Thanksgiving Day: to Thank or not to Thank…

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Every November, on the fourth Thursday of the month, the US celebrates Thanksgiving Day with food, drink, parades and sports.  Families gather together, whether they like each other or not, to eat, drink and be merry.  But this merry-making is not to be found everywhere for the day is not a celebration to many of the original peoples of this land. Continue reading

“Hispanic, Latino or Spanish Origin?” Exploring the 2010 US Census

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This year the US will be conducting a new, 10 year, population count and this brings me to the topic of questions 8 & 9 of the Census: the race and ethnicity questions.

We can google and find many a discussion and internet slogan rejecting the label of “Hispanic” or “Latino”.  Folks claim to be neither regardless of Spanish names, surnames, languages spoken or country of origin.  Although many hold a strong conviction with regards to this, my observation has been that few bother to question the basis of this opinion.

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Are you a good witch or a bad witch?~ Segregation in Native American Spirituality

With the recent deaths occurring in an Arizona sweat lodge, three so far, many Indigenous Americans are rabidly repeating the mantras “That’s what you get when you mess with things you have no right to mess with”, “Non-natives have no right to participate, let alone conduct sacred native ceremonies” and “The spirits are clearly expressing their disapproval, when will non-natives learn?”

These are sad, angry and fear filled sentiments with which I do not agree.  They weigh in my heart as I hear my relations repeat them at family events, powwows and even sacred gatherings.  I have shared my feelings before pertaining to the separatist attitudes my relations have regarding our spirituality.  Yet, further understanding compels me to revisit the issue and clarify, albeit to myself, this particular concern.  Although I still do not agree with the segregationist views, I do believe my relations have some very good points and real reasons for concern.  However, I suggest pause and deliberation lest our fears overcome and misguide us.  By clarifying to ourselves exactly what it is that is really important, we can better express our concerns to others without sounding like rabid, bigoted hypocrites.

This is important because no one listens to rabid, bigoted hypocrites except other rabid, bigoted hypocrites and you end up preaching to the choir.

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Van Sertima’s Mummies or The Fruits of Careless Research…

Reply to a Critic

Recently, I received a response to the book review I posted on Ivan Van Sertima’s, They Came Before Columbus.  This person was very passionate about defending the Afrocentric version of alternative history and emailed me an excerpt from his later book, Early America Revisited, in which Van Sertima replies to his critics: scientists, archeologist and professionals from different, but related, fields of study.  I must say that his rebuttals prove quite an interesting read and encouraged me to further research, which I enjoy immensely.  However, I must also say that the additional information just didn’t help Ivan’s case.

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Nostalgia Taína

I was thinking about Taíno identity and politics and my mind started to wander to my childhood…

I grew up traveling the boricua pow wow trail and I remember…

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A “Voice of Authority”… Part Deux

Although at the present moment we have no Authority on the Taino language, let’s pretend we do.  Imagine  we have a group of people who are recognized as the Authority on the Taino language by a great majority of the Taino people and organizations.  And that this Authority has created the ultimate Taino Dictionary…

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Seeking a leader; the need for a “Voice of Authority” for our dead language

Wisegeek.com states “A dead language is a language which is no longer learned as a native language.”  Wikipedia says that a dead language has no competent speakers and that an extinct language is one that has no speakers at all, be that by language replacement or language evolution.  Examples of these are Modern English having evolved from the Old English spoken in Medieval times and the death of the Taino language  of the Caribbean when replaced by Spanish and French.

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