Joined: Jun 09 2006
Topic: The Map Of NA Tribes Youve Never Seen Before Posted: Jun 25 2014 at 1:09pm
The Map Of Native American Tribes You've Never Seen Before
Finding an address on a map can be taken for granted in the age of
GPS and smartphones. But centuries of forced relocation, disease and
genocide have made it difficult to find where many Native American
tribes once lived.
Aaron Carapella, a self-taught mapmaker in
Warner, Okla., has pinpointed the locations and original names of
hundreds of American Indian nations before their first contact with
As a teenager, Carapella says he could never get his hands on a ,
depicting more than 600 tribes — many now forgotten and lost to
history. Now, the 34-year-old designs and sells maps as large as 3 by 4
feet with the names of tribes hovering over land they once occupied.
Carapella has designed maps of Canada and the
continental U.S. showing the original locations and names of Native
Courtesy of Aaron Carapella
"I think a lot of people get blown away by, 'Wow, there were a lot
of tribes, and they covered the whole country!' You know, this is
Indian land," says Carapella, who calls himself a "mixed-blood Cherokee"
and lives in a ranch house within the jurisdiction of the Cherokee
For more than a decade, he consulted history books and
library archives, called up tribal members and visited reservations as
part of research for , which began as pencil-marked poster boards on his
bedroom wall. So far, he has designed maps of the continental U.S.,
Canada and Mexico. A map of Alaska is currently in the works.
makes Carapella's maps distinctive is their display of both the
original and commonly known names of Native American tribes, according
to Doug Herman, senior geographer at the Smithsonian National Museum of
the American Indian in Washington, D.C.
This map of Mexico features both the original and commonly known names of some indigenous nations.
Courtesy of Aaron Carapella
"You can look at [Carapella's] map, and you can sort of get it
immediately," Herman says. "This is Indian Country, and it's not the
Indian Country that I thought it was because all these names are
He adds that some Native American groups got stuck
with names chosen arbitrarily by European settlers. They were often
derogatory names other tribes used to describe their rivals. For
example, "Comanche" is derived from a word in Ute meaning "anyone who
wants to fight me all the time," .
"It's like having a map of
North America where the United States is labeled 'gringos' and Mexico is
labeled 'wetbacks,' " Herman says. "Naming is an exercise in power.
Whether you're naming places or naming peoples, you are therefore
asserting a power of sort of establishing what is reality and what is
Look at a map of Native American territory today, and
you'll see tiny islands of reservation and trust land engulfed by acres
upon acres ceded by treaty or taken by force. Carapella's maps serve as a
reminder that the population of the American countryside stretches back
long before 1776 and 1492.
Carapella describes himself as a
former "radical youngster" who used to lead protests against Columbus
Day observances and supported other Native American causes. He says he
now sees his mapmaking as another way to change perceptions in the U.S.
"This isn't really a protest," he explains. "But it's a way to convey the truth in a different way."
Take a closer look at Aaron Carapella's and his . He sells prints on his .
Hmm basically Phoenician, which the Jews that you called fake support the script is Hebrew which in fact is Phoenician script. I studied ancient history enough to know those dusty footed thieves have no creative skills.
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