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 Post subject: "Protection By Obscurity".
 Post Posted: Sun Jan 27, 2008 5:50 pm 
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Chieftan
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Location: Arkansas
Nation: Houma
This is something that I have a hard time comprehending, but that may be related to the times I have lived in, and how I was raised. Therefore, I have 2 questions about this topic . . . and probably more about it later.

1. What is "Protection by Obscurity"?

Could someone explain the concept behind it ( I think I know, but I have been wrong before ).

2. Is it still a viable alternative today?

There are "protections" that are supposed to be available for archaeological sites related to our people. To me it would seem that anything of this sort should be taken advantage of . . . but again, I have been wrong before.

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 Post subject: Re: "Protection By Obscurity".
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 5:52 pm 
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Great Eldar Shaman
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i think a little more information would be helpfull.

are you talking about protecting old campsite, towns, gathering places?

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 Post subject: Re: "Protection By Obscurity".
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 7:25 pm 
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Chieftan
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LOL!!! Evening ollan xolatl. Don't get me wrong please, I respect your words and thoughts and mean no slight. It's just that this is quite an old post.

I was talking about my "obsession", questions about the bent trees. So here's where I got started on the questions above:

I had been told by one older one that I would not get the answers I sought because these things were best protected by not speaking of them. He called it "protection by obscurity".

In theory, by not talking about it attention would not be drawn to it. I didn't agree then, and don't really agree now. However, I am seeing more wisdom in what he said than I did at first.

I still want to know, but don't pursue the answers as I once did. When I see one of these old bent trees, I just record their location with my GPS and take a picture.

My main focus lately has been with Google Earth and overlays of old maps with some of the old trails. I make a digital copy of the map, and overlay it in Google Earth --- matching up known locations on both until all points align. Then I plot the old paths using the GPS feature in Google Earth and copy it to my hand held GPS unit.

Nothing like following an old trace to stumble upon some of the remaining trees. When I do, then I record them in my GPS and take a pic.

Here's one from Wheeler Trace in Southeast Arkansas, an old buffalo trail which was eventually used for moving goods in the area after the removal. There was a second tree nearby, but I liked this one best. You can see where the nose was tied and where the forked sticks were placed to create the bend.

Image

Here's one from the old Tchemanehaut trail (French believed it meant "high path") which ran from Arkansas Post to Ouachita Post (now Monroe, Louisiana). It was on private land which I was unable to get permission to enter.

Image

Keep well.

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 Post subject: Re: "Protection By Obscurity".
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 8:38 pm 
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Great Eldar Shaman
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hi smee :)

for some reasoner another i was drawn to this old post of yours

anyway

nice photos

maybe the formers of those trees passed along knowledge

of course a person wouldn't know without forming a tree of their own

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 Post subject: Re: "Protection By Obscurity".
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:09 pm 
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Chieftan
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Location: Arkansas
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Thought you might enjoy this as it is much closer to you:

http://www.capemeareslighthouse.org/htm ... _tree.html

also kind of interesting:

http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM2527_Octopus_Tree

Here's a pic:

Image

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 Post subject: Re: "Protection By Obscurity".
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:15 pm 
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Great Eldar Shaman
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Smee wrote:
Thought you might enjoy this as it is much closer to you:

http://www.capemeareslighthouse.org/htm ... _tree.html

also kind of interesting:

http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WM2527_Octopus_Tree

Here's a pic:

Image


i would agree "council tree" :)

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 Post subject: Re: "Protection By Obscurity".
 Post Posted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 8:01 am 
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Chieftan

Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2010 6:58 pm
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Location: Ottawa, Canada
Hi Smee,
I love your passion for the trees and your quest for answers about the formed trees. I believe the advice you received was wise, but it isn't because things should be kept secret, rather that there is a time for knowing them. A time of being properly receptive. 

Thinking about trees and how they form led me here:

http://www.natureinstitute.org/pub/ic/ic14/trees.htm

They form naturally as individuals and in groups. 
When you take one tree from it's group, it tells an individual story as well as becoming a puzzle piece to another story. 
To intentionally change a tree into another form tells a story of it's own.

Ashashane

PS I thought you might like the "rabbit" tree in my yard. 

Image 


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 Post subject: Re: "Protection By Obscurity".
 Post Posted: Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:05 pm 
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Great Eldar Shaman
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^^that does look like a bunny tree with wood gargoyles :shock:

is there some kind of blue string ? wire ? in your bunny tree

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 Post subject: Re: "Protection By Obscurity".
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 04, 2011 3:56 am 
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Chieftan

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Location: Ottawa, Canada
It's a broken clothesline. :)
Thanks for reminding me, I still haven't found the wire cutters.


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 Post subject: Re: "Protection By Obscurity".
 Post Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2011 12:15 pm 
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Ranked Warrior
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Smee wrote:
Here's a pic:

Image


Incredible picture.

Personally I tend to agree, I think. Too much information is free these days, thus available to those who have not done the work necessary for its appreciation. By free I should probably stress that I don't mean 'available without someone getting paid', I mean available without any requirement of effort or show of sincere interest on the part of whoever gets the information.

If these trees were formed as you say, then that's something special that does not need to turn up in leaflet form for casual perusal by people who aren't really that interested in the first place.

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 Post subject: Re: "Protection By Obscurity".
 Post Posted: Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:02 pm 
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Chieftan
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Location: Arkansas
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We have acted that way for so long that most of the trees are gone.

Living history, cut down for profit because no one said anything. Protection by obscurity . . .

That doesn't really protect it any longer. The truth is, they are destroyed by developers who do not know what they are. Some foresters call them "wolf" trees . . . meaning they are defective and should be destroyed. I once had a friend who was a retired forester. He told me that he knew about the trees but that if asked he was supposed to tell the person that the tree was deformed by nature and needed to be destroyed.

Some loggers know what these trees are as well.

Image

If my understanding of this tree is correct, it resembles the "prayer tree" bent by the Ute. The logger knew the significance of this tree. That is why it was cut in this manner and left.

A prayer tree was bent and a ceremony conducted afterward. It was believed that as long as the tree lived each time the wind blew through the leaves of that tree their prayers would be carried anew to the creator.

That is why the tree was destroyed in this manner. The tree was not harvested for lumber, but for pulp. No matter how deformed a tree might be, it will only be ground up for wood pulp so even that stump has value.

Some know what they are. They could be protected . . . or be destroyed for paper.

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 Post subject: Re: "Protection By Obscurity".
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 7:11 pm 
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Great Eldar Shaman
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wise advise

Smee wrote:

I had been told by one older one that I would not get the answers I sought because these things were best protected by not speaking of them. He called it "protection by obscurity".


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 Post subject: Re: "Protection By Obscurity".
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 8:31 pm 
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Chieftan
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Location: Arkansas
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ollan xolatl wrote:
wise advise

Smee wrote:

I had been told by one older one that I would not get the answers I sought because these things were best protected by not speaking of them. He called it "protection by obscurity".



I would agree at one time. I have tried the method of just "watching" the trees. Those I know of I would check from time to time. Only by myself, with no one following.

Occasionally I will drive by those tracts of land in the course of my job and ALL of the trees will have been cut down . . . including those trees I had been watching.

The tree in my other post --- the one that points both a river crossing and the old trail --- the yellow marking on that tree is for it to be destroyed. If I had not acted, this tree would not exist any longer except as wood pulp or paper. The local refuge has a member of the National Forest Service on staff. They know about the trees, and they can help preserve them when you present the right argument.

I went to the Wildlife Refuge and visited their archaeology exhibits. After a short conversation, I asked how many living artifacts they had found. Suddenly I had three people asking me questions about what I meant. Then I asked why they were going to destroy one of them . . .

I took the Forest Service worker to visit that tree marked for destruction. The tree was located on a small piece of land that belonged to the city, but he was able to stop them from destroying the tree.

Obscurity doesn't work. Those who don't know still cut them down, but many who work in the woods do know what they are and go out of their way to destroy one when it is found.

The Ute learned this when a bulldozer was destroying their prayer trees. They now actively protect these trees along with Celinda Kaelin of the Pikes Peak Historical Society.

The theory of protection by obscurity needs to be revisited and a new plan conceived.

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 Post subject: Re: "Protection By Obscurity".
 Post Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 10:20 pm 
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Great Eldar Shaman
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it is working in other areas.......

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 Post subject: Re: "Protection By Obscurity".
 Post Posted: Wed May 01, 2013 10:23 am 
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Ranked Warrior
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Location: Okanagan Territory
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I don't think the obscurity approach necessarily means NEVER speaking of these trees. Much like medicinal knowledge, or occult knowledge, it is kept within lineages. Within those boundaries, much discussion and learning can happen. It's only with the outside people, that one NEVER brings this knowledge up.
Unfortunately, our territories are under constant attack. This forces us to find alternative means of protecting these trees, lest our code of silence be for naught.

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