Manataka American Indian Council

 

 

Manataka American Indian Council        Volume VI  Issue 12  December 2004


SMOKE SIGNAL NEWSLETTER


Contents:                                

Web Site Updates  Native Themes & Logos
Up Coming Events  Indian Christmas
Past Event - Bear Dance Christmas Clouds - Movie
John Dozier - Spirit Walker Nightmare Before Christmas  
Indian Christmas Customs Christmas Between Adobe/Kiva
Indian Christmas Recipes  Circles of Wonder - Book
A Native Christmas Healing Prayer Basket 
Indian Christmas Prayer  Manataka Messages 

                               


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MANATAKA.ORG UPDATES

RECENTLY ADDED WEB PAGES

 

NEW STORIES AND FEATURES ADDED IN NOVEMBER

CHECK OUT THESE FEATURES AND MORE

INDEX TO ALL PAGES

GREAT GIFTS FOR THE HOLIDAYS!

BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS
Cherokee Books   Feature Books Medicine/Herbal Lore
Children's Books Genealogy New Arrivals
Craft Books Indian Language Sets Spiritual
GIFTS
MUSIC! MUSIC! MUSIC!
WALELU! Qua Ti Si ! Tony Palmer & Breeds
Blue Dog Calvin Standing Bear Loneman Richard Tail
Artist Lineup Native Flutes Specials of the Month
GIFTS
GIFTS GIFTS GIFTS
Home Decor Red Hawk Crafts Video Store
Pottery Flags - Many Tribes Buckskin & Buffalos
Herbal Teas Teepees Indian Clothing -  Regalia
Gifts Galore and More!  Tamarack Song Woodland Warriors - Art

 


HOLIDAY PARADE...

JOIN THE MANATAKA HOLIDAY PARADE!

The annual Hot Springs Christmas Parade is Thursday, December 2 at 6:00 p.m.  Manataka members, family and friends will ride the Manataka low-boy trailer festooned with decorations and the MAIC banner.  Bear Clan drummers and singers will perform during the parade. Dress in regalia or not.  Everyone bring a least three (3) non-perishable canned food.  Come to Desoto Park on Hwy 7 North at Hwy 70B (Gulpha Gorge Road) no later than 5:30 p.m. on December 2.   Call 501-627-0555.


SEMINAR COMING... 

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2004

9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m.

 

 

 

"STAR GATES, CRYSTALS, 

AND MA-NA-TA-KA"

 

 

With famous author and mythologist

WILLIAM HENRY 

 

 

 

MORNING SESSION - "THE PLACE OF PEACE"
Legends of a mysterious Place of Peace, of a hidden place where great ancient wisdom from an advanced culture is stored, have permeated our history for centuries.  It has long been believed this extraordinary Place of Peace is in Arkansas. The Taino Indians directed DeSoto to Arkansas to find it. Thomas Jefferson sent Dunbar and Hunter into the Ouachita region in search of it.

William Henry presents impressive evidence from ancient Tibetan sources, Egyptian and Sumerian and even biblical references that the Place of Peace exists and gives his theory that it has remained hidden through the history of America. Before a cataclysm, the gods of the ancient world deposited sacred knowledge in a repository of pure quartz crystal. Where was this place? By whom was it established? And does it still exist today? This talk is astounding in its collection of documented facts concerning the Place of Peace. William has some exceptional findings for the truth seeker – believer or skeptic.

 

 

Luncheon with William Henry In the Razorback Room

Book signing planned after the seminar

AFTERNOON SESSION - RETURN OF THE DOVE: THE BLESSED SUBSTANCE
The Maya prophecies of 2012 tell of a time when a portal will open and Itzamna, the ‘Lord of the Milky Way’, will offer itz, ‘the precious, blessed magical rain of the heaven’ to humanity. Ix Chel, the Rainbow Woman, is Itzamna’s companion. She presided over Man-a-ta-ka. In the second half of his presentation William Henry will discuss the extraordinary references to this couple and their ‘the blessed substance’. What is itz? Is it the same as the mana, the dew of heaven, symbolized by the dove? What effect will itz have on us? We'll explore the facts behind this and other great mysteries of 2012.             

William Henry is the author of ten books and worldwide lecturer.  He is an investigative mythologist who lives in Nashville, TN.  His primary expertise and mission is finding and interpreting ancient stories which feature advanced technology for raising of spiritual vibration and increasing spiritual vision.

 LIMITED SEATING

Location: 

Travel Lodge, 1204 Central Ave. Hot Springs

Corner of Central (Hwy 7) and Grand Ave. (Hwy 70/270)

Registration:

8:00 a.m. - Free coffee / refreshments all day

9:00 a.m. - Program begins.

Advance Reservations:

Seminar registration is not necessarily tax deductible. 

$25. pp     YES, SIGN ME UP NOW

At Door:

$35. pp

Mail Payment:

MAIC, PO Box 476, Hot Springs, AR 71902

Notes:

No cancellations accepted after 12/06/04. Meal not included.

Television cameras likely on-site.  Pictures and video permitted. 

No tape recorders allowed.

 

QUESTIONS? 

EMAIL:    manataka@sbcglobal.net  

PHONE:  501-627-0555

 


PAST EVENT...

 

 

   THE BEARS ARE SLEEPING

                       BUT THEIR SPIRITS ARE STILL MOVING.... 

 

 

   Another Bear Dance Ceremony was concluded on November 20 but the energy of the event keeps moving around us like a whirlwind.   The Bear Clan Society of Arkansas has been performing the annual "Puttin' The Bear's Ta Sleep" ceremony for many years, but this years event was special.  

 

    The four days of sweat lodge ceremonies and fasting was special this time because a strong feeling of renewal and hope swirled around our heads and hearts with such electricity that an over-powering sense of peace and unity caught everyone up in it's joy.  

 

   It was special because so many new friends, like Gayle Sexauer, Peggy Ashcraft and Tracy Saavedra (too many others to mention) found their way to the arbor to participate in the healing ceremonies and good bear medicine.  It was special when many old friends like Bob Eagle Horse McFarlin, David Quiet Wind Furr and Mario and Magdala (too many others to mention) came to dance in the arbor.  The crowd was larger than normal, but there was plenty of food for the feast (a very important point for a bear).  

 

    The women danced on the outside of the inner circle as Rick Porea kicked off  the Bear Dance on Saturday night with the Gourd Dance.  Many people spontaneously drummed and shook rattles along with the time of the music and Rick looked especially happy.  The Bear Clan Society drummers and singers made the evening special as they beautifully sang the sacred songs and drummed louder than ever before.  They laughed and sang louder than ever before too.  Not a better group of women can be found anywhere.  

 

    There were five bears called to the circle along with two new wingmen.  For Jim PathFinder Ewing this was his first time to dance and be honored as a member of the Bear Clan Society.  The Fire Circle and Arbor Master, Derek Two Fires Benefield, carefully and sometimes emotionally explained to the crowd the sacred purpose of the Bear Dance.  His knowledge and wonderful way of presentation gave the people warmth in their hearts.  

 

        It was special because of the unselfish giving of time, energy and resources from Bear Clan Society Elder Doc Chanter Davidson, his 'younger' sister Joycelyn VonGrund, and mate Melinda Smith to prepare the sweat lodge, arbor, grounds, and feast.  We are convinced it was their quiet enthusiasm and love for the people that began the whirlwind of good energy that still swirls around us a week later.  

 

    It was special because for the first time, Bear's wife, Becky and daughter Amanda along with her friend from Argentina danced in the arbor during the 'Hook Up' dance and they still have not stopped talking about it.  

 

     Altogether, we would say the Bear Dance Ceremony was special this year - a beautiful memory to carry into the Bear's dream time.  


 

Spirit Walker

Jonathon J. Dozier

April 23, 2004

 

Hear me my Sisters and Brothers, 

          Hear me now and know that I do not want you to shed tears in sorrow for me.  

 

Hear me and rejoice for me, for I have crossed over and joined with the Grandfathers and all those that gone before me.

Rejoice and know that I am and will be with you always, always in your hearts. As well as walking with you, as you continue to walk life's path.

Do not shed tears of sorrow for my passing, for I have gone before you, as the warriors of old did. So that I may scout the trail ahead for you all, my Brothers and Sisters.

So that if it be the Creator will it so, I may guide you, across when the times comes, guide you to the safety of the Creators and Grandfather spirits loving arms.

So that we all may be together again, in joy, happiness and love of all things, as it should be.

Till then my Brothers and Sisters, know that I am with you along with the Creator and the Grandfathers.

And know that you are never truly alone, or lost to us.

Johnny Dozier was born on March 19, 1972 and passed away November 3, 2004.


American Indian Christmas Customs

© 1999-2003 by Maria Hubert. All rights reserved

Many of the AmerIndian peoples have been Christianized for several hundred years. Over this time customs which were introduced to them by the missionaries have become adapted and are an integral part of the traditions, especially around the Christian festivals of Easter and Christmas.

Many Tribes, including the Laguna Indians, who accepted Christianity some 400 years ago, have the custom of a dance on Christmas Eve, where gifts are offered at the Manger. There are many examples of representations of the Christmas Crib where the glad tidings are brought to braves in the fields by the great Thunderbird; or scenes with the wise men being replaced by the chiefs representing the great Nations.

Handsome Fellow

There is a mysterious fellow whom I have been told about on several occasions. He is a handsome brave who wears white buckskins, and brings gifts. His name, appropriately is 'Handsome Fellow'. I would love to tell you more about him, but so far no-one has come forward with that information! Other gift bringers come at different times of the year, often in the summertime, but the gift bringing element is definitely part of the American Indian culture. 

The First Christmas Carol

Huron AngelsAccording to Huron tradition, their first Christmas Carol was written by a Jesuit missionary priest, Fr Jean de Brebeuf, around 1640-41. The Hurons had a particular devotion to Christmas. Fr Brebeuf wrote about the devotions they had. He said that they built a small chapel of fir tree and bark in honour of the manger at Bethlehem. This became the 'stable' where Jesus was born. Some travelled as much as two days to be there for the Christmas celebration.

The Huron Carol has become a well known and much loved carol today. The original was written in the Huron tongue, with a symbol like a figure '8' to represent a vowel sound not common in the English tongue. This sound was 'ou' .

Estennialon de tson8e Jes8s ahatonhia
Onna8ate8a d'oki n'on8andask8aentak
Ennonchien sk8atrihotat n'on8andilonrachatha
Jes8s ahatonhia

The original words were written in French and Huronian. The carol we all sing today was an Huron Chiefs from afarinterpretation of the original, and not a translation. There were five verses. The first verse is as follows:

Chrétiens, prenez courage,
Jésus Sauveur est né!
Du malin les ouvrages
A jamais sont ruinés.
Quand il chant mervielle,
A ces troublants appas
No prâtez plus l'orielle:
Jésus est né, In excelsis gloria!

At the third verse, the chiefs would process solemnly towards the little chapel, bearing gifts for the christchild:

Voici que trois Rois Mages,
Perdus en Orient,
Déchiffrent ce message
Encrit au firmamente:
A'Astre nouveau les hante
Ils la suivront lá-bas,
Cette étoile marchante:
Jésus est né: In excelsis gloria!

Amerindian Christmas Cribs

Many lovely cribs have been made by American Indians. Keena Cribs from Canada are wonderfully hand painted clay crib with the chiefs of the Plains, Forest and Inuit Tribes bringing gifts. The animals at the manger are the Fox, the Buffalo and the Bear. The Hurons made a traditional tent of skins and their figures were all dressed as native Americans. I have in my own collection a colourful wool nativity made by the Hopi tribe, with the Thunderbird bringing the glad tidings, which I purchased from Wallys Christmas Wonderland in Michigan, some years ago. One of the loveliest scenes I have ever seen is a painting by Yellowman. It appeared in a copy of the Augsburg Christmas Annual some years ago. 

http://www.christmasarchives.com/amerind.html


Two Indian Recipes...

 

 

 

Indian Pudding
by Mysterygirl
INGREDIENTS

2 1/2

cups milk

1

cup yellow cornmeal

1

cup unsulphured molasses

2

tablespoons flour

1 1/2

teaspoons grated fresh ginger

1/2

teaspoon cinnamon

1/2

teaspoon salt

1/4

teaspoon nutmeg

3

large eggs, separated

1

teaspoon baking powder

vanilla ice cream

pure maple syrup

PREPARATION

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Butter shallow 2-quart baking dish.

Combine milk and cornmeal in large saucepan.

Bring to boil, whisking; reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly, 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and whisk in molasses, flour and seasonings, then yolks.

(Can be made ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature up to 1 hour.) Whisk in baking powder.

Beat egg whites in large mixer bowl to soft peeks. Fold egg whites into cornmeal mixture.

Pour into prepared dish

Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until center is just set.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream and maple syrup.

8 servings | 55 minutes | 15 mins prep

http://www.recipezaar.com/recipe/getrecipe.zsp?id=29901
MERRY CHRISTMAS!
Sweet Potato Indian Casserole
by Heather Beldin
INGREDIENTS

lbs medium-size sweet potatoes

1/2

cup firmly packed light brown sugar

3

tablespoons butter, softened

1/2

teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2

teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4

teaspoon salt

1

cup milk

2

tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar

PREPARATION

In large saucepan, cook sweet potatoes in boiling salted water to cover.

Simmer till tender, about 15 min. then drain.

Peel sweet potatoes and mash.

Stir in 1/2 cup brown sugar, butter, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.

Mix Well. Blend in milk.

Pour seasoned sweet potato mixture into buttered 1 1/2 quart casserole dish or buttered individual bakers.

Sprinkle with remaining 2 Tablespoons brown sugar.

Bake in center of oven to 400 degrees for 30 min. or until heated through.

6 servings | 50 minutes | 20 mins prep

http://www.recipezaar.com/recipe/getrecipe.zsp?id=77594

A Native Christmas  by Looks for Buffalo and Sandie Lee

European Christmas for Native Americans actually started when the Europeans came over to America. They taught the Indian about Christianity, gift-giving , and St. Nicholas. There are actually two religious types of Indian people in existence. One of these is the Traditionalist, usually full-blooded Indians that grew up on the reservations. The second type is the Contemporary Indian that grew up in an urban area, usually of mixed blood, and brought up with Christian philosophy.

Traditionalists are raised to respect the Christian Star and the birth of the first Indian Spiritual Leader. He was a Star Person and Avatar. His name was Jesus. He was a Hebrew, a Red Man. He received his education from the wilderness. John the Baptist, Moses, and other excellent teachers that came before Jesus provided an educational foundation with the Holistic Method.

Everyday is our Christmas. Every meal is our Christmas. At every meal we take a little portion of the food we are eating, and we offer it to the spirit world on behalf of the four legged, and the winged, and the two legged. We pray--not the way most Christians pray-- but we thank the Grandfathers, the Spirit, and the Guardian Angel.

The Indian Culture is actually grounded in the traditions of a Roving Angel. The life-ways of Roving Angels are actually the way Indian People live. They hold out their hands and help the sick and the needy. They feed and clothe the poor. We have high respect for the avatar because we believe that it is in giving that we receive.

We are taught as Traditional children that we have abundance. The Creator has given us everything: the water, the air we breathe, the earth as our flesh, and our energy force: our heart. We are thankful every day. We pray early in the morning, before sunrise, the morning star, and the evening star. We pray for our relatives who are in the universe that someday they will come. We also pray that the Great Spirit's son will live again.

To the Indian People Christmas is everyday and the don't believe in taking without asking. Herbs are prayed over before being gathered by asking the plant for permission to take some cuttings. An offer of tobacco is made to the plant in gratitude. We do not pull the herb out by its roots, but cut the plant even with the surface of the earth, so that another generation will be born its place.

It is really important that these ways never be lost. And to this day we feed the elders, we feed the family on Christmas day, we honor Saint Nicholas. We explain to the little children that to receive a gift is to enjoy it, and when the enjoyment is gone, they are pass it on to the another child, so that they, too, can enjoy it. If a child gets a doll, that doll will change hands about eight times in a year, from one child to another.

Everyday is Christmas in Indian Country. Daily living is centered around the spirit of giving and walking the Red Road. Walking the Red Road means making everything you do a spiritual act. If your neighbor, John Running Deer, needs a potato masher; and you have one that you are not using, you offer him yours in the spirit of giving. It doesn't matter if it is Christmas or not.

If neighbors or strangers stop over to visit at your house, we offer them dinner We bring out the T-Bone steak, not the cabbage. If we don't have enough, we send someone in the family out to get some more and mention nothing of the inconvenience to our guests. The more one gives, the more spiritual we become. The Christ Consciousness, the same spirit of giving that is present at Christmas, is present everyday in Indian Country.

Looks for Buffalo is an Oglala Sioux Spiritual Leader, the full-blood Oglala grandson of Chief Red Cloud and White Cow Killer, and a Cheyenne Oglala Leader. Sandie Lee Bohlig, spiritual healer, counsels and teaches around the globe.

http://www.ewebtribe.com/Christmas/NAChristmas.htm


    An Indian Christmas Day Prayer

    by Larry Kibby

     

    Great Spirit Grandfather,
    I send these words to you,
    To Father Sun,
    Grandmother Moon,
    To all of my relations,
    To Mother Earth,
    And to the Four Winds
    The Sacred Seasons of Life.

    Grandfather,
    Today you gave
    The breath of Life
    To an Indian Child,
    In a most Sacred Way.

    Grandfather,
    This Indian Child
    Will walk amongst
    His people,
    With his head held high,
    With dignity and pride,
    In a most Sacred Way.

    Grandfather,
    This Indian Child
    Will stand before
    His people,
    With honor
    And respect,
    In a most Sacred Way.

    Grandfather,
    This Indian Child
    Will be strong
    With wisdom, knowledge
    And understanding,
    That will come from
    The heart, soul and mind,
    In a most Sacred Way.

    Grandfather,
    This Indian Child
    Will come before
    A humble Nation of people,
    And like his relations
    The Eagle and the Buffalo
    Will be their strength
    In a most Sacred Way.

    Grandfather,
    This Indian Child
    You gave to us in a sacred way,
    And with his eyes
    He will see all that is good,
    And with his ears,
    He will hear all that is good,
    And the words he will speak
    Will be strong and powerful,
    In a most Sacred Way.

    Grandfather,
    This Indian Child
    That you have brought before us,
    Your Native American Indian people,
    Will be like his Ancestor's
    That have gone before him
    On their journey,
    Will always travel
    Within the Sacred Circle of Life
    In a most Sacred Way.

    Grandfather,
    This Indian Child
    Will use
    His Eagle Feathers,
    His Sacred Pipe,
    His Sacred Cedar,
    His Sacred Sage,
    His Sacred Sweetgrass,
    His Drums and Songs
    In his Sacred Sun Dance,
    In his Sacred Sweat Lodge,
    In his Sacred Ceremonies,
    In a most Sacred Way.

    Grandfather,
    This Indian Child will be strong within,
    His tradition, culture
    And religion,
    An intricate heritage,
    In a most Sacred Way.

    Grandfather,
    Thank you for each breath of life
    Tha you have given to our New Born,
    For tomorrow,
    Another Indian Child
    Will be born the "Indian Way."

    http://www.mountainman.com.au/news95_1.html


Native American Themes 

in Books for Children and Teens

Cynthia Leitich Smith

Overall, children's and young adult books with Native American Indian characters and themes have improved dramatically since I was a kid. We have a lot more to pick from than the Sacajewea and Pocahontas biographies, the tales of "savagery" on the Prairie.

Looking at those writers who've focused a significant portion of their work in this area, Native authors as well as non-Native authors with strong community ties (or those who did their homework), it's clear that there are some quality books now available.

However, stereotyped depictions persist. Contemporary settings are in short supply (and almost exclusively targeted at picture book readers). Certain well-known Nations like the Navajo (Diné) and Cherokee are highlighted while others don't appear to exist. Groups like Urban Indians are almost ignored. Few biographies focus on Native people known for their service to their own communities.

And Native authors and illustrators are represented in very low numbers (factoring out of the numberous books by Abenaki author-poet Joseph Bruchac, community representation is slight, especially in trade books).  

For example, I recently noticed a book about Muscogee Creeks at my local branch library. Flipping to the last chapter, I was surprised to learn that the author had stated the Creek Nation no longer exists -- especially given that it is one of today's largest Indian Nations. The book had been on the shelves for some thirty years, and it was the only resource available there to children researching the tribe.

Today, I opened a major publisher's fall catalog and cringed. Native American creation stories were marketed boldly as "mythology" on one page. The Christmas story was marketed as "fact" on another. Granted, there are Christian Indians, just as there are Native people of various religious beliefs. Each should be respected. But traditional Native religions are still practiced by many tribal members.  Would a publisher market Christian or Jewish beliefs as "myths"? I hope not. (This paragraph added 07/07/01).

These are big problems, but we're not helpless in dealing with them.

What We Can Do

We can vote for more quality children's and Y.A. books with Native American Indian characters and themes by purchasing them or checking them out of our libraries. (For that matter, we can advocate for more financing for our schools and libraries).

We can make sure the personal libraries of our children (and those we love) include quality books with Native themes (and make sure they have access to others at their libraries).

We can educate ourselves and our children about today's Native American Indians.

We can advocate for the accurate and integrated representation of Native American Indian peoples, contemporary issues, and history in school curriculums (through books, Native American Indian speakers, films, and more).

We can encourage and support Native American Indian storytellers, authors, and illustrators.

We can share stories inspired by our own Native American Indian communities and experiences.

We can honor our commitments to the education of all children, including Native American Indian children.

This is one of several pages on this site related to Native American Indian children's books. Please follow the links immediately below to visit the others.

A brief note on the terms "Native American," "American Indian" etc. I have spoken with members of the greater Indian community(ies) who have strong feelings in favor of certain language as well as with people who just don't care. Because the purpose of this web site is to offer information to a wide audience, both internal and external, about related children's books, we are currently employing both. This way folks looking on the web under one or the other will still find this information.

http://www.cynthialeitichsmith.com/NativeThemes.htm


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR...

PEOPLE NOT LOGOS - INDIAN CHRISTMAS TREE

We are confident that the University of North Dakota (UND and Barnes and Noble College Books would not place religious imagery from any other religion, such as Judaism or Islam, on a campus Christmas tree display. The controversial "Fighting Sioux" logo includes eagle feather iconography, which carries profound sacred meaning in many traditional American Indian religions.

Regional tribal councils, the North Dakota and Minnesota Indian Education Associations, almost all American Indian related program on campus, regional and national Civil Rights organizations too numerous to list, and the National Congress of American Indians, have all asked UND to stop using the logo. These requests have been ignored.

While efforts to address the larger issues continue, the logo should not be placed on a display directly tied to a major Christian holiday. It is the equivalent of hanging the Jewish menorah on a Christmas tree, something that would immediately be seen as problematic to people from a variety of spiritual or philosophical traditions, and is especially inappropriate at a public university.

Christianity is a deeply treasured and majority religion in our region and we wish people peace and rest during a spiritual season already marked by ample sadness this year. Please join us in asking UND and Barnes and Noble College Bookstore to respect the independence and sanctity of all religious traditions, and to respect the dignity of all members of our community, by removing the symbols of American Indian traditional religion from the store Christmas tree.

For a Better UND, People Not Logos.

http://www.und.nodak.edu/org/bridges/barnes_and_noble.html


LETTERS TO THE EDITOR...

Tis the season to forget the elderly 

The season is a busy time in your lives and I would just like to remind you all to remember the elderly. We put them in nursing homes/apartments away from all they are things they remember when they were young. we do not have the time to take with them. The most precious gift to the elderly is just some time out of our busy lives to remember that they mean something to us. a hug, hold their hand give a friendly conversation.   Remember we will be in their shoes all to soon and at that time we will want the same things. Money can't buy everything. But time spent with an elderly
person can brighten their lives for days after. Wishing well to all at Manataka. Enjoy the Holidays and we miss you all We Pray to bring a safe and happy New Year to those of Manataka And we pray that Manataka will once again be open to all of us who wish to attend the gatherings. Peace to all Love. 

Pat White Wolf Singing Farnsworth - Missouri


MOVIE REVIEW...

"We have had the honor of selling more than 60 million copies of our book and I encourage each one of our readers to see "Christmas In The Clouds". It is chicken soup for the movie watcher's soul. It will leave you feeling better about yourself - and the world in general."  Barry Spilchuck, Author: "A Cup Of Chicken Soup For The Soul" 

"This sweet-spirited comedy nimbly defies a number of categories. It's set on an Indian reservation, with a predominately American Indian cast, but it is by no means a generic or preachy "ethnic" movie."  Variety Special Issue: The Independents

"I screened this in L.A. with a mostly non-Native audience and they absolutely loved it. This is a human story that transcends racial stereotypes. It should cross over to general audiences with ease!"
Greg Sarris, Chairman, Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria
Writer, Co-Executive Producer "Grand Avenue" (HBO)

http://www.christmasintheclouds.com/reviews.htm


OPINION...

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Posted Dec. 23, 2002


For two elderly American Indian sisters who have fought the federal government for 30 years for the right to graze their livestock on traditional Indian lands, a new notice that takes effect Christmas Day is both Dickensian and draconian.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is threatening to impound more of their animals and, in so doing, ruin their livelihood. Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come apparently have morphed into bureaucrats in cowboy boots. Despite the outcry from both Indian-rights activists and international human-rights organizations, the feds seem bent on yet another inflammatory and unnecessary clash between the BLM and Nevada's Western Shoshone tribe.

On Dec. 17, two government agents served Carrie Dann, 70, and her sister Mary, 80, with a notice of unauthorized use of "federal lands" and ordered them to remove their livestock -- some 250 cattle and 1,000 horses -- from the premises. Already in September, 40 heavily armed federal agents backed by a helicopter seized 227 of the Danns' cattle and sold them at public auction.

The government claims that the Danns' livestock are overgrazing the range, located about 60 miles southeast of Elko, Nev., damaging land also used by five ranchers with valid use permits. The BLM also alleges that the Danns owe grazing fees of almost $3 million -- representing three decades of accumulated arrears. However, the Danns say they have a right to pasture their animals on the federal land under the terms of the 1863 Treaty of Ruby Valley.

"It's one heck of a Christmas present from the U.S. government for a couple of 70-year-old women and for the Western Shoshone," said Steve Tullberg, Washington director of the Indian Law Resource Center, one of the groups representing the Danns.

A month after the September raid, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States (OAS) weighed in on the long-simmering dispute. For the first time in a case involving Indian rights in the United States, the IACHR found that the treatment of the Danns violated international human-rights laws.

In its ruling, the IACHR agreed with the Danns that the United States used illegitimate means to gain control of the American Indians' ancestral lands. In taking control of the disputed territory, the IACHR said, the federal government violated the equal-protection, fair-trial and right-to-private-property clauses of the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man.

The IACHR demanded that the U.S. government return the Danns' confiscated cattle and halt further actions against the sisters pending review of the case. However, as the Danns' cattle were sold at auction, a BLM spokesman said flatly: "The OAS has no jurisdiction here."

The Western Shoshone have refused to pay fees for grazing their animals on land they consider part of their birthright. Some 26 million acres in Nevada alone are under dispute, rangeland the Indians say they never legally turned over to the federal government.

At a time when all Americans face the bitter prospect of a protracted war on terrorism, the federal government needlessly is presenting an ugly face both at home and abroad by spurning the Western Shoshones' efforts to engage it in good-faith talks on land issues. The Western Shoshone communities, noted spokesperson Fermina Stevens, "have worked diligently to identify areas and make proposals to the U.S. [government]. However, to date, we have received no commitment or acknowledgement of our land or treaty rights from the United States.

"They [the U.S. government] have been asked to provide documents regarding the bill of sale or cession of land -- apparently they have no such documents. The U.S. is being unfair and unjust with regard to addressing the issue of Western Shoshone land in order that we can provide for ourselves, culturally and economically."

Holiday wishes of peace on earth and good will to men should extend to the Western Shoshone, too. Anti-American propagandists abroad shouldn't be given their best material by thoughtless and ungenerous acts taken by our government against its own people.

Martin Edwin Andersen, a reporter for Insight, wrote the legislation signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1992 requiring the State Department to include indigenous rights in its annual human-rights country reports.

http://www.insightmag.com/news/2003/01/07/National/Opinion.The.Nightmare.Before.Christmas-342493.shtml

[Ed. Note:  The situation for the Carrie and Mary Dann has not changed for the better since 2002.]


 

Christmas Between Adobe and Kiva

The first Indian-made nativities seem to have appeared in the late 1950's, at a time when the century-old European Crèche tradition slowly but surely went into temporary decline. Over the next decades interest and production quickened. Today, a number of Indian artisans consider nativity sets an integral part of their yearly program. The early impetus for the making of indigenous crèches may have come from the tourist industry and major collectors. Growing interest in popular art and crafts, and stronger emphasis put on local cultural expressions of faith by the Catholic Church also explain why the making of nativities by Indian artisans of the southwestern United States is considered by experts a new and promising phenomenon.

What is meant here when speaking of Southwest and Indians is the region between Albuquerque and Taos in New Mexico. There are nineteen villages or pueblos in or close to that part of the Rio Grande Valley. Some of them are only sparsely populated, more tourist attraction than home to what is known as Mesa Indians. However, most of them, spread out between Acoma in the South and Taos in the North, have an age-old tradition of making pottery, which is the seed bed and also the stuff from which most Pueblo nativities are made. Although exposed to Christianity since 1540 when the first Spanish explorers entered New Mexico, the Indians' contribution to Christian art has been modest and sporadic until they discovered the nativity set. Today, Indian nativity artisans are believed to be the only homogenous group in the USA producing art on the theme of Christ's birth. As in other regions with a rich crèche culture, Pueblo nativities represent different styles from colonial painted (or fabric-clothed) figures to sets made of Yucca. But the great majority of Pueblo artisans work solely in clay. At one time, their technique and decorating art depended very much on tradition and style proper to each pueblo. Things have changed. Many artisans now have their own style, sometimes a mixture of styles from different pueblos. For this reason, it becomes almost impossible to find the typical nativity set from Laguna or Jemez. This applies to the fifteen nativity set on display in this exhibit. They are from fifteen different artists, most of them contacted personally by the exhibitors, but they do not represent fifteen different pueblos.  

At first glance, the visitor will discover that there exists a great similarity between the different sets. One of the foundational characteristics of pueblo art is its earth-boundness. Whatever the figure or personage, it does not speak its own language or message but that of the clay and the earth from where it comes. The message of the earth speaks of life and life's origin. Faces, limbs and extremities of pueblo crèche figures are crude and clumsy in the eye of the beholder used to the work of Neapolitan figurari or Provencal santonniers. For the Indian artisan the many details of the human or animal body are not important as long as they express loud and clear the message of the earth. The visitor has to look for different kinds of detail: colors, ornaments, various postures and features of a culture which is not indebted to Christianity. Most Indians have accepted the Christian religion as an addition to their own pre-Christian way of life. For this reason, the visitor will have to look at these nativity sets from two different vantage points. The Christian perspective is represented in the scene as such and its traditional characters. Indian culture is present in the finer details of decorative motifs and other traditional elements.

Graphics: 

Honored Tradition by Juanita Dubray Taos Pueblo, New Mexico

Ladder of Ascent by Santana Seonia, Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico

Adobe Nativity by Robert Toledo, Jemez Pueblo, New Mexico

http://www.udayton.edu/mary/gallery/creches/adobechrtms.html

 


BOOK REVIEW...

Circle of Wonder: 

A Native American Christmas Story 

by N. Scott Momaday

Clear Light Publishers, Santa Fe, NM 1994.
Description: 40 p. : col. ill. ; 26 cm.

A mute Indian child has an extraordinary experience one Christmas when, following a figure who seems to be his beloved grandfather who has died, he becomes part of a circle in which he, animals, nature, and all the world join in a moment of peace and good will.  

Drawing on childhood memories of Christmas in a New Mexican village, Momaday produces a poetic story that skillfully blends Christian and Native American traditions. On Christmas Eve, Tolo, a lonely mute boy, is drawn by the spirit of his beloved grandfather to a bonfire in the mountains, where he shares a ``circle of wonder and good will'' with an elk, a wolf and an eagle. His heart fills with love for his family, for the Christ child and for all creation, and in this brief glimpse of the interconnectedness of all life his loneliness is banished forever. Features Momaday's singular, impressionistic artwork. All ages.

Purchase This book now for only $19.95

 

 


Now being honored at... 

http://www.prophecykeepers.com

Mala Spotted Eagle Pope is a Western Shoshone and Cherokee Native American. He has studied with many different medicine people, spiritual leaders and native elders.

As a young man, he traveled with and assisted his father, Rolling Thunder, on speaking tours, was involved with the original Red Wind foundation, a Native American camp teaching traditional values in Southern, California, and, from 1975 to 1985, he was President of Meta Tantay, a Native American intertribal and interracial non-profit traditional camp in the desert of Nevada. 

Mala Spotted Eagle Pope is a Western Shoshone and Cherokee Native American. He has studied with many different medicine people, spiritual leaders and native elders. 

Prophecykeepers Radio is listener supported, and is behind in this month's bills, so please donate or purchase the Prophecykeepers eLibrary or Past Prophecykeepers Interviews... now numbering 40 on two seperate CD-ROMs! Past 40 Interview CD-ROMs are discounted when you purchase the Prophecykeepers eLibrary. See website for details.  Purchase the Prophecykeepers eLibrary as a Holiday gift for a friend you care about!  http://www.prophecykeepers.com


ANNOUNCEMENTS:

An American Indian craft consignment shop will be opening soon in Southern California near Murrieta. Contact Shirley Miller, a member in good standing in Manataka.  shirleykmiller@earthlink.net

Lee Standing Bear was recently featured on Prophesy Keepers Radio Show: Log on to listen:

ttp://www.trilogyradio.com/Prophecy_Keepers/ram/standingbear.ram

http://www.trilogyradio.com/Prophecy_Keepers/mp3/standingbear.mp3

http://www.trilogyradio.com/Prophecy_Keepers/wma/standingbear.wma


HEALING PRAYER BASKET

Marian Dunn of Smyrna, TN suffered a severe stroke. Please remember her in your prayers.  - Helen Red Wing Vinson.

Sheila Grandmother Wolf Pierce - Back was broken in an auto accident.  Expected to be in a wheelchair in the foreseeable future.  Call or write her.

Amanda Smiddy - daughter of Memi K. Smiddy involved in car accident and in great pain. Doctor's do not want to treat her because she is without insurance.

Bobby Powell - friend of Kimberly Stronczek stricken with crippling arthritis.

Grandmother Peggy “Laughing Eagle” Baetz, Metis/Apache medicine woman, passed recently.  Pray for her spirit. 

Soldiers fighting in Fallujah, including one named Michael, nephew of Vann and Beth Slatter - Cherie Agnew Blackwell 

Rebecca Douglas Niece of Leo and Flora Causey has cancer.

Qua Ti Si Monahon Recent surgery with TMJ.

Frances McAdams:  Hospitalized with cancer.

Alida Baker:  Mother of Henrietta EagleStar.  Getting much better.  
Larry Zink Hota Irons - Michigan:  Diagnosed with cancer. 
Sharon Kamama Baugh - Arkansas:  Diagnosed with cancer. Doing much better after surgery. "I am going to beat this!, said Sharon. Sharon was chair of the Manataka Women's Council for many years.

Mother of Charles Lone Wolf Black:  Diagnosed with cancer.

Tommie Love  A 4 years old who doctors give no prognosis - diagnosed with 2 large brain tumors  - untreatable at Barnes Children's Hospital of St Louis. I ask for prayers for her healing and prayers for her family. From Alison Klose

 


MANATAKA ORGANIZATION MESSAGES

 

NOTICE 1:     CHRISTMAS BASKETS:  Please bring or send non-perishable food items for needy families.  We will begin deliveries on December 20.

NOTICE 2:    ELDER COUNCIL POSITIONS -  The following members in good standing have either been nominated or expressed a desire to serve on the Elder Council: Sharon Kamama Kanodisi Baugh – 7 years, Bonnie Cloud – 3 years, James Path Finder Ewing – 4 years, Jody Morning Flower French – 3 years, Betty Grandmother Winter White Moon Frey – 4 years, Rick Porea – 4 years, Helen Red Wing Vinson – 3 years, Joycelyn Nanny VonGrund – 2 years. The Elder Council may appoint none or any number between one and five.  For consideration submit your name to any Elder.

NOTICE 3: COMMITTEE ASSIGNMENTS -  New members and old members who are not   currently working on a committee or have a committee assignment, please contact us now.     

Committee explanations can be viewed at http://www.manataka.org/page5.html  We need your top three preferences.

NOTICE 4: WOMEN’S COUNCIL MEETINGS - 11:30 a.m., 1st Saturday each month.   Contact: Judy White Feather filmore2000@yahoo.com  

PAID YOUR DUES?
Now is a good time to support the many programs, services and events of MAIC. We can always use a small donation. Now you can pay by check or credit card online. It's easy, secure and fast!  
Click Here   

MATERIAL DONATIONS NEEDED BY MANATAKA
1. Reams of ink jet paper
2. Postage stamps
3. 15 - 20 gallon plastic storage boxes with lids  

LAND - Donate land to be used as financing leverage for the Manataka American Indian Village.  Any size or location is acceptable. Certain tax benefits may apply.

MEMORIAL GIFTS -
When a friend or relative passes, honor their memory and send a tax deductible contribution to MAIC and we will send the family a beautiful letter and memorial certificate
in your name.


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Manataka American Indian Council
PO Box 476
Hot Springs, AR 71902-0476
501-627-0555
manataka@sbcglobal.net
http://www.manataka.org

 

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