Rooster's shadow

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Comments (13)

Margrit M. Berger (S… on October 2, 2007

Ryan's eyes to see and catch this rooster's shadow and place it like this! :-) It looks like a spider's net.

Very nice and again this beautifully worked piece of craftmanship. May

Ryan Calhoun on October 2, 2007

Thanks, May! You can see just over the wall some of the flowers. This little ring of stone is surrounded by flower bushes, but the sun was very bright, and most of my photos didn't turn out very good.

These stones are obviously not stacked dry. :-) This is much more common of how stone walls are built around here.

Greetings, Ryan

Margrit M. Berger (S… on October 3, 2007

Hi Ryan! No, they are certainly not dry-stacked, but nonetheless built very nicely and carefully. This propriety isn't the type for dry-stacked walls. Nowadays only a few walls in gardens are dry-stacked and not even those are entirely dry-stacked.

There are not many persons who know how to build a wall without cement, so that it doesn't fall apart. If someone doesn't believe it, he has only to try, then he will understand why.

I am glad that you appreciate good, intelligent manual work as much as I do, I think.

Ciao! May

Ryan Calhoun on October 3, 2007

May, it seems like common knowledge is shifting with generations away from building things more and more toward computers and technology. It's good to keep up with the times, but it seems to me like the skills of our parents and grandparents are priceless, and we should find a way to preserve them.

Yá'át'ééh! Ryan

Margrit M. Berger (S… on October 3, 2007

Yes, you are right, Ryan. Though I think that the real clever people always had the greatest success, when they learnt new ways without forgetting the skills of before.

"I think different!" :-)

Hagooónee, May

Navajo wisdom!

Ryan Calhoun on October 3, 2007

What is "I think different"? Are you quoting yourself, or somebody famous? :-)

I enjoyed the story you linked, May! Thanks. I have some Navajo ancestors. Now I say to you in Cherokee:

O-si-yo! Ryan

Margrit M. Berger (S… on October 4, 2007

Dtohitsu, Ryan?

I am quoting myself!

Are you as much Navajo as Pam is Swiss or more?

I am very interested in the culture and traditions of the original inhabitants who lived on your continent!


Ryan Calhoun on October 4, 2007

Dtohiquu, May. Wado! Nihinahv?

It's much easier for me to find out the European side of my ancestry, since there are immigration records and census records. But I think the generations of our grandparents and great grandparents were much less likely to talk about things like that.

I think one of my great grandparents may have crossed the border from Mexico (not Mexican, but someplace farther south) and another was part Navajo living in Arizona (not on a reservation). I've been to Arizona a few times, and in the small towns with strong Navajo influence, I've seen more than one old man who looked very similar to my mom's father. I even saw a sign for a small law office with the same last name Torrez. The problem is he denies it. I think back when he was growing up, such a history might have not been favorable, especially in other parts of the country.

I also carry some Cherokee from my dad's side, but that story is one that I know less about, and probably has some socially unacceptable details that weren't discussed by previous generations.

I don't know any culture from personal experience, but I remember doing research on the Cherokee when I was in grade school. The Cherokee were the first, after the Europeans arrived, to invent a written form of their language, to print a newspaper, to wear suits and ties, to live in regular houses. In the history of the world, they were probably the fastest to go from the stone age to the modern (pre-industrial) age, and they did it without losing their own cultural identity. And in the end it didn't matter, and they were forced west along with all the other tribes.

The Navajo living on reservations during WWII saved the Pacific theater. The Japanese were breaking every code the army could invent. So they recruited Navajo radio operators who would transmit using a coded form of their own language, and no code was broken for the rest of the war.

The problem with studying the early history of the indigenous populations of the Americas is that their own history was all word of mouth. The only written histories were written by Europeans or Colonials who didn't exactly start with an objective view.

Liebe Grüße, Ryan

Margrit M. Berger (S… on October 5, 2007

Ryan, I think, it's not what counts, that they wore ties and suits, I mean, they had their own habits and traditions and I don't see them as stone-age people, only because they didn't live in the same type of houses as the Europeans did.

I see that the indigenous peoples are trying to keep their languages alive. It's a shame, that those languages of the original inhabitants aren't regarded as official languages like English, Spanish and French.

I've heard about the Navajo language used as a code in WWII. Why weren't they recompensated with more respect for their language after the war?

It's very sad indeed, that a population got lost so much of their identity. The language is one of the most important to keep a people's identity. And again, it's the religion, which has been used to get power over the tribes. They had to take over the religion of the newcomers. Yes, I know, that the indigenous peoples among themselves weren't always on good terms - often owing to the "help" of the "civilized" immigrants.

Liebe Grüsse, May In Switzerland we don't use the "ß" ;-)


Ryan Calhoun on October 5, 2007

But May, the whole of the Americas was in the stone age until the first arrival of Europeans. They had no knowledge of or ability to work with metal. All their tools were of stone, bone, or wood, and these comprised only simple tools like knives and axes. Even the Mayans, with their vast network of paved roads, had not invented the wheel. The majority of North America was nomadic, though their range was limited since there were no horses.

It's no wonder that they were completely defenseless when the European explorers and settlers began to arrive. Europe had already moved through the bronze age and the iron age, and were developing steel, while the native Americans were still sharpening bits of bone and flint. It was a sadly foregone conclusion the moment the first steel-helmeted sword wielding Spanish explorer rode his horse on American soil.

The native people were all eager to embrace the new elements into their culture, like horses and guns. But they didn't understand the concept of "owning" land, and had no idea what was happening. Some tribes tried to fight, some tried to negotiate, some tried to coexist.

The Cherokee adopted a completely modern way of life. Their nation had a government and all the fixtures of modern society. They absorbed the European ideas and evolved their own culture so rapidly that their achievements stagger the mind. It was a truly amazing feat. They were completely peaceful, and their only desire was to live alongside the rapidly expanding immigrant population. They were ready to join this new society, perhaps as a new state under the federal government, and really be a part of the new country while still remaining completely Cherokee.

And my point is, none of that was enough. The inevitable fate of all the tribes was the same. Even the amazing accomplishments of the Cherokee could not save their homeland.

The worst of it was that sometimes a tribe would be "given" land out west, usually in a place where no one would want to live. Then, there would be gold or oil discovered, and the tribe would be forcibly relocated again.

That is one of the sad parts of our history. One of the injustices that can never be repaid, but should never be forgotten. Every nation on the planet has stains like these on their past, and all we can do today is resolve to never let them be repeated.

I'm not Swiss, May! :-) But I do have three great great grandparents from Germany. I've been greeting you in all the languages where I can claim ancestry. I have a great grandfather from England, so I'll use English again!

Greetings, Ryan

Margrit M. Berger (S… on October 6, 2007

Hi Ryan, I've just seen your other text. I think, I delete the one above, you will still have it on the e-mail, I guess. :-))

I don't mind having different views, but as you say, the photos might appear on GE and it's probably not the place. We know each other opinions and that's fine, I think. We could have some real nice discussions with good arguments. I am always open to exchange thoughts, without taking or addressing it personally.

Greetings, for now! May :-)

Margrit M. Berger (S… on October 6, 2007

In seeing your text above, Ryan, it's hard for me, not to contradict it.

;-) May

Ryan Calhoun on October 6, 2007

May, I promise to always let you have the last word on your own photos! :-D

Dear greetings, Ryan

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on October 1, 2007
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    by Ryan Calhoun