Inner Struggle Prohibits Outward Manifestation

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This topic contains 84 replies, has 11,567 voices, and was last updated by  sammarroq 12 years, 2 months ago.

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  • #24562

    dovelady
    Participant

    A note for Barb: When I a few more of my chicks fly the nest, I will make time for some beadwork; I will let you know.:)

    🙂 Sounds good to me.

    #24579

    lynne pepper
    Participant

    Greetings Shirley,

    This is a late response…but I can only say this: What the gov. recognizes as a tribe may be highly artificial. It may be political, it may also be ecconomic. There are a vast number of people who live as Indians. This should not surprise us, many Americans, and Canadians, and Mexicans, and Latin Americans are mixed. You could in fact, say that all of these peoples are mixed.

    Personally, I think that our ancestors are more concerned by what is in our hearts and how we choose to live.

    regards,

    Lynne

    #24581

    sammarroq
    Participant

    lynne pepper wrote: Greetings Shirley,

    This is a late response…but I can only say this: What the gov. recognizes as a tribe may be highly artificial. It may be political, it may also be ecconomic. There are a vast number of people who live as Indians. This should not surprise us, many Americans, and Canadians, and Mexicans, and Latin Americans are mixed. You could in fact, say that all of these peoples are mixed.

    Personally, I think that our ancestors are more concerned by what is in our hearts and how we choose to live.

    regards,

    Lynne

    Hi Lynne,

    I wholeheartedly agree, being part of a recognized tribe has not been my concern as I too, know who I am. I wrote because I have lacked the courage to attend Native celebrations, because of the sterotype of being Native (ancestors listed on rolls, card carrying member etc), of which I am neither. I think you are right about our ancestors and what we hold in our hearts and how that is carried out in how we live, these are the things that truly matter. Thanks Lynne.:)

    Shirley

    #24707

    Rachel McCraw
    Participant

    I used to worry a decent bit about being a “wannabe”, and even about that old bugbear “cultural appropriation”. But then I had to realize that my folks are as indigenous as it gets, and blaming us for letting other people reach their own conclusions about our ethnicity for so long is almost the epitome of blaming the victims. My folks mostly managed to stay put in the same place by hunkering down, and I am not going to listen to nasty comments from the descendants of people who didn’t have that choice available or just made a different one. As other posters have pointed out, Indian is as Indian does.

    As you may have guessed from another post today, I have gotten a little more defensive lately about the old “You don’t look Indian” thing. It’s bad enough with a lot of Americans, but the only Indians anybody here in England has ever registered seeing were of the Hollywood variety. I am perverse enough sometimes that I keep feeling tempted to do the full Wayne Newton, and start hitting tanning beds and dyeing my hair. (A similar reaction, I gather, to moving out West, with all the snottiness about Indians.)

    Here I just keep getting mistaken for actual Irish on the street, even by a couple of Irish people. The best line yet:”Hmmph, I guess it takes an Irishwoman to set me straight,” from an older man asking directions who had been ignored by everybody else on the bus. This confused me, since I had actually spoken to him before he said it, until somebody I ran into last weekend mentioned some resemblance between my SWVA accent and a southern Irish one! I hadn’t noticed this, but Irish and Scottish speakers in general (unsurprisingly) are easier for me to understand than local ones here.

    The misidentification thing per se doesn’t bother me, but feeling like anybody even cares about it is a change.

    It is more than a little funny, the looks I keep getting now that I do feel obliged to wear some more political t-shirts out and about. It is painfully obvious that a lot of people think I am making a completely different political statement than I am, which does make me laugh sometimes. When I wore one of the “Homeland Security” shirts on a trip back to VA, people just kept looking at it and nodding.

    I can’t help but notice some of the thinking behind absurdly Eurocentric approaches to Indians and our history every day here in London. I probably mostly didn’t pay as much attention before–but I sure didn’t hear people using terms like “half-caste” on the street at home. Without direct malice, which seems even worse.

    #24718

    Tom
    Participant

    Hey Rachel happy to see that you are posting again!

    I know the feeling (I think ) what you are saying but really, I choose who I tell people of who I am, but really it’s my buisness who I am, and no one elses1

    So when people get upity, I usually get upity back, once I asked a friend, ” what is so great about being white anyway?” there really was not much of a reply!

    Another time a “preacher” started up on “another non Christian religion”, set him straight there, again he mocked several more items; after getting shut down several more times he just left.

    It was a small win for us in a way, it felt kinda good!

    #24723

    sammarroq
    Participant

    This is something that was said to me over twenty years ago, but still resounds in my memory and kept me out of the church for many years. When my first husband and I were married, the pastor of our church made a visit to our home; He asked me what nationality I was, I replied Romanian, Native American, Scottish and French. He said to me, “Indians never did have a good religious background.” My jaw dropped to the floor in disbelief of his words.

    I have found through study and practice that it is quite the opposite; Native Americans have shown more stewardship for creation and worship is the foundation of their daily lives. This is why I practice and revere my Native roots more than my white. My mother’s side are predominantly immigrants, though Cherokee is said to have come through an Aunt Maude? But I have seen first hand the prejidice in this side of my family…even towards me…:(

    #24732

    lynne pepper
    Participant

    =Rachel McCraw]I used to worry a decent bit about being a “wannabe”, and even about that old bugbear “cultural appropriation”. But then I had to realize that my folks are as indigenous as it gets, and blaming us for letting other people reach their own conclusions about our ethnicity for so long is almost the epitome of blaming the victims.

    Howdy Rachel.

    Your words, “letting other people reach their own conclusions about our ethnicity”…hits the problem right on the head. Its parallel thought, “letting other people DECIDE our ethnicity”, is the logical conclusion of such a line of thinking. We get caught in that trap…mainly because other people don’t actually know the history of our tribes.

    Rachel:

    My folks mostly managed to stay put in the same place by hunkering down, and I am not going to listen to nasty comments from the descendants of people who didn’t have that choice available or just made a different one. As other posters have pointed out, Indian is as Indian does.

    As you may have guessed from another post today, I have gotten a little more defensive lately about the old “You don’t look Indian” thing. It’s bad enough with a lot of Americans, but the only Indians anybody here in England has ever registered seeing were of the Hollywood variety.

    Me:

    Its not just the English…..sigh…many people don’t seem to realize that Indian people all over the US, Canada, and Latin America, had no ONE look.

    Some were darker, some were hairyer, ….the idea that there was one look to the Indian population is naive, and is born of ignorance…and mainly of belittling the vast differences between tribes, people, how they lived, how they looked….we don’t even have to get into how the “races” mixed over time.

    Rachel:

    I am perverse enough sometimes that I keep feeling tempted to do the full Wayne Newton, and start hitting tanning beds and dyeing my hair. (A similar reaction, I gather, to moving out West, with all the snottiness about Indians.)

    Me:

    I know what you mean about the tan, etc. I made up my mind a long time ago, not to feed into the prejudices of other people. I prefer to enlighten them verbally. Part of the enlightenment goes along with the mixing of people that has occured all over the US. I don’t like to think that my cousins…which most likely includes just about all of you on this forum….have to dye, straighten, darken, lighten, their skin and hair, to satisfy the simple ignorant prejudices of uneducated people who approach the whole…”you don’t look Indian” issue. This whole idea about how Indians “look”, how they live, what they believe, etc. needs all of us to pitch in and reveal the truth to other people who, through simple ignorance, think that they know all about us. They don’t. And I think that once they do know, they will digest this, and probably pass it along….maybe as some kind of “insider” information.

    Rachel:

    Here I just keep getting mistaken for actual Irish on the street, even by a couple of Irish people. The best line yet:”Hmmph, I guess it takes an Irishwoman to set me straight,” from an older man asking directions who had been ignored by everybody else on the bus. This confused me, since I had actually spoken to him before he said it, until somebody I ran into last weekend mentioned some resemblance between my SWVA accent and a southern Irish one! I hadn’t noticed this, but Irish and Scottish speakers in general (unsurprisingly) are easier for me to understand than local ones here.

    The misidentification thing per se doesn’t bother me, but feeling like anybody even cares about it is a change.

    It is more than a little funny, the looks I keep getting now that I do feel obliged to wear some more political t-shirts out and about. It is painfully obvious that a lot of people think I am making a completely different political statement than I am, which does make me laugh sometimes. When I wore one of the “Homeland Security” shirts on a trip back to VA, people just kept looking at it and nodding.

    I can’t help but notice some of the thinking behind absurdly Eurocentric approaches to Indians and our history every day here in London. I probably mostly didn’t pay as much attention before–but I sure didn’t hear people using terms like “half-caste” on the street at home. Without direct malice, which seems even worse.

    Me:

    In the words of my ex husband: “you’re not white, you’re a god damned Indian” I’d even thought of making my own T shirt that said that…”i’m not white, I’m a god damned Indian”..Do you think there’s a market for that?

    hmmmm….this might not be a joke.

    Be well,

    Lynne

    #24733

    lynne pepper
    Participant

    sammarroq wrote: Hi Lynne,

    I wholeheartedly agree, being part of a recognized tribe has not been my concern as I too, know who I am. I wrote because I have lacked the courage to attend Native celebrations, because of the sterotype of being Native (ancestors listed on rolls, card carrying member etc), of which I am neither. I think you are right about our ancestors and what we hold in our hearts and how that is carried out in how we live, these are the things that truly matter. Thanks Lynne.:)

    Shirley

    Greetings,

    You’d be surprized at the Indians I have known, card carrying members, who look no more “Indian”, than you, I, or anyone else on this forum. I have known blonde Indians, light Indians, black Indians…they have cards due to some ancestor who jumped on the stick at the right time, or got their tribe into the sights of the State government.

    If you have the time and opportunity to go to pow wows….I would go if I were you. I wouldn’t let this card thing be a barrier. Most of the Indians I have known, aren’t really concerned about that kind of thing….maybe some are…but I never knew them. Personally, I am always very wary of people who need a card to say who they are…no disrespect to those here who have cards. In our society, a card can be a valuable reminder.

    But I would like to say, that our ancestors did not need cards…they simply knew and recognized each other.

    Be well,

    Lynne

    #24739

    sammarroq
    Participant

    Thanks Lynne for the encouragement.:)

    Shirley

    #24766

    Tom
    Participant

    I have several cards they all have numbers and I often feel like a number especially when a census geek is at the door, or when I fill out my income tax and when I go to the library, it seems that everything has a card these days.

    I was hoping that one day they’d come out with the kinda that are “kitteny soft” or “giggle” when you sqeeze them, then I’d find a good use for them, but so far nothing; maybe one day!

    #24770

    Rachel McCraw
    Participant

    Tom wrote: Hey Rachel happy to see that you are posting again!

    I know the feeling (I think ) what you are saying but really, I choose who I tell people of who I am, but really it’s my buisness who I am, and no one elses

    Hey Tom. I have meant to check out the forum for a while, but things have been a little crazy lately!

    I must have been feeling a little cranky yesterday. 😮 What you said is a better summary of what I was trying to get at. I used to worry more about what other people had to say, but have mostly gotten over it. Wish I were better at getting uppity back in person sometimes, though. 🙂 It’s easy to take being raised to be polite a little far at times.

    lynne pepper wrote: Your words, “letting other people reach their own conclusions about our ethnicity”…hits the problem right on the head. Its parallel thought, “letting other people DECIDE our ethnicity”, is the logical conclusion of such a line of thinking. We get caught in that trap…mainly because other people don’t actually know the history of our tribes.

    You hit the nail right on the head there, Lynne. It’s too easy to continue the “getting by” and lose the knowledge of why we started doing it in the first place. I’m reminded of one (converso) family in Italy I read about who didn’t remember anymore why they ate supper in the basement on Friday night, but had been doing it for 450 years. More knowledge is getting out–with some work–but too many of my close family, even, are continuing to consider themselves Indian descendants rather than the Indians left in the area. Until recently, some cousins on my mom’s side were convinced that being Indian was a coverup story for our black ancestry, a la Plecker. Then they looked at a bunch of old family photos that turned up. That side has turned out to involve some escaping Cherokee, with more pressing need to cover up who they were, but still. *shakes head*

    Its not just the English…..sigh…many people don’t seem to realize that Indian people all over the US, Canada, and Latin America, had no ONE look.

    Another example of my getting cranky under the current situation, I’m afraid. I have certainly seen that closer to home.

    And a big nod to the idea of getting information out rather than feeding into prejudices. That was intended more as “I have gotten so fed up lately that I have actually been tempted, even though it’s both silly and counterproductive”. Sorry I wasn’t so clear there.

    in the words of my ex husband: “you’re not white, you’re a god damned Indian”

    Deary deary me. That is unfortunately funny, but not quite as he intended, I’d guess.

    #24771

    Tom
    Participant

    Well Rachel, I had to deal with a Euro last night, it ended in being chalked up as a “greivous acquantence” quite happily on my part.

    I confronted this so called friend of mine for really bad mouthing me at my last place of employment, this was going on since last August; and I did so with a smile! His eyes never opened that far before I assure you, and it ended the way I wanted it to.

    He often refered to me as that FN Indian, I reminded him that there was no such tribe nor was there any of them in my very large family!

    I had a great time letting him know just where he stood, really odd but there’s this side of me that “gets off” on putting people in thier palce with a smile, it’s almost like black humor!

    Anyway- take care and remember it’s “cupid not stupid”!

    #24774

    dovelady
    Participant

    ROFL Tom! I’m so glad you got that taken care of.

    Back in the day, my hubby always used to say, “Don’t let them see it commin’. Smile while you cut their throat.” Now of course, that was figuratively speaking.

    #24782

    Rachel McCraw
    Participant

    Good touch of style there, Tom.

    #24801

    Tom
    Participant

    Hey Thanx for that, it felt good!

    Anyway Shirley, If I were you I would go and attend wahtever public event that you wanted to, you can have a blacst and really you’ll fit in just fine, some will ask you what nation? And you might reply “my family goes back to Saponi Town”! (SMILE)! say what you want and have great time doing the day, if you get time have an “Indian taco” for me , they are really so fine, a nice big chunk of fry bread and chili with cheese etc, great stuff!

    No doubt you’ll meet some great people too, that just want to share no matter who anyone else is!

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 85 total)

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