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Highlights

  • Woven Words: New Insights into Wampum and Native Studies

    This symposium features a keynote speech from Richard W. Hill (Tuscarora), Coordinator, Deyohahá:ge: Indigenous Knowledge Centre at Six Nations, Ontario, speaking on “The Inherent Intelligence of Wampum.” Wampum captures the words, messages and meaning that the Haudenosaunee (People of the Longhouse) considered essential for future understandings, relationships and ways of being. Wampum is a powerful device in passing on the voice of the ancestors, as well as providing inspiration for the current and future generations of Haudenosaunee. Deyohaha:ge, in the Cayuga language, means “Two Roads,” and Hill notes, “The name embraces the concept of two streams of knowledge – Indigenous and Western – coming together in order to advance human understanding of the world around us.”

  • Underwater Panthers in the Native Cosmos

    Megan Kassabaum discusses Native traditions of underwater beings. Archaeologists generally agree that certain beliefs about the cosmos are broadly shared among indigenous peoples of the Americas. Though the details vary wildly, the world is generally seen as consisting of three layers—the Above World, the Middle World, and the Beneath World. While we live our every day lives in the Middle World, the Above and Beneath Worlds are inhabited by a variety of supernatural beings. One of the most intriguing characters to inhabit the Beneath World is the underwater panther, a composite creature with both feline and serpentine characteristics that is associated with the dangerous yet beneficial powers of rivers, waterfalls, whirlpools and caves.

  • Entangled Trajectories

    Conference at George Washington University re-examines how the encounters between European and Amerindian cultures after 1492 contributed to the first age of globalization. Unlike many histories that cast Native Americans and Native cultures primarily as passive victims of colonizers’ actions and ideas, this event investigates the role of native actors in the creation of the modern world in both hemispheres. A central ambition of the conference is to highlight the way that Native American history is, indeed, global history. Scholars will present their research from multiple disciplinary perspectives, including those of history, art history, literature, cultural anthropology, and philosophy.