mindblowingscience:

When science meets aboriginal oral history


In Inuit oral history, the Tuniit loom both large and small.
They inhabited the Arctic before the Inuit came, and they were a different stock of people — taller and stronger, with the muscularity of polar bears, the stories say. A Tuniit man could lift a 1,000 pound seal on his back, or drag a whole walrus. Others say the Tuniit slept with their legs in the air to drain the blood from their feet and make them lighter, so they could outrun a caribou.
But despite their superior strength and size, the Tuniit were shy. They were “easily put to flight and it was seldom heard that they killed others,” according to one storyteller in the book “Uqalurait: An Oral History of Nunavut.” The Inuit took over the best hunting camps and displaced the conflict-averse Tuniit. Soon enough, these strange people disappeared from the land.
This week, the prestigious journal Science published an unprecedented paleogenomic study that resolves long-held questions about the people of the prehistoric Arctic. By analyzing DNA from 169 ancient human specimens from Canada, Alaska, Siberia, and Greenland, the researchers concluded that a series of Paleo-Eskimo cultures known as the Pre-Dorset and Dorset were actually one population who lived with great success in the eastern Arctic for 4,000 years — until disappearing suddenly a couple generations after the ancestors of the modern Inuit appeared, around 1200 A.D. There is no evidence the two groups interbred.
The Dorset are almost certainly the Tuniit of Inuit oral history.
“The outcome of the genetic analysis is completely in agreement, namely that the Paleo-Eskimos are a different people,” says Eske Willerslev, a co-author of the Science study.
It’s not the first time his genomic research has synchronized neatly with indigenous oral traditions.
In February, when Willerslev and colleagues announced they had sequenced the genome of a 12,500-year-old skeleton found in Montana, the results showed that nearly all South and North American indigenous populations were related to this ancient American. Shane Doyle, a member of the Crow tribe of Montana, said at the time: “This discovery basically confirms what tribes have never really doubted — that we’ve been here since time immemorial, and that all the artifacts and objects in the ground are remnants of our direct ancestors.” The sequenced genome of an Aboriginal from Australia also revealed findings in line with the local communities’ oral histories, Willerslev says.
“Scientists are sitting around and academically discussing different theories about peopling of Americas, and you have all these different views on how many migrations, and who is related to,” he says. “Then when we actually undertake the most sophisticated genetic analysis we can do today, and this is state of the art, genetically — we could have just have listened to them in the first place.”
He was laughing when he said that. But he and many others are serious when they say that scientists need to revaluate the weight they give traditional indigenous knowledge.
“This is a pretty common theme. It’s really surprising that scientists and general commentators don’t appreciate the knowledge collection and transmission of indigenous peoples, given the wealth of knowledge about medicine, physiology, geology, earth sciences, wind patterns, ice fluctuations — the incredible scope of knowledge that indigenous people have and have sustained them in North America for tens of thousands of years,” says Hayden King, director of the Centre for Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University and a member of the Beausoleil First Nation on Georgian Bay.
“It defies logic that this knowledge they’ve generated and transmitted wouldn’t be accurate and helpful in myriad ways.”



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mindblowingscience:

When science meets aboriginal oral history

In Inuit oral history, the Tuniit loom both large and small.

They inhabited the Arctic before the Inuit came, and they were a different stock of people — taller and stronger, with the muscularity of polar bears, the stories say. A Tuniit man could lift a 1,000 pound seal on his back, or drag a whole walrus. Others say the Tuniit slept with their legs in the air to drain the blood from their feet and make them lighter, so they could outrun a caribou.

But despite their superior strength and size, the Tuniit were shy. They were “easily put to flight and it was seldom heard that they killed others,” according to one storyteller in the book “Uqalurait: An Oral History of Nunavut.” The Inuit took over the best hunting camps and displaced the conflict-averse Tuniit. Soon enough, these strange people disappeared from the land.

This week, the prestigious journal Science published an unprecedented paleogenomic study that resolves long-held questions about the people of the prehistoric Arctic. By analyzing DNA from 169 ancient human specimens from Canada, Alaska, Siberia, and Greenland, the researchers concluded that a series of Paleo-Eskimo cultures known as the Pre-Dorset and Dorset were actually one population who lived with great success in the eastern Arctic for 4,000 years — until disappearing suddenly a couple generations after the ancestors of the modern Inuit appeared, around 1200 A.D. There is no evidence the two groups interbred.

The Dorset are almost certainly the Tuniit of Inuit oral history.

“The outcome of the genetic analysis is completely in agreement, namely that the Paleo-Eskimos are a different people,” says Eske Willerslev, a co-author of the Science study.

It’s not the first time his genomic research has synchronized neatly with indigenous oral traditions.

In February, when Willerslev and colleagues announced they had sequenced the genome of a 12,500-year-old skeleton found in Montana, the results showed that nearly all South and North American indigenous populations were related to this ancient American. Shane Doyle, a member of the Crow tribe of Montana, said at the time: “This discovery basically confirms what tribes have never really doubted — that we’ve been here since time immemorial, and that all the artifacts and objects in the ground are remnants of our direct ancestors.” The sequenced genome of an Aboriginal from Australia also revealed findings in line with the local communities’ oral histories, Willerslev says.

“Scientists are sitting around and academically discussing different theories about peopling of Americas, and you have all these different views on how many migrations, and who is related to,” he says. “Then when we actually undertake the most sophisticated genetic analysis we can do today, and this is state of the art, genetically — we could have just have listened to them in the first place.”

He was laughing when he said that. But he and many others are serious when they say that scientists need to revaluate the weight they give traditional indigenous knowledge.

“This is a pretty common theme. It’s really surprising that scientists and general commentators don’t appreciate the knowledge collection and transmission of indigenous peoples, given the wealth of knowledge about medicine, physiology, geology, earth sciences, wind patterns, ice fluctuations — the incredible scope of knowledge that indigenous people have and have sustained them in North America for tens of thousands of years,” says Hayden King, director of the Centre for Indigenous Governance at Ryerson University and a member of the Beausoleil First Nation on Georgian Bay.

“It defies logic that this knowledge they’ve generated and transmitted wouldn’t be accurate and helpful in myriad ways.”

Reblogged from anthrocentric

Whether we work in coal mines or coffee shops, on factory assembly lines or at grocery store conveyer belts, whether we are undocumented, single mothers, or queer, as working class people we are all similarly deprived of the wealth we create. To assign a revolutionary role to the working class does not mean to value miners, construction workers, or factory workers (all very masculine roles) over social groups such as the undocumented or the unemployed (themselves segments of the working class). The working class does not simply exist in relation to the Factory; we exist in relation to our landlords in apartment complexes, in relation to our neighborhoods and our neighbors, and so forth. In short, the working class is immersed in a world far more expansive than their place of work. Working class revolution should never be confused for workplace revolution.
globalvoices:


One of Israel’s most repeated official claim during the latest war in Gaza was that Hamas was using Palestinian civilians as human shields. Now, several independent journalists, human rights organizations and the United Nations are accusing Israel of using Palestinian civilians as human shields.

72% of Palestinians killed in this offensive were civilians, according to the UN. About a third of the wounded children, will be forced to live with permanent disabilities. 1/3 of Gaza’s total population, over 520,000 people, have been displaced of whom 279,389 were taking shelter in 83 UN-run schools.
As Bombs Go Silent, Testimonies Mount That Israeli Soldiers Used Gazans as Human Shields

globalvoices:

One of Israel’s most repeated official claim during the latest war in Gaza was that Hamas was using Palestinian civilians as human shields. Now, several independent journalists, human rights organizations and the United Nations are accusing Israel of using Palestinian civilians as human shields.

72% of Palestinians killed in this offensive were civilians, according to the UNAbout a third of the wounded children, will be forced to live with permanent disabilities. 1/3 of Gaza’s total population, over 520,000 people, have been displaced of whom 279,389 were taking shelter in 83 UN-run schools.

As Bombs Go Silent, Testimonies Mount That Israeli Soldiers Used Gazans as Human Shields

Reblogged from globalvoices

sinidentidades:

The racist immigrants carry disease rhetoric is nothing new. 

Perhaps we need a U.S. history lesson:

Under President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the U.S. forged a program, through a series of agreements with Mexico’s PRI-dominated government, called the Bracero program. This program was used to fill in the gaps in manual labor the U.S. had after the war.

It sounds like a liberal dream: immigrants being given an opportunity to work in the “land of opportunity,” yet it was hardly that. The laborers were forced into horrible working conditions. Many died from exhaustion (often from working in the sun too long) from working in the fields picking food for the U.S. Many also suffered from disease.

The U.S. decided what was best for the issue of disease: a widespread use of a highly toxic livestock pesticide that braceros were often doused in as part of processing into the U.S.

Reblogged from anthrocentric

rhamphotheca:

STORIES I CANT STOP POSTING ABOUT:
If A Fish Grows Up On Land, Will It Learn To Walk?
Flipping your fins actually does get you pretty far.
by Lauren Grush
The old idiom about “being a fish out of water” just lost some of its luster. Researchers from McGill University in Canada successfully trained a group of fish to live on land and strut around.
The idea was to simulate what might have happened 400 million years ago, when the first group of ancient fish moved from water to land, eventually evolving into the amphibians, reptiles, birds and other animals roaming the Earth today. The researchers wanted to see if their land-dwelling fish looked and behaved similarly to the ancient fish, based on what has been learned about them from fossil records.
For their experiment, the research team raised 111 juvenile Polypterus senegalus – African fish also known as the “dinosaur eel” — on land. These fish already look a lot like the ancient fish that evolved millions of years ago, and they’re already capable of “walking” with their fins and breathing air.  According to the Verge, their terrestrial environment had mesh flooring covered in pebbles, as well as 3 millimeters of water, so the fish didn’t dry out completely…
(read more/ watch video: Popular Science)
photo: NATURE

rhamphotheca:

STORIES I CANT STOP POSTING ABOUT:

If A Fish Grows Up On Land, Will It Learn To Walk?

Flipping your fins actually does get you pretty far.

by Lauren Grush

The old idiom about “being a fish out of water” just lost some of its luster. Researchers from McGill University in Canada successfully trained a group of fish to live on land and strut around.

The idea was to simulate what might have happened 400 million years ago, when the first group of ancient fish moved from water to land, eventually evolving into the amphibians, reptiles, birds and other animals roaming the Earth today. The researchers wanted to see if their land-dwelling fish looked and behaved similarly to the ancient fish, based on what has been learned about them from fossil records.

For their experiment, the research team raised 111 juvenile Polypterus senegalus – African fish also known as the “dinosaur eel” — on land. These fish already look a lot like the ancient fish that evolved millions of years ago, and they’re already capable of “walking” with their fins and breathing air.  According to the Verge, their terrestrial environment had mesh flooring covered in pebbles, as well as 3 millimeters of water, so the fish didn’t dry out completely…

(read more/ watch video: Popular Science)

photo: NATURE

Reblogged from ichthyologist