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Old 01-14-2005, 09:28 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Iron Eagle

But I was not addressing Fads and Fashion and Pop Culture. I am talking about the Natives that are really and true Wannabe Blacks or they are really and true Wannabe African Americans (if you so choose that term). I am also talking about the Natives that are Wannabe White Rich People (why can't they just be Rich Natives). And I am talking about the Natives that are Wannabe Asians. And so forth.

Just as White Wannabes are trying to be Native, we have examples of Natives trying to be White or Black or Asian and wanting to be (Wannabe) part of the White Culture (whether it be American, German, French, Italian, etc.) or Asian Culture and even African Culture.

.
Tom.. i have yet to meet any indian who wanted to be black or asian... truly truly want to be of another culture. Mimic, yes. Participate in, yes. But I have never seen a native person wearing a daishiki... I have seen one wearing a Kimono but that's only because the alternative school her and her sisters goes to teaches Japanese and it was their language course graduation night... she was'nt all dressed like some geisha. And please.. explain to me what the difference is between rich white and rich indian? All the "rich" I have ever met are pretty much the same. They dress rich, act rich, live rich and still hold recognizable pieces of who they are ethnically. Otherwise.. now they are just "rich" LOL! Now if you are talking about silks.. that's a different story alltogether.
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Old 01-14-2005, 09:34 PM   #42
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Once again I'm going to bring this up.....

Has anyone given thought to the fact that eagle feathers were not illegal to own by anyone until the 60's or 70's when DDT put them on the highly endangered list? That now that they are protected, that this might be what has created a black market so to speak for eagle feathers? If it were'nt for the fact that our ceremonies includes the use of eagle feathers and parts.. that anyone would be able to own them? Legally?
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Old 01-16-2005, 07:41 PM   #43
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It's because we are special, BB.

At least I am. Aye. *L*
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Old 01-17-2005, 05:01 AM   #44
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LOL yeah but with some people I wonder what kind of special...hehehe.
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Old 01-18-2005, 09:34 AM   #45
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Native Being Something Else and Back to Feathers

Black Bear, it is good that you have not seen what I and some others have seen in their lifetime. I have traveled all over and Yes there are Natives that are not Native (they deny that part of their Culture and are wannbe something else). Perhaps some can remember the big African Movement in the 70s and some of saw Natives that were wannabe Africans and African Americans and yes some of us saw Natives that wore the African Clothing and even took on African Names. Some of us have seen Natives become Muslim and even Buddist and take on Muslim and Buddist Names and deny their Native Culture also. And some of us have seen Natives in the 70's deny their Native Culture and be wannbe Japanese, and other cultures too.

In fact many of us know of someone or have heard rumor of Natives that have denied their Culture and are Wannabe something else. It is very very sad, some have come back and learned from such a mistake, but some have not and are living a lie.

One of the worst cases that I have ever seen is in the Gang Culture in which there are examples of Native Americans that are wannabe Gang Bangers. Some have completely denied any Native to become a part of some Gangs.

And yes there is a difference in Richness - you see it everyday especially if you travel and see the extreme Rich places in America and Abroad you can easily see the difference in Richness among Races.

Now back to the Feathers: Before many of the Bird Protection Acts were passed (Migratory, Endangered, Protected, etc.) you could easily posses any and all Feathers. One could even buy Feathers from a store and even out of a catolog. If you have such Feathers you are protected under the Grandfather Clause - you only need to show that these feathers were acquired before the laws were passed. This is true regardless of Race, Religion, Culture, etc. as the law was not passed for those reasons but for Wildlife Protection.

Last edited by Tom Iron Eagle; 01-18-2005 at 10:32 AM..
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Old 01-18-2005, 11:40 AM   #46
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Lightbulb Why are Eagles special?

I have been following this thread with great enthusiasm. Many folks have raised some very thoughtful points to consider and others have become involved in related topics of blood quantum, wanna-bes, cultural identity, etc. However, in my opinion, I have not seen anyone address the prime topic that I feel is central to this issue. Why are Eagles special?

Before the Preditory Bird Protection Act was passed in 1964, Eagle feathers were available for anyone to use regardless of their race or religious preference. People could use Eagle (Golden Eagle or Bald Eagle) for religious purposes or decorative purposes. However, DDT pesticides were reducing their numbers and so the law was put into effect to protect the birds from becoming extinct. But, a clause was put into the law to allow NDN people the right to use feathers on a limited basis for their religious purposes. This then created the problem. It raised the questions, "Who is NDN and who is not?"; it also raised the question, "What constitutes the religious use of feathers?" It also raised the question, "How many feathers is enough to use for religious purposes?" These are questions the government was not prepared for and they have been struggling to protect Eagles while trying to sort out the details of the questions the law created ever since it was passed.

However, the central question still remains. Why are Eagles so special? What is it about Golden Eagles or Bald Eagles, living or dead, that makes them or their feathers or other body parts special to NDN spiritual practices within many different tribal traditions? Can NDN spiritual practices continue without the use of feathers?

In the tribal traditions I was taught by spiritual men far more knowledgable than I am, the Golden Eagle flies higher than any other animal and is therefore closer to God or The Great Mystery, than any other animal. It was believed long ago that for an animal or bird to be this close to God or The Great Mystery, it would have to have the purest of spirit. This purest of spirit was not only in the spirit of the Golden Eagle while it lived, but was also in it's body parts, especially it's feathers. Long ago it was believed by some tribes that the feathers could convey this purity of spiritual essence onto someone that possessed a feather, or wore a feather, or used a feather in a sacred way. It was a blessing and could impart blessings. It was also believed that the Golden Eagle when living, could and frequently did communicate messages between the world of humans and the spiritual world, and it was believed that the feathers also helped in this communication process.

Today, there are some people who still hold these traditional beliefs and other tribal traditions that are similar for both the Golden and Bald Eagles. Unfortunately, there are others who hide behind these spiritual beliefs just so that they can legally possess Eagle feathers to look more NDN in the stereotypical sense.

Does having an Eagle feather or feathers make a person more NDN? Does it make them more spiritual? Can a Sundancer participate in a Sundance if he does not have a real Eagle wing-bone whistle?

A very old and very wise holyman in South Dakota told me years ago that all the items used in spiritual ceremonies are just tools. Tools to be used as a way of focusing our minds and spirits to do what is right and good. He told me feathers and other sacred items are just tools. They have no power in themselves, they only direct or transfer the power that already exists in the universe. If this is true, then what is the greatest good in relation to the question concerning who has the "right" to poses and use Eagle feathers?

I believe we should consider the right of the Eagles first. Everything else should be considered in proper relationship to honor the Eagles and preserve their species. We have a responsibility to preserve the Eagles from extinction, and we also have a responsibility to preserve the spiritual traditions for future generations. This I feel is more important than other consideration or side issue. What do you think?
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Old 01-18-2005, 12:01 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Iron Eagle
One of the worst cases that I have ever seen is in the Gang Culture in which there are examples of Native Americans that are wannabe Gang Bangers. Some have completely denied any Native to become a part of some Gangs.
This is very true... We have them here on our reservation.. wearing the colors dressing like a gangster rapping and moving like a gangster.
I would have to say tho.. that I really dont think its a conscious effort... back in the 60- 70 yes alot of people denied thier traditions and cultures due to boarding schools, the NdN was beaten out of them, it wasnt so much they didnt want to be Native it was the in lying fear that they would be beaten if they acted like one, and therefor we get those parents that teach thier kids the same.. that its bad to be NdN... Yet alot of the kids are desperately seeking something inside them, they just not sure what it is... I can tell ya what it is.. It is the need to be apart of something.. and so if the parents cant offer it to them... they gonna go find it somewhere else.. It just phsycology and a part of society.... everyones need to fit in somewhere.
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Old 01-18-2005, 03:08 PM   #48
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Other Cultures and Back to the Feather Issue

AngelFeather, yet another good point. And I see your persepective about it might not be a conscious effort like Indian Boarding Schools of the 19th and 20th Centuries and other examples that included Brain Washing.

Once again I am talking about actual Natives that have made a true and willing and 100 percent conscious effort to be something else. It does happen - why can't some people see it and stop denying it? As said before it is sad but it does exist. Think about Berkely in the 1970s and you might see what I am talking about.

I think about some of the Natives in the 1970s that got rid of all their Feathers and Sacred Items as a Native American to become a Buddist or a Muslim not to mention something else.

Feathers: Historian that was a wonderful post. And you make a wonderul debate. A long time ago on this site there was a discussion about Feathers and Use. It was mentioned that not all Tribes saw the same in all Feathers.

Example: It would seem that many have forgotten that the Golden Eagle was not even in the Areas of many Tribes so Golden Eagle Feathers did not mean much to those Tribes. Different Feathers meant different things to Tribes.

Historian you really did a great job of bringing us the "Big Picture Perspective."

I wonder what point each side in this case will argue?
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Old 01-18-2005, 05:37 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Iron Eagle
AngelFeather, yet another good point. And I see your persepective about it might not be a conscious effort like Indian Boarding Schools of the 19th and 20th Centuries and other examples that included Brain Washing.

Once again I am talking about actual Natives that have made a true and willing and 100 percent conscious effort to be something else. It does happen - why can't some people see it and stop denying it? As said before it is sad but it does exist. Think about Berkely in the 1970s and you might see what I am talking about.

I think about some of the Natives in the 1970s that got rid of all their Feathers and Sacred Items as a Native American to become a Buddist or a Muslim not to mention something else.

Feathers: Historian that was a wonderful post. And you make a wonderul debate. A long time ago on this site there was a discussion about Feathers and Use. It was mentioned that not all Tribes saw the same in all Feathers.

Example: It would seem that many have forgotten that the Golden Eagle was not even in the Areas of many Tribes so Golden Eagle Feathers did not mean much to those Tribes. Different Feathers meant different things to Tribes.

Historian you really did a great job of bringing us the "Big Picture Perspective."

I wonder what point each side in this case will argue?

Yes I do totally see your point Iron Eagle... I have actually witnessed it firsthand.... ther ARE those that have abandoned thier cultural traditions for other religious affiliation or cultural influences, there is NO denying it.

Wannabes are found in ALL cultures.. why do so many Native people think that our people are expemt from such behaviours? Technology, other influeneces of religion and influenecs pertaining to pop culture; it is very apparant that ALL people have been exposed to practices which stem from other culures but i guess turning a blind eye is much easier to do than accept the reality that there is nothing in this world that is 100% unless your part of a tribe that has Never been exposed to modernization and most of those tribes are not even from the North American Continent rather found in the jungles of the tropics, and even than those sorts of tribes are hard to come by.
The world has turned into a place of borrowing, stealing and impostering of those things we want to make our own so we manipulate it for that reason and claim that it is our way (Im talking about human beings in a general sense, not just Natives)
Just to throw a stone in the water.... WHOs Idea was it to start Pow Wows? that wasnt originally a Native American "tradition" not for our people here anyway, it could be different for other tribes. It was something that was done because it generated thought and people of other cultures wanted to learn, therefore that is one way in which we share our culture with everyone in the world is through a Pow Wow.
So why is it so suprising that people of other cultures would want to know more? Pows create intrigue therefore generate questions therefore we learn by expanding our thoughts and minds.

Ok just my 2 cents.. And i am sure Ill hear from a few who do not agree, but i have very much enjoyed this thread and everyone here has made excellent points. Thankyou all for your insights and i have learned from it.
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Old 01-18-2005, 06:30 PM   #50
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Actually, the Bald Eagle was protected several years before the Golden. The Golden was added in the 1960's. Prior to that, you had a legal trade in feathers. I've seen catalogs where a person could buy, legally, a whole Golden Eagle carcass for $28....or fans, completely beaded or individual feathers or eagle parts...for next to nothing!

I personally lay the blame for the status of the birds and their smaller numbers on whites. White ranchers, furriers and farmers. Their illicit use of DDT is was pushed Bald Eagle numbers into the hundreds. The Golden was added years later simply to protect them for fear of possible extinction in the Lower 48 States. The legal trade for feathers that existed in the early to mid parts of the last century, we're fed by carcasses collected from traps, set by ranchers who had extensive herds of sheep, by furriers whose animals in turn fed the fur markets of Europe and America with mink, sable, ermine, fox and other fur bearing animals. There was even a bounty and a hunting season placed on eagles.

Prior to their listing as a protected species, Bald Eagles we're also marked as a huntable species, and listed as a threat and "nuisance" to fur farms, fisheries etc. I've seen, as some of you probably have as well, photos of hunters with as many as 20 or more eagle carcasses hanging from rafters.

Prior to this, birds like eagles and other birds of prey, we're also used in the hats and fans of ladies of "high society" at the turn of the last century as well. So...it stands to reason, the actual cause WAS white demands for feathers.

As to who has the right to use them.

That's a tough question to answer.

We as Natives don't exactly OWN and cant' exactly lay claim to every bird in the Americas.....despite our whims and personal wishes.

I do think we could help though. Simply by discouraging the current trend of every single dancer out there NEEDING a new set of black and whites, or plumes to go with their newest outfit. Granted, feathers are a necessity, but, then that hauls up other issues that I'm sure the powers that be (the US govt) is looking into.

Powwows as a form of entertainment and not as actual ceremonies.

But, that's another topic for discussion elsewhere.

Then again, you DO have tribes like the Osage handing out fans and taking in whites as tribal members and adopting them as honorary chiefs. Case in point.....frmr. General Norman Schwartskoff. He was given an bald eagle flat fan and ribbonworked mans blanket, and made an honorary chief among the Osage Nation of Oklahoma in the early to mid 1990's.

Jeezus.....isn't that interesting!!

Are the feds beating his doors down to haul him off for possession?

While we're on the topic, and in case there are any Feds here reading my rant.

What are they doing about all those cowboys at the PBR that are non-natives that are wearing feathers in their hats?

Someone earlier said that the government should stay out of religious matters.

I think that's true........so long as it doesn't threaten human life or the lives of others.

I think you only have to look to the Middle East to see what religious fanaticism can breed.....and certainly...look no further than the bible belt region of the US..and certainly no further than the "hallowed' Halls of the US government. America is a CHRISTIAN based government. I mean, how can it preach religious tolerance when it's handing out money and services and freebies out the back door to some extreme right wing, ultra conservative religious group under the guise of "Faith Based Initiatives".

.....all democracies have failed eventually...usually under the burden of their own corruption and lies.....I wonder how much longer we've got before the sucker implodes and we're left to fight amongst ourselves to eek out a living like the former Soviet Socialist Republic of Russia?

That's basically why I call my own cultural beliefs...just that........BELIEFS......you formulate it into something akin to a religion, then everyone wants to get in on the act! Then it becomes descrimination for not allowing someone in.......

What a messy topic this is!! LMAO!!!

I"M OUTTIE!!! ...dang, I should just stick with things like beads and HOW TO threads here.

LMAO!
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Old 01-18-2005, 07:55 PM   #51
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Quote:
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.....all democracies have failed eventually...usually under the burden of their own corruption and lies.....I wonder how much longer we've got before the sucker implodes and we're left to fight amongst ourselves to eek out a living like the former Soviet Socialist Republic of Russia?

That's basically why I call my own cultural beliefs...just that........BELIEFS......you formulate it into something akin to a religion, then everyone wants to get in on the act! Then it becomes descrimination for not allowing someone in.......
You are So very right!!! totally true in your statement of democracy. its only a matter of time.
I too was taught that Native Culture not to be referred to as religion for that very purpose...Once put in a religious classification, it is set up for corruption, misguidance, and all those other things that have caused rebellion within other religious sects.
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Old 01-19-2005, 12:05 AM   #52
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Native culture is a way of life, not a religion.
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Old 01-19-2005, 12:37 AM   #53
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Thumbs up Leave it to Mr. Ki

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwehnzii
Native culture is a way of life, not a religion.
Ki so eloquent and only 10 words....
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Old 01-19-2005, 02:21 AM   #54
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Old 01-19-2005, 04:07 AM   #55
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Wow.. Bo, that's exactly what I was hitting on there! And very well said!
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Old 01-19-2005, 09:01 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwehnzii
Native culture is a way of life, not a religion.
Kiwehnzii,
I certainly agree with you. However, many problems stem from the fact that what a lot of non-NDNs can't seem to grasp is that there is not one, all-encompassing "Native Culture." There are over 500 tribes recognized by the U.S., not to mention about another 200 tribal groups still waiting for Federal Recognition. Of these tribes, there are many similarities in religious practices, beliefs and spiritual lifestyles, but each tribe will have certain beliefs, practices and ceremonies unique to themselves.

Even the Native American Church, the only Native "religion," recognized by the U.S. Congress, is not practiced the same way by all tribes. Big Moon NAC is quite different from Little Moon NAC. The way the Navajo practice their Peyote ceremonies and traditions is different from how the Southern Cheyenne or the Comanche practice it, etc.

The Pipeway among the Sicangu Lakota is not the same as the Pipeway among the Picuni Blackfoot, and the Pipeway is very different from the Kiva ceremonies and traditions amongst the Pueblo peoples.

What is similar to all these spiritual lifestyles is a reverence for the natural world around us. But unfortunately some non-NDNs will just never get it.
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Old 01-19-2005, 09:25 AM   #57
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Quite correct Historian. This is true among Ojibwe people. Two different native ways of prayer and thanksgiving. Actually there are three, but there are two most spoken of.

I always learn something from your posts.

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Old 01-19-2005, 10:06 AM   #58
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Excellent Discussion

Off the track here - just wanted to compliment all on their excellent thoughts and discussion. I really like threads like this one.

There have been many wonderful points made on the Feathers Issue and the related issue of "Being Something Else."

Question: Since our discussion has started, has there been any news from the case on which the thread started?
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Old 01-19-2005, 10:40 AM   #59
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Thankyou Historian for your wisdom,
I think alot of us have klearned alot here
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Old 01-19-2005, 01:59 PM   #60
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Fight Focuses on WHO CAN USE EAGLE FEATHERS

Boozhoo natives.
Upon reading the begining text emplaining the case and it's consequences I am ultimately in awe. To begin with the right to use and carry eagle feathers is given by elders. I am an Ojibway from across the border in canada. I know quite a few white people that do travel the pow wow trail. Before anyone can accuse anyone of being a wannabe you should take the time to talk to and understand the reasons for their beliefs. Many white people that I have talked to have told me that "NATIVE BELIEFS ARE BEAUTIFUL". With that said I do believe on the other hand that Non-Natives or White people (zaginashes in the north) should not be given these powerful tools of our culture, without first testing these individuals.

Try giving them a test.

I would get them to learn our beliefs and our launguage. After they mastered this test then they would be able to recieve the feathers, from our people. I believe if we do this we may in fact open the white man's eyes to what it's like to be a native person. This also may help out with the Racism and Discrimination that our people deal with in a dayly basis.

One last question.......who on this discussion really understands why we carry feathers?.....or practice our culture the way we do?......maybe we have to learn more also.....

I KNOW I HAVE ALOT OF LEARNING TO DO....

MEEGWETCH
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