Author Topic: Paula Underwood aka Turtle Woman Singing - Pretendian Author - Fake Iroquois "Historian"  (Read 11760 times)

Offline WINative

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I just ran across one of her books "Franklin Listens when I speak" at a reservation library.  This book claims she was related to Ben Franklin and Skenandoa of the Oneida Nation circa Revolutionary War. She lays out her genealogy for both families.
She claims her great-great grandmother was adopted by the fictional granddaughter of chief Skenandoa who was living in Vermilion, Illinois around 1825. Claiming she was the daughter of someone called Lame Deer, sounds Like a Lakota family to me, and were living in a fictional Oneida village in Pennsylvania called Caskaskia, which sound only similar to Illinois village called Kaskaskia.
I don't see any topics on her here or online, but she seems like an obvious fake or fraud to me. She wrote several books as a Native American author but doesn't have any blood ties to any real Natives?
Here's her Wikipedia page:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paula_Underwood

Piff

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Re: Paula Underwood-Native American Author-Iroquois Historian
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2016, 06:12:32 pm »
Paula Underwood (married surname Spencer) was a white woman of white settler heritage. Many generations of her people were Quakers, including her father.
Paula's two adult children now own the copyrights and sell her books.
In her book The Great Hoop of Life, Paula claims that her paternal grandfather's grandmother Drusilla (Morgan) Underwood, was "adopted as a sister" by a mysterious woman. This mysterious woman gave Paula's family "Ancient Learning" to be carried down through the generations.
Paula claimed that she and her father were a "Tribe of Two" as he supposedly passed on this multigenerational responsibility.
Drusilla (Morgan) Underwood was indeed Paula's ancestor. As are all the other white settler ancestors she named.
Most everything else looks to be Paula Underwood's racist white woman fictional fantasy.

Piff

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Re: Paula Underwood-Native American Author-Iroquois Historian
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2016, 07:33:12 pm »
Paula Lora Underwood born 01 March 1932 originally was named Priscilla Loramarie Underwood https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:V2RD-5R5

Here she is in the 1940 federal census https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K9WC-3VN living with her divorced mother, maternal grandmother, aunt, and brother.

In 1940 her divorced father was living elsewhere 
https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:K9ZJ-9RX

Piff

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Piff

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Re: Paula Underwood-Native American Author-Iroquois Historian
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2016, 08:05:18 pm »
Here is an example of Paula Underwood's books used as primary and secondary education curriculum: http://nwindian.evergreen.edu/curriculum/learningstories.html

Offline WINative

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Re: Paula Underwood-Native American Author-Iroquois Historian
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2016, 10:05:01 pm »
Thanks Piff, When I read her book "Franklin Listens to Me," it was obvious she was not Oneida, or any Native American but being listed as a Native author and using it as a front to sell her books. I'm surprised no one ever called her out before? Her book was in a reservation library.

Online Sparks

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Re: Paula Underwood — Native American Author — Iroquois Historian
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2016, 10:47:35 pm »
She is extensively listed here, on a website about Native American Authors, prepared by academic librarians:

http://www.ipl.org/div/natam/bin/browse.pl/A347

(For website background, see http://www.ipl.org/div/natam/ and http://www.ipl.org/.)

An extensive overview of her works is also available here (another library website):

https://www.worldcat.org/identities/lccn-n93058282/

Has no one ever questioned her credentials and credibility before?

Piff

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Re: Paula Underwood-Native American Author-Iroquois Historian
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2016, 02:11:24 am »
So far I've not found any other questioning of her.

I think Paula Underwood's books should be shelved in the literary hoax section along with The Education of Little Tree.

Piff

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Re: Paula Underwood-Native American Author-Iroquois Historian
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2016, 02:46:46 am »
http://www.schreiner.edu/academics/academic-support/cil/pip/about.aspx A K - 8 curriculum she developed

Her bio states that she herself was "not the member of any Iroquois nation". But it also says that her paternal grandfather's grandmother was the last "Keeper of the Old Things" for an Oneida community.

http://www.ecoculturenow.org/program.html identified as an Elder, Iroquois

http://www.learningpeople.org/historical_aboutpaula.html "Turtle Woman Singing"

Piff

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Re: Paula Underwood-Native American Author-Iroquois Historian
« Reply #9 on: August 09, 2016, 03:43:44 am »
Here is a basic family tree someone has up of the relevant families: http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Underwood-2473

The names to walk back in generations are Perry Leonard Underwood, Oliver Perry Underwood, Silas Dinsmore Underwood, Druscilla (Morgan) Underwood.

Druscilla (Morgan) Underwood is the main ancestor that Paula claimed was given special Oneida teaching stories.

In all census, all generations, everyone is listed as white.

Paula knew her actual genealogy, she used it in her books, her family history research was donated to a library, and I found a copy of her genealogy application to join the Daughters of the American Revolution for another branch of her family tree. She knew her people were white settler colonials.

Yet she claimed that she was Iroquois, or that her family for generations was entrusted with Iroquois teaching stories.

Piff

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Re: Paula Underwood-Native American Author-Iroquois Historian
« Reply #10 on: August 09, 2016, 05:58:27 pm »
To get a sense of Paula Underwood, watch the video on Youtube 'The Wisdom of Paula Underwood (turtle woman singing) Section 1", posted by A Tribe of Two Press. This includes clips of Paula at various ages.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-anDbq0rNOQ&app=desktop


Online Sparks

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Re: Paula Underwood-Native American Author-Iroquois Historian
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2016, 10:45:00 pm »
Paula's self-published volumes are available on http://www.tribeoftwopress.com.

more information about Paula can be found at http://www.learningpeople.org.

information about Paula's educational program, including lesson plans, is available at http://www.pastisprologue.com.

There are many versions of her bios and self-presentations around. They seem a little incoherent?

Paula, herself, was not a member of any Iroquois Nation; she was, however, brought up by her father in the “strong spirit path,” and taught to revere and respect Iroquoian traditions. She and her father considered themselves a Tribe of Two.
From that to this?:
If You Really Pay Attention
--by Paula Underwood (Sep 21, 2009)
When I was a little bitty kiddy, about five, my Dad began a process …
--Paula Underwood, clan mother of the Turtle clan, Iroquois nation

Piff

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Re: Paula Underwood-Native American Author-Iroquois Historian
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2016, 10:48:18 pm »
Paula Underwood, in her book The Great Hoop of Life, a Traditional Medicine Wheel, claimed that her paternal grandfather' grandmother Drusilla (Morgan) Underwood was given special "Ancient Learning".

Paula Underwood stated that she herself was Iroquois. Sometimes she demurred a bit, saying she was not actually raised in an Iroquois nation culture, or that her people were adopted and then tasked with the responsibility of carrying teaching stories, stories that otherwise would be lost. But usually Paula said she was Iroquois.

Drusilla (Morgan) Underwood's father was Achilles Morgan (1772 -  1869) . http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=19329427 He and his family were known as "great Indian fighters".

"He was a captain in the Vermillion County Rangers, that unit defended against Indian attacks." http://jamesdavidwalker.com/morgan-list.htm

"a hundred men under the command of Achilles Morgan, an old Indian fighter' https://books.google.com/books?id=P2tHAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA90&lpg=PA90&dq=%22achilles+morgan%22+indian+fighter&source=bl&ots=DF83JF1WV6&sig=hEPQ6SFchMT9hAWsQEFCLvPqlr4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwin7a24srXOAhUB42MKHWAcAZQQ6AEIJDAD#v=onepage&q=%22achilles%20morgan%22%20indian%20fighter&f=false


Online Sparks

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Re: Paula Underwood — Native American Author — Iroquois Historian
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2016, 11:10:45 pm »
A few of her articles are lumped together here. I notice that "her shamanic training" is referred to more than once:

A NATIVE AMERICAN WORLDVIEW

by Paula Underwood Spencer


Based on a Presentation to the Board of Directors of The Institute of Noetic Sciences.

Paula Underwood Spencer is responsible for one traditional way of knowing. Passed down with what she calls "meticulous care" from her grandfather's Oneida grandmother, this tradition contains vast oral histories, some related to the first settling of North America; an extensive educational structure, part of which has been declared "an Exemplary Educational Program" by the US Department of Education; and a specific shamanic tradition called The Strong Spirit Path. In this article she relates her Native American educational and shamanic trainings to Western science.

My emphasis. I certainly missed that "shamanic" piece of the puzzle to better clarify what her endeavors consist of.

Piff

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Re: Paula Underwood-Native American Author-Iroquois Historian
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2016, 11:30:46 pm »
Sparks, I very much agree with your observation that Paula Underwood was incoherent.

In Noetic Sciences Review, Summer 1990, she wrote that when you talk to Native American people, you need to understand that their languages are much more focused on verbs than English is. She wrote that Hopi have no nouns. She claimed that it is agonizing for Native people to speak in English. Paula also writes of a "shamanic tradition" that includes "Particle is Specificity".

She tried to prove distant Cherokee ancestry also. She wrote up a report of her efforts, it is very difficult to read, convoluted and in my opinion, nuts.