Continued

 

one...but old enough to pick up and remember things... that while in the company of my grandmother, grandfather, father  and brother... my brother decided to ask the forbidden question quite in innocence... that was...

"HOW DID YOU AND GRANDMOTHER MEET"...here is where the very definite connection to Native blood was first revealed.

My grandfather in a joking way, much to the horror of my grandmother, stated in a half joking way, which grandmother did not find funny at all... said..."WE MOHAWKS, KIDNAPPED HER FROM HER HURON FAMILY," well that brought a immediate and extreme reaction from grandmother, and had she not reacted in such a demonstrative way, I would have never caught on.  She immediately rose from her chair, where normally she would sit never saying hardly a word, and stated swearing at the men in French.  Admonishing him for having said such a horrible thing especially in front of the children, the one with "little ears" (me)... she in just a few seconds of this outrage did, as many as native women do... she totally silenced the men who hung their heads low and dare not even breathe a word at that point. In fact, for several moments... no one spoke a word.
That was my first knowledge of being Native American.  

 

It would be later down the road that all the pieces came together. The Mohawks hated the Huron and kidnapping was common place.  In fact the Mohawks alone were single handed in almost eliminating the entire Huron race. So, those early days of marriage to my grandfather must of been quite the experience for her.

Now, I claim to be first Mohawk, then Huron (some call the Huron... Wyandot now)... which it should be the other way around.  However, my grandmother as I explained earlier... hardly ever spoke, and when she did... it was to the adults and would never directly address the children except through the adults, unless there were no adults around and then she had no other choice.  So all I've learned was basically through my grandfather and my father.  This is why I say I'm... first...Mohawk... then Huron. Although, I do honor both traditions while at powwows. 

You see while some tribes may always dance clockwise in the circle at powwows, there are those who were showed 
in vision they must always dance counter clockwise. So, when at powwows I do both. There are many who watch this and who still 

don't understand, they think someone died or something like that... in fact, a couple of years ago while attending a powwow out in Michigan, the emcee told all on the microphone "WE ALWAYS DANCE CLOCKWISE AND TEACH OUR CHILDREN THIS"... well I guess they never heard of ..."Me" and my traditional way of dancing.  Can you possibly guess what I did the very next intertribal dance in the circle??? While doing so, I was rudely approached while dancing even, by their head dancer and told..."I WAS GOING THE WRONG WAY"... can you possibly guess what happened then???? I'll leave it to your imagination and just say... that day they all got educated... emcee, head dancer, powwow leaders.  They were also asked to correct what they had said earlier to all the public about never dancing any other way but clockwise. 

So you see, even among our own people, (NATIVES/ WANNABEE'S) Yes I did say that... there is still ignorance... so never be afraid to ask questions. Your not alone in not knowing or understanding native traditions 
just because your "White". It's almost impossible to know every tribal tradition and customs. There are among us what is referred to as "Traditional"  and  "Non-Traditional Indians"... and there are also "WANNABEE INDIANS".

Ask, watch, read and learn. Another thing to keep in mind: East of the Mississippi and West of the Mississippi, traditions vary greatly. Eastern Woodland People are a matriachial society, governed with the woman having all the say...

western Indians are the exact opposite. The great American Constitution was initially founded on the eastern tribes governing council rules, however, with one exception...THEY PUT MEN IN CHARGE...which was not totally within the keeping of eastern tribal governing rules. They modified, as even some Indians do today our traditions. And, one wonders why we are in such a mess and why some people are so confused with all of this.

I'm a traditional practicing Native American.  Even within the mixed company of my own.

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Dances With Wolves

 


DSES 2004