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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

America's Throw Away Indian Project: More than a race




Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  If you choose to leave a comment, thank you for making the time to leave comments.   I am happy you found your way here.

You have a story to tell?  I believe it is important the world hear your tale of survival.  Please submit your article in the comments at the foot of any post.  I have comments moderation activated on my blog.  I will publish your memoir once I have confirmed it does not contain hate speech.  My blog, my decision. Additionally, one may contribute their history anonymously.

At the foot of each post are the words "Post a Comment," or "No Comment," or "Comments," dependent on submissions.  Click on this, and it will link you to my inbox.  I will confirm your submission does not contain hate speech and post your remarks.  I would super, duper, double dog appreciate if you can leave in the comments, your location.  Posting your whereabouts allows me to keep track of what part of the world my blog reaches.  I sure would appreciate knowing the scope of discovery and just how my blog translates to different languages and cultures.
Leaving me a comment as to your opinion of my work, spoken in kindness I would hope, will help me to continue to shape my voice and pinpoint my audience.  I have no formal training as a writer. I just decided one day, to write.

Please forgive my grammar.  As I continue to practice, my writing skills will improve.  I believe in honest feedback, honest impressions, without being brutally honest.  Anything that you believe would be helpful, I invite you to contribute to my story, to my life.

Finally, I care not about your age, race, gender, country of origin, or your income; survival is survival.  What you share about yourself and how you survived, may just save someone else's life.  It is something to consider.

In sisterhood and friendship,

BigMamaBlaze~BMB

Here are some Survival memes to use and to share.













Monday, June 19, 2017

Her Seven Brothers



Her seven brothers:
By Paul Goble

There was once a young woman who was very good at quillwork. She could make the most beautiful designs and colors. One day she started making a set of clothes for a man, but she didn’t have any brothers or a husband. Once she finished that set of clothes, she made another set of clothes. When she was finished she had seven sets of clothing for men that were the most beautiful anyone had ever seen.

She told her mother she was going to go and find her brothers and take their clothes to them. The mother said she would go with her daughter, but her daughter told her it was too far. The mother said she would go part of the way. They set off. When they reached halfway the mother and the daughter parted.

Eventually, the girl came to a large tipi. A young boy met her, he was the smallest of the brothers. He was overjoyed with his new clothes, which fit him perfectly. The girl went into the tipi and put a set of clothes on each of the six remaining beds. She started cooking and cleaning. The six brothers came home and were very pleased to find her there and took her as their sister. Each of the brothers had some kind of power, but the youngest had the most unique powers.

One day a bison came to the door and demanded to take the girl away to the bison people. The brothers would not give her up. The next day a bigger bison came, but the brothers would not give her up. The third day, an even bigger bison came, but the brothers would not give her up. The fourth day, the ruling bison, the largest of them all, came with the entire bison nation. They demanded the girl, but the brothers would not give her up.

The girl and the seven brothers climbed into a tree. The youngest brother shot it with an arrow and up it grew. Then he shot it again and it grew some more, but the bison below kept trying to knock the tree over. The youngest brother shot the tree two more times. It grew way up into the sky and everyone was able to step off onto the clouds. They knew they could not get down, so the brother turned them into stars. They’re now the big dipper. The girl is the brightest star.

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The Great Mystery Wakan Tanka

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Gossip Hurts Everyone



Once there was a woman in a village who did not have much to do and she became angry at one of her neighbors. So she started a rumor, planted an evil seed that would hurt the neighbor's reputation and make others think less of her. This made the woman feel very powerful and in control. By bedtime, the woman felt bad and the next morning hurried to one of the Elders. She wanted to ask the Elder to help her overcome this evil. On the way to the Elders home that morning she could hear the people in the village whispering about her neighbor and of course, the story had been added on to.
The Elder listened to the woman and when she finished, he told her to go to the bird coop and pick out one bird, ring his neck and then go around the entire village plucking the bird, but to be sure and bring the last feather back to him. The woman anxious to undo the damage hurried to do what the Elder had told her. When she brought the last feather back to the Elder she asked for further instructions. The Elder told her to go home and come back in the morning.
The woman did not sleep at all and hurried to the Elder the next morning again hearing fragments of the words she had started two days before throughout the village as she went to the Elders home. When she reached the Elder, she was very upset and told the Elder, the words she had started were even worse than the day before. After listening, the Elder told the woman to get a pouch and go back to the place of origin and pick up all the feathers from the day before.
The woman hurried to pick up the feathers and eventually returned to the Elder. She told the Elder she picked up all the feathers she could, but could not get all of them because the wind had carried some of the feathers away and the children had picked them up and played games with them and some were taken other places for other reasons. The Elder said, what you have done is punishable by death by our people and you know this. By tradition, you have not sought out your sister to tell her what was in your heart, instead, you went behind her back because the truth would not allow you to face her. Momentarily, you gained power by talking about your neighbor who was not there to defend herself. The words you spoke against this person is like the feathers taken by the wind. Because you did not follow tradition and the ways of our Creator with your tongue, you cannot undo what you have done. You have shamed our people by placing yourself above the truth and the teachings of our ancestors and now you must live with the knowledge you have damaged more than one life, you have hurt us all. You have used your own people as a weapon against your neighbor who has done nothing to you, but because you were jealous or envious or because she disagreed with you, you have divided our people through your actions. He then handed her the feather she had given him the day before as a reminder of the cancer she had started.


Happy Father's Day

Here are some memes you can use and share for Father's day.  To my dad, R.I.P. George Miers, I love you.  Happy Father's day to Buck Rhynes, and Ed Snipes, whom I have never met but are my dads too.   I am who I am today for the lessons of life you imparted to me.  I am grateful for you and I am proud to call myself your daughter.


















Wednesday, June 14, 2017

American's Throw away Indian Project: Going for a drive

Laura Livingstone Rhynes

This is my biological mother.  This is the only photo I have of her.  When I was twelve years old my dad, George, took me on a trip.  Just my dad & I went.  We drove straight through from Concord, CA to Lake Cowichan B.C., Canada.  My father was armed with only my mother's name and the name of one relative.  How he came about with that name, I will never know.  

When we arrived in Lake Cowichan, my father found the Post Office.  He and I entered the office and I remember feeling very self-conscious and scared.  I hid in the corner.  It was the first time I had ever been around other people that looked like me and I really did not know what to do with my feelings.  I remember feeling very broken inside.  I felt like screaming and fighting and I felt as if I would faint.  My dad was speaking with the Postmaster pleading for information about the person's name he had.  Come to find out it was a brother to my mom and he had passed away.  My dad explained to the postmaster how he had adopted me and he had driven us straight through from CA, we were hungry, we were tired, and he was determined to find my relatives.  

Of course, it was to no avail.  The postmaster, by law, cannot give out information to anyone about anyone.  My dad was very handsome and very charming.  He did not stop.  He told the story of how my adoption was delayed for a year and he and my mom had never been given an explanation for it.  He could only imagine it was due to familial reasons.  Despite that, my dad believed it was his honor bound duty to take me to my blood lands and find my tribe, my family and show me where I came from.  My dad wanted me to be connected.  In hindsight, I now realize that this is because my dad knew of the horrors my people experienced at the hand of the Canadian and U.S. governments with the residential schools and adoption programs.

My dad and me in Victoria B.C., Canada

I was watching my dad talking to the postmaster, never giving up when a man walked through the doors to collect his mail.  The postmaster explained again, by law, she was not allowed to give out information abut anyone.  She pointed to the man who had entered to collect his mail and suggested my dad speak with him. The postmaster was certain that gentleman was a Livingstone.  What happened next was nothing less than clandestine.  

My dad walked over and towering over the man, placed his hand on the man's shoulder and asked: "Are you, Cyril Livingstone?"  

...More on my next post








Sunday, June 11, 2017

Religion has the seven deadlies? I believe in the seven sacred.





THE 7 SACRED TEACHINGS
The traditional concepts of respect and sharing that form the foundation of the Aboriginal way of life are built around the seven natural laws or sacred teachings. Each teaching honours one of the primary virtues intrinsic to a full and healthy life. 

Each law has an animal that embodies the point that all actions and decisions made by man are manifest on a physical plain. The animal world taught man how to live close to the earth. The connection has been established between the animal world, and man has instilled respect for all life in those who follow the traditional Aboriginal way.

LOVE - EAGLE
To feel true love is to know the Creator. Therefore, it is expected that one's first love is to be the Great Spirit. He is considered the father of all children, and the giver of human life. Love given to the Great Spirit is expressed through love of oneself, and it is understood that if one cannot love oneself, it is impossible to love anyone else.

The Eagle was chosen by the Great Spirit to represent this law, as the Eagle can reach the highest out of all the creatures in bringing pure vision to the seeker. Though the purveyor of the greatest and most powerful medicine, love can also be the most elusive of the teachings, as it depends upon the world that acknowledges the importance of spirituality.

RESPECT - BUFFALO
The Buffalo showed profound respect, through giving its life and sharing every part of its being, it had for the people. No animal was more important to the existence of Indigenous families than this animal, and it's gift provided shelter, clothing and utensils for daily living. Native people believed themselves to be true caretakers of the great herds, and developed a sustainable relationship with the Buffalo resulting in a relationship that was a genuine expression of respect.

COURAGE - BEAR
The Bear provides many life lessons. Courage is an essential teaching Bear offers. Bears integrate both "gentle" and "ferocious" making a unique consolidation of traits. Approach a bear cub and no foe will intimidate the Mother bear. The Mother Bear's lack of fear is a legitimate demonstration of courage. To have the mental and moral strength to overcome fears preventing us from living our true spirit journey as human beings is a great challenge. As humans faced with life's challenges, we can look to the Mother Bear's courage and emulate her vigour and intensity. Bear's example shows us how to face dangers to produce the courage we need neutralize our fears.

HONESTY - SABE
Long ago, there was a giant called Kitch-Sabe. Kitch-Sabe walked among the people. His presence was to remind humans to be honest, and to obey the laws of nature. The creator wishes humans to be honest to each other. Being reputed as honest and humble is a high honour. The saying, "There walks an honest man. He can be trusted." is an immense honour to Indigenous Peoples. Altruism and integrity are considered foundation virtues. Elders have said, "Never try to be someone else, live authentically. Be honest with yourself. Accept who you are the way the Creator made you."

WISDOM - BEAVER
The building of a community is entirely dependent on gifts Creator give and how people employ said gifts. The Beaver's example of using his sharp teeth for cutting trees and branches to build his dams and lodges expresses this teaching. If he did not use his teeth, the teeth would continue to grow until they became useless, ultimately making it impossible for him to sustain himself. As with Beaver is with human beings. One's spirit will become weak if it is not fulfilling its use. Proper agency of one's spirit and purpose in life contribute to the development of a peaceful and healthy community.

HUMILITY - WOLF
Recognizing and acknowledging that there is a higher power than man and it is known as the Creator is to be deemed truly humble. To express deference or submission to the Creator through the acceptance that all beings are equal is to capture the spirit of humility. The expression of this humility is manifested through the consideration of others before ourselves. In this way, the Wolf became the teacher of this lesson. He bows his head in the presence of others out of deference, and once hunted, will not take of the food until it can be shared with the pack. His lack of arrogance and respect for his community is a hard lesson, but integral in the Aboriginal way.

TRUTH - TURTLE
To know the truth is to know and understand all of the original laws as given by the Creator- and to remain faithful to them. It is told that in the beginning when the Creator made man and gave him the seven sacred laws, the Grandmother Turtle was present to ensure that the laws would never be lost or forgotten. On the back of a Turtle are the 13 moon, each representing the truth of one cycle of the Earth's rotations around the sun. The 28 markings on her back represent the cycle of the moon and of a woman's body. The shell of the Turtle represents the body real events as created by the Higher Power and serves as a reminder of the Creator's will and teachings.






Wednesday, June 7, 2017

America's Throw away Indian Project; A walking death


Artist: Davêd Joaquên
"Return of White Buffalo Woman"

http://www.twohawkstudio.com/gallery/return-of-white-buffalo-woman/




I have walked by my computer a thousand times since I have decided and publicly declared to tell my story.  I walk by and look at the screen as if it is whispering my name and the keyboard is also whispering, beware, don't listen to it, don't do it.  I continue into the other room.  My fingers feel like a thousand pounds right now.  I have no way of telling my story without hurting someone.  Isn't that strange?

I am an adoptee and the only other people in the world who will understand me without another word is another Native American Survivor of the Adoptee program.  I do not write this for pitiful sake.  But it will illicit pity in you.  I don't want your pity, but a part of me does.  It is a little part deep inside me that says if you feel pitiful for me you actually heard me.  Because when you look at the stark facts of the adoptee program, it is truly a dark and ugly thing.   It is a walking death.

I want you to imagine your community you live in.  I want to picture your neighbors and their families.  I want you to imagine their homes and all the dinner parties you have attended at their houses, the birthday parties, the Chivas. I guess I need the reader to imagine any kind of gathering attended at another's home and in your own home for the purpose of this excercise. I want you to imagine all the children that are friends with your children.  How you have taken your children on play dates.  I want you to imagine your entire town, large or small and try to think of it as a tribe or better yet, your own tribe.  You have your own leaders, healer, hunters, bead artists, carvers, builders, gardens, everything, every talent, contained within your village.

Now I want you to imagine the government barging into your home and taking your children from your custody because they just do not like the way your town lives, the way your language sounds, and they want to take all of your property and they do because they want to.  I want you to image your graveyards where generations of your loved ones and ancestors have been buried.  The most sacred grounds any culture has, the ground to honor it's past.  This government, they don't give a shit about your graveyard either.  The either build over it or maybe they dig it up in one hundred years and take the bones and put it in a museum for your grandchildren to wonder if it is you sitting behind that glass.  That adult grandchild who is himself a grandparent, knows in their soul that the bones behind that glass contain the same DNA that is within their own bones, but they can never return those sacred bones to their sacred grounds because what was once the place where your town was for hundred, maybe thousands of years is completely gone and a new culture of people are living on it.  This adult grandchild who is now a grandparent himself can not ever have those bones return to the family for burial in their new location of consecrated grounds because the law won't allow it unless one can prove you're a direct family member of those bones.

I can not write anymore.  this truly is the most difficult thing I have ever undertaken.  I have to describe to my reader how it feels to me.  In doing so, I have to walk through all of the emotions I have put to rest.  It stirs in me an anger, and a pain so deep.  I have to process.  When I feel inspired again, I will return.  But for now, imagine your children are gone and your property is gone, in fact, your whole town is gone and you are nowhere.  You have no idea where you are.  It might as well be the moon you are on. The only food you have is the rotten food the government is giving you and the only thing to drink is the alcohol the government is giving you.  You are on the moon, no child, rotten food, with only a poisonous substance to drink.  Stay there and look at the emptiness around you and try to imagine how that feels.  Now stay there every day until I write again.  Stay in that place until I return.


I may never return.

Julie


Thursday, June 1, 2017

An Achomawi Legend


An Achomawi Legend
Spider Woman

Sixty little spider children shivered as they slept. Snow had fallen every day for months. All the animals were cold, hungry, and frightened. Food supplies were almost gone. No one knew what to do. Blue Jay and Redheaded Woodpecker sang and danced for Silver Gray Fox, who floats above the clouds. Since Silver Gray Fox, the creator, had made the whole world with a song and a dance, Blue jay and Woodpecker hoped to be answered with blue skies. But the snow kept falling.
Finally, the animals decided to ask Coyote. “Coyote’s been around a long time, almost since the beginning. He might know how to reach Silver Gray Fox.” They went to the cave where Coyote was sleeping, told him their troubles, and asked for help. “Grrrrowwwlll…go away,” grumbled Coyote, “and let me think.” Coyote stuck his head into the cold air outside and thought till he caught an idea. He tried singing in little yelps and loud yowls to Silver Gray Fox. Coyote sang and sang, but Silver Gray Fox didn’t listen or didn’t want to. After all, it was Coyote’s mischief-making when the world was new that had caused Silver Gray Fox to go away beyond the clouds in the first place.
Coyote thought he’d better think some more. Suddenly he saw Spider Woman swinging down on a silky thread from the top of the tallest tree in the forest. “Spider Woman’s been on Earth a long, long time,” Coyote thought. “She’s very wise. I’ll ask her what to do.” Coyote loped over to the tree and lifted his ears to Spider Woman. “Spider Woman, O wise weaver, O clever one,” called Coyote in his sweetest voice, “we’re all cold and hungry. Everyone’s afraid this winter will never end. Silver Gray Fox doesn’t seem to notice. Can you help?” Spider Woman swayed her shining black body back and forth, back and forth, thinking and thinking, thinking and thinking.
Her eight black eyes sparkled when she spoke, “I know how to reach Silver Gray Fox, Coyote, but I’m not the one for the work. Everyone will have to help. You’ll need my two youngest children, too. They’re little and light as dandelion fluff, and the fastest spinners in my web.” Spider Woman called up to her two littlest ones. Spinnnnnn! Spinnnnnn! They came down fast, each spinning on eight little legs, fine, black twin Spider Boys, full of curiosity and fun. Spider Woman said, “My dear little quick ones, are you ready for a great adventure?” “Yes! Yes!” they cried. “We’re ready!”
Spider Woman told them her plan, and the Spider Boys set off with Coyote in the snow. They hadn’t gone far when they met two White-Footed Mouse Brothers rooting around for seeds to eat. Coyote told them Spider Woman’s plan. “Will you help?”
Sun began to warm the earth. Shoots of grass pushed up through the melting snow. Meadowlark blew her silver whistle of spring across the valley, calling streams and rivers awake. Coyote came out of hiding, raced to a distant hilltop, and gave a long, long howl of joy. The animals held a great feast to honor the rainbow, Silver Gray Fox, Spider Woman, the Spider Twins, Coyote, and the hard work everyone had done together.
To this day, after the rain, when the sun comes out, dewdrops on spider webs shine with tiny rainbows. This is the spiders’ special reward. You can see for yourself.


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

American's Throw Away Indian Project: The Kassaw Family continued...



Hugs to you my friend I feel our lives parallel in so many ways. I was taken by my white father to live with him and his parents firm six months of age until I left at sixteen. My mother was half Comanche half Mexican. I met her three times.  It was very traumatic each time I had to leave her. Coors beer, Kool cigarettes and youth dew perfume and she are items that make me feel as if she is with me again.She died before my 21st birthday.  I have always believed she died from a broken heart, as she drank herself away. I moved out to OK in my twenty's and this is where I learned my history.  Although I still feel a disconnect and a sense of not belonging. It was because of this I returned back to Arkansas within a year. 
It became necessary to tell our stories because no one was sharing their knowledge. Blessings to you my friend.

This story was shared by Kimberly Kassaw 5-31-2017


America's Throw Away Indian: Embracing Apples


#ATAIP: ENTRY NUMBER FIVE
EMBRACING APPLES

Since I am unable to sleep, I will pose a question for my audience to answer.

Who in my audience can tell me what it means to be an "Apple"?

Who in my audience can tell me what it feels like to be called an "Apple"?  Can anyone tell me they understand what it feels like to be in a group of  "Rez" N8VZ, you know to them, you are an apple?

Who in my audience has been called an apple?  A sell out?

Who in my audience has called one of their brother's or sister's an "Apple"?

I can tell you this, when I am being judged an "Apple",  it feels it like a thousand bees are stinging me.

Please post your answers in the comment section at the bottom of this post.





















Tuesday, May 30, 2017

America's Throw Away Indian: Colonization and Decolonization

#ATIP





The task of writing my history is filled with fear.  I have sat at my computer for years trying to find a way to describe my feelings.  The feelings I remember from childhood through my young adulthood to now.  This fear makes finding the most polite voice I have, impossible.  My every attempt over decades of contemplation, to complete the task of describing my life to the multiple racial audiences, I have been in a frozen capsule of time.  I have attempted to write my story and have failed because of this fear.  So I will begin with describing the fear to you.  This is important to note as I have decided this documenting of my story will have to become a document for psychologist and sociologist to decipher in the future.  There is significance to the academic world.  I foresee this as an opportunity for a student, sometime in the future, who is curious of the ramifications the adoptee program the U.S. and Canadian governments exacted on my race.  There is much interest in the residential schools and the impact that has had on my race.  Well, I wasn't sent to a residential school. I was adopted into a foreign country.

My primary audiences consist of the white family and the red family.  I understand my blog may be read by my white family and possibly my Native family.  So be it.  I am half white and I am half Lake Cowichan First Nation.  This is important to note from the beginning of my story as it is these two families I will most likely offend in many ways by describing my life as an adoptee Native woman.  My life is not pleasant It isn't a tale of sugar and spice and everything nice.  I have many happy childhood memories.  I have memories of my adopted father taking me home to Canada and finding my blood family and then whisking me away, back into the white world. The white world that I never quite felt a part of or at least that part of me did not feel good to me.  My story is to describe my experience, it is to tell the tale of my heart, to describe my life without stepping on some one's toes.
My adoptive father, My first love April 9, 1942-April 11, 2015
My father George is the man I knew as Dad.  He drove me
to Canada in 1980, I distinctly remember this as this was
the year Mt. St. Helens erupted. 
George and me in Vitoria B.C. Canada 1980 I was 13 yrs old.

I have come to the conclusion, I will hurt someone.  There is no way around this possibility.  Telling my truth about my life and what it feels like to live as an adoptee and being an Indigenous woman definitely will include two distinct audiences.  The white audience and the Native audience.  I will not slow my storytelling down with politically correct terms.  I will write in black and white terms.
MY BLOOD FAMILY

I have two families.  I have my blood family.  The Lake Cowichan First Nation family.  This family is the family I am a member of simply by blood.  There is no special relationship with anyone from my tribe anymore.  The one person I had a true connection with passed away last year.  He was my biological mother's younger brother.  He was chief of my people.  His name was Cyril Livingstone.


LAURA LIVINGSTONE-RHYNES
MY BIOLOGICAL MOTHER
R.I.P. DIED DECEMBER 21ST, 1967
MY BELOVED MOTHER, I WISH I COULD'VE KNOWN 
YOU. I WISH YOU COULD'VE BEEN MY 
MOTHER.  I WONDER WHAT YOU WERE LIKE?
I WONDER WHAT IT WAS LIKE THE TEN MONTHS
WE HAD TOGETHER BEFORE YOU DIED?
DID YOU KISS ME?  DID YOU HOLD ME?
DID I SLEEP WITH YOU OR IN A CRIB? DID YOU
SING TO ME?  WAS I BREASTFED?  WAS I BAPTIZED?
DID MY FATHER EVER LAY EYES ON ME?  I WISH
I COULD HAVE AT THE VERY LEAST HAVE KNOWN YOU
OR HAVE A MEMORY OF HOW YOU SMELL OR HOW YOUR 
VOICE SOUNDS LIKE.  SO MANY MYSTERIES.  I LOVE
YOU MOTHER. THANK YOU FOR GIVING ME LIFE.
FOREVER, 

Julie, your Julie



MY UNCLE: CHIEF CYRIL LIVINGSTONE
R.I.P. MY BELOVED UNCLE
I WISH YOU COULD'VE
BEEN MY
FATHER



STOP

TO BE CONTINUED.... I must rest now.  It is so much, to write only these few words.  It is so much.






Saturday, May 27, 2017

Coyote proves himself a Cannibal





Apache

Owl was the one who had arrows. He had a club also with which he killed men whom he ate. "Up at the low gap I am watching for men, wu hwu wo," he sang. Coyote came walking along in front of him. " Wu hwu wo," sang Owl, " I am looking for men in the low gap." The two came face to face there. "Now," said Owl, "the one who vomits human flesh will kill men."... "Very well," said Coyote, "shut your eyes." Owl shut his eyes. When he vomited, Coyote put his hand under and took the meat. The grasshoppers which Coyote vomited he put in Owl's hand.
"Now open your eyes," said Coyote. Owl looked and saw the grasshoppers lying in his hand. Coyote showed him the meat. "What did I tell you," said Coyote, "this is the meat I threw up." "Where did I drink in the grasshoppers?" said Owl. Coyote ran all around Owl. "Because I run fast like this I eat people," said Coyote". These legs of yours are too large, I will fix them for you. Shut your eyes”.
Coyote cut Owl's leg, trimming away the meat. He broke his leg with a stone and took the arrows away leaving him only the club. Coyote ran around Owl who threw his club at him. He would say, "Come back, my club," and it would come back to him. He threw it again. Coyote said, “Wherever a stick falls when one throws it there it will lie."
The club did not return to Owl. "Now you will live right here in the canyon where many arrows will be in front of you. Somebody might kill you," Coyote told him. Owl hitched himself along into the canyon. "Arrows painted black may kill you," said Coyote.
Coyote went around in front of him and shot him with his own (Owl's) arrows. After that everybody was afraid of Coyote, who went around killing off the people.





How do you pronounce the word "Apache"?



 What does it mean?

Apache is pronounced "uh-PAH-chee." It means "enemy".

Photo: Edward S. Curtis-1907-"Apache Scout"



Where do the Apaches live?

Photo: Edward S.Curtis-1907-"Apache Indian
(The North American Indian; v.01)"




The Apache are natives of the Southwest deserts (particularly in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas). Some Apache people were also located across the border in northern Mexico. One Apache band, the Na'ishan or Plains Apache, lived far away from the other Apaches, in what is now Oklahoma. Their customs were different from other Apaches, more similar to their Kiowa neighbors.... For that reason, the Americans often called the Na'ishan "Kiowa-Apaches."
The Plains Apaches are still living in Oklahoma today. Some Apaches from other bands were captured and sent to live in Oklahoma by the Americans in the 1800's, while other Apaches resisted being moved and remain in Arizona and New Mexico today. The total Apache Indian population today is around 30,000.



How is the Apache Indian nation organized?




How is the Apache Indian nation organized?

The different Apache tribes in the United States, today lives on its own reservation. Reservations are lands that belong to Indian tribes and are under their control. The Oklahoma Apaches live on trust land. Each Apache tribe has its own government, laws, police, and services, just like a small country. However, the Apaches are also US citizens and must ...obey American law.

In the past, each Apache band was led by its own chief, who was chosen by a tribal council. Most important decisions were made by the council, and all the Apache councilmembers had to agree before an action could be taken. An Apache chief was more like a tribal chairman than a president. Most of his job was mediating between other Apaches. Most Apache tribes still use tribal councils for their government today.

Contemporary Apache groups

Apachean tribes ca. 18th century: WA – Western Apache, N – Navajo, Ch – Chiricahua, M – Mescalero, J – Jicarilla, L – Lipan, Pl – Plains Apache
The following Apache tribes are federally recognized:
Apache Tribe of Oklahoma
Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, Arizona
Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma
Jicarilla Apache Nation, New Mexico
Mescalero Apache Tribe of the Mescalero Reservation, New Mexico
San Carlos Apache Tribe of the San Carlos Reservation, Arizona[4]
Tonto Apache Tribe of Arizona
White Mountain Apache Tribe of the Fort Apache Reservation, Arizona
Yavapai-Apache Nation of the Camp Verde Indian Reservation, Arizona
Jicarilla are headquartered in Dulce, New Mexico while the Mescalero are headquartered in Mescalero, New Mexico. The Western Apache, located in Arizona, is divided into several reservations, which crosscut cultural divisions. The Western Apache reservations include the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation, Yavapai-Apache Nation, Tonto-Apache Reservation, and Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation.

Young Jicarilla Apache boy, New Mexico, 2009

Present-day primary locations of Apachean peoples
The Chiricahua were divided into two groups after they were released from being prisoners of war. The majority moved to the Mescalero Reservation and form, with the larger Mescalero political group, the Mescalero Apache Tribe of the Mescalero Apache Reservation, along with the Lipan Apache. The other Chiricahua are enrolled in the Fort Sill Apache Tribe of Oklahoma, headquartered in Apache, Oklahoma.
The Plains Apache are located in Oklahoma, headquartered around Anadarko and are federally recognized as the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma.







Did you know?




Did you know?

Mary Kim Titla (born November 24, 1960) in 1987 became the first Native American television journalist in Arizona.

Photo: Mary Kim Titla in her Native buckskin dress



What language do the Apache Indians speak?



What language do the Apache Indians speak?

Almost all Apache people speak English today, but many Apaches also speak their native Apache language, which is closely related to Navajo. Apache is a complex language with tones and many different vowel sounds. Most English speakers find it very difficult to pronounce. If you'd like to know a few easy Apache words, "ash" (rhymes with 'gosh') means "friend" in Western Apache, and "ahéhe'e" (pronounced similar to ah-heh-heh-eh) means "thank you."



Geronimo [Goyathlay], Chiracahua Apache




"As a child my mother taught me the legends of our people; taught me of the sun and sky, the moon and stars, the clouds and storms. She also taught me to kneel and pray to Usen for strength, health, wisdom, and protection. We never prayed against any person, but if we had aught against any individual we ourselves took vengeance. We were taught that Usen does not care for the petty quarrels of men."

- Geronimo [Goyathlay], Chiracahua Apache

Geronimo. Born June, 1829. Member of the Bedonkohe Apache tribe in No-doyohn Canon, Arizona, near present day Clifton, Arizona. Was called Goyathlay (One Who Yawns.)




Eddie Two Moons





Eddie brings the strength of his beliefs, his commitment to Apache values of respect and tradition, and a humble devotion to the gift entrusted to him by the Creator. In his hands, metals and stones are imbued with purpose.

Eddie is half-Apache from his mother and grew up in Albuquerque, far from the Chiricahua tribe. In the early 1970's, he wandered farther, spiritually, from the Apache, when he... did piecework for a local jewelry manufacturer. Working in plastic casts and copper, incorporating Apache symbols of life and religion, his own disrespect slowly ate away at his creativity and heart. Apache medicine man, Robert Eaglehawk, offered a path back to honor. Eddie had to quit the piecework and also stop using Apache symbols in his work for one life: 30 years. With this sacrifice, he could redeem himself.

This Eddie did, devoting himself to other work and to raising a family. When the time came, the passion and dedication building inside Eddie flowed from his heart through his veins and into his hands which held the metals and stones.

When Eddie was married, Robert Eaglehawk cut four pieces of skin from Eddie's arms to give back to the Creator. Robert said, "You can't give him money. He owns everything anyway. All you can give him is of yourself." The four pieces of skin were placed in the four sacred directions.

Eddie says, "My motivation comes from these events and my sincerity is based on my respect for the Apache tradition."

In 1982, Eddie was the first Native American graduate of the Gemological Institute of America. Now, over twenty years later, he was among the invited few to participate in the Native Nation Procession in 2004 for the ceremonial grand opening of the National Museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian in D.C.

What a wonderful, inspiring journey Eddie has taken. As a child, he really had no mentor, yet a talent burned inside him. Alone, he picked up jewelry tools and taught himself the skills to bring his visions to life in metal. But any craftsman will tell you that talent is not enough to sustain. Desire is not enough. Even determination and passion are not enough. These emotions are too fiery and combustible. An artist's creations are nurtured by the humblest of attitudes: vulnerability. A defenseless quest for the truth about one's self and the world.

Eddie's name, Two Moons, represents the two worlds: the one we live in and the other the spiritual world. He says, "I live in the physical world, but my heart lives in the spiritual realm," where we believe our Creator and his expectations on how to live our life gift that he has given us.

"I rise and exit into a make-believe place, where I once again try to create balance. It is my purpose here." Eddie's jewelry resonates with spiritual commitment.
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