Monday, June 22, 2009

Another day...

The music plays in the background, the drumming, the melodic cries harmonize. One-two, one-two, shuffle shuffle, one-two, one-two, step lightly to the music. Wanda tries to follow her aunt as they round the bend. The shooshing and knocking of the shells on her shawl shake with her every step. What a way to spend your summer vacation, traveling around from pow wow to pow wow, camping out every night under the stars and eating smores nightly. There really was no lessons learned. Just day after day of of indians and frybread and new agey white people marveling at what a cute little girl she was. She and her mom would visit the booths, checking out the local handiwork and trying to figure how you make that. Always resorting to buy something in lieu of making it, because where does one get porcupine quills. The summer culminated in staying with her grandparents. Why hadn't she taken advantage of the time with her and learned all she could about the culture? or why hadn't her grandmother tried to share her skills and language? She did pass down her recipe for frybread, but she can't even do that right, it always comes out like tiny hockey pucks.

Now Wanda wonders where it all went. Where the time and knowledge has gone? It's too late to learn anything. The "they" don't want you coming back as much as they say they'll receive you with open arms. Sure "they" say that you aren't like those wannabees who've just found their culture and are tracing their lineage back to the early setllers. But these people scare me because I think they are better than me, becuase they are less indian than me and have less claim to the indian crown than me, but they know more than me. I was born indian, into the tribe even though I was not raised on the rez. When I