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US, April 13, 2017: One afternoon when she was about seven years old, Linda Poolaw and her older brother, Robert, stepped off of the school bus to find their father, Kiowa Indian photographer Horace Poolaw, waiting in ambush, his camera in hand.
“He put cowboy hats on our heads and gave us pistols to hold,” Linda remembers. Whether the photo was meant to be ironic or not, Linda isn’t sure. All she knows is that she never much cared for it.
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“No, it’s not because of the ‘cowboyness’ of it or the whiteness or racism or anything like that,” she said. “It’s just that Dad made us pose for him all the time. We had to be still. We had to wait for him to get the shot just right when all we wanted to do was go play.”
That photo is among a collection of more than 80 currently on display at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington in an exhibit entitled “For a Love of His People: The Photography of Horace Poolaw.” The collection documents the gradual – if enforced — assimilation into Western concepts of modernity and challenges, say critics, conventional views of Native Americans as “others.”
From tipi to mainstream
Horace Monroe Poolaw was born in 1906 in Mountain View, Oklahoma, a small town that grew up around the railroad.
Up until the late 19th Century, Oklahoma’s Indian Territory belonged to the tribes that lived or had been relocated there. In the 1860s, the Kiowa, Comanche and Apache were consigned to a nearly three-million-acre reservation. But 20 years later, a law known as the Dawes Act allowed Congress to divide communal land into plots of up to 160 acres in size, which they assigned to individual Indians. The rest was opened up to non-Native settlers.
Horace’s father, Kiowa George, was the son of a distinguished warrior and is said to have kept a tribal calendar, a record of historic events that Kiowa traditionally painted onto buffalo hide or in ledgers. Horace’s mother was descended from a Mexican woman who had been captured during a Kiowa raid.
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“It was a way to make up for a shortage of women,” Linda said. The truth is a little more complex than that. A diminishing buffalo population and outbreaks of smallpox and cholera among the tribes led the Kiowa and their allies to conduct a series of devastating raids on Texas and Mexico for horses and human captives.
At first, the Poolaw family lived in a traditional tipi, but they eventually moved into frame house that remains in the family today.
The recently-built Rock Island railroad line brought an influx of settlers from the east, including itinerant photographer George W. Long, who set up shop in Mountain View. He served as a mentor to Poolaw and gave the youth his first camera.
Poolaw would spend the next 50 years of his life documenting the daily lives of family, friends and fellow Kiowa at work and play, as they made the transition, says his daughter, “from tipi to mainstream.”
“He developed his own pictures, even though there was no electricity or water in the house back in those days,” said Linda. “He had to send to Chicago for film and developing supplies.”
The high cost of paper and film meant Poolaw worked hard to get his shots right on the first try, and he only developed a fraction of the photos he took. He took all of his photographs outdoors because it eliminated the need for flashbulbs.
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Horace would occasionally print photo postcards on large sheets of paper, which his children would trim and peddle at the bus station for five cents apiece as a way to make money.
“We were poor, dirt poor,” said Linda. “But we didn’t know it because everybody around us was poor too.”
Today, those postcards sell for as much as $50 on internet auction sites.
Poolaw married twice; Linda is the daughter of his second wife, Winnie Chisholm (Delaware/Seminole/ Creek). He wore many hats in his life, he was a farmer and raised cattle. For a time, he worked for the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Then, in 1943, he enlisted in the Army, where he was trained in aerial photography. At the end of World War II, he moved to Anadarko, where Linda was born.
Poolaw continued taking pictures until the 1970s, when his eyesight began to fail. In 1979, the Southern Plains Indian Museum in Anadarko organized a retrospective exhibit of his photographs. It would be the only showing of his work during his lifetime.
When he died in 1984, he left behind 2,000 negatives. In the late 1980s, his daughter collaborated with Stanford University to develop and catalogue his photos. The resulting exhibit and accompanying catalogue, “War Bonnets, Tin Lizzies and Patent Leather Pumps: Kiowa Culture in Transition 1925-1955” toured the United States and was the subject of a documentary film.
Today, art historians and critics view Poolaw’s work as equal to many better-known photographers working in the Western frontier in the early 20th Century. His photographs are most often described as documenting the transition from 19th Century traditional ways of life into mainstream Americana.
“One of the things that I would like to refute is this idea of transformation between traditional and modern, as if something historic had died and as they modernized, they became less authentic as Indians,” she said. “Indigenous people survived and they continue to live and thrive. Sure, not everything is the same, but neither is any culture the same as it was in the 19th century.”
His work documents the tribal community as it really lived and evolved, said Smith, as both Native Americans and American citizens, simultaneously assimilating and resisting.
“If we situate his work within the legacy of Kiowa art, then Poolaw maintained ancestral practices of visually documenting Kiowa history,” she said. “If we situate his work within documentary photography, then Poolaw puts a face on the 20th Century Kiowa experience.
And if viewers regard his work simply as portraiture, then, says Smith, Poolaw gives “thoughtful, loving, sometimes comedic and ironic representations of his modern community.”
As weather cleared up in Uttarakhand, Char Dham Yatra restored on Friday with more than 16,000 devotees resuming the pilgrimage from the Rishikesh camp.
According to sources, road leading to Badrinath has been repaired and helicopter service has also resumed.
Meanwhile, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami visited Dungi village and met families of people who were missing after the landslip incident, and consoled them.
Dhami assured them of all possible assistance. Two people from the village are still reported to be missing.
Pilgrims were seen leaving from Rishikesh Char Dham Bus terminal and Haridwar bus station for the pilgrimage since morning.
As per the state government, various departments -- Devasthanam Board, police are assisting the pilgrims.
Police Chowki Yatra Bus Terminal, Rishikesh, was announcing passenger-information via loudspeaker.
Free RT-PCR tests of pilgrims were being conducted at Rishikesh bus terminal.
Uttarakhand Char Dham Devasthanam Management Board's media in-charge Dr Harish Gaur said pilgrimage was on in Kedarnath, Gangotri and Yamunotri, while for Kedarnath, helicopter service was also available.
Though the weather was cold in all dhams, thankfully there was no rain, he added.
Portals of the temple in Badrinath will close on November 20, Gangotri on November 5, while that of Kedarnath and Yamunotri on November 6.
Uttarakhand floods, triggered by a major downpour from October 17 to 19, have claimed 65 lives so far, 3,500 people have been rescued while 16,000 evacuated to safety.
Seventeen teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), seven teams of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF), 15 companies of Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) and 5,000 police personnel have been engaged in rescue and relief operations.
The state has already been provided with Rs 250 crore Disaster Fund which is being used for relief works.
To prevent spread of the diseases, the Central and state governments have decided to send medical teams to the affected areas.
Snapped power lines will be restored at the earliest, the government assured.
The state government said that as soon as alert for heavy rainfall was issued, the Incident Response System was activated at state and district levels, and pilgrims were halted at safer places. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: Uttarakhand, India, Char Dham Yatra, PushkarDhami, Rishikesh.
The Centre has continued the Naga peace talks with the Isak-Muivah faction of National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) leaders, but negotiations face roadblocks as the Naga leaders are adamant in their main demands for a separate Constitution and flag.
The sources aware of these developments said that the Centre was hopeful that a successful solution of the six decades-long peace talks would arrive at a logical conclusion, but in the recent statements, Naga leaders have accused the Centre of offering post-solution options.
Sources quoting the stand of Naga leaders said that NSCN's stand was loud and clear that it would not follow the forbidden route to the Naga solution that was linked to foregoing the Naga national flag and Constitution, which is the face of the Naga political struggle and identity.
The Naga leaders have also said that the Centre has been using divisive policy and flattery in the name of finding the Naga political solution when the matters heated up.
When the Centre resumed the peace process in September this year and sent the former special director of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) A.K. Mishra as the Ministry of Home Affairs' emissary to the rebel outfit's chief negotiator and general secretary T. Muivah, he assured him (Muivah) that the peace talks would be initiated under the original framework signed in 2015, a source in the Naga rebel group said.
"Here we are talking about the Naga national flag and Yehzabo (Constitution), the two issues that are holding up the Naga solution under the ongoing Indo-Naga political talks in Delhi.
"The chequered history of the Indo-Naga political issue is clear enough before us, with accords and agreements that were never meant to be implemented in letter and spirit", an important office-bearer of the rebel outfit said while criticizing the governments' stand.
Accusing the Centre, he further accused the Centre of persuading the Naga people again to accept whatever is being offered to hurry up the Naga talks.
On the invitation of the Centre, the senior leaders of the NSCN-IM including T. Muivah arrived in the national capital on October 6 this year to hold another round of talks with the Centre.
Both, the Centre and the Naga leaders had indicated their keenness on resolving this long pending issue by the end of this year in an amicable manner.
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma, who is also chairman of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), and Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio had been actively involved in the resumption of the peace talks and taking it forward to a logical conclusion.
Soon after the transfer of Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi, who was appointed as the Centre's interlocutor for the Naga peace talks on August 29, 2014, to Tamil Nadu, the peace talks resumed on September 20 in Kohima when the Centre representative met the Naga leaders and invited them to visit Delhi for further rounds of peace talks.
The NSCN-IM and the other outfits entered into a ceasefire agreement with the Government of India in 1997 and over 80 rounds of negotiations with the Centre have been held in the past in successive governments. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: Nagaland, India, Constitution, Politics, Flag.
The series decider for the Test series between England and India will now be played at Edgbaston from July 1 next year, said the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Friday. India is currently leading the series 2-1 before the fifth Test at Old Trafford was cancelled hours before the start due to concerns over COVID-19 outbreak in the tourists' camp.
"The fifth match of the LV= Insurance Test Series between England Men and India Men has been rescheduled and will now take place in July 2022. The match, which was due to take place last month at Emirates Old Trafford, was called off when India were unable to field a team due to fears of a further increase in the number of Covid-19 cases inside the camp," said an ECB statement.
"With India leading the series 2-1, the concluding fifth match will now take place from July 1, 2022, at Edgbaston, following an agreement between the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI)," added the statement.
ECB also said that due to the rescheduled Test, the white-ball series between England and India will now start six days later than originally planned. The T20I series will begin on July 7 at Ageas Bowl with Edgbaston and Trent Bridge hosting the second and third matches respectively on July 9 and 10. It will be followed by the ODI series starting on July 12 at The Oval followed by Lord's and Old Trafford hosting the second and third ODI on July 14 and 17 respectively.
"Ticket holders do not have to take any action as all tickets will remain valid for the equivalent rearranged matchday at their host venue. Host venues will communicate the new fixture details to ticket purchasers and the options available to them, including the timeframe for requesting a refund if they are not able to attend the new match day," further said the statement.
"We are very pleased that we have reached an agreement with BCCI to creating a fitting end to what has been a brilliant series so far. I'm very grateful to all the venues involved for the cooperation they've shown in allowing us to reschedule this match. I'd also like to thank Cricket South Africa for their support and understanding to allow these changes to be possible," said Tom Harrison, the CEO of the ECB.
"We would like to apologise again to fans for the disruption and disappointment of September events. We know it was a day that so many had planned long in advance. We recognise that accommodating this extra match means a tighter schedule for the white ball series. We will continue to manage our players' welfare and workloads through next year while we also continue to seek the optimum schedule for fans, players and our partners across the game."
"I am delighted that the England-India Test series will now have its rightful conclusion. The four Test matches were riveting, and we needed a fitting finale. The BCCI recognizes and respects the traditional form of the game and is also mindful of its role and obligations towards fellow Board Members. In the last two months, both BCCI and the ECB have been engaged in discussions and our efforts were aimed at finding a suitable window. I thank the ECB for their understanding and patience in finding an amicable solution," said BCCI Secretary Jay Shah. (IANS/JB)
Keywords: India, Britain, BCCI, Test Match, Cricket.