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Old 08-27-2019, 06:08 AM   #335
OLChemist
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As much as I respect WD, I must disagree with something he said. I'm not "very knowledgeable." I know a little.


"My car is dented.
The radiator steams.
One headlight don't work,
But the radio can scream,
I got a sticker,
It say's "Indian Power",
I stuck it on my bumper,
That's what holds my car together."

-- Indian Cars, Keith Secola.

It is shame you missed the powwow. I know the fear of the uncertain automobile. I used to drive a Chevy Citation that was followed by a tow truck and two vultures. But, sometimes you just have to put on the bumper sticker -- and pay your auto club dues, LOL.

ATCR remix of NDN Cars


I trust you know that a powwow is a social event, not religious. There are spiritual dimensions to some aspects, but it's not ceremony.


Quote:
Originally Posted by joythirstpop View Post
I think it's pretty well agreed upon that the vast overwhelming majority of indigenous belief systems in the world overlap in a huge way.

You might get some argument on this in the Native world. This universalist assertion ignores a couple of big worldview issues.

Most of Native systems are much concerned with cultivating relationships, material and immaterial -- a western dualism that doesn't exist in the same manner. These systems are profoundly intermeshed with geographic locations, particular flora and fauna, and certain kin and social structures. Thus, they do not transplant. Nor do they lend themselves to sampling. You can't pick and choose, without potentially damaging the universe -- literally.

This is not to say that some tribes' ways and teachings don't provide ways of incorporating non-tribe members. But, there are profound changes involved in this. The person incorporated is fundamentally changed; they are woven into the community and metaphysical fabrics.


Quote:
Originally Posted by joythirstpop View Post
...there can be more crossover or universality of celebration of the deeper parts / worldview of ALL of the worlds indigenous cultures, in some way that can be accessible to as many people as possible yet still allow for individual diversity and identities to remain and be retained....
The above raises a couple issues for me.

First, this is vision is at odds with the fundamental functioning more than a few Native religions/cultures. My experience suggests this wouldn't fly in the Pueblos, for example. Some traditional systems restrict knowledge and practice to particular aspects of the society. Each gender, clan and society has its responsibilities. The opposite gender, different clan or society has no business even knowing what the others do.

Second, it seems for many in dominant culture celebrate does not to mean to honor and respect, but instead to participate and then appropriate for their own use. From where I sit, the spiritual buffet approach so many seekers take, shows not a belief in the teachings they borrow. Instead they demonstrate a fundamental disbelief in the powers involved and a lack of respect for integrity of indigenous systems.

Over the years, I've run into a few non-Lakota people who've become enamored with a particular type of dreamer/ritualist, the heyoka. They seize on idea of a contrary and fall in love with the idea what they see as of a culturally sanctioned rebel, especially one with powers. It makes them special. In the city where I did my postdoc, there were several large NDN heritage groups/clubs. There was a gentleman, that belonged to one of these groups, who drifted around the edges of NASA(Native American Student Association, not the other NASA)/AISES events and local powwows. Less than 10 mins after I met him, he had proclaimed that he was a heyoka. It was clear he had missed the point and the power. He was playing with fire or in this case lightning. I suspect if you could see into his heart, you would learn that he didn't really believe in the power of the spiritual entities involved or the teachings about that role and its obligations.


Quote:
Originally Posted by joythirstpop View Post
I read this book a few years ago "Neither Wolf Nor Dog" and there is this one part where an indian elder is talking about the way he sees the world, with god having gifted each unique culture to the world as fingers on a larger hand that is humanity as a whole, each culture with particular strengths, each which would be strengthened when working together.

Working together does not mean the pinky becomes the thumb.


Quote:
Originally Posted by wardancer View Post
Once you've decided that you are ndn , and figure out what tribe you are , then you can begin a long journey into your own identity !

Listen to the old guy, LOL. Once you find your people, then they will begin the process of enculturating you, in their own time. Teachings are slow. Respect is earned not granted. Remember to decolonize. Learn to hear and heed the words "no" and "not now". Listen to peoples' silences, these are as meaningful as their words. Eyes and ears open and mouth closed works best. Respect what you are claiming. Native ways aren't about you and your needs -- that these people might live.

OK. I need to get back into my bed. The lab is going to start calling my name very early.

Last edited by OLChemist; 08-27-2019 at 09:15 AM.. Reason: Wow, I invented the passive aggressive tense. Wholesale grammatical violence. Yee haw!
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