deducecanoe:

maarnayeri:

Iraqi student Zeidoun Alkinani protesting the posession of ancient Iraqi artifacts by Germans at the Babylonian Ishtar Gate in the Pergamon Museum of Berlin.
Prior to World War I, German archaeologists excavated large numbers of ancient artifacts across what is today Iraq and shipped them to Germany as part of a larger phenomenon of cultural pillage by European archaeologists across the Middle East that continued for decades.
In 2002, Iraqi officials asked for the return of the Gate, to no avail. A year later, the U.S. invaded the country.
via The Ajam Media Collective

Nodding. I really do wish western museums would own up to how they got their shit and give it back, make some fair or temporary trade (give us this for x years and we will give you y western art/architecture on loan too), buy it, or do replicas.
Western museums did not come across most of their collections honestly, even if it was acquired hundreds of years ago and I wish white people would own that shit. Work with world museums to rotate and share, work to give back stolen property and make reparations, instead of playing finders keepers.

PREACH
This is a HUGE ongoing problem and it’s a massive load of colonialist, imperialist bullshit. All it is is greed and ignorance, pure and simple.
If more people protested, more would be done about it.

deducecanoe:

maarnayeri:

Iraqi student Zeidoun Alkinani protesting the posession of ancient Iraqi artifacts by Germans at the Babylonian Ishtar Gate in the Pergamon Museum of Berlin.

Prior to World War I, German archaeologists excavated large numbers of ancient artifacts across what is today Iraq and shipped them to Germany as part of a larger phenomenon of cultural pillage by European archaeologists across the Middle East that continued for decades.

In 2002, Iraqi officials asked for the return of the Gate, to no avail. A year later, the U.S. invaded the country.

via The Ajam Media Collective

Nodding. I really do wish western museums would own up to how they got their shit and give it back, make some fair or temporary trade (give us this for x years and we will give you y western art/architecture on loan too), buy it, or do replicas.

Western museums did not come across most of their collections honestly, even if it was acquired hundreds of years ago and I wish white people would own that shit. Work with world museums to rotate and share, work to give back stolen property and make reparations, instead of playing finders keepers.

PREACH

This is a HUGE ongoing problem and it’s a massive load of colonialist, imperialist bullshit. All it is is greed and ignorance, pure and simple.

If more people protested, more would be done about it.

6 hours ago on April 22nd, 2014 | J | 4,987 notes
I read your little post about Brave and "PoC" in Scotland and had to chuckle a little bit at the irony of your blog description. "Because you wouldn't want to be historically inaccurate." Well that's exactly what you were. There we tiny, if no "PoC" in Scotland throughout our history. Some came with the Romans, certainly. But the Romans spent no great deal of time in Scotland. The assertion that Kenneth the 3rd was black is ridiculous. Don't rewrite history for your own gains, shame on you.


medievalpoc:

onewaywardlady:

medievalpoc:

The only thing I’m really ashamed of is how lazy 85% of my critics are. “You’re wrong because I said so” takes considerably less effort than scratching a sweaty crotch in snug trousers. I really do appreciate a well-thought out challenge to any assertions I make here, but this has the same amount of nuance as a toddler throwing a toy and screaming “no!”

History is being constantly rewritten, and providing an accessible source for this evolving knowledge on a free blogging platform is hardly “for my own gains”. Unless you count becoming popular online, in which case I absolutely promise you there are about 100 much less tiresome, thankless, and easier ways to do so.

That response is on point. And the question illustrates pretty well what it’s like to have the privilege of “History” (capital letter, scare quotes necessary) on your side. Who needs to source anything when EVERYONE KNOWS you’re right. Except you’re not—as all the sources gathered by @medievalpoc demonstrate. Except the whole discipline of history is based on a constant revaluation of sources and narratives constructed by people who have their own agendas, prejudices, and biases. (People that until very recently were almost exclusively (and are still mostly) straight white men.)

Speaking as a historian well acquainted with the ivory tower, our knowledge of the past is never objective. It’s more about us than it is about anyone who came before. And it always has been.

Bolded because that’s something I’m trying to point out more or less constantly-I’m expected to actually construct a perfectly cited/sourced argument against….literally nothing.

I’m supposed to “prove” a cultural bias wrong. Demonstrating that that is impossible as well as the reasons for that expectation is part of my purpose here, too.

1 day ago on April 21st, 2014 | J | 1,030 notes
I just stumbled across this blog so sorry if this is a dumb question, but do you have any American history videos? Your videos are both informative and interesting, and they might even help me review for the AP test in May.

Anonymous

Welcome!

I’m not sure…? I’ve filmed a LOT of videos over the last two years. Many of them never make it to youtube for whatever reason. I can’t recall off the top of my head just now.

I DO have a nifty and extensive tagging system on place on my blog, however! So try clicking this link and looking through the tag. Maybe that’ll help you. Good luck! Let me know if there’s more I can do.

2 days ago on April 20th, 2014 | J | 1 note
wifwolf:

blackandwtf:

1890
This is the first known photograph ever taken of a surfer. Surfing was banned in Hawaii by missionaries in the 1700s for its “ungodliness,” but fortunately the natives didn’t pay much heed to that decree.

And this is an example of why it is offensive to appropriate Hawaiian culture. I’m not talking about surfing, I’m talking about the caption. This is why it isn’t okay for non-Hawaiians to have luaus, wear grass skirts and leis, have tiki bars, and get hula dancer tattoos. Hawaiians were essentially banned from their own culture. The things you appropriate were things the Hawaiians were told were sins. My ancestors were told they were going to hell for their religion. The missionaries didn’t just bring protestantism to the islands, they also brought suicide. People felt so guilty about how they lived that they killed themselves.The things Hawaiians were made to feel ashamed of, the things they had to atone for are now thought of as “kitsch” and “exotic” by non-natives.
This excerpt from a zine is quite fitting (even though it is about Native Americans, it applies here too): “Spiritual practices of Native peoples are particularly prone to appropriation by the dominant culture. It is exceptionally ironic, given that a!er colonization, it was not until the passage of the 1978 American Indian Religious Freedom Act that Native people in the United States were legally permitted to practice their traditional spirituality. Since the colonization of this continent by white settlers, Native people have faced monumental obstacles to the free exercise of their spiritual practices, including boarding schools, forced relocation, endless broken treaties, “kill the Indian, save the man” policies, and forced assimilation. So it is particularly insensitive for white people to attempt to justify their/our use of Native spiritual practices when Native people themselves have often been brutally persecuted for the same.”-Cultural Appreciation or Cultural appropriationBut anyway, this photo rules.

wifwolf:

blackandwtf:

1890

This is the first known photograph ever taken of a surfer. Surfing was banned in Hawaii by missionaries in the 1700s for its “ungodliness,” but fortunately the natives didn’t pay much heed to that decree.

And this is an example of why it is offensive to appropriate Hawaiian culture. I’m not talking about surfing, I’m talking about the caption. This is why it isn’t okay for non-Hawaiians to have luaus, wear grass skirts and leis, have tiki bars, and get hula dancer tattoos.

Hawaiians were essentially banned from their own culture. The things you appropriate were things the Hawaiians were told were sins. My ancestors were told they were going to hell for their religion. The missionaries didn’t just bring protestantism to the islands, they also brought suicide. People felt so guilty about how they lived that they killed themselves.

The things Hawaiians were made to feel ashamed of, the things they had to atone for are now thought of as “kitsch” and “exotic” by non-natives.


This excerpt from a zine is quite fitting (even though it is about Native Americans, it applies here too): “Spiritual practices of Native peoples are particularly prone to appropriation by the dominant culture. It is exceptionally ironic, given that a!er colonization, it was not until the passage of the 1978 American Indian Religious Freedom Act that Native people in the United States were legally permitted to practice their traditional spirituality. Since the colonization of this continent by white settlers, Native people have faced monumental obstacles to the free exercise of their spiritual practices, including boarding schools, forced relocation, endless broken treaties, “kill the Indian, save the man” policies, and forced assimilation. So it is particularly insensitive for white people to attempt to justify their/our use of Native spiritual practices when Native people themselves have often been brutally persecuted for the same.”-Cultural Appreciation or Cultural appropriation

But anyway, this photo rules.

2 days ago on April 20th, 2014 | J | 16,320 notes
recreationalcannibalism:

wtfhistory:

Researching for a history paper.
Oh it’s gonna’ be a long night.

“Farewell my Concubine: Gender Roles and Ideal Femininity in Traditional Chinese Opera”
These are my Saturday night plans.
Lord help me.

Follow up on my hot date with JSTOR:
When you have to submit to “lolmythesis” to blow off steam, you know it’s bad.
(“The Beijing Opera set up a lot of really unattainable ideals of femininity and it dicked everybody over and that’s why everyone is sad.”)

recreationalcannibalism:

wtfhistory:

Researching for a history paper.

Oh it’s gonna’ be a long night.

Farewell my ConcubineGender Roles and Ideal Femininity in Traditional Chinese Opera”

These are my Saturday night plans.

Lord help me.

Follow up on my hot date with JSTOR:

When you have to submit to “lolmythesis” to blow off steam, you know it’s bad.

(“The Beijing Opera set up a lot of really unattainable ideals of femininity and it dicked everybody over and that’s why everyone is sad.”)

3 days ago on April 20th, 2014 | J | 63 notes
Researching for a history paper.
Oh it’s gonna’ be a long night.

Researching for a history paper.

Oh it’s gonna’ be a long night.

3 days ago on April 19th, 2014 | J | 63 notes
thesanityclause:

barefootdramaturg:

laughterkey:

cumaeansibyl:

this is legit btw
I mean, there were folkloric heroes like Robin Hood before the Scarlet Pimpernel, but they didn’t really do the secret identity — people might not have known Robin Hood’s real identity but he wasn’t out living a double life and his costume was just what he and his buds wore in the forest, whereas the Pimpernel was actually doing the exact same thing as Bruce Wayne (pampered aristocrat by day, avenging hero by night)
also I wanna point out that the Scarlet Pimpernel was actually the leader of a league of twenty people also living double lives — Baroness Orczy also invented the first superhero team

Also The Scarlet Pimpernel is goddamned amazing and if you’ve never read it you’re missing out.

Reblogging again due to Sir Percy Blakeney, Baronet.

*throws hands up in the air* I LOVED THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL SERIES WHEN I WAS A TEEN! They were all so incredible. HE EVEN HAD AN ARCH NEMESIS YOU GUYS. 

But those fake geek girls, amirite?

thesanityclause:

barefootdramaturg:

laughterkey:

cumaeansibyl:

this is legit btw

I mean, there were folkloric heroes like Robin Hood before the Scarlet Pimpernel, but they didn’t really do the secret identity — people might not have known Robin Hood’s real identity but he wasn’t out living a double life and his costume was just what he and his buds wore in the forest, whereas the Pimpernel was actually doing the exact same thing as Bruce Wayne (pampered aristocrat by day, avenging hero by night)

also I wanna point out that the Scarlet Pimpernel was actually the leader of a league of twenty people also living double lives — Baroness Orczy also invented the first superhero team

Also The Scarlet Pimpernel is goddamned amazing and if you’ve never read it you’re missing out.

Reblogging again due to Sir Percy Blakeney, Baronet.

*throws hands up in the air* I LOVED THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL SERIES WHEN I WAS A TEEN! They were all so incredible. HE EVEN HAD AN ARCH NEMESIS YOU GUYS. 

But those fake geek girls, amirite?

3 days ago on April 19th, 2014 | J | 27,749 notes
plays

I’m almost died from happiness when I was in Blarney Castle. It was an amazing experience. So let’s look at the history of castles!

If you enjoy what Grendel does and want to encourage her to keep doing it, make sure to like, follow, and reblog us at wtfhistory.tumblr.com

Like and subscribe to youtube.com/wtfhistorical

And like us as facebook.com/wtfhistorical

And send us questions, comments, and messages on all three! Thanks for watching.

3 days ago on April 19th, 2014 | J | 29 notes
centuriespast:


The Whore of Babylon; riding the seven-headed beast; at left a monk and a king adoring her. Illustration to an unidentified New Testament edition. c.1523 Woodcut
.Print made by Georg Lemberger 
The British Museum


/Boss Ass Bitch starts playing in the distance

centuriespast:

The Whore of Babylon; riding the seven-headed beast; at left a monk and a king adoring her. Illustration to an unidentified New Testament edition. c.1523 Woodcut

.Print made by Georg Lemberger 

The British Museum

/Boss Ass Bitch starts playing in the distance

4 days ago on April 18th, 2014 | J | 417 notes

sideboobed:

seduce your man by whispering the names of historically important american men into his ear. guaranteed to work 100%

WTFsextip: If you want to step this up to the next level, murmur historically important french men’s names. After all, French is the language of love.

5 days ago on April 17th, 2014 | J | 38 notes

The African Context of Hair in Ancient Egypt

medievalpoc:

afro-textured-art:

In February, #blackinasia wrote an essay, “Ancient Egyptian “Blackness” in the Graeco-Roman Imagination”, based on the ancient Egyptian race “controversy”, a long held debate that takes root from anti-black racism (Martin 300-306), that rejects any possibility of seeing ancient Egypt within an African context. This “controversy” has led ancient Egypt to be grouped under a near Eastern context, a European context in popular culture or a group of its own, entirely separate from the rest of African cultures (Martin 296). However, what usually goes largely ignored is the Afrocentric elements ancient Egyptians used in portraying themselves.

image

[image description: A model of a funerary boat from a tomb at Beni Hasan. 11th-12th Dynasty with figurines wearing Afro-like styles]

In #blackinasia’s essay on “blackness” in ancient Egyptian, he explains that the ancient Egyptians would more likely see themselves more as an African people than anything else through their cultural, linguistic, and biological background. #blackinasia starts off with explaining their ancestral homeland, the Land of Punt, which is located in modern-day Ethiopia and Eritrea. He then goes on to the biological similarities between the ancient Egyptians and Nubians (who are accepted as black Africans). Then onto how in ancient Egyptian art, Egyptians are depicted in brown and black hues. He later ends the essay with what is considered “blackness” through Graeco-Roman perceptions, listing more examples where Greek scholars imagined Egyptians within an African context.

image

[image description: a map of the continent of African with Egypt highlighted and label revealing it’s location]

I first would like to paraphrase Eglash and Odumosu (102) when I say that Africa does not have a homogenous culture in anyway, that is not to say that there a singular African identity, so instead I use the term “African context”. When I speak about an “African hair culture” it is to simplify a complex phenomena describing a family resemblance across multiple cultural streams.

As #blackinsasia mentions there are some cultural roots of ancient Egypt that better portrays them as an African people than ancient near eastern or European people. I believe there are actually multiple examples of how this is culturally true. However, for the sake of the theme for this blog, in this essay I argue that through close examination of the history of hair and hairstyles in ancient Egypt a pattern of similarities can be seen with African cultures and in fact that such cultural hair practices can only be indigenous to an African context. 

image

[image description: a side-by-side comparison between a Himba child and Ramesses II as a child to show a cultural resemblance in which it is quite common for various African peoples to shave their infants’ head, sometimes leaving a tuft of hair. (Seiber and Herreman 56).]

The Hair Texture of Ancient Egyptians

image

[image description: an artistic depiction of Herodotus, known as the “father of history and travel writing.” Photo via The Telegraph)

The ancient Greek historian, Herodotus, describes the hair of the ancient Egyptians as woolly using the term (οὐλότριχες), ulotrichous which means woolly or crisp hair. The root word, οὐλό, also has been used by Greeks to also describe the hair of Ethiopians, or black Africans (Snowden 6). There is also Cleopatra’s attendant, Iras, who is described as being dark-skinned with woolly hair (Snowden 15).

image

[image description: A Fresco Scene of two grape farmers, two of which had thread-like lines for hair which possibly represents straight hair and the figure to the far right seems to be wearing afro-textured hair.]

Though enough mummies have been discovered to infer that some ancient Egyptians had straight hair, this piece of fact is usually used as an end-all debate by anti-black racists that deem it impossible for ancient Egyptians to be seen in an African context. What usually happens is that anti-black racists show that Egyptian mummies had straight hair and that supposedly that proves ancient Egyptians were closer to Arabs, Europeans, or any other people other than Africans. However, many of these denialists fail to explain why straight hair is apparently lacking in ancient Egyptian hairstyles. In fact, if we examine the history of ancient Egypt a trend of the indigenous people being woolly-haired becomes more evident especially in the Predynastic periods.

image

[image description: A scene from the Narmer Palette from the Naqada III period of two afro-haired men.]

Throughout ancient Egyptian history, including the Predynastic periods, there have been sufficient discoveries of combs with long teeth resembling African combs, suited for combing through and detangling coarse hair.

image

[image description: Ivory combs and hair pins from the Naqada period before the rise of Pharaohonic Egypt.]

There have even been a discovery of a toupee being made out of sheep’s or goat’s wool (Tassie 1066).

With the examples given through literary and art representations, and the use of particular materials and tools such as wool wigs and “Afro-combs”, it is safe to assume that the ancient Egyptians did have a consistent history of having “woolly”, or οὐλό type of hair. Although some ancient Egyptians did indeed seem to had straight hair, the absence of straight hair in the majority of art seem to suggest it was either not standard and/or did not fit within ideal image of their culture. 

The Dominant Culture of Hair in Ancient Egypt

“There are five main operations that can be performed on hair:

It can be curled or left curly;

It can be straightened or left straight;

It can be plaited, twisted, or teased;

Hair can be added; and

Hair can be taken away.” (Tassie 1064)

Although there have been Egyptians with straight hair, we normally don’t see any incorporation of leaving the hair straight in their various hairstyles especially among the upper class.This tells us the kind of dominant culture present within ancient Egypt society that led to a suppression toward otherness, such as balding (not the same as baldness), any hair color that wasn’t black, and as I argue in this paper, straight hair as well. (Tassie 1063).

According to the Dictionary of Sociology, dominant culture can be defined as the established cultural traits that would be considered as the norm for a society as a whole. Regarding to hair, the ancient Egyptians would usually either curl (even tightly), twist, and plait their hair, or hair pieces.

image

[image description: (from left to right) lady Istemkhebs’ short curly wig , duplex wig, Ahmose-Hentempet’s short curly wig. Located in the Cairo Musuem]

These alterations to the hair actually bear more resemblance to afro-textured hair and aesthetics found in African cultures. We can even see many of these similar alterations and styles in modern-day black Africans (the well ignored) that inhabit Northeast Africa, such the Afar people.

image

[image description: Ancient Egyptian depiction of Nubians wearing traditional hairstyles of status, bringing tribute on the tomb of Huy. Note the Nubian servant with straight-ish hair]

It cannot be left unsaid that ancient Egyptians also enjoyed other styling methods that other Africans did to their hair, such as tinting and particular braiding pattern even to the point of emulating Nubian hairstyles, as stated above the two are closely related biologically.

theancientworld:    Canopic Jar Lid, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, late reign of Akhenaten, ca. 1340–1336 B.C.Egyptian; From KV55, Valley of the Kings, western ThebesEgyptian alabaster with glass and stone inlays     Egyptian wigs are always something I’ve found fascinating.  This is a really lovely representation of one in a pretty stunning medium!  ALABASTER!

[image description: Canopic Jar Lid in the Shape of a Royal Woman’s Head wearing a hairstyle much similar to Nubians]

I like to further my point on the dominant culture of hair in ancient Egypt. During wig constructions, the type of hair they used for the wigs in every case was straight hair rather than afro-textured hair except that of Maiherpri’s (Fletcher 495). The hair would be gathered from either the wearers’ own heads, foreign captives, or from trading(Tassie 1066). However, the use and handling of straight hair did not prompt ancient Egyptians to seek out Eurocentric aesthetics, but rather they consistently altered the texture to appear more like Afro-textured hair or other African styles.

Acknowledgements

I would like to thank medievalpoc and lannaluv for reviewing this essay.

Further Reading

Curating Kemet: Fear of a Black Land? by Sally-Ann Ashton 

Egyptian hair combs in the Fitzwilliam Museum by Sally-Ann Ashton

Hair and the Construction of Identity in Ancient Egypt by Gay Robins

Bibliography

#Blackinasia. “Ancient Egyptian ‘Blackness’ in the Graeco-Roman Imagination”. Tumblr. 18 Feb. 2014. Web. 24 Feb. 2014

Bridge, Sarah. “The Ethiopian Tribes Who Use BUTTER to Style Their Hair: Incredible Photos Reveal the Elaborate Curled Creations of the Afar People, and the Hamer Who Mix Ghee with Red Ochre to Spectacular Effect.” Mail Online. Associated Newspapers, 13 Feb. 2014. Web. 24 Feb. 2014.

"Dominant Culture." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 22 Jan. 2014. Web. 24 Feb. 2014.

Eglash R. and Odumosu T. “Fractals, Complexity, and Connectivity in Africa.” What Mathematics from Africa? ed. G. Sica. Italy: Polimetrica International Scientific Publisher, 2005. 101-109. PDF File.

Fletcher, Joann. “Hair.” Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology. By Ian Shaw. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2000. 495-96. Print.

"GEICO Ancient Pyramids Were A Mistake Commercial." MarketMeNot. n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2014.

GORDON MARSHALL. “dominant culture.” A Dictionary of Sociology. 1998. Encyclopedia.com. 24 Feb. 2014 

knowledgeequalsblackpower.”Maiherpri, Buried at Thebes, Valley of the Kings, New Kingdom 18th Dynasty, 1427-1392 BC” Tumblr. 10 Jan. 2012. Web. 24 Feb. 2014.

Martin, F. “The Egyptian Ethnicity Controversy and the Sociology of Knowledge”.Journal of Black Studies 14.3 (1984) 296+300-306. Print.

Seiber R. and Herreman F. “Hair in African Art and Culture”. African Arts33.3. 2000. 54-69+96. PDF File. 

Snowden, Frank M. Blacks in Antiquity; Ethiopians in the Greco-Roman Experience. Cambridge, MA: Belknap of Harvard UP, 1970. Print.

Tassie, G. J. “Hair in Egypt.”, “Hair in Egypt: People and Technology Used in Creating Egyptian Hairstyles and Wigs”,”Hairstyling Technology and Techniques Used in Ancient Egypt”. Encyclopaedia of the History of Science, Technology, and Medicine in Non-western Cultures: With 107 Tables. ed. Helaine Selin. Berlin: Springer, 2008. 1060-1076. Print.

TRUTHTEACHER2007. Ancient Egyptian Afro Wigs. Youtube. 22 Apr. 2010. Web. 24 Feb. 2014.

The research here is amazing.

This is awesome.

6 days ago on April 16th, 2014 | J | 2,504 notes

fuckyeah-nerdery:

radicalrascality:

ambr0secadwell:

thegardenofecru:

iamthebatfan:

carlboygenius:

Slang: Victorian English

Source: http://www.buzzfeed.com/lukelewis/surprising-victorian-slang-terms

Crinkum-crankum.

TALLYWAGS

I get the feeling the Victorians would have been fans of “frickle-frackle”

I was gonna make a Thot joke but im ready for that word to be dead and gone, dead and gone.  

Ay girl, let me see your crinkum-crankum.

1 week ago on April 15th, 2014 | J | 60,322 notes

partybarackisinthehousetonight:

uh yeah i’m a pretty big history buff *picks up rock* this has probably been here for a long time. *touches ground* old people once stood on this ground. maybe even dinosaurs

1 week ago on April 14th, 2014 | J | 36,489 notes
If there is a God, He will have to beg my forgiveness.
-

A phrase that was carved on the walls of a concentration camp cell during WWII by a Jewish prisoner.  (via ieula)

I looked this up and it’s legit, though it’s not 100% certain that the person who wrote it was Jewish. The linked documentary is also a reminder of how unthinkably horrible the places like Mauthausen really were.

http://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/18913/did-a-jewish-prisoner-write-this-quote-about-god-and-forgiveness

(via archaeo-geek)

1 week ago on April 13th, 2014 | J | 38,095 notes
About your nose ring rant: 4 for you Grendel, you go Grendel :D


Thanks, lovie!

1 week ago on April 13th, 2014 | J | 8 notes
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WTFhistory
Welcome to WTFhistory. My name is Grendel and I'll be your host for a few meandering hours of historical knowledge intake. Enjoy your stay, and remember:

Those who do not learn from history are doomed to flunk their finals.
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