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by Barbara Mauter -
Number of replies: 3

Native Mystical Spirit

Native Mystical Spirit

User:  Phil's Pixels
Added: 5/24/15  Taken: 8/25/14  Last Updated: 10/7/15
Tags: fog, buffalo, wildlife, yellowstone, wyoming, bison, americanicon, haydenvalley
License: All Rights Reserved

Flickr URL:


Tatanka (Ta-tan-ka ) a Lakota word meaning “Big Beast” (we would say a buffalo or actually a bison). For the Northern Plains People a Tatanka meant life. 

This week I would like you to reflect on the video clips and readings included in this Module to respond to this question:

How do Native Americans see the world as a 'different place' from that seen and described by the dominant society?

Page 341, Native American Voices: A Reader, 3rd Ed., Lobo, S., Talbot, S., Morris, T., Prentice Hall, 2010. PRINT.
In reply to Barbara Mauter

Re: Tatanka

by Barbara Mauter -
Some details about "Tatanka"
WHY & WHOM: I am currently teaching a course "Changing Woman" which I have written (for upper level university students). I wanted to pull together the readings and videos from this week. I do try to include a fair amount of critical thinking in my courses. This week's topic is "The Circle of Life" in their private Journal students are to share a detail or example from their life or their families' life, of how they see (view) life as circular.

HOW: In the Discussion Board Thread, I began with a question from a textbook. But, I have expanded upon this. I added the Lakota word / meaning and a photo for interest. The videos included are short interviews with Indigenous people talking about their life, one video is the Hopi Creation Myth. I also included a quote from Black Elk (where he talks about the circular nature of the world).

DETAILS: Most of my students have little background knowledge of matriarchal societies, which is what this course is mainly about. I feel this is a challenge. Their posts and comments shared so far, seem to echo, their lack of knowledge. They seriously want to learn more and are quite interested and engaged! They are struggling with UN-learning and RE-learning (hummm... echos of another FLOcourse : ) ).
I am looking at this Discussion as a foundation upon which the rest of the course is built. I felt they need a place to start from to build and increase their knowledge and understanding.

QUESTIONS: Do you feel I gave you, as a student, enough guidance? What would you suggest I add? Delete? Change? Revise? I am open to suggestions and comments. Thank you!

As a footnote, I must add, the Journals posted so far are extensive!! Several are 1 - 2 pages in length! I only "suggested" 7-10 sentences! I am not complaining! Just rather surprised!


In reply to Barbara Mauter

Re: Tatanka

by Rosilyn Teng -

Dear Barbara,

Curiosity drew me to your post... I wanted to know what this word meant and then I was fully engaged when I saw the picture.  I am currently reading Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer and I suspect it was the affinity to a similar topic.  

In my comments, I have attempted to be a student without the benefit of your other resources.

When I read the sentence “This week I would like you to reflect on the video clips and readings included in this Module to respond to this question:”

My first thought was I must do more work…to prepare my post. It formed a bit of a barrier as I wanted to go back to the resources before addressing the post. 

One suggestion I have is to pose the essential question first then follow up with a question regarding the resources.  Then the student is focused on the question. The follow up questions then take them back to the resources. 
 I have provided some alternative questions that may deviate from your original goal.

How do Native Americans see the world as a 'different place' from that seen and described by the dominant society?

Follow up or alternative questions:

What resources in this week’s module were critical to your understanding of the Native American view?  Or

Which resources in this week’s module resonated with you? Or

Which resources challenged/changed your own views of the world? 

If you are interested in the student’s understanding of the Native American view vis a vis the dominant society would it be sufficient to stop the post at your first question? Especially since you initially suggested 7 to 10 sentences.

Your course sounds fascinating.

In reply to Rosilyn Teng

Re: Tatanka

by Barbara Mauter -

Thank you for your feedback Rosilyn!

Much appreciated. I see what you mean, in the reference back to the readings and activities. Sorry, I did omit part of this assignment for this post. I shall backup and share the students were assigned the readings and YouTube videos. The initial portion asked students to think about these, and what the individuals saying? What message was contained within this Hopi Origin story? Students were to keep these thoughts in mind as they worked through the activities for the week.

I do like your question: "Which resources challenged/changed your own views of the world?"  I may have to include this! A number of my students have expressed how their "thinking" has been challenged by what they are learning!

So glad to hear you were drawn to this post!! I do try to add an image to my discussions.  Teaching online I feel there "needs" to be more than lots of text!!

GREAT to hear you are reading "Braiding Sweetgrass" I found it to be a very insightful book, I really enjoyed and have been recommending to many! 

Thank you re the "fascinating" comment about my course! I do hope my students feel this way too!! It is brand new and I know I have some kinks to work out of it. I am also open to suggestions from students about what they do and don't like, or what need "work" or revisions.

Hope you  have a great semester!