Counting Coup Was Plains Warrior Tradition To Show Bravery

What was a "coup"? Many acts of bravery in the face of an enemy counted. Any touch to an enemy warrior, or their defensive works or even stealing their horse counted. The most prestigious "coup" was touching an enemy warrior, without harming them, and getting away without being hurt oneself. And the most daring way to do that was to sneak up to an enemy warrior, while they slept, and touch their body without getting caught. As you can imagine, that last one was pretty rare.

There were many ways of counting coups, from notched sticks to lines on one's shirt. In general practice, a warrior who won a coup was permitted to wear an undyed eagle feather in their hair. If the warrior had been wounded in the attempt, however, they had to paint the feather red.

Quaker Women Were Early Feminists

Quakers were one of the first groups to provide equal access to education and leadership skills, for both genders. The Quaker faith believed in equality between the genders. And they acted like it. Women as well as men were given education. Women as well as men could give sermons, and lead Quaker meetings. Women as well as men could run business meetings for the church. It was revolutionary stuff in the mid-1600s and 1700s!

The Interesting Accomplishment Of Hannah Callowhill Penn

Hannah Callowhill, born in 1671, was the second wife of Pennsylvania founder and proprietor William Penn. “Proprietor” means he owned the colony. And he could run it as he saw fit.

When William Penn died in 1718, his will gave control of the colony not to his son but to his widow. Though a son from Penn’s first marriage fought the will, he lost in court, and Hannah Callowhill Penn controlled Pennsylvania for six years, until her death. Although she did so through a deputy. Still, she lives on in the history books, as the only woman to control a British proprietary colony for so long.

Its A Man! Its A Web! Its...An Ethiopia Hand Cross!

Ethiopian sculptures rarely have human figures in them. Figures only appear in wooden artwork, sometimes identified as Adam or Christ. Here, the human is the handle for the cross.   The delicate web? That’s the cross, elaborately carved from wood into a delicate pattern. And the box below the human’s feet appear to be a reference to the tabot, or carved altar box, venerated by Ethiopian Christians. Often hand crosses were carved by the priests that used them; this complex and delicate cross was made by one talented priest!

When It Comes To Coffee Europeans Played Catch-Up to Islamic World

The earliest credible evidence of coffee-drinking appears in the middle of the 1400s in the Sufi shrines of Yemen. However, it took a while for the new miracle drink to reach Europe, and longer for Europeans to know what they were drinking. The species Coffea Arabica was first scientifically described and named by Carl Linnaeus, in his book Species Plantarum from 1753. The second most important coffee species today, Coffea canephora, was not recognized to be a coffea species till more than a hundred years later, in 1897!

Edo-Period Scientists Studied Mythological Creatures

These are three pictures of "real-life" kappas! You may know them as child-sized imps which lure people, particularly children, into watery areas to drown. They are perhaps the most famous legendary creatures from Japan (or Harry Potter). In the 1700s and 1800s, kappas were treated as scientific discoveries in Japan. Multiple were captured. When one turned up, they were brought to local scientists for identification and recording.   The kappa on the left, sketched by Ito Chobei, was captured during the Meiwa period (1764 to 1772) in Edo, somewhere in present-day Tokyo's Edogawa ward. When the creature was shown to Ota Chogen, a noted herbalist of the time, he identified it as a kappa, based on a sketch of another captured kappa he had handy. According to the text in the book, the Meiwa period kappa measured 60 cm (2 ft) tall and had slippery skin like that of a catfish. The middle picture above shows a type of kappa with no shell. It doesn't appear to be based on a captured kappa. The picture on the right shows a kappa that was caught in a net in Mito, Japan in 1801. This kappa had a prominent chest, a crooked back and three anuses.

The Mysterious Disappearance Of Aaron Burr’s Daughter

After the famous duel, and his less-famous treason trial, Aaron Burr fled to Europe. Thanks in part to lobbying by his only child, Theodosia Burr Alston, he was allowed to return to New York City in 1812. Twenty-nine-year-old Theodosia set off from South Carolina to join her father in the big city. But when her ship arrived, she was nowhere to be found. Thus begins a mystery that has not been solved to this day...

The Abandoned City of Mud and Mystics

The ruined city of Arg-e-Bam is made entirely of mud bricks, clay, straw and the trunks of palm trees. The Iranian city was originally founded during the Sassanian period (224-637 CE) and while some of the surviving structures date from before the 1100s, most of what remains was built during the Safavid period (1502-1722).     Bam prospered because of pilgrims visiting its Zoroastrian fire temple, which had been built early in the Sassanian period, and because Bam was a trading hub along the Silk Road. It was later the site of Jame Mosque, built during the Saffarian period (866-903 CE). Next to the mosque is the tomb of Mirza Naiim, a mystic and astronomer.     The city was largely abandoned since a series of invasions in the early 1800s. In 1953, work began to intensively restore Arg-e-Bam. Restoration work continued until December 26, 2003, when a massive earthquake hit the area -- an estimated 6.6 on the Richter Scale. Almost everything in Bam was destroyed. After that, restoration was given up, and today Arg-e-Bam is at the mercy of the elements.     click through the image gallery to see photographs of what Arg-e-Bam looks like today

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    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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