How Is It I Became Irish-Huhnunah:

2015 08 21_3000I wrote about Denali the other day. That is the name that has been given to a  mountain peak because the people who lived near it before it became part of the United States used to call it that.  It had been named after a person who was a newcomer to the land. Those who decide on naming places believed that was wrong. They changed the name of the mountain peak back to that the original people used. The highest mountain peak in North America which used to be known as Mount McKinley is no longer known as that.

In this land the newcomers call the United States of America there are many places that had original names given to them by the original folk. The newcomers changed those names. Are we going to be consistent and start using the original names given to places by the original people? Will people now go on their honeymoon to Onguiaahra the name given to Niagara Falls by the original people? 

I suppose if the newcomers are changing names we should start with the most fundamental one. What is the name by which newcomers should refer to the original people of this land. Obviously it is not right to call them Indians a name erroneously applied to them by Columbus who thought he landed in India.

That name became cemented onto them because the newcomers started to identify their wars fought using that name. Before 1776 newcomers had the French-Indian war. They also had the King Phillip’s war. (King Phillip was the name Metacomet the second son of the Sachem Massasoit and chief of the Wampanoags called himself.) That is often referred to as the First Indian War.

After that the newcomers started their own country they called America.They had wars they called the Indian Wars between the U.S. army and the original people. The newcomers would set up a Bureau of Indian Affairs that still exists under that name to this day. They needed that bureau because they believe the original people are savages who can not manage their own affairs.

The newcomers drove them off their lands and corralled them into concentrated areas like concentration camps. They called them reservations. That term came from the dealings the newcomers had with the original people. After defeating them they would demand the land they roamed over be signed over to the newcomers.

The original folk had no choice. Sometimes they were able to convince the newcomers to let them have a little bit of their formerly owned land to live on. The eventual agreement would “reserve” to them a part of their original land. Eventually the newcomers would push them off the reserved land.

Those evicted would then be put on land the newcomers had confiscated. Some had no connection with the land on which these new reservations stood. The original people do not own these lands. These are still held by the U.S. government in trust for them. The newcomers put themselves in charge of the original people’s affairs.

By the way a well-known term came from the newcomers actions where they let the originals have the land but then took it back. The term got twisted so that it would look like the originals were the ones not quite on the level. The term that came about was “Indian giver.”

The newcomers would call themselves Americans. That was the name given to the land by Europeans around 1500 AD. The original people called the land on which they lived by various names depending on the tribe they belonged to. None called it America. If pressed to give the United States of America its original name they would agree it is Hahnunah which is the name of the mythical turtle upon which North America was built.

The original people like Dinali were never consulted on what they would like to be called. Today the are unable to agree among themselves as to a proper name: Indian, Native American, American Indian, First People, Indigenous, Native, Diné/Navajo. (“Diné” meaning “The People” or “Children of the Holy People”.) The name Indian and the association with the name America seem wrong. I think it best to call them the original people.

I once call them Indians. There was nothing derogatory that use of the name. I had my “Indian summer” which was a nice relief before I entered back into the chill of fall. I had “Indian pudding” which was delicious at Durgin Park back in the old days. I even had “Indian apples” which was the name we gave to pomegranates. I was both a giver and receiver of the “Indian burn.” 

It will be sad to let them go. I will now have to get with it. When I identify myself as to my ethnicity from now on I’ll say I’m an Irish-Huhnunah.



  1. Matt
    are you talking about tribes of WASPS?


    see the new book The Plot to Kill King

    For one bright moment back in the late 1960s, we actually believed that we could change our country. We had identified the enemy. We saw it up close, we had its measure, and we were very hopeful that we would prevail. The enemy was hollow where we had substance. All of that substance was destroyed by an assassin’s bullet. – William Pepper (page 15, The Plot to Kill King)

  2. Henry:

    Gobineau is your man. Embrace him.

    Gobineau wrote that whites were the best and greatest of the three races as whites and whites alone were the only ones capable of intelligent thought, were the physically the most beautiful and were the only ones capable of creating beauty.[16] Gobineau wrote that “The white race originally possessed the monopoly of beauty, intelligence and strength” and that whatever of the positive qualities the Asians and blacks possessed was due to subsequent miscegenation.[

    • whoa, there, hold on just a minute, Khalid

      There is not a single thing in Henry Barth’s initial posts about racial superiority.

      In responding to accusations of some sort, Henry Barth provided some historical material.

      I think Matt also provided some historical material about Indian legends and mythology.

      All of which, initial and responsive on the part of Henry Barth, is informative and interesting, but not indicative on his part of advocacy of racial superiority.

      Pigs do have an Afro-Europe origin. On the other hands, javelinas or peccary are native to the Americas.

      One can go on javelina hunts in Texas. Razorback hogs, found not only in Arkansas, but also in the US Southwest, can be fairly destructive, which is also the case with javelina.

      • Racism by implication and innuendo is still racism. Alt-right double-speak is filled with prejudice, in fact, that is it’s only purpose. Openly Jew-baiting, and, Nigger hating, has risks in our society. Disguising those activities in word salad allows the speaker/writer to avoid retribution for the hate in their words.

        • and a stitch in time saves nine.

          If you are implying anything about Henry Barth, you are still wrong, notwithstanding your platitudes.

    • Khalid:

      It was more than Gobineau. That was the thinking of many in influential positions in at least the first hundred and fifty years of the Republic. WASPs clung to idea for many decades that they were entrusted by God to rule the nation. It is a hard thing to let go off.

  3. Henry:

    Here’s the HSC bio:

    Houston Stewart Chamberlain (9 September 1855 – 9 January 1927) was an English, later German author of books on political philosophy, natural science and son-in-law of the German composer Richard Wagner; he is described in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography as a “racialist writer”.[1] In December 1908, twenty-five years after Wagner’s death, Chamberlain married Wagner’s daughter, Eva von Bülow (Cosima Wagner was still married to Hans von Bülow when Eva was born – her real father was Wagner). Chamberlain’s two-volume book, Die Grundlagen des neunzehnten Jahrhunderts (The Foundations of the Nineteenth Century),[2] published in 1899, became one of the many references for the pan-Germanic movement of the early 20th century, and, later, of the völkisch antisemitism of Nazi racial policy.

    If you enjoy any of David Duke’s hilarious takes on history, you’ll notice that he plagiarizes his nonsense from both HSC and Arthur Gobineau.

  4. Henry:

    All yours, Bro:

    Joseph Arthur, Comte de Gobineau (14 July 1816 – 13 October 1882) was a French aristocrat who was best known by his contemporaries as a novelist, diplomat and travel writer but is today most remembered for developing the theory of the Aryan master race and helping to legitimise racism by scientific racist theory and racial demography. Gobineau was an elitist who, in the immediate aftermath of the Revolutions of 1848, wrote a 1400-page book, An Essay on the Inequality of the Human Races, in which he claimed that aristocrats were superior to commoners and that they possessed more Aryan genetic traits because of less inbreeding with inferior races (Alpines and Mediterraneans).

    Gobineau’s writings were quickly praised by white supremacist, pro-slavery Americans like Josiah C. Nott and Henry Hotze, who translated his book into English but omitted around 1000 pages of the original book, including those parts that negatively described Americans as a racially mixed population. Gobineau’s writings were also influential on prominent anti-Semites such as Richard Wagner, the Romanian far-right politician professor A. C. Cuza and leaders of the Nazi Party, who later edited and re-published his work.

  5. How’s wasichu(Lakota for “white people”) museum sound to you guys? It has better ring than Smithsonian, but, what’s in a name, anyway?

  6. “They needed that bureau because they believe the original people are savages who can not manage their own affairs.”

    Umm – not quite true, Matt. That was done to protect Native Americans from unscrupulous people. For example – if you look at Oklahoma, you will find that white men used various devices to deprive Native Americans of oil and gas rights, ranging from marriage to murder to “guardianship” (after the Native American was declared “incompetent”) to various other devices.

    Unfortunately, the BIA lost a shitload of Native American money, which was well publicized in the press.

    However, as Henry Barth points out, today Native Americans have casinos. They also have other businesses, and the tribes that have not relied on the government tit have done quite well. You can look at the Chickasaw in Oklahoma as an example of barn-burning business prosperity.

    I guess we can also look at James Fenimore Cooper again to refresh our idea of what life was like with American Indians.

    Personally, I don’t see how you are a Turtle Irish, nor how the US is based on a turtle.

    • Elmer:

      Whenever one race sets out to protect another I am reminded of the song from The Man of Ls Mancha where Don Quixote’s relatives and friends do all in their power to ruin his life while protesting they were only doing it because they were thinking of his best interests. Usually it turns out ruining the people they are supposed to be taking care of.

      I agree that neither I or our country fits the concept of being turtles. My problem is I know there was a Mount McKinley and I cannot seem to recall off hand its new name.

      • Matt, I guess I am reminded of the old joke – I think it was Reagan – “I’m from the government and I’m here to help”

        Seems to me that the protection of Indians has been a mixed bag.

        Today, Indian nations in Oklahoma and elsewhere have their own tribal courts. In fact, I am a member of the Chickasaw bar, even though I am not Chickasaw.

        In any adoption proceeding involving an Indian child, the relevant tribe/nation is legally entitled to come in and have a voice in the proceedings.

        Pipeline routes and crossings take into account Indian history and culture, by federal statute, even if Indians do not take part in the agency review process, which they have the preferential right to do if they want.

        I have been involved in right-of-way acquisitions which, by statute, require the consent of the relevant branch of the BIA – but Indians have great input into that process and have almost virtual autonomy.

        Indian nations today are recognized as sovereign nations, to the extent of having sovereign immunity in contracts, for example, unless they waive it.

        I prefer Mount McKinley. I can’t recall the new name either.

  7. I almost forgot something else Europeans brought to the Americas which the Aboriginals immediately adopted: Pork.

    At Queen Isabella’s insistence, Christopher Columbus took eight pigs on his voyage to Cuba in 1493. They were tough and could survive the voyage with minimal care, they supplied an emergency food source if needed, and those that escaped provided meat for hunting on return trips.

    But Hernando de Soto was the true “father of the American pork industry.” He brought America’s first 13 pigs to Tampa Bay, Fl, in 1539. As the herds grew, explorers used the pigs not only for eating as fresh meat but for salt pork and preserved pork.

    American Indians were reportedly so fond of the taste of pork that attacks to acquire it resulted in some of the worst assaults on the expedition. By the time de Soto died three years later, his original herd of 13 pigs had grown to 700 – a very conservative estimate. This number doesn’t include the pigs eaten by his troops, those that escaped and became wild pigs (the ancestors of today’s feral pigs), and those given to the American Indians to keep the peace.

    There are an estimated 7,000,000 feral pigs in the US today, thanks to those Spanish invaders.

    • Well said, JPC and Elmer.

      Henry you need new material. Try Houston Stewart Chamberlain. He’s right up your alley. There’s also a fellow named Gobineau. They are the great grand daddies of all white racist authors. You’ll get a charge out of their fantasies. Hitler couldn’t get enough of these guys. He based his whole insane racial theory on their crazy crap. Enjoy.

      • Not a bad idea, Elmer. James Fenimore Cooper was the first American novelist to treat Native Americans like human beings. Previous to Cooper, they had been uniformly portrayed in the fiction of the times as bestial savages.

        • While Karl May’s books about the American West pleasantly entertained Hitler, the Eurocentric ravings of Chamberlain and Gobineau formed the basis of his savage racial opinions. Chamberlain was also a great favorite of Wagner, and, first met Hitler at the composer’s house (A Study in Tyranny: Alan Bullock). Both authors had cobbled together pseudo-historic theories of European (white) supremacy supposedly based in scholarship, but, upon close examination, revealed to be works of twisted imagination un-moored to any actual facts (Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Dan Goldhagen). By poisoning the minds of the early Nazis these two hateful scribblers helped bring on the holocaust.

          Chamberlain/Gobineau/ Hitler/ white racist. That will get you just where you want to go. Again, enjoy.

      • Did I write something untrue about horses, wheels or pigs? I said nothing about racial ‘superiority.’

        I see Godwin’s Law has come into play. Hitler’s favorite author was Karl May, who idolised North American aboriginals in his many books about them (200 million printed in all languages.) Speer wrote in his diaries that Hitler
        believed that reading about the Native-Americans gave him courage like works of philosophy for others or the Bible for elderly people.

        Perhaps your ideal Native American was the late Sicilian Iron Eyes Cody.

    • Henry:

      Your dissertation on pigs reminds me of a story about how the eating of pigs was outlawed in China at one time in the same way it is outlawed in some religions today. Everyone strictly followed the law until one day a poor farmer had his hut burn down and the pig that he had in it was roasted. After the fire he bent down to the pig to see if it was still warm and in so doing he burnt his finger which he immediately brought to his mouth so that his saliva would cool it off. When he did he was struck by the delicious taste of the pig. It did not take long before all over China huts full of pigs were being burned to the ground.

  8. Whenever I read about ‘Native-Americans’ and the Coming of the Dreaded White Man — the illegal immigrants of the 15 and 16th century, we might say — I reflect on what sort of culture they would have had it not been for Cortes and his band of several hundred men.

    The Spanish brought many things to the Americas, most notably the horse. Imagine an ‘Aboriginal American’ without a horse?

    The second thing was the wheel. Imagine a culture without the wheel, dragging piles of goods, or, rather, your wife dragging them?

    The third thing Cortes brought was freedom from Aztec blood sacrifice. It is estimated that the Aztec priests required 250,000 human sacrifices a year, and they got those victims from the other aboriginal tribes. The Aztecs reported that they sacrificed 80,400 prisoners over the course of four days, reportedly by Ahuitzotl, the Great Speaker himself. Cortes stopped this practice, which was why the tribes welcomed him.

    And don’t mention diseases. That’s a two-way street, as we know from the Aboriginals gifting syphilis to Europe.

    The European-Americans apologised for all this by giving Casinos to the ‘Native-Americans.’

    There are 493 Indian gaming operations in the United States. These are owned by 244 of the nation’s 565 federally-recognized tribes and operate in 28 of the 50 states. The annual revenue from all Indian gaming is nearing $30 billion and represents 43% of all casino gaming revenue in the U.S.
    (Source: National Indian Gaming Commission)

    I’ll remember Cortes when I fish on Lake Webster. Oh, sorry: Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg.

  9. another Rorscharch Test from someone who will be remembered for
    Busing in Southie

    tough to give up the tribe,ehMatt?

    in other news

  10. That would not be a word used in eastern Massachusetts, as they would use an Algonquian word. Perhaps “Mishike” or “Mikinak” would be better?

    The Lenape Creation story has Grandmother Turtle named Natami Gaho:

    Perhaps the Mi’kmaq word for turtle would be more appropriate for “Irish-???” – Mikcheech. “Irish-Mikcheech” has a nice sound to it. Pass that along, will ya?

    For Iroquois-Algonquin conflict, this may be a good starter:

  11. James Patrick Connolly

    FYI, for all you revisionists — There are two museums, one in Washington DC and one in NYC, dedicated to the history and culture of the original Americans. The names of these museums: “The National Museum of the American Indian”. At both of these musea, there is a brochure in which it states that referring to the original folk, it is quite proper to use the term American Indian

  12. Matt
    Are you planning to EVER return this blog to dealing with ORGANIZED CRIME, Bulger, Flemmi, Connolly, Salemme, corrupt FBI agents, Pat Nee, etc? I am patiently waiting but am I wasting my time checking in on your blog? If not, are there any other blogs that deal with such matters?

    • Jerome:

      Sorry you are wasting your time. I write on the subjects that I like to write on at the time I like to write on them. At present I find there is little to write about the people you mention without being overly repititious. If you have better places to go by all means head off to them. I do appreciate your having be here but do not want to deprive you of the opportunity to go to those other blogs.

  13. NC

    That’s an interesting comparison. The Mongols preferred to fight from horseback. Because of stirrups, and, a high-backed saddle, they were able to wield their weapons while mounted. American Indians rode without saddles. With the notable exception of the Comanches, most plains Indians fought as mounted infantry, using the horse solely for transportation to the battlefield. The battle of Little Bighorn (Greasy Grass) was basically an infantry struggle where Native Americans overwhelmed Custer in a series of short rushes from nearby concealing gullies. The Mongols, on the other hand, were so enamored of physically manning the horse in combat, they would herd the populations of cities they had razed to the next city under siege, and, force them, under fire from defenders, to carry soil and rocks to the base of the city’s walls. Eventually, the debris pile would be tall enough for the Mongols to ride their horses directly onto the battlements (Empire of the Steppes: Rene Grousset).
    Native Americans would have a hard time understanding the Mongol concept of total war. Before the impact of European trade goods, wars of extermination were rare among the tribes. The Mongol’s systemic forcible re-organization of conquered societies into labor gangs would also have puzzled them (The Mongols in Russia: Vorhonevsky (Sp?).

  14. Read Hampton Sides book Blood and Thunder, a biography of Kit Carson. Long before the American soldiers encountered the Apache and Navajo the Spanish settlers and later the Mexican settlers had violent encounters with the Indians. Both sides killed many of their opponents. Massacres were common. Native Americans of the West were not passive non violent types. Some compared them to the exceptional horsemen and warriors of the Mongols. They weren’t Quakers. See Thomas Sowell’s book Conquest and Culture which was previously mentioned on this site. 2. Doesn’t majority rule? Could the people of Dennis change their name to Galway if they chose to?

  15. Call yourself whatever you want. Start a trend. But you’re on to a non-starter.

  16. God Bless Vespucciland! (Amerigo Vespucci).

    Amerindians prefer to be referred to as Native Americans, which, seems only right, since, they were here first.

  17. I would suggest you drop the hyphen and the Irish.

    • Honest:

      That is a good suggestion. I normally refer to myself as an American without any hyphen. But if the name changes did change the name to Huhnunah I perhaps would start becoming hyphenated.