Before Wyoming

Very interesting article about pre-settler Wyoming. I wonder, briefly, whether the author might be related to the Justin Nickerson who went to school with my mother in Farson, Wyoming. I found this one because I was searching for information about American Indian place names in Wyoming. Specifically, I was wandering off on a tangent after…

Culture | Memories


In the novel American Gods, Neil Gaiman quotes Richard Dorson: “One question that has always intrigued me is what happens to demonic beings when immigrants move from their homelands. Irish-Americans remember the fairies, Norwegian-Americans the nisser, Greeek-Americans the vrykólakas, but only in relation to events remembered in the Old County: When I once asked why…


LARPing tribalism

I don’t understand the reason so many modern heathens and neo-pagans are drawn to fantasies of re-creating antique tribalism. I don’t think they understand the idea of tribes. That’s why I see it as LARPing. Our ancestors used tribe as a synonym for ethnicity and nationality. The Saxons were a tribe; the Franks were a…


Burden of Proof

Some people just love fakes. When I was working on medieval genealogies at Geni.com I was bowled over by the number of people willing to go to the mat for information they found online or got from Grandma. No other evidence to back it up. Most often their reasoning was something along the lines of…


Indians and Polynesians

I think we could file this one under “proving the obvious”. Some South American Indians share DNA with some Polynesians. And the connection goes back way before European contact. I was a fan of Thor Heyrdahl when I was a kid. I must’ve read Kon-Tiki a dozen times. That’s the one where he built a…


Website Status

July 1, 2020 I have now brought in two more old websites — hauridna.wordpress.com and underawesternsky.wordpress.com. It will take some time to get everything cleaned up again but this should be the last of the web fragments I intend to import. October 18, 2019 Website should be up and functional, although many broken links remain….


History is a pack of lies

Napoléon said history is a pack of lies, agreed upon. Actually that’s not exactly right. He said, “Mais qu’est alors cette vérité historique, la plupart du temps? Une fable convenue.” Translated, that would be “What then is the truth of history, generally? A fable agreed upon.” But he didn’t claim originality there. It’s been a popular…


Wyoming Brands

There’s a book on the cattle brands of Green River, Wyoming. Branded: History of Green River Valley and Hoback Basin Brands (2016), compiled and published by Green River Valley Cattlewomen. My great grandfather Bill Luce (1864-194) lived there. I bought the book, thinking his brands might be mentioned. No such luck. I asked Jonita Sommers….


Five Jesus Books

There are quite a few different ideas about the “Historical Jesus”. I run into people who know just one of them and think it’s the only one. Almost always they’re surprised and disappointed that this is an open question. Reza Aslan. Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth. Random House, 2013. John Dominic…


Laurasian Novel

Have you ever had the feeling that the religious stories we have might be older—far older—than anyone imagines? “Focusing on the oldest available texts, buttressed by data from archeology, comparative linguistics and human population genetics, Michael Witzel reconstructs a single original African source for our collective myths, dating back some 100,000 years. Identifying features shared…