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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.”
The UK government on Thursday announced that it will move India from the red to the amber list on Sunday, in the country's latest update to the 'Red-Amber-Green' traffic light ratings for arrivals into England amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
This means the visit visas for the UK from India are open, in addition to other long-term visas that have remained open. But travellers from India arriving in England can complete a 10-day quarantine at home or in the place they are staying (not mandatorily quarantine in a managed hotel).
The UK government also announced that arrivals from France to England will no longer need to quarantine if they are fully vaccinated. The step aligns France with the rest of the amber list now that the proportion of beta variant cases has fallen, where those who are fully vaccinated with a vaccine authorised and administered in the UK, the US or Europe do not need to quarantine when arriving in England.
This move also simplifies the system to three categories, as well as the green watch list to give travellers notice where green status is at risk.
To continue cautiously reopening international travel, Austria, Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, Latvia, Romania and Norway will be added to the government's green list, having demonstrated they posed a low risk to UK public health.
Besides India, Bahrain, Qatar and the UAE will also be moved from the red to the amber list, as the situation in these countries has improved.
The data for all countries will be kept under review and the government will not hesitate to take action where a country's epidemiological picture changes, a statement by the UK government said.
Following an assessment of the latest data, Georgia, La Reunion, Mayotte and Mexico will be added to the red list as they present a high public health risk to the UK from known variants of concern, known high-risk variants under investigation or as a result of very high in-country or territory prevalence of Covid-19.
Arrivals from Spain and all its islands are advised to use a PCR test as their pre-departure test wherever possible, as a precaution against the increased prevalence of the virus and variants in the country.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: "We are committed to opening up international travel safely, taking advantage of the gains we've made through our successful vaccination programme, helping connect families, friends and businesses around the world.
"While we must continue to be cautious, today's changes reopen a range of different holiday destinations across the globe, which is good news for both the sector and travelling public."
Since February, anyone who arrives in the UK from a red list country has been required by law to book a stay in a managed quarantine facility for 10 days.
In order to ensure taxpayers are not subsidising the costs of staying in these facilities, which have gone up, the cost will increase from August 12. Alternative payment arrangements remain available to those who genuinely cannot afford to pay and rates remain the same for children up to 12.(IANS/HP)
A Hindu temple in Pakistan's Punjab province was reportedly vandalized by hundreds of people after a nine-year-old Hindu boy, who allegedly urinated at a local seminary, received bail, a media report said on Thursday.
According to the Dawn news report, the incident took place on Wednesday in Bhong town, about 60 km from Rahim Yar Khan city.
Besides the vandalization, the mob also blocked the Sukkur-Multan Motorway (M-5), the report added.
Citing sources, Dawn news said that a case was registered against the minor on July 24 based on a complaint filed by a cleric, Hafiz Muhammad Ibrahim, of the Darul Uloom Arabia Taleemul Quran.
The sources said that "some Hindu elders did tender an apology to the seminary administration saying the accused was a minor and mentally challenged".
But, when a lower court granted him bail a few days ago, some people incited the public in the town on Wednesday and got all shops there closed in protest, the report quoted the sources as further saying.
A video clip showing people wielding clubs and rods storming the temple and smashing its glass doors, windows, lights, and damaging the ceiling fans went viral on social media.
In response, one Twitter user said: "Ganesh Temple, village Bhong in Rahim Yar Khan, Punjab has been ravaged. Another day, another attack on Hindus in Pakistan."
Another said: "Yesterday, the mob ran amok at Temple over minor boy issue who allegedly urinated, the boy said to be mentally handicapped. Hindu community made an apology for the boy — a case registered against the nine-year-old boy. Those vandalized temples, no FIR registered against them."
District police spokesman Ahmed Nawaz Cheema said Rangers had been deployed in the troubled area and the situation was under control.
A small town close to the River Indus and Sindh-Punjab border, Bhong houses a number of gold traders who originally hail from Ghotki and Dehrki (Sindh), according to the Dawn news report.
A ruling PTI member representing the minority said he had been in touch with the local Hindu community and influential Rais family of Bhong since the issue surfaced.
OṀ KALMASHARAHITABHŨMYAI NAMAH:
OṀ (AUM) -KAL-MA-SHA-RA-HI-TA-BHOO-MYAI— NA-MA-HA
ॐ कल्मषरहितभूम्यै नमः
(Kalmasham: Tainted, blemish, dirty, sinful, wicked, foul, dosha, opprobrium, stigma; Rahita: Absent, devoid of)
Kalmasham is the opposite of purity; it means impure, contaminated and defective. The word is used in several senses such as: defective, fault, sin, dosham, tainted, vice, crime, disrespect, abuse, evil and contamination. However, it is also used in a technical sense in certain fields of knowledge. In Vedic literature we see words like pavitram, and pavitrata in the opposite sense of kalmasham. We, as Hindus, see everything as pure and equitable with God in an implied meaning that every atom at the microscopic level is part of the Supreme Power (Bhagavān). Having this knowledge and understanding, Hindus see the presence of God in living as well as non-living objects and have a pavitra meaning- kalmasharahita bandham.
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In Vedas and Purāṇās, Lord Shri Ramachandra Murty is portrayed without any defects and His marriage with Sīta was described as kalmasharahitam. He was glorified as the one who strictly observed the 'ekapatnī vratam' meaning-'one wife as a life partner'. Even when Sīta was abducted by the demon- Rāvaṇa and he kept her in his palace for a year, Rama did not look at another woman. The same credit goes to His consort and wife Sīta, who came out of Agni (pyre of fire) as a shining diamond proving her chastity and kalmasharahitam to the world. Our sacred literature is full of these incidents. Our dharmaśhāstrās explain that what is kalmasham is that which brings defection to one's purity. They advise purity in our thought, speech and actions.
God Ram and Goddess SitaGetty Pictures
There are many relationships we have as an individual. Some are pure and kalmasharahitam, as opposed to other relationships, like extramarital affairs. The relationship between husband and wife; brother and sister; father and daughter; parents and children; between siblings; teacher and student; among friends; and last but not least, between a devotee and his desired, beloved and personal god are considered kalmasharahitam.
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As a country, we have never waged war against another country with the intention of occupancy and robbing their wealth, or to convert them to our religion. We do not have that kalmasham on our hands or in our hearts.
Our land is 'Kalmasharahita Bhūmi'.