Are Indigenous Cultures The Key To Prehistoric Discoveries?
Start writing a post

Are Indigenous Cultures The Key To Prehistoric Discoveries?

How else would fossils be found if not in lore?

23
https://pixabay.com/photos/indian-art-petroglyph-467709/
Pixabay

The only way to be able to connect with these discoveries is directly through the folklore told by the indigenous peoples who inhabited the region. These discoveries may include fossils or evidences of natural phenomena, and can provide an insight into life before written records.

While the Lenape people near the Chemung River in modern-day New York and Pennsylvania named the river after their words meaning "big horn," there had been discoveries of mammoth tusks, which may have been the horns that they were referring to. The Lenape discovered these bones and explained to Thomas Jefferson, who was president of the United States at the time, how it may have ended up in there, by explaining that they were the ancestors of the buffalo. The river was definitely purposeful for the Lenape, since they cultivated squash, corn, and tobacco near it.

Although it would not validate every single detail of religious and mythological beliefs, these sites can provide an insight into the inspirations behind such beliefs. In the case of the Siwalik Hills, they were described in the Indian epic Mahabharata as being the site of a cataclysmic battle where giants and war elephants would be buried. It turned out that there were a lot of fossils that date back to the Pliocene period, which was the time period when giant mammals, including elephants, thrived.

There would definitely be a lot of spiritual significance given to the fossils even to the indigenous peoples who first encountered. In the case of the Ute nation in the American Southwest, they were seen to have worn as amulets the fossils of trilobites, which were a species of anthropod which existed 540-440 million years ago. Since indigenous peoples have made direct contact with these fossils and other prehistoric phenomena, then modern society should not dismiss their mythologies as fictional conjurations, rather as hints as to what life was like centuries--if not millenia--before colonization. This was the case with astrophysicists who were working alongside the Gunditjimara, an Australian Aboriginal tribe, in connecting a myth about a deluge which killed the people who did not make it to mountaintops with a tsunami that hit Australian coasts 11,000 years ago. When professionals like astronomers and scientists are contacting indigenous peoples to provide insight into their mythologies, then it is a sign that they know exceedingly more about their own landscape than even them.

The languages are also important as they can be directly tied to their history. In the case of Canadian place-names like Musqueam, Kwatlen, Matsqui, and Chilliwack, their etymologies, which come from the indigenous Salish languages, provide a hint into the foraging sites that were used by the Salish. In the case of Musqueam, it comes from the Salish word meaning "grass," which specifically refer to the plant grown in Fraser River Estuary; and Chilliwack means "valley of many streams."

By syncretizing with the geography, history, indigeneity, and language of the land, they can all help to uncover information overlooked by colonial powers. In order to truly understand the landscape, the discoveries have to give indigenous peoples more room to speak about their histories interacting with their own land.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Today is Bisexuality Day and I'm more than ready to give all the bisexuals some love by breaking the stigma. I see you, I hear you, I appreciate you.

Bisexuliaty is a sexual orientation where people can form attraction and/or relationships to more than one gender. More than half of the LGBTQ+ community identifies as bisexual but it comes with a ton of bias, discrimination, and violence. And, honestly, bisexuals tend to be forgotten becuase bi-erasure wants to hold onto biphobia to question the existence and legitimacy of bisexuality.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

5 Couples Get Real About Canceling Their Dream Weddings Because Of COVID-19

"It definitely reinforced that as long as we have each other, we can make it through anything together."

985
Courtesy of Georgia & Mike Bernstein

There isn't one person the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic hasn't affected. While COVID-19 is risking everyone's physical health, it's also destroying the world's economy and personal finances, weakening mental health, wreaking havoc on education... and, well, the list goes on.

Among the many things being impacted is love.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

A Couple's Wedding In Peru Was Postponed By COVID-19, But A Lifetime Of Love Is Worth The Wait

"We'd prefer to wait and have the wedding that both of us have always thought of."

607
Courtesy of Rory Semple

During their first semester at Instituto de Empresa (IE Business School) while working on graduate degrees in Madrid, Spain, soon-to-be-newlyweds Rory and Gigi met when they were placed in a workgroup together — and the rest was history. Now, four years after their relationship began, the couple's fall plans to get married in Perú, where Gigi is originally from, have since been postponed by COVID-19.

Though things haven't always been easy for the pair because of immigration, starting a skincare business together, and now, canceling their dream wedding because of the pandemic, they have always worked together as a team (maybe we should all be in a workgroup with our future spouses).

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

A Bumble Couple's Wedding Was Canceled By COVID-19, But Nothing Could Come Between This Perfect Match

"The whole purpose of all the stress and time and tears was that we love each other and that was all that mattered."

643
Courtesy of Shanna and Kaihla

Shortly after Kaihla's sister made her a dating profile on Bumble (despite her fear of being catfished), she matched with Shanna, and their chemistry was quickly undeniable. So much so that only a month and a half into dating, Shanna told her best friend "I think I'm going to marry her," and eventually, the nonprofit worker and elementary PE teacher duo proved this to be true.

In the fourth episode of a new docuseries called "Pandemic Weddings" by SoulPancake, the couple opens up about how they met, the difficulties of canceling a non-refundable wedding of their dreams (that took a year and a half to plan), as well as the pain of having family members who didn't support their marriage use the pandemic as a convenient excuse not to come.

Keep Reading... Show less
Bobbie Hall

This fall was my boyfriend and I's two-year anniversary! In the past for special occasions, we've typically gone out for a movie and dinner or just did something fun in general. However, in the year of COVID, we didn't really feel safe doing something like that.

Instead, we wanted to try something new that kept us significantly more socially distanced. Luckily, I found a TikTok trend a few months ago that gave me the perfect idea! The Target TikTok trend blew up all over for couples and friends alike. It seemed like a fun activity for us but also a good way to get each other gifts that we might not have thought about.

Keep Reading... Show less

If there's one thing everyone's talking about right now, it's voting — in real life, on social media, and yes, even on dating apps.

And rightfully so! Because is there really anything sexier than someone who cares about using their voice to be the change they want to see? In my opinion, no... not much, honestly.

Keep Reading... Show less
Tai Adaya

Any medium- to dark-skinned woman knows how difficult it can be to find the right SPF. Most mass-market SPF products are catered to lighter skin tones, and the potent UV-blocking titanium dioxide and zinc oxide have a way of leaving an unflattering white or grey cast on the skin.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

10 Fall Fashion Trends Every Stylish Closet Needs This 2020 — Here Are Options For EVERY Budget

Whether you're on a budget or willing to splurge, you can attain the perfect fall wardrobe with these pieces!

413

Even if the only time you're leaving the house is to go to the grocery store, I'm a firm believer in getting dressed up to make yourself feel better. With these trends, your Insta feed (and followers) will be thanking you.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Florida Residents, Here Is Your Step-By-Step Guide For Registering To Vote

Every state is different, so get familiar with your county's regulations early!

1049

The 2020 presidential election is coming up fast and it's important now more than ever to know the resources available to voters. With COVID-19, this election looks a bit different this year — mail will be slower, and polls will have longer lines and more health and safety regulations. Because of this, knowing where to register if you haven't already, checking your registration status, and requesting a vote-by-mail ballot is crucial information to be aware of.

Each state has different links and different websites, so this information primarily pertains to Florida residents.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments