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Old 02-17-2017, 11:45 PM   #16
wardancer
Me & Eyes are the best !
 
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Join Date: Sep 2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OLChemist View Post

Good to see you have a sense of humor. It will get you far in Indian Country. We tease hard.



Our histories and cultures are by and large not in books, I'll exclude the Cherokee for the moment, since they developed and utilized their own system of writing within their own language and culture, and for their own uses. Our cultures by and large have very different modes of transmission of knowledge. We have different ideas about intellectual property. This ideas are rooted in our understandings of how the universe works.

Many teachings within our cultures are restricted to those within our culture and maybe only those who are qualified to get them. And there is no hard, bright line separating sacred and secular in many of our cultures. So, things which might seem to have no religious/spiritual component in the western world, do in ours. These things we guard jealously.

Think about your culture. Is there a book telling you how to make authentic German Scherenschnitte or Bergmannsfigur? I could make a miner's angel. I'm a good enough craftsman. I could make an exact replica of one my mother's Volga German immigrant neighbors gave her for Christmas when she was a child. But it would lack the creative spark of the real thing. No book could teach to me create this item in its cultural context.

This isn't about race. It's about being part of a community and tradition. I know many a non-Indian family member who makes regalia for their Native relative. What they make, I consider authentic. For they are creating it within the cultural context and kinship connections that animate Native life.

I know hobs, who do meticulous research. The read books, travel to distant museums, study pictures. They produce exquisitely crafted pieces. They get antique beads. They brain tan. They find exactly the right species of wood to smoke the hides. They find exact color matches for ancient earth pigments. But their pieces are dead.

I have two parfleche bags hanging in the dining room. One is painstakingly pounded elk rawhide. With rabbit skin glue fixed, earth paint designs. The techniques used to produce it, were absolutely faithful to 18th century Cheyenne technology. It is a magnificent piece. The other is a tiny bag. Made with somewhat shiny, Tandy Leather cow rawhide. It's painted with modern acrylics. The color blocks are edged with black lines drawn by a Sharpie marker. It was made by a Cheyenne teenager, who was trying to earn money for a car.

White people love the large elk hide bag. It fits their idea of "Indian" art. Indian people are drawn to the small bag and ignore the other. They sense the young girl, a link in a chain of artists who used the materials at hand. The spirit of her bag is true to the form and purpose of these bags.




Maybe our art and our religion are something we're not eager to share. I've heard it said: "The white man is like a raccoon. What he can't eat or tear up, he defecates on." After everything that has happened to our peoples, give us a reason we should be willing to teach the colonizer's children how to make our art forms?

Now, that said many of us are more accommodating. I'm a softie. I've taught non-Indians who've showed up on my porch and had the right attitude. Some even survived :)



Do you have any idea how tired we get of hearing how if we don't want to share the precious remains of our cultures that we should give up jeans, horses, pickups and antibiotics?

More collision of worldviews.

One: We weren't given a choice about participating in the dominant culture. (In English "dominant culture" is a sociological term that refers the mainstream Euro-American institutions, manners and mores.) We live utterly surrounded. In many cases, our traditional economies are destroyed. Should we let our children starve to remian "pure"?

Two: Most of the items that I suspect you would point Wardancer's using are mass produced commodities. He is not asking to be given the means of making these items -- i.e. he's buying and using an iPhone not making one.

Having a long term relationship with my patent attorney, I can tell you that the power of the legal system of every western country acts to restrict and punish unauthorized use of intellectual property. You have patent, copyright, and trade secret laws. We don't. And our intellectual property is plundered with little regard. Our legal and moral frameworks do not have standing in your systems.

Why did we adopt whites? Because humans form bonds. Kinship is what makes us civilized. People make friends, people form alliances, people fall into love and lust. The difference in those relationships is we choose. We are the gatekeepers of our families and communities, not you.

If you understand that, then there is a chance for us to get along.
As usual OlC has explained this nicely. I just would like to re-state a few things !

Our humor , even sarcastic humor , is probably one of the best indicators we have , of your attitude !

Much of what I was taught ISN'T in a book. My mentors sat me down and told me stories. Then we discussed it so that I absolutely knew the story and that was how it was to be ! Period ! I say Mentors in plural form as I was fortunate to have several Elders that decided I was worth their effort !

OlC's story of the hobs remind me of one ! I had an acquaintance , in Austin I met years ago. These were really nice folks , cared deeply about "Native Culture" . Husband and wife , white as white gets ! Husband is building an outfit to start dancing. Had a set of cuffs on the table , one done and the other started. He showed them to me and asked my opinion. They were beautiful , the beadwork was perfect......too perfect. I told him they looked awesome and as he pressed for more opinion I just told him they looked too good. As perfect as they were , they did not look like ndn beadwork. Typical response , he got mad and now were no longer acquaintances ! I have other non-ndn friends that dance without any issues.I have an adopted brother that dances with eagle bustle and roach feathers and is accepted anywhere we go ! Attitude ! One must understand where one fits within the community.

The last statement she makes is spot on ! It is our choice who we share with and how much we share !
__________________
I believe blood quantums are the governments way to breed us out of existance !


They say blood is thicker than water ! Now maple syrup is thicker than blood , so are pancakes more important than family ?

There are "Elders" and there are "Olders". Being the second one doesn't make the first one true !

Somebody is out there somewhere, thinking of you and the impact you made in their life.
It's not me....I think you're an idiot !





There's a chance you might not like me ,

but there's a bigger

chance I won't care
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