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Old 07-09-2000, 04:02 PM   #21
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Thank you sweetie!
You did a wonderful job in explaining how you feel and about Lakota traditions!
You are a very good teacher and I admire that.
You are certainly correct about the usage of the so called "pretty words" and I think that you personified this in your post.
As long as we continue to personify that, the ways will not die.
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Old 07-09-2000, 09:22 PM   #22
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by terence, AISC Director:
[B]As far as the comment about going to the rez and / or consulting with ones' elders: I would agree. However, I think it should be considered that maybe not everyone has the opportunity for various reasons and the question at hand should not be taken in a fecicious manner.


Not to be fecicious, but this is no excuse. I've seen this kind of proliferation of laziness all to often. If these ways are so important to you, as they are to myself and others, then you make it happen. This is why I get a little bent out of shape when the whole hobbiest/wannabe thing starts happening. Apparently, when an 'indian' person can't put the extra effort into doing things the proper way, it's excuseable,but when non-indians go to all extremes to insure that they are doing things the proper way, we're out of line or laughable or some junk like that! I think anyone who really believes in these ways and wants to be a part of them, needs to go to the source and get knowledge from that people directly. Anyone who does not, be they indian or white, is just playing! Alot of those old honor songs say,'it's hard to be indian but I love these ways, so I am doing this'. I take those words seriously so I don't allow room for excuses too often.
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Old 07-09-2000, 10:41 PM   #23
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Robert, i think you are right. i think i might have thrown people off with the term "bad medicine". i like yours better!
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Old 07-10-2000, 09:35 AM   #24
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Bourzho...

I think the reason we want to discuss this topic is because it seems the way a culture considers a woman’s natural menstrual cycle tells a whole lot about how the culture considers women generally.

The ancient Hebrews, and some Jewish people today, consider a woman’s time unclean and impure. Husbands will not even hold their wives’ hands during moontime. Do women in that culture have the options of women in other cultures? I don’t know, but it would be interesting to find out.

Some sects of Islam swath women within veils and define their existence strictly. What beliefs do those sects have about the menstrual cycle? Again, it would be interesting to know.

I have to say that my own family treated moontime as a very natural thing, referring to ‘the period’ and not ‘the curse,’ and my parents - who both worked in health care - taught us to be pay attention to our bodies in general and to changes in our cycles in particular, as these could give crucial clues to what might be happening with our health.

Now, then: My native elders have given me a range of answers on moontime, from "you must not go into the circle" to "if you feel the need to dance, dance!" It’s been the non-native people inviting me to sweatlodges who, after quoting the dollar price of participation, announce that if I or any of my female friends turn up on moontime at the sweat, we’ll be told to stay away because our medicine could harm (yes, they said ‘harm’) the medicine man’s medicine.

H’mmm.

The thought has occurred, more than once, that information we get now on tribal customs and beliefs re: moontime very well might have been coloured by missionaries, etc. Just as it's entirely possible that Euro-folks, seeing menstruating women (happily) hiking off to the moonlodge, reported back that women are "banned from the village" --

-- could it be that some NDN-folks way, way back liked what they saw of old Euro-culture - the men leading everything, the women’s role diminished - and adapted some of these attitudes about women and women’s natural ways?

To the posters who have indicated that we should go to the source and embrace the teachings wholeheartedly:

I question the pronouncements from ‘on-high’ made by leaders in my Christian sect, and I read and talk with others of different beliefs and I use my brain to think about my religion. Sometimes I come to my own conclusions; sometimes, I have to leave something ‘undecided;' sometimes, I have to believe that what the theologians say is right.

Why shouldn’t I do the same with the culture of my native ancestors?

It seems to me that now, when the phenomenon of menstruation is understood as part of the reproductive cycle, and where it’s more common than it may have been in the days when women were often pregnant or nursing, that it’s most important for each woman to be aware of her cycles, the changes in her level of energy, patience and so forth. (The ads that encourage women to keep going at their usual breakneck pace all month, by using certain products, irritate me no end.)

It’s next most important to observe how a nation or culture treats women. On their moontimes, are they shunned, or excused from participation in certain things, or are they given the freedom to choose their level of participation?

At any time, are they and their abilities considered as important as the men’s, or are women dismissed, ignored, harassed or just tolerated?

It may well be that menstruating women have energies that other people don’t. It seems to me that the way a culture interprets these energies will reflect, to a great degree, the honor and respect with which it treats all women, and the way it treats women and men.

Words, as we’ve seen in abundance in this discussion, have incredible power. I’ve tried to choose mine carefully to reflect my experiences, beliefs and attitudes, and not to pass judgment on others.

With respect,
Lee



[This message has been edited by Lee Winterhunter (edited July 10, 2000).]
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Old 07-10-2000, 02:12 PM   #25
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by Lee Winterhunter:
[b]Bourzho...

Now, then: My native elders have given me a range of answers on moontime, from "you must not go into the circle" to "if you feel the need to dance, dance!" It’s been the non-native people inviting me to sweatlodges who, after quoting the dollar price of participation, announce that if I or any of my female friends turn up on moontime at the sweat, we’ll be told to stay away because our medicine could harm (yes, they said ‘harm’) the medicine man’s medicine.

This statement implies that this situation only occurs with non native phonies. I've personally never been asked for money for any ceremony but I've actually read flyers distributed for ceremonies run by fullblood people complete with 'suggested donations'ie.$$$! I have , however, gone to ceremony and talked about ceremony with many fullbloods who say menstruating women need to stay away from such places. The reason given, her power will negate the mans power and the results can be harmful. Not that her power causes harm, but the combination can be harmful.
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Old 07-10-2000, 04:20 PM   #26
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Aaye, Rabbitbelly,

I didn't mean to imply that the asking of $ for ceremony only occurs with non native phonies, nor even, come to think of it, that the fellahs inviting me were phonies.

It's just that that's been my experience. Your point is well taken, as my original statement could be misconstrued.

Really appreciate that you clarified what some elders have told you, namely, "many fullbloods who say menstruating women need to stay away from such places. The reason given, her power will negate the mans power and the results can be harmful. Not that her power causes harm, but the combination can be harmful. " (I added the italics.)

See, that's a whole different thing, to my ears, than "Your moontime power is harmful." Puts things in quite a different light, at least to me.

Megwetch for the info!

With respect,
Lee
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Old 07-11-2000, 02:32 AM   #27
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Hey Lee,
Didn't mean to get defensive. Just like to be fair, ya know? http://www.powwows.com/ubb/smile.gif
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Old 07-12-2000, 08:24 PM   #28
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Gotcha! Rabbitbelly and Mr. J.
I already said that I agreed this would be best. Hopefully, and I believe, inevitably this should and will happen upon the path.
However, the path should not be one that is without SUPPORT, LOVE AND KINDNESS along the way.
A young and tender Spirit, no matter the age, experience or knowledge, should never be discouraged from asking questions or seeking support from her sisters! Or her fellow men friends.
We all should encourage so that the obstacles be removed so that one may see more clearly the path to the "source".
The long journey home is often directed by the "home fires" one sees on the way. There are times when one just needs and should be allowed to just stop, rest and be fed along the way!



[This message has been edited by terence, AISC Director (edited July 12, 2000).]
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