Ayaca e’ Iguana: Decolonizing Indigenous Diets

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Cyclura nubila- Cuban Rock Iguana

Most of the social and spiritual gatherings I participate in are composed of people from a variety of ethnicities and beliefs. Coming from a multi-cultural background myself, this is usually not an issue. Yet, as years have gone by, I’m finding myself feeling increasingly uneasy at the upcoming of any new event. We all have cultural blind spots and a certain amount of ethnocentricity, yes. Because of this awareness, I try not to look for offense in the ignorance of others; we are all working from our own programming and we are all in different spaces. But this discomfort continues and for the longest, I couldn’t quite pin-point what it was that bothered me so much about non-Indian guests in our gatherings. Continue reading “Ayaca e’ Iguana: Decolonizing Indigenous Diets”

The conquering of the American Hemisphere and Indian Country~Thoughts on Columbus Day 2010

 

Found in Wikimedia Commons- http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:American_progress.JPG
“Spirit of the Frontier” portraying the idea of manifest destiny, the holy duty to expand west in the name of God.

Continue reading “The conquering of the American Hemisphere and Indian Country~Thoughts on Columbus Day 2010”

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

Haga clic aquí si gustaría leer este artículo en español.

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.

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

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.

Continue reading “Are you a good witch or a bad witch?~ Segregation in Native American Spirituality”

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.

Continue reading “Van Sertima’s Mummies or The Fruits of Careless Research…”

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…

Continue reading “A “Voice of Authority”… Part Deux”