Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fancy Dancer

Summer is pow wow season back home in Oklahoma and all over Indian Country....a great time to be with friends & family, children learn more about their tribal heritage, everyone can appreciate the amazing artistic skills used to create dance regalia (moccasins, feather bustles, hide & cloth dresses, shirts, leggings, pouches and more), enjoy fresh hot fry bread, and sometime shop for beads or other vendor merchandise. Young athletic men enjoy modern dances such as the Fancy Dance seen here...Postcrosser mmgray has a friend who does Fancy Dance, so this was a special card to send.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Canada's First Nations

this card celebrates some of the diversity of Canada's indigenous peoples, represented by coastal wood carvings, prairie/plains tipis used by Blackfeet & Sarsi, and modern cultural expressions such as the pow-wow held annually in Toronto. The attached postage stamp features a cowboy's silver belt buckle, celebrating the Calgary Stampede. Thanks to Postcrosser cj23 for adding a fun card to my Canada collection!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Nitzitapi (Blackfoot)

Today's card was sent by an archaeologist in Canada and features a photo from the well known Glenbow Archives. Here 2 men of the Blackfeet nation conduct a ceremony on the prairie. Laura has a nice blog of her own featuring archaeology in First Day Covers, stamps and postcards...she sent this with stamps celebrating Inuit culture. She lives in an area rich in native culture, art and tourism so I look forward to more cards from her and continued conversations about our shared interests in anthropology!

View Laura's blog at:

Friday, July 13, 2012

Mississippian motiff

 decided to offer a slightly different post, one showing cards I have sent out instead of received! I found a stack of these offered on Ebay for super cheap (something like $.05 each) so I bought all of them, 150 total. I mailed a few out to friends, kept a few for exchanges, and sent the rest to a friend in Oklahoma who is a member of the Caddo tribe. She kept half and passed the rest on to the Caddo Tribal Museum. Hopefully they will both find a nice use for them, either selling or being mailed out to advertise their exhibits etc.
The design is identified as coming from a large marine shell (probably a conch traded up from the Gulf of Mexico, perhaps headed for Spiro Oklahoma) found in the University of Arkansas collection so there is a good chance it is associated with the Caddoan people during the Mississippian era, a highly developed social and artistic period that coincides with extensive farming and political organization. Postcards showing aspects of this Native American culture are not very common; all my friends were happy to receive them and its a nice addition to my own collection.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hudson Valley, New York

a NY State Museum postcard showing a diorama of native people butchering at a flint quarry. While the card text states they are "ice-age hunters" of 11,000 years ago the scene is more reminiscent of the late Archaic when glaciers had melted & receded from the far north, filling lakes, streams & marshes and providing rich vegetation for a complex ecosystem. Later this area would be home to Iroquoian peoples. My collection doesn't have many cards from the NE so this is a very nice addition!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Selk' nam

another great card from Hernan showing indigenous peoples from the southern regions of South America; these photos were probably made around 1900 just prior to their rapid decline from European disease. They may have lived in small family groups, hunting & gathering subsistence and living a fairly non-complex lifestyle.