What does the general public know about the history of indigenous people on this continent?
For some it would be a reliance on history books, school curriculum-perhaps documentaries, and even to some extent movies, art, or media archives.
But for us the memory of the slaughter and abuse visited upon the nations is a living thing that dwells among us in this house-old ones who know the names of family members killed during those times as told to them by parents and grandparents.
No folded flag, no medals, no obituary cut from the paper to be saved, no flower pressed between the pages of a book, nor death certificates or gravestones-yet they remain within our hearts and our blood.
Their energy, their history continues in us-we are the perpetuation of it, and take it to be a responsibility.
We will not forget those names nor what they endured, and we will see to it that little ones know these names as well.
American culture in large part is based on assimilation, the absorption and adoption of various cultural aspects of others. That and the bending of individual will.
This is often glowingly referred to as a melting pot of ethnicity-but there are huge problems associated with it as well.
Saint Patrick’s Day and everyone is Irish- Cinco de Mayo and everyone is Hispanic, ad infinitum- the reality though is that for many it is merely an excuse to drink and party, not an homage.
They understand nothing of the history or the culture, with the possible exception of a hybridized one that meshes with the American way.
This hybridization leads to a loss of integrity-just as it has and will continue to do with our ceremonies when those among us seek to commercialize them or gain notoriety in doing so.
That is what we see now with this fascination of indigenous culture and the wholesale cultural vacuuming of it by the crystal wavers.
It is not an homage, an attempt to preserve, or has anything to do with respect-that too is something people either fail to understand or willfully ignore for their own reasons.
Our culture cannot be defined by any standard other than our own (though we can all note similarities if they exist as well as conflicts)- neither can that of any of other ethnicity- yet it is the very process in which the American Way operates.
A narrow minded, myopic, and too often selfish approach that in effect assumes some superiority-an assumption that authored such things as the Doctrine of Manifest Destiny and the concept of holding land in “trust”.
Inspite of this the memory remains, a memory that is embedded not just in our minds and spirits, but in our very blood and the land itself.
This makes us a “problem”-more specifically the “Indian problem”- and having been defined as such not only increases the issues we contend with but exacerbates existing ones.
Recently in a discussion the name of Massai an Apache warrior came up and a comment was made that Massai’s mind may have been broken, but I think the same can be said for the mind of this nation that proudly asserts all men are created equal, and yet in practice nothing attests to that.
Diversity is an absolute essential to the perpetuation of all things-conformity can be of benefit in some areas, but it can also neuter and weaken- GMO’s are a prime example of that, inbreeding another.
Man is not the ultimate authority-neither does he arbitrarily know what is best regarding all things-all one need do is look around to see it is so.
Allowances are made for modern day warriors who fight on foreign soil when they return broken and traumatized-it is said they suffer from PTSD- perhaps such an allowance should be made for Massai as well-as I think those who do, past and present, did not choose it to be so.
If we fail to tell these little ones the names what is perpetuated? It is in the telling, the oral legends and history that in large part activates the memories-remove that and what influence is left?
Should we leave them to discover their people and themselves through books and the sources I’ve mentioned, allow them to become cultural latchkey children who must fend for themselves?
One need only look at our stolen children raised in an environment other than our own to ascertain the answer. Perpetuation is not a given in every instance-it can require effort, purpose, and input.
I for one am really over this the nations are going to share their wisdom and save everyone else thing, when the reality is we our losing the integrity of our wisdom and it is being undermined and revised by some among us who think having a site and offering up videos endows credibility. They are agents of assimilation and waging a war of cultural genocide.
It is being stolen by new agers, corrupted and revised, and then fed back to us. Not only fed back but embraced by some.
Some who seem intent on convincing one and all we walked on water-the truth is we never did-no culture ever has. We are human and suffer the same flaws as do others.
Don’t think that is the case? Then I suggest you take a serious look at some of the associations of our “patriots”, “liberators”, “walkers”, “talkers”, and so called “medicine men”.
They are right in the midst of it. Why? Because that is what broadens the audience and perpetuates the money flow, and the fifteen minutes-that, and nothing else.
Like I’ve said of others-they wouldn’t know tradition if it kicked them in the ass, and they could care less as long as talking about it in lieu of living it serves their purpose.
Remember those old Hollywood movies where they had non indigenous people wearing wigs of braids, a loin cloth and inclined to say ugh and how?
Well these I mention have the same makeup and the same affectation-so it’s a case of Caveat Emptor- buyer beware- because they are certainly selling a product-themselves, with the culture thrown in as a bonus- a would be provenance for the unsuspecting.