Author Topic: Re: Who Can Do Ceremony  (Read 12018 times)

Offline lerner

  • Posts: 14
Re: Who Can Do Ceremony
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2010, 10:20:18 pm »
@Superdog,

Thanks for your reply. You wrote:
Quote
I have to agree with Kathryn, you are nitpicking and your baiting in order to use reverse logic was figured out before you may give me credit for.
Okay, I'm sorry if I came across this way. I was simply voicing my thoughts out loud. The way my mind works is that I think about all the different angles on a situation. And when someone tells me something, I think about it means, and about how all the different parts relate to each other. I engage in intellectual debate as a thinking and learning process, not as a way to score points or "bait". This process of questioning and "nitpicking" is part of how I make sense of the world and try to make sure my ethical principles are consistent. But I understand that it can probably be annoying to others discussing with me. (People used to say that I should be a lawyer, and I wasn't sure whether to take it as a complement or an insult :))

When I raise nitpicking sort of questions like I did at the end of the last thread, it still seems to me that they're relevant questions. There really did used to be Coast Salish spirit-canoe tradition, at least according to some scholarly sources. Does this mean that Sequoyah learned about the spirit-canoe during his trips to British Columbia? I don't know. But I don't see why these details are irrelevant, given that you had claimed that spirit-canoe traditions don't exist in any tribe.

And again, I had the impression that Sequoyah was talking about the alien stuff based on his own purported experience, rather than presenting it as an Indian teaching, but I could be wrong. Either way, again, I don't see why these details are irrelevant.

I appreciate your comments about the importance of the specific community context of a ceremony, language, and so forth. It all makese sense to me, and I take it to heart.

You wrote:
Quote
so why would I believe that he somehow has permission over the standard of those communities. 
Right, I'm definitely not saying you should believe that. From my perspective, however, I wouldn't rule out the possibility that he received some sort of permission. (I realize that this sort of "innocent until proven guilty" principle can get taken too far, and I actually respect the skeptical approach you guys take. But other criticisms aside, I don't see it as all that unlikely that Sequoyah received some form of permission.)

You wrote:
Quote
You seem to be attributing the thoughts of everyone here to me
That's the opposite of my approach. I began by asking a question about something educatedindian had posted. You answered for him. Then I asked you to clarify your stance, and you directed me the website, which seemed to imply that you subscribed to some sort of shared opinion. As far as I'm concerned, every person speaks for him- or herself.

Quote
so far you've carried yourself as someone who's not to be trusted and is searching to turn an individuals words around on him to prove the whole board wrong.
Given that this discussion is basically anonymous, I'm not sure that "trust" should play a major role. Realistically, what we have to go by are people's posts, which we can assess on their own merits. If you don't agree with some specific points in my posts, perhaps you can mention them specifically. As for your posts, I highlighted what struck me as an inconsistency between two things you had said. I didn't do this to be mean or disrespectful or literal. I simply pointed it out because it seemed like a point of ambiguity and therefore I thought it merited further clarification.

I look forward to hearing any further thoughts you'd like to share.

Lerner

Offline Superdog

  • Posts: 441
Re: Who Can Do Ceremony
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2010, 10:38:59 pm »
@Superdog,

Thanks for your reply. You wrote:
Quote
I have to agree with Kathryn, you are nitpicking and your baiting in order to use reverse logic was figured out before you may give me credit for.
Okay, I'm sorry if I came across this way. I was simply voicing my thoughts out loud. The way my mind works is that I think about all the different angles on a situation. And when someone tells me something, I think about it means, and about how all the different parts relate to each other. I engage in intellectual debate as a thinking and learning process, not as a way to score points or "bait". This process of questioning and "nitpicking" is part of how I make sense of the world and try to make sure my ethical principles are consistent. But I understand that it can probably be annoying to others discussing with me. (People used to say that I should be a lawyer, and I wasn't sure whether to take it as a complement or an insult :))

When I raise nitpicking sort of questions like I did at the end of the last thread, it still seems to me that they're relevant questions. There really did used to be Coast Salish spirit-canoe tradition, at least according to some scholarly sources. Does this mean that Sequoyah learned about the spirit-canoe during his trips to British Columbia? I don't know. But I don't see why these details are irrelevant, given that you had claimed that spirit-canoe traditions don't exist in any tribe.

And again, I had the impression that Sequoyah was talking about the alien stuff based on his own purported experience, rather than presenting it as an Indian teaching, but I could be wrong. Either way, again, I don't see why these details are irrelevant.

I appreciate your comments about the importance of the specific community context of a ceremony, language, and so forth. It all makese sense to me, and I take it to heart.

You wrote:
Quote
so why would I believe that he somehow has permission over the standard of those communities.  
Right, I'm definitely not saying you should believe that. From my perspective, however, I wouldn't rule out the possibility that he received some sort of permission. (I realize that this sort of "innocent until proven guilty" principle can get taken too far, and I actually respect the skeptical approach you guys take. But other criticisms aside, I don't see it as all that unlikely that Sequoyah received some form of permission.)

You wrote:
Quote
You seem to be attributing the thoughts of everyone here to me
That's the opposite of my approach. I began by asking a question about something educatedindian had posted. You answered for him. Then I asked you to clarify your stance, and you directed me the website, which seemed to imply that you subscribed to some sort of shared opinion. As far as I'm concerned, every person speaks for him- or herself.

Quote
so far you've carried yourself as someone who's not to be trusted and is searching to turn an individuals words around on him to prove the whole board wrong.
Given that this discussion is basically anonymous, I'm not sure that "trust" should play a major role. Realistically, what we have to go by are people's posts, which we can assess on their own merits. If you don't agree with some specific points in my posts, perhaps you can mention them specifically. As for your posts, I highlighted what struck me as an inconsistency between two things you had said. I didn't do this to be mean or disrespectful or literal. I simply pointed it out because it seemed like a point of ambiguity and therefore I thought it merited further clarification.

I look forward to hearing any further thoughts you'd like to share.

Lerner

It's good to see you engaging in the conversation.  Lots more communication comes through this way.

On your main point that Sequoyah probably has received some sort of permission....you're probably right.  I wouldn't doubt it.  But you might recall the points I made about one or two individuals deciding that it's ok for an outsider to speak for the heart of a community.  I just don't believe that to be ok.  Indian communities are not homogenous in their thinking.  There are some that think it's perfectly ok for him to speak for them, but the general consensus....the standard of the community as a whole, not a few individuals whim...decides how appropriate that is.  

When I say you need to read a little, this is one of the things I'm talking about.  If you read the board some more you'd see that several of the individuals who contribute here talk about how the worst misconceptions about a communities spirituality are usually spread by individuals in that community.  Just because someone who's Lakota and would know enough to teach about ceremonies says you have permission...doesn't mean you necessarily have THAT much permission.  From what I know about Lakota communities, someone who is given rights or recognition of any sort are usually put before the whole community that's involved somehow and they are recognized publicly.  But I've yet to see any Lakota  community members come forth and tell us they witnessed this...no one's even heard a rumor about it...I've yet to even see what community these rights were given in.  And it goes further than just that tribe, but regardless of all that....I don't see any respectful people from Lakota communities conducting pipe ceremonies and praying on youtube....Earth or anyone please correct me if I'm wrong.

That's something you may wish to consider some more.

Superdog
« Last Edit: June 08, 2010, 10:51:23 pm by Superdog »

Offline lerner

  • Posts: 14
Re: Who Can Do Ceremony
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2010, 12:51:24 pm »
Hi Superdog,

Thanks for your comments. You wrote:
Quote
On your main point that Sequoyah probably has received some sort of permission....you're probably right.
Okay, I guess we're in agreement about that part.
Quote
Just because someone who's Lakota and would know enough to teach about ceremonies says you have permission...doesn't mean you necessarily have THAT much permission.
Yes, that's my position as well. As I wrote to Earth earlier,
Quote
I consider it conceivable, at least, that some Lakota person told him it was okay for him to conduct the ceremony, even if other Lakota people would have disagreed. But like I said, I don't know the details. And I'm not saying that makes it okay. It just seems like something worth taking into account to fill in the picture.
You wrote:
Quote
If you read the board some more you'd see that several of the individuals who contribute here talk about how the worst misconceptions about a communities spirituality are usually spread by individuals in that community.
Agreed. For what it's worth, I've been reading about these issues for a number of years, and I'm aware of the dynamics you refer to, but I welcome and accept your suggestion to read and learn more.
Quote
...That's something you may wish to consider some more.
I hear what you're saying. Here's how I look at it: It may well be true that most Lakota leaders would look askance at the process through which Sequoyah received permission to perform the sweat lodge. From his perspective, however, he probably feels that he received some sort of permission, he is able to help people through the ceremony, etc. As for the financial arrangement at that Canadian lodge, it does sound complicated. I don't know if it's still going on now (as I pointed out in the other thread, the website has changed), but anyway, I think it was the case that people's fees were primarily for room and board at the lodge (comparable to fees for regular hiking programs and such at the lodge). Whether or not people were paying for ceremony, in a strict sense, I think is something that would have to be investigated in further detail. For instance, from what I understand, people that participated just in a sweat were not charged anything, although I'm sure donations were accepted, as they were at the ceremony I went to in Pine Ridge. This would also be consistent with what Gitz described. I don't have enough knowledge about the situation to comment on all the other allegations, but I suppose I regard the matter as less settled than others here do.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2010, 01:20:49 pm by lerner »

Offline earthw7

  • Posts: 1415
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Re: Who Can Do Ceremony
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2010, 02:14:25 pm »
Today, it seems we have people who claim to have this right or done this
but unless you can prove it to the people then it does not matter you are in
the wrong. When we have ceremonies we have witness so if a person asks
if you have the right you can say I had four witness and there names are....
so they we can contact them and concur with. If you do not tell the names
of the person who taught you and your witness we know you are lying.
In My country a person who run the lodge will start out by tell the people
how he got that rights and from whom. If this is not done then I would be
worried and back away from that person.

If a person says he is adopted by a tribe i would back away because adoption
does not gove them the right to do ceremonies. As you say the Black guy came
twice a year for four years he learned nothing and has no rights.
In Spirit

Offline sapa

  • Posts: 35
Re: Who Can Do Ceremony
« Reply #19 on: June 25, 2010, 04:16:28 pm »
Recently Arvol Looking Horse issued a statement regarding who can do ceremonies. You must hanbleceya to seek a vision that leads you to Sundance, could take many tries if ever, to  get such a vision, you must complete your Sundance committment (minimum 4 yrs) and then be recognized by the tribe as a spiritual person that has done these things. In order to fullfill these things you must have years of background knowledge to understand what your doing ie language, traditions, stories. etc. So again I say there really arent that many qualified  people to do ceremonies.

Offline Defend the Sacred

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Re: Re: Who Can Do Ceremony
« Reply #20 on: June 25, 2010, 05:12:21 pm »