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3 : The Dawn’S Early Light

Raye Ringholz Utah State University Press ePub

FIRST CAME A BLAST OF HEAT and then the light, blinding, like a battery of flashbulbs exploding in the pre-dawn darkness. Shock waves followed in quick succession with a force that witnesses in a control building 8.9 miles to the south likened to firing a 16-inch coast-defense gun. As the immense fireball ascended it took on a rosy hue and was transformed into a long-stemmed mushroom tinged with luminous purple. Like an opening parachute, the plume climbed up to 43,000 feet while its slate-colored cloud hovered over the 123-square-mile dry lake bed of Frenchman Flat, reducing visibility to a mere 100 feet.

The 22-kiloton Fox, detonated on February 6, 1951, was the grande finale of the Ranger Series of atomic blasts at the Nevada Test Site, 75 miles northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada. The massive flash was seen as far away as Los Angeles. In Indian Springs, 25 miles from ground zero, doors were blown out of their casements, windows were broken and roofs damaged. In one home, bathroom plumbing fixtures were knocked loose and left hanging from their pipes.

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African Cultural Diversity in the Media

Jean Godefroy Bidima Indiana University Press ePub

The issue of cultural diversity in sub-Saharan Africa is an old problem that already concerned colonial administrations and postindependence African elites, the promoters of that common but extremely delicate commodity, democracy, and it still concerns today's promoters of cosmopolitanism.

The colonial administrations (both British and French) found themselves facing the issue of cultural diversity. How were they to bring under colonial law such differing peoples as those located in the same administrative region, who had been lumped together by the chance effects of colonial geographical divisions on a map? How were they to make the law, decipher signs of revolts, and set about recruiting collaborators in populations whose components did not speak the same language or conform to either the same ontological system or the same legal rationality, still less the same founding myths? In other words, how were they to understand that diversity of cultures, then bend it to the new colonial norm? How can obedience originating with the one (the civilizer) encompass diversity?

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Chapter 9. The Evolution of a Legend: The Headless Horseman

Edited by Francis Edward Abernethy and Kenneth L. Untiedt University of North Texas Press PDF

9

THE EVOLUTION OF A LEGEND:

THE HEADLESS HORSEMAN OF TEXAS,

OR IT MAY NOT BE TRUE, BUT IT MAKES

A GOOD STORY by Lou Ann Herda of Cypress

It is late at night. The meeting you attended in Cuero did not let out until nine p.m., and your drive towards San Antonio along Highway 87 starts out as a peaceful ride. The dark sky is full of twinkling stars and traffic is light. As you drive along, lightning flashing out of the corner of your left eye draws your attention. Puzzled, you glance in that direction, only to see that the lightning is not coming out of the sky but is, instead, coming from the ground. Suddenly, the lightning intensifies, coming closer to your car. You slam on the brakes as a horse gallops across the lanes in front of you. The lightning that you saw is coming from the hooves as they hit the ground. You see that there is a rider mounted on the horse, but that something is eerily missing from this rider. It is his head! Then you see that the head is dangling from the pommel of the saddle, thrust inside a sombrero, the eyes flashing as coals of fire. The rider dashes across the road and flashes off over the horizon. You have just experienced one of Texas’ more illustrious legends, El Muerto, the Headless Horseman.

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2. Malinche, Calafia y Toypurina

Edited by Linda Heidenreich with Antonia I. Castañeda UNT Press ePub

Chapter 2

“Péinate que pareces India.”

(Comb your hair, don’t be looking like an Indian.)

“Arreglate, que te toman por India.”

(Fix yourself up, lest you be mistaken for an Indian girl.)

Do this, that, or the other to your appearance to avoid being perceived as Indian—familiar, familial admonitions for Mexicana/Chicana (meaning mestiza), women and girls on the nineteenth- and twentieth-century Borderlands. Unspoken, but understood, in exhortations to mestizas to erase all cultural, and wherever possible, “racial,” traces of Indigenous ancestry, is the underlying equation of Indian womanhood with devalued sexuality.1

This equation, as historians, feminist theorists, and other scholars have shown, is rooted in the gendering of the “New World” as female, in the sexualizing and eroticizing of its exploration and conquest, and in the erasing of its subjugated indigenous populations.2 This equation is equally grounded in the gendered, sexualized, racialized, cultural, and economic violence of colonial domination. It is fixed in the history of Indian-woman-hating that Gloria Anzaldúa, Norma Alarcón, Deena González, and Inés Hernández-Avila theorize.3 It is premised in the multi-layered strategies of Mestizas’ survival, and in the practice of everyday life under conditions in which the Indian in us, always subject to attack, is to be denied, erased, extirpated.

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11. Victoria Studio, 1949

Anand Pandian Indiana University Press ePub

There are photographs meant to capture some moment as it is. Others do something very different—they sketch a life yet to come. That’s what this portrait of Ayya and Paati must have been: a pair of figures mounted high upon a wall within every house they kept, calmly taking in the domestic struggles occurring below, reminding my grandparents of a comfort and peace that might still fall within their reach. An image not of a moment but of its longings.

Ayya still remembers that day at Victoria Studio. The studio was on a small lane near the Meenakshi temple in Madurai. It was full of things that gave the impression of wealth and leisure: costume jewelry, toys, books, carved wooden furniture, porcelain ceramics—things, that is, generally missing from the lives of those who posed here for pictures. The photographer and his assistants would arrange their subjects among these foreign objects, demanding postures of bluffed repose. “Wear this . . . Hold that . . . Stand like this . . . Bend your arms like that . . .”

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