So, in my art history class today, my professor was talking about something that is so fuckin awesome.
These are warrior shields from the Wahgi people of Papua New Guinea. The warriors paint them with imagery meant to symbolize animals who have traits they wish to embody in battle. These depictions are intended to give the person using it the powers of what they’re depicting.
Now. Look at this Wahgi shield:
Hmm. That looks a bit different from the others.
That looks VERY different. Why, it looks like
The Phantom… American comic book character by Lee Falk. And that’s because it is.
The Wahgi people were isolated from the rest of the “modern” world until 1933. They came into contact with WWII service men who shared some aspects of western culture with the tribesmen. In particular, they showed them the comic books they read while shipped out. The Wahgi loved them. In particular, the Wahgi adored the stories of the Phantom, who wasn’t even particularly popular in its home of America.
He is so popular that the few Wahgi who can read english will read the comics out loud in the village center and hold out the pages for everyone to see, so the whole tripe can enjoy them and marvel at the Phantom’s might in battle.
They identify with the Phantom because he came from a jungle territory, like them, wore a mask to fight, like them, and came from a long line of warriors, which the Wahgi, who worshiped their ancestors, deeply respected. Further, despite not really having superpowers, the Phantom is strong, clever, and incredibly fast. He was so fast that his enemies began to believe that he was impervious to bullets and could not be killed.
Therefore, the Wahgi began painting HIM on their shields to invoke HIS abilities in battle. There are TONS of Phantom-Wahgi shields out there.
So, you might think that you’re huge comic book fan, but the Wahgi have taken their Phantom fandom to the next level and have made the Phantom a fucking talisman to carry into battle for strength.
[MI5 Officer] Mary Sherer met Phyllis McKenzie, who had worked for British intelligence in New York during the war, and the two women became inseparable. They lived together for the rest of their lives, ‘perfect foils for each other’. Within MI5 they were assumed to be lesbians or, rather, Lesbians [always capitalized in MI5 documents, possibly as a holdover of classical education]. Together they moved to Rome and opened the Lion Bookshop on Via del Babuino near the Spanish Steps. ‘Mary was a very fast runner and would think nothing of pursuing the rather numerous petty thieves that abounded in Rome during and after the war. She loved a challenge.’ This formidable pair of English ladies, known as ‘the Lionesses,’ spent their days surrounded by books and a large posse of dogs: Pekinese, French bulldogs, and pugs, ‘all of which Mary doted on’.
Double Cross: The True Story of the D-Day Spies by Ben Macintyre (via cruisecontrolforcool)
Great scene, and based on an actual historical incident in medieval Germany:
When King Conrad III defeated the Duke of Welf (in the year 1140) and placed Weinsberg under siege, the wives of the besieged castle negotiated a surrender which granted them the right to leave with whatever they could carry on their shoulders. The king allowed them that much. Leaving everything else aside, each woman took her own husband on her shoulders and carried him out. When the king’s people saw what was happening, many of them said that that was not what had been meant and wanted to put a stop to it. But the king laughed and accepted the women’s clever trick. “A king” he said, “should always stand by his word.”
Medieval women were BAMFs.
This was always one of my favourite movie scenes as a child (if that’s not telling about how I grew up, I don’t know what is) but the fact that it actually happened makes it 100x better.
The Russo-Japanese War established the Japanese on mainland Asia and marked one of the pivotal turning points that set the stage for both World Wars.
From the back of the photo:
“The town and harbor of Port Arthur are over a mile away behind us. We are upon a rock ridge between two of the powerful Russian batteries strengthened to hold off the approaching Japanese. All along this ridge earth works have been thrown up, planks and sand bags being used as we see to shelter the sharp shooters.
This boyish looking soldier, whom the men call Khariton, came to Port Arthur with her husband, a private in one of the Russian regiments recruited in Siberia. It was no place for a woman out here in the lines where the Japanese attack swept up over and over and over again like storm waves beating on a rocky shore. But it was her place since it was beside her husband. Kharitina (that was her real girl name) put on a uniform and came with him, begging for a rifle and promising to use it with honor. Impossible! Preposterous! Lacking a rifle the would-be sharpshooter turned nurse, waitress, seamstress-to every simple, humble, helpful service that was needed, she gave herself with dogged devotion, still begging for a rifle. Stay she would and did. One day her husband was badly wounded and carried off to a hospital. Then she divided her time between her husband and these grim earthworks more anxious than ever to serve for his sake. Moved by her passion, or wearied by her prayers, they gave at last into those slender hands the weapon she had earned by three months of self-renunciation. The Russian photographer who came here with his camera says: “She had just come back from a hurried journey to see her husband, down in the hospital. He was better. In two hours from the time she was photographed, a Japanese shell struck the ground here and burst, killing her instantly.””
Christian Davies (1667 – 7 July 1739), born Christian Cavanagh, was a trooper and later a sutler for the 4th Dragoons, later the 2nd Royal North British Dragoons. She was also known as Kit Cavanagh and Mother Ross. She served, in disguise, as a soldier in the British Army. First as an infantry man, from 1697 until 1701, and then for five years as a dragoon in the Scots Greys from 1701 until discovered in 1706 while searching for her husband.
Under circumstances that are unclear, her husband ended up in the British Army. Some accounts have him volunteering. Others have him being pressed into the army. In either event, he apparently attempted to write to her to inform her of his situation. Eventually, one of the letters made it to her, telling Cavanagh that he was in the British Army serving in Holland. Unwilling to simply lose her husband, Cavanagh placed her children in the care of her mother, cut her hair, and disguised herself as a man to join the British Army to find her lost husband.
Initially, Cavanagh joined Captain Tichborne’s company of foot under the name Christopher Welch. As an infantryman, she fought at the Battle of Landen. There she was wounded and captured by the French. In 1694, she was exchanged and returned the British Army, who were still unaware of her true sex.
After being exchanged, she continued to soldier on in the British Army, still looking for her husband. She remained a member of Tichborne’s company until she became embroiled in a dispute with a sergeant of the company, whom she killed in a duel over a woman.Following the duel, and possibly as a result of it, Welch as allowed to be discharged from the army.
Once discharged, she promptly re-enlisted, this time in 4th Royal North British Dragoons (later the Scots Greys) in 1697. As a dragoon, she took part in the fighting until the Peace of Ryswick. Demobilized at the end of the war, she had yet to find her husband. Still looking for her husband, she would eventually re-enlist with the Scots Greys when the War of Spanish Succession began in 1701.
Somehow, she managed to conceal the fact that she was a woman. As Marian Broderick notes, “Amazingly, she managed to do this without being discovered: she ate with them, drank with them, slept with them, played cards with them, even urinated alongside them by using what she describes as a ‘silver tube with leather straps’. No one was ever the wiser.” She was so successful at passing herself off as a man that a prostitute claimed she was the father of her child. Rather than give proof that this was impossible, Cavanagh paid child support to the woman.
During her time as a dragoon, Cavanagh grew to enjoy the life of a soldier. She particularly seemed to enjoy the marauding and looting that followed in the wake of battles. For a woman who had been successful in business, she was alleged to be just as successful a marauder.
Riding with the Scots Greys, she was wounded at the Battle of Schellenberg. Not willing to be sidelined by the musket ball that remained in her upper thigh, she was with the regiment at the Battle of Blenheim. After the battle, she was assigned to guard French prisoners. There she found, after 13 years of searching, her husband. Richard Welsh was then a private in the 1st Regiment of Foot. According to some accounts, she recognized him while he was trying to pick up a Dutch woman. Welch claimed he had sent her numerous letters, none of which ever reached her.Having found her husband with another woman, she refused to go back to him, preferring to remain a dragoon in the Scots Greys.
Despite her anger at having found her husband cheating, the two remained somewhat close. The pair agreed to not reveal her identity, instead pretending to be brothers. The deception worked, with no one in the regiment suspecting her of being a woman, even though she was known as the “pretty dragoon”.
Ms. Welch’s life as trooper continued until 1706 and the Battle of Ramillies. There she was again wounded, this time fracturing her skull. When the regimental surgeon treated her, he discovered that Christopher Welsh was in fact a woman.The news of the discovery soon spread through the British cavalry brigade. Eventually Lord Hay, the Scots Greys brigade commander, intervened, having Cavanagh’s husband brought from the 1st Regiment of Foot. After hearing the whole story from Cavanagh, he ordered that her pay be continued while she remained under the care of the army.
Greek myths mention several Islands of Women, where Amazons lived without men, only consorting with neighboring colonies of males at certain seasons when they wanted to conceive their children. Taurus, Lemnos, and Lesbos were said to be such all-female societies. The Greeks apparently feared them. They said the women of Taurus sacrificed to their Goddess all men who landed on their shores; and the women of Lemnos had risen up against their husband and murdered all of them at once. The Greek writers seemed to have not doubt that women could destroy whole populations of adult males, and there was no effective defense against them.The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets, Barbara G. Walker (p. 26)
The Women’s Battalion of Death was an all-female combat unit formed by Maria Bochkareva in 1917. The unit initially attracted over 2,000 enlistees, but the conditions and rules imposed by Bochkareva cut that number down to 300. All women of the were required to shave their heads upon entering the unit. During the Kerensky Offensive, the women were praised by commanders for their initiative and courage.
there is an old tale from the romances that tell of how, when alexander reached the fountain of youth, he took from it a glass vial of spring water and gave it to his sister cleopatra to rinse her hair. when alexander died, king of macedon, hegemon of greece, shah of persia and lord of all asia, beautiful cleopatra, queen of epirus and princess of macedon, was so overcome with grief that she flung herself into the aegean for grief. on stormy nights in the aegean, it is said by the island fishermen of lesbos, if you strain your ears you may hear, among the crashing waves and lightning flashes, a woman’s voice ask - 'how is my brother, alexander the king?' and the answer is always, 'he lives and reigns and conquers the world.' for though the age of alexander is long gone, one must never answer truthfully. one must never, for fear of her wrath, allow cleopatra to know that her brother is dead.
Color Processes in American Film
tinting: Not to be confused with hand coloring/hand tinting, the extremely labor-intensive, frame-by-frame process used in the early days of the movies, tinting was a more practical method of compensating for the (perceived) technical limits of silent film. Tints were used to indicate time of day, distinguish between plotlines, and evoke moods. Starting in 1921 Kodak offered pre-tinted stock in various colors, variations of which had names like straw amber, sunshine, peachblow, and inferno. Sepia survived the transition to sound in the late Twenties and has had the longest cinematic lifespan of the original tints.
examples: The Thief of Bagdad, The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg, Wings
two-strip Technicolor: After an abortive attempt at color in 1917, Technicolor unveiled its two-strip process in 1922. While more sophisticated than tinting, the two color (red and green) process had difficulty rendering blue tones and was easily damaged. Most two-strip Technicolor pictures have been lost, and the process is today seen primarily in short color sequences from black and white or tinted silent and early sound movies.
examples: Ben-Hur, The Phantom of the Opera, The Hollywood Revue of 1929
three-strip Technicolor: The most beautiful and by far the most iconic color process, Technicolor is celebrated for producing films more vivid than life itself. Three-strip Technicolor made its feature film debut in 1935 and had fully matured by the “golden year” of 1939. By 1954 most studios—with the notable exception of Disney, which had produced the very first three-strip picture back in 1932—had switched to Eastmancolor. Technicolor reappeared (and again declined) in the 1970s before being briefly resurrected in the new millennium.
examples: West Side Story, Nothing Sacred, The Bridge on the River Kwai
Cinecolor: A cheaper, less visually impressive two-strip alternative to Technicolor, Cinecolor was used in cartoons, documentaries, Westerns, and other short/low-budget pictures beginning in 1932. The 1948 Technicolor strike led Warner Bros. animators to employ Cinecolor in a handful of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies shorts, perhaps the best-known examples of the Cinecolor process. A three-strip version, Super Cinecolor, surfaced that same year but was still markedly inferior to its competitors. Technical issues, including blurry images and poor sound quality, led to the demise of Cinecolor. The company was absorbed by Technicolor in 1954.
examples: Odor of the Day, The Enchanted Forest, Olive Oyl for President
Agfacolor: Initially developed by the Third Reich in 1939 to foster domestic alternatives to Hollywood movies, Agfacolor Neu production methods were seized by U.S. forces during World War II and rebranded as Ansco Color and Anscochrome. Agfacolor was employed in several significant MGM and United Artists productions of the 1950s. The stock, like Eastmancolor, is referred to as Metrocolor in MGM film credits. Agfacolor ceased production in 1978.
examples: Lust for Life, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Brigadoon
Eastmancolor: The emergence of Kodak Eastmancolor in 1952 precipitated the fall of Technicolor, though viewers ironically tend to confuse it with the technology it replaced. Eastmancolor stock, while less striking than Technicolor and with a disastrous tendency to fade, could be developed in-house rather than at an expensive laboratory, making it an attractive option to studios battling the rise of television. Eastmancolor was often referred to as Warnercolor, Metrocolor, DeLuxe, etc. depending on the studio and is still in use today, making it the color film stock with which modern viewers are perhaps most familiar—the fame of Technicolor notwithstanding.
examples: Gigi, Dial M for Murder, Spartacus
Amazing American Civil War Photos Turned Into Glorious Color
1)This photo depicts President Ulysses S. Grant (pictured in the center, at the time, a Lieutenant General), his friend Brigadier General John Rawlins (left) and an unknown Lieutenant Colonel in 1865.
2) Union Captain Cunningham poses next to the command tent in Bealeton, Va., 1863. Cunningham was a member of Brigadier General Thomas F. Meagher’s staff, who commanded a primarily Irish contingent during the Civil War.
3) This photo by Matthew Brady, the most famous Civil War photographer, portrays three Confederate prisoners at Gettysburg, Pa. in 1863.
4) This photo by Alexander Gardner, originally Brady’s apprentice, depicts Union Colonel James H. Childs (middle, standing) and several other officers at Westover Landing, Va. in 1862. Childs was later killed at the Battle of Antietam, the single bloodiest day in American history. 22,717 soldiers were either killed, injured, or missing in action.
5) This is Major General Ambrose Burnside, the commander of the Union army of the Potomac. He is best known for leading the army to a crushing defeat at the Battle of Fredericksburg and for his distinctive facial hair, which later became known as the, you guessed it, sideburn.
6) This photograph by Andrew Gardner, originally Brady’s apprentice, depicts the staff of Brigadier General Andrew Porter in 1862. George Custer (of the Battle of Little Bighorn fame) is shown reclining next to a dog on the right.
7) This is a portrait of General William Tecumseh Sherman in civilian clothes. During Sherman’s famous “March to the Sea,” the Union army destroyed nearly everything in its path, both military and civilian, on its way to Savannah, Ga.
8) Confederate General Robert E. Lee at his home in Richmond, VA less than a week after surrendering.
These are fantastic
Still-Practiced Pagan Ritual Costumes
These are not your average Halloween costumes. For two years, French photographer Charles Fréger has been traveling throughout European countries, trying to capture the spirit of what he calls “tribal Europe” in his Wilder Mann series. What he found was a huge array of pagan rituals, mainly related to the winter solstice and spring renewal, focusing on the common myth of the “wild man.”
It appears that the tradition of men dressing up as wild animals and monsters, which dates back to neolithic times and shamanism, is still very alive. The mythological figure of a “wild man” represents the complicated relationship humans have with nature and life and death cycles. His series explores the different interpretations of such figures – while some cultures depict him as covered in flowers or straws, others possess the features of bears, goats, or horned and hairy beasts.
Julie D’Aubigny was a 17th-century bisexual French opera singer and fencing master who killed or wounded at least ten men in life-or-death duels, performed nightly shows on the biggest and most highly-respected opera stage in the world, and once took the Holy Orders just so that she could sneak into a convent and bang a nun. If nothing in that sentence at least marginally interests you, I have no idea why you’re visiting this website.
One of the most badass human beings ever produced by France was born in 1670 into a life of wealth, privilege, and one-percenter opulence that meant she could have just spent her entire life chilling out Real Housewives style without ever so much as having to shank a single human being in the eye in a hellacious fit of rage, but, as we shall soon see, that sort of malaise really wasn’t this chick’s bag. Her father was the Grand Squire of France, meaning that he was pretty much the number-one dude responsible for training King Louis XIV’s pages and maintaining the Royal Stables, and this guy wasn’t really the sort of hard-drinking drill sergeant motherfucker who was going to let his little daughter grow up without learning the finer arts of dishing out knuckle sandwiches to her enemies or running would-be suitors through the small intestines with the pointy end of a rapier. This French R. Lee Ermey trained young Julie the same way he trained the King’s Squires, and as a young woman she learned the finer points of necessary life skills such as horseback riding, horse maintenance and repair, drinking excessively, gambling, fistfighting, avenging your honor, and stabbing people in the fucking face when they don’t have the good sense to step off when you’re threatening them. Growing up surrounded by tough men, this tall young beauty with the dark auburn hair and piercing blue eyes was forged into an instrument of badassitude.
Julie D’Aubigny got started early on her career of banging and/or killing everything in sight when, at the age of sixteen, she started having an affair with her father’s boss. The young Mademoiselle D’Aubigny soon proved herself way too hot for that guy to handle, however, so before long he gave her father a promotion, then got her married off to some spineless jackass-non-gratta known only as Monsoir Maupin so that she would leave him alone. Maupin was a Count or Viscount or Demi-Count or some shit, and he lived in one of the colonies across the sea and rarely spent time in France, and since this chick wasn’t about to move out to bumfuck nowhere and be a quiet little housewife in some malaria-infested corner of the world she rarely saw him and he doesn’t factor into her life story in any appreciable manner at all. The only real thing this guy provided was a title, some money, and a wedding ring, all of which allowed Julie to use her marital status as a way of being able to do promiscuous shit she wouldn’t have been able to get away with as an unmarried woman.
So, while her husband was off doing god-knows-what in Africa or India or wherever the hell he was, Julie D’Aubigny moved to Marseille and started hooking up with a badass fencing master who just so happened to be on the run for murder after he stabbed some dude to death in an alley outside Paris. The homicidal fugitive swordsman trained D’Aubigny in the finer arts of fencing for a while, but as soon as she realized the student was now the master she ditched his broke ass and started giving sword exhibitions across Marseille to hone her skills and make a little extra dough. Basically it worked like this – she’d pull out her sword, sing a song or two, and challenge anyone in the audience to battle her in a duel. If someone stepped up, she’d sing a humiliating song about them, then make them look like assholes who couldn’t tell the difference between a sword and a limp piece of linguine. Her skills were so lights-out gonzo that one time some jerkwad in the crowd called out that she wasn’t really a woman, but was some badass cross-dressing cavalier musketeer motherfucker who was ripping everyone off. She responded by ripping open her blouse and telling the audience to “judge for themselves”.
Oddly enough, kicking peoples’ asses for money eventually led to a completely unrelated job prospect – a career as the star attraction of the Paris Opera. Apparently, while this chick was singing songs to humiliate her enemies in the dueling circle, some powerful record execs were in the audience, and they were so impressed by her melodious contralto voice that they decided she should be doing better shit than stabbing people in the balls for spare change. In the span of a few months, the woman known in Marseilles only as “La Maupin” (meaning “The Mapuin”) went from a completely untrained street performer to the lead actress in the world’s most respected Opera, playing roles of badass Classical chicks like Pallas Athena, Medea, and Dido. In addition to her flair for the dramatic and innate musical talent, it also helped that La Maupin had a near-photographic memory and rarely needed to read her lines more than once before committing them to memory.
Of course, her fiery temperament in love and combat meant that she slept with or swordfought with most of the men and women in the opera at various points during her career. Like, one time some jackass doucheface pretty-boy actor was being overly-aggressive while talking to one of Julie’s actress friends, so La Maupin told that asshole to take a chill pill and show the lady some respect. He told her to fuck off and mind her own bitch business. Later that night, as he was walking home, he found La Maupin standing in the street, weapon drawn, challenging him to a duel for honor. When the guy refused to pull his sword, she fucking beat his ass with a wooden cane, stole his pocketwatch, and left his dumb ass in an alley. The next day, the dude came to work with a couple black eyes, and when people were like, “WTF is up with your face,” he told them he got jumped by three big black dudes armed with hammers and baseball bats. As soon as he said this, La Maupin pulled out the dude’s pocketwatch and called him out a lying liar from Douchebagville. Then, to make matters more humiliating, she then forced the dude to kneel and beg forgiveness in front of all his co-workers before he could get his shit back.
La Maupin was also kind of a hardcore bisexual, and some of her tales of badass awesomeness dueling over female lovers and seducing chambermaids read like they were perpetrated by musketeers or pirates or some other ultra-daring swashbuckling male heroes of eighteenth-century literature. Of course, being a woman, Julie D’Aubigny could pull off some feats of romantic badassitude that most men could only dream of. The most notable example of this was the time that she became a nun just so she could hook up with one of the sisters in the convent. The story goes like this: One time the Mademoiselle D’Aubigny got some super-hot lusty blonde to fall in love with her. When the blonde’s parents found out their daughter was a lesbo, they had their “ravished” daughter put into a convent, totally unaware that this wasn’t going to be nearly enough to deter La Maupin – D’Aubigny took the holy orders, entered the convent as an initiate, created a diversion by setting the fucking convent on fire, and then kidnapped the blonde nun, snuck her out of there, and shacked up with her for like a month. Are you kidding me with this?
Of course, this chick was a lover as well as a fighter, and sometimes she was actually both at the same time. Like, one time a trio of drunk assholes were giving Julie shit while she was performing her songs in a rowdy tavern, so the star of the Paris Opera took all three of them out into the grassy courtyard, and when they all jumped her at the same time with their swords she drew her blade and made sure every single one of them was suffering from multiple stab wounds before she went back to the tavern. The next day she felt kind of bad about stabbing the fucking ass out of one of the dudes, so she went to his room to see how he was doing, and then ended up seducing him and getting busy with him relentlessly for like three weeks straight. You know you’re a fucking baller chick when you can shank a dude through the abdomen with a rapier and then still get it on with him. I mean, guys are easy, but they ain’t that easy.
On another occasion, La Maupin was at a Royal Ball in the palace of King Louis XIV, attending as the guest of Louis’ brother, Prince Philippe of France. She showed up to the party dressed as a man in a scarlet tunic and immediately started dancing with all the hot bitches, showing up all the young dudes looking for hot young wives. This was fine and all, but when La Maupin had the audacity to tongue-kiss a particularly fine-looking blonde marquise right in front of the entire Royal family, three jackass noblemen got a little bent out of shape about it and told Maupin she needed to start acting like a lady and stop macking on all the hot babes. La Maupin offered to take it outside, defeated all three men in three consecutive duels, then came back to the party while the trio of poseurs were still lying bleeding in the street like dogs. This event drew a little heat on the Maupin, so while she waited for things to cool down she decided to go to Brussels for a while and have an affair with the German Prince who happened to be the guy in charge of ruling over the Spanish Netherlands (no biggie).
Julie D’Aubigny, La Maupin, the most badass swashbuckler of 17th-century France, did eventually settle down a little, returned home to Paris, reunited with her husband, resumed her career as the star attraction of the Paris Opera. She died in 1707 of unknown causes at the age of 37, living fast, dying young, and leaving a good-looking corpse.
and people say history is boring
Holy fuck how is there not a movie about her yet?
I demand a movie.
From http://www.eldacur.com/~brons/Maupin/LaMaupin.html , regarding the ordeal in the convent:“Our heroine followed, entering the convent herself as a novitiate. Shortly thereafter, one of the nuns died. La Maupin disinterred the body of the deceased nun and, placing it in the bed of her beloved, set the room afire so that the two could flee in the ensuing confusion”STOLE A DEAD BODY. LIT THE ROOM ON FIRE. ESCAPED.
I will pay to see a movie done right of this woman.