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Thread: U.S.A. Culture and Language Help

  1. #61
    SiriuslyMental
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    As far as magical Natives, sure, but I don't see them caring so much about crimes against Muggles. Assuming that Wizards, like Muggles, came to America to start industry and gain money, power, and business.

  2. #62
    leahsm2
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiriuslyMental
    As far as magical Natives, sure, but I don't see them caring so much about crimes against Muggles. Assuming that Wizards, like Muggles, came to America to start industry and gain money, power, and business.
    I can't fathom non-magical Native Americans, to be honest. When left alone unmolested, they were among the healthiest humans on the planet, with a vibrant culture which took into account many aspects of life which I think Muggle Europeans would find valueless, but magical Europeans could have seen a kinship in.

    I honestly don't think the idea of "industry" as we think of it would have much to offer the magical. Freedom from Muggle interference in vast wilderness, sure, but "industry, money, power and business" in the American sense of those words, not meaning any disrespect, but I don't see it as being remotely interesting to a group who can fly, for instance, before airplanes (or dirigibles, what have you) or see wonderous creatures (as I would assume could the Indians) or any of the other remarkable things they already had need such shallow "accomplishments" but would see the Northern Hemisphere much as the Natives did. Therefore, I feel they would go to great lengths to see it preserved.

  3. #63
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    While were on the subject of Native American magic, what do you all imagine it as? I somehow don't see it as only being wandless magic and boiling roots for potions. I'm trying to incorperate a class on Native American magic for a story, so any imput would be very much appresiated!

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  4. #64
    leahsm2
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    You have "totem animals" which are spirits which take forms of animals to help believers in whatever strength was needed at the time. They also believed that plants had spirits or some form of being that needed to be respected and were put where they were in order to aid them. Everything, basically served a useful purpose and had a spirit or being, what have you, that needed to be acknowledged and respected, so you took what you needed, in gratitude, and left the rest for others. Hope that was helpful

  5. #65
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    I actually have heard of 'totem animals' before. I almost wonder how they tie into the concept of the Patronus charm. I mean, look at the Latin root of the word "Patron".

    Do you think European wizards noticed this too? Would Native Americans have their own version of the Patronus Charm before the Europeans introduced the western version of the charm?

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  6. #66
    Rushia
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    Maybe it's a similar idea to spirit guides, the Native American Patronus Charm. Spirit guides, as I recall {but I'm not an expert}, were usually animals, and the idea was that they guided and protected you, I think. It would make sense, with a legend like that, that Native Americans would have a version of the Patronus Charm. Perhaps those used by the most powerful wizards in Native American culture became totem animals and seen to guide and protect the ones who were most worthy.

  7. #67
    Stubbornly_appeared
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    Question Musings.

    Totem animals, perhaps Animagus forms? I would assume that the magically gifted among the Native Americans would become the shamans or 'medicine men', that sort of spread around the magic. The only people they would have to teach them would be their predecessors, so magic wouldn't have too much room to grow and would be largely traditional. Also, I think they would have been more down-to-Earth with the whole thing and more giving with the 'Muggle' people.

  8. #68
    greennotebook
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    I imagine that part of the reason we have the impression that Native Americans would be more "giving with the 'Muggle' people," as Stubbornly_appeared puts it, is that their magic is easily expressible in Muggle terminology. Their "potions" are medicines with largely natural ingredients, at least to the Muggle mind. I'm sure if you are portraying a truly Wizarding society, there would be elements that are not explicable to Muggles, but because so much is explicable, it's freely shared.

    I disagree with leahsm2, however, as to non-magical Native Americans. In the culture there were wise men and women who were portrayed as being particularly aware of and able with magic. Others in the community would go to them for aid. It seems to me that there are some natives who have magic and some who don't, but there is no Statute of Secrecy. Perhaps the Native American community recognized the genetic causes of magic? Clearly, magical ability was not just accepted, but respected. I don't think everyone was magical; there was just a healthy view of the place of magic in the natural order of things.

    Nice connection with the spirit guides and patronuses, though, guys.... that's a sharp idea.

    Also, I'd like to clear up something from much earlier:
    Originally posted by Evester
    I have heard that, for one example, Notre Dame requires, or at least strongly encourages students to stay in the same dormitory for all their years at the college. And that those students develop a strong sense of dormitory pride and loyalty. When I heard this I instantly thought of Hogwarts. So the Houses are not completely out of the question.
    Notre Dame requires that freshmen live on campus unless they are living with local family. All students are randomly placed in one of 26 residence halls (27 in Fall 08). Students are allowed to request a transfer to another hall at the end of the year, but most don't. Students typically live in only one dorm on campus. About 50% of seniors live on campus, but many students do choose to live off-campus where the pretty strict rules of on-campus housing don't apply. To be honest, dorm life at ND is comparable to fraternity and sorority life, but without the rushing, rejection and intense partying. Dorms are like families, cliche and ridiculous though that sounds. Each has sports teams, mascots and special events. This special atmosphere is why most students stay in the same dorm they were put in.

    However, Notre Dame is not like most schools. Most schools seem to place students in residence halls according to age or interest. Notre Dame mixes students by age, are of study, place of origin, etc. However, housing at ND really is not like that in any other college or university that I have heard of.

    If you're interested in more information on ND housing, go to nd . edu and search for "residence life". You can follow the links to the Office of Residence Life and Housing and look up all of the dorms and the procedures. It can be interesting reading if you're really trying to procrastinate.

  9. #69
    cmwinters
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    Quote Originally Posted by leahsm2
    I can't fathom non-magical Native Americans, to be honest. When left alone unmolested, they were among the healthiest humans on the planet, with a vibrant culture which took into account many aspects of life which I think Muggle Europeans would find valueless, but magical Europeans could have seen a kinship in.
    I don't think that's a fair statement, honestly. Like any other group of people, you'll have your adepts, your users, and your "regular people". Not every Native American is a shaman. They may partake in magical ceremonies/rituals/prayers (one man's magic is another man's prayer!) but that doesn't necessarily make them the tribe leader or the high priest/priestess.

    Further, even assuming each one of them eventually *does* become the high priest/ess, there's a learning curve where they'd be apprenticing or studying or whatever. Everyone is a student at something growing up, whether it's how to knit, how to do math, or how to practice magic.

    I also feel like it's very important to point out here that "Native American" isn't a single culture, and most certainly not a single *language*. There are practices that vary wildly from tribe to tribe, and region to region. The Inuit, for example, have entirely different practices than the Seminoles, and there are several thousand miles between the two tribes traditional territories. Some of the tribes are matrilineal/matriarchal, some aren't. Some practiced agriculture, some didn't. Some held to what Europeans would consider "traditional gender roles", some did not. Totem poles aren't constructed in the Appalachian, for example. So their magic is not going to be universal, either.

  10. #70
    leahsm2
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    I didn't mean to sound like a Cultural Imperialist in reverse, or to imply any universal Native American approach to naturalism, or that all Native Americans would have natural abilities. I just feel that, since squibs are apparently an anomaly in wizarding communities, more than likely Native American tribes would have had a higher percentage of the magical; that was my purely personal opinion. I think your basic statistical cross section, in my romanticised world view, would bear this out.

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