The Indigenous Peoples of North America: Part 3 – The Pacific Northwest Coast

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The Native Americans of the Pacific Northwest Coast could just as well be called the “totem pole people” due to their best known art form. However, these monumental structures were said to symbolize or commemorate cultural beliefs recounting familiar legends, clan lineages, or notable events. They may have also served as welcome signs for village visitors, mortuary vessels for deceased ancestors, or as a means to ridicule someone. The complexity and symbolic meanings of totem poles, their placement and importance lies in the observer’s knowledge and connection to these figures’ meanings.

Though the Pacific Northwest Coast is only a narrow stretch from southern Alaska all the way to the northern reaches of California, it’s a region with and abundance of natural resources that these hunter-gatherer tribes usually stayed in one place. It’s no wonder that it was the most densely populated cultural area in Canada before European contact. Nevertheless, the Pacific Northwest Coast is best known for their totem poles and their distinctive art that you might instantly recognize. Their art is also seen on almost everything, including their large cedar plank houses. Because since these people lived in a temperate coastal rainforest, they didn’t need to spend a lot of time like other native peoples did, searching for food so they won’t starve to death. And since they lived in one place all the time, they had plenty of leisure time to kill. These Native Americans also had rather sophisticated societies based on clans and class systems as well as a special centrality on salmon. But it’s not the only food they eat, yet it received a special ceremony when it’s in season that continues today. Then there’s the tradition of potlatch which was a highly complex event of social, ceremonial, and economic importance. There a chief would bestow highly elaborate gifts to visiting peoples in order to establish his power and prestige and by accepting these gifts, visitors conveyed their approval of the chief. There were also great displays of conspicuous consumption such as burning articles or throwing things into the sea, purely as displays of the chief’s great wealth. You’d even have dancers put on elaborate dances and ceremonies which was considered an honor to watch. Still, these events were held on special occasions like the confirmation of a new chief, coming of age, tattooing or piercing ceremonies, initiation of a secret society, marriages, a chief’s funeral, or battle victories.

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Because of the dense resource rich waters and rainforests along with a pleasant climate, the people of the Pacific Northwest Coast had an easier time than Native Americans in other regions. After all, most of them were hunter-gatherer tribes who usually stayed put.

Location: Along the coast starting from southern Alaska through British Columbia, Washington state, Oregon, and northern California.

First Peoples: First humans are said to enter the region at least 10,000 years ago via the Columbia River in the US Pacific Northwest. Evidence in southern Alaska and British Columbia suggests the early inhabitants existed at a basic subsistence level for 5,000 years until 3000 B.C.E. Earliest sedentary villages appeared in 700 B.C.E. with social ranking, woodworking, and regional art shortly thereafter. However, some areas in the US Pacific Coast along Washington state and Oregon continued in basic subsistence mode until possibly as late as 500.

Environment: Consists of dense temperate zone rainforests, rivers, islands, and oceans with abundant natural resources all year long. Climate is mild and rainfall is heavy that includes fierce winter storms and heavy fog. Trees are unusually tall and thick. Springs and glaciers usually flow into rivers that run to the coast.

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While Pacific Northwest Coast Native Americans had a varied diet, there was no food source more central to them than salmon. When salmon travel up rivers to spawn, they would literally catch thousands of them that could feed their families for a year.

Subsistence: Primarily hunter, gatherer, or fisher subsistence. Salmon was the most important food for the Indians in this region. However, they also consumed halibut, eulachon (candlefish), smelt, herring, and sturgeon as well as shellfish, seals, and whales. They also hunted elk, bear, deer, mountain goat, turtles, and some land mammals as well as gathered berries and roots. Food was generally eaten fresh, grilled, or boiled in a basket with hot rocks or steamed or baked over a pit oven.

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Your standard Pacific Northwest Coast dwelling was the cedar plank house w which could be up to 50-150 feet long and 20-60 feet wide. Each plank house could be home to as many as 30 people.

Housing: Mostly lived in plank long houses of red cedar that was said to be 50-150 feet long and 20-60 feet wide. Each plank house was held together by wooden peg nails, had a large hole in a low roof for smoke ventilation, as well as consisted of a front door to keep heat in. Plank houses were furnished with simple furniture including bunk beds against the wall, storage areas, fire pits, and open shelves as well as dug holes for storing and cooling food. Your typical plank house would be home to several families, perhaps as many as 30 people. They were also commonly painted, often with a family crest. Individuals who built the longhouse usually resided there with their families and their kids would be assigned as space inside upon reaching maturity. But if the village built the plank house together, then it was the chief’s responsibility to assign living spaces to each family. And when the plank house owner died, it was either given away or burned to the ground. Because it was believed if the family stayed, then the dead person’s ghost would haunt the place. Also built temporary shelters made from mats, planks from the main house, or bark.

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While people of the Pacific Northwest Coast usually wore very little under temperate conditions, they tend to be known for wearing their chillkat blankets and decorative woven hats. And yes, these can be highly decorated as well.

Clothing: Usually wore very little clothing except when it was cold or special occasions. In the warmer months, men would go naked while women only wore bark skirts. Clothing was mostly made from softened cedar wood or bark, animal leather, and wool. Bark capes and spruce hats were used as protection against the rain. High ranking class members would usually don chillkat blankets, dance aprons, leggings, and moccasins on special occasions. Adorned themselves with piercings and tattoos.

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The Pacific Northwest Coast had several different types of canoes, mainly made from red cedar. They can be 50 feet long and 8 feet wide while holding up 2-50 people and up to 10,000 pounds of cargo. Of course, passengers have to bring their own oars.

Transportation: Built canoes of red cedar of several different types. They were usually 50 feet long and 8 feet wide as well as can hold up to 2-50 people and 10,000 pounds of cargo. Also had smaller boats for families and short outings. Also had dog pulled sleds for overland transport.

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Potlatch was a major event for Native Americans residing in the Pacific Northwest Coast as a means to reflect wealth and perpetuate social inequality within a village. These were held during a major event as well as hosted by aristocrats. At each potlatch, the host would display their wealth through distributing goods to visitors and others whether they be chillkat blankets, animal skins, or even slaves.

Society: Year round access to food allowed people to live sedentary lives in permanent settlements. Estimates state that as many as 250,000 could have lived in this region at one time. Houses were always grouped together side by side and facing towards the water in small villages, each marked by totem poles. Some even had as many as 1,000 living in only 30 homes. However, some groups had one or more small permanent, semipermanent, or seasonal villages or camping sites as well. Nevertheless, people in this region lived in a society based on hereditary status and the ceremonial winter potlatch was both as a means to reflect and perpetuate this social inequality. These consisted of the nobility, upper class free, lower class free, and slaves (actually not members of society at all). Each individual would also be ranked within their respective groups as well. Since this system was based on inheritance, the classes were fairly immutable though some transfer was possible through acquiring (by trade, purchase, marriage, and war) some inherited rights. Such rights and privileges were owned by the identified group which included songs, dances, performances, and control of subsistence areas identified by crests or design patterns. These patterns could reflect real and mythical family lines and associated incidents, animals, or spirits. The village chief always was always the head of the wealthiest and most powerful family and was a nominal war commanders, often undertaking political and ritual preparations before fighting. Though intragroup conflict was minimal, clan incest and witchcraft were considered capital offenses. Intergroup conflict took place within the framework of feuds and wars. Feuds entailed conflict for legalistic purposes while wars were waged solely for material gain (as in land, booty, and slaves). Northern tribes saw more regular conflict than their southern counterparts. Night raids were preferred strategy and victims’ heads were often displayed on poles as proof of fighting prowess. Also practiced intergroup trade where prices were negotiated.

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In a Pacific Northwest Coast extended family, one’s social rank and wealth intake were usually determined by their relationship to the family chief. Of course, since this was a matrilineal clan that practiced exogamous marriage, this only applied to the people on his mother’s side. Family chiefs were usually the wealthiest and oldest member of the clan.

Family Structure: Primarily matrilineal descent. In extended families, family chiefs were usually the oldest and highest ranking individuals while everyone else’s rank was determined by their relationship with the chief.  Family chiefs were primarily responsible for distributing wealth according to social status. Men practiced hunting, building, carving, and fishing while women did housework, raised kids, cooked, wove, made clothes, and dug for shellfish. Marriages were always conducted between people of different clans. When a man decided to marry a woman, he paid her dad an agreed amount before the wedding took place. This amount would be paid back when after the birth of the couple’s first child. After the payment, the wife was no longer obligated to be with her husband (so she could stay or leave him after that point).

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Aside from totem poles, the Pacific Northwest Coastal peoples are also well known for their elaborate ceremonies and their distinctive stylized art. Works of art could range from practical objects such as clothes, tools, transportation, houses, weapons, and what not to the purely ceremonial and aesthetic.

Practices: Totem poles, potlatch, music, dancing, shamanism, animism, storytelling, intricate crafts and sculpture, weaving, basketry, woodworking, masks, bentwood boxes, chillkat blankets, spirit quests, and heraldic art.

Tools and Weapons: Stone axes, adzes, spears, nets, traps, chisels, hammers, drills, knives, wedges, harpoons, traps, seal clubs, sledgehammers, deadfalls, fish line and hooks, and wooden crockery. Coast Salish practiced weaving on a full loom. Blades were made from rock, shell, horn, bone, and a small amount of iron.

Notable Tribes: Tlingit, Nisga’a, Haida, Tsimshian, Gitxsan, Haisla, Heiltsuk, Nuxalk, Wuikinuxv, Kwakwaka’wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth, Coast Salish, Chinook, Chimakum, Quileute, Willapa, Nootka, and Tillamook.

The Indigenous Peoples of North America: Part 2 – The Subarctic

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Here’s a Subarctic Cree family from early Canada. While the mother and kids are dressed in drab, the father has quite a colorful costume and a gun. He also traps animals and trades their skins and feathers.

Our second stop in my Native American series is the Subarctic region. Now this isn’t as snowy and icy as the Arctic, it’s a pretty forbidding region despite it being a mostly boreal forest region. But it’s a very vast region starting from central interior of Alaska, covering the Canadian Shield, surrounding much of Hudson Bay and the northern Rockies, and ending in eastern Canada and as south as Lake Superior. In fact, it covers most of Canada. Nevertheless, despite that the Subarctic is a huge area, you really don’t see it in movies or on TV much (at least in the US, though in Canada, that may not be the case). Or if you did, you might know have known that they were from the Subarctic region. That, or the movie or show was Canadian made. Yet, many of these people tend to speak Athabaskan languages (though some also speak Algonquin in the east). Whatever the case, the Subarctic region is home to a population known to speak over 30 languages. And this area didn’t have a large population of hunter-gathers either. But what a lot of these peoples have in common is their teepee and wigwam shelters and their dependence on the caribou. Also, many of them wore parkas, too. At any rate, it’s kind of what you get if you put cultural aspects of the Plains, the Arctic, and the Northeastern Woodlands together. But it’s in a way that it makes perfect sense because while it may not get as much snow as the Arctic, it’s nowhere near pleasant enough to support agriculture at all. Not only that, but many of these hunter-gatherer groups dealt with regular periods of starvation as food availability can vary from place to place. So while the Subarctic might have great scenery to put on a postcard (since it’s home to Denali), it’s not a pleasant place to live. Still, since European contact in 1500 with Basques, Bretons, and other Europeans fishing at the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, non-native diseases, STDs, malnutrition and alcoholism would reduce native Subarctic population by 90-100% in some regional locations while some didn’t see a white person until the mid 19th century.

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While the Subarctic environment isn’t nearly as harsh as the frigid Arctic, it’s quite a forbidding place. Its rugged terrain, long cold winters, short summers, and generally low precipitation in rain, it’s a very hard place to live.

Location: Most of Canada as well as most of interior, western, and south central Alaska. Stretches from Alaska to east of the Rocky Mountains, and the northern Great Lakes.

First Peoples: The first people of the region possibly entered the region at least 12,000 years ago or even as long as 25,000 years ago. Athabaskan speakers descend from a Northern Archaic culture that existed at least 9,000 years ago. The Shield culture was predominant in Labrador before diverging. The Taltheilei tradition existed 6,000 years ago from Great Bear Lake to Lake Athabaska and the Churchill River. The Laurel culture of Manitoba and northern Ontario lasted from 1000 B.C.E. to 800 and known for their ceramic pottery along with the Selkirk and the Blackduck Cree.

Environment: Mountainous and boreal forest with thousands of streams and waterlogged tundra. East has low hills and rock outcroppings. West has high mountains, glaciers, and plains. Climate is characterized by short, mild to hot summers and long, bitterly cold winters. Precipitation is generally low save in some mountainous areas and coastal Alaska and falls mainly as snow. Short springs experience plagues of mosquitoes, black flies, and other insects as well as ice break up and snow melt. Travel can also be limited at that time as well as the fall freeze up. Soil was often poor and often swampy, making agricultural development impossible.

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Central to the Subarctic tribal existence was the caribou for which they depended on for food, clothing, shelter, and tools. Here is a painting of a caribou hunt.

Subsistence: Primarily hunter, gatherer, and fisher subsistence. Moose and caribou were a major part of diets for many tribes, with some groups regularly suffering from hunger or even starvation during shortages. Yet, smaller animals like hare, marmot, beaver, porcupine, and muskrat were also consumed along with fish, roots, and berries. Coastal groups relied on sea mammals and shellfish while western groups even hunted buffalo. Musk ox, bear, lynx, wolf, coyote, fox, mink, weasel, otter, wolverine, wapiti and elk were also hunted where available.

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Teepees and wigwams may not have been the only housing in the Subarctic region. But they were among the most common. Most of these would be covered in caribou or moose hides along with bark.

Housing: Most tribal groups resided in domed and conical lodges consisting of poles covered with skins, boughs, or birch bark. Or in other words, wigwams and teepees but not what you’d see on the Plains or the Northeast. Groups closest to the Northwest Coast tribes built plank houses while some built frame houses partially below the earth as well as bark covered rectangular houses at fishing camps. Some groups built shelters with a double A-ridgepole framework and containing multiple fires as well as sod pit houses. Structures like drying racks, sweat houses, caches, menstrual houses, and others were also commonly built.

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This Athabaskan family portrait shows a variety of what native peoples in the Subarctic would’ve worn. In winter, they would’ve worn parkas, snowsuits, and other winter items. In the spring and summer, they’d go with tanned leather clothing of caribou and moose.

Clothing: Most clothing usually came from moose and caribou as well as hare and other skins with trim from beaver or other fur. Hides were often tanned and dehaired so they wouldn’t weigh down except winter items like parkas, hats, and mittens. Many people wore leggings with moccasins. Clothing can be decorated with fringe, paint, quills, claws, or down. Women wore dresses while men wore shirts, jackets, and snowsuits. Mothers often carried their babies on their backs with cradle boards. Adornments consisted of noseplugs, earrings, and tattooing.

Transportation: Overland travel was usually preferred and many used sleds, sledges, and toboggans (sometimes pulled by dogs though not always). Though people did build lightweight birch bark canoes and moose hide boats.

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Like most nomadic tribes, Subarctic Indian society wasn’t very authoritarian, formal, or centralized. Extended families usually lived in groups though once in awhile bands would get together to socialize, hunt, and trade.

Society: This was a sparsely populated area with no more than 100,000 living in the region at any one time. So most cultures were nomadic. The basic unit was a local group consisting of 10-20 related people but could be up to 75. Membership was fluid and nonbinding, in deference to autonomy values and need for flexibility in a difficult environment. Leadership was extremely informal and nonauthoritarian, except for the groups most influenced by the Northwest Coast. When conditions permitted (possibly not quite every summer), local groups might come together as loosely constructed regional bands of several hundred people to socialize and renew family ties. Kinship names were used in most tribes as a general term. For instance, elders were addressed “Grandmother” or “Grandfather” whether they were blood related or not. Some groups might conduct memorial potlach with chiefs being recognized as among the clan leaders in the Cordillera. Warfare was mostly a local matter though while some groups seeking women, most people fought over revenge for trespass or prior blood transgression. Yet, warfare was more developed in the far west than in other areas. However, there were no regional groups conducting full scale wars. Trade was widely practiced with goods and services being exchanged as a peaceful reason for travel and human interaction while bands frequently shared resources with each other.

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Though Subarctic tribes mostly practiced matrilineal descent, the treatment of women varied from tribe. Some women were treated as no more than mere pack animals while others maintained relative autonomy and even assumed positions of authority and power.

Family Structure: Primarily matrilineal descent, though not always. Women mostly made clothes, prepared food, and looked after children while men hunted the big game. However, it wasn’t uncommon for women to snare hare or fish. Women’s status varied according to local custom with some being treated as essentially pack animals with little to eat and others existing in relative autonomy as well as attaining both authority and power. Female infanticide wasn’t unknown through much of the region while menstrual taboos could be quite rigorous. Yet, both men and women were usually married by 13 or 14 and had some decision power in the bands. Newly married men were required to live with their in-laws for at least a year before establishing their own households (yet, sometimes they could have more than one wife). Exogamy and cross cousin marriage were usually encouraged. Since infant mortality was common, babies were usually not named until it was certain they would survive. Cremation was standard funerary practice.

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The Subarctic tribes were well known for their intricate beadwork and embroidery. After they made contact with the Europeans, these Indians took to using glass beads and sewn floral designs.

Practices: Animism, shamanism, reincarnation, ceramics, storytelling, controlled burning, music, lacrosse, wooden dolls, basket weaving, dance, embroidery, beadwork, and scapulimancy.

Tools and Weapons: Antler clubs soaked in grease, armor, spears, hide containers for holding water, tumplines for carrying, snowshoes, bow and arrow, net traps, gaffs, fish hooks, snares, and weirs. Raw materials usually consisted of bark, wood, root, stone, and sometimes copper. Yet, many groups also liberally borrowed from their neighbors.

Notable Tribes: Cree, Ojibwa, Gwich’in, Dena’ina, Beothuk, Beaver, Mountain, Hare, Han, Tanacross, Yelloknife, Innu, Chipewyan, Eyak, Kuskokwim, Holikachunk, Sekani, Tagish, Ingalik, Ahtna, Babine-Wet’suwet’en, Dogrib, Tutchone, Carrier, Chilcotin, Attikamek, Tanana, Bearlake, Koyukon, Naskapi, Slavey, Tlicho, and Kaska.

The Indigenous Peoples of North America: Part 1 – The Arctic

 

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As we have been taught in our history classes, before Europeans arrived to North America, the continent was inhabited by a people called the Native Americans. Of course, those who’ve taken courses in American history in school will probably know that our education doesn’t really touch on these people very much (other than that they later got killed by European disease and relocated to reservations so white people can take their lands). Mostly because an average US history class can only cover so much within 180 days or less. Thus, with the exception of those who took Native American Studies in college or read books about them, most of us tend to learn about the Indians through the media and pop culture. Now your average Native American on TV or in the movies will most likely have long black hair (either free flowing, single thick braid, or loose pigtails) or a Mohawk. Not mention, your average media Native American would have a feather stuck in their hair as an ornament or an elaborate feather headdress (like a war bonnet). If your Indian is a guy, he’ll have on leather pants often lined with fringe along with an age dependent upper wardrobe. Older Indian men usually wear leather tunics and vests while the younger guys have other options of going with just the vest or a bare chest. If he’s shirtless, then expect him to wear some degree of body paint. Yet at any rate, he’ll certainly get his war paint on at the climatic battle scene. If your Indian is a woman, she’ll often wear a single piece leather slip and leave her legs bare. Either way, your average media Native American will wear beaded jewelry as well as soft leather moccasins if they’re not barefoot.

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And it doesn’t help that many Native Americans depicted in classic westerns are played by white guys with blue eyes. Yeah, really makes a convincing Indian (sorry, but the heavy dark makeup isn’t fooling me).

Now is this an accurate representation of Native Americans? Well, some of the time. However, pop culture tends to get the idea of representing Native North Americans with a one-size-fits-all approach of beads, buckskins, and braids. Did all Native North Americans dress this way before Europeans? No. Because North America is a big place with a great deal of variation between Native cultures, especially since the continent has a variety of environments. An Indian from New Mexico did not dress the same way as one from North Dakota. And occasionally, you might see indigenous people in Peru wearing buckskin outfits which is another matter entirely (especially if you account for the llama wool). Nevertheless, such Native North American portrayal doesn’t capture the wide variety while many tribes’ traditional outfits look nothing like the stereotype.

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Yet, they still depict teepees and totem poles on the Playmobil Indian camp play set. Sure it looks cute. But it’s seriously wrong and perpetuates cultural inaccuracies. Seriously, you might as well have a play set of the Norse gods with a Grecian temple.

Then there are the aspects of Native North American culture that you see in the media. Of course, there’s the offensive denigration of Indians as savages but this stereotype has been done to death so I won’t bother to talk about it. Then there’s the magical nature worshipping Native Americans who are just misunderstood because a bunch of selfish white guys want their land. Either way, they’re not going to speak English like a normal person. But that’s beside the point. Anyway, you might see Native American tribes depicted doing things and using stuff that belongs to a myriad of different tribes. A good example of this would be the Indian tribe in Peter Pan which juxtaposes Great Plains teepees and Pacific Northwest totem poles. At a cultural and historical perspective, this is as jarring as it’s inaccurate as portraying Vikings with Grecian temples. Also, you might find a lot of Indians wearing mohawks and war bonnets even when they’re not supposed to. In reality, Native North Americans were and are a diverse group ranging from nomadic hunter-gatherers to agricultural civilizations. And they have adapted to a variety of environmental conditions.

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Type Indian or Native American on any search engine, you’re bound to get results like this. Now while this certainly is a Native American portrait, the guy is most likely a leader of the Plains tribes. And he only wears the war bonnet on ceremonial occasions.

In this series, I plan on showing my readers a rough view on how Native North Americans really lived. However, I’m not going to go with a tribe on tribe basis because that would take too long (since there are over 500 of them). So instead I’ll go according to cultural area. Yet, note that whatever I say about this series will only apply chiefly to Native North Americans before European contact. So if you want to know about Plains horse culture or Navajo sheep herding and silversmithing, this series isn’t for you (though I will show pictures). Not only that, but understand that a one-size-fits-all approach may not apply to all the Indians living in that particular cultural region, even within a recognized tribe or tribal group. I just have it written in because it applies to some of the Indians living there. Also, some tribes might go in more than one region.

Inupiat Family from Noatak, Alaska, 1929, Edward S. Curtis

A family photo of an Inupiat Eskimo mother, father, and son, photographed in Noatak, Alaska, by Edward Sheriff Curtis circa 1929. It’s certainly plausible that they’d be wearing their parkas in every day life. But most of the Inuit have adopted to modern lifestyles. Yet, that didn’t stop Robert Flaherty drom doing Nanook of the North.

Our first North American region is the Arctic, which is often exempt from most Native American depictions. Mostly because the Arctic is a very frigid place of ice and snow. Arctic Native Americans tend to be depicted more accurately as wearing parkas, living in igloos, hunting seals, riding kayaks, and running on the ice in dog sleds. But it’s not quite right. Since not all Arctic Native Americans lived in igloos (and even those who did didn’t live in them all the time). Plant life does exist there and the ice does thaw (and keeps thawing due to climate change). While these Native Americans resided near polar bears, they didn’t live anywhere near penguins (which actually live in the Southern Hemisphere). And yes, they do take off their parkas once in awhile. Sure they may spend their days dogsledding, ice fishing, and seal hunting, but they also hunt whales, walruses, and other animals, too. Oh, and they didn’t always leave their grandmas to die on ice floes. Nor did they just eat blubber. Nevertheless, while the Arctic can be a rather inhospitable place, these people have managed to survive its harsh climate for thousands of years and continue to do so. Most of them reside in the farthest reaches of Alaska, northern Canada, and Greenland. Yet, they don’t necessarily have a lifestyle that 100% akin to Nanook of the North (which is kind of a documentary of the Inuit showing how they lived when they were 12). Because they do know about modern technology, actually take advantage of it, and think the idea of pining for the good old days is utterly insane (even among those who grew up in the traditional lifestyle). However, you might want to avoid calling them Eskimos because some of them see the term as derogatory. Also, a lot of them don’t like being called Indians either which is partly why we tend to refer to indigenous people in North America as Native Americans.

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This is a figurine from the Paleo-Eskimo Dorset culture who were among the first people in the Arctic region. The Paleo-Eskimos inhabited the area from 6,000 years ago before mysteriously disappearing at around 1500 at the latest. DNA evidence has proven that they were not the ancestors of the modern Inuit, a fact that I hardly believe (mostly because if the Thule and Dorset culture coexisted, you’d expect that they’d be having sex with each other. Because that’s what normally happens).

Location: Near the Arctic Circle, encompassing northern and western regions of Alaska, northern Canada, and Greenland.

First Peoples: Assuming that the earliest Native Americans arrived to the continent through the Bering land bridge, the Arctic region was only used as nothing more than an area to pass through before venturing into greener pastures. The first groups who inhabited this region didn’t arrive until 6,000 years ago and in at least 2 migrations from Siberia and it was the last area in North America to be populated. The Paleo-Eskimo cultures first developed by 2500 BCE and consists of the Arctic Small Tool Tradition (who lived in tent camps while chasing seals and caribou 4000 years ago), the Dorsets (walrus hunters from 500 BCE-1500), and the Thule (who sailed in large skin boats and hunted whales who are said to arrive in 200 BCE-1600). Only the Thule have any biological, cultural and linguistic connection the modern Inuit and are often considered their ancestors. However, it is known that the Dorsets and Thule had no genetic connection and barely interacted with each other (at least favorably. However, the lack of genetic connection is highly unusual since these two groups existed around the same time. But even if under the most hostile relations, you’d still expect that members of both groups would have sex with each other. How can these people coexist without having sex with each other? I don’t get it). And the Dorset would mysteriously disappear by the 1500s. Some evidence suggests that the Thule and Dorsets had contact with the Vikings.

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Here’s a scene of Nanook hunting seal from the 1922 Robert Flaherty “documentary” Nanook of the North. The harsh tundra climate and terrain led the Arctic people to hunt sea mammals including seal and whale. By the way, hunting for such animals in the Arctic was a highly difficult and dangerous task that took hours.

Environment: Tundra, which can be better said as a desert of snow that’s cold, flat, and treeless (though Arctic plants do exist). Snow, ice, and freezing temperatures all year round (along with the increasing threat of global warming). Can sometimes experience a white night and midnight sun come summer as well as 24 hours of darkness in winter. But the Aurora Borealis is pretty. One of the harshest environments on earth.

Subsistence: Hunter, gatherer, and fisher subsistence. Diet was mostly meat based consisting of ringed and bearded seals, walrus, narwhal, and whales. On land, caribou were by far the most important source of food (and other raw materials) along with musk ox, wolf, fox, wolverine, and squirrel. Also consumed ptarmigan, duck, geese, and their eggs. Fishing was mostly a 3 season activity. Some areas even had people gather berries. Almost every part of the hunted animals were used.

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As you might know, the Inuit are well known for building igloos made of snow and ice. Yet, contrary to what you see in the media, igloos were only used as temporary shelter. Sometimes they could be built close together and connected by tunnels.

Housing: Different types depended on materials available and whether the home wasp permanent or temporary. In the central Arctic region, domed shaped snow igloos were the rule among the Inuit. Many of these would often be built attached to each other for added warmth and sociability. And they even had snow furniture in them, too. But some Inuit tribes built sod houses which consisted of a dug rectangular pit with walls made from sod and rocks as well as wood pieces and whalebone for the roof called a shuswap. Aleut housing consisted of a partially underground house covered with logs, whalebone, or poles before being covered by earth, snow, or moss. This was called a Barabara. Temporary housing included a large men’s ceremonial house called a kashim and its female counterpart called an ena along with summer tents of seal and caribou skin over bone or wooden frames.

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Unlike a lot of Native American cultures, Arctic tribes like the Inuit sometimes still wear their traditional parkas, a lot of times made from caribou fur for added insulation.

Clothing: Most clothing was made from caribou skin though polar bear, seal, wolverine, squirrel, bird, and fish skins were also used. And it was primarily fashioned for insulation from freezing temperatures and wind. In winter, people wore inner (fur side in) and outer fur side garments (fur side out). But only the inner garment was worn during the summer fur side out. The winter outer garment was a heavy hooded jacket, often lined with fur known as a parka. A mother might wear an extra-large parka to shelter babies. Both sexes wore pants, stockings, mittens, seal skin boots, or low shoes. Raincoats were sewn with waterproof gut. Clothes were often decorated with colored furs or fringe. Men wore snowshoes and snow goggles while hunting in the winter. Adornments consisted of labrets (lip plugs), ear pendants, nose rings, and tattoos. Sothern tribes wore close fitting shits and pants. While Aleut women wore seal or otter skin parkas, Aleut men wore parkas of bird skin where the feathers turned in and out depending on the weather. Aleut children wore down parkas with tanned bird skin caps.

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Sleds pulled by dogs and kayaks were the primary modes of transportation among the Arctic Native Americans. Dog sleds for land and kayaks for water. Luckily I found a picture that had both a kayak and sled dogs.

Transportation: Kayaks were closed boats made for one man and used for hunting. Larger open umiaks made from wooden frames and sewn skins for water navigation. Umiaks were employed for either whale hunting or general travel (in the latter case, they’d be paddled and/or rowed by women). Wood and rawhide sleds were pulled by either dogs or people and were used for winter travel.

Society: This was a sparsely populated area that could have consisted as many as 80,000 pre-European contact. Lived a mostly nomadic culture where group members saw themselves tied to the land. Members lived in an isolated existence and would organize into bands on a seasonal basis. Leadership was generally underdeveloped. When strong leaders emerged, there was little formal structure and usually for a temporary situation like whaling expeditions. Leaders were usually older, experienced men who might be leading household heads and probably owned an umiak. Also had a very bloody history of intertribal warfare.

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Another scene from Nanook of the North. This one depicts Nanook’s wife Nyla with their baby playing with the husky puppies. Arctic nuclear families normally consisted of 5 to 6 people at a time. And Arctic family life wasn’t always as happy as what you see in this 1922 film. Still, this moment is so filled with cuteness.

Family Structure: Nuclear families usually consisted of 5 to 6 people. Hunting sea mammals was the primary occupation of most men because it could be highly dangerous and/or extremely demanding. Women sewed up skins, cooked food, tended lamps, and looked after children. Both men and women took part in igloo construction. Descent was generally bilateral. Kinship was of such primary importance so much that “strangers” (those who couldn’t immediately document kin affiliations) were perceived as potentially hostile and might be summarily killed. Other groups subject to willful death were infants (especially girls) and old people. Cannibalism and suicide weren’t uncommon, but only in extreme cases of need. Prospective husbands often served the bride’s parents for a period of time (bride service). Wife stealing (committed in the overall competition of supremacy) might result in death as possibly other conflicts. Murders were subject to revenge. Corpses were generally wrapped in skins and left on the ground. Southwest Inuit and Aleuts practiced mummification. Yupik parents tend to name their children after the last person in the community to have died.

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While the Inuit mostly dominate the Arctic cultural Native American landscape, the Aleut and the Yupik also reside there. These are Aleuts who reside in the Alaskan Aleutian Islands while the Yupik live in western Alaska. Both groups also live in part of Siberia as well.

Practices: Bone, antler, and ivory figurines, amulets, and toys. Wooden ceremonial and dance masks. Basket weaving, animism, shamanism, music, acrobatics, kickball, string games, and storytelling.

Tools and Weapons: Harpoon, bow and arrow, needle, thimble, knife, adze, ax, drill, scraper, spear, and shovel, primarily from bone and antler as well as chipped stone (for points, blades, scrapers, and pots). Other tools include baleen boxes, soapstone pottery, oil and blubber burning lamps with moss wicks, movement indicators (for breathing-hole sealing), throwers, various types of harpoons (with detachable heads), seal nets, clubs, bird bolas, three pronged spears, fish hooks, stone fish weirs, as well as animal traps and snares.

Notable Tribes: Inuit, Aleut, and Yupik. Some of the Aleut and Yupik are known to reside in Siberia.

Rules for Dealing with Wild Animals

1. Wild animals are not your friends. Do not treat them like pets or your buddies. The guy from Grizzly Man learned that lesson the hard way.

I'm sure any other situation involving a grizzly at the dinner table is bound to end horribly. Yes, old Bearikins may soon have the best Thanksgiving of his life. Everyone else will probably have their last.

I’m sure any other situation involving a grizzly at the dinner table is bound to end horribly. Yes, old Bearikins may soon have the best Thanksgiving of his life. Everyone else will probably have their last.

2. Unless handling wild animals is part of your job, keep a reasonable distance from them and interfere with their lives as little as possible. If you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you.

3. Avoid close contact with wild animals whenever possible. Never approach them under any circumstances. Do not touch or try to hold them. But if you must and it’s safe enough, always wear gloves, particularly a pair you’d find at the hardware store (garden gloves come to mind). Get too close to a wild animal and it will attack you.

4. Do not make a wild animal feel threatened or stressed. A threatened or stressed animal is a dangerous animal and will attack you.

5. Do not disturb, chase, startle, anger, tease, or harass a wild animal. All you’ll do is provoke the wild animal into feeling threatened and it will attack you. If you do this, you are a moron and deserve no sympathy for what happened to you. Such actions are especially stupid if the wild animal isn’t alone, particularly if accompanied by offspring. Whatever you do, do not be a dick to wild animals under any circumstances. Unlike humans in society where assholes are tolerated, wild animal will absolutely not tolerate your dickishness toward them and won’t give a shit about sending you to the emergency room.

6. Though baby wild animals may be cute and cuddly, do not go anywhere near them, touch them, or try to hold them. Trying to pick up a baby wild animal is an easy way to get its parents to attack you and they’re usually not far behind. If you do this, you are an idiot. If there’s a chance that a baby wild animal is an orphan, observe it for 24 hours to make sure the animal is truly alone. If their parents don’t show up within that time period, call animal control. Don’t ever try to raise it yourself unless you really know what you’re doing (by that I mean if dealing with animals is part of your job). For particular animals follow these steps:

Awww, look at the cute cougar babies. Don't their faces just make you want to take one of them home with you? But remember that trying to pet or hold one of these adorable cubs is a quick way for its mother to send you to the ER and/or ICU. Yeah, you'd be an idiot to try to get one of these adorable kitties.

Awww, look at the cute cougar babies. Don’t their faces just make you want to take one of them home with you? But remember that trying to pet or hold one of these adorable cubs is a quick way for its mother to send you to the ER and/or ICU. Yeah, you’d be an idiot to try to get one of these adorable kitties.

a. Birds: Pick up the bird with gloved hands and try to return it back in its nest. If you can’t, make one by putting leaves, grass, or soft cloth into a small box and place it where you found the bird. Observed for 24 hours to see if it’s cared for. If not, then call animal control. However, if a baby bird has all its feathers and resembles a miniature adult, leave it alone. It’s a fledgling who has permanently left the nest. The parents are watching them from trees and bringing it food.

b. Ducklings/Goslings: With gloved hands, place the bird as close to the flock as you can. If the flock accepts the duckling/gosling, everything should be fine. If not, call animal control.

c. Deer Fawns: Fawns are often left alone while their parents forage. But if the fawn looks cold, hungry, diseased, confused, or threatened, call animal control.

d. Rabbits: If the baby rabbit is at least 4-5 inches long, has fur, open eyes, and hopping around, leave it alone. It’s old enough to be out of the nest. If not, then take it to the nest but hold it with gloved hands. If the nest has been dug up and there are surviving rabbits, place it back into the hole with gloved hands, cover them with the nesting materials (which should consist of grass and fur). Observe for 24-48 hours. If a parent doesn’t return and you’re sure it’s abandoned, call animal control.

7. Do not feed wild animals or leave any food out for them (except bird feeders). All this does is encourage close contact that gets them too used to people as well as increases the potential for predators, accidents, and attacks. A wild animal that’s lost its natural fear for humans is more aggressive and dangerous, especially when hungry. Also makes them fat and sometimes dependent on such food that some may never learn to find native food on their own. Use proper garbage disposal and food storage as well as treat garbage as you’d treat food. Keep a clean camp and wash all cooking and eating equipment after use (as well as change clothes after dinner if you’re the one cooking it). Nevertheless, despite what pop culture tells you, it’s generally seen a bad idea to feed bread crumbs to birds, especially geese and ducks.

There's a reason why feeding wild animals is illegal. Essentially it gets them too used to people which can lead to attracting other animals as well as attacks. A wild animal that's lost its fear of humans is dangerous and more aggressive, especially when hungry. While camping, always use proper food storage and garbage disposal as well as keep a clean camp.

There’s a reason why feeding wild animals is illegal. Essentially it gets them too used to people which can lead to attracting other animals as well as attacks. A wild animal that’s lost its fear of humans is dangerous and more aggressive, especially when hungry. While camping, always use proper food storage and garbage disposal as well as keep a clean camp.

8. Be familiar with wild animals and how they normally act. This table gives you plenty of the reliable information you need on normal wild animal behavior.

Wild-Animals-Table

9. If you see an injured animal, call animal control and observe it until help arrives. Do not try to help it unless it’s safe to do so. Potential dangers include being scratched, bitten, and/or exposed to disease. But be warned that injured wild animals are often scared and may be aggressive when approached. You may also lead the wounded animal to injure itself.

a. If the wild animal is ensnared, trapped, tangled, do not try to fee the animal yourself. It is probably stressed and could be aggressive. Just call animal control to report its location and take pictures of the scene if possible.

b. If it’s safe to touch it, pick up the wild animal to contain it using gloved hands under these steps, if it needs transported to a wildlife rehab center:

i. Line a box with holes or a pet carrier with clean, soft cloth, grasses, and other suitable bedding materials (like shredded newspaper).

ii. With gloved hands, place the animal in the container.

iii. Place the container on a heating pad set to its lowest setting, or wrap a bottle of hot water in a towel and place it in a container for warmth.

iv. Secure the container so the animal can’t jump out, which might cause further injury.

v. Keep the container in a quiet, dark place. Do not feed or water the animal.

10. If you run into close contact with a wild animal, please accord to the following:

Yes, I'm sure Smokey the Bear is more intense in person. Nevertheless, when you encounter a bear, remain calm, give it a way to escape, and slowly and quietly back away. Don't make eye contact, don't run, and try to look intimidating. If all else fails, use bear pepper spray.

Yes, I’m sure Smokey the Bear is more intense in person. Nevertheless, when you encounter a bear, remain calm, give it a way to escape, and slowly and quietly back away. Don’t make eye contact, don’t run, and try to look intimidating. If all else fails, use bear pepper spray.

a. Don’t Panic: Panicking can often lead a wild animal to misinterpret your conduct as an offensive action and take a defensive stance in self-defense (like attack you). Most wild animals won’t attack you unless they feel threatened, have young, or injured/sick. Remain calm, even if you have to take a deep breath.

b. Give the Animal a Way to Escape: If a wild animal has a way to leave or escape the area, it will do so. This is one of the sanest and safest actions you can do, especially if the animal is a large mother with babies. Cornering the animal and having to fight it is not just dangerous, but also highly stupid. This is especially the case if the animal is bear, mountain lion, or an adult moose in which a fight could mean a very long trip to the ER or the ICU, if you’re lucky. If not, then death and a very stupid one at that. These animals are bigger, stronger, as well as have claws, strong teeth, hooves or horns to defend themselves. So avoiding a fight with a wild animal is just common sense.

c. Slowly and Quietly Back Away: Do this while keeping an eye on the wild animal until you are safely away. The more distance between you and the animal, the better. Try to avoid eye contact if possible. Any sudden moves might startle the animal into defensive action. Running may provoke some animals to chase you and you can never outrun them. Also, only climb a tree only if you’re sure the animal can’t and only when it’s far away. Only use active defense as a last resort like mace or bear spray.

d. For specific wild animals, please follow these guidelines:

i. Coyote/Wolf: Use a loud and authoritative voice to frighten the animal. Throw rocks near the animal (but not at them) and become as threatening as possible. This will show dominance and intimidate them. As for wolves, you might want to keep your eyes cast downward and your mouth closed. If it bites, don’t yank it away but try to make it gag or do something to break its clamped jaw. However, a healthy wolf won’t usually attack people. And most usually attack either due to extreme hunger or disease.

ii. Snake: Remain calm and still until it’s gone. Keep any pets and children close to your side. Step backwards slowly, and only turn your back when you are more than 6 feet away from the snake. Fortunately, they’d rather avoid lashing out and will let you know when they feel threatened. However, whatever you do, do not throw anything in an attempt to kill it or else it will move quickly and strike fiercely.

iii. Bear: Control your pets/kids. Quiet any noise making or aggressive movements. Do not run. Avoid looking like prey. Make yourself look intimidating by waving arms and making noises. The bear should quickly leave the area. If it’s a Grizzly, try to cover your head and the back of your neck with your hands either in a fetal position or lying flat and don’t make eye contact. If that doesn’t work, you might want to climb a tree, make noise, and grab the bear spray. If it’s a Black Bear, don’t climb a tree.

iv. Opossum: An opossum is usually docile and won’t attack unless provoked or cornered. Keep pets on short leashes and get out of the area as quickly as possible.

v. Deer: Deer don’t generally pose a threat unless they feel threatened themselves. Keep pets close to you as you walk past them. They should move along. If they make any aggressive movements or sounds, turn away and leave the area.

vi. Mountain Lion: Don’t run, turn your back, and crouch down. Stand tall and authoritatively, make eye contact, use a calm and firm voice, and slowly back away to make sure you aren’t a threat to their safety. If that doesn’t convince the animal to leave, try to scare it off. If it attacks, fight it with everything you got.

vii. Moose: If it looks upset, try to hide behind something big and not too bushy. But leave room to run if the moose continues the chase. Fortunately, most moose attacks are “bluff attacks” that tend to be over before they begin.

viii. Crocodile/Alligator: Avoid croc/gator infested waters as much as possible. If one approaches you, run away as much as possible. If it attacks you, fight back but be sure to hit the eyes, nostrils, or ears. If it bites and you have escaped, seek medical help immediately.

11. If you see a wild animal acting outside its normal behavior stay the hell away from them and find shelter as quickly as possible before calling animal control (especially if the animal is acting disoriented, confused, or shows unprovoked aggressiveness). Make sure your kids and pets are inside as well. Don’t try to help it in any way because a sick animal may not be in its right mind and can be very dangerous. This might be especially obvious if its frothing at the mouth, but sometimes even just bizarre or unprovoked aggressive behavior can be enough. If you, your kids, or your pets aren’t so lucky, follow these steps:

Of course, I'm sure this raccoon doesn't since it looks relatively normal. However, yeah, raccoons do tend to be carriers of all kinds of diseases. If you see one showing unprovoked aggression, call animal control and seek shelter immediately.

Of course, I’m sure this raccoon doesn’t since it looks relatively normal. However, yeah, raccoons do tend to be carriers of all kinds of diseases. If you see one showing unprovoked aggression, call animal control and seek shelter immediately.

a. You, Children, and Other Humans: Either get to a hospital or call 9/11 for an ambulance if the wound is bleeding seriously or if you suspect that the animal might have rabies. If you aren’t sure it’s serious, call your doctor or animal control. Call animal control to remove the animal if it’s still at the premises and have it tested for rabies and other diseases. Wash minor wounds (like scratches) under running water and apply antibiotic ointment and dressing. Also, you might want to be up to date on vaccinations, just to be safe. If it’s a snakebite, call 9/11 for an ambulance, gently wash the injury, splint bitten extremities, and keep the area at approximately the level of the heart. Keep the person calm (if it’s not you). Don’t cut, suck, apply a constricting band, or apply cold to a bit from a pit viper (like a rattlesnake, copperhead, or cottonmouth). For a bite from an elapid snake (like a coral snake), apply an elastic roller bandage after washing the wound.

b. Pets: Using gloved hands, wash the wounds with a hose. Don’t touch the wounds with your bare hands. Immediately call the vet, even if the wound doesn’t seem serious. If the wild animal is still present, call animal control to remove it. Have your pet re-vaccinated immediately, even if its vaccinations are up to date. If expired, your pet may be held for observation. Also, remember that your pets can’t be treated after they’ve been infected with rabies so its important to keep their vaccinations up to date.

12.Try to keep pets from chasing or harassing wild animals as much as possible. Also, keep children close and within your immediate sight at all times outdoors (especially when the nearest shelter is a long distance away. If you’re at home, just keep the small children accompanied. But keep at least one door unlocked in the house {particularly the backdoor} and teach your school age children about common sense). Never leave small children alone with a wild animal regardless of its demeanor.

13. Avoid carcasses in wilderness areas as much as possible (and by that I mean hiking trails, forests, parks, campgrounds, and nature reserves). Report dead animals to the nearest ranger station or animal control. After all, any animal carcass you find in the wilderness could easily be a carnivore’s leftover lunch. Some animals are known to defend their food sources violently and won’t be happy to see you disturb them.

14. Don’t hike alone or at night. Wild animals are less likely to attack groups than solo hikers, since groups are less noisy. Also, while many animals can be active at any time a lot of them are active at dawn, dusk, or night.

Many wild animals tend to be active at night like this opossum. Of course, this might explain why I have often found so many of their carcasses on roadsides. Also explains why I find deer tracks on the roads during some of my morning walks.

Many wild animals tend to be active at night like this opossum. Of course, this might explain why I have often found so many of their carcasses on roadsides. Also explains why I find deer tracks on the roads during some of my morning walks.

15. While hiking, stay on the trails at all times and travel quietly if need be. As long as you stay away from a wild animal’s habitat, it will not bother you. However, make noise if it’s in bear country, especially when traveling upwind, near streams and waterfalls, or when you can’t see the path ahead. Remember that you are on their turf and you need to respect that, especially since there are a lot animals that can be rather territorial. Yeah, you’d want to keep off their lawn, indeed.

16. Be alert for any possible sign of wild animals nearby such as droppings, diggings, footprints, scratch marks, rocks rolled over, or tree logs torn apart. Also be careful not to step directly on rocks or logs for you don’t want to anger a poisonous snake.

17. When traveling by foot, let someone know where you’re going and when you plan to return. Also, travel with a cell phone and first aid kit at all times as well as keep your pet on a leash.

18. Whenever in a recreational area, always follow local regulations. Always listen to park rangers and game wardens as well as follow their advice.

19. Be familiar with the types of wild animals in your geographical location and know how to avoid getting attacked by them.

20. Be familiar with wild animals’ sex and reproduction cycles and behaviors, particularly mating and birthing seasons. Also pay attention on their familial patterns. Some species may be monogamous while others may not. But it’s not unusual for some animals to be more aggressive and less fearless during their mating seasons (often in the fall), particularly if they’re males trying to mate with as many females as possible (though females during this time aren’t exactly docile either). And it’s not uncommon for female animals to be quite aggressive while raising their young, especially if she’s rearing them alone. Let’s just say the rutting season is basically Pon Farr for deer, which makes them especially dangerous around this time, particularly antlered males.

During the mating seasons, wild animals can be more aggressive than usual, particularly if they're stag males or males trying to mate with as many females as possible. For some, to say that comparing their mating seasons to Pon Farr isn't much of a stretch. This is especially the case with the deer rut in which the male antlered deer compete with each other for mates through sparing.

During the mating seasons, wild animals can be more aggressive than usual, particularly if they’re stag males or males trying to mate with as many females as possible. For some, to say that comparing their mating seasons to Pon Farr isn’t much of a stretch. This is especially the case with the deer rut in which the male antlered deer compete with each other for mates through sparing. And yes, the fights can get particularly nasty.

21. Just because an animal won’t or can’t eat you, don’t assume it won’t hurt you. There’s a reason why predators tend to prey on the most vulnerable of any given herd. They know that trying to take down the strongest animals for meat is a quick way to get severely injured or killed. Not to mention, anyone who’s had regular contact with domesticated livestock will know of at least one incident of a temperamental cow or horse sending someone to the emergency room. So just because the wild animal in question is a vegetarian, don’t assume that it’s cute, cuddly, and friendly. Because there are plenty of large herbivores that are extremely territorial and will kill you deader than dead. Hippos are among the most dangerous animals in Africa along with elephants, cape buffalo, rhinos, and giraffes (which can kill lions with their kicks). In North America, moose and bison are said to attack and kill more people than bears and wolves. Also, take into account that the vast majority of unprovoked bird attacks on people are from herbivorous birds. Thus, remember that an animal doesn’t need to be hungry to want to kill you.

If you think that the most dangerous wild animals are predators, think again. Herbivores can be just as nasty. For instance, while deer are seen as the gentle giants of the forest, they're actually extremely dangerous, especially during rutting season. I call this picture Bambi's Revenge. Yes, he will pay dearly.

If you think that the most dangerous wild animals are predators, think again. Herbivores can be just as nasty. For instance, while deer are seen as the gentle giants of the forest, they’re actually extremely dangerous, especially during rutting season. I call this picture Bambi’s Revenge. Yes, he will pay dearly.

22. Just because an wild animal seems friendly as well as fluffy and adorable, don’t assume it won’t hurt you. It may not look dangerous, but even the friendliest wild animals can turn pretty unfriendly pretty damn fast. And many of the most adorable and harmless looking creatures can be anything but, especially if you do something to piss them off. You may laugh during the killer rabbit scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but remember that real wild rabbits can be anything but sweet, innocent, and docile.

Real rabbits may not be as lethal as you might see in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. But they are hardly docile creatures and their teeth can inflict quite a bit of damage. It's said that male rabbits will rape and castrate rival males to secure breeding rights. They also headbutt and their kicks pack quite a bit of power for their size. Unfortunately, for this cat, I'm afraid the Holy Hand Grenade at Antioch wasn't at its disposal.

Real rabbits may not be as lethal as you might see in Monty Python and the Holy Grail. But they are hardly docile creatures and their teeth can inflict quite a bit of damage. It’s said that male rabbits will rape and castrate rival males to secure breeding rights. They also headbutt and their kicks pack quite a bit of power for their size. Unfortunately, for this cat, I’m afraid the Holy Hand Grenade at Antioch wasn’t at its disposal.

23. If you see a large wild animal on the road while driving, make sure you give them the right of way by slowing down and stopping at a reasonable distance. They’ll usually be quick about crossing the street. Nevertheless, please drive carefully and not hit something. Not only will you avoid a crash and save your life but you won’t risk the animal’s life either. And the bigger the animal, the worse the consequences will be if you hit it.

Large wild animals can pose serious traffic problems. Thus, if you see any large wild animal on the road, remember to slow down and give it the right of way. Let's just say it'll save your life. Here's some more tips about sharing the road with wild animals.

Large wild animals can pose serious traffic problems. Thus, if you see any large wild animal on the road, remember to slow down and give it the right of way. Let’s just say it’ll save your life. Here’s some more tips about sharing the road with wild animals.

24. Any wild animal with utterly zero fear of humans isn’t one you’d want to run into, especially if it has a really nasty temper. Wild animals that aren’t afraid of humans are less likely to run away at close range, which is very bad and most of the time aren’t friendly at all.

25. Don’t ever try to domesticate a wild animal no matter how cute or seemingly docile it may be. Yes, you might hear all the stories about how people raised wild animals in their homes. But there’s a reason why wild animals don’t make great pets despite how and cuddly some of them may be. Think about it.

Yes, raccoons are adorable, I get it. But if we could successfully domesticate, we certainly would keep them as pets. Unfortunately, while raccoons have no fear of humans, they have very nasty tempers and their teeth and claws can kill pets as well as send people to the emergency room. They're also the biggest carrier of rabies in North America. So no, they don't make very good pets whatsoever. Too bad the Japanese didn't learn from the Americans on this which gave rise to raccoon infestation in their country.

Yes, raccoons are adorable, I get it. But if we could successfully domesticate, we certainly would keep them as pets. Unfortunately, while raccoons have no fear of humans, they have really, really nasty tempers and their teeth and claws can kill pets as well as send people to the emergency room. They’re also the biggest carrier of rabies in North America. So no, they don’t make very good pets whatsoever. Too bad the Japanese didn’t learn from the Americans on this which gave rise to raccoon infestation in their country. This was because of an anime raccoon gave rise to a fad of keeping these animals as pets. Seriously, Japan, stop being suckers for cuteness!

26. Remember that animal control is your friend. If you see wild animal acting weird and aren’t sure what to do, call them. They will know what’s going on and will go in if there’s a nuisance.

27. Despite what you might see in popular media pertaining to wild animals, don’t assume that they behave that way in real life. This is especially the case with seemingly sweet and innocent animals presented as cute, fluffy, and adorable. Nor should you assume that all animals exist in harmony and wholesomeness (which for those who’ve seen the PBS show Nature, it’s certainly not the case since it’s guaranteed to feature animals mating and killing things in most episodes. This is especially the case when a predator is the featured animal on the episode).

28. If a small wild animal is found in your house, open your doors to let it out. The sooner you give it a way to escape the better. However, if it bites you, keep it inside and call animal control because it might need to be tested for disease.

29. If you want to take a picture of a wild animal at close range, remember that cameras are equipped with zoom lenses. So take advantage of that.

When you want to take pictures of animals, remember to keep a reasonable distance and use the zoom lens. Of course, I'm not sure about this guy's situation. I mean birds can fly pretty fast.

When you want to take pictures of animals, remember to keep a reasonable distance and use the zoom lens. Of course, I’m not sure about this guy’s situation. I mean birds can fly pretty fast.

30. Never take your pets camping or hiking with you, especially if it’s in an area with wolves or other predators. Thus, your pet might become a liability since they’re more vulnerable to animal attacks than humans. There’s a reason why pets aren’t allowed in National Parks and other recreation areas.

31. Remember that just because an animal looks like it’s suffering and needs to be rescued, doesn’t necessarily mean you should interfere. Sometimes it’s best to let nature do its thing and leave it alone, especially if it can be some predator’s tasty meal or your pet’s. So you might not want to bother with Fido killing that baby bunny.

32. Remember that even if you do everything right, this doesn’t guarantee that you won’t attract a wild animal’s attention. Any action you make can make an animal feel threatened or startled, even if you don’t intend to do so. Even wildlife experts have experienced this.

33. Be aware that just because a normally nocturnal animal is active during the day, doesn’t mean it’s “sick” especially if it’s just minding its own business. They may be out during the day for several reasons such as looking for food, during spring and early summer when they’re out looking for food for their young, being habituated in their environment and the people around them, or simply going from one place to another. So if you see a raccoon out during the day and acting like any typical raccoon would otherwise, then leave it alone. It probably doesn’t have rabies.

Though raccoons are better known for being active at night, it's not uncommon for some to be out in the daytime. So if a raccoon is out and about during the day and doesn't seem to show any other abnormal behavior, it's probably not rabies.

Though raccoons are better known for being active at night, it’s not uncommon for some to be out in the daytime. So if a raccoon is out and about during the day and doesn’t seem to show any other abnormal behavior, it’s probably not rabies.

34. If you see a wild animal with young, stay the hell away from them. Even the friendliest wild animals can be especially ferocious when it comes to protecting their kids. Mess with any wild animal parent and their kids and you’ll be in for a world of pain.

For the love of God, if you get between a mama bear and her cubs, you will be in for a world of pain. And no, I'm not exaggerating. Do not go anywhere near a bear and her cubs. Seriously, you will live to regret it in the emergency room, if you're lucky.

For the love of God, if you get between a mama bear and her cubs, you will be in for a world of pain. And no, I’m not exaggerating. Do not go anywhere near a bear and her cubs. Seriously, you will live to regret it in the emergency room, if you’re lucky.

35. Just because an wild animal is cute, doesn’t mean it’s nice and wants you to touch it, especially if it’s a baby or juvenile.

36. When hiking, walking, or traveling in a recreational area or anywhere else, stay out of wildlife areas you know are dangerous.

37. Just because you don’t see wild animals, don’t assume that they aren’t close by. Sometimes wild animals will pop up around times when you’re least likely to see them (like during the night).

38. Small wild animals may not be as dangerous as their larger counterparts, but don’t  assume that they won’t hurt you. Because even they can be quite vicious if they feel they need to. And there are plenty of animals willing to take on anybody several times their size like rabbits.

39. Unless you’re hunting, then avoid carrying a firearm outdoors, despite what your NRA gun nut neighbor may say. If firing a gun doesn’t instantly kill the wild animal, then it will get even more enraged and attack you. When in close contact with a wild animal, the last thing you want is to make it madder, especially if it’s a predator. For instance, 50 percent of those who use a firearm against a grizzly end up being severely mauled.” Use bear pepper spray instead, which will greatly inhibit its ability to fight.

Unless you intend to hunt at the wilderness recreation area, then leave your guns at home. Of course, you won't see a bear with a handgun. However, unless you kill it at the first shot, shooting at a wild animal will just make it madder and willing to attack. It's a reason why firearms are banned in many parks and for good reason. Use bear pepper spray or mace instead.

Unless you intend to hunt at the wilderness recreation area, then leave your guns at home. Of course, you won’t see a bear with a handgun. However, unless you kill it at the first shot, shooting at a wild animal will just make it madder and willing to attack. It’s a reason why firearms are banned in many parks and for good reason. Use bear pepper spray or mace instead.

40. If you’re in a wilderness in an outdoor recreation area you’re not familiar with, consider hiring a guide if you can afford it. At least a guide will know what to do. If you can’t, then consider getting a map and/or guidebook. Better yet, buy the map and guidebook first before hiring the guide.

The Pro Sports Mascot Hall of Shame

Doing a post on bad sports mascots got me thinking about the big leagues and how some of them don’t seem to rally the team as much as create a franchise embarrassment. Now I know many of the guys behind the costumes probably started doing this in high school and college perhaps to get in with the cheerleaders or avoid embarrassment of their jock filled family who didn’t want him in marching band. Yet, many of these pro mascots probably took their talent to the big leagues since they love the limelight and/or don’t have many applicable skills. Now the following mascots I’m listing on this post are from the Big Four Leagues based in the United States and sometime Canada as far as the NHL goes. Still, for those who feel embarrassed about your pro team mascot, this is the list for you and for those who are offended for putting your favorite mascot on the list, I sincerely apologize. So without further adieu, here is my cavalcade of the worst mascots in professional sports.

 

NFL

 

1. Steely McBeam- Pittsburgh Steelers

Now I'm from the Pittsburgh area and most Steelers fans think that Steely McBeam is perhaps the stupidest mascot from any Pittsburgh Big Four sports franchise. Seriously, Steely is creepy as hell and his eyes reveal that he's ready to whack someone with his steel I-beam. Nevertheless, why did the Steelers think that they needed a mascot that's so lame?

Now I’m from the Pittsburgh area and most Steelers fans think that Steely McBeam is perhaps the stupidest mascot from any Pittsburgh Big Four sports franchise. Seriously, Steely is creepy as hell and his eyes reveal that he’s ready to whack someone with his steel I-beam. Nevertheless, why did the Steelers think that they needed a mascot that’s so lame?

 

2. Rowdy- Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys may be America's football team (Steeler fans: actually no way in hell), but we're sure that Rowdy isn't America's favorite NFL mascot. Also, I think he's kind of committing sexual harassment by gazing at that cheerleader's boobs. Creepy.

The Dallas Cowboys may be America’s football team (Steeler fans: no way in hell), but we’re sure that Rowdy isn’t America’s favorite NFL mascot. Also, I think he’s kind of committing sexual harassment by gazing at that cheerleader’s boobs. Creepy.

 

3. Boltman- San Diego Chargers

Though Boltman was born with phenomenally electrical powers, he couldn't get a job anywhere else than being the San Diego Chargers' mascot after he was rejected by the X-Men for simply making the team look bad and pissing off Wolverine.

Though Boltman was born with phenomenally electrical powers, he couldn’t get a job anywhere else than being the San Diego Chargers’ mascot after he was rejected by the X-Men for simply making the team look bad and pissing off Wolverine.

 

4. Edgar, Allan, and Poe- Baltimore Ravens

I don't know about you, but I think having three Baltimore Ravens mascots modeled after the racist crows from Dumbo named Edgar, Allan, and Poe would sort of send the noted author of "The Raven" turning in his grave. Sure they shall receive love from their fans, nevermore.

I don’t know about you, but I think having three Baltimore Ravens mascots modeled after the racist crows from Dumbo named Edgar, Allan, and Poe would sort of send the noted author of “The Raven” turning in his grave. Sure they shall receive love from their fans, nevermore.

 

5. Blue-Indianapolis Colts

While horses are majestic and beautiful creatures known to kick major ass, this horse mascot seemed to be designed by the creator of My Little Pony on a brown acid trip.

While horses are majestic and beautiful creatures known to kick major ass, this horse mascot seemed to be designed by the creator of My Little Pony on a brown acid trip.

 

6. T. D.- Miami Dolphins

You may not know it but dolphins are pretty aggressive creatures with some species known to kill for fun despite their cuteness. Yet, put one in a Miami Dolphins uniform and introduce it as your mascot, it doesn't seem very intimidating at all.

You may not know it but dolphins are pretty aggressive creatures with some species known to kill for fun despite their cuteness. Yet, put one in a Miami Dolphins uniform and introduce it as your mascot, it doesn’t seem very intimidating at all. Seriously, still too cute.

 

7. Raider Rusher- Oakland Raiders

Now what's worse than having a giant head person mascot ? Well, having a giant head mascot with a spike helmet and mask but no freaking torso! Imagine taking a picture of this guy with your kids. They'll probably cry.

Now what’s worse than having a giant head person mascot ? Well, having a giant head mascot with a spike helmet and mask but no freaking torso! Imagine taking a picture of this guy with your kids. They’ll probably cry.

 

8. Jaxon de Ville- Jacksonville Jaguars

Now I see nothing wrong with having a big cat mascot for your sports team. Yet, a big cat mascot in a speedo and sunglasses, well, that's not right. Seriously, I don't find speedo as anything you'd want to wear in front of kids, even on jaguars.

Now I see nothing wrong with having a big cat mascot for your sports team. Yet, a big cat mascot in a speedo and sunglasses, well, that’s not right. Seriously, I don’t find speedo as anything you’d want to wear in front of kids, even on jaguars.

 

9. Pat Patriot- New England Patriots

Now Pat the Patriot shows that just because he looks good for the logo, doesn't mean that he should have a costumed counterpart. I mean he has a sinister look in his eye as if he's about to ask for your soul.

Now Pat the Patriot shows that just because he looks good for the logo, doesn’t mean that he should have a costumed counterpart. I mean he has a sinister look in his eye as if he’s about to ask for your soul.

 

10. Sir Saint- New Orleans Saints

Now I know he's been mascot for the New Orleans Saints for years, but he's a walking and talking cartoon character. Also, he has an enormous chin, which is pretty terrifying if you ask me. Seriously, he seems he wants to beat up somebody after the game. Look at him.

Now I know he’s been mascot for the New Orleans Saints for years, but he’s a walking and talking cartoon character. Also, he has an enormous chin, which is pretty terrifying if you ask me. Seriously, he seems he wants to beat up somebody after the game. Look at him.

 

11. Captain Fear- Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Now he may seem rather fearsome all right, but for those who've seen the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, he seems to be a rather lame mascot even with the wicked scar on his face. Seems more appropriate for a children's movie with pirates in it who don't do anything, well, the good pirates anyway.

Now he may seem rather fearsome all right, but for those who’ve seen the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, he seems to be a rather lame mascot even with the wicked scar on his face. Seems more appropriate for a children’s movie with pirates in it who don’t do anything, well, the good pirates anyway.

 

12. Indian- Washington Redskins

Of course, I couldn't do a post on bad Big Four mascots without including one from the Washington Redskins. I mean this guy is a walking offensive caricature to Native Americans.  Seriously, Redskins, change your fucking name for God's sake? You're projecting a highly negative stereotype many Indians find profoundly offensive. Seriously, this mascot reveals the deep depths of your highly racist soul.

Of course, I couldn’t do a post on bad Big Four mascots without including one from the Washington Redskins. I mean this guy is a walking offensive caricature to Native Americans. Seriously, Redskins, change your fucking name for God’s sake? You’re projecting a highly negative stereotype many Indians find profoundly offensive. This mascot reveals the deep depths of your highly racist soul.

 

MLB

 

1. Raymond- Tampa Bay Devil Rays

Seriously, what the hell is this thing? Well, whatever he is, he seems more appropriate for a Dr. Seuss acid trip than as an official mascot for Major League Baseball.

Seriously, what the hell is this thing? Well, whatever he is, he seems more appropriate for a Dr. Seuss acid trip than as an official mascot for Major League Baseball. I mean he looks like he could be related to the Lorax for God’s sake.

 

2. Dinger- Colorado Rockies

Now I have one good thing and one bad thing to say about this mascot. The good: despite being a cuddly perfect dinosaur, at least he ain't Barney. The Bad: he's still a cuddly purple dinosaur who belongs in Land Before Time, not Major League Baseball.

Now I have one good thing and one bad thing to say about this mascot. The good: despite being a cuddly perfect dinosaur, at least he ain’t Barney. The Bad: he’s still a cuddly purple dinosaur who belongs in Land Before Time, not Major League Baseball.

 

3. Billy the Marlin- Florida Marlins

Now I'm not a big fan of fish mascots, yet this one seems like the Creature of the Black Lagoon's embarrassing long nosed cousin from Miami. Seriously, that does not resemble a marlin in any way.

Now I’m not a big fan of fish mascots, yet this one seems like the Creature of the Black Lagoon’s embarrassing long nosed cousin from Miami who has a large collection of Jimmy Buffett music. Seriously, that does not resemble a marlin in any way.

 

4. Phillie Phanatic- Philadelphia Phillies

I guess since he landed on planet earth,as well as appreciating it much more than wherever he came from, the Phillie Phanatic signed to be a mascot for the Phillies. Either that, or his Philadelphia mascot gig is a backup line of work after he fail his audition for Sesame Street. We're not sure which.

I guess since he landed on planet earth,as well as appreciating it much more than wherever he came from, the Phillie Phanatic signed to be a mascot for the Phillies. Either that, or his Philadelphia mascot gig is a backup line of work after he fail his audition for Sesame Street. We’re not sure which.

 

5. Screech- Washington Nationals

Now I know that bald eagles are majestic creatures and is the national bird of the United States. This mascot reduces an American icon to a Nick Jr. cartoon character.

Now I know that bald eagles are majestic creatures and is the national bird of the United States. This mascot reduces an American icon to a Nick Jr. cartoon character.

 

6. Bernie Brewer- Milwaukee Brewers

Sure he may be a beloved mascot for the Milwaukee Brewers, but his bushy old timey mustache seems to bring a rather creepy vibe to him. Really, Bernie doesn't seem to be up to no good.

Sure he may be a beloved mascot for the Milwaukee Brewers, but his bushy old timey mustache seems to bring a rather creepy vibe to him. Really, Bernie doesn’t seem to be up to no good.

 

7. Southpaw- Chicago White Sox

After being rejected from Sesame Street, Southpaw traveled all the way to Chicago to make his fortune. After a comedy run on Second City, Southpaw managed to achieve fame as the mascot for the Chicago White Sox. Of course, his Twitter account says: “Hey! It’s me Southpaw, the official White Sox Mascot. I sleep, breathe, eat (well…maybe not eat..that would be weird) the White Sox.” Excuse me? What did I just hear? And they have this guy perform at birthday parties?

 

8. Sluggerr- Kansas City Royals

Seriously, is that crown his skin? Seriously, what is he? Is he an alien from outer space because crown heads like that aren't natural in large mammal predators. Still, he's simply terrifying.

Seriously, is that crown his skin? Seriously, what is he? Is he an alien from outer space because crown heads like that aren’t natural in large mammal predators. Either that or what would happen if Bart Simpson mated with a bear. Still, he’s simply terrifying and that kid doesn’t seem too happy posing with him.

 

9. D. Baxter the Bobcat- Arizona Diamondbacks

For God's sake, I'm sure that looks like something I'd see in Pittsburgh during a furry convention. That costume is simply terrifying if you know what I mean and is kind of an insult to bobcats.

For God’s sake, I’m sure that looks like something I’d see in Pittsburgh during a furry convention. That costume is simply terrifying if you know what I mean and is kind of an insult to bobcats.

 

10. Wally the Green Monster- Boston Red Sox

I'm sure the people of Boston might find this Incredible Muppet Hulk loveable for some reason. Yet, for the rest of us, this Jim Hensian monstrosity would probably make everyone else uncomfortable who doesn't live in Boston.

I’m sure the people of Boston might find this Incredible Muppet Hulk loveable for some reason. Yet, for the rest of us, this Jim Hensonian monstrosity would probably make everyone else uncomfortable who doesn’t live in Boston.

 

11. Slider- Cleveland Indians

The Good News: Despite their refusal to change their outright racist logo and send Chief Wahoo to the burning fires of Hell, you have to admit their efforts to include a mascot that doesn't offend Native Americans. The Bad News: If there was a slasher horror movie that included a cast of Jim Henson muppets, I'm sure he'd be the monster killing everybody.

The Good News: Despite their refusal to change their outright racist logo and send Chief Wahoo to the burning fires of Hell, you have to admit their efforts to include a mascot that doesn’t offend Native Americans. The Bad News: If there was a slasher horror movie that included a cast of Jim Henson muppets, I’m sure he’d be the monster killing everybody.

 

12. San Diego Chicken- San Diego Padres

Though he is known for beating up Barney the purple dinosaur during Padres games, yet let's face it, chickens make lame mascots for sports teams. I'm sure this guy seems more appropriate as a spokesman for Tyson yet he didn't want to advocate people eating his fellow poultry.

Though he is known for beating up Barney the purple dinosaur during Padres games, yet let’s face it, chickens make lame mascots for sports teams. I’m sure this guy seems more appropriate as a spokesman for Tyson yet he didn’t want to advocate people eating his fellow poultry.

 

13. Clark the Cub- Chicago Cubs

If you think going through a century without a World Series win was bad enough for Chicago Cubs fans, then you don't know the half of it. Sure Clark is a cute mascot but he's a bit creepy as if he's a spokesman for some Saturday morning PSA about adults touching you inappropriately. That or something a person drew to get into art school.

If you think going through a century without a World Series win was bad enough for Chicago Cubs fans, then you don’t know the half of it. Sure Clark is a cute mascot but he’s a bit creepy as if he’s a spokesman for some Saturday morning PSA about adults touching you inappropriately. That or something a person drew to get into art school.

 

14. Gapper- Cincinnati Reds

Let's see Gapper is either: A. Elmo's embarrassing dad who basically swindled his son's Sesame Street earnings. B. A monster chasing you in a Jim Henson horror movie. C. An alien from outer space. Or D. all of the above.

Let’s see Gapper is: A. Elmo’s embarrassing dad who basically swindled his son’s Sesame Street earnings. B. A monster chasing you in a Jim Henson horror movie. C. An alien from outer space. Or D. all of the above.

 

15. Junction Jack- Houston Astros

Let's see if Jim Henson ever did a muppet version of Deliverance, I'm sure Junction Jack would be doing unspeakable things to the muppet Ned Beatty character. Seriously, if you hear any banjo music nearby when he's around, get the hell out of there.

Let’s see if Jim Henson ever did a muppet version of Deliverance, I’m sure Junction Jack would be doing unspeakable things to the muppet Ned Beatty character. Seriously, if you hear any banjo music nearby when he’s around, get the hell out of there.

 

16. Swinging Friar- San Diego Padres

Now I know that the San Diego Padres derive their name from the Franciscan Friars and that "padre" is another thing to call a priest. Yet, I wonder how many people firmly believe that the Swinging Friar is an insulting caricature of monks? I mean they were pretty awesome guys in the Middle Ages, not fat idiots akin to Friar Tuck!

Now I know that the San Diego Padres derive their name from the Franciscan Friars and that “padre” is another thing to call a priest. Yet, I wonder how many people firmly believe that the Swinging Friar is an insulting caricature of monks? I mean they were pretty awesome guys in the Middle Ages, not fat idiots akin to Friar Tuck!

 

17. Mr. Redlegs- Cincinnati Reds

Mr. Redlegs is basically a cross between Mr. Met and the Monopoly Man. Yet, from the look in his crazed eyes, you wonder whether he's going to murder any players from the opposing team shall any of them score a home run.

Mr. Redlegs is basically a cross between Mr. Met and the Monopoly Man. Yet, from the look in his crazed eyes, you wonder whether he’s going to murder any players from the opposing team shall any of them score a home run.

 

18. The Luchador- Arizona Diamondbacks

Sure as a lucha libre wrestler, he's a racist caricature that offends many in the Latino Community. Yet, what choice did the Arizona Diamondbacks had in selecting him? I mean their other candidates to curry favor to Latinos included a  giant walking burrito, a chubby pancho clad bandito with a sombrero and duel wielding pistol, a matador, and a flamenco dancer. Perhaps a Hispanic baseball player from the team would've been better.

Sure as a lucha libre wrestler, he’s a racist caricature that offends many in the Latino Community. Yet, what choice did the Arizona Diamondbacks had in selecting him? I mean their other candidates to curry favor to Latinos included a giant walking burrito, a chubby pancho clad bandito with a sombrero and duel wielding pistol, a matador, and a flamenco dancer. Perhaps a Hispanic baseball player from the team would’ve been better.

 

19. Lefty and Righty- Boston Red Sox

Dear Boston, just because your team is named the Red Sox, doesn't mean that having two giant red sock mascots is a good idea. Seriously, why?

Dear Boston, just because your team is named the Red Sox, doesn’t mean that having two giant red sock mascots is a good idea. Seriously, why?

 

20. Orbit- Houston Astros

Sure Orbit may be a cuddly alien but we're not sure what the hell the ends of his antennas are for. Also, he's not very intimidating is he? More like an alien who'd appear on some cereal box at Save A Lot.

Sure Orbit may be a cuddly alien but we’re not sure what the hell the ends of his antennas are for. Also, he’s not very intimidating is he? More like an alien who’d appear on some cereal box at Save A Lot.

 

21. Paws- Detroit Tigers

He's basically related to Tony the Tiger who's on ten years probation after a stint in the state penitentiary. We're not sure what he was in for but he did something really bad. Tony the Tiger's family doesn't really talk about him.

He’s basically related to Tony the Tiger who’s on ten years probation after a stint in the state penitentiary. We’re not sure what he was in for but he did something really bad. Tony the Tiger’s family doesn’t really talk about him. Perhaps because he has an unsettling look in his eyes.

 

22. The Sausages- Milwaukee Brewers

Think of them as a muppet version of the Village People, but 100 times more terrifying. Yeah, you don't want to stay at the YMCA when when these guys do a rendition.

Think of them as a muppet version of the Village People, but 100 times more terrifying. Yeah, you don’t want to stay at the YMCA when when these guys do a rendition.

 

23. Stomper- Oakland Athletics

Now he may appear as a reasonably intimidating elephant on the Oakland A's logo. Yet, he practically seems more suited for a kid's program in person and that's no small peanuts here.

Now he may appear as a reasonably intimidating elephant on the Oakland A’s logo. Yet, he practically seems more suited for a kid’s program in person and that’s no small peanuts here. Yeah, not very intimidating.

 

NBA

 

1. G-Wiz- Washington Wizards

Basically G-Wiz is the result of what would happen if Gonzo and Cookie Monster got together in a biblical sense. Probably designed by someone who was totally tripping on acid. Called "G-Wiz" when its fans said, "Gee whiz, what the fucking hell is that thing?"

Basically G-Wiz is the result of what would happen if Gonzo and Cookie Monster got together in a biblical sense. Probably designed by someone who was totally tripping on acid. Called “G-Wiz” when its fans said, “Gee whiz, what the fucking hell is that thing?”

 

2. Jazz Bear- Utah Jazz

Basically reminds me of what would happen if an Ewok had gotten together with Chewbacca. That or if Smokey the Bear had gotten too friendly with a lady Sasquatch.

Basically reminds me of what would happen if an Ewok had gotten together with Chewbacca. That or if Smokey the Bear had gotten too friendly with a lady Sasquatch.

 

3. Hip Hop the Rabbit- Philadelphia 76ers

Basically he looks like if Bugs Bunny worked for the Barksdale Organization on The Wire. That what would happen if Bugs Bunny had mated with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Yeah, I'm sure his swag is going to keep him from being fired. Oh, yeah, he did get fired.

Basically he looks like if Bugs Bunny worked for the Barksdale Organization on The Wire. That what would happen if Bugs Bunny had mated with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Yeah, I’m sure his swag is going to keep him from being fired. Oh, yeah, he did get fired.

 

4. Rumble the Bison- Oklahoma City Thunder

Basically he's the result of what would happen if Chewbacca had gotten together with the Minotaur. Doesn't look like an actual bison at all. Rather it's kind of offensive to American bison, particularly in Oklahoma.

Basically he’s the result of what would happen if Chewbacca had gotten together with the Minotaur. Doesn’t look like an actual bison at all. Rather it’s kind of offensive to American bison, particularly in Oklahoma.

 

5. Burnie- Miami Heat

Of course, after putting up with this horrifying cantaloupe nosed Sesame Street reject, I can see why Lebron James decided to go back to Cleveland. Seriously, he inspires nightmares not spirit.

Of course, after putting up with this horrifying cantaloupe nosed Sesame Street reject, I can see why Lebron James decided to go back to Cleveland. Seriously, he inspires nightmares not team spirit.

 

6. Stuff the Magic Dragon- Orlando Magic

Stuff the Magic Dragon is: A. Designed by a 5 year old or by some guy on acid who was a fan of Peter, Paul, and Mary. B. Originally going to be called "Puff the Magic Dragon," but the Orlando Magic was sued by the 1960s folk trio for copyright infringement. C. An alien from outer space. D. A muppet character reject from Sesame Street. Or E. All of the above.

Stuff the Magic Dragon is: A. Designed by a 5 year old or by some guy on acid who was a fan of Peter, Paul, and Mary. B. Originally going to be called “Puff the Magic Dragon,” but the Orlando Magic was sued by the 1960s folk trio for copyright infringement. C. An alien from outer space. D. A muppet character reject from Sesame Street. Or E. All of the above.

 

7. Pierre the Pelican- New Orleans Pelicans

The good news is that the New Orleans Pelicans finally managed to make a chicken mascot that's bound to strike fear and inspire nightmares in those who lay eyes on him. The bad news is that Pierre is not supposed to be a chicken.

The good news is that the New Orleans Pelicans finally managed to make a chicken mascot that’s bound to strike fear and inspire nightmares in those who lay eyes on him. The bad news is that Pierre is not supposed to be a chicken.

 

8. Go the Gorilla- Phoenix Suns

Only the Phoenix Suns could think of a mascot by dressing a guy in a gorilla suit and a Phoenix Suns jersey. However, our culture has been well accustomed to not taking people in gorilla suits seriously though gorillas are animals nobody would want to mess with.

Only the Phoenix Suns could think of a mascot by dressing a guy in a gorilla suit and a Phoenix Suns jersey. However, our culture has been well accustomed to not taking people in gorilla suits seriously though gorillas are animals nobody would want to mess with.

 

9. Coyote- San Antonio Spurs

Of course, there are two things this Arizona coyote seems to enjoy: rallying the crowd for the Arizona coyotes and smoking crystal meth. Seriously, look at his eyes, there's clearly something not right with him.

Of course, there are two things this Arizona coyote seems to enjoy: rallying the crowd for the Arizona coyotes and smoking crystal meth. Seriously, look at his eyes, there’s clearly something not right with him.

 

10. Sir CC- Cleveland Cavaliers

With Sir CC, all the dashing swashbuckling heroes of 17th century France are reduced to an idiotic caricature in this guy. Maybe the Cleveland Cavaliers should just stick with Moondog and dump him.

With Sir CC, all the dashing swashbuckling heroes of 17th century France are reduced to an idiotic caricature in this guy. Maybe the Cleveland Cavaliers should just stick with Moondog and dump him at least before Alexandre Dumas’ ghost rises out of his grave.

 

11. Thunder- Golden State Warriors

What the hell is this? Seriously, I almost thought it was either Nightcrawler's estranged brother or a guy who once tried out for Blue Man Group before finding out it wasn't a boy band. Still, I hear he was fired from the team for steroid use in 2011 and has been spotted last year in a Chinese opium den.

What the hell is this? Seriously, I almost thought it was either Nightcrawler’s estranged brother or a guy who once tried out for Blue Man Group before finding out it wasn’t a boy band. Still, I hear he was fired from the team for steroid use in 2011 and has been spotted last year in a Chinese opium den.

 

12. Grizz- Memphis Grizzlies

Grizz's dream was to be the first bear to be a chemical engineer and had a lot of great ideas for shampoo. Unfortunately, being a bear, he was unable to secure any meaningful employment and became a mascot for the Memphis Grizzlies instead.

Grizz’s dream was to be the first bear to be a chemical engineer and had a lot of great ideas for shampoo. Unfortunately, being a bear, he was unable to secure any meaningful employment and became a mascot for the Memphis Grizzlies instead. He is not happy about it.

 

13. Brooklyn Knight- Brooklyn Nets

Let's see, this is perhaps one of the worst NBA mascots ever and not because he looks as if he could be a half-brother to Skeletor or possibly Lady Gaga. I mean he's named after a porn star, has no connection to the team name or where they play, has no face, and scared children. I mean he seems more suited for a supervillain with designs for world domination in an action movie than as an NBA sports mascot. Let's just say that any knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail would've made a better mascot for the Nets. At least Spamalot played on Broadway.

Let’s see, this is perhaps one of the worst NBA mascots ever and not because he looks as if he could be a half-brother to Skeletor or possibly Lady Gaga. I mean he’s named after a porn star, has no connection to the team name or where they play, has no face, and scared children. I mean he seems more suited for a supervillain with designs for world domination in an action movie than as an NBA sports mascot. Let’s just say that any knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail would’ve made a better mascot for the Nets. At least Spamalot played on Broadway.

 

14. King Cake Baby- New Orleans Pelicans

Of course, this mascot is perhaps the last thing you'd want at any baby shower, especially if you're the pregnant guest of honor. Seriously, he's basically what would happen if Big Boy and Chucky got together. Of courses, I may owe Pierre the Pelican an apology.

Of course, this mascot is perhaps the last thing you’d want at any baby shower, especially if you’re the pregnant guest of honor. Seriously, he’s basically what would happen if Big Boy and Chucky got together. Of courses, I may owe Pierre the Pelican an apology.

 

15. Lucky the Leprechaun- Boston Celtics

Only this walking mascot that depicts negative Irish stereotypes could make the Lucky Charms Leprechaun seethe with marshmallowy disdain that he'd probably send the Stay Puft Marshmallow Guy after him. I mean Lucky from the Boston Celtics makes leprechauns appear like such douchebags. Still, this mascot also projects bad stereotypes on the Irish as well.

Only this walking mascot that depicts negative Irish stereotypes could make the Lucky Charms Leprechaun seethe with marshmallowy disdain that he’d probably send the Stay Puft Marshmallow Guy after him. I mean Lucky from the Boston Celtics makes leprechauns appear like such douchebags. Still, this mascot also projects bad stereotypes on the Irish as well.

 

16. Hugo T. Hornet- Charlotte Hornets

Hugo is: A. From outer space. B. Created by someone on acid. C. Became this way after falling victim to some nuclear accident that left him not only human-sized but also blue and purple with yellow hair.  Or D. All of the above.

Hugo is: A. From outer space. B. Created by someone on acid. C. Became this way after falling victim to some nuclear accident that left him not only human-sized but also blue and purple with yellow hair. Or D. All of the above.

 

17. Mavs Man- Dallas Mavericks

Of course, the Thing never wanted his son Mavs Man to pursue a career in showbiz. Yet, because he didn't have super powers but inherited his father's skin, Mavs Man packed up and went to Dallas where he became a mascot to the Dallas Mavericks.

Of course, the Thing never wanted his son Mavs Man to pursue a career in showbiz. Yet, because he didn’t have super powers but inherited his father’s skin, Mavs Man packed up and went to Dallas where he became a mascot to the Dallas Mavericks.

 

18. Clutch the Bear- Houston Rockets

Aww, Clutch the Bear is so cute that I want to hug him and squeeze him and keep him forever and ever. Hey, wait a minute, a basketball mascot shouldn't resemble a stuffed animal you'd give a baby to. What am I thinking?

Aww, Clutch the Bear is so cute that I want to hug him and squeeze him and keep him forever and ever. Hey, wait a minute, a basketball mascot shouldn’t resemble a stuffed animal you’d give a baby to. What am I thinking?

 

19. G-Man- Washington Wizards

Good News: Well, at least he's not as bad as the G-Wiz mascot from earlier. Bad News: Looks as if he was a former member of Blue Man Group who was thrown out for steroid use.

Good News: Well, at least he’s not as bad as the G-Wiz mascot from earlier. Bad News: Looks as if he was a former member of Blue Man Group who was thrown out for steroid use.

 

20. Bowser- Indianapolis Pacers

Sure he may dunk, but he’s more appropriate as a mascot for some animal shelter or a children’s show character since he’s so cuddly. Doesn’t seem intimidating at all. Was sent to the dog pound in 2010 where he may have been put to sleep, but I’m not sure.

 

NHL

 

1. Fin the Whale- Vancouver Canucks

If keeping killer whales in captivity for shows at Sea World hurts orcas then having a terrifying Fin the Whale as a mascot for the Canucks isn’t far behind. Let’s just say while orcas aren’t cute and cuddly, Fin doesn’t seem to represent them in a good light, especially when he tries to bite off children’s heads. Boy, I hope he doesn’t do anything to that boy with cancer.

 

2. Wild Wing- Anaheim Ducks

Well, he's basically what you'd have if Jason Voorhees was played by Daffy Duck and he looks as if he's out for blood. Give him a machete and any hockey game can become a duck reenactment of Friday the 13th.

Well, he’s basically what you’d have if Jason Voorhees was played by Daffy Duck and he looks as if he’s out for blood. Give him a machete and any hockey game can become a duck reenactment of Friday the 13th on ice.

 

3. Spartacat- Ottawa Senators

At first, you'd think Spartacat would seem like a fairly badass mascot. However, noticing his cuddly demeanor and his Shaun White hair, you'd probably be disappointed. But this little girl seems to love him anyway.

At first, you’d think Spartacat would seem like a fairly badass mascot. However, noticing his cuddly demeanor and his Shaun White hair, you’d probably be disappointed. But this little girl seems to love him anyway.

 

4. Stinger- Columbus Blue Jackets

Let's see, he's not cute, he's not furry, and he's not very pleasant. In fact, he seems like he's getting ready to sting those mangy kids who won't get off his lawn. Let's just see a giant angry insect mascot is perhaps the last thing you want to see at a hockey game.

Let’s see, he’s not cute, he’s not furry, and he’s not very pleasant. In fact, he seems like he’s getting ready to sting those mangy kids who won’t get off his lawn. Let’s just see a giant angry insect mascot is perhaps the last thing you want to see at a hockey game.

 

5. Youppi- Montreal Canadiens

Youppi was actually a mascot for the Montreal Expos before moving to the Canadiens. Still, he kind of reminds me of a lovechild you'd expect between Bigfoot and Carrot Top. Or perhaps he's the product of Yukon Cornelius hooking up with the Abominable Snowman from Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer TV special.

Youppi was actually a mascot for the Montreal Expos before moving to the Canadiens. Still, he kind of reminds me of a lovechild you’d expect between Bigfoot and Carrot Top. Or perhaps he’s the product of Yukon Cornelius hooking up with the Abominable Snowman from Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer TV special.

 

6. Sparky the Ice Dragon- New York Islanders

Sparky is also an arena football mascot as well and probably should've stayed one. I mean dragons have no connection to the Islander name or New York. Seems more of a dragon for a children's show or Puff the Magic Dragon's evil twin brother. Also, he can't breathe fire, fly, and isn't a mascot for a team named the Dragons. Seriously, why New York, why?

Sparky is also an arena football mascot as well and probably should’ve stayed one. I mean dragons have no connection to the Islander name or New York. Seems more of a dragon for a children’s show or Puff the Magic Dragon’s evil twin brother. Also, he can’t breathe fire, fly, and isn’t a mascot for a team named the Dragons. Seriously, why New York, why?

 

7. Harvey the Hound- Calgary Flames

I see no problem with a dog mascot. Yet, a dog with his tongue out all the time and there is no excuse that he's the mascot for the Calgary Flames. Well, other than being a possible creation of a 6-year old boy who was told to think outside the box. But you'd think a team like the Calgary Flames would have a better mascot perhaps one relating to fire. Torch from the Fantastic Four would've been a better choice or a fire breathing dragon.

I see no problem with a dog mascot. Yet, a dog with his tongue out all the time and there is no excuse that he’s the mascot for the Calgary Flames. Well, other than being a possible creation of a 6-year old boy who was told to think outside the box. But you’d think a team like the Calgary Flames would have a better mascot perhaps one relating to fire. Torch from the Fantastic Four would’ve been a better choice or a fire breathing dragon.

 

8. Al the Octopus- Detroit Red Wings

Of course, you'd think that the Detroit Red Wings would have a more appropriate mascot than a cartoonish purple octopus?  Of course, it has something to do with a team legend but still, it's a fucking purple octopus! It has absolutely nothing to do with Detroit, wings, or the color red. Also, it's kind of scary looking.

Of course, you’d think that the Detroit Red Wings would have a more appropriate mascot than a cartoonish purple octopus? Of course, it has something to do with a team legend but still, it’s a fucking purple octopus! It has absolutely nothing to do with Detroit, wings, or the color red. Also, it’s kind of scary looking.

 

9. Sabretooth- Buffalo Sabres

I thought Sabretooth tigers were badass vicious prehistoric big cats. This looks like a plush animal you'd give to your cousin. Seriously, this mascot is an insult to sabretooth tigers everywhere. Even Tony the Tiger seems more intimidating than that and he sells sugary cereal to children!

I thought Sabretooth tigers were badass vicious prehistoric big cats. This looks like a plush animal you’d give to your cousin. Seriously, this mascot is an insult to sabretooth tigers everywhere. Even Tony the Tiger seems more intimidating than that and he sells sugary cereal to children!

 

10. Thunderburg- Tampa Bay Lightning

You'd think a team called the Lightning would have a rather badass mascot, especially if its named Thunderburg. Yet, this mascot either reminds me of a man-sized but harmless insect you can trust your children with or a harmless insect-like humanoid space alien that won't frighten kids.

You’d think a team called the Lightning would have a rather badass mascot, especially if its named Thunderburg. Yet, this mascot either reminds me of a man-sized but harmless insect you can trust your children with or a harmless insect-like humanoid space alien that won’t frighten kids.

 

11. Stormy- Carolina Hurricanes

You'd think a team like the Carolina Hurricanes would have a mascot that pertained to, well, hurricanes, especially with the name Stormy. Apparently they decided to go with a pig named Stormy. Of course, North Carolina has a lot of hogs and some of them may fall victim to hurricanes, but why? This doesn't make any fucking sense! Also, this mascot seems more appropriate for children's cartoon for God's sake.

You’d think a team like the Carolina Hurricanes would have a mascot that pertained to, well, hurricanes, especially with the name Stormy. Apparently they decided to go with a pig named Stormy. Of course, North Carolina has a lot of hogs and some of them may fall victim to hurricanes, but why? This doesn’t make any fucking sense! Also, this mascot seems more appropriate for children’s cartoon for God’s sake.

 

12. Sully and Force- Vancouver Canucks

Now having a terrifying killer whale mascot was one thing. But these guys, why do they even exist? Is Vancouver getting desperate for more mascot appeal? These green men are freaky and seem rather obnoxious. Seriously, what the hell Vancouver?

Now having a terrifying killer whale mascot was one thing. But these guys, why do they even exist? Is Vancouver getting desperate for more mascot appeal? These green men are freaky and seem rather obnoxious. Seriously, what the hell Vancouver?

 

13. Bernie the Saint Bernard- Colorado Avalanche

Of course, Saint Bernards are tough dogs known for rescuing people buried by avalanches. Yet, most people would look at Bernie and think of that dog from the Beethoven movie series.

Of course, Saint Bernards are tough dogs known for rescuing people buried by avalanches. Yet, most people would look at Bernie and think of that troublemaking dog from the Beethoven movie series, you know the films most people watch because of the G-rating.

 

14. Carlton the Bear- Toronto Maple Leafs

Sure polar bears are animals you don't want to mess with since they could rip your arm off. Yet, this bear seems more appropriate for a commercial advertising toilet paper that doesn't stick to your ass. Yeah, I'm talking about the snuggly Charmin commercials.

Sure polar bears are animals you don’t want to mess with since they could rip your arm off. Yet, this bear seems more appropriate for a commercial advertising toilet paper that doesn’t stick to your ass. Yeah, I’m talking about the snuggly Charmin commercials. They say he has a history of TV marketing perhaps as the BIMBO Bread Bear in Latin America? Certainly not the kind of bear that could rip your arm off.

 

15. Boomer the Cannon- Columbus Blue Jackets

Though Boomer certainly resembles a decent mascot, there's just one problem. When he debuted as a "a kid-friendly, cushy cannon character with a friendly face and fluffy moustache reminiscent of a Civil War-era general," the fans didn't take it too well. This is mostly for his so-called phallic appearance. Still, phallic or not, I think causing such controversy makes it worthy to add in the Pro Sports Mascot Hall of Shame.

Though Boomer certainly resembles a decent mascot, there’s just one problem. When he debuted as a “a kid-friendly, cushy cannon character with a friendly face and fluffy moustache reminiscent of a Civil War-era general,” the fans didn’t take it too well. This is mostly for his so-called phallic appearance. Still, phallic or not, I think causing such controversy makes it worthy to add in the Pro Sports Mascot Hall of Shame.

History of the World According to the Movies: Part 24 – Early Colonization

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Of course, Disney’s 1995 Pocahontas is probably the only movie from the early colonization era most people have seen. However, for those who were kids when this movie came out, a lot of what this movie says about the founding of Jamestown is bullshit. For instance, John Smith looked much more like his voice talent Mel Gibson in real life than as a blond stud. He also had a talent for bullshit so some of the accuracy in his writings is sketchy. Also, Pocahontas was only a pre-teen in 1607 and never had any romantic encounter with John Smith at all. Talk about all that ruining your childhood.

Sure I may go back and forth from European history with the rest of the world. Yet, in many ways, history relating to Colonialism and Imperialism runs very much from the 1400s until after the Second World War, which means we’re covering a very large length of time. It is also a time of early globalization but not as we know it since many peoples are subjugated by European powers who may soon use white supremacy to justify it. Also, this era marks the beginning of slavery in the western world with the slave trade which was just unspeakably horrible with terrible implications we’re dealing with today. Many Hollywood movies usually take place at this time since there’s a lot of famous literature from this period in history sometimes told as adventures {like Kipling’s from British India}, pirates, exotic locations, and great white heroes. In fact, many filmmakers like doing movies set during this era because not only can they do an action packed adventure set in exotic locations, but also have a white male protagonist the audience can relate to (well, white audiences in the US or UK at least). Nevertheless, expect the White Man’s Burden to come up a lot in these movies whether intentionally or not, especially in literary adaptations in which the source material can be rather racist.

We begin this era with the Age of Exploration, in which traders tried to find a quicker route to Asia in order to bypass the Muslim middlemen. Though Columbus didn’t really discovered America, he opened the Americas up for business with the Columbian Exchange and the world would never be the same again. The Age of Colonization and international trade had begun. At first it was Spain and Portugal amassing colonial and trading empires but later powers like France, Britain, and the Netherlands would join in and be fabulously wealthy from it. Of course, you have the Spanish Conquistadors colonizing much of Latin America through guns, germs, and steel (as well as native allies who were fed up with their overlords). Areas of the Spanish Empire would include some islands in the Caribbean, most of Central America, much of South America except Brazil, the Guianas, and Suriname, the American Southwest, and Florida. The French would soon amass a colonial empire reaching from Canada all the way down to the Mississippi founding cities like New Orleans, Detroit, Montreal, St. Louis, Baton Rouge, Quebec City, Mobile, and Biloxi. Then you have the British who settled in Roanoke in the 1580s (which failed) and Jamestown around 1607 which would be the first permanent settlement of the Americas. Nevertheless, movies sometimes get a lot of facts wrong during the early colonization, which I should list accordingly.

Columbus:

Christopher Columbus sailed to the West Indies to prove that the world was round. (Actually he wanted to prove that sailing west would lead to a shorter route to the East Indies since most people in his day didn’t believe that there would be two mass continents on the way. He was wrong. Also, most Europeans haven’t believed in a flat earth since antiquity anyway {maybe even before Jesus}. The notion that Europeans believed the world was flat around the time of Columbus was just some bullshit made up by Washington Irving, which is rather insulting if you think about it.)

Columbus was the first European to make landfall in the Americas. (The Vikings were about five hundred years earlier, but they didn’t stay long. However, what is significant about Columbus’ landfall in the Americas is that it marks the start of a permanent European presence that changed the world. Thus, even though Columbus wasn’t the first European in the Americas, his voyages made more of an impact on history than the Vikings did.)

Columbus met his friend Diego Arana while on a trading voyage from Lisbon. (He didn’t meet the guy until several years later.)

One of Columbus’ men was eaten by sharks on his first voyage to the New World. (Nobody died during that voyage, at least at sea anyway. The thirty-nine men he left behind were killed by the time he returned to Hispanola.)

Columbus realized he didn’t land in India. (He never realized he actually landed in the Bahamas instead.)

Christopher was nearly executed during a near mutiny on his voyage. (He wasn’t, but he almost had his crew mutiny twice.)

Alonso Pinzon was a supportive sidekick to Columbus. (He was a case-hardened mariner whose support made Columbus’ voyage possible.)

Columbus was a forward-thinking idealist with his good intentions subverted by greedy and evil Spaniards. (He was a failure as a colonial founder and administrator that all his official responsibilities and duties were stripped by 1500 when the crown took charge and sent Columbus and his brothers home in chains. He also blamed everyone but himself for his spectacular fall from grace. Oh, and he systematically enslaved the Taino Indians, introduced Old World diseases to the New World {like smallpox}, and syphilis to bring back to Europe {but unknowingly and on accident}.)

The Nina, Pinta, and the Santa Maria all made it back to Spain. (The Santa Maria wrecked so only the Nina and Pinta made it back.)

Columbus took three voyages in which he fell out of favor on his second. (He took four voyages with the second tarnishing his reputation and the third leading to his downfall.)

Columbus’ achievements were forgotten until his son Hernando’s biography of him recounted them. (He was named and praised by all 16th century chroniclers.)

Explorations:

Juan Ponce de Leon discovered Florida in 1523. (He sailed to Florida in 1513 and died in 1521.)

Conquistadores:

The Spanish were among some of the cruelest conquerors in history who exploited the Indians for gold via slave labor, destroyed their culture, and forced them to convert to Christianity. (Yes, they did all of that and yes, they were cruel but they were better overlords than, well, the English. At least the Spanish married native women and lived in a society that accepted their mixed race children. Not to mention, they also tried to make Christianity more accessible to the Indians and there were priests who argued that they be treated better {and many Indians converted willingly}. Besides, the Spanish conquistadors wouldn’t have overthrown the Aztec Empire without their Indian allies {who were already sick of the Aztecs by then}. Not only that, but their defeat of the Aztec Empire showed that the Aztec gods have failed them. And though the Spanish had wiped out about 95% of the Indian population in the Americas, they mostly did it by accident usually through the spread of their germs and probably never set foot in most of the areas where Indians died by their diseases. The English gave Indians smallpox blankets and ostracized people for marrying Indians, with the exception of John Rolfe, of course.)

The Spanish conquistadors brought the collapse of Mayan civilization. (Actually Mayan civilization had been nonexistent for centuries before the Spanish set foot and they mostly brought the collapse onto themselves perhaps through environmental destruction. Also, the people the Spanish conquistadors met were Aztecs, not Maya.)

In 1560, the large El Dorado expedition was under Gonzalo Pizarro set off from Peruvian Sierras. The only document surviving from this lost expedition is the diary of monk Gaspar de Carvajal. (Gonzalo Pizarro {half-brother of Francisco, by the way} died twelve years before the Ursua El Dorado expedition. As a matter of fact, he was executed as a famous traitor to the king of Spain. Pizarro’s El Dorado expedition took place in 1541 and came down from Ecuador led by Francisco de Orellana, which Carvajal did accompany him as well as chronicle it but the main body was forced to turn back due to hardships like disease and hunger. Yet, a small detachment {including Carvajal} did press on and managed to follow the Amazon River all the way down to the Atlantic as well as landed on the coast of Venezuela in 1542. Dominican Friar Gaspar de Carvajal wasn’t on the El Dorado expedition but rather living safely at his Lima monastery because he didn’t want to go on another expedition to the Amazon ever again since he had lost an eye from an Indian attack. However, he’s in Herzog’s Aguirre Wrath of God to serve as the voice of reason and narrator.)

Lope de Aguirre went mad and was marooned in the Amazon. (He brought his men down to the Atlantic following the same route that Carvajal had taken nearly twenty years before, reaching the mouth of the Amazon on July 4, 1561 and sailed from there to the Venezuelan island of Margarita where he instituted another reign of terror that matched his ferocity in his behavior in the Amazon. At the end of August, Margarita was devastated, while Aguirre had left for the Venezuelan mainland. He met his death at the hands of royalist forces in Barquisimento on October 27, 1561 since he had killed expedition leader Pedro de Ursua, Don Fernando, and at least forty members as well as launched a reign of terror in the Amazon and incited a rebellion against Philip II and schemed to overthrow Spanish rule in Peru. His body was quartered and thrown into the street and a solemn proclamation was issued requiring any house belonging to Aguirre be leveled and strewn with salt so “no trace or memory….should remain.” Many of Aguirre’s men were offered pardons.)

Lope de Aguirre was a common criminal and a pathological killer who went insane. (He was a middle-aged mercenary soldier who came to the New World in search of riches like many conquistadors and went there at a young age. However, while he did kill a lot of people and instigate reigns of terror as well as may have been crazy, he was also an astute politician and leader of men. He also found on the Amazon theater on what he believed equal to the scale of his vast ambitions, a place he could be in his own words “Prince of Freedom” and “Wrath of God.” He also was a guy who incited a rebellion against Philip II as well as gave a speech calling his men to relinquish their Spanish nationality. He even wrote a letter to the king shortly before his death.)

The Spanish Church sided with the strong during the 16th century. (Spanish missionaries in the New World were among the first people to denounce the conquistadors’ treatment of Indians {dating as early as 1511}, most famously Dominican Friar Bartolome de Las Casas. Many Spanish clergymen were also among some of the most renowned intellectuals of their day bringing old ideas about justice and responsibilities of kingship as well as a new culture of Renaissance driven thinkers like Erasmus and Saint Sir Thomas More. However, don’t get the impression that Spanish missionaries were totally wonderful people, because even the nicest ones had their limits in kindness and had played roles in wiping out Indians and their culture. Like the conquistadores, they also exploited Indians by having them work as slave labor and other abuses. Yet, though we do tend to somewhat blame Spanish missionaries for Indian cultural destruction, we also have to account that more Indian cultures were wiped out through European diseases, many of which never had contact with white people at all.)

Dominican Friar Gaspar de Carvajal died in a native ambush on the Amazon River. (He died of old age in his monastery in Lima in 1584.)

Dominican Friar Gaspar de Carvajal was a cowardly priest as well as corrupt religious fanatic who always sided with the strongest. (He was actually a born survivor who lost an eye during an Indian attack and had dedicated his life to the conversion of Indians {in other words, a missionary badass}. He had a benevolent attitude toward the Indians which was consistent with his fellow Dominican brother Bartolome de Las Casas.)

Spanish conquistadores believed in the lost city of El Dorado. (Actually this may have been based on a myth by the Chibcha Indians of South America. However, sometimes the Spanish authorities used this story to set up expeditions in search of this city of gold in hopes of getting troublemakers out of Peru, never to return.)

The El Dorado expedition of 1560 was lost. (Actually there’s more documentation of the last ten months of Lope de Aguirre’s life than his first fifty years because of this since it’s well documented. Also, people in South America very well knew what happened on this expedition.)

Francisco Orellana was buried in Nazca tomb in a Nazca fashion. (The Nazca culture was already extinct by 800 A.D. before the Spanish Conquistadors ever got to Peru in 1532. However, Orellana is said to have vanished while looking for a lost Nazca city. However, he’s unlikely to have met any Nazca.)

Hernando Cortes sailed to the New World for gold and glory. (True, but he was sent there to trade with the natives. But he overruled his orders and even defeated the Spanish army sent to arrest him.

Hernando Cortes often enslaved Spanish prisoners. (Yes, he took fellow Spaniards as prisoners. But the idea of enslaving a fellow Christian or Spaniard would’ve horrified him.)

Hernando Cortes was a humorless hardass who’d use natives as tools and betray allies at the drop of a hat if he doesn’t get his way. (He was a charming diplomat who forged real alliances with some native groups. For he wouldn’t have taken down the Aztec Empire without them.)

Jamestown:

Pocahontas saved John Smith’s life and carried on a romance with him. (Yes, she might have saved his life but no, she didn’t have a romantic relationship with him unlike what Disney says. Also, she was about ten or eleven at the time and she really wasn’t called Pocahontas but Matoaka. However, they did meet. By the way, when she saw him again, she slapped him in the face. Oh, and he also claimed about being “saved” by powerful women on more than one occasion. Not to mention, he didn’t write about Pocahontas saving his life in his 1608 account and that story first appeared in 1622, possibly to take advantage of her prominence in England. So it’s best to look at it with suspicion.)

Coastal Virginia was filled with mountains and thick pine trees. (Coastal Virginia is actually flat and swampy. Virginia’s mountains are hundreds of miles away from it.)

Governor John Ratcliffe was a villainous man. (He was actually more foolishly trusting than anything. Interestingly, he was flayed and later burned alive by Powhatan Indians in 1609 but of course, you wouldn’t see that in a Disney movie. Oh, and he wasn’t the first governor of Jamestown and wasn’t in charge during the voyage {though he was captain of the ship Discovery}. Nor was he sent back to England in chains after being removed. This was not over Indian treatment, but over enlisting colonists to build a governor’s house, trade with Indians, and handling food shortages. Not to mention, he and John Smith were allies and he didn’t think the Indians were barbaric because he’d been trading with them. Oh, and he died because Indians tricked him with a lure for food which resulted in his family unfriendly death in 1609. However, considering the circumstances Jamestown was facing, you couldn’t blame the guy.)

John Smith was a clean shaven handsome blond guy. (He was actually a short, portly, brown-haired, and bearded man as well as pushing thirty.)

John Smith was a decent guy when it came to the Indians. (John Smith was much more of jerk in real life and actually kidnapped an Indian leader so the guy’s tribe would provide him with plentiful resources. He had a tendency to exaggerate {or just plain make up} things in his accounts. He was also a mercenary and fantasist who could be ambitious, abrasive, self-promoting, and feisty. Still, he was competent even though he was unpopular among the colonists {well, the first wave who saw themselves as his social superiors}.)

The Indians and white Jamestown settlers all managed to make friends. (American history pertaining to Native Americans tells a very different story, very different. Besides, unlike what the Disney movie suggests, after John Smith had to seek medical attention for a “gunpowder accident,” relations between the Indians and settlers at Jamestown would shortly go to hell. Also, while John Smith would see Pocahontas again, he wouldn’t return to Jamestown.)

John Smith went scouting around after landfall in Virginia. (He was arrested and clapped in irons during the voyage {for concealing a mutiny} and wasn’t released until a month after landing at Jamestown. He did most of his exploring and trading after that.)

John Rolfe and Pocahontas had a serenely happy marriage and was easily accepted among the English. (She was probably not as happy or as accepted as depicted in The New World. One letter from an acquaintance said that Rolfe dragged her around as a “sore against her will.” Yet, the marriage did help stabilize native and settler relations. Oh, and Rolfe wasn’t above using his wife’s image to sell tobacco.)

John Smith was nearly executed on top of a bluff at dawn in front of angry colonists who had come to rescue him. (He was going to be executed in Powhatan’s longhouse in front of his warriors and counselors. The colonists didn’t know where he was. Of course, this is coming from the real John Smith.)

Chief Powhatan had a loving relationship with Pocahontas’s mother. (Maybe, but the guy had at least 50 wives each of whom gave him at least one child before being sent back to where they came from. Assuming she didn’t die in childbirth, we can say that Pocahontas’s mother would’ve suffered a similar fate though she’d be supported by Powhatan until she found another husband. So let’s just say that Powahatan and Pocahontas’s mother didn’t have a typical marital relationship.

Chief Powhatan was actually a good father to Pocahontas who was his only daughter. (Pocahontas was his favorite daughter but she was also one of his innumerable children by an estimated 50 wives. And of his kids, Smith also had contact with one of his sons. Also, he didn’t try to save her when she was kidnapped by the English, which led to her berating him and choosing to stay with the British as well as convert to Christianity. Of course, Powhatan had his reasons for not attacking the British camp. His people were also political savvy and very fierce in battle. Oh, and he may have ruled over as many as 34 tribes.)

Kocoum was an Indian who was betrothed to Pocahontas. (Mattaponi tradition holds that Kocoum was Pocahontas’ first husband who was killed after her capture in 1613 or may have not been murdered at all. Yet, there’s another theory that this guy could possibly be an Indian nickname of John Rolfe himself.)

Pocahontas was an Indian princess. (She was a chief’s daughter but she was presented at King James I’s court as one. Thus, she was viewed as a princess in her lifetime, just not among her own people.)

Edward Wingfield was shot and killed by settlers at Jamestown. (He died in 1630 in his eighties and wrote several books about Jamestown.)

Pocahontas was accompanied by her uncle Opechancanough while traveling in England who was to mark a notch on a stick every time he encountered an Englishman. (While the notches story is accurate, she was actually accompanied by her half-brother-in-law Tomocomo who was also sent to search for John Smith. He returned to Virginia with Samuel Argall and John Rolfe in 1617 but he didn’t have nice things to say about the English and was disgraced. Oh, and Opechancanough actually staged a massacre at the Virginia colony years later which killed 350 people in one hour.)

John Smith had tattoos. (The European practice of tattooing was dead for centuries and wouldn’t be readopted until a century later {unless if they were French Canadian soldiers}. However, it’s possible that John Smith might’ve had native tattoos though.)

King James I ordered John Smith to leave Jamestown. (He left for England in 1609 due to a gunpowder accident which resulted in severe burns, yet he recovered.)

Pocahontas was kidnapped by English settlers while John Smith was still in Jamestown. (Pocahontas was kidnapped in 1613. John left for England in 1609.)

Captain Christopher Newport had two fully functioning arms at Jamestown. (He had part of his arm severed before he landed at Jamestown.)

The first Jamestown colonists sailed on the Susan Constant. (They sailed on the Susan Constant, Godspeed, and Discovery.)

New France:

Jesuit priests proselytized Indians and were accompanied by lay domestics on their missions back in 1634. (At this time, French Jesuit priests were sent in pairs partly to avoid sexual temptation. They only had lay domestics later in which they had to sign a civil contract and take a vow of chastity, poverty, and obedience to accompany the Jesuit priests on missions. And no, they didn’t embark on long journeys so close to winter freeze-ups.)

French 17th century Jesuit priests baptized with saliva. (Saliva has never been a valid matter for baptism and no 17th century Jesuit {let alone any priest} would never have baptized anyone with their own spit.)

Algonquin Indians killed priests during disease outbreaks within their walls. (They never did this even though they knew that missionary priests may have spread the diseases that killed many of them.)

French colonists took Indian wives out of love. (They took Indian wives in order to help bring peace to the tribes and the French. Taking Indian wives also helped French Canadian fur traders do business with their indigenous in-laws, which benefited both parties.)

History of the World According to the Movies: Part 17 – Pre-Columbian America

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Of course, in one of Mel Gibson’s attempts to bring history to life, here’s his vision of Pre-Columbian America, specifically the Mayans. Still, though the architecture may be historically acceptable, they look pretty drab by most Mayan standards. If these buildings really looked as they did in Mayan times, they’d be painted in bright colors so they could easily be seen like most buildings in Latin America or Southern United States. Also, they Mayans were much more than a civilization that practiced human sacrifice which Mel Gibson fails to show. Not to mention, this movie also contains a heavy Eurocentric bias by including Spanish Conquistadors but that’s beside the point.

Just because the continents of North and South America had to be discovered by Europeans, doesn’t mean that there’s no history in the Americas to be told. While only few societies in the New World had a written language, the Americas had plenty of civilizations in the Pre-Columbian era nonetheless. After all, indigenous peoples had been living in North and South America for thousands of years before the arrival of Columbus explained by the presence of archaeological evidence. Of course, when it comes to movies set in Pre-Columbian America, Hollywood mostly centers on the Mayans since we know more about them than any other such civilization at this time, they had a written language which has been preserved, and that the Mayan people still survive to this day. There can’t really be a historically accurate movie on Pre-Columbian civilizations because there are things we simply don’t know about their cultures and archaeological evidence can only go so far. Still, there are plenty of historical accuracies in movies set in Pre-Columbian America that even archaeologists can say which may consist of putting the wrong buildings in the wrong locations as part of the wrong civilizations, having people speak the wrong language, or what not. Sometimes Pre-Columbian culture on film can consists of mish-mash between cultures. Still, I list some here.

The Mayans:

The Mayans ransacked a village of their own people for sacrificial victims and slaves. (Captives were taken during war and there is not much evidence that they ever did this.)

The Mayans sacrificed captives in mass quantities. (No, that was the Aztecs who did that. When it came to human sacrifice, the Mayans were into quality not quantity. Besides, to the Maya, human sacrifice was a very personal thing.)

The Mayans sacrificed almost anyone. (Again, it’s the Aztecs. The Mayans preferred to sacrifice royals and elites {preferably adversarial} taken from war, which led to a lot of wars in the process. Oh, and there were rituals pertaining to self-sacrifice involving a Mayan king having to draw blood through a barbed thread at either the tongue or his genitals. The 1960s Mayan movie with Yul Brynner is actually more accurate in its treatment of Mayan human sacrifice than the one directed by Mel Gibson since the character trying to avoid sacrifice is a chief who’d be a more likely candidate {despite that he’s the leader of a tribe from Mississippi}.)

The Mayans were a savage people with reckless sewage treatment, widespread slavery, bad rave dancing, and a real lust of human blood. (They were also very concerned with hygiene. They had remarkable astronomy with their calendar being especially good at predicting eclipses and were able to precisely measure planetary orbits. They also had advances in medicine, agronomy, and mathematics. Also, all the Mayan buildings were built by free men who participating in such projects as a civic duty. Yet, we don’t know whether these people did it because they were forced to, as a way of using labor to pay taxes, or voluntarily. Then there was the Mayan ball game which was a combination of basketball, lacrosse, and rollerball, in which either the captain of the winning or losing team was sacrificed, we’re not sure which. Oh, and they were probably one of the most sophisticated Pre-Columbian civilizations of all time, which was an ordered society of maize, kings, and gods, as well as flourished for a thousand years. Nevertheless, they were no violent than other civilizations even if they did practice human sacrifice.)

The Mayans were awed by solar eclipses. (They were accomplished astronomers and therefore, the Mayan elites would’ve known it was coming and planned a ritual all around it.)

The Mayan civilization collapsed with the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors in the 1500s. (The Maya Civilization collapsed in 900 A. D. which was 600 years before the Spanish ever set foot when their cities were abandoned {yet it’s possible that some of the Mayan cities did survive}. Of course, Spanish disease killed many of the Mayan people, but that’s beside the point  since it took almost 200 years to subdue the people who were left from their remaining cities {while the Aztec Empire fell within a year}. Still, as to what caused the Mayan collapse, many have their own theories like drought, deforestation, disease, overpopulation, warfare, social disruption.)

Mayan villagers were hunters and gatherers in the deep jungles of Meso America. (Actually they would’ve been farmers on manicured land with a very structured social and economic system. Oh, and they had crops like cacao, tomatoes, corn, and avocados long before the Europeans did.)

The Mayans thought 2012 would be the end of the world. (The Mayans never equated the end of their calendar with the end of the world. Also, it’s 2014.)

Mesoamerican jungle people were never aware of Mayan pyramids. (They would’ve since these structures were never too far from anywhere in the Mayan world, occupied or abandoned. If you lived 6 to 12 miles outside a large Mayan community, you would’ve certainly have seen one since such structures were usually 20 kilometers away from anywhere in the Mayan world.)

Lots of Mayans wore jade. (Jade was only reserved for royalty since it was a symbol of royal power and wealth.)

The Mayans were mankind’s earliest civilization. (Actually the Mesopotamians were as far as the historic record goes. And in Meso America, the Olmecs. Also, the Olmecs and the Zapotecs had writing before the Mayans but not much of it survives.)

Mayan sacrificial victims were painted blue and were sacrificed on a column shaped stone. (The Mayans would never paint their victims blue. Rather they would adorn them with special quetzel plumed headdresses. And it’s the Aztecs who were known to sacrifice victims this way, not the Maya. Also, the Mayans used decapitation, heart excision, dismemberment, hanging, disembowelment, skin flaying, skull splitting, throwing kids in wells, and burning.)

The Mayans relished torturing their captives. (Not necessarily, but their victims were their enemies suffering a long tortuous death and being carefully disassembled. These guys were competition and a Mayan ruler may get something to add to his kingdom.)

The Mayas didn’t have libraries. (They did, but the Spanish destroyed most of their books that there are only three or four left {and one may be a fake}.)

The Mayans were tall, slim, ripped, tan, and very European looking. (The actual Mayans were shorter and stocky but I was just ripping off a 1960s movie called Kings of the Sun starring Yul Brynner.)

The Mayans visited the US Gulf Coast. (Well, it could’ve happened since the the Mississippians did grow Mesoamerican crops like corn, beans, and squash but we can’t be sure.)

Mayan kings were bystanders in human sacrifice rituals while two priests did the actual work. (He was usually the central figure who conducted rituals in front of a large audience in a major ceremonial fashion. He was not only the political leader in his Mayan city-states, but a religious one as well.)

Mayan villagers lived in stick huts in the wild jungle. (They would’ve lived in homes with stone foundations near the cleared plazas or in surrounding villages near the capital. Housing on lots were planned and intensively managed spaces where fruits, vegetables, and medicinal plants were grown and where some domesticated animals were raised.)

The Mayans were sun worshipers and called themselves “sun people.” (They had a pantheon of gods with the Maize god as the most important deity because he signified the change of the seasons.)

Some Mayan tribes used swords made out of wood or metal. (They usually used obsidian for knives which were very sharp.)

Aztecs and The Triple Alliance Empire:

The Aztecs were a homogenous people. (The Aztec Empire was run by a triple Alliance of three Nahuatl city states Tenochtitlan, Tlateloco, and Tlacopan near the islets of Lake Texcoco. Oh, and they called themselves the Mexica who may have came to Mexico during the 13th century from Arizona {oh, the irony}.)

The main Aztec city was situated in the jungle. (The Aztec Triple Alliance ran their empire from Tenochtitlan which was built upon a lake in a the middle of the Valley of Mexico. When the Spanish arrived, it looked like a Pre-Columbian Venice with a network of canals and bridges. Of course, no filmmaker has a budget to recreate this.)

The Aztecs used gold coins. (They more likely used cocoa beans as currency than gold coins. Besides, Aztec gold coins never existed in Pre-Columbian America.)

The Aztecs mummified their dead. (High-ranking Aztecs were cremated. However, the Andean peoples certainly did.)

South America:

Nazca buildings were made out of stone. They also built their tombs on hills and were mummified in a fashion depicted by Francisco de Orellana. (Nazcas built with adobe, had their tombs in the ground in flat areas, and mummified people by hunkering their knees against their chests before wrapping them.)

Peruvian coastal tribes used blowpipes with poisoned darts. (Amazon jungle tribes did.)

Meso and South America:

All Pre-Columbian cultures in Meso and South America look basically the same. (Despite the fact that many of these societies existed in different environments and have different styles of art and architecture.)

The groups of people who lived in Meso and South America were the Mayans, the Aztecs, and the Incas. (There were many other indigenous groups who lived in the same areas.)

All Pre-Columbian cultures in Meso and South America lived in the jungle. (They lived in all kinds of environments and climates such as deserts, mountains, the coasts, and other areas.)

All Meso American buildings and structures were of just plain rock. (Actually they were painted in bright colors like the works so they could be more visible.)

The Meso and South American Indians sacrificed to Quetzalcoatl more often than any other god. (He’s perhaps the only god in many of his pantheons who didn’t ask for it and abhorred the practice {making him the most bloodless and most merciful god in the pantheon whose sacrifices only comprised of birds, snakes, tortillas, and butterflies}. So it’s very unlikely that even the Aztecs would sacrifice to him. Filmmakers probably use him the most as a god to sacrifice to because his name is easier to pronounce and he’s the most famous in his pantheon anyway {he’s probably the only Mesoamerican god most people know}. Also, the Plumed Serpent is a cool nickname. As for the heart ripping out of a person’s chest and tossing the body down the pyramid stairs, that’s a festive sacrifice for the Aztec war god, Huitzilopochtli, whose name is a mouthful and is nicknamed the Left-Handed Hummingbird, yeah.)

Mesoamericans made and used crystal skulls. (Every crystal skull ever found turned out to be a fake.)

The Meso and South American Indians didn’t use metal weapons because they didn’t have the technology. (They actually did but the fact they didn’t use metal weapons was more out of personal choice because the aim of war for them was to take captives to sacrifice later, not to kill people. Also, they used metals for their figurines but they didn’t see it worth much.)

The Meso and South American Indians bound their infants’ heads with a rope to honor their gods. (It was in accordance with their beauty standards. Also, they liked elongated noses like Adrien Brody’s.)

Quecha was spoken in what is now Mexico. (It’s an Andes language spoken throughout the Inca Empire.)

Meso and South American women walked around in scantily clad bikinis or bare breasts. (No, they didn’t. Many of them simply wore a decorated cloth with holes for the head and arms. Also, many of them were shown in artwork as rather conservatively dressed with their breasts covered.)

Meso and South American Indians lusted after gold as a precious metal. (Mayas used cacao beans as currency, the Aztecs valued feathers and jade much more than gold, and the Incas only saw gold as some metal to make a drinking vessel out of. Let’s just say the Mesoamericans would be more pissed off at you eating their chocolate than melting any of their gold jewelry.)

Meso and South American Indians viewed white people as gods. (No Inca or Aztec Emperor ever mistaken a Spanish Conquistador as a god. Their giving gifts to the Spaniards was more about showing superiority and good ol’ sacred hospitality. The Spanish just assumed this.)

Meso and South American priests were always bloodthirsty men wanting to sacrifice nubile virgins to their dinosaur gods. (Sure they were the ones doing the human sacrifices most of the time. Yet, they usually viewed it as part of their job and most of their rituals do include some sort of sacrifice. They believed that such sacrifices sustained the universe and many of their stories dealt with the importance of sacrifice. Also, most Pre-Columbian sacrificial victims were men.)

Meso and South American Pre-Columbian artifacts are usually cursed. (I’m sure this isn’t the case.)

Meso and South American people could stop sacrificing people whenever. (Being sacrificed was seen as a great honor in these cultures. Besides, to them, not sacrificing people was one way to usher in the apocalypse.)

Meso and South American gods didn’t succumb to temptation. (There’s a story about Quetzalcoatl getting drunk and banging his sister. So Miguel and Tulio didn’t have to worry much about making mistakes in El Dorado.)

North America:

The Indians were noble savages who worshiped nature and cared for the environment. (This is all bullshit for there were many Native American societies that farmed and built structures like houses, temples, and monuments, even in North America.)

The New World was mostly unpopulated, with Native settlements few and far between. (Truth is, the Europeans were keen on spreading diseases they were already immune to {very successfully, I might add}. The native population was decimated by bugs like Smallpox. These sicknesses spread so fast, that when settlers moved west, they found a fraction of the population that once thrived there.)

Native Americans were a backward, childlike people who talked like Tonto. (Never mind the working economy, clearly defined values and morals, deep religion, highly developed language, and well developed justice system. Yes, Native American society was that complex, just ask the Iroquois Nations and the Cherokee.)

The Inuit always wore parkas, carved trinkets, lived in igloos, went fishing with harpoon, traveled by sled and huskies, and ate cod liver oil. They also kissed by rubbing each other’s noses together. (It might have been true at one time but not during the 1920s.)

Indian princesses were gorgeous. (There had to be ugly Indian princesses.)

Mayans and Mississippians spoke similar languages. (Their languages were from completely separate families like the Mayan and the Algonquin.)

The Mississippian peoples lived in tepees and hunted buffalo. (I don’t think this is very likely since it’s more suggestive of Plains Indians. Also, the Mississippian people were an agrarian society as far as I know. But who knows what they lived in anyway. The Mississippians were a mound building culture, however. Yet, I’m sure the Mayans didn’t build pyramids there.)

The Inuit wore metal sunglasses over their eyes. (They didn’t, yet there’s a movie poster of an Inuit who does.)

Indians planted corn in rows. (They didn’t plant corn that way.)

Indian corn ears were far larger than a human hand. (Native corn were about the size of a thumb, rarely ever bigger. Large corn was a product of seed selection and genetic research mostly done since the 1860s.)

Iroquois settled on the Ottawa River. (It was Algonquin territory.)

Indians fought during the winter. (Native war parties usually stayed home during the winter.)

Iroquois gratuitously killed their young prisoners. (They would never have killed a young prisoner who could’ve been adopted into a family to replace a fallen kinsman.)

Indian guards raped female prisoners. (Well, Mary Rowlandson did testify she was raped by one during the Indian Wars in Massachusetts, but there was a strict taboo against raping war prisoners throughout the native East. The Iroquois in particular eschewed sex with future adopted kinswomen.)

Iroquois guards were posted on a scaffold tower on cold of dead winter nights. (No Iroquois guard was.)

Most Indian captives were killed. (Indian captives were mainly adopted and kept alive.)

Indian captives were led by leather thongs around their necks and fully dressed. (They were naked when taken prisoner.)