Friday, April 18, 2008

Storytelling goes on

Of course I wasn't born long ago, but I hear the stories my dad tells me. Elders tell me, even in my job I like to hear their stories.

Sometimes things I say or write get misconstrued as me crying around, I don't mean to sound like that. but when you see people suffer with diabetes, (which is an epidemic here and my belief is from years of hunting and catching food and harvesting was taken away and processed foods were given out.) many people here don't have electricity, water, plumbing, children dying the list goes on. I sometimes want to grab the government around the neck and shake the hell out of them by saying, "WE DON'T NEED HANDOUTS, WE NEED DEVELOPMENT!!" There are poor in this country too.

But who am I to shake anyone up but an ex.

My people weren't always like this. At one time they were the richest people in the world with happiness. They were able to roam between Nebraska and Montana freely as the seasons changed and follow the buffalo. Nomadic: that was the way of life that made them happy. The Black Hills were sacred. They knew the gold was there, but it was never used because it was also sacred. The day the government broke their treaty and took the Black Hills away is a day that still saddens my people today.

They never took the ways of my people though, the religion lasted in basements and hidden way out in the middle of nowhere because it was banned and sought after by the FBI. The arts stayed with us. The language still survives, barely. And the storytelling survives....old legends and new stories.

I will now add an old story here....(excerpted from the book Legends of The Mighty Sioux)

An Indian woman is sitting in the moonlight and sewing with porcupine quills. Near her the fire burns brightly and over the fire a kettle of herbs is boiling for medicine. by her side sits a dog that watches her. Every once in awhile she rises, lays down her work, and stirs the herbs. While she is doing this the dog unravels her work.

This has been going on for thousands of years. As fast as the Indian woman sews, the dog unravels. If she should ever complete her work the world will come to an end right at that instant. So says the legend.

The first time I heard that story was from an elderly lady named Mary Louise Defender. i told that story to my children last night.

May our ways always go on.

Oki can sica ogna un tipi. Unlakotapi. Lel wanna un hepi.

We are living in hard times. We are Lakota. We are here now.


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