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06 October 2009 @ 09:40 am
You couldn't write this stuff and get away with it  
I've been watching Ken Burns' documentary on the history of America's National Parks. It's pretty amazing, with both current and historical photographs and film.

So here's the irony wrapped in irony. The Gold Rush inspired the U.S. government to drive Indians off their land. Manifest destiny and all that, dontcha know. An army battalion chased a group of Indians into the Yosemite Valley in 1851, whereupon they "discovered" the beauties of the valley. The company physician, Dr. Lafayette Bunnell was most awestruck with the scenery and decided to name the valley after the tribe they were intent upon dispossessing. He thought the the tribe's name was Yosemite, and thus the name of the valley came about.

Later he "discovered" that the tribe actually called themselves the Ahwahneechees, and the word yosemite was part of the Miwok language (yohhe'meti).

And the meaning of the word?

They are killers.

If you wrote that in a story, people would not believe it.
liriel1810 on October 6th, 2009 08:13 pm (UTC)
That's very bizarre and yeah, no one would believe you if you put it in a story.
catt_fordcatt_ford on October 6th, 2009 09:12 pm (UTC)
Isn't that the pits? When I heard that I just said, "Perfect!" But if you wrote that people would not believe the coincidences.

Oh, and Yellowstone is included in this special. Is this the same one you've been watching?
liriel1810 on October 6th, 2009 09:33 pm (UTC)
Nope, not the same one at all. The one I was watching was a three-parter on Yellowstone only. (and I missed the third part because I FORGOT it was on *rolls eyes*)
catt_fordcatt_ford on October 7th, 2009 05:37 pm (UTC)
Pretty boy!

That's a bummer. This one is great, but I'm a Ken Burns fan. Very interesting stories about Yellowstone. When men first saw it and brought back stories of the geyers and boiling mud pots, no one believed them. Until an expedition with a photographer along.
liriel1810 on October 8th, 2009 10:14 am (UTC)
Yeah, even if he is all beat up and hurty. *licks him*

I'm afraid I don't know who Ken Burns is but I love watching nature documentaries.
M. Jules Aedin: Thoughtsmjaedin on October 10th, 2009 04:18 pm (UTC)
Man, doesn't that just give you chills? Sometimes I'm compelled to believe the universe does have its own ironic consciousness.

Killers indeed.