In the Whirled: The tribes that bind

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 29 2012 5:00 a.m. MDT

The danger of the tribe is also obvious. The most common word associated with tribal is “warfare.” Just look at the perpetual violence in the Middle East, a heavily tribal area. Entire civilizations throughout history have been willing to wipe each other out for the sake of the tribe. Even in sports, where a tribe consists of a logo and a bunch of transient players, violence can bring down a celebration. There’s a tendency, as soon as a tribe is formed, to dominate, reign supreme and in the process stomp out competing tribes along the way.

Thankfully, the only tribal stomping at the Minnesota State Fair is the clatter of hooves in the horse barn. This is, after all, Minnesota, the land of low-key people who truly pride themselves in being “above average” and nothing more.

The tribal sense I feel here is one of locale. This is a celebration of the food that comes to our table, of the men and women who bring it to us, of both progress and history, and at the end of the day, some good old Midwest fun.

I think the world would be better off with more of this kind of tribe. Even if it does battered, deep fried and on a stick.

Tiffany Gee Lewis lives in St. Paul, Minn., and is the mother of four boys. She blogs at Her email is

Get The Deseret News Everywhere