I’m getting ready to ease into this …
A photograph from the 1870’s showing tens of thousands of bison skulls. They were mass slaughtered by the U.S. Army to make room for cattle and force Native American tribes into starvation.
Mass slaughter of buffalo and bison took place in Canadian territory as well, and was part of a deliberate campaign to break Indigenous resistance to (further) settler incursions onto Native land and the railroad. The removal of the buffalo also meant that when it came time to sign treaties, the Canadian government could more or less set any terms it saw fit and Indigenous leaders basically had to comply with them or their people would freeze and starve (that’s if gov officials even bothered to translate the actual terms of the treaty at all).
The “disappearance” of the buffalo is narrativized as part of a larger myth surrounding the “disappearing Indian” whose absence clears the land for the incoming white pioneers to take their place. The murder, destruction, slaughter of bison and buffalo was a tactic essential to the genocidal colonial project.
Andrew Isenberg addresses this really well in his book The Destruction of the Bison, which includes a section on the War Department’s intentional hunting of bison in the U.S. He also makes a very interesting point in his paper “Returns of the Bison” about how bison conservationists exploited land allotment policies to create wildlife preserves, taking land originally set aside for reservations and Native American nations after the U.S. government determined Native Americans were not using the land “properly.”
How to Colonize (for Kids!), as explained by this 20th century French board game:
- Hoist the French flag onto your newfound soil
- Build a hospital
- Erect a school
- Open your harbor
- Reap the benefits of rich natural resources from around the world and sail back to France with goodies in tow
This “trading game” is an example of the lasting mindset of the race to colonize. More from curator Isotta Poggi about this questionable game.
Trading Game: France—Colonies, 1941, O.P.I.M. (Office de publicite et d’impression), Breveté S.G.D.G. Lithograph on linen, 22 7/8 x 32 1/4 in. Getty Research Institute.
Evolution sent the tortoise beetle from the future. And the future is shiny as hell.
From a compendium of ancient erotic gems by Pierre d’Hancarville, an 18th-century art historian (and thief) who specialized in art-historical porn.
Sept Priapes placés autour d’un limaçon, animal qui selon les naturalistes possédant les deux sexes [et] est le simbole de la lubricité avec le mot INVICTA attribué à Messane, font allusion au vers de Juvénal qui de de cette Princesse.
Seven phalluses arranged around a snail, an animal that, according to natural scientists, contains both sexes and is the symbol of lust, with the word “Invicta” [unvanquished], attributed to Messane and alluding to the poetry of Juvenal, who speaks of this princess.
Let it be decreed: to snail is now the verb for “erotic snuggling.” As in “I got snailed last night” or “I want to snail you.”