paint. And Indian players from the time considered the name and trappings an honor.
From Boston Redskins 1932-1936:
"1933: Now led by Lone Star Dietz, a Native American Coach, the team moves to Fenway Park. With the move the team also undergoes a name change becoming the Boston Redskins. The Redskins would alternate wins and losses all season and would finish with a 5-5-2 record."
It is quite unfortunate that so many people have accepted the concocted story that the word "redskin" comes from the white man paying bounties for Indian scalps. Some versions of this hoax are ridiculous, such as one published in The Virginian-Pilot (N.C. school districts rethinking use of Indian mascots, By CATHERINE KOZAK, March 29, 2003), which says
"The word Redskin is considered derogatory. The term comes from centuries ago when a bounty was placed on Indian people. Trappers would bring in Indian scalps along with the skins of animals -- bearskin, deerskin, redskin. For Indians, it is a reminder of their genocide".
It strains credulity that fur traders would be collecting scalps of Indians. Here is another blatantly false version by a Spokane Indian woman, Dr. Charlene Teeters.
"Redskin was the shorthand name for a body part like a scalp or hands, of Native American people who were slaughtered to collect bounty payments. The symbol used to mark the locations where bounty hunters could collect payments was the decapitated head of a Native American, not unlike those symbols often used by sports teams."
The term "redskin" has been in use since at least as early as 1699. The British government did not offer bounties for scalps until more than fifty years later, during the French and Indian War. For our erudition, some soul has created a list of all the known slur words in the English language, so if you want to be safe in your speech and writing, go here. For more information about William Lone Star Dietz including a picture of him in Indian dress, go here.

Red Was the Color of War

Face Painting

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Believe It or Don't

On this day, 26 April 1944, the women of France received the right to vote. Men had received universal suffrage more than one hundred years earlier, in 1848. In the United States of America women have had the right to stand for election since 1788; a very progressive stance for the new democracy, yet, according to this timeline, rank and file women could not vote here until 1920.

Both my mother and grandmother could not vote when they were born in Virginia. When I was born, women were still being denied the vote in that most civilized of nations, France. What a long way we have come!

Women's Suffrage Timeline gives the following facts. Full suffrage was not granted to women of Liechtenstein until 1984 (more). In 1984, South Africa extended voting rights are extended to Coloreds and Indians (more), and finally to black women in 1994 (eleven years ago more). Women's Suffrage
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Thursday, April 21, 2005

Habemus Papam

What a blessing it has been to witness these marvelous happenings; the releasing of the sainted John Paul to his heavenly home, and the new Pope being chosen by God through the cardinals. It is such a mysterious manner of ordaining a new leader for the great church of Christendom. Such conclaves have been assembled from time out of mind and we continue following the ancient path. We connect to our forbears still, in simple ways. "Habemus Papam!" How many times have those words been a great sense of comfort to the faithful? What a joy it has been to hear Father Roderick's podcast in the midst of the great Saint Peter's Square. This tradition has been followed for almost two thousand years. Simon Peter was a disciple of Jesus, and during his short time on earth, Jesus planned for him to become the shepherd of His flock. The fisherman from Galilee was given the keys to the kingdom of heaven. This follower and friend of Jesus became the first Pope, when Jesus said to him: "You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church."

I hear the chants from Saint Peter's Square; "Viva Papa, Viva Papa". There rings hope in the hearts of the faithful. There is faith in the hearts of the followers that the new Pope Benedict is God's chosen one. The first Pope, Simon Peter, made his way to Rome, and his successor Popes remained there, with their Church. What a wonderful and sweet heritage for Christians to know that this new Papa is another link in the chain of our human history. These are the ties that bind us to our past and to the primordial rituals of humankind.

O Papa Novo is a German. John Paul was a Pole. There was even in the long, long ago, an English pope, Nicholas Breakspear, known as Pope Hadrian IV. He was elected in 1154 and was the first pontiff to be known by the title "Vicar of Christ".

Listen Here to Father Roderick's Pod Cast while watching and waiting for the "White Smoke".

From Saint Peter, Prince of the Apostles, descending the ladder of two thousand rungs, to Pope Benedict XVI, there have been 265 Popes, including some anti-Popes. See the List of Popes. May peace be upon you and yours from this day forth.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Language Profiling

This is fun! I'm a mixture - 30% General, 30% Yankee (must be from my youth in Maryland, as I have never lived in Yankeeland), 25% Dixie and 10% Upper Midwestern (that must mean Western US where I have spent some time). This is from It'sAPundit.com:
I was bored. And I couldn't find my mirror so I could admire myself. So I looked at other blogs instead of reading this blog over and over again. I saw a link on Basil's Blog that led me here. And a post there led me here. And I took the survey. And my language is perfect. Witness this: What Kind of American English Do You Speak?


Neddy's Linguistic Profile:



30% General American English

30% Yankee

25% Dixie

10% Upper Midwestern

0% Midwestern

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Primrose Day ~ April 19th

"Oh! who can speak his joys
when Spring's young morn
From wood and pasture
opened on his view,
When tender green buds blush
upon the thorn,
And the first Primrose dips
his leaves in dew." ~~ Clare

The Greek name of the Primrose was Paralisos, so-called after a youth who died of grief for the loss of his betrothed and was changed into the flower.

In Germany it is call the Key Flower on account of the legends of its power to open doors to marvellous treasures.

In old England it was credited with the power of showing to lovers whether or not they would win the objects of their affections.

The Primrose blooms in spring and early summer. In astrology it is an herb of Venus.

At the Tate Gallery, there is a lovely artistic rendering of a young girl gathering primroses in her bonnet, painted by Frank Bramley; Primrose Day (1885). In this work, hanging on the wall, is a print of the conservative statesman and prime minister, Benjamin Disraeli, for whom was inaugurated.

Upon this primrose hill
Where, if Heav’n would distil
A shower of raine. Each several drop might goe
To his owne primrose, and grow manna so.

~~John Donne, 1572-1631

Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Puritans Got It Right!

It is as I have always suspected in my Puritan heart, and now the Pope has confirmed it. "The Onion" has the latest scoop:
Heaven Less Opulent Than Vatican, Reports Disappointed Pope

The Onion, 13 April 2005, HEAVEN — The soul of Pope John Paul, which entered heaven last week following a long illness, expressed confusion and disappointment Saturday, upon learning that the Celestial Kingdom of God to which the departed faithful ascend in the afterlife is significantly less luxurious than the Vatican's Papal Palace, in which the pope spent the past 26 years of his earthly life.

"Up here, everyone is equal," John Paul II said. "No one has to go through an elaborate bowing ritual when they greet me. And do you know how many times my ring has been kissed since I arrived? None. Up here, I'm mingling with tax collectors, fishermen, and whores. It's just going to take a little getting used to, is all."

The pope said it is amusing to think that he has been waiting for this "so-called Paradise" his entire life. "I spent almost 84 years reciting novenas and Hail Marys to get to this restful place," John Paul II said. ... "Frankly, this afterlife represents a significant drop in my standard of living. Well, they always said you can't take it with you," he added.
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Sunday, April 10, 2005

Time Travel

An ex-Confederate soldier, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, gave a clue as to how mental time travel might be accomplished. In 1896, Clemens, using a pseudonym, wrote:
"There is in life only one moment and in eternity only one. It is so brief that it is represented by the fleeting of a luminous mote through the thin ray of sunlight - and it is visible but a fraction of a second. The moments that preceded it have been lived, are forgotten and are without value; the moments that have not been lived have no existence and will have no value except in the moment that each shall be lived. While you are asleep you are dead; and whether you stay dead an hour or a billion years the time to you is the same." ~~Mark Twain
Civil War reenactor Jonah Begone tells us how to do it.
"Try this: find the most authentic surroundings you can. Go someplace where nothing makes any fingerprints on your window into the past. Sounds are important. You need the clanking of pots and pans and the murmuring of troops in the field. (Some sounds, like old bits of music, cause me to travel back mentally in an instant. A moment later, the effect is gone.) Smells are evocative, too: leather, black powder, sweat, wool, campfire smoke, straw, the smell of a field in the summer. Now, do something that is universal to the experience of humanity. Kiss a young woman for the first time. Or, run until you are overheated and badly out of breath. Or experience the kind of pain that makes you oblivious to anything other than your present condition. For the moment that you forget the past and the future and live just in that moment, you are experiencing exactly the same thing that someone 135+ years ago has done, and it no longer matters what year it is.

"Reenactors do this all the time; we call it time-tripping. But it only lasts briefly. As soon as you think, "Wow, this must be like it must have been," you have taken a subjective stance that ends the moment. It takes a high degree of delusion to sustain the moment, and I'm not even sure we would want to. Fooling others is acting; fooling ourselves is folly.

"In the seventeen years I have reenacted the American Civil War I can add up all those moments from each season, when the black powder smoke blows forth from the muskets in the first events in April to the last smells of the camp as it is being taken down in October or November. I would be hard-pressed to figure out which moment was supposed to be First Manassas and which was Gettysburg, or Antietam. But it doesn't really matter, and I am glad for them all. I suppose the Civil War veteran's recollections of the war is much like my recollections of reenacting it, which goes a long way to a claim of authenticity, despite the fact that I was wearing modern underwear all the while."

Saturday, April 09, 2005

Golden Daffodils 1804


Daffodils by William Wordsworth (1770-1850)
(Click Picture to Enlarge)

I WANDER'D lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Wild Daffodils

Perhaps my mystery daffodil is the "Queen Anne's double jonquil" that I found here: Species Daffodils, Wild Variants, and Wild Hybrids. I don't really think so, because mine has only one bloom per stalk, but after reading their description of these wild daffodils, I do believe that is what I've got from the Via homestead. I wonder where Grandmother Via found the wild jonquils. I do not believe they were native to the Virginia mountains, or were they?


It could be the Double Campernelle; or, Queen Anne's Double Jonquil, although mine is not as pretty as the illustration. I know it is not the 'Rip Van Winkle', as that one is a miniature daffodil, from 1884. Mine is not miniature and I believe it to be older.

THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF DAFFODILS

Grandma's Daffodils


Grandma's Daffodils ~ CLICK picture to see Close-Up

Here is a very special daffodil, narcissus, or jonquil; I'm not certain which. I transplanted a few bulbs from my Grandma Via's front garden near Doyle's River at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. On this April day, those bulbs are blooming in my garden, about 150 miles north as the crow flies, high above Pohick Creek. I would really like to know which Grandma Via planted them, as four generations of my Via ancestors lived there. It could have been Grandmother Sally Turk Via whose husband served in the War of 1812 and who probably built the house. I know for certain that their youngest son raised his family there, so it could have been my Grandmother Susan Walton Via. Her husband should have fought for Virginia in the "War of Northern Agression", but he didn't, and that is a whole other story. Or even my great grandma Mollie may have put them in, as she lived there taking care of Grandmother Susan in her final years, in the early 1900s.

I am wondering if anyone recognizes this flower species, as it seems quite unusual. It lacks the center trumpet usually seen in daffodils and jonquils, and instead has many ruffled petals. The outside petals, and some inner ones are green, rather than the usual yellow. If you can, please help me solve my daffodil mystery.

Friday, April 08, 2005

Fresh Tomatoes and Salmonella

Now we learn that besides undercooked eggs, raw milk and meat, we can also be laid low with Salmonella poisoning by eating fresh tomatoes. The bacterium is not only on the skin of the fruit, it can be inside the flesh of the tomato, therefore it can only be destroyed by heat. We have to cook them! Eh? Will they still be fresh tomatoes? No, but,not only will cooking them save us from Salmonella, but Cooking Tomatoes Boosts Disease-Fighting Power.

Tomatoes Blamed for Sickening 561

Roma Tomatoes Linked to US, Canadian Salmonella Outbreaks

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Last Respects to John Paul II

Father Roderick set his alarm to awaken at 3 am so that he and another Dutch priest could bicycle to Saint Peter's basilica to pay their last respects to "this great pope", as he says. Father made a podcast, which you may enjoy, as it makes you feel that you are on the journey with him, at the Vatican in the heart of the historic night.
Catholic Insider April 5, 2005 - Last farewell to John Paul II

Stars & Stripes on Saint Peter's Square, (The Audio)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Feed My Sheep

This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.

So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.

He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep. ~~John 21:14-17

Feed My Sheep(msm)

The Night the Pope Died

Father Roderick rides his bicycle to Saint Peter's Square where the Rosary Prayer had just finished being prayed by the people, when the great Pope John Paul died. Bells begin to be heard as the priest tells us that soon bells all over Rome will be ringing out his death, and then bells will be heard all over the entire world.
"This special podcast is dedicated to the events surrounding the death of pope John Paul II in the evening of April 2, 2005. You will hear how the bells of Rome announce the death of the pope, and I will take you to Saint Peter's Square where we will experience the emotions of the crowd gathered there in prayer and grief." ~~Father Roderick Vonhögen, catholic priest of the Archdiocese of Utrecht, The Netherlands
April 2, 2005 - The Night the Pope Died (mp3)

Monday, April 04, 2005

Berkeley Plantation


Berkeley Plantation, Charles City, Virginia
If Only Walls Could Talk - what amazing tales our ears would hear inside the lovely plantation home of Berkeley. In 1619, early English settlers came ashore at Berkeley Hundred, naming it in honor of their home seats. On December 4th of that same year, the colonists observed the first official Thanksgiving in America, before the Mayflower Pilgrims had even left England. On Good Friday of 1622, while celebrating with their Indian friends, Opechancanough's men rose up and attempted to massacre all the whites in Virginia, and they almost suceeded. Giles Bland was an early owner of Berkeley Hundred, and after he was executed for complicity in Bacon's Rebellion, the Harrisons assumed ownership. This hallowed ground, situated above the historic James River, is a treasure for all Americans, as it has witnessed and participated in the entire history of our nation.The original brick mansion, which still stands, was built in 1726, of brick fired right on the plantation. Here was born Benjamin Harrison, son of the first owner and builder of Berkeley, who signed the Declaration of Independence and was a three-time Governor of Virginia. His son, William Henry Harrison, also born at Berkeley, was governor of the Indiana Territory and became the ninth President of the United States. His grandson, Benjamin Harrison, became the 23rd President and was the husband of Caroline Lavinia Scott Harrison, a founder of the Daughters of the American Revolution and its first President General. George Washington, and the nine succeeding Presidents of the United States, all visited at Berkeley, and dined in the same dining room that still overlooks the James River today. The British troops of the traitorous Benedict Arnold plundered the plantation during the American Revolution, although no serious harm was done to the mansion. During the Civil War, Union troops of the Army of the Potomac occupied Berkeley Plantation, and President Abraham Lincoln twice traveled via water from Washington to review them. It was here that General George B. McClellan was relieved of command by Lincoln. There are ten acres of terraced boxwood gardens and lawn extending a quarter-mile from the front door to the James River. It was a special treat for me to visit this wonderful Virginia shrine, that has been owned and maintained privately.

Friday, April 01, 2005

Saint Peter to John Paul the Great

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. ~~Matthew 16:18

Death's Springtime Rendezvous

We continue our watch of the Passion Play which has been unfolding before our awestruck eyes since the approach of Easter Week. We watched an innocent child of God, a daughter of mother Mary, die an unnatural death decreed by the Culture of Death. We witnessed her cheated of God's time and God's will by the acolytes of the Evil One, to become a martyr for the imperfect. Now we watch the great Pope, the saintly John Paul II, approach the veil of death. We watch a natural death, a death walked in God's way. We pray for John Paul the Great as he winds his way to Heaven. We pray also for ourselves; that our own rendezvous with death will not be hastened by the law of the land.
I HAVE a rendezvous with Death
At some disputed barricade,
When Spring comes back with rustling shade
And apple-blossoms fill the air—
I have a rendezvous with Death
When Spring brings back blue days and fair.

It may be he shall take my hand
And lead me into his dark land
And close my eyes and quench my breath—
It may be I shall pass him still.
I have a rendezvous with Death
On some scarred slope of battered hill,
When Spring comes round again this year
And the first meadow-flowers appear.

God knows 'twere better to be deep
Pillowed in silk and scented down,
Where love throbs out in blissful sleep,
Pulse nigh to pulse, and breath to breath,
Where hushed awakenings are dear...
But I've a rendezvous with Death
At midnight in some flaming town,
When Spring trips north again this year,
And I to my pledged word am true,
I shall not fail that rendezvous.
~~Alan Seeger (1888–1916)
[death, Pope, Schiavo, poetry]

Happy April Fool's Day

"The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year. " ~~ Mark Twain
In sixteenth-century France, the start of the new year was observed on April first. It was celebrated in much the same way as it is today with parties and dancing into the late hours of the night. Then in 1562, Pope Gregory introduced a new calendar for the Christian world, and the new year fell on January first. There were some people, however, who hadn't heard or didn't believe the change in the date, so they continued to celebrate New Year's Day on April first. Others played tricks on them and called them "April fools." They sent them on a "fool's errand" or tried to make them believe that something false was true.[humor, April Fools, Gregorian Calendar]