Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Trail

It has only been a few years ago that I really began to understand the magnitude of the displacement of the American Indians during the early eighteen hundreds. This enlightenment occurred as a result of reading and travels. Jimmy Carter's book The Hornet's Nest (2003) and my visit to Chicago gave me a sense of the vast numbers of Indian tribes that existed in this country in the past. A mural about the growth history of Chicago displayed on the top floor of the John Hancock building shows Indians who lived in the Midwest. A play directed at children I happened upon while in a museum in Chicago was about Indians and buffalo.

Our vacation in Seattle and my attendance at a Powwow there further opened my eyes about Indian culture in the Northwest.

A trip to Fort Smith, Arkansas and my visit to the National Historic site in that town showed the graphics in the pictures at the top and bottom of this posting. The top picture shows Indian populations represented by the lights on the map in the year 1810. The bottom picture shows the Indian movement and the concentration of their habitation in Oklahoma by 1838.

The middle picture is a sign I photographed at Blue Springs in Arkansas.

This exposure to information has enhanced my awareness of some history that I was somewhat familiar. I knew about the Lost Colony and the theory that Indians were responsible for their disappearance. I had heard of the Trail of Tears and knew a lot of places were named after Indians.

I suppose this enlightenment is an example of results that can happen from reading and traveling. I've been told all my life by teachers, family, friends, and others that there is value in reading and travels.

I'm sure you have examples of enlightenment in your life that parallel descriptions like mine. Perspectives, points of view, and experiences are worthy of time and study.

Return here on Friday, November 17 for an update.

Have a quality-filled day!


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