Happy November…my favorite month! Today I am sharing one of my fantastic fall finds—a vintage Native American Indian chalkware statue! I will also be sharing a few other Native American items I use in my Thanksgiving decor and my sentiments on including references to Native Americans in Thanksgiving celebrations.
I was out junkin’ early last November and I spotted “the hunter” crouching down in the corner of a local thrift store. For a fleeting moment I thought he was sort of cool, but maybe a bit too kitschy…so I just kept on looking around and then went on to the next thrift shop. Well, you know how it goes with us vintage junkers! I got home and started thinking about how awesome the statute would be as a Thanksgiving decoration, and I just could not wait to go back the next morning to buy it! I am so glad I did. Now I think he is just amazing!
Last Thanksgiving I styled him beside the staircase on the floor next to my Thanksgiving tree to create a vignette of a daily hunt in the forest. I also put him on the banister for some pictures.
He may have seen a few battles but he still looks wonderful for his age!
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and I adore any old Thanksgiving collectibles, which seem to be getting harder and harder to find. I also love to incorporate a few Native American Indian decorative items or collectibles too.
These days people have mixed opinions whether or not this is politically correct, but I feel that it is part of our American tradition and culture to include references to Native Americans in our Thanksgiving celebrations. Later in the post I will elaborate a bit more on this subject.
It is always so exciting when I actually do come across any old Thanksgiving decorations on my junkin’ adventures. A few years ago I scored these sleepy eye pilgrim and Indian dolls at the flea market, on separate occasions. Junker’s luck! They seem perfectly content to be sharing such “cloche” quarters!
This is an older picture of a beautiful transferware Native American warrior that has been MIA since we moved here three years ago. I think it may be packed away with all my vintage turkey platters which I haven’t used since we moved. It is on my November agenda to unpack the platters and put them on display this year! I am also missing this antique book which I had forgotten about until I was looking through old Thanksgiving photos. I am hoping it is packed in with the platters too. The pictures in this book are so wonderful!
Of course when most of us think of the first Thanksgiving we remember the “story” we were taught in school of the “Indians and Pilgrims.” As we grew up we had to face harsh realities that things may not have been so friendly after all. Most of us know the true story of what happened to the indigenous “natives” in this country, and we certainly do not continue to celebrate Thanksgiving to dishonor Native American people. Instead we take time for a spirit of gratitude as most Native American cultures emphasize. We reflect on our blessings and how we can be a blessing to others. We focus on our families by continuing old traditions and making new ones. This is why I personally choose to celebrate the holidays traditionally, by keeping Thanksgiving separate from Christmas. It is a big holiday in it’s own right (or at least it use to be)! There are no signs of red and green in our house in November (at least until after the Thanksgiving dishes are washed and put away…then out come the Christmas movies and boxes of vintage Shiny Brite ornaments)!
I will always decorate with vintage Native American Thanksgiving decor because it brings me joy and happiness too. Whenever I see the old images of Indians and pilgrims I have happy elementary school memories of singing Thanksgiving songs and participating in plays. I remember the fun coloring sheets of cornucopias and little cartoon Native Americans and Pilgrims sharing and caring! “Why, how natural, they are friends…” I thought to myself!
Each time I unpack my Thanksgiving collectibles I am also reminded of the reality of the injustice and hypocrisy of what we may have been taught regarding the holiday, and I grieve too. This is another reason why I choose to honor the traditions of Thanksgiving and cultures of the Native American people instead of focusing on the negative.
In closing I would like to share this translation of Matthew 6:9-13 The Lord’s Prayer in Chinook, (Native American Indians of Washington and Oregon). I love the literal translation!
Nesika papa klaksta mitlite kopa saghalie, kloshe kopa nesika
Our father who stayeth in the above, good in our
tumtnm mika nem; kloshe mika tyee kopa konaway tilikum;
hearts (be) thy name; good thou chief among all people;
kloshe mika tumtum kopa illahie, kahkwa kopa saghalie. Potlatch
good thy will upon earth as in the above. Give
konaway sun nesika muckamuck. Spose nesika mamook masahchie,
every day our food. If we do ill,
wake mika hyas solleks, pe spose klaksta masahchie kopa
(be) not thou very angry, and if any one evil towards
nesika, wake nesika solleks kopa klaska. Mahsh siah kopa
us not we angry towards them. Send away far from
nesika konaway masahchie.
us all evil.
May we all remember to give thanks daily, and may our hearts and stomachs be full and content this season. Gather with friends and family and take time to preserve old traditions and make new ones.
Speaking of new friends, please gather with me and 13 other talented bloggers on Wednesday, Nov. 8-Friday, Nov. 10, 2017 as we share inspiring late fall and Thanksgiving decor!
See you soon!
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