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Cultural studies

Summer 2008

Ozette Art and the Makah Canoe

Many questions remain concerning the contents of the longhouses  excavated at Ozette. One of the most intriguing is the nature of its art, which was pervasive. More than 400 artifacts stored at the Makah Cultural Center might be considered art. Although a few pieces, such as the well-known carved whale saddle, are (presumably) ritualistic, most are everyday objects, combs, bowls, clubs, embellished with designs.

Jeff Mauger (PhD ’78), an archaeologist at Peninsula Community College in Port Angeles, earned his doctorate from WSU, analyzing the shed-roof style of the houses at Ozette and their relation to the style throughout the Northwest coast. Since then he has … » More …

Illustration David Wheeler
Winter 2011

Collegiate Athletics in the 21st Century

“Just Win, Baby!” was the motto made famous by legendary Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis. His philosophy was that simple. Along the way the Raiders gained a reputation as one of the dirtiest, most penalized, but successful teams in professional football. Collegiate athletics seems to have adopted Davis’s philosophy as compliance and education are threatened by the very big business of college sports.

In Ballers of the New School: Race and Sports in America, I contend that the system of college athletics no longer works for the realities of the 21st century. There is simply too much media exposure and money at stake. For example, … » More …

Winter 2011

Building New Pathways to Peace

peace

Noriko Kawamura , Yoichiro Murakami, and Shin Chiba, editors

University of Washington Press, 2011

 

The idea of “peace” in our complex and conflicted world sometimes seems out of reach or even antiquated. The authors in this collection recognize these realities and make a concerted effort to build a new theory of peace studies.

Noriko Kawamura, a WSU assistant professor of history, co-edited the volume, which includes contributions from a number of Washington State faculty along … » More …

Summer 2011

Bill ’69 and Felicia ’73 Gaskins—All in stride

Bill Gaskins says he knows exactly when Felicia Cornwall fell in love with him. On a snowy day in 1963, the two were walking arm-in-arm along WSU’s Hello Walk.

Felicia, a sophomore from Tacoma, was taking mincing steps through the icy slush when Bill, a freshman from Spokane, told her she needed to be more bold.

“Look Felicia, you need to stride like this,” he said, stepping forward with the athletic gait of a running back, which he was. At that exact moment his feet flew out from under him and he landed on his backside.

Bill is laughing, filling the room with his deep … » More …

Fall 2010

Edward Claplanhoo ’56—Bah-duk-too-ah: August 8, 1928–March 14, 2010

Ed Claplanhoo ’56 was chairman of the Makah Tribe in Neah Bay when a winter storm in 1970 eroded the bank above the beach at Cape Alava on the Olympic Peninsula coast, revealing the village of Ozette. The village, ancestral home to many Makahs, had been buried in a mudslide in the 1700s.

Once he realized what the storm had exposed, Claplanhoo called Richard Daugherty, an archaeologist at WSU. Daugherty had been the freshman class advisor in the early 1950s, and Claplanhoo had been the class treasurer.

Claplanhoo and Daugherty worked closely together to explore and preserve what archaeological crews found in Ozette, … » More …

Spring 2007

Just like it was yesterday

“We were living a good life,” said Albert Redstarr Andrews in a meditation concluding the second Plateau Conference, “and we were disturbed.” What might be taken as gracious understatement also resonated with profound loss.

In spite of a generally liberal sensibility and Native great-grandmother, I confess there have been times upon hearing Native Americans speak of the injustices of manifest destiny and conquest, I’ve wondered when they will finally accept, no matter the past injustice, that this is simply the way things are. Having attended the conference in October, however, I find I am still capable of learning.

The focus of this year’s conference was … » More …

Summer 2007

She's home

When her husband-to-be Michael Pavel took her home to the Skokomish reservation in the summer of 1996, it was revealed that Susan Pavel (photo, center) couldn’t cook.

“The attitude,” she says, “was, well, let’s teach you some useful trade. Like weaving.”

And with that, Susan Pavel (’99 Ph.D.) joined the revival of Coast Salish weaving.

Susan and Michael, a Washington State University faculty member in education, were living with his uncle, Bruce Miller, a master weaver.

“He started me at the beginning, carding the wool, spinning the wool, dyeing the wool, working up the loom. Actual weaving was maybe a third of the process.”

Susan … » More …

Fall 2005

Powwow Turns 30

Last April marked the 30th anniversary of the Pah-Loots-Pu Celebration Powwow at Washington State University. One of the largest student-run campus events, the powwow is held at the Beasely Performing Arts Coliseum and includes tribal representatives from around the country, with a large concentration from the Northwest. Pah-Loots-Pu, a Nez Perce word, means “people of the rolling hills,” referring to the area around Pullman. Over the years, the two-day celebration with singing, dancing, and crafts has attracted as many as 2,500 visitors. The event has value for the community as well as for the Native Americans who study and work at WSU, says Justin Guillory, … » More …

Summer 2005

A Nobel laureate promotes a

Wole Soyinka, a playwright, poet, novelist, and political activist who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986, spent a couple of days in February on the Pullman campus.

His visit was in conjunction with the Theater Arts Program’s presentation of his play Death and the King’s Horseman, which examines differences between Western and African cultures. At the core of Soyinka’s work is the idea of a “new Africa,” wherein native myth is joined with contemporary reality and ancient tradition melds with current technology, leading Africa out of its colonial past.