The Invention of Thanksgiving: A ritual ofAmerican nationality. Janet Siskind Critique of Anthropology ; 12; DOI: /X The Invention of ThanksgivingA ritual ofAmerican nationality Janet Siskind Thanksgiving was ‘invented’ in its present form at the end of the 19th century. ByJanet Siskind. Pages DownloadPDF MB. Though traditions are invented and nations imagined, Thanksgiving is a day on which all.
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This holiday has come to take on a great deal of meaning in contemporary society, as fathers and mothers are given one, if not multiple days tbanksgiving from their work schedule, to spend with family and friends as a great feast is often provided, to which everyone expresses what they are thankful for.
The Decolonization of Thanksgiving | Natives In America
While the tradition of Thanksgiving has become a day of much celebration for many people, there are many Native American individuals who live out this particular holiday with a deep feeling of sorrow and frustration. Many of them ijvention gone through the western education systems and have been told to celebrate this day, but throughout their maturation they have also come to understand the deeper histories behind nanet holiday; histories steeped in thqnksgiving genocide of many Native American people.
This past Thanksgiving Break, I was greatly assisted in facilitating a multi-cultural, non-violent protest on the day of Suskind at Arrillaga Dining at Stanford University, in order to bring greater attention to the current systematical oppressions that have been occurring throughout the Americas. One part of the protest was designated to the Ferguson protesters, whose operations center around the overwhelming number of unarmed black people thanksgivinng gunned down by police officers in the U.
As they occupied the lower parts of the stairwell with the sprawled out postures analogous to a murder event, the top platform was where two protesters were stationed to pass out flyers about the colonial and American Victorian histories of how Thanksgiving was associated with Native American oppression and genocide.
Once people had retrieved their food buffet style, On each table was another sisoind that informed people of the 43 Ayotzinapa students that were detained by Mexican government officials, then handed over to the infamous gang Guerreros Unidos, who killed and disposed of them inhumanely. Lastly, there were a significant number of students, some joining in after hearing about the protest, that sat in chairs on the outskirts and facing the buffets with an empty plate to signify that they were tge in remembrance and acknowledgement of all these atrocities that have occurred.
In light of the true histories of Thanksgiving and the holiday taking place during Native American Heritage Month, I would like to ask that Stanford University take the utmost initiative in declaring that the week off be changed tne the calendars to a Week of Remembrance, in reflection of the colonial histories of Native American people and the overwhelming amount of systematic violence that has or may affect members of all community centers on campus every year.
My hope is that a significant change such as this would encourage students to engage in the deeper struggles of humanity that all groups are faced with and that in the time given off, they are encouraged to engage in the betterment of society as they so choose.
Inhe was asked to deliver a speech at the spot in Plymouth where the original Thanksgiving was invfntion to have occurred Oyate Frank agreed to do so, but later refused once he was instructed that he would be reading a prepared speech by a public relations individual instead of his own work.
In his suppressed speech, Frank James talks about how heavy it is to look back at the experiences of his ancestors and a great deal of atrocities that were passed down through oral accounts.
One such experience written down by James goes as th Massasoit, the great Sachem of the Wampanoag knew these facts, yet he and his people welcomed and befriended the settlers of the Plymouth Plantation. Perhaps he did this because his Tribe had been depleted by an epidemic, or his knowledge of the harsh on-coming winter was the reason for his peaceful acceptance of these acts.
This action by Massasoit was probably our greatest mistake…. James retells this account with the strong insightful detail of knowing the name of the Wampanoag tribal leader that had chosen to befriend the pilgrims and a number of unsavory actions the pilgrims had committed that are never mentioned in colonial history books, but have nonetheless been passed down through the oral tradition.
James also acknowledges the vacuum that materialistic society creates as people necessitate making tuanksgiving living over the more liberal approaches of confronting historical injustices. Around the time that Frank James had written this speech, the Wampanoag tribe from Massachusetts that he descended from did not exist in the eyes of the federal government.
Federal recognition has been, in my experience, a sort of chess match that hhe Bureau of Indian Affairs has played with many tribes over ceding land with natural resources, thznksgiving it is the government designating reservation land to particular tribes, or tribes losing their aboriginal territories, and therefore their federal recognition.
Why this list of federally recognized tribes was not created during the initial establishment of the B. Many tribes, like the Wampanoag, had to become recognized, despite many texts on a Thanksgiving feast that clearly acknowledged their tribal existence. This was a concern that was greatly expressed in his speech. A more compounded summary of multiple events of Thanksgiving were written by Janet Siskind, an Anthropologist of Rutgers University.
Siskind mentions how the first victory over the indians was viewed as a sort of divine intervention in a test by God of the Puritans. Siskind also took to analyzing the symbolic significance behind the Thanksgiving turkey, a bird which happens to be indigenous to North America.
The co-occurrence of wild and domesticated birds makes a perfect metaphor for Native Americans. Like the turkey, Indians were either wild or domesticated. One can see how problematic this criteria can be if that individual tribe has lost the continuity of federal recognition within the time periods of and the federal recognition in Indeed, there were a significant number of problems with the FAP Federal Acknowledgement Process that involve no concise definition of what tribal people need the B.
Although not as absent as the years prior that the Wampanoag people had persevered through before being granted recognition, some of the defining histories that the Wampanoag are known by to the Bureau may be influenced by the very popular story of the indians and the pilgrims, thus perpetuating the cycle of the continuance of the story. In my experiences of constructively protesting Thanksgiving at Arrillaga Dining, I noted how seemingly invisible I felt to a number of people inventlon had surely read the flyers handed to them and had experienced the multi-cultural awareness to issues of systematic violence and oppression.
A number of people snapped pictures to save the moment and probably post about it on Facebook.
The Decolonization of Thanksgiving
Some people joined us as I instructed them to various positions. Our greatest opposition to our peaceful protest was the Dining Hall Administration, who felt the thanksviving to call in the police and the fire marshall to determine whether or not students were obstructing entry and exit points, making them a fire hazard to be forcibly removed.
With a laugh, The fire marshall determined that we were not an obstruction of safety and he, along with the police, left immediately.
A safety threat is something that is definitely visible, but the denotation as dangerous beings was not the type of recognition we deserved. We each had a portion to contribute and played crucial roles in the multi-ethnic and racial information that we were attempting to get across, something that would not have been as potent had we been separate, isolated events.
I think that in light of what occurred, our support for each other shows ajnet great deal in understanding and attempting to decolonize oppressive systems.
Pleck explains that the domestic occasion came out of the history of lower class males begging for sustenance from the wealthy and prosperous, and eventually changing historically to private middle class festivities Within the twentieth century, the general occasion lf the emphasis on family gathering for all classes, whether that be close family, non-nuclear family members or friends. Because inventiln industrial revolution gave way to greater emphasis on the work schedule and how much more disciplined siskkind time of the worker would have to be with family, it became more predicated that Thanksgiving be a holiday on a given day.
One of the problems that I can see with the overall invented tradition process is how the fictitious continuity would compete with the historical past accounts and lived experiences.
The fictitious nature of the positive relations between the early settlers and indians during what is arguably the first thanksgiving was not a continuous event into more modern times. Nevertheless, the feast that occurred between the Wampanoag and Pilgrims is perpetuated as the end-all-be-all of interracial relations between settlers and Native America as a whole.
Another crucial piece to this argument is how the past accounts and lived experiences of Native Americans around Thanksgiving are perceived when brought up in contemporary society. Pleck had implied from this that Hale was referring to what symbolizes a model American family; being self-made, yet obedient to the family reunion centered around Thanksgiving. By not participating in this American tradition, I am seen as un-american. By participating in the family homecoming, I am also at a fault of not acknowledging the injustices that occurred to Native people in the creation of the Thanksgiving holiday.
Nevertheless, in order to properly honor the continued existence of Native American people in the U. This action by Massasoit was probably our greatest mistake… James retells this account with the strong insightful detail of knowing the name of the Wampanoag tribal leader that had chosen to befriend the pilgrims and a number of unsavory actions the pilgrims had committed that are never mentioned in colonial history books, but have nonetheless been passed down through the oral tradition.