Open Thread WE 20 SEP 23 ~ moccasin telegraph
It is a running joke among the Métis that they often heard rumours through the “Moccasin Telegraph”. In the past, when the Métis traveled on foot, wearing moccasins, this metaphor bore truth since this was the main form of transmitting information.
Welcome this edition of the C99 open thread. The theme today was inspired by the ability
of indigenous peoples to secretly convey ideas and information during the colonization
period of North America by the Europeans.
It is a fascinating story of cultures, language and self preservation during the genocidal
conquest of this land. There may be some things in here that have contemporary
applications. What I found interesting while researching this essay is the quantity of
sites heralding social media as the 'new moccasin telegraph'. It is not in the spirit of
quiet sharing of ideas, as this new medium is anything but secret. Unless they are
speaking in code?
Métis - Denotes a group of tribes with mixed heritage.
Michif - One of the languages of the Métis (French and Cree)
Bungee, Bungi or Bungay is an English Creole spoken by Metis of Scots/Orkney and Cree and Ojibway heritage. An example ..
Nineteenth-century European American telegraph writers often conceive Native telegraph systems, not as primitive, merely metaphorical precursors to their own superior technology, but as in some ways differing, in some ways equivalent, always valid, and potentially threatening real telegraphs. Crow chief Plenty Coups and Crow medicine woman Pretty Shield tell of Native telegraphs that combat U.S. technologies throughout the Indian Wars and especially at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, with surprising national divisions and results, to show the extent to which perceptions about Native telecommunication systems potentially influence nineteenth-century and current understandings of telegraphy.
Further reading -
Alrighty then, opening it up to all takers.
Share your stories, ideas and observations.