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  •  What squaw really means... (1+ / 0-)
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    sethtriggs

    is quite different than how it is commonly perceived.  

    It seems that when the traders and huntsmen, invaders, etc. wanted to get some action, they would try to converse with the Natives with sign language and point to their own crotches.  The Natives gave them their word for penis -- squaw.

    And it's been misinterpreted ever since.  

    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...it's about learning to dance in the rain...Author Unknown

    by AmazingBlaise on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 05:59:46 PM PDT

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    •  not really but kinda close (4+ / 0-)

      An Indian word (Algonquin I think) which sounded like Squaw meant the female body part. Others say it meant female in general. There has been reams of literature written on the matter and some Indians have even attempted to rehab the word since they use it in their conversations in their own languages. It's a perfectly decent word in the language it came from.

      It became the white word for Indian women and spread across the nation into areas where the word had no meaning to the local Indians. From then on it was a whitemans word to us and we learned it from them.

      But here's the deal. Like Negro (a pefectly decent word in Spanish) it was bastardized by misuse into an ugly term for Indian women. Both "Squaw" and "Buck" became derogatory terms by misuse and racism until in modern times they are used by racists against our people.

      In the way it was used above it had it's ugly meaning still attached. My example is that "gay-dar" is accepted use in the gay community, people use it in a discriptive manner and no one is insulted. But if the commenter had said something like "faggot-dar" perhaps it wouldn't have been taken so easily. Words evolve and "squaw" has evolved into an insult to Indian women.

      America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

      by cacamp on Wed Sep 26, 2012 at 06:35:08 PM PDT

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      •  Is Indian for Native American acceptable? (0+ / 0-)

        I try not to forget to use Native American, since Indian refers to a country.

        My personal computer is limited, can't post without tagging on. Community computer better. Pardon tagging to comments, spelling, please.

        by CuriousBoston on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 05:47:26 AM PDT

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        •  yep, Indian is cool (0+ / 0-)

          We like to call ourselves by our tribal names when possible, I'm a Ponca Indian, but American Indian, Indian, Native American or First Nations (Canada) and all acceptable to us.

          America could have chosen to be the worlds doctor, or grocer. We choose instead to be her policeman. pity

          by cacamp on Thu Sep 27, 2012 at 09:48:53 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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