Monday, November 12, 2012

WTF ????

The Germans are doing it and now it looks like the Czech Republicans are doing it too.

What you guys are looking at is European Cultures trying to assimilate our traditional Native dances.

At first glace, the thing I notice the most is the absence of color.  As I look closer to their regalia, their outfits are missing the stories and the wonderful symbolism we use from the Earth and beyond. In short, their outfits have no soul.

Powwow culture is still a relatively new phenomenon within the Native community, its Pan-Indianism at its best.  For a long time we were all separated by geography, language, culture, climate, distance, and it was the U.S. Government who changed our destinies.  Apart of, "saving the Indian" , we were all put onto reservations and began to intermingle with each other sharing the, "manifest destiny" , experience.

As our powwows evolved, one of the main social dances we do is called the, "inter-tribal" , which means all Nations are invited to dance together, which is why you see so many different outfits representing the plains, forest, mountain, and desert tribes dancing together in one unison..

Each major tribal culture has contributed a social dance to the Powwow whether it was war dancing, a dance that imitates the flight of the swans, or a couples dance called the two step.

As much as our non-Native friends like to think we're all alike, we're also very different:

"the thing about them is that they think that the buckskin is a representation of ALL NATIVES. So when them mofos come out to the Navajo Rez they be askin' where the buffalo and teepees are! They refuse to accept that each tribe has their own identity. YES, we have common threads that bind us but all our beliefs are different. A serpent in Navajo Culture was responsible for the destruction of our previous worlds while in Hopi beliefs it's a serpent was resposible for the creation of the world. Peyote may be acceptable in one tribe but it's not part of Navajo practice. BUCKSKIN, BUFFALO, AND PEYOTE are what are 'Native American' to them" - Nizhoni

Our tribes also did the best job they could to hold onto our languages and cultures as many of our ancestors were sent away to boarding schools to become assimilated into the new Western American culture.  Some of our ancestors left to live the Whites completely leaving their Indianness behind whereas many of them were killed or died off from sheer exhaustion from fighting with the U.S. Government.

This is whats missing when I look at the Czech Republic outfits.  Do these people know about the horrendous circumstances our Native people had to endure in order to survive?  Some of the tribes use to keep their historical/traditional accounts on buffalo hides to help them remember the past and today, many Native people still continue this mnemonic method with their regalia.  Do they know what we wear or why we wear it because if not, then our symbolism and aesthetic become lost and their outfits look like a cheap imitation. 

I don't take offense to these pictures because I feel these people aren't mocking us.  I view it as a Euro Nation trying to reconnect with their own tribalism thru our culture, I can't help but feel flattered.

Its nice to dress up and play Indian but our lives are just a bit more complicated than that.


No comments:

Post a Comment