Monday, September 22, 2008

Turtle Island

Prompted by the comment below, I added the above poster that hangs in my bedroom...

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
"Turtle Island is the English language translation of many Native American tribes' terms for the continent of North America. The term is proposed as a substitute for or synonym for North America. The term was brought into popular usage by Gary Snyder through his book Turtle Island[1] in 1974. In a later essay, published in At Home on the Earth,[1] Snyder claimed this title as a term referring to North America which synthesizes both indigenous and colonizer cultures by translating the indigenous name into the colonizer's languages (the Spanish "Isla Tortuga" being proposed as a name as well). Snyder argues that understanding North America under the name of Turtle Island will help shift conceptions of the continent.
Referring to North America as Turtle Island suggests a view of North America not merely as a land "discovered" and colonized by people of European descent, but as a land inhabited and stewarded by a collection of rich, diverse, and civilized peoples. This collection may have room for both indigenous and colonizer cultures. This re-framing of the identity of North America is intended to bring about a better cohabitation of these two groups of people.

Finally the term suggests to some interpreters a more holistic relationship between people and the continent's ecology, visualizing Turtle Island as an amalgamation of bioregions."

1 comment :

pwax said...

NEARA coordinator Doug Schwartz maintains that the map of North America looks like a turtle: with Florida as one hind leg, Mexico as the tail, Baja CA as the other hind leg, etc..