Monday, July 16, 2007

Blood Memory

1. At the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways in the Saginaw Chippewa Nation, there's an explanation of "blood memory:"

Blood memory is described as our ancestral (genetic) connection to our language, songs, spirituality, and teachings. It is the good feeling that we experience when we are near these things. Blood memory has been crucial to the survival of our culture.

This reminds me of concepts like collective memory and the collective unconscious. There seems to be truth in the ideas. At least to a degree, they make sense. Where it gets eerie is when one throws in trace memories of ancestors, or recaptured memories from past lives.

2. DNA tests are now available to trace one's lineage. I'm sure we have much more variety in our blood than that derived from names listed in official family trees. In any case, what exactly constitutes "race?" Culture, blood, laws -- or perception?

I flipped through this and want to order a copy: Black Panther: The Revolutionary Art of Emory Douglas (2007). Very interesting.

3. I like the idea of radical chic. Not the original sarcastic version put forth in Tom Wolfe's 1970 sendup of incongruous fundraisers for the Black Panthers, but cool urban clothing and the look.

I still remember vividly my father first telling me about All in the Family, an episode in which Edith Bunker donates money to the Black Panthers, thinking they're an endangered species.

Happy birthday to Ana Paula Arusio of Brazil. Radical chic, indeed.

Today's Rune: Flow.

Birthdays: Saint Clare of Assisi (b. Chiara Offreduccio), Joshua Reynolds, Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, Mary Baker Edy, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Charles Sheeler, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Orville Redenbacher, Ginger Rogers, Anita Brookner, Guy Beart, Desmond Dekker (Dacres), Assata Shakur (b. Joanne Deborah Byron Chesimard), Alexandra Marinina, Phoebe Cates, Larry Sanger, Ana Paula Arusio, Jayma Mays.



JR's Thumbprints said...

It's been said that the growths in my mouth can be attributed to the Inuit tribe's steady diet of fish. Believe it or not, I don't each much fish, nor do I have any repressed memories of living in an igloo. Perhaps over time, the growths have become hereditary, passed down through DNA.

the walking man said...

I don't know how many generations removed from Celtic lands I am but I do know that I call Celt music "soul music for an Irishman." Same with mountain music (blugrass)which has it's roots in music brought over by the immigrants from those places. Blood memory is why I don't hear bagpipes and think of squalling cats I suppose.

Charles Gramlich said...

I think Blood memory is identical to the collective unconscious, although not so well expressed. I think it's really just a fancy way of saying that certain reactions are coded into our genetics because they helped our ancestors survive.

I enjoyed "ultraviolet" btw.