Pirates

When one thinks of “Pirates” they immediately conjure up the image portrayed by Disney and fabled adventure books of either Captain Hook and Tinker Bell, or Johnny Depp and the “Pirates of the Carribean”. Pirates of the Carribbean is by far the most popular portrayal, and there today is an over-glorification of these dastardly criminals. But they were not only criminals, but a anarchistic society and sub-culture. In basic definition, A pirate is a person who commits acts of piracy, usually at sea, without authorization of a country, King/Queen, or army to do so. Of course soldiers throughout history, Ancient mariners fighting for their countries would loot, raid, conquer, maim, and kill hundreds if not thousands in their wakes of invasion. But those actions were deemed “ok” by historians since it was under the authority of a “nation”. These seaward scumbags however were classified just as such because they did the acts independently for their own greed or want of treasure. Truth be told, it was survival and independence, the poor striking against the rich. They often started out as young sailors, struggling to survive, realizing “thievery” was a quick and easy route to making it. Others were captured crew who were pushed into the life of piracy, often as slaves or indentured servants at best. Others were recruited in harbors as crew for a ship sometimes with the art of piracy being known or often not revealed that was what one was getting into.

Some say that Pirates were documented as early as the 14th century BCE with “the Sea Peoples” who were thought to have come from the Aegean Sea as well as Ancient Greece. The Fomorians of Ireland were a legendary race of Giants who were portrayed as “pirates”. Pirates and Piracy has existed from the beginning of time. The earliest records were that of Dionysus the Phocaean in 494 BCE and lasting right up to the modern day with Abduwai Muse in 2009 CE. However, when we think of Pirates – it extends from either the Middle Ages (400 CE – 1585 CE), on into the Rise of the English Sea Dogs and Dutch Corsairs: (1560 CE – 1650 CE), the Age of the Buccaneers: (1650 CE – 1690 CE), Golden Age of Piracy: (1690 CE – 1730 CE), and After the Golden Age: Pirates, Privateers, Smugglers, and River Pirates: (1730 CE – 1885 CE). Of course the “Vikings” as well were “Pirates” of sorts, though they operated with authorization of their peoples in Norway, Denmark, etc. so it draws a gray line. Every coastal country had its own sea-faring raids, invasions, and activities that were controversially criminal.

The term “Pirate” denotes an individual who participates in “Piracy”. Piracy is a sea-born offence against the universal laws of society, equating to “theft”, “robbery”, “looting”, or “crime”. Pirates are seamen who have turned to crime – robbing, attacking, seizing, capturing, or destroying other ships and their crew at high seas or within the coastal harbors. They were also known for their acts of theft, smuggling, and slave trade all for their own personal interests rather than for a company or country. They were punished as criminals for their crimes against society. They were not without their popularity and many of these pirates were high-profile and influential which often led to the death penalty when caught and penalized. The legality of their actions however was the biggest distinguishing factor separating them from privateers, buccaneers, or servants of a royal fleet. The acts led to a sub-culture, a band of individuals that joined together creating crews and legions. The acts turned lifestyle and evolved into action not just for wealth, but for independence, anarchy, fighting the mainstream, and for the hunger of adventure, fame, and danger. It was a manifestation of freedom in their minds and souls, some would say was in their blood and spirit. They were portrayed as free spirits, united with others of like-minds, usually men who loved women, booty, liquor, songs, and sword fighting. Today they are romanticized and seen as a glamorous rebellious culture even though historically they were not. Their lives were historically cruel, short, violent, and abrupt. There were also numerous female pirates who made their mark in history.

Today, Children all over the world celebrate Pirates, pretending to be them, fight them, hunt for treasure, and it is fun and games to them. The dastardly history is white-washed and the sense of adventure glorified. In some ways Pirates are equated to Robin Hoods of the Sea. They are seen as icons of fighting against the dictators and oppressive governments.

Pirates ate what most seamen ate – and it was always dependent on food supplies or conditions of their stock. Sometimes it was dependent on what they raided from other ships or towns. Food often molded or rotted, and sometimes their foodstuffs were questionable. Often they had livestock on board, eating meat, bread, dairy, and produce. They often cured their meats (salt) and fermented their vegetables. Common were salted meats, sea biscuits, sauer kraut, and bone stock soup. Oddly they didn’t fish all that much and seafood was not as common in the diet as one would think. They drank a lot of alcohol, often from raids, and in the Carribean known for their love of rum. Beer, ale, brandy, mead, and wine were common drinks.

Pirates didn’t often bury treasure. While some did, overall the “treasure” was perishable and needed on a daily basis. Because they were hunted criminals, their careers didn’t last long, and neither did their lives. They actually lived to their own rules, morals, and standards. It was not uncommon for pirate crew members to agree to a code of conduct and often had to sign in agreement. They had their own rules and punishments for lying, stealing, fighting, or acting against one another while on board their ship. Sometimes these punishments were severe, but they rarely if ever “walked the plank”. The few case examples of that kind of punishment was after the Golden Age of Piracy. Punishments were often beatings, whippings, knee hauling, dragged by the ship, or marooned on an island. Their ships were well run with a clear division of labor and officers in charge who were respected and held in high regard. The captain decided where to go and when to attack, the Quartermaster would issue punishments and settle grievances, ran the ship’s operations, and divided the treasure. Other common roles were boatswain, carpenter, cooper, gunner, and navigator. While many Pirates started from a poor life of suffrage, some were social elites who came from wealthy families. Lastly not all Pirates were criminals – like the Vikings, they were serving their nations or people, and during wartime and battles of one country to another, Piracy was enacted and Pirates were often hired as mercenaries. Some nations issued letters of Marque and Reprisal allowing ships to attack enemy ports and vessels leading to plunder and captivity. These were somewhat differentiated though and called privateers.

Check back for this is a work in progress.

Pirates! Exhibit (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=36331); Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Denver, Colorado, USA. http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=28273 | The Great Walkabout: http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?page_id=114. From Colorado Springs to Australia, Europe, and back. Photos taken March 5, 2011. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=17409. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2011 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. Pirates: http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=4261.

Article by Thomas Baurley on 2/27/18.

References/Recommended Reading:

  • Canfield, Nicole 2005 Owlcation: The Life of a Pirate. Website referenced 2/27/18 at https://owlcation.com/humanities/The-Life-of-a-Pirate-What-They-Ate-What-They-Did-For-Fun-and-More
  • Minister, Christopher 2017 ThoughtCo: 10 Facts about Pirates. Website referenced 2/27/18 at https://www.thoughtco.com/facts-about-pirates-2136238.
  • Way of the Pirates n.d. “Pirates”. Website referenced 2/27/18 at http://www.thewayofthepirates.com/types-of-pirates/pirates/
  • Wikipedia n.d. “List of Pirates:. Website referenced 2/27/18 at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_pirates.
  • Wikipedia n.d. “Piracy”. Website referenced 2/27/18 at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piracy

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Cave of the Cats (Roscommon, Ireland)

Oweynagat Cave – Cave of the Cats – Gateway to the Underworld and the Morrigan’s Palace.

Oweynagat Cave – Cave of the Cats
– Gateway to the Underworld and the Morrigan’s Palace. Rathcrohan / Rosscommon, Ireland
GPS: 53.79677, -8.31038
Article/Research by Thomas Baurley/Leaf McGowan/Technogypsie Productions, 10 October 2017

One of my most favorite sites in Ireland is the “Cave of the Cats” underneath the realm of “Rathcrohan“. It is officially called “Oweynagat” and pronounced “Owen-ne-gatt”.
The Cave is also labelled “Uaimh na gCat”, Irish translating to “Cave of the Cats”. When I first visited this site we had a tremendously hard time finding it. We found where it was supposed to be, but it lay behind fencing on a farmer’s field. We knocked on the farmer’s door, and there was no answer. A neighbor saw us, asked what we were doing and who we were, and he showed us the entrance, giving us permission to enter. It was a small hole under some Fairy thorn trees. The Site is actually a natural narrow limestone cave that hosts a man-made souterrain at its entrance. This is seen by all as the official entrance to the Otherworld and home to the Morrigan or Medh. In the Medieval Period of Ireland, it was labeled “Ireland’s Gate to Hell”. It is a particular sacred site for the Pagan holiday and festival of “Samhain” or Halloween.

It is said that during the Feast of Samhain, the dead, their God/desses, and Spirits, would rise from their graves and walk the Earth. This cave is one of the main places where Spirits and the dead associated with the Fae and/or the Morrigan, would re-surface including creatures, monsters, and the un-dead. There exists an Irish legend based off the “Adventures of Nera” where a warrior is challenged to tie a twig around the ankle of a condemned man on Samhain eve, after agreeing to get him some water would discover strange houses and wouldn’t find water until the third house. Upon returning him back to captivity would witness Rathcroghan’s royal buildings destroyed by the spirits. After this he must follow the fairy host to the Sidhe where he meets a woman who tells him the vision he saw will happen a year from now unless his mortal comrades are warned. He leaves the Sidhe and informs Ailill of his vision who destroys the Sidhe in response.

Some believe the “síd” or the Sidhe of this tale is either the Mound of Rathcroghan or Oweynagat, the Cave of the Cats. It makes the most sense that the Cave of the Cats is where the destructive creatures and fae emerged. There was a triple-headed monster called the Ellen Trechen that went on a rampage across the country before being killed by Amergin, father of Conal Cernach. There have been tales of small red birds emerging from the cave withering every plant they breathed on before being hunted to their death by the Red Branch. There is also legends of herds of pigs with similar powers of decay emerging from the cave until hunted and killed by Ailill and Medb.

The name itself, “Oweynagat” is believed to refer to the Magical wild cats featured in the tale of “Bricriu’s Feast” that emerge from this cave to attack the three Ulster warriors before being tamed by Cúchulainn. Some also claim that the cave was named after Irusan, the King of the Cats, who is featured in Irish fairy tales and hailed from a cave near Clonmacnoise (her home). Another tale from the 18th century CE tells of a woman trying to catch a runaway cow that fell into this cave (nevermind the entrance being too small) and followed it into this cave. It is said the cow and woman emerged miles away in County Sligo, near Keshcorran. There is also a legend of a woman that was told to have killed a monster cat in this cave, turning the woman into a great warrior, and this is why its called “Oweynagat”, Cave of the Cats.

The Birthplace of Medb

It is also believed that this cave is the actual physical birthplace for Queen Medb. The legend states that the Fairy Queen/Goddess Étain who was fleeing her human husband with her fairy lover Midir came here. Midir wanted to visit a relative named Sinech (the large breasted one) who lived in the cave. Within the cave was said to be a great otherworldly palace where a maid servant named Crochan Crogderg (“Blood Red Cup”) lived, and she had granted Midir and Etain entrance. It was here that Crochan was believed to have given birth to a daughter named “Medb“.

The Entrance

Nestled under a fairy tree in a farmer’s field (private property) is a small opening that really only looks large enough for a house cat to fit through. But if a human gets down on their hands and knees, can shimmy into this small hole, they will be presented with a small chamber that connects to a passageway that continually increases to a massive tunnel wider and higher than one could fathom. At the inner lintel of this entrance is an Ogham inscription that bears the words “VRAICCI…MAQI MEDVVI” translating to “FRAECH” and “SON OF MEDB”. Some also translate this to mean “The Pillar of Fraech son of Madb”. This is also seen as the birthplace of Medb. A second ogham inscription, barely visible, reads “QR G SMU” but has not been translated. This beginning chamber is actually a man-made souterrain at the entrance to a natural narrow limestone cave. The souterrain was originally contained within an earthen mound that was later damaged by a road construction project in the 1930’s. The souterrain is made of drystone walling, orthostats, lintels, and stones that measure approximately 10.5 meters from the entrance to the natural cave’s opening.

The Tunnel

After crawling on one’s hands and feet, the passage increases in width and height, eventually one can stand up, and eventually the tunnel becomes wide and tall enough that a small Giant could move through it. This is the passage of the Fae, and leads to the Morrigan’s Lair. As one continues down, they’ll find a caved in shamble that is behind a muddy pool of water. If one successfully climbs up and over it, the passage continues to another area that is caved in. Apparently workers on the surface planted a utility pole that collapsed this section of the tunnel. Beyond this is believed to be the Entrance to the Otherworld, and the Morrigan’s Lair. This is actually a natural limestone cave that has been mapped approximately 37 meters deep.

The Morrigan

The Queen of the Dark Fae, the Goddess of the Underworld, of Darkness, and Battle, rules the world of the Fae from this place. It is believed that every Samhain, she is pulled on a chariot out of the Cave of the Cats by a one-legged chestnut horse alongside various creatures such as those mentioned above. Some also say on occasion she leaves the cave with a cow, guided by a giant with a forked staff, to give to the Bull of Cúailgne. She is also known to take the bull of a woman named Odras who follows her into the cave before falling under an enchanted sleep upon awakening to see the Morrigan who repeatedly whispers a spell over her, turning her into a river, the same river that feeds the muddy pool at the shamble. Apparently the cave is seen as a portal through which the Morrigan would pass in order to work with Medb as Goddess of Battle. She drove her otherworldly cattle into the cave every sunset. The Morrigan was blamed to have stolen a herd of cattle who belonged to a woman named Odras, and upon following to Morrigan to retrieve them, was turned into a lake by the Goddess. As is the story of Nera, a servant of Medb who met a Fairy woman here in this cave. He married her, and she warned him of Medb’s palace being burnt to the ground next Samhain by the creatures of the otherworld. Upon hearing this, Medb stationed her forces in the cave each Samhain to protect Cruachan from destruction.

Rathcrohan is the legendary burial grounds of the Kings of Coannaught. The region covers approximately 518 hectares hosting more than 20 ring forts, burial mounds, megalithic tombs such as the Relig na Ri (burial ground of the Kings), Rath na dTarbh (For the Bulls), and the Rathbeg. The archaeological site is massive, with earthworks spread over the region with the Grave of King Dathi (Last Pagan King of Ireland) as a 2 meter high standing stone being one of the few physical landmarks left that can be seen. This is also the site of the mythical battle of the “Tain Bo Cuailgne” that remains in the hearts, minds, and folklore of the people of Tulsk and Rathcroghan recorded in the Ancient Irish Epic of the Tain Bo Cuiailgne, the “Cattle Raid of Cooley”. The Tain Bo tells the story of Queen Maeve of Connaught and her armies that pursued the Grat Brown Bull of Cooley, the mighty warrior Cuchulain who does battle with the armies here, and his foster brother Erdia as he defends the Brown Bull, and the province of Ulster. There is a “Tain Trail Cycling and Touring Route” that re-traces the journey that Queen Maeve and her armies traveled from her Royal Palace at Rathcroghan across Ireland to the Cooley Peninsula in County Louth, the home of the Brown Bull. Rathcrohan hosts over 60 National Monuments here.

Bibliography/References:

  • Druid School: Oweynagat Cave of the Cats. Website referenced January 2012.
  • Fenwick, J. et al 1977 “Oweynagat”. Irish Speleology 16, 11-14.
  • Hannon, Ed 2012 “Visions of the Past: Oweynagat Cave”. Website referenced 10/10/17 at https://visionsofthepastblog.com/2012/10/01/oweynagat-cave-souterrain-co-roscommon/.
  • Mulranney, R. n.d “Caves of Ireland: Oweynagat Cave of the Cats”. Website referenced 10/10/17 at https://cavesofireland.wordpress.com/home/caves/oweynagat-cave-of-the-cats-co-roscommon/.
  • Waddell, J. 1983 “Rathcroghan – A Royal Site”. Journal of Irish Archaeology 1.
  • Wikipedia n.d. “Rathcroghan”. Website referenced 10/10/17 at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rathcroghan.

Oweynagat Cave – Cave of the Cats – entrance chamber

Oweynagat Cave – Cave of the Cats – Passage downward.

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Amethyst

Amethyst
~

Article by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

Coming Soon …

Name:

Folk Name:

Taxonomy:

Locality:

Description: This stone comes in a crystalline or translucent purple stone.

Uses:

Folklore/Spirituality: Known to represent supreme spirituality, it is a magical stone of choice. It is known to bring peace, tranquility, peace, satisfaction, aid in meditation, developing intuition, creativity, and connection with the divine.

More information:



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Amazonite

Amazonite
~

Article by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

Coming Soon …

Name:

Folk Name: Amazonite

Taxonomy:

Locality:

Description: Pale, blue-green in color.

Uses:

Folklore/Spirituality:
This stone is believed to connect oneself to their inner powers, intuition, universal love, self-love, and awareness. It is also supposed to renew one’s faith in life. It is also known to boost metabolism and aid in pregnancy, delivery, and aids one’s pre-menstrual symptoms.

More information:



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Agate

Agate
~

Article by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

Name:

Folk Name: Agate

Taxonomy:

Locality:

Description: This mineralized stone comes in various colors and compositions.

Uses:

Folklore/Spirituality:

Believed to awaken inherent talents, transforms negativity, balancing the physical and emotional aspects of oneself.

More information:



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Viking Face and Body Painting

Ritual Painting of Face and Bodies in Viking Culture

by Thomas Baurley, 9/6/2017

It is a controversial and well debated subject whether or not the Vikings painted their faces and bodies. The Vikings were certainly exposed to the practice from their contact with the Britons, Celts, and Arabic Cultures. As early as 55 C.E. Julius Caesar wrote about the natives in Britannia about their usage during his conquest of the region, stating “All the Britons dye their bodies with woad, which produces a blue colour, and this gives them a more terrifying appearance in battle.” Perhaps it was adopted by the Vikings once battling the Brits. Hollywood definitely portrays this practice, but it could have no more validity as horned helmets being worn by Vikings.

There is evidence from the writings of “Ibrahim ibn Yaqub” who in 965 C.E. visited the Viking village of Hedeby reporting that many of the Vikings in the village, both male and female had enhanced their eyes with some sort of paint. This discovery leads many academics to believe it was strictly cosmetic in use. Some believe they painted themselves with complicated symbols, runes, and/or trees in symbology. Tools, materials, and dyes have been archaeologically excavated from sites in Northern Europe that even pre-dated the Vikings, so its not hard to believe they had the ability and knowledge to do so.

There were also found pieces of art depicting Vikings with painted faces discovered in archaeological excavations. The Fyrkat Denmark grave goods dating from 980 C.E. depicts a gilded box-brooch with a hinged lid, inside of which was contained very white lead carbonate often used in cosmetics and paints dating as far back as the Ancient Greeks. This had led scholars to conclude was used as white makeup (albeit lead being poisonous in such application over time).

Obviously Hollywood and the film industry have jumped to this conclusion and it has become commonplace in media, film, and photos with some very dynamic artwork produced called “Viking” influenced. Some of these can be seen here on pininterest: https://www.pinterest.com/explore/viking-makeup/?lp=true. My first and only time I went to a authentic Viking festival in Norway, I was allowed to be a Viking bodypainter, having had to create clay-based coloring, woad, and other herbal based paints, using horse-hair brushes I styled in ancient paintbrush style, and painted Runes on my customers, it went over well and was very popular.

References and extended research:


  • Ceasar, Julius n.d. “The Conquest of Gaul”
  • Fadlan, Ibn; Lunde, Paul; Stone, Caroline “Ibn Fadlan and the Land of Darkness: Arab Travellers in the Far North”. USBN: 9780140455076, Amazon books.
  • Handford, S.A. 1951 “Cesar: The Conquest of Gaul” translation, Penguin Classics.
  • Pentz, P 2009 “Mannering U: Kong Harolds volve”. Nationalmuseets Arbejdsmark, pages 215-232.
  • Perabo, Lyonel – Quroa 2016 “Why did the Vikings paint their faces”. Website referenced 9/6/17 at https://www.quora.com/Why-did-the-Vikings-paint-their-faces.
  • Petersen, Irene Berg 2012 “What Vikings Really Looked Like”. ScienceNordic. Website referenced 9/6/17 at http://sciencenordic.com/what-vikings-really-looked.

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Baleen

WHALING
Baleen art – Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803)

Baleen Arts and Crafts

Baleen: “A Whale of a Story: The Inupiaq of northern Alaska have hunted bowhead whates and collected baleen for hundrreds of years. Although called ‘whale bone’ by Westerners, baleen is a fibrous sieve-like material that grows on both sides of a plankton-eating whale’s tongue and is made of the same material as hair, horn, and figernails. Prior to contact with Westerners, baleen was used to make items such as buckets, ice scoops, sled runner, lashings, fishing line, and nets. By 1875 and until modern plastics became available, Westerners used baleen to make things such as buggy whips, umbrella ribs, and corset stays for women. Inupiaq mostly from the villages of Barrow, Point Hope, and Wainwright, began to use baleen to make items for trade and sale to non-natives. Baleen was primarily used by male artists because baleen is a hard material and historically in their culture, only men used hard materials. These artists made items such as models and baskets. The first known baleen basket was made by an artist named Kinguktuk from Barrow, Alaska between 1914 and 1918 for a local resident named Charles Brower. Brower had asked Kinguktuk to copy a willow-root basket in baleen. Hunting bowhead whales remains an important part of the lives of many Inupiaq and artists continue to use baleen in new and innovative ways.”~display at Denver Art Museum.
Displayed arts of Baleen in the Pacific Northwest Indians exhibit at the Denver Art Museum.

WHALING
Baleen: “A Whale of a Story: The Inupiaq of northern Alaska have hunted bowhead whates and collected baleen for hundrreds of years. Although called ‘whale bone’ by Westerners, baleen is a fibrous sieve-like material that grows on both sides of a plankton-eating whale’s tongue and is made of the same material as hair, horn, and figernails. Prior to contact with Westerners, baleen was used to make items such as buckets, ice scoops, sled runner, lashings, fishing line, and nets. By 1875 and until modern plastics became available, Westerners used baleen to make things such as buggy whips, umbrella ribs, and corset stays for women. Inupiaq mostly from the villages of Barrow, Point Hope, and Wainwright, began to use baleen to make items for trade and sale to non-natives. Baleen was primarily used by male artists because baleen is a hard material and historically in their culture, only men used hard materials. These artists made items such as models and baskets. The first known baleen basket was made by an artist named Kinguktuk from Barrow, Alaska between 1914 and 1918 for a local resident named Charles Brower. Brower had asked Kinguktuk to copy a willow-root basket in baleen. Hunting bowhead whales remains an important part of the lives of many Inupiaq and artists continue to use baleen in new and innovative ways.”~display at Denver Art Museum. Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803); Pacific Northwest Tribes (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3467) Exhibit – Denver Museum of Art/ Art Museum (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=838). Wandering around Denver, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken Saturday, August 5, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowa

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Seagrass Basketry and Weaving

Seagrass Baskets – Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803)

Seagrass Baskets

Seagrass Baskets: “Baskets of Sea Grass – Artists of the windswept Aleutian Islands create some of the most fragile baskets in the world. They start with carefully prepared strands of fine beach grass that they then emellish with colorful yarn or even white bird quills. Some shapes are influenced by non-native items like cigar cases and Victorian candy dishes, but all are among the most tightly woven anywhere.” ~ display at Denver Art Museum.

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Pacific Northwest Native American Art

Pacific Northwest Tribal Art

Pacific Northwest Native American Art & Culture
~ Article and research by Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Research, August 7, 2017.

Native American culture of the Pacific Northwest is amongst some of the most impressive art forms and mythology on the planet. The North American Northwest and Columbia Plateau Tribes

Material Culture:

Research is being conducted, please come back for more information and photos.

Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803); Pacific Northwest Tribes (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3467) Exhibit – Denver Museum of Art/ Art Museum (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=838). Wandering around Denver, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken Saturday, August 5, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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Inupiaq Seal/Walrus Skin Armor

Inupiaq Walrus/Seal Skin Suit of Armor: dated 1945 by Jimmy Otiyohok, Inupiaq.

Inupiaq Walrus/Seal Skin Suit of Armor
~ Article and research by Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Research, August 7, 2017.

Even though many of the tribes in what is known Alaska are seen as very peaceful people, conflicts and warfare did occur, to the extent that the Inupiaq and Chukotkan men had created armor. There were two basic types (1) plate armor made of bone, ivory, antler, or iron plates lashed together and (2) band armor consisting of telescoping bands of hide. Both of these were worn over ordinary clothing and extended from head to toe. The armor was accompanied often with helmets, cuirasses, shields, shin guards, wrist guards, and neck protectors. The armor was strong enough to be invincible to arrows (except close range). Plate armor was made from dozens of ivory plates carved from walrus tusks.First evidence of this armor was found in Chukotka at various Punuk sites/excavations. Large quantities of armor plates were also discovered at western Thule at Barrow from the 15th century. The would fight with spears (defense), bows/arrows (attack), lances, knives, and slingshots. By the early 19th century after contact with Euro-Americans, they incorporated muzzle loaded guns.

The North American Northwest and Columbia Plateau Tribes as well as Pacific Coast Tribes have very intriguing “weapons and tools” in their culture and archaeological record. The Artwork of the Native American Pacific Northwest Cultures is phenomenal, embedded with myths, legends, and spirituality that empowers their people.

The armor depicted here is dated to 1945 CE (Common Era) and was made by Jimmy Otiyohok, Inupiaq. Made of Walrus skin, seal skin, wood. This ingenious type of armor was created to protect men in battle. Fashioned from the thick hide of a walrus, the armor is made in several collapsible concentric rings that girdle the soldier’s body but are flexible to allow movement. The upper section protects the head and neck region with bendable ‘elbow joints’. Arrows would bounce off the thick hide.

    Additional references:

  • Buron, Ernest S. “Alliance and Conflict: The World System of the Inupaiq Eskimo

Inupiaq Walrus/Seal Skin Suit of Armor: dated 1945 by Jimmy Otiyohok, Inupiaq. Made of Walrus skin, seal skin, wood. This ingenious type of armor was created to protect men in battle. Fashioned from the thick hide of a walrus, the armor is made in several collapisble concentric rings that girdle the soldier’s body but are flexible to allow movement. The upper section protects the head and neck region with bendable ‘elbow joints’. Arrows would bounce off the thick hide. Pacific Northwest Tribal Art (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3803); Pacific Northwest Tribes (http://www.technogypsie.com/science/?p=3467) Exhibit – Denver Museum of Art/ Art Museum (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=838). Wandering around Denver, Colorado. New Life in Colorado: Chronicle 26 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf and Prince Cian. Adventures in Colorado. Photos taken Saturday, August 5, 2017. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=21965. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2017 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved. www.technogypsie.com/photography

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