Wednesday, July 5, 2017

staking out territory

History is largely written by the winners. When realities are told only in part or from a limited presentation it can skew our history and misdirect what we believe. Later much more time and resources are spent trying to piece together the facts and present them with more balance.

After five years of negotiations, government officials presented this map,
showing the boundary lines between the British colonies and
the country of the Six Nations and the Southern Indians,
to the King of England, in 1768. NATIONAL ARCHIVES UK

This has been made almost impossible with lives lost and inaccuracies perpetuated to "clean up" our past. Improvement can be relative as well. Have we really come so far from those days and what ruled us then? 

Are we as evolved as we believe ourselves to be? When we barely have much connecting each other today, how much more difficult can it be to remember important lessons from our past with accuracy and understanding? 

Watching American Gods
Neil Gaiman's epic tale retold on television for today's audience brings to light many stories of immigration. All over the world when immigrants brought their gods, cultures, and beliefs along with them, how were they when presented with the local gods, cultures, and beliefs? 

Here at wonder | wander | world we pour curiously over histories that drove and motivated invading hordes to leave their beloved homelands for uncharted territory. Only to succeed in finding it and then being so focused on making it theirs that they wipe out whatever previously existed there. 

Such hubris in humanity throughout the ages. Are we more respectful and honoring of "others" and our differences nowadays? 

S. Max Edelson, an associate professor at the University of Virginia, shows in his book  A New Map of Empire, a joint British and Native American survey - an entirely unique effort in the history of American map making.

From the crown’s perspective, the land on both sides of this line still belonged to Britain, but the government officials who led these negotiations believed the effort could limit conflicts between Native American tribes and British colonial settlers by prescribing where each group could live.

We now know how that turned out.

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