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White Earth Culture:
This is the symbol for the White Earth/ Ojibwe/ Chippewa Native Americans. The White Earth and Ojibwe call themselves Anishinaabe, which means the original people. When the Europeans discovered these people, they named them the "Ojibwe"... No one is really sure how this name developed, but they feel it may have came from the Anishinaabe word "ojib", which is a word for the moccasins that the indians wore. Since some Europeans had trouble pronouncing Ojibwe, they tended to also call these people Chippewa. Many members in the U.S. prefer to be called the Chippewa instead of Ojibwe. White Earth no longer live as their ancestors did, but they continue to try and keep the heritage alive. Basically all areas of every day life are impacted/influenced by the past, and what their ancestors did. Many children, and adults, enjoyed playing lacrosse as their ancestors did. Modern day children play with things such as dolls, toys, etc., as we would in our lives. When children, or adults wanted something, they would ask in their native language, 'Ojibway', which is what they, and their past relatives spoke as well. Ojibway language is known to be a very musical, and complicated language because of all of the verbs it contains. Women are the people that do most of the farming, cleaning, house work, etc. While men were game hunters, and many times went to war in order to protect their family. Both genders practiced story telling, art, music, and traditional medicine. A major thing both genders pitched in on was gathering wild rice for meals. An Ojibway man used a pole to make his way through the reeds, while the woman knocked the rice grains into the canoe.
How does this reflect my family's view of what we believe our culture is?
What aspect of our culture would be considered 'surface' culture?
What would be considered 'surface' culture for my background, would be the clothing worn to special ceremonies, and every day life. Also, the food eaten. The White Earth that lived in woodland areas were mainly farming people,harvesting rice and corn,fishing,hunting small game,and gathering fruit and nuts. But, the plain Ojibwa were massive big game hunters, so they hunted game such as buffalo. Another surface would be the homes of the White Earth. The remaining still in their natural homes live in 'Birchbark' housing, while the Ojibwa that lived in the plains used their game, such as buffalo for 'Tipis'. As for 'deep' culture, the Ojibwa would tell of legends and fairy tales. This is a very strong tradition to the Ojibwa culture. Some stories were for entertainment, while most others were to teach the children life lessons. Also, the belief that everything in this world has a soul, is strongly encouraged among them. The tribe must follow a complex system of taboos to assure that animals will continue to make themselves available to the hunters. Many ceremonies are places before and after hunting to continue with the success.Another trait you could consider to be deep, could be the different
names this tribe goes by. White Earth, Chippewa, Chippeway, Ojibwe, Ojibwa, and Ojibway.
Common misconceptions about this culture?
One very common misconception about this culture is that everyday, the people who are a part of this culture wear very complex clothing and make up. This is not true. As a part of this culture, you wear such to ceremonies, such as pow wows. A pow wow is a religious ceremony. Another common misconception about this culture, is that they all live in tipis. This is also not true, because you can only use the resources that are available to you to build housing. Most of the Ojibwa indians do not have the resources for tipis unless they live in the plains where there are game such as buffalo. Another would be how the Ojibwa have not adapted to modern day life. They have no choice but to adapt to modern day life and use some, if not many modern day resources, such as weapons, housing, etc. But, many Ojibwa in fact do try to stick
with the past traditions of only using what you can gather with
your hands, and not with wealth. What this man is wearing is what most, if not all men would wear to the traditional pow wow religious ceremony.
The language that Ojibwa spoke is actually called 'Ojibway', because of their ancestors. This language is very complex, for many reasons including that it is considered to be a very musical language and it has very many confusing verbs to go along with it. The technology used by people in this culture is among the same as the ancestors used. Modern day technology is not used hardly at all in every day life for the Ojibwa on reservations in Minnesota. Most of that is not even accessible for the Ojibwa because of where they are located. Even if it was more accessible, most of the Ojibwa would choose not to use it, to rely on their natural ways, because they believe there is no need to use any of it to survive.
There were many different things from many different people that influenced the Ojibwa way of life. One of the biggest would have to be artwork. Beadwork, birch bark boxes, baskets, and dreamcatchers. Wampum, was made out of white and purple shell beads traded from outside people. These beads were once used as currency, but now they are just mainly important for the art aspect. The designs and pictures on the wampum belts are made to explain the life of a family. Since the modern day has 'occurred', some of the Ojibwa have adapted to using cars instead of horses, or any of their previous transportation methods. This is one of the things that may have taken away one important part of their early stages.
Wampum Belt, Wampum Beads, Wampum Necklace. ^ ^ ^
Interacting with other cultures has greatly affected this culture. Outside of the Ojibwa, introducing cars and horses, etc. into the lives of these once, very simple people, has changed everything. Both in a good and also a bad way. The introduction of cars may be both good and bad, depending on how you look at it. But, the introduction of dogs and horses has greatly helped with hunting, and other every day purposes that are too out of the way, or are too simple for the hunters, gatherers to be wasting their time with.
Physical Geography, and the Ojibwa Nation
Many Ojibwa people live on Lake Superior Salteaux or Salteurs. This could mean a lot of things, one being fish in this area is probably abundant, and water is plentiful. Since the Ojibwa are all very heavy hunters and gatherers, where they live affects what they worship. If they live on the plains, they will worship for the buffalo and all wild game to continue to give their lives for the sake of the tribe. If they live in the woodlands, they also worship smaller game to continue to give their lives, but they also worship the berries, bushes, etc. to keep giving so that their families can survive. Before each gathering or hunting, they will pray for good luck and for a good catch. After each hunting or gathering session, they will worship the food they have gathered as luck for the next harvest of meals.
White Earth Reservation Tribal Council
White Earth Indian Tribal Council, n.d. Web. 5 Jan. 2010. <Http:
American Indian Flags - White Earth Ojibwe and White Mountain Apache
N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Jan. 2010. <
Introduction to the Theory of Origins
Ed. B.A. Robinson. Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance, 23 Aug. 1995. Web. 5 Jan. 2010. <
Native Languages of the Americas: Preserving and promoting American Indian languages
Amazon.com, 1998. Web. 5 Jan. 2010. <
˜Ojibway Indian Fact Sheet// N.p., 1998. Web. 5 Jan. 2010. <
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