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View Poll Results: Women at the drum
Yes. I support women who sing at the drum 107 47.14%
No. I do not support women who sing at the drum 120 52.86%
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Old 01-04-2009, 10:12 PM   #201
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeke View Post
In general, someone did something that another thought was cool and they copied it.

Most of the time, it really is that simple.

Oh, someone will tell you it came from the Old Ones, or verbal history, or passed down from generations...

But, typically -- in 1954 -- somebody saw something different and, by now, it is wrote "tradition" and "culture," even though it has changed so much from inception that it would be nearly unrecognizable to the original practitioner.

Welcome to Living Culture.

Some pseudo-traditionalists whine but, without it, we're museum pieces, not a living society.
you know i would like to talk with you about the point you making about museum pieces / a living society. as i know a man who is from Oaxaca Mexico and he is a person with a Masters from Boston UV and a Activist
he spoke about not putting the Mexican ppl things in a museum and angry when he saw it,something about that's not where the culture belongs .could you explain the thought in a way that i could understand and please dont taunt anymore
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Old 01-04-2009, 10:18 PM   #202
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeke View Post
In general, someone did something that another thought was cool and they copied it.

Most of the time, it really is that simple.

Oh, someone will tell you it came from the Old Ones, or verbal history, or passed down from generations...

But, typically -- in 1954 -- somebody saw something different and, by now, it is wrote "tradition" and "culture," even though it has changed so much from inception that it would be nearly unrecognizable to the original practitioner.

Welcome to Living Culture.

Some pseudo-traditionalists whine but, without it, we're museum pieces, not a living society.
man you really have a way of taking something and wringing out of it what you need...

here's my take...

yes a living culture means that the culture is not static, there are new things, new designs, new songs and even new dances (like fancy shawl). This does NOT however mean you go around changing things all willy nilly cause it suits your needs, this would lead to a deterioration of the culture. So who makes such changes for them to be authentic growth of the culture? Communities actively participating in the culture who are ethnically part of that culture. NOT some lone outside member of the group. NOT some group imitating the culture (although ethnically belonging to another culture). NOT those who have assimilated into mainstream culture and looking to make old ways fit more comfortably into thier new ways. EXAMPLE: take me for instance, a Lakota living in Mohawk and Algonquin territory, married to a Mohawk. I can't decide to make a change to my culture, go tell all the Mohawks this is how my people do such and such and then claim it as the natural growth of a living culture. What it would be is made up, make believe, nothing more. Besides I'm sure they'd all laugh at me if I tried
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Old 01-04-2009, 11:27 PM   #203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2lineCarrandMorgan View Post
you know i would like to talk with you about the point you making about museum pieces / a living society. as i know a man who is from Oaxaca Mexico and he is a person with a Masters from Boston UV and a Activist
he spoke about not putting the Mexican ppl things in a museum and angry when he saw it,something about that's not where the culture belongs .could you explain the thought in a way that i could understand and please dont taunt anymore
Zeke seems to be looking at this from a perspective that I have had for years. Our culture is shrinking because our Native population is shrinking. We are a living society but for how long? We were once the majority in this land. Now we are the smallest minority. People who have found Native blood in them no matter how small seek out what it's like to be truely Native. They search and grasp at anything and believe it is the way. Over time that belief is transferred to others be it family or friends who want to believe. People actually believe the lies told to them by false natives such as the ones who we call fake.

Remember as in all peoples, we will be reduced to a paragraph on a page of future history. We are just trying to make that paragraph as big as possible. It's the nature of our exhistance just like others before us such as the Romans, Greeks, and early Egyptians. We come, We live, We die as a people. It's in the evolution of man.
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:30 PM   #204
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I don't recall taunting, but it can be difficult to convey some things in writing. Here's a model I've used for years.

There greatest historical leader of my tribe was Pontiac. If I go back to his time and hand him a Bic lighter, what is he going to do?

1. He's going to weigh Bic against his current method of creating fire.
2. He's going to evaluate his future ability to obtain Bic lighters.
3. He's going to start using Bic lighters to generate ALL of his fires.
4. He will forgo flint and steel.

Does that make him any less Pontiac or Native? No.

Of course, years later, people will be referring to "Grandfather Bic" and how he is the "Keeper of the Flame," as taught to us by the Old One, Pontiac, from son-to-son. Those who would use Zippo's are non-traditional and heretics, even though the use of Bics was merely pragmatic to begin with.

Eventually, you will only be able to use BLACK Bics because, legend has it, Pontiac's first Bic was black, even though it wasn't (I gave it to him, remember?) but some old guy -- yesterday -- said it was and he is an elder so he can't be wrong... So the black Bics will become "traditional."

And the people who use black Bics will look down upon those who question their use, where they came from and what they mean, because they have willed that traditionalism will be valued as a religion. Even those very few, isolated in backwater social eddies and near to extinction through Natural Selection, that use flint and steel will bow to the Pan-Indian movement, because it is honored and they are dying, anyway.

And special methods shall be devised to handle the sacred Bic tools, complete with stories and legends. Someone will create a dance -- today -- that calls to the past. They will pretend that it goes back generations in their people, back to the day of Flint and Steel, but it won't.

It will merely be another revitalization movement designed to offer some sort of Tribal Nationalism (either co-opted from others or outright made up), connecting them to a romanticized period, while they light Coleman camp stoves using Zippos, because Bics are reserved for "medicine," (only the BLACK Bics, recall? Nothing less!) even though the entire idea of the dance is to hark back to a time before their use...

And THAT is how tradition starts, because Pontiac found a better tool and people fear critical thinking. Replace "Bic lighter" with darned near anything, and that is the bulk of culture, as it is known to those that receive it.

Native people are NOTHING like we were, in the past (stop romanticizing!!!!), and we are NOTHING like we will be, in the future (stop being afraid!!!!!).

It is the way of things.

In another thread, I was chastised for beseeching people to "grow up." Let me try it another way: as Indian people, we need to get over ourselves. Traditionalism is NOT a religion.

For example: some people would rather watch their child die of infection, trying to treat them with moss and tea (because it is traditional), as opposed to going to a drug store for penicillin, across the street. That's just ****ing hubris.

And that's why allegiance to tradition is CRAP.

Is noting such taunting?

Last edited by Zeke; 01-05-2009 at 07:38 PM.. Reason: Noted as a THICK post #600 for moi.
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Old 01-05-2009, 07:53 PM   #205
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."

And the people who use black Bics will look down upon those who question their use,
So that's why I like black Bic lighters so much! So much that I'm lighting a smoke with one right now! Kewl!

Zeke, You're OK in my book! Glad to know you!
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:35 PM   #206
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thanks for helping me prove my point zeke with women on the drum. We've added on women dancing and powwows started with northern singing. then southern came along and thats how they did it. I 'm not saying to force women on the drum, but why look down on others.
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Old 01-05-2009, 08:52 PM   #207
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thanks for helping me prove my point zeke with women on the drum. We've added on women dancing and powwows started with northern singing. then southern came along and thats how they did it. I 'm not saying to force women on the drum, but why look down on others.
Just cause a select few disregard tradition as dying because so many others make it up along the way; doesn't justify those who are making it up.

Unfortunatly your "tradition" of Woman drumming comes from an outside person, previously unknown to you, claiming to be part of a drum that allowed Women to drum at one point. Now we have heard from this drum that they never did any such thing. You haven't seemed concern about this lie you were told. This is why some people like Zeke have the mentality that we should all just give up and do what ever we like. His attitude does not justify what is happening to tradition, rather such disregard justifies his opinion. I am still holding out that one day Zeke will see that all is not pointless. Or at least will stop telling the rest of us to give up.

I don't think anyone here looks down on the Nations that have a history of Women drumming (like since before last week). I live in Canada, I have been places where the Women drum, and have so for a long time. But never on a big drum. Why? Because the Big drum came from one specific place and was shared with specific instructions and out of respect for this gift the ways are respected.

I have seen Women giving permission to do differently in the prisons because there was no Men. And no I wasn't in prison, I went in to visit the sisterhood once a week with other local Women. This wasn't blanket permission, it was just for that place. I have heard of Women drumming on the big drum, I have not heard of entire Nations standing behind these Women saying "this is our way" And I haven't heard of anyone from where the big drum came say "cool, do it your way". To me that says it all.

Last edited by SuzzeQ4; 01-05-2009 at 08:59 PM.. Reason: accisdental post before finished typing
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:21 PM   #208
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This is why some people like Zeke have the mentality that we should all just give up and do what ever we like.
That's not precisely true.

1. Because it is old -- or perceived as such -- doesn't make it good/correct. (Most of it is CRAP.)
2. Natives should not fear change, as WE have as much validity -- to be who/what we are -- as those who came before.

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I am still holding out that one day Zeke will see that all is not pointless. Or at least will stop telling the rest of us to give up.
You seem to equate moving forward with "giving up." I equate it with fearlessness and growth: being a true Native warrior, in THIS century, with a global perspective on where we fit in.

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And I haven't heard of anyone from where the big drum came say "cool, do it your way". To me that says it all.
It says they're not desperate for singers.

Yet.

Circumstances change everything: which has -- basically -- been my argument for 600 posts.

That is diametrically opposed to "giving up!"

Nice post.

Last edited by Zeke; 01-05-2009 at 09:35 PM.. Reason: Addendum.
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Old 01-05-2009, 09:52 PM   #209
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Originally Posted by Zeke View Post
It says they're not desperate for singers.

Yet.

Circumstances change everything: which has -- basically -- been my argument for 600 posts.

That is diametrically opposed to "giving up!"
:LOL: Ok that was funny....but we sing behind them,so they won't be short of singers...ha!

Ok I know you see change as survival and that we should all give up trying to hold onto tradition. I see it as giving up who we are when that change is done on a whim because a few don't know what they are doing, don't care and want to make it up. I also do not see that as ligitimate growth of a living culture. Change from the inside is different and tends to be excepted as a whole. You think its the way we are to go to survive. I think its a melting pot that will end us all. The way to still be here generations from now with an actual Native identity is by (hold on you won't like this), marry our own, have a pack full of kids (then there will be many of us;) and teach them the meaning of traditions. Give them the tools to live (in any world) and a strong sense of identity. And if nothing else I think currant history shows that those who have their culture (regardless of race, have THEIR culture) fare the best emotionally in this world. Ya know a bunch of the kids in the community started high school and jr, high this year, and it's been rougher for them as far as racism and general azz types. One isn't dealing so well, but most of the kids are, they get together after school at the friendship center, relate their problems to each other while they sing, sew, bead, take medicine walks etc. The one boy who isn't dealing well doesn't do these things, he thinks it's all a waste of time. The rest of them (my eldest included), they have something and I think that makes a difference in life. Tradition is more then that of course, but if nothing else, it's still worth it on this point alone. Change on a whim, make sh!t up and you'll lose this cause it will no longer have meaning
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:09 PM   #210
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The way to still be here generations from now with an actual Native identity is by (hold on you won't like this), marry our own, have a pack full of kids (then there will be many of us;) and teach them the meaning of traditions.
Wow, you're right. That's the worst possible thing we can do.

1. Become racists.
2. Fornicate with brood sows who -- then -- create more brood sows for ongoing fornication.
3. Treat "tradition" as a religion.

Shall we create specific Native-ghettos and Third World countries, too? With only us living on them? Oh, wait...

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Give them the tools to live (in any world) and a strong sense of identity.
I'm certain the mandates that you propose kill ANY chance of that occurring. :(

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One isn't dealing so well, but most of the kids are, they get together after school at the friendship center, relate their problems to each other while they sing, sew, bead, take medicine walks etc. The one boy who isn't dealing well doesn't do these things, he thinks it's all a waste of time.
Isn't dealing so well with school or with the other, indoctrinated, little minions you describe? I'd like to see where they ALL are in fifteen years...

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Change on a whim, make sh!t up and you'll lose this cause it will no longer have meaning
You just described the vast majority of Native traditions.

I know, that's harsh: but following this plan takes us back to the 1920s. I vehemently disagree with it.
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:25 PM   #211
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I know, that's harsh: but following this plan takes us back to the 1920s. I vehemently disagree with it.
I knew you would. And I disagree with you.

Why does that have to equate living in a ghetto as a bunch of racists? My nieghbourhood is mostly Asian. They marry their own, pass on their traditions, language and culture and have well adjusted kids. The Arab families at my kids school, do the same. It's not a ghetto, and we get along (although we tend to hang out with our own mostly). Besides the ghettos tend to lack actual tradition. I think thats the problem, they got nothing left.
I grew up without identiy, it was soulless. My husband grew up with identity through tradition, he found it enriching.
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:44 PM   #212
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I grew up without identiy, it was soulless.
Unfair to thumbnail sketch -- you could do same -- but perhaps this is why you so fervently defend tradition as identity? (It is NOT.) You are who you are, not what you do, like "tradition."

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My husband grew up with identity through tradition, he found it enriching.
You husband may have grown up with tradition, but that's not his identity. (Again, tradition is NOT identity.) He is enriched by who he is, not via being aligned with a transient thing, like "tradition."

Then again, perhaps I am the odd one.

I was the kid that asked not, "Why is the sky blue?," but "Is the sky blue?"

It's not. We just perceive it that way.
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Old 01-05-2009, 11:57 PM   #213
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The way to still be here generations from now with an actual Native identity is by (hold on you won't like this), marry our own, have a pack full of kids (then there will be many of us;) and teach them the meaning of traditions. Give them the tools to live (in any world) and a strong sense of identity.
why do i suddenly feel like a german shepherd?
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:01 AM   #214
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why do i suddenly feel like a german shepherd?
Subtle.
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:34 AM   #215
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Hi everyone, i'm fairly new to powwows. I've only been drumming for 3 years now.

I'm from california and from what i'm told our tribe was introduced to powwows by some group from Canada. This group taught our tribe about the circle and the flags. The way a song should be sung and so on and so forth... Well those that were taught by them (Canadian) have not changed anything when they taught us. They gave us a fully beaded eagle staff, and all kinds of good medicine. Well when they taught us, women were allowed to sing at the drum.

I for one was taught this way. during sweat women on their cleaning time(moon) are not allowed near it, only time ive seen it is at a family sweat. we've allowed women who are moonin to sit at the drum. Our drum is a pretty well respected drum from california. I also heard cali ndns aren't real ndns, and powwow are for competition. powwows do have time when there is healing done though. so for those who said its all comp, at least have respect when healing does take place

I asked around about women on the drum with other people. One women told me she used to sing with Northern Cree (on the *big drum*) But they decided to stop that.

As far as keeping a tradition, how did a tradition get started. how come their are jingle dress dancers now? fancy shawl?
Singers aren't supposed to dance? half the groups i know dance! The creator has given someone the dance for the jingle, fancy shawl etc etc if he didn't want it why is it being done.

oh, and our tribe always allowed the women to sing.
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I can honestly tell you in the 26 yrs. that I have been drumkeeper for NC, I have never sat at our drum with a person of the opposite sex. We are quite adamant about females even sitting on any of the chairs while we are not singing or cutting accross our circle once the drum is set up. As far as I am concerned, if certain tribes or drum groups want females to sing on their big drum, thats up to them, but the way we were taught was that if a female wishes to sing, she sings as a backup singer to the males. Even in the rounddance cirlce, the females do not pound on the handdrums, but lend their pretty voices as back-up to the males. This has been the way I was taught and how it has been at rounddances and powwows in Cree country for the past 50 yrs. since I have been around, and the other night, at the rounddance up here it was still the same. Think it always will be!

PS. Perhaps the lady had her facts mixed up with some one else. No problem though, I guess if one wants to be taken seriously, you have to advocate that you have the support of the groups that are strongest in the circle
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I don't recall taunting, but it can be difficult to convey some things in writing. Here's a model I've used for years.

There greatest historical leader of my tribe was Pontiac. If I go back to his time and hand him a Bic lighter, what is he going to do?

1. He's going to weigh Bic against his current method of creating fire.
2. He's going to evaluate his future ability to obtain Bic lighters.
3. He's going to start using Bic lighters to generate ALL of his fires.
4. He will forgo flint and steel.

Does that make him any less Pontiac or Native? No.

Of course, years later, people will be referring to "Grandfather Bic" and how he is the "Keeper of the Flame," as taught to us by the Old One, Pontiac, from son-to-son. Those who would use Zippo's are non-traditional and heretics, even though the use of Bics was merely pragmatic to begin with.

Eventually, you will only be able to use BLACK Bics because, legend has it, Pontiac's first Bic was black, even though it wasn't (I gave it to him, remember?) but some old guy -- yesterday -- said it was and he is an elder so he can't be wrong... So the black Bics will become "traditional."

And the people who use black Bics will look down upon those who question their use, where they came from and what they mean, because they have willed that traditionalism will be valued as a religion. Even those very few, isolated in backwater social eddies and near to extinction through Natural Selection, that use flint and steel will bow to the Pan-Indian movement, because it is honored and they are dying, anyway.

And special methods shall be devised to handle the sacred Bic tools, complete with stories and legends. Someone will create a dance -- today -- that calls to the past. They will pretend that it goes back generations in their people, back to the day of Flint and Steel, but it won't.

It will merely be another revitalization movement designed to offer some sort of Tribal Nationalism (either co-opted from others or outright made up), connecting them to a romanticized period, while they light Coleman camp stoves using Zippos, because Bics are reserved for "medicine," (only the BLACK Bics, recall? Nothing less!) even though the entire idea of the dance is to hark back to a time before their use...

And THAT is how tradition starts, because Pontiac found a better tool and people fear critical thinking. Replace "Bic lighter" with darned near anything, and that is the bulk of culture, as it is known to those that receive it.

Native people are NOTHING like we were, in the past (stop romanticizing!!!!), and we are NOTHING like we will be, in the future (stop being afraid!!!!!).

It is the way of things.

In another thread, I was chastised for beseeching people to "grow up." Let me try it another way: as Indian people, we need to get over ourselves. Traditionalism is NOT a religion.

For example: some people would rather watch their child die of infection, trying to treat them with moss and tea (because it is traditional), as opposed to going to a drug store for penicillin, across the street. That's just ****ing hubris.

And that's why allegiance to tradition is CRAP.

Is noting such taunting?
Zeke, I read most of what you write. Take the good, throw the bull****.

Can you explain the Bic theory on the two above quoted posts.

The way I see it. Some guy who's sat on a drum for 3 years, comes in and says it's ok for women to drum in their tribe because his people were told it was ok by a woman from a Canadian tribe. A drumkeeper, for 26 years, from said Canadian tribe comes in and says that not the way traditions holds where he comes from. States a woman has not sat at his drum to his recollection.

You say it's ok for the California tribe to take the Canadian tribe's tradition and change it because...in your words...

"And that's why allegiance to tradition is CRAP."

Am I missing something in the Bic theory?

Keep posting dude. I agree in evolution, not basstardizing.
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Old 01-06-2009, 12:45 AM   #216
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I agree in evolution, not basstardizing.
Evolution IS *******izing, but it's neither good or bad: It's just the way it is.

Related to the two paragraphs, I presume both entities would be pragmatic and do as the Romans do, based upon where they are at.

And, the next time, nobody would even ask what to do our look sideways, they'd just do it.

Just like incorporating a Bic lighter.
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:17 AM   #217
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Evolution IS *******izing, but it's neither good or bad: It's just the way it is.

Related to the two paragraphs, I presume both entities would be pragmatic and do as the Romans do, based upon where they are at.

And, the next time, nobody would even ask what to do our look sideways, they'd just do it.

Just like incorporating a Bic lighter.
Is this why I've read on here of people from other races in other countries trying to be 'Indian' saying they were being 'traditional'? Do you just look sideways and say it's OK?
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:49 AM   #218
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Is this why I've read on here of people from other races in other countries trying to be 'Indian' saying they were being 'traditional'? Do you just look sideways and say it's OK?
Well, there's certainly no stopping it and being the "Indian Police" is a rather thankless and fruitless position.

"Tradition" is just a buzzword for actions that have gained credence over time: which is the very crux of Bic Theory. (Can I trademark that?) It's not just about the introduction of a new thing, it's the B.S. buildup of romanticized dogma surrounding said thing, its incorporation into canon, and "tradition" and "culture" being born from thin air, as validated by time.

You realize, of course, that such a process is what gives Natives much of what we hold dear? And, in such instances, it's all crap, and it's all relative, because people -- like the ones you mention -- have confused traditional (i.e., "old") with truth and authenticity.

Tradition is merely a set of social instructions based upon, "this is how we've always done it." Folks who romanticize Nativeness want desperately to maintain an attachment to this past because they believe that it fosters something greater than themselves, by virtue of actions.

The reality is that the Old Ones would laugh at us for trying to make fire by rubbing two sticks together, or striking flint with steel, when a perfectly good Bic lighter is available.
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:54 AM   #219
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Old 01-06-2009, 01:55 AM   #220
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Why do I have this thought that you hold on to what your parents and grandparents taught you, while arguing the point of 'we have to succumb to the now'?
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