Posted by [EMAIL PROTECTED] : From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] Date: Sat, 27 Nov 1999 10:38:28 EST Subject: viewfromthehogan8 To: [EMAIL PROTECTED] The View from the Hogan #8 Skinny Winds Month (November 1999) Notes from Big Mountain Ya'a'tee For new readers of View From The Hogan I offer a glossary of words used whose meaning may not be discernable from a dictionary. Altar The land where these words are written and about which these words are written. The land "formerly known as HPL" Babble-On "Out there", the dominant culture. The people here on the land belong to an oral culture, and one aspect of an oral culture is that the power of words is honored. Not much is said, but when it is it is important that it be the truth. In Babble-On there is a lot of "noise", as if validation for oneself comes from making as much noise as possible. Clowns Politicians. LaLaLand Los Angeles. Spiritual Capital of Babble-On. Also where all the damn pesky aeroplanes fly to and from over our heads. (What on earth can all those people be going to L.A. for?) Men in black The various "law-enforcement agencies" active here on the Altar. The Hopi Ranger uniform is actually a very, very dark green. The Hopi Rangers are the para-military trained, uniformed wing of law enforcement who travel in vehicles with insignia. The "Field Monitors" are plain-clothes, officially unarmed and travel in unmarked vehicles (though with U.S. Govt. plates). The monitors are in essence spies, they are the ones that sneak around and count peoples sheep, see who has been building, who has visitors etc etc. Their findings are reported back to the Rangers. Maybe its because they don't get pretty uniforms and have to hide their guns in their vehicles, but it is the monitors who are usually surly and disrespectful and full of swagger. BIA cops and, when deemed necesary, County Sherrifs make up the rest of the team. Visitors Americans. It was only just yesterday (150 years ago) that the visitors were "knocking on the door" (in New Mexico). And now they are trying to say that they "own" this land. Warmaker Some might call it the U.S. Government. Some might call it the Whiteman. Or the Patriarchy. I see it as the cultural trait that urges us to use conflict and aggression as a Modus Operandi. (my editor says I need to use more latin) Waynes World Hopi Tribal Council Offices. Also a state of mind. For Wayne Taylor, the current chairman. A friend recently wrote me that when she talks to people about the situation here at Big Mountain she sometimes gets the reponse "Well, the land is just desert, why are they so intent on keeping it?". Brings to mind the Clown in "Broken Rainbow" who basically says "Hey! These Indians should get real, Americans relocate every day". I'd like to try and partially answer this query. I won't try and explain how it is to have a sacred obligation to a land, and I won't try and explain how it is to live on land that your family has lived on for hundreds of years, which is, in a very real sense composed of your ancestors bones. I'll try and explain what the land means in a "practical" sense, and I'll try to do it by introducing you to just one of the other species that lives here on the land with us. The humble Juniper tree. Biologists say we live here in the "Pinyon-Juniper Belt". What that means is that the Pinyon and the Juniper are the two dominant tree species round here. Right where I am is mainly juniper with a few pinyons. In the slightly higher places the pinyon dominates. The Juniper is a "gnarly" tree. Nothing straight, turning and twisting back on itself, kind of like frozen turbulence. The hogan where I live, and where these words are written is made from Juniper logs. And mud. The corrall where the flock is sleeping is made from Juniper limbs. As is the Sweatlodge. The fire that is keeping me warm is fed by Juniper. As is the fire for the sweat, the cookstove, and the outdoor fire pit. Juniper boughs are used to constuct summer shelters, and are used in a variety of ways ceremonially. The green tips of the branches, when burned to ash, is added to all recipes using blue corneal. A wide variety of parts of the tree are used medicinally, and also for dye. If there is a couple of feet of snow on the ground, then the juniper is all the flock can get at to eat. The fruit is edible, for the flock as well as the 2 legged. I believe that Gin is made from the fruit. The seeds of the fruit I collect and string as necklaces,,,, this is my source of tobacco money. The bark when scrunched makes excellent tinder, and is also still used as a diaper in the cradleborad. It is said that long ago the bark fibres was used for a skirt. The bark fibre makes a good brush for wetting the mud plaster, and when tied with baling wire is used as a chimney brush. For a simple sheepherder the juniper affords protection, from a searing sun, or a bitter wind. For a simple sheepherder the juniper is a source of beauty, wonder, and lessons. The Juniper is a good ally. And that's just one of the many species that inhabit this "worthless desert" The simple fact is, that the land is life. There are those that think that we can "own" land, but in truth it is we who belong to the land, for, as Roberta says "everything we use comes from the Mother Earth". This is a simple truth, even "out there" in Babble-On Referring back to the concept of Juniper-pinyon Belt, both Pinyon and Juniper are trees, yet they each occupy a slightly different niche in the eco-system. they each have their own way of "being-in-the-world", and I have yet to hear a pinyon demand that the junipers leave because it is not their land. So, we are fast approaching Thanksgiving,... or as it is known around here, "Kishmish Biyazhi", Little Christmas. And we look forward with anticipation to the arrival of the two big annual supply/support runs, the Traditional Support Caravan, and the Clan Dyken Caravan. To all of you who have donated support to these caravans, we thank you and want you to know that your support will go to where it is needed and most useful,..... you ARE making a difference. To all of you who come on these caravans and help organize them, we also send our thanks once again, and a special thanks for making sure that support reaches every single family on the Altar. As I hope you all know, I consider you my relatives, and you are welcome in the Hogan at any time. . Things have been pretty quiet round here. No-one I know has had any animals snatched, though everyone I meet knows someone who has been threatened by impoundments. Same old same old, stressing people out with their continous siege tactics. There continues to be a lot of harassment to get more of the people here to sign on with the stupid Accommodation Agreement. As I understand it, a few years ago when the AA was being debated in the Congress, they decided that if 85% of the people here did not sign the AA, then it was back to litigation. A year and a half ago when the deadline for the people to sign the AA passed, amazingly the Feds and the HTC and the Relocation people claimed they just got 85% to sign on. I think the simple truth is that they achieved this magical number by coercion. bribery, and forgery, and, ss cynical as it may sound, I have a sneaking suspicion that they lied, and that they have been spending the last year and half getting more signatures to finally make the magic number. Of course, its possible that I would lie too, if there were a fifty million dollar "sweetener" in it for me. The whole thing seems to be based on "New Math" anyway, something I am unfamiliar with,.... how else can approximately 100 signatures equal 2-3000 people? Back in the real world, the weather has been glorious. And kind. Warm, cloudless, still, days. The silence and the sky broken only by the flying machines rushing to and from LaLALand. The flock are a bit uncomfortable, they have winter coats already. But for now we take advantage of the warmth. Soon enough the wind will turn to the north and we can enjoy winter. A neighbour has had a couple of babies born to her flock, so its getting to be that time of the years again. Some good folks down in Prescott, Arizona have come up with a nice support project. They've gone into the local schools (K-8) and explained about the situation here, and how important the sheep dogs are to the families, and they've organized a "Support the Sheep Dogs" campaign. Already one truck load of dog food has been delivered to the land. This is the kind of support that the people here need and support. If anyone is interested in supporting this project, or in starting up one of their own, please contact Candy on [EMAIL PROTECTED] Some younger Dineh have started a project to create a monument to relocation. Initially based on the experience of the Dineh, the idea grew to encompass all people everywhere who have suffered from relocation. The monument is planned for Window Rock, AZ, and for now they are looking from input and suggestions from any young people in the four-corners region. Please contact Klee Benally on (520) 527 3791 or [EMAIL PROTECTED] Another enterprise starting up is a co-operative to market the wool of the local people here. Last year the price paid for their wool didn't even cover the cost of the gas money to sell it. There are weavers "out there" who pay a decent price for wool, either as fleeces, cleaned, carded, spun or dyed, so if any of you are weavers, or have friends who are weavers, and might be interested in helping this economic enterprise, please contact me on this email address. I recently bumped into Kee Watchamn. Like Roberta, Kee has made many visits to the U.N. and to Europe as a representative of the people here. I asked him what message he wanted me to pass on to y'all. His remarks are addressed to international supporters. "We are not asking for money. We want the U.S. Embassies and the U.S. politicians to keep getting petitions and letters. We also want international lawyers to come here and take testimony from the people." I am led to believe that many of you are heading out to the Land this winter. I offer a small piece of advice. You want to bring a good hat, good gloves, good boots, and good socks. You are going to be spending a lot of time outside, and it may very well be very cold. Good gear can make the difference bewtween enjoying yourself, and being miserable. A small thermos flask is also very useful. After a couple of hours in the wind and snow, a cup of hot coffee will let you understand the phrase "nectar of the Gods". I continue to be honored by the email I'm receiving. In the past week I've heard from England, Norway, Sweden, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Australia, Canada, Hawaii, and all over Turtle Island. An obvious sign that what is happening here on the Altar is of significance to people everywhere. This must be the Global Village that I've been hearing about for years.... not the Global Marketplace that is being pushed on us by McDonalds, Coca Cola, Hollywood, and Washington..It reflects, I hope, a growing awareness that as the biological and cultural diversity of our planet is being destroyed in far off places, and is being replaced with Monoculture, each of us is diminished, whether we ever visit those far off places or not. It also reflects (again I hope) the awareness that by the products we buy and the resources we consume we are in fact the cause of this destruction. It is WE who are responsible for what is happening, and therefore it is WE who are responsible for stopping it, and de facto we have the power to stop it. I also note with some interest that many of you writing to me describe yourselves with reference to your ancestory, you define yourselves as Choctaw/Scot, or Irish/Swedish/African-american, or Zapotec/Eyak, not American, or Mexican, or British. We are starting to reject the abstract divisions that are Nation States. Many of us can trace our bloodlines to a multitude of points around the globe. Kind of like a world-wide web huh? Underlying the situation here on the Altar is the matter of abstract definitions being imposed. A U.S. President draws lines on a map and says "this defines such and such", a little later more lines are drawn, then more lines,...... fences,..... names, dividing,....separating. Even the definition of what is "Navajo" and what is "Hopi" is an abstraction imposed on reality, for in truth in the blood of most navajoes and most hopis is the blood of many different peoples and tribes. It is said that the language we use to describe reality also tends to define that reality. What is going on here on The Altar is a conflict between two realities. One seeking to destroy the other and replace it with its own. If we use the word HPL to define the land here, we are already buying into Warmakers reality. In truth the land here is an altar, and to use that word is to deal with the reality Many of us seek to change our reality, our world, to one that reflects our deeper beliefs rather than the beliefs we were taught by Warmaker...... The language we use to define ourselves and our world must surely be one place to start. There is great power in how we define ourselves, as there is also in how we allow others to define us. On the other hand, there are just 2 types of people in the world. Those that have spent time here on the Altar, and those that have not. The readership of this humble newsletter fall in to both categories. To the first group, I would urge you (if you're not already doing it) to tell your stories. I'm not talking about the politics, or the suffering, but the beauty of these people, this life, this land. When you left here, you took a part of Big Mountain with you. Let that part speak. A request for poetry, not rhetoric. With that in mind I'd recommend you point your web browser at the following address: http://www.frucht.org/roberta.html (check out the Fry Bread song) But then, what the hell do I know,........ I'm just a sheepherder. "" Your prayers, support, and correspondence are invited. I thank you for your time that you have given me by reading this. For all my relations Bo Peep reachable via [EMAIL PROTECTED] P.S. To all those who have written to me, please be aware that owing to the pressing needs of the flock, the firewood, and the Grandmas, the office is sometimes left unattended for days at a time. It may take as long as a half moon between when you write, and when you hear back from me. Around here the information superhighway is a sandy jeep trail. Please be patient, you will hear from me. If you have received this update as a forward, but want to sure of getting them in the future, please let me know and I will add you to the list. Also if there are any "back issues" you don't have, again, let me know. Please feel free to distribute (unedited) this email.