Bush12/13/17ShepardSOC 201The people of this place During thetrip to the museum, I was very captivated by the Indian exhibited.
They had many different tribesincluding: Ottawa, Potawatomi and Chippewa people. When walking through themuseum, I saw many eye catching pictures and wardrobes. The other exhibit thatattracted my attention was the whale right when you first walk in.
It is solarge and puts the ocean in perspective and how large the animals are. At the museum they have the story of the Anishinabek “thepeople” , but is describe in their own words, with rare and fascinatingobjects, photographs and documents. The exhibit is about 5,000 square feet, andis all committed to only talking about the tribes that walk through Michiganfirst. The three main tribes displayed are the Ottawa, Potawatomi, and Chippewa.On display is decorative arts, clothing, weapons and tools, with videointerviews with Anishinabe elders, parents, artists and professionals. Theexhibit talked about how the traditional Anishinabe society had no kings,presidents, governors, or mayors. Instead, it had a highly developed traditionof leadership and community service.
Each band had its “Ogerhuk” or leaders who led by example andrepresented the group to outsiders. Each leaders authority went only as far ashe or she could convince others to follow willingly. This was really intriguingto me because they pretty much had no set leader, and surprisingly it wasn’t utter chaos. Pow Wows which also could be called a Tribe gathering,were very popular for the Anishinabe Tribe.
Often times Pow wows gatherAnishinabek from all over the nation to socialize with other Indian people.These Pow wows didn’tbegin in Michigan until the 1960s. They include traditional Woodland Indianmusic and dance with those learned from tribes in other states, and new songsmade by drum groups. Today, there are many different types of Pow Wow dancesand each one plays a specific role in the Pow Wow circle.
Each dancer at a PowWow makes a strong personal statement with his or her regalia (Dance Attire). Pow Wow regalia often includes historic silverpieces such as brooches, arm bands, and gorgets, originally exchanged as tradegoods between French and British fur traders and the Great Lakes Indians. ThesePow wows can still be seen today in modern Indian culture. When the U.S.
Government threat-ended to remove theAnishinabek to reservations in the West, the Indians argued that they were “civilized”Christian farmers and should be allowed to stay. After much of their land hadbeen lost, the Anishinabek remained in Michigan, often mixing traditional pursuitssuch as fishing and basket weaving with a diversity of jobs. In the 1930s manyAnishinabek moved to bigger cities in search of work.
Despite these changes,the Anishinabe culture endured. One interesting thing that the Anishinabe peoplefollowed was the idea of Kinship, or the relationship among individuals, thisis one of the most important elements of Anishinabe culture. It helps to defineand organize the Anishinabe society, even when individuals live miles apartfrom each other. In the video I watched while touring this exhibit they coveredthe “Terms” that define kinship.
These includeododem, clan, band, and tribe. Over time, the Anishinabek developed a thorough knowledgeof their environment. Through hunting, fishing, gathering, agricultural, andmedicinal practices, they learned how to use natural resources. They found inwood, stone, clay, and plants all they needed to live in West Michigan. Manymembers of Anishinabe were hunters and gathers and took great pride in theirwork.
So much that in the 1980s, the State of Michigan began regulating huntingand fishing, claiming that Indians could fish only under state regulations.These rules ignored provisions in the U.S. Constitution stating that only thefederal government could regulate Indian tribes. Problems arose as many Indianscontinued to fish without their license.
Fast forward deep into the 20thcentury, many Anishinabek risked arrest, paid court fines, saw their boats andnets confiscated, or went to jail to protect their rights. Finally in 1979 U.S.
District court ruled that the treaties guaranteed the Anishinabek the right tohunt and fish in their ancestral lands. Hunting and gathering wasn’t so much as life style choice for thembut more so the whole source of their economy and without they wouldn’t be able to survive for generation aftergeneration. This wasn’tthe first treaty to be passed related to the Anishinabe tribe.
In between the1930s and 1940s, the federal government created an Indian Arts and CraftsWorkshop at Cross Village. Working through the Works Progress Administration(WPA), the program provided jobs to Indians producing “traditional” arts and crafts, such as baskets,quills, and furniture. While the WPA provided temporary income for a few, itdid not train them in business skills so that Anishinabe-owned enterprisescould develop.
But the program did raise public awareness of Anishinabe artsand helped in the revival. The museum had plenty of extra information for you toread about. But what caught my eye the most out of the whole exhibit, was inthe far back corner sat a full case talking about the stereotypes and discriminationthat Indians would face every day. On top of that, they had a full videosection focused on Anishinabe Identity and the culture norms that are followedwith that. All in all the 2 minute video left me in some kind of aw… At how different they look at things inthe world and how different values can be from person to person.