The city currently known as Cahokia, located in modern-day Illinois next to the Mississippi river (screenshot of territories attached), is something I'd like to celebrate for #IndigenousPeoplesDay.
At its peak, the city had a greater population than London did at the same time, estimated to be around 20,000 people. It was comprised of ~120 manmade mounds of earth across 6 square miles. They had their own Woodhenge structures, and the city was a multicultural hub of the continent.
kind of a downer re: above
I regret that I don't know a lot of facts about the city. Even the name itself is unfortunate; "Cahokia" was the name of a tribe in the vicinity when colonizers came through, which I believe was after the city had already been abandoned. I briefly searched a bit for articles about the city that I could link to, and they're mostly just about how white colonizers have tried to erase the city from history. The important takeaway: this place was HUGE.
white archaeological racism
It is depressingly hard to find factual info about the city that does not use the word "primitive."
@nutt this is all secondhand so i might be mistaken about some stuff here, but:
i had a college course mostly about this city with an indigenous professor, basically the story was it nearly got erased from history because white anthropologists literally couldn't comprehend indigenous peoples being civilized, so they couldn't recognize a city when they found it, and the site was nearly destroyed
anyone who thinks written history isn't literally shaped by oppressive cultural narratives is totally wrong tbh, and from what i recall the reason the city fell wasn't even any aspect of indigenous culture, but disease spread by colonists and potentially some flooding
@nutt this is a pretty alright book about the subject i believe, i remember it directly covering some of the ways white anthropology screws things up (amazon link sorry)
@nutt (last post i promise sorry aaa)
some other neat stuff from my shelf are this one that's an ethnology of western apache peeps so it's a collection of stories exploring their relationship to the land they live/lived on https://www.amazon.com/Wisdom-Sits-Places-Landscape-Language/dp/0826317243/
and here is a really neat historical fiction book by an indigenous author that explores daily life and kinship practices for the dakota/sioux people https://www.amazon.com/Waterlily-Ella-Cara-Deloria/dp/0803219040/
@kat thank you for sharing!
@nutt i'm extremely white myself but my indigenous professor had a really fuckin good reading list and i will absolutely pass their knowledge along
@nutt I've been there! Standing on top of the biggest earthworks and looking out at the Gateway Arch was a really cool weird feeling
Like building huge things has always been how human cultures prove they exist
@DialMforMara it's wonderful, especially at sunset!!
@nutt We've been fascinated by this place for a long time. I really wish more people knew about it.
@nutt I've been there! It was really *windy on top of the mound, but the view was really cool
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