I seem to have had something of knack throughout the course of my life for acquiring Buffalo or Indian head nickels though I’m not a numismatist by any stretch of the imagination.
Never really made an effort to acquire any they just seem to come my way.
They don’t remain in my possession for long as they usually become part of a belt, bracelet, wristband, or accompanied by beads and jingles find their way onto a pouch, pipe bag, or some other item made from leather.
Notwithstanding this long association it was only recently that I did a little related research on the net and discovered they were minted from 1913 to 1938 and were designed by James Earle Fraser, apparently a sculptor of some renown.
The “tails” side of the coin employed a buffalo named Black Diamond from the NY Central Park Zoo as a model and the “heads” side is a composite of three indigenous men.
Some depending on condition are said to be worth a fair amount of money, I don’t know if any I’ve ever had were in that number but even so if any were I think the better purpose is served if used in Indigenous arts and crafts.
Different people I know have at times come up with one or two and offered them to me – such was the case yesterday when I acquired five more.
All showing a fair amount wear and in need of a little gentle cleaning but to be expected considering age and the fact that were they minted using a mixture of nickel and copper.
Like I said though, they don’t stay in my possession long and plans have already been made for them.
I used to do some sand casting, buckles,pendants, and bracelets – haven’t for a while but thinking of doing so again.
I only mention that as I have made belts using sand cast pieces, conchos, and at times this type of nickel.
A few in really nice condition have been set aside with the idea when more in comparable condition are gathered they will be used to create something special.
It has become something of an expectation after originally posting this three or four years back that I do so each year on this day – and so I have again.
No expectation should exist among any that as a people we would celebrate a day irrevocably tied to our decline, to the loss of land, culture, lives, and gencocide – nor in electing not to should we be castigated or our integrity as a people called into question.
For the most part I don’t believe that for the majority of people Thanksgiving day is linked to a religious celebration as it once was, I believe it is more about families and friends gathering – nonetheless we remember and cannot, should not, forget.
In the beginning we were made of the elements known to us- earth, wind, water, and fire, stone from the earth-we were a strong people, made tough and able to endure like stone. Our understanding grew and we fashioned stones into sharp edged instruments to employ in our daily lives, to defend and to hunt. We did this and found our place within the circle-we had no need of steel or the grief that always accompanies it. The age of steel had not yet come to us, and when it did we would be decimated.
In stone there is an affinity, an animism we recognized-in steel there is none-it is cold, impersonal, and above all indiscriminately deadly, belonging to a people completely unlike us, alien and different in ways we could not begin to understand. We are trapped in this age of steel now and we may never be the same again.
Our forward march was always in tune with the elements we were kindred to, a natural progression that went with the flow rather than against it, and so all things remained in the original balance Creator made.
The earth, the land, was the loving and beneficent mother whose breast we clung to and were nourished. We respected her, listened to, and understood the things she spoke to us. We neither pillaged or raped the land-we constructed no barriers, decimated the forests, befouled the air she exhaled for us to breathe, or ravaged her body for monetary gain. We were brother and sister to all who shared her bounty.
Now in our separation we do as others do, those places we live show the same blight as the inner cities-vacant abandoned buildings where the night crawlers gather, broken down rusting cars and trucks, refuse piled in proximity where we eat, sleep, and go about our lives with poorly clad children scrambling about the monuments of decline in play, and perhaps in search of some meaning.
It is not enough to accept and embrace the conditions the nations find themselves in, pride lost can be pride regained. Unwilling tribal councils should be circumvented and vacant decaying buildings razed- a tribal movement should begin to remove all this litter and the rusting monuments to the age of steel.
There is an undeniable responsibility that lays in accusation at the door of the oppressor, but likewise there is one that lies at the door of the nations-it is one thing to be beaten down and live in squalor without pride, it is another to be beaten down, live in squalor, and fight to retain some measure of pride.
It is fools errand to mark the days and wait for another to do something, it is a fools errand to mark the days and in an unwarranted act of reliance plead for the great black father to send a few blankets and trinkets to his distant children.
On this day while others gather at their tables to feast and give thanks for the destruction of the land, for a history fraught with betrayal, death, conquest, and greed, pause for a moment and remember who you are, where you came from, and more importantly where it is you would go-for now we have become like orphans, separated from the mother and not able to hear her voice as we once did-no longer nourished and suffering the loss for it. Casting about looking for direction, for the way home-failing to recognize that the mother dwells within us as is the way of all mothers, and in looking inward to find her we will find ourselves as well.
I like the sound of this, takes the long view while attempting to address the issues of climate change and unemployment.
Seems like a no brainer to do something comparable here, the stumbling block of course would be the monetary end of it, what company gets to make a profit and how much rather than a true public works project.
This could very well be a government funded program seeing how it doesn’t have a problem throwing money at numerous questionable projects in lieu of one like this that has an obvious and immediate benefit.
An estimated three to six billion trees are lost annually in the Amazon rainforest representing an average of between eight hundred thousand to a million and a half per day according to 2005 estimates.
Rainforests compose something like six percent of this planets surface, yet they are home to approximately fifty percent of the world’s total animal and plant species while producing 20 to 30 percent of the oxygen we breathe.
Estimates are that if the current trend in deforestation continue rainforests will cease to exist in forty years.
If every person alive today would plant a tree for themselves and one for each of their children it could make a difference, it wouldn’t be a solution but an incremental step in the right direction and something for people to think about the next time they decide to cut down a tree.
If you have to have a real tree for xmas consider purchasing a live one you can replant.
Ethnic connotations often enough comes to down to what feels comfortable when a person refers to their heritage.
I’m not from India so I don’t consider myself Indian and since everyone born in this country is a Native American to apply it to myself doesn’t seem to be defining enough.
I guess I could say American ndn as some will say African
American or Mexican American, but then again I’m not still
not from India.
In Canada the nations are referred to as First Nations or Aboriginals, which strikes me as being more accurate, but as for myself I prefer Indigenous.
Indigenous implies a long standing nativity, and as a people being the first upon this continent and hemisphere I believe we can truly say we are indigenous to the land as much as the flora and fauna and that suits me.
I don’t say it as a sign of superiority but as fact.
There was a time though when I believe we were superior custodians of the environment and our communities – the same can’t be said now as you look around at the litter, trash,gangs,and graffiti – a result I am convinced of the reservation system and assault on culture that has taken place from the arrival of the first boat people more commonly referred to as pilgrims.
As global awareness of environmental issues increases we as a people have begun to migrate back to traditionally held beliefs, and that’s a good thing, but we still have a long way to go.
It isn’t enough to be environmental warriors on the net in the midst of litter and trash where we live – that’s a truism whether we like or not.
I believe it is imperative for all parents to raise their children
with an awareness and commitment to the environment, to instill a sense of responsibility and custodianship as it is their generation that will have to contend with and attempt to remediate the damage more than their parents did.
Climate change is going to be an ongoing issue for decades to come even if a sudden reversal in policies, practices, and the corporate mindset were to take to place, which isn’t likely inspite of the rhetoric as that would entail reining in corporate polluters and reduce the demand for the products they produce from metals, plastics, to fossil fuels.
Both supply and demand in these areas are the single greatest malefactors and mostly people want somebody else to cutback and reduce their carbon footprint when it comes to altering lifestyles.
Industrialized nations are addicted to materialism and bling, they exhibit a sense of entitlement, the more there is the more they want and seemingly never make the connection.
The below links speak to the reality of the “American Dream”, it’s very non existence in current real time, I submit a reset is in order.
A reset that would require an inclusive national solidarity that will not be appeased by scripted political rhetoric or partial measures.
The odds of that occurring save a catastrophic event are thin, and why I promote raising the next generation as environmentally aware and completely committed…… yet something else the current generation can kick the can down the road for them.
The very air we breathe, the land we walk upon, and the water we drink doesn’t belong to a bunch of damn corporations, Wall Street, governments, or the banking industry – it belongs to all of us and time we began acting like it does.
If people are not for themselves, for their children, communities, and this very life sustaining planet then who will be?
If the truth angers or stings, it should.
Once in a while I’m asked about my “interest” in global and national issues in addition to those related to indigenous people as though such an interest is an anomaly that somehow brings into question my “Indianess”.
I usually respond by asking is there is a reason why I shouldn’t be ?
Which often enough seems to confuse or startle the individual asking as though they may have crossed some “politically correct” line.
The simple reality is that as a people we no longer own this land/hemisphere and have a incruciatingly limited input into the direction government will take.
We can all raise hell about that, and rightfully so, but nonetheless I don’t see a single indication that we ever will again own all that was once ours.
That translates to whatever direction this country takes we’re going to affected by it, which in turn means we have a vested
interested in as much as national and global issues or policies will affect every single man or woman in this country/hemisphere regardless of ethnicity.
With that being the case I believe we are obliged to stay informed, voice our opinions, and exert whatever influence we can and should.
Sticking our head in the sand or thinking that somehow if a terrorist attack occurs and any of our people are potential victims terrorists will either alter their plans to spare us or give the nations advanced notice would be foolish.
We aren’t going to be given a pass by anyone should war come to these shores – we wont be given a pass if an economic collapse occurs.
Those who work against climate change and regulations dealing with it could give a damn what we think or how we are impacted.
We aren’t immune to anything that could eventuate, we in fact due to poverty and disenfranchisement may well be even more vulnerable.
We may think we can live in a self constructed bubble of indifference but if so such a bubble is not only as thin walled as all bubbles are but can also be confining.
So it seems to me those who are fond of saying what has become something of a cliche internet meme that we are all related should begin to ponder the full implications of what such a relationship amounts to.
Yeah, I’m going to continue raising hell about this is our land just as I will anything else that can impact our common welfare.
If that’s perceived to be anomalous it doesn’t matter because I’ve come to understand the potential ramifications of all being related and I’m not exactly pleased by the implications.
As a people we are more than romanticized figures with feathers mounted on horse back, more than stereotypes, more than an AIM rag banner or free Leonard, more than bogus quotes incorrectly attributed to Seattle, more than the cultural corruption of marketed beliefs and ceremonies.
We live, breathe, laugh, cry, bleed, suffer, and die no differently than anyone else – it is a commonality all of humankind shares … just as there are concerns that should be commonly shared.
Inspite of what Obama had to say as recently as a few days before the bombings in Paris ISIS is not contained – that is at least unless he’s attempting to create a “new regime” when it comes to word definitions just as he did when it comes to the law.
Accepting Syrian refugees is the hot topic button now as it should be for a variety of reasons.
Among those reasons is the potential for terrorists to gain entry. I can’t say how likely that is but it seems an avenue to me while conservatives will play it up and liberals will play it down.
I’m completely in favor of any humanitarian effort to assist Syrian or any other refugees form the Middle East and with the number of states proclaiming they will not accept any it will become an exercise in state’s rights versus those of the federal government.
This is a tailor made issue for conservatives at what can only viewed as an opportune time for them with upcoming elections – and they’re going to make the most of it.
Realities will be sacrificed in the upcoming related discussion, both sides will go to extremes to justify their positions.
This president is so intent on finishing his term without a major event as to appear completely inept – it was only a few months ago he characterized ISIS as the jv squad, now just days ago he announced they were contained.
Contained? Far from it with a growing number of people joining their ranks and a global expansion of their ability to strike.
An ability that emboldens them to announce the U.S. will be targeted.
No ones wants more “boots on the ground” but if ISIS does strike the U.S. the outcry will be no different than it was after 911 and ground troops will be sent.
It seems to me a pre emptive effort is what is needed as America’s allies look to the U.S. to take a more active role – something more than funneling millions of dollars to programs to train and arm a countries population to fight and then announce the sum total was an active force of five and yes it wasn’t working.
A true multinational force has to be a part of that strategy – a force that will strike, strike hard with a devastating effect and not quit until it is over.
Obama can tap dance around in the hopes of not tainting the legacy he
is attempting to create as his presidency winds down but increasingly
events are going to demand something more.
Obama may be the so called Commander in Chief but he isn’t a military
strategists by any stretch of the imagination, and if he seeks the advice
of the military he may be well advised to actually listen to them and put
political considerations aside. He needs to listen to the voice of allies
A hard look is necessary when it comes to immigration – it hasn’t gone
well in Germany with the rival factions in refugee camps, rapes, various
crimes, and the political upheaval it’s caused.
There needs to be an comprehensive scrutiny of applicants and the immediate deportation of those who are involved in such activities.
Deportation? This country has never hesitated to deport Mafia members
or other law breakers so why should it be any different for other non
If we are as a nation to take in refugees we need to do so in such a way that they don’t encounter the same violence they are fleeing from.
We need to assure they can make a decent living and lead a decent life,
not stack them in human warehousing complexes and consign them to a second rate life of public assistance and dependency.
Anything less is a feel good farce and a balance must be struck between
attending to the needs of refugees and those of this country who are
warehoused, marginalized, embedded in poverty, dependency, and struggle to overcome a lack of opportunity.
If money is an issue related to that then get real about making corporations and one percenters pony up rather than legislating tax laws and policies that offer loop hole after loop hole.
I don’t believe an entire nation of people can be condemned across the board due to the actions of religious extremists, those who argue that point if they are Christians must then condemn all Christians for the same reasons as Christianity has it’s own history of terrorism.
People have a reasonable expectation of and right to excellence in leadership, something that’s far from the case and will remain so until such a time they will no longer accept anything less…. a nation in dire need of being saved from the drones and trolls of blind party allegiance, from cults of personality, and the unrelenting grasp of corporations.
As individuals we are held to account at our place of work, with credit finances, any form of debt, and general behavior – if a reason exists why it shouldn’t be the same for politicians and government then I’d like someone to enumerate them.
What is often overlooked when it comes to immigration is that it increases competition for jobs and effectively maintains a starvation level minimum wage.
The more people there are competing for available jobs the more it becomes an employers market – corporations love that.
A solution I believe is to redirect the “nation building” in other countries to this one – to create good paying jobs by bringing back manufacturing with an equitable minimum wage and public works projects under the aegis of reinstituted programs like the WPA and CCC of the Depression era.
The creation of good paying jobs would reduce welfare roles, increase consumer demand which would then be met by increased production, and directly impact the economy in a positive way – not to mention empowering people.
Every time the issue of increasing the minimum wage arises conservatives fall all over themselves claiming it reduces jobs – that’s an outright lie that fails to be substantiated by any credible study or statistics and clearly demonstrates the only thing they give a damn about is serving their corporate one percenter sugar daddys.
On the other hand when it comes to immigration I don’t believe the liberal talking points are exactly completely above board, I believe there exists an understanding that it will increase their base and pay dividends during elections and they’ve got their own corporate interests who love low wages and a lack of benefits.
In the final analysis these things are the face of politics, balance and a
middle ground that addresses issues in a sane an equitable manner in as much as they can be doesn’t seem to be part of the equation and the result is the divisive mess this country finds itself it.
I believe major issues facing any nation should be put to a national referendum allowing the people access and a voice in the decision making process, if not then at least in my opinion it cannot be said to be truly representative of the will of the people.
If the repeal of Glass Steagall, NAFTA, or even recent Supreme Court decisions had been put to that test I seriously doubt the country wouldn’t be better off than it is.
The majority of Syrian refugees are women, children, and the elderly, whether this country or any country will turn their back on them will be a defining moment, but the needs of the impoverished and disenfranchised of a countries own cannot be overlooked if the word humanitarian is to be any part of the narrative.