Odds and Ends > Etcetera

A step beyond the board

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Hair lady:
books written, for example by chief Arvol Looking Horse...just one example of who I would call a real medicine person.

real as opposed to fake, fraud, ect....

and once again as a teacher a person has to be resonsiable for what they teach thier students nad in my opinion should research things to thier full extent before teaching them.  Since most Native tradtions are passed own oraly it is hard to find good books.

Hair lady:
oh and I also have to say it seems that nonnative people have a thing for Native spirituality, as if that is what we do all day long..run around and have ceremony. I have found, living in Europe, that a lot of people have a Hollywood version of how Natives are. Good point that there are other things that people could learn about us...

As I said, from my point of view if one is sincerely interested in Native Cultures there are thousands of interesting, wonderful things to learn WITHOUT involving Topics and People that Native People themselves prefere to keep private.
More than ever, if school teaching is involved. In any case, Those Things should be the very last one to be read about after reading and learning all the other things (and of course, yes I agree: witnesses from Arvol Looking Horse or Fools Crow are extremely precious)
As I said, just my opinion

 I read all those books and still have some as examples of creative thinking and writing.  What I tell people, that as "White Westerners", we are used to gaining information from books.  Other cultures use different means of conveying knowledge.  If you find a book written by a "Native sounding person" such as Brooke Medicine Eagle, they are not usually Native.  They are writing for a White audience, and write in that millieu to sell books for those people. 

Medicine Eagle writes more of New Age things sprinkled with nature and Native ideas.  For people who have no desire to go deeper, she sounds profound.  I tell people that if you find ideas such as astrology etc that you are familiar with, then the book is not written by a credible source.  Also look at who they refer to, and look them up.

The only books that I know of that give any glimpse into Native cultures are the ones that discuss myths and legends.  But they are written from an outsider's point of view.  So the answer is usually no, since various Native cultures prefer not to discuss certain information with outsiders for various reasons.

Hair lady:
what I always find kinds of disturbing is when you take collage level courses on  Native Americans and the professor always talks about us in the past tense...It was like that when I was in collage with the exception of whne I learned how to speak Navajo..the professor was from that nation, and spoke in the present tense... I wonder why that is, and when I took other courses, I always felt like jumping up and screaming HELLLLOOOOOOOOOO still alive!

Anyone else feel that way?

Sorry getting off track...


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