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  • New to this Community

    I am new to this community. Before making any conversation I have been reading through some of the other established lines of conversation within this forum of discussion.

    Throughout my life I have always be influenced by Native American ideologies. The belief system that I have come to know as my own has found much in attune with conceptualizations in which the Native American culture has been built around from what I understand. I cannot say I am able to confine my understanding of what I know of to be reality and the universe to a single school of thought. I have found many enlightening lines of thought within many different structures of our philosophical definition.

    Recently I have had urges to connect and learn, first hand, from the rituals and teachings that I have come to know to be of Native American origin. Obviously apprehensive of acceptance I decided to check out if a process of this nature is a viable process at all.

    Here on this Powwow forum I have read though a few situations similar to my own. Though the individuals enlisting in the pure knowledge seemed to find themselves to be automatically privileged an entrance into this community, they also did receive a immediate level of hasty aggression.

    Not looking to defend or involve myself in such matters, I only come only looking for wisdom and guidance. It does worries me that I have journeyed towards an end that has will soon come to a close. Attempting to emulate such rituals as I have only read of, I feel the power of the process in which Native American cultures proceed.

    So my curiosity is as follows: Is my attempt to gain a more in-depth and first hand understanding of the Native American teachings a pointless endeavor? If not, would anyone have any suggestions as to where and how to begin this connection?

    Thank you.

  • #2
    Welcome Christopher:

    Can you tell us a liitle more about yoursefl? Where do you live? What do you do you do for a living?

    I bet if you work in any larger urban area there are plenty of folks you can connect with. You'd be surprised how many Native folks are living amongst you. I bet you probably didn't notice them because you may have been looking for an archetype that you have pieced together in your head through the filter of the Hollywood "Noble Savage".

    Now about these ideologies you speak about? Can you be more specific as to whom exactly you have modelled your ideologies after? The reason I query this is that we are many. many people with unique languages, culture, beliefs and ways of doing our day-to-day lives. My adoulis in my clan, house and family are not glanced at by someone from even the next house or clan.

    In white culture ideology has been defined as the following:

    David W. Minar describes six different ways in which the word "ideology" has been used:
    1.As a collection of certain ideas with certain kinds of content, usually normative;
    2.As the form or internal logical structure that ideas have within a set;
    3.By the role in which ideas play in human-social interaction;
    4.By the role that ideas play in the structure of an organization;
    5.As meaning, whose purpose is persuasion; and
    6.As the locus of social interaction, possibly.

    For Willard A. Mullins, an ideology is composed of four basic characteristics:
    1.it must have power over cognition
    2.it must be capable of guiding one's evaluations;
    3.it must provide guidance towards action;
    4.and, as stated above, it must be logically coherent.
    Mullins emphasizes that an ideology should be contrasted with the related (but different) issues of utopia and historical myth.

    Then ther is the contructs of political ideology which separates the ideals of political philosophy. Now here's where you ought to tread very carefully, as each Nation is not a one stop shopping cart of political ideals. What is applicable in Cherokee country is not blinked upon by those in the North of the 49th. Even if you could find a pure "native" political ideology, you would have to allow for colonalization influence, legislation to assimilate us and the reservation system as overarching themes in olitical discourse.

    Then there is the Noble Lie. Plato (yes, this goes back to early Greek philosophy and therefore is applied to Native peoples NOT constructed by their societies.)

    Socrates proposes and claims that if the people believed "this myth . . . [it] would have a good effect, making them more inclined to care for the state and one another. This is his noble lie: "a contrivance for one of those falsehoods that come into being in case of need, of which we were just now talking, some noble one. . . ." We here in North America have seen each and every one of our Nations homogenized down to myths and fairy tales because all of those settlers needed to be convinced we were either the "Other", "different" or the same" and if they were to belive the other and different, it meant they could justify killing us, assimilating us and making us wards of the King.

    I fear that in your quest for enlightenment of articles of faith and belief you may very well have bought into the myths of our peoples that were created by a church, monarchy and movie maker to sell us to their own. All I fear that you have adapted as an ideology is a European one with a eagle feather stuck in the middle of it to make it instant Indian.

    Imagine for a moment that in your own family, community or geographical location that a stranger approaches and asks to sit at your table to eat and learn from you. You invite them and soon realize that they believe that you are exactly the same family, community and geographical location as someone hundreds of miles away from and isn't even a distant linguistic cousin. You try and tell this stranger that they have made a mistake and while they are still welcome at your table, you think they really mean to be elsewhere.

    The stranger immediately get angry and accuses you of denying them information just because they aren't one of your family. You try and explain to them that they were the ones that had the false information and you simply cannot give them what is something that never existed. No matter how much the stranger wants to believe you and your family are the same people as he searches for, you cannot be those people.

    The stranger leaves the table in anger and calls your family selfish and hostile.

    Now, imagine that same stranger thousandfold approaching every Native family across the continent. That should answer your concern as to why folks on here are often met with a precieved level of hostility. When we try and tell the stranger that we are not who they are searching for and even warn them off that whom they seek are just Hollywood Indians and characters in books we get accused of being hostile.

    So, think carefully about what you are asking for. Think carefully who you are asking this from and think carefully as to why you think you have any way shape or form any right or privilege to the answers.

    Now, you'll have to excuse me as I go donn my one shoulder buckskin dress grab my bluebird and go jump off a waterfall and sing to the creatures of the forest. I'll have to hurry as big ceremony is happening today and I have to save a few white guys from being the main course. Afterwards, I have to sing a few more songs to the deer and the antelope and then go do my rain dance as it's been awfully dry here and the corn crops aren't good and we won't be able to invite as many Puritans to dinner this year if the harvest turns out crap. Then I have to go save a few whales, stand on a hillside and cry over the litter left behind becasue this is a long weekend and you know those while folks... always the messy people. Then I have to go raise an upside down flag because the white folk need a rallying point to gather so they can all come to the sweat lodge ceremony and get a cool Indian name. After that I have to go kill Bambi, tan the hide and make a tipi so I can get a decent night's sleep because the sketters are bad today. After that I get to tell big words of importance to the white guys on how to commune with the earth and snag an NDN chicka... take her home to meet their Big White Mother Queen... I may have to do the peyote first though, white folks are always a tough audience... sorry go to run, I really need to practise saying "ugh" and "how" and that darn bluebird just crapped on my mocassin.

    Hope ya find your answers...
    A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects. — Robert A. Heinlein

    I can see the wheel turning but the Hamster appears to be dead.

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