Re: Amerind an offensive term (was: Early Amerind assimilation

Eric Brunner (
12 Aug 1996 11:15:24 GMT

Bryant ( wrote:
: In article <4ujiku$>,
: Eric Brunner <> wrote:
: >Bryant ( wrote:
: >: :) Hm. "Gumpswa" is Haisla* for white, and literally means either
: >: "thief" or "liar," if I recall correctly. ? Bryant

: >Please, do make an effort and at least write a OED-style usage phrase.
: >
: >The notion that any of us suddenly "clicked" and associated the color
: >of snow and the concept of falsity in one swell foop a few minutes after
: >Contact Time is rather romantic. Tricky stuff, snow.

: So take it up with the "Haisla," who for whatever obscure reason refer to
: Europeans as "white."

I'd be happy to, since for whatever reason, you declined to provide a usage
form cite. Please provide the name(s) of your informants and where they can
be reached, or when you were doing field work on-site if your informants are
deceased. If it was via your advisor(s) or a sort of "urban myth" at the UNM
Anthro Dept., there isn't a lot I can do with those unless you provide a bit
more detail.

FYI, in my culture, the French are the "white" men, the English are the "real
white" men, the Americans are simply "long knives", the Germans are the
"pointy hat people" (reflecting the period when we took a distinct interest
in their doings, 1914-1918), and so on. Very dark skinned people among the
Americans we called "black white people". Chinese are "long hair", and I've
forgotten the original word for Japanese, though we saw these people very
differently during the 1942-1949 (and ongoing) period, as fellow internees.

Like many we arrived at a Contact Period with several forms and directions
of Invasion awareness and distinguish between Nationalities, Religious
Orders, and mercantile vs militaristic vocations of our invaders (aka new

We've a wry joke about the distinction between Spanish, French, and Anglo-Ams
but it is sort of Pan-Tribal and horribly modern, like a lot of dominant
pop culture junk about Indian and Conquor History, so I won't distract you.
However, the volume of Intra-Euro-American bickering about what to call each
other is rather surprising. Why do you people need Indians to use as sounding
boards? Safty of externalized projection perhaps?

Eric Brunner