|Posted: Tue May 15, 2007 10:19 am Post subject:|
|LETS DANCE, SHAKE DAT BOOTIE
Nothing like doing a rez run to lift one’s spirits. After all, you can’t just hop on over to the local paint shop to get painted these dayz. We had a dance in our village this weekend and it was a hoot. For those who just don’t ever seem to get it, our dances don’t jam to Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones. Naw, and I did not break out my Johnny Rivers or Tom Jones tunes either. On this weekend, we jammed to our local favorite Stewart Candy and Da Boyz our drum group. Yeah man, we got rhythm. And holay, them old buzzards keep going well into the wee hours of the morning. As long as there are baskets for the give-away left on the table, the drummers are not tired, plenty of food and a bunch of hooting and hollering Indin’s doing the deal, they are like Eveready bunnies.
Leave it to me to be related to the sponsor families this weekend. But it’s a labor of love as I took white-headed elders around town gathering for the give-a-way. And you better believe all the normally snooty and racist checkers were on this best behavior since yours truly was standing directly behind my old ones, glaring into the cashiers eyes. Courtesy was plentiful. I was the official Cheyenne Shuttle, lovingly called “Cheyenne Air”, between our town and a real city with actual stores. Our town is more like post-nuclear war era ruins. Just hurts my heart that some folks have to bucket their water, if water is available.
I think of all the money I threw away when I was thug and what it could have done. I could have rebuilt every house in the village, most likely enough dough to establish a business or two and send every one of our kids to college. Sadly, many kids don’t graduate METH 101. At the dance I discovered 4 more relation’s died since the last time I was there 2 weeks ago, some were kids. I felt happier knowing my sis was at least alive? Hmmmmm, and we chatted away about all the immediate family members we were missing. So we all walked away happier knowing others where as miserable as us? Gads, I’m not exactly sure what transpired there eh. But anyway, for some reason, we all felt better chatting about our dead. Then we compared funeral prices and all the goofy politics that goes on in our village, even at a funeral….lol.
What really got me were the old ones. When we are having a gathering, they come out of the woodwork. Slowly at first but then before you know it, old buzzards everywhere. And get out of their way when it comes time to dance. They cast off their walker, cane, and hit the floor. We have fun dances as well. Think everyone has the hat dance and all. It’s a very endearing time as we laugh and joke the night away. Our drummers rally the feeling of belonging and oneness, our hearts beat as one. We dance in homogenous flow while singers melodize our lore. If ever there was an endearing moment in ones life, it’s when you dance with your people. And when I see a 94 year old woman in a walker dance to the Grandmothers Dance, it just chokes me up to see her get busy on the floor. You just don’t know what the drum means to us and the medicine it offers.
As for beading, I only see beads of sweat on my forehead as I try to prick the hide. I could feel my heart beating out of my chest as I struggled to get this itty bitty little bead stuck with this needle. Then I break the needle, snap. Must have bead dyslexia or something. I’m as dainty as a musk ox at times. Even my 7 year old niece can bead. Fact is, she beads up a storm and helps her mom. And here I am chasing this little bead all over this tray. I can make a kick ass tomahawk and war clubs though.
Blab, blab, blab……..
Here is something that was kewl I would like to share. I was at my cousin’s house when a nephew came in. Boy, he was a goon eh. Last time I saw him, he was a puny little guy and I used to lift him in the air. Now, he was a big guy at 16yrs. Then this kid began to tell me about some of my tattoos. I have some old street tat’s and this kid new the meanings. He was very savvy in the ways of the streets. He was allot like me at 16, already knew death, jaded with society and the double standard they offer. Puncture marks riddled his body from many coups. What a flashback that was for me.
He commented on seeing my dancing that evening. He thought it was way so cool that I danced; I made it look OK somehow so he decided he would begin to dance as well. Don’t know if others are having problems with kids leaving traditions behind, but we do. I told him he could still be cool and dance for his people. Kids think I’m “an all right dude” I’m very popular within the little subculture of our young. I use this influence to point them in a better direction. I can’t use the same old approach used by society, this only strengthens the kid’s resolve to remain in their quarter. These kids are as sharp as a tack. He told me of the new counselors and psychologists that was interviewing him and introducing “Youth Programs” .
He went into great detail about giving counselors and doctor’s answers they needed to hear. He was laughing as he described how these doctors would not have a real clue since he and other kids set doctors up with bogus answers. He told me he could tell which doctors would dole out the “good drugs” and which ones would not. And this was a 16-year-old kid, my nephew!! I remember how people used to underestimate us when I was a “Sidewalk Commando”. People would talk down to us street kid like we were mentally retarded or with listening disabilities. We would nod our heads and give these people the “show” they wanted. For our efforts, we got food, cloths, and shelter at times. In some instances, we’d copped a plea in petty offences. Street kids are hep to all the angles used by authority figures. It’s a cat and mouse game. They can read a counselor like yesterdays mail.
Hmmmm, the first beef (problems with the law) I ever got was an “Extortion” rap, I was in my early teens. Back then “Insurance” or protection rackets were illegal. Silly me, look at the Insurance racket today. Health Care scams abound with the blessings of the federal government. Sadly, the feds are co conspirators in shaking down the general public as it is. Don’t get me started with King George and his merry band of Oil Thugs as they spank America with high prices for not buying into Georgie Porgie’s “Oil Wars”. Extortion eh…and nobody sees it.
In short, the youth of my little village look up to me since I’m “Street” and talk to them instead of down to them. I have not even begun to share the insights I’ve gained from the youth. They are very perceptive and listen to the news. What they say to me is “Why be honest and good when the whole of society is corrupt and living fat?” Add our oral history to this mix and you have some angry kids running around. “Why respect authority when authority does not respect” is their axiom. Gads, I had no argument. And why should I lie and tell them life is spiffy for it is not. I don’t lie to them but I’m in a position to point them in a better direction. And for now, getting my nephew and a few of his homies interested in tribal dancing is a step in the right direction one step at a time.
Holay, this weekend the MC called me “Our Indin Richard Simons”. It was good to laugh since my hair is like a buffalo, all course and bushy. It was a bitchen gathering though and my spirit needed the healing in our way. And for a moment in time, we were one as we danced around our drum. It was a walk into our timeless past as we sang and dance as a people. And just maybe next trip back home, I will see my nephew doing the “grass dance” and I can check out the “moves” he wanted to do. This is, if he survives till then.
Your Devil’s Advocate