Archives for posts with tag: Blackfoot

One of Floyd Heavy Runner’s great frustrations was the Christian narrative had crept into and changed the very fabric [values] of the Oral History of the Blackfeet. This began with the Jesuit penetration of the culture via the women. In the earliest contact times, it was inconceivable [to the Blackfeet] a religion could present a world view founded on a lie. The Jesuits took advantage of this by promoting the idea only ONE man had to die, for the women to discover all of their departed men in the after-life. This was a very effective subversion because Indian life saw many men die, valued and loved by the women men, titans who did not hesitate to lay down their lives that the women might live. By the time the Blackfeet had discovered the Europeans were invertebrate liars, culturally speaking, it was too late. Christianity had a foothold in the culture and this was not reversed, Blackfoot law prohibited killing one’s own people, the only means to stamp this cultural perversion out. Two centuries later, when the Oral Histories were first recorded, after the Blackfoot had been deprived of all freedom and were confined to their reservation, the additional handicaps of Christian interpreters and the American Indian Religious Crimes Codes which risked jail to demonstrate any association with the old ways of spirit, further eroded the Oral Histories. By this time, the stories simply could not be brought forward in a pure state per the ancient narrative.

What I have done here, with retelling the story of Mik-api, is to remove the Christian bias from the narrative and restore the original Blackfoot values. No doubt, this will not be a perfect effect or return to the narrative of 300 years ago, but should give a more accurate idea of the intended lessons of one of the more important stories of the truly ancients, from the times before horses-

Mik-api

Fox-eye had been punished severely by the gods who took away all his near relations, because he was not worthy. He had two young orphaned sisters (cousins) he kept and had made them his wives, by now all that was left. They confronted Fox-eye and implored him, ‘We can’t do this, look around you at all of our family, your family, our family, gone. This has been a big mistake. Everyone is leaving us’

Fox-eye was known to be stubborn. He understood what he had caused. His pride was great, and he could not bear to live with his mistake openly and honestly, he would not correct himself and go on. So he determined to die at first opportunity.

Meanwhile the sisters discussed what might happen, how they might escape a crime against the laws of spirit, which are not punished by man, rather punished by the gods with terrible luck.

As it happened, there was a great warrior of the people, Mik-api, an older man who had never taken a wife. Mik-api could have had any wife he pleased but his heart was merciful and wise. His great power was in his deep understanding of the truly Ancient Beings, the Great Ghosts we sometimes call upon as gods, not the ordinary ghosts, and any wife he might have taken would have to live a mistake free life, or be at risk. He suffered living alone these many years but this was better than bringing disaster on any wife, this was Mik-api’s thinking. So Mik-api had always acted as though he did not notice the many beautiful women who would not fear to die, if only to honor Mik-api with their love and devotion for his great service to the Blackfoot people.

Then, one of the sisters had cried out ‘If only we could marry Mik-api, our mistake has been great already, to marry Mik-api would make no difference for us!’ The other sister said ‘Be careful what you say! The Ghosts might hear you!’ But in fact they already had.

Fox-eye, soon after, went with a few others on a Buffalo hunt. A Medicine Woman had called the Buffalo into a Pishkun with the little stone that faintly chirps like a small bird, the one whose name we do not often speak aloud, and these men were shooting arrows into the Buffalo trapped in the stone corral when they were nearly surprised by a war party of Snake Indians, but their lookout was keen of sight and warned them in time to run back to camp.

Fox-eye taunted the others ‘Who is afraid of Snakes? Watch me, I will not run away!’

The others called back to him ‘Why be foolish and die for no good reason? Most our arrows are spent on the Buffalo, come, return with us!’

But Fox-eye had already determined to die, and stood his ground, waiting for the Snakes rushing at him. He had his bow and arrow at the ready but it was for nothing, a Snake had out-flanked Fox-eye, un-noticed. An arrow pierced his heart from the backside and he fell dead without giving a fight. By the time the Blackfoot hunting party had been able to return with help, they found Fox-eye dead and the Snakes had run away, out of reach.

When the sisters heard this news, they became badly frightened, the bad luck was drawing ever closer, now, there was none left but themselves.  The sister who had wished aloud to marry Mik-api said ‘There is nothing else to do but this; let us mourn Fox-eye on the little hill behind Mik-api’s lodge, until he calls for us. This we must do.’ Her sister agreed and they began those terrible wails that come from the belly and went on and on, day and night. They were not really mourning Fox-eye, he had abused his trust while keeping his orphaned near cousins, but these young women were genuinely mourning the great mistake they had been trapped into, and their own impending doom.

Finally, Mik-api, when he could no longer bear the sound of the girls mourning, he told his mother who stayed with him, those poor girls! Who will avenge them? Who will hunt for them? Go, call them in to talk to me.’

And so the sisters came into Mik-api’s lodge and sat by the door but kept their faces concealed with their robe. Mik-api was about to speak when the bolder sister, the one who’d wished to marry him, spoke first and confessed the incest, told everything, even to the wish she had stated out loud, how it would make no difference if he married them, because they were certain to die anyway but perhaps they could recover their dignity, at the least.

Mik-api was deeply troubled at what he heard, he fell silent for a long time. Then, finally, he said to them ‘Go, return to your lodge. You are young but even I, Mik-api, find what you have confessed to me, a deeply troubling circumstance, with no easy answer. I must visit with the High Priest of Okan and discuss what you have told me. Perhaps there is a way forward for us but I don’t know. I will try to find a way through this.’

The sisters left Mik-api with the first small hope they had known in their young adult lives. Meanwhile, Mik-api sent his mother to ask the tribe’s headman of Sun Dance, when would be a good time to discuss a matter of the deepest gravity.

Nobody had known the cause of the disasters surrounding Fox-eye, only that it was plain a great mistake had been made and had gone uncorrected. When Mik-api was called to sweat lodge to discuss with the keeper of the laws, finally the truth would be known.

The complications in this circumstance, per the known laws of the spirit world, were great. No one would avenge Fox-eye, or mourn him, were the truth to be known. And you cannot ask people to avenge or mourn falsely. So Fox-eye’s spirit would be lingering for a long time, he would be frustrated at not being alive or moved on to the Great Infinity and likely would do rash and angry things.

Fox-eye had to be drawn away from the sisters, they would be particularly at risk. These things and more were discussed.

After, Mik-api sent his mother to the sisters, to collect Fox-eye’s war hammer, his bow, his chert knife and his shield, these items had to be taken from Fox-eye’s burial scaffold. Then he prepared to depart on the war trail to the camp of the Snakes, he would be leaving his own weapons behind. When it was noticed the great Mik-api was preparing for war, many warriors wished to accompany him but he turned them all away, the famous warrior would go alone on the most legendary war journey of his life.

So Mik-api set out but he did an interesting thing on his way, he went to the valley whose name we do not say aloud and came within calling distance of the Cottonwood tree Fox-eye’s burial scaffold was located in. It was nearly dark when Mik-api called out ‘Fox-eye! I have your weapons of war and there is nothing you can do! Now, I will go to the Snakes and make a good showing with your weapons, something you did not!’ And with this grave insult, Mik-api drew the angry ghost of Fox-eye after himself, while continuing his journey. As it was in the old ways of war, Mik-api ran all night and concealed himself well, to rest during the day.

When night had fallen again, Mik-api resumed running. After this second night’s run, Mik-api was already in the vicinity of the Snakes, the border regions between the tribes, for Mik-api was of the Pikuni people, the southernmost Blackfeet and neighbors to the Snakes. With daybreak, Mik-api took shelter in a shallow cave on a cliff-side, a place with a good view. When nightfall came again, there was a storm and Mik-api delayed leaving his shelter. There was a Snake scout nearby, he did not wish to be in the storm either and the ghost of Fox-eye guided, or put it in his mind to go there, taking the Snake to the very cave Mik-api was sheltered in. In the pitch black they touched and both were startled. They began a hand language conversation by touch, Mik-api inquired ‘Who are you?’ The Snake made the sign for his people in a way Mik-api would feel the symbol and ask Mik-api the identical question. Mik-api made the sign of the River People, an ally of the Snakes, and his enemy relaxed. Both laid down to wait out the storm. Mik-api kept himself awake but the Snake slept, a fact for which he would die.

Lying was not an common thing in those days and Mik-api was disturbed in his spirit, and surprised at himself, he had gained advantage unfairly. But the lie was told, the mistake was made, he knew a lightning strike could give the lie away. He was quietly up after he knew the Snake was asleep, while poised with Fox-eye’s war hammer, waiting for the lightning. When the illumination came, he smashed his enemy’s head with a swift strike. After the storm, Mik-api ran again, for the rest of the night, to daybreak. The ghost of Fox-eye was not pleased at this outcome and continued following Mik-api.

By this time, Mik-api was now properly in the county of the Snakes and at daybreak he saw the smoke from the morning cooking fires of the Snake camp. So he very carefully made his way to a vantage point to study the camp’s layout, to spot the lookout sentries and make his plan. He saw that one of the guards was negligent, preoccupied with some craft-work that he put down from time to time, to study the landscape. He was making arrows.

Mik-api came up close behind, stealthily, while the Snake guard was paying close attention to tying an arrowhead to a shaft with sinew, and in one swift move Mik-api covered the Snake’s mouth with his hand from behind, while his other drove Fox-eye’s stone knife into the Snakes heart. It was a silent killing. Then, quietly, he withdrew.

Working his way to the other side of the camp, Mik-api knew the killing would not go un-noticed for much of the day. He wished to be opposite direction of the attention it would draw, when discovered. Perhaps he could then make one more kill and make his escape. He was nearly where he wished to be but not quite, when there was a great cry over the discovery of the sentry he had killed. Fox-eye had put it into the mind for someone to wander the way of the dead Snake. Many of the Snakes were running over there, and Mik-api was caught between a Snake warrior running towards him and his desired maneuver was failed. He realized there was no way to evade discovery. Rising up from his concealment with Fox-eye’s bow, he called out ‘I am Mik-api’ and the Snake had already begun his death chant when Fox-eye’s arrow pierced him, for these were famous words, known widely. Moments later, a second arrow finished him off. But now all of the Snakes were on the chase and Mik-api did not have the distance he needed, but he would try to make his escape.

Mik-api ran for the river close by the Snake camp, it was his only chance. A Snake arrow pierced his arm and he pulled it out while on the run. He had nearly made it to the edge of a high bank above the river when a second arrow pierced his thigh and Mik-api went down. He rolled over the rim above the river and dropped some distance, into the water. There Mik-api swam deep with the swift current, surfaced for air and could hear the Snakes shouting in the distance, went under again with the current and surfaced again, concealed under a log jam. Here he waited until dark, and was not discovered but he knew the search for him would resume in the morning. He moved a log from the bank, with great difficulty, into the water and floated downstream on the log for much of the night, until he was far away from the Snakes. Meanwhile, the ghost of Fox-eye had lost Mik-api’s trail, for as a spirit, he dared not go where the under-water ones lurked. Fox-eye was trapped in the land of the Snakes, possibly forever.

Mik-api had lived to escape the Snakes but he was in serious trouble, still. Now, he had to remove the arrow from his leg, which he did, but he was left crippled and exhausted. Mik-api shouted out loudly, of pure frustration, ‘To come so close and fail!’ and the great one, our brother we call the ‘Big Badger’ because we don’t dare pronounce his name outside of ceremony, heard Mik-api’s lamentation.

In those days, our people and our animal relatives could still freely communicate, and our brother came out of the forest and queried of Mik-api ‘What is the problem? Why is your spirit disturbed?’

Mik-api said ‘look here my brother, I am wounded in my arm and my leg. I am far from home, I cannot hunt, I cannot even walk.’

The very large bear replied ‘Do not despair Mik-api, for I know who you are and our peoples are related. I will see you home alive.’ He then brought mud with his hands, to dry over Mik-api’s wounds, took Mik-api to bushes ripe with berries so they both might eat and eventually, over the days that followed, brought Mik-api home, hanging onto the hair on his back. When the camp of Mik-api was in sight near the Sun River, below the mountains we call the Backbone, and the camp guards had seen them in the distance, Mik-api’s great brother let him off and vanished into the foothills.

There was a great commotion in the camp of the Pikuni people when it was announced Mik-api had returned alive and as expected, were he able to do this, the Buffalo Bulls society greeted Mik-api with a full regalia dance. But he had yet to do his most difficult task, to complete this journey. After he had healed and was cutting the rawhide strings that would tie his four piercing to the center pole of Okan, he had to confess his mistakes to the pole, in front of all the people. For the first piercing, he confessed he had insulted the dead, as a calculated strategy. For the second piercing, he recounted he had told a lie to gain advantage for a kill. For the third piercing, he confessed on behalf of Fox-eye, so that his spirit might find peace. For the fourth piercing, he confessed on behalf of the sisters he would marry, so their dignity would be restored. And then Mik-api danced the required four days, first a woman’s day, which is under the Moon, and then a man’s day, which is under the Sun, and then each once again. Before he was finished, and the piercing tore away from his breast, each of the sisters had been allowed to bring him a mouthful of water which passed from their lips to Mik-api’s lips, to ease his suffering, a promise of devotion to this in his future. And it was done. Mik-api lived long yet, for these beautiful women ever after lived carefully and cared deeply for our hero.

And so it was in the life of the great Mik-api, our Red Old Man.

Floyd

In memory of Floyd

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Related:

Life in Indian Country

Collected stories, folklore and anecdotes concerning my many years life with Blackfeet Indians and traversing Native American territories

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I sent this following letter (or variations of it) to numerous parties on 30 June 2013, including Senators, members of the German Parliament, former CIA and other career intelligence people, ambassadors, lawyers, academics, news organizations, law enforcement professionals, private parties and more. Maybe someone will pick it up-

Dear (name goes here)

I’d like to draw your attention to this story by Andrea Peacock from two years ago:

http://aliciapatterson.org/stories/treasure-rocky-mountain-front

No outsider knew Blackfoot traditional war chief Tinyman better than myself:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2013/06/30/reminiscing-life-in-blackfoot-country/

The Badger-Two Medicine (referenced in Andrea’s article) is the cause of how I ended up on the run for my life in exile. Bush torture lawyers John Yoo and Jay Bybee were writing legal briefs (1991, during the ‘papa’ Bush administration) for a criminal ring in the U.S. Forest Service that had counterfeited an Environmental Impact Statement for CHEVRON. I uncovered the criminal ring and that is what had caused an ultimate political deal where CHEVRON backed out of drilling. This occurred while working for Tinyman and his lawyer Mark Mueller (see attached letter.) When Condoleezzza Rice went from CHEVRON board director to Bush Jr’s National Security Advisor, I had a serious problem on my hands. Obama coming into office changed nothing.

I do not doubt at all the USA’s electronic spying has been employed by private security contractors with top security clearances (contractors at minimum, since Obama taking office) in tracking me for purpose of the attempted murders of myself. I’m very fortunate to have exceptional survival skill in this regard (former special operations forces intelligence.)

I’m basically asking anyone/everyone (it crosses my mind to ask) to share the story of my circumstance, if not with media, then simply by circulating it among acquaintances. You are free to share this mail

Kind regards

Ron West

 

MarkLetter copy
^click on letter to enlarge
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Related to this letter I’d sent, the CHEVRON corporation has been behind the push, or leader of the pack behind the attempted assassinations of myself, at least initially. My investigation into breaking laws associated with a proposed CHEVRON drilling project stopped (nearly single-handedly) a CHEVRON exploration into what is believed by some to be one of the most potentially rich hydro-carbon domes in the USA (which happens to be under pristine wild land sacred to the Blackfeet.) The subsequent dirty business of trying to take me out is in tandum with Bush-Cheney big oil personalities to the top. The George H.W. Bush White House was on board in 1989-1993 with counterfeiting the environmental laws process, and it became a Bush Jr/Cheney issue after the fact, particularly having to do with covering up the John Yoo/Jay Bybee torture lawyers earlier involvement associated with the Bush Sr administration’s corruption in this case.

Look at these CHEVRON personalities and their raw power: 

http://csis.org/event/launch-project-us-leadership-development

When CHEVRON employs former Bush National Security Advisor & Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice together with  former NATO Supreme Commander & Obama National Security Advisor General James Jones, using Congress for integrating CHEVRON policy to United States policy throughout the world, I expect there is little doubt CHEVRON has access to PRISM to carry out its objectives, inclusive of when those objectives incorporate murder.

These criminals’ reach is nearly unlimited. When I had escaped the USA alive and subsequently positively identified CIA associated persons directly tied to attempted assassination of myself, I became a ‘national security threat’ on account of the extent of possible exposure of corporate boards deep reach into the security services and associated abuses of USA power. This is why nothing changed under Obama. My feeling is, my story has become a threat to the entire status quo.

When the western democracies leadership preach (give lip service to) the rule of law, it includes everyone except themselves as pimps and whores (for corporate boards) that in actuality rule our lives using democracy as a front. 

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Exiled

Dreamt up at an out of doors café in Sant Feliu de Guixols

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Napi. Just who is this guy? Napi is many things. Napi is a teacher, an archetype, our Blackfoot ancestor and much more. Napi is a god, he is like Jesus or a holy man. Napi is the devil, Napi is the first real human being, Napi is a fool, a friend, and the trickster- Old Man Coyote. Essentially Napi is all the possibilities embodied in any Blackfoot MALE

Everyone learns from Napi (his stories) in Blackfoot culture, and the idea behind Napi is to foster what is sane and healthy in men and put strict controls on what is not. Because men are men, there are the men’s Napi stories which are supposed to always be cleaned up in the presence of women (sorry.) Culturally speaking, some of the men’s Napi stories simply should never be told in the women’s presence at all

Did the women have the prurient Napi stories? Men were never admited (NEVER) to the women’s secret societies, so we (men) supposedly must accept at face value the idea the women only knew the cleaned up versions of Napi stories. But because I am Napi (a Blackfoot male) onetime I tricked one of the old ladies into an admission of sorts, that is I made a reference to Napi’s butt

When one of my elder woman teachers was present, I had an opportunity to identify myself in the Blackfoot language.. and instead of using my proper Blackfoot name Pee-ma-na-kwan (man with a rope), I identified myself as Penucquem (Puh-nuck-qwee-um) or that is to say I identified myself as Napi’s rectum with the proper/formal expression

That drew a belly laugh from the old lady, the spontaneous and deep sort of laugh burst out that would make a man think she had heard the dirty stories the men tell (but only behind the women’s backs.)

In actuality I cannot know, it may be she simply believed I am an asshole, that interpretation works just as well. And as she was my elder teacher, I had to stop there, because she subsequently gave a look of spine shivering evil, as though daring me to die for having breeched her dignity and caused her involuntary laugh. It is safe to say I never broached the subject with her again. She was what would be known in the old matriarchal times as a Ni-na-wa-ki, or a woman that was the highest form of Blackfoot chief. You do NOT cross these women

I will come back to Napi, and how he ate his own ass for lunch, but first I think I need to explain Indian humor is more typically healthy, and give folk here in the outside world some idea of how it works

Native humor is all about keeping things honest, in a fun and entertaining way, and consequently, this humor is often self-deprecating in a gentle or harmless way, that is laughing at having made a fool of oneself, or jokes can be created with a little license describing another’s encounter with life’s many surprises. Spontaneous jokes are appreciated, a quick, creative wit is a prized possession in the personality. The taciturn Indian is a face presented to the outside world only, within the community life is filled with fun and liveliness in most conversation.

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Two Indian Jokes

Two Northern Plains Indians joke about the Southwestern tribes, originating with one of the Northern Indians experiencing married life among the Apaches: “Well, what did you discover?” Answer: “Apaches are feral Navajos.”

After I’d moved to New Mexico, and Floyd Heavy Runner called to see how things were going, Floyd asked me “Are they (the New Mexicans) on Indian time?” I answered “No, they’re on Mexican time.” Floyd: “Mexican time? What’s that?” Myself: “They fall asleep and forget.” Floyd [belly laughs] “That was good.”

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A Honky Snow Cone

I was at a pow-wow in the southwest where people did not readily know me as an Indian.. looking like ZZ Tops. I was watching the dancers, there was a Rastafarian dreadlocks White guy doing what appeared to be a stoned southern style war dance, overly exaggerated and out of time and I was amazed at the Indians straight faces as this guy made an incredible spectacle of himself. I could not help but laugh, it was that ridiculous

I was thirsty, it was hot, I walked to a concessions stand to see the possibilities with this fresh memory of someone that made me feel pretty stupid about my original race. The Native ladies ceased their conversation, normal when a White comes into earshot, I noticed that and realized they would not know I was Indian. As I approached the stand, I did not have a joke in mind about my Whiteman appearance but being Indian, it had to pop out

The only refreshments on sale were all sugar laced poisons, generic colas and other pop, and I did not want any of that. I ordered what I figured was least sugar poisonous, a snowcone. The (quite pretty, actually) young woman dutifully scooped the crushed ice into the paper cone and then turned to face me and asked “Which color?” (sugar syrup, red, blue, green or yellow)

I asked “Can I have it just as it is?”

She seemed surprised “No color?”

I replied with the perfect musical reservation inflection: “We could just call it a honky snow-cone.”

She looked down at the cone of pure white ice she was holding for me with a dumbfounded expression and the other girls broke out in involuntary laughter but quickly recovered their straight faces and gave this what looked like a Whiteman with perfect Native expression a suspicious look (wondering for a brief moment what had happened, is it safe?) but I had got them

She broke out in a gentle and wry, but friendly smile as she handed me the little cone of ice and took my money.. as I said quietly “I am diabetic” and she replied while now smiling in a truly sweet way and with genuinely friendly voice, also quietly, “Thank you.”

That “Thank you” stated more than the outsider would ever imagine. Indians don’t typically say thank you except in sincere heartfelt circumstance. It was ‘Thank you for being genuine’ and ‘I recognize now you are Indian’, and it was ‘Thank you for the joke and bringing a great laugh into our day.’

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Who Framed Melvin Bunny?

Because men are men (yes, in Native America as well) and because the culture is breaking down and becoming western, the humor is becoming ever more dangerous, as it must, to serve keeping the culture honest

So, to another real life Indian story. I hate to do this to my old friend Melvin Running Rabbit (his Indian nickname is Melvin Bunny) but here is how it is in Indian country today. It is a story about accountability

Melvin (if he is still alive) is a really good guy but he had a blind spot. He never looked at the possible consequences of those times he occasionally ran with the wrong crowd when he liked to go out of town to indulge in a really good Indian drinking binge, and those can be pretty stupendous events. I had checked it out for myself on a couple of occasions, any damn thing can happen, it is crazy to drink with Indians or, better said, when Indians drink, crazy things happen, like waking up from passed out with only one braid, the other having been cut off. Melvin was destined to a bigger joke. The Indian joke that backfired, but as the Indian world is not logical, neither are the consequences.

Melvin had, with several other Indians, drunk himself into the oblivion that seems required at these often extraordinary events, in a motel room in Great Falls, Montana, in the 1990s. There was a popular animated video out at the time: “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”

As it happens, there was one late arrival to this drinking binge who did not pass out to the typically near comatose condition and he was feeling a bit hard, or hard up. So he pulled the pants off of a passed out woman, used her like an ultra-conservative Republican on viagra would use a plastic blow-up doll for sex and then he had an idea for a joke. He pulled the passed out Melvin’s pants down and dragged him on top of the passed out woman he had just squirted full of his stuff, and left. That was a bad joke, but it gets better

If he had not done that second part of his criminal act, but rather had pulled the woman’s pants back up instead, he likely would have gotten away with the rape, because every Indian woman that attends these binges knows the risk, it has happened many a time and is often the joke story of the modern Indian drunks. She likely would have been disgusted with herself, having discovering what had happened to her, taken responsibility for being there and let go of it. End of story

But as fate would have it, along comes a family member looking for her and stumbles on the passed out old guy, Melvin, lying on top of the much younger woman, both with pants down. He called the cops and Melvin went to jail and was charged with rape

Melvin professed his innocence at his arraignment, the Indian humor telegraph was working hard on the story, supposedly in his cell Melvin was given a Viagra pill, a playboy magazine and a paper cup, to get his DNA and the subsequent big story on the Indian humor telegraph was:

“Who Framed Melvin Bunny?”

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Napi Eats His Butt

I close this essay with a story of the proverbial trickster, our Napi. There were many stories of Napi holding philosophical conversations with his rectum, and this is where typically the Napi stories become really dangerous.  If you can understand this story, then you will have a good idea of how to see where human nature has gone wrong in the Whiteman. Because this is the Indian story of the Evangelical Whiteman, the Whitemen we have met in Andrew Jackson and George Bush. It is about the Whiteman that rules America today. It is about corporate America and nacissism in the extreme. It is about narcissistic men like Barack Obama. It is about a man that does not learn from his mistakes. It is about a man that does not put two and two together concerning the consequences of his actions. It is about a man that does not understand his relationship to essential functions in nature necessary to his survival. It is about a man that does not pay attention or listen. It is about a narcissistic man so full of himself, he lies to himself about others good intentions. It is a story about how not to live your life. And perhaps most of all, it is a story about recycling old and failed ideas. The name of this story is “Napi Eats His Butt.” The story is told by Napi’s asshole, Penucquem, and it goes like this:

Napi had been to a great feast with his brothers. He returned to his camp very full of food and tired. Napi curled up to sleep by his fire, and you know where a dog’s nose is when he curls up to sleep!

Spuurrpp! Napi farted and it woke him up, his eyes were watering. Napi said aloud ‘Well, that was really rude’ and curled back to sleep…

Spuurrpp! Napi’s head popped up again, irritated, Napi shouted at his rectum: ‘Penucquem! If you won’t let me sleep, I am going to teach you a lesson!’ Napi curled up again.

Spuurrpp! That really did it. Jumping up, Napi grabbed up Tail, out of harms way, and sat on his campfire to get even with Penucquem. “Yii! Yii!” Napi really took off, like only a hurt dog does, and this started him on his travels.

Napi moved for a long time, he was thinking of how Penucquem had bit him really hard when he had tried to punish him, he didn’t understand how his asshole could do that to him while pushed down on the fire. It was Penucquem that should have cried out and ran away.

So Napi kept moving and thinking, he was traveling a long time in a big circle…

Napi walked and thought about it for so long that finally the large scab fell off of his rectum and still walking in a circle, he came across the scab and said “What do you know! Dry Meat!” Napi was getting hungry again about this time and he was happy to have found the dried meat some Indian had lost.

The Magpies shouted out to him “Napi! Don’t eat that! It fell off of your rectum!” Napi shouted back to the Magpies “You’re not fooling me, you just want this dry meat for yourselves!”

And then very delicately because there was not much of it, and with a lot of savor because he was hungry, and very deliberately, so the Magpies would envy him while watching, nip by nip, Napi ate his butt.

“Hun Neow Wah Nee Moo Oosss” (This is what your ass has to say)

The best part of the story about Napi eating his butt is, it was just such a good story I couldn’t help myself, I stole it from the Crees. I stole it from Wee-say-kay-cha (the Cree trickster) and gave it to our Napi. It’s a Blackfoot story now-

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“Two Medicine Men, both teachers, visited the big city and took in a service at the cathedral. Returning home, they took their Indian students on a journey of ‘Discovery.’

“First, they killed the nicest kid in the group and told the rest it was their fault for being born. But now, if they would eat the nice kid and drink his blood, calling it communion, they would not be held responsible for anything, ever.

“And this conferred upon them the right to tell other people how to live their lives- what they can and cannot do”  –Penucquem’s Journal

Related:

Life in Indian Country

Collected stories, folklore and anecdotes concerning my many years life with Blackfeet Indians and traversing Native American territories

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A former Special Forces Sergeant of Operations and Intelligence, Ronald Thomas West is a retired paralegal/investigator (living in exile) whose work focus had been anti-corruption and human rights. Ronald is published in International Law as a layman (The Mueller-Wilson Report, co-authored with Dr Mark D Cole) and has been adjunct professor of American Constitutional Law at Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany (for English credit, summer semester 2008.) Ronald’s formal educational background is primarily social psychology. His therapeutic device is satire, uh and yeah, he grew up with and spent most his life in close association with Indians…

Chief

A Modern Napi Story

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The Great Oxymoron

Lester Log Roller was from a family of Indians named for a drunken forebear who had been ‘challenged’ by some White loggers in the Pacific Northwest to participate in the “Logger Olympics” of sport unique to their profession. Lester’s forebear actually had brought off his performance quite well, while keeping his balance on a log in a pond which he managed to roll with agility, both forwards and backwards… his fame for the event however, was the wild look of panic on this Indians face with his braids flying askew, because this Indian did not know how to swim.

The Indian’s champion log rolling performance was purely survival driven which made the event all the more hilarious to the redneck Whites that had sent him onto the log at gunpoint. The chief of this White Redneck tribe’s sense of honor, his name was Lucious Ludicrous Bean, declared Log Roller should be allowed to live for his amazing ability to mimic the loggers in the sport (“Damn, who’d believed”), but the Indian would hereafter have to be known by the new name and answer to it.

The Indian agreed to the terms required to save his life while still on the log, and was subsequently fished out of the pond both before he had drowned and nearing sobriety, because he had finally fallen into the water from pure exhaustion. Log Roller’s descendant, Lester Log Roller, subsequently was from a family of Indians that did not drink. They knew better. He went to Law School instead

Nobody in the White Academic world knew how to create a Native Studies Program because in fact to postulate a program as such in the western classroom was oxymoron. Hell, they did not even know that. Native Studies, if it was Natives doing the studies, would be non-interfering in Nature, observing the processes from which all Native intelligence had been drawn. Lester Log Roller did not know that, because he had been off to Boarding School from age five and then off to University in Kanadada.

By this time, Lester had mastered the provincial English linguistic trick of stating the just so “Eh?” after postulating something as mundane as “How aboot (yucky pronunciations) we run to the trading post for some smokes. Eh?” And his Blackfoot language was rusty, such as the time he was home from boarding school to visit and his Aunt told him to go back out (he had just come in the door) and bring in the “Napi-aki.” Lester started to go back out, he was confused, but then resolutely faced his Aunt and told her “I don’t have a White woman!” She laughed and said in English “I’m not talking about White women, I want you to bring in the milk jug.” Lester felt dumb. Napi-aki could mean either milk jug or White woman, but he did not get the context. He had been too long away at school

Lester was a conscientious sort, and so when his undergraduate major in ‘Native Studies’ was decided on, he returned home in summers and brushed up on his Blackfoot Language. But he did not realize that the answer to bring his university into line with the political correctness of the new times had been to establish a White Anthropology program staffed by White-educated mentalities in people with Red skins and call it ‘Native Studies.’ And so, Lester, like the now countless other Red skinned people of Native descent, thought this was real. He should have remembered the Blackfoot proverb “Everyone knows the Whiteman is crazy.” But Lester could not know this now applied to himself. So Lester questioned his former people’s elders to get ideas for his papers he would need to write in the discipline of anthropology disguised with the ‘Native Studies’ euphemism. And thought he was Indian

Lester went on to Law School and eventually became Director of ‘Native Studies’ at a great university which had been duly impressed with his achievements in the Whiteman’s so-called field of ‘Indian Treaty Law,’ having nothing to do with actual Aboriginal Laws of past times, but which combined with the idea he spoke Blackfoot, seemed to make him eminently qualified to run their program.

Here at university he met the great White theoretical physicist David Bohm and they had discussed David’s curiousity as to why it had been noted as early as the 1920’s the Native American languages seemed to have no problem describing many phenomena of the new theoretical physics, which western languages had difficulty coping with. Lester had no idea why either, but it seemed there must be something to it and so they began a dialogue… and eventually Lester became a god. To at least three or four people.

Lester, later on retired and living in a townhouse in the better part of Lethbridge, Kanadada, had continued with his anthropological interest in studying his former people and was particularly interested in their form of government before they had been conquered. His anthropological studies got him up and running on three legs in Blackfoot ways, like the proverbial wild dog that had chewed off one leg to escape a trap… and that was about it

Lester had by this time taken over the dialogue and thought he had some things figured out: Like how the old time chiefs circle of oratory had worked. Not. What he attempted to replicate in fact became a lunatic caricature of what had been his ancestral wisdom. It was not meant to be evil and in fact it was not evil. It was merely stupid. But Lester could not know that

By this time, these dialogues, with David Bohm now dead, had become sponsored by a ‘Wannabee Indian’ organization called ‘New Age in Native America’ run by an anal-retent-hyper-liberal White intellectual who fancied himself an enlightened feminist man. Though one might suspect otherwise, this man was not ‘bi,’ neither bi-sexual, nor bi-cultural

Narcissus Yabadabadoo Montenegro was a “Coyote” in the strict local Hispanic sense of the term, that is a ‘Spanglo.’ You would never know to which community of his ancestry he was loyal to, because this sort of Coyote could only be loyal to himself. His ego was of a soft burnished sort, the kind of lovely passive-aggressiveness whose nasty aspect was presented in the effeminate dark side aroma of the flower he was named for. As a real Indian, you just did not want to get too close to Narcissus if you were to enjoy the genuine natural beauty of his expression. And so it also was with the NANA sponsored dialogues he so expertly organized for the world to know the truth of the New Age in Native America

When Narcissus gazed into the reflective pool of the soft loveliness in his ego, he could detect no offensive aroma. His ethnocidal nuance as applied to Native American thought and philosophy was of a much prettier and more refined sort than that established for his intellectual forebears in the psychological literature developed by Erich Fromm: who postulated the Nazis much enjoyed the smell of their own farts.

A far cry from the camps and ovens, the ethnocidal ‘thrust’ of Narcissus’ ego priapismic tendencies was to bring about the immolation of the Indians beliefs and thinking with grandiose graphics of Taoist imagery superimposed on Native American fruits and vegetables extrapolated to western print: advertising the many ‘Red Skinned [Elmer] Fudds’ (PhDs) he would gather alongside White skinned western scientists in a grand orgy of psyco-somatic ego-stroking masturbation in high intellectual workshops of inter-racial discourse

Napi fell for it in the beginning. It was attractive, because Lester, a Blackfoot Indian who could speak his language was master of ceremony and that fact, taken together with the promoted agenda of Native America’s relationship to an observational philosophy of Quantum Mechanics, convinced Napi at the start he would learn something. Well, Napi did learn some things, he just did not learn what he had expected, like a wider understanding of Native Quantum Reality. Napi learned about Quantum Mechanics in the laboratory from the White scientists and absolutely nothing at all from the many PhD Native Americans because they had no idea at all of how Native Quantum Reality functionally worked.

Damn, it was sad. Not one PhD, not a single PhD from either side of the Racial divide, understood that to be Native American in thought and philosophy had absolutely nothing to do with Race. PhD. Wow. The White western scientists were sometimes frustrated with the Red western scientists who could only tell stories from anthropology that were totally out of context and consequently nonsensical. That fact only made the Red western scientists equal to the White western scientists totally out of context with Nature and nonsensical lab experiments

Napi simply observed the first year he attended. The second year he contributed a little bit of real Indian thinking and freaked out Lester because it looked as though the entire event could be shown up as a case of ‘The Emperor Has No Clothes!’ The third year Napi had tried to explain to Narcissus and had approached Lester directly about making a contribution, how some things could change to open up the dialogues to real learning, but Napi was frozen out instead. No upsetting the gravy train of ego allowed here!

Rather the ‘face’ of the event was to be preserved at all costs, a portrait of the mysterious and knowledgeable Indian, Lester, presiding over an event that might one day yield his great secrets held in abeyance: to his lesser Native beings and the handful of toadying sycophant Whites who peered upon his Native holiness with expressions of Heavenly reverence as though they were alter-boys seated upon the left and right hands of God. In fact, it appeared to Napi that Lester didn’t know shit. Lester only knew how to rest on his laurels from his former Native Studies program directorship at Harvard, look important, and otherwise act cool and all knowing. That’s it.

chief2

This lampoon of Leroy Little Bear and the ‘Language of Spirit’ dialogues at SEED Open University, goes to the point of what you see isn’t what it was and what it was, is something you’re not going to get at any ‘native studies’ program, either…

The women’s secret societies had been the driving social engine in the Blackfoot culture, the anthropologists were males and males were NEVER admitted to these societies. The upshot is, when every sister, mother, daughter and wife of every man of consequence delivered identical message, the men would meet and take the nation in the direction these women had insisted upon. The anthropologists only saw the men meet and come to decisions. The ‘circle’ at SEED supposedly replicating the ancient native governance system, is entirely devoid of the matriarchal concept and background. An important note would be, the anthropologists were allowed to keep mistaken assumptions (mistaken assumptions that now are integrated material of so-called ‘native studies’) because the culture they were studying did not have a concept of correcting so-called ‘wrongs’, people are supposed to figure out their mistakes for themselves.

The Blackfoot word for wife, ni-naki, translates literally as “boss.” Ni-naki is the lesser form of the word ni-na-waki, which had been the highest form of Blackfoot chief in pre-contact times, and could only be a woman. The equality there was really quite balanced, with a slightly higher female authority, with great respect between the sexes and women had been fully entitled to be warriors, the term for such was sak-wo-ma-oui-aki-kwan, loosely translated as ‘defiant women.’

The men with more than one wife were seen by anthropologists as polygamists in the western sense, the western observers not realizing the women determined this. Close sisters or best friends shared the man and without this female consensus, polygamy did not happen. And it was the important women who determined who would be a man’s ‘sits besides him wife.’ In the present time, relating to any politically correct western anthropology program with the ‘native studies’ euphemism, it is the western ideas are coming to dominate the native perception of themselves, with the loss of language and oral tradition through enforced western educations, these people don’t even know who they were anymore. But what had been was, the women instilled the culture’s values and stability.

Another misconception is the countless forms of gender in the language, the western linguists puzzling over how so many masculine and feminine forms could be kept straight and why so many when in fact this was the language expressing varying degree of androgyny in descriptions, an alien concept to western linguists.

The unfortunate conclusions concerning the western culture, drawn from thirty plus years work bridging the cultural gap, can be read in my essay ‘You’ve Got Apes!

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The Satires

Related:

Life in Indian Country

Collected stories, folklore and anecdotes concerning my many years life with Blackfeet Indians and traversing Native American territories

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