Anyway, it appears this hardened terrorist has taken up knitting and beading along with raising a child. Who knew?
Even with a toddler, doing "sanctuary" at the Miccosukee Embassy in Miami sometimes gets monotonous. To combat the boredom, I started brushing up on my knitting and beading skills. This necklace is inspired by the Seminole patchwork designs. Maybe I'll add it to our "Store" page, right up there with our New Seminole Bad Ass Spices and books. Maybe. Right now I can't imagine selling it because it took so long to bake it. Sorry. I made the mistake of listening to some old rock music while I was a beading and I can't get that song out of my head no matter how hard I try.
Anyway, it appears this hardened terrorist has taken up knitting and beading along with raising a child. Who knew?
The "49 dance" is when guys and gals on the rez get together and get jiggy. Although it can be traced to the traditional Kiowa and Oklahoma tribes because of its rhythms, it doesn't commemorate bravery in battle. Instead it's celebrating fun and love, usually with a shot of firewater to help the dancers find their courage because, let's face it, striking up a conversation with someone you're attracted too can take all the help it can get.
Busimanolotome Osceola, founder of the New Seminole (NS) and my father-in-law, encouraged our "tribe" to do this instead of the traditional powwow dances because-- I think-- he loved the dance's roots in rebellion, in the disruption of the status quo which, if anything, the NS were and are.
My first introduction to the 49 dance came on a moonlit night deep in the Everglades on a hammock less than a foot above the water. The trees that had taken root there were covered by camo netting to hide us from the prying eyes of Uncle Sam's spy satellites (I know, I too thought our fearless leader was a tad paranoid until we shot down a drone over the Everglades). This is what it sounds like-- and yes it traditionally uses English lyrics because the 49 dance's roots only date back to early 1900s.
But I took it a step further by pushing Busi's buttons-- which was easy to do if you read my books-- by dancing with Nokosee to music like this, supplied by BoomBox-- our tribe's black Alan-a-Dale-- on a giant ghetto blaster he carried everywhere we went, adding musical counterpoint to our fleeting moments while on the run from Army Rangers (our "charges" and "retreats"-- mostly retreats-- were signaled by BoomBox playing a cassette of regimental bugle music). This is also the song I sang to Nokosee on our wedding night again on a hidden hammock deep in the Everglades, a song we danced clockwise to in a circle where cultures collide and meld together, becoming something new. Something like the New Seminole.
Today marks the 142nd anniversary of the death of Custer and his troops from the 7th Cavalry at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. As a little blue-eyed white girl living in New Jersey, I had fallen in love with Custer (Errol Flynn) after seeing that 1941 black and white movie They Died With Their Boots On. My dad and I watched it together. I was sitting on his lap in the living room on a Saturday afternoon watching an old movie channel and he was using it as a teachable moment. But the only thing I can remember from that day was how gorgeous Flynn was, the regiment's earworm of a battle tune, and his-- Flynn's-- gallant last stand before the Lakota Sioux killed him. God, how I hated to see him die. Having seen the original King Kong the week before-- again on my dad's lap-- I'm pretty sure they borrowed the music from Kong's last battle with the biplanes to augment Flynn's final moments, you know, to instill some sympathy for that dashing, gorgeous, bastard.
But today is Crazy Horse's day. He earned it. He was a true fearless leader and deserves that mountain they're carving on his behalf in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Unfortunately, there are no known photographs of the man and there is very little of a written record of his life. But we do know he was married to a woman called Black Shawl (Tasina Sapewin) and they had one child, a daughter called They Are Afraid of Her. When she died at age three (possibly from cholera), it is reported Crazy Horse was devastated and never recovered from that loss.
And we know this: Crazy Horse's war cry as he led the charge that killed Custer.
"Maka ki ecela tehanl yanke lo!"
Only the Earth lasts forever!
Maria Popova's Brain Pickings on FB never ceases to amaze me by the things I find there. Today while doing Sanctuary at the Miccosukee Embassy I used the tribe's computer to check out my feed and discovered this video of poet Marie Howe reading her poem "Singularity." She immediately connected with me when she admitted she has a daughter, teaches eco poetry at Sarah Lawrence (where Man is removed from the spotlight on the poet's stage and replaced with Nature and the Cosmos); stank at high school physics, and has a problem with the Big Bang theory: that everything was once compressed into a small black dot called a singularity. Her poem runs with that idea (see below) by opening with these words: "Do you sometimes want to wake up to the singularity we once were?"
That for some reason-- maybe my still beating romantic heart that wasn't beaten out of me by all the shit that happened to me and those I loved (see my books)-- made me think of Nokosee. When we met, I was 17-years-old, the Everglades was on fire and I was in the middle of it, lost and scared shitless. I felt like I was falling into a nightmare, a black-- and hot-- hole from which there was no escape. But I met Nokosee there-- in the middle of the singularity-- and he saved me-- in an explosion that hurled us out across the Everglades into a new life together, transforming us into a new single element that lived and breathed and thought the same thoughts together. Together. One. A singularity.
Falling All Around My Shoulders..."
That picture was taken when I was pregnant with Haalie while on the run from Uncle Sam deep in the Everglades. Nokosee's dad Busi Osceola took it after he told his pa that's how he felt when looking at me, that he could see an undulating rainbow aura around my head. Most dads might have thought their sons were on something. Not Busi. Visions are common among the Indigenous Tribes and I suspect Busi also saw my rainbow, that proved beyond a doubt it would be hard to find a better wife for his son, the "First of the New Seminole," someone who had already proven her worthiness by surviving a "walkabout" he devised to break me.
But back to the words. Nokosee and I were alone one day in the Everglades when, holding me tightly and looking up at me, he started singing to me. Turns out his dad introduced him to the song by Country Joe and the Fish who sang it at Woodstock . The band told an estimated 500,000+ audience that they play "rockin' soul music" which was muy appropriate since at that time I was letting my less than Rez approved blonde Mohawk grow out to the point that it had become an unruly Fro.
Busi positioned us in front of a setting sun for the picture. A day later he and most of the New Seminole were dead following a moonless night ambush by Army Rangers in the Everglades. You can read about it in my last book.
When we thought it was safe, Nokosee and I went back to the site of the final battle to see if we could find his father's body. Unfortunately, the only things we found were Busi's Purple Heart medal he won in Nam and the original picture. I cherish both. I wear the Purple Heart medal all the time to remember him and his "Cockamamie Cause" which is to start an eco war with "The Outside" in order to return SoFla to its original protectors, the New Seminole. The original picture is always in my wallet with one of Haalie just in case I need something to look at that will make me happy (you know, like just before dying from an Uncle Sam inflicted gunshot wound). :) The one you're looking at is sitting on a desk next to my bed at the Miccosukee Embassy where I am doing Sanctuary. The tribe has allowed me to use their computer based graphic arts programs to create the pix. Nokosee tells me I'm too literal. But he kissed the picture just the same.
From Chase Iron Eyes, Lead Counsel, Lakota People’s Law Project:
Judge Lee Christofferson has granted the Lakota People's Law Project (LPLP) extraordinary scope to obtain information from the state’s prosecutor, Energy Transfer Partners, law enforcement, and security contractors, including TigerSwan.
Our chief counsel, Daniel Sheehan, and attorney Lanny Sinkin explain in the above video why deposing the DAPL security companies is so important. TigerSwan’s role at Standing Rock is emblematic of a major threat to our liberty. Increasingly, corporations are hiring their own private armies to infiltrate activist communities, stir up violence, and run propaganda campaigns that marginalize and criminalize those of us fighting to protect our water and freedom.
LPLP will begin taking depositions this month. Getting the state and security companies into deposition rooms won’t be easy. For months, the state prosecutor has failed to respond to discovery requests.
Judge Christofferson’s court order gives us the legal leverage we need, and your support will give us the resources to secure key evidence. Fortunately, this effort has been quietly funded by caring people like you—but we still have many miles to go. A monthly gift from you can ensure that our defense has all the resources it needs for depositions, and can take us, victorious, through the finish line.
TigerSwan has mastered the art of disaster capitalism, making millions in underserved communities of color when things go wrong — at Standing Rock, in Houston, in Puerto Rico. With each disaster, we get closer to the edge. That’s why it’s imperative, it’s necessary, that we take our stand when and where we can. We don’t create the world we dream of all at once. We win it, one small struggle at a time. This is our struggle. Thank you for sharing it, and for making victory possible.
Pilamaya — we thank you for your continued dedication!
Chase Iron Eyes
Lakota People’s Law Project
Please consider donating to the most worthy cause.
Holatte-Sutv Turwv Osceola
That's what we did. Rose up and defended Mother Earth. And we got our butts kicked for it (see my books).
The New Seminole were outnumbered and out-weaponized. Now I'm holed-up in the Miccosukee Embassy doing Sanctuary. Those words above pretty much sum up what got me here with a quid pro quo violent defense of the Everglades and the "colonization" of south Florida that pit our sad little "tribe" up against the Mighty White Father aka Uncle Sam. Since that time, I've been giving it a lot of thought about choosing a less "proactive" approach, something closer to Ghost Dancing rather than Ghost Making.
At the end of the 19th Century Uncle Sam had pretty much brought the continent's indigenous tribes to their knees by one massacre, broken treaty, and forced settlement onto reservations after another. It would be safe to say that their spirits had been immeasurably broken. Around 1890 a Northern Paiute spiritual leader called Wovoka had a vision that would save the 500 Nations: if they danced the Ghost Dance they could summon the spirits of their dead ancestors to fight the colonists, make them leave the land, and restore peace, prosperity, and unity to all the tribes. In desperation, the idea caught on and spread through many of the tribes.
Of course, nothing came of it except Wounded Knee and the deaths of hundreds of Lakota Sioux (including Sitting Bull) all because Uncle Sam grew fearful that a few impoverished and broken people had begun dancing in a circle-- which the U.S. Army knew was a prelude to an attack on settlers and soldiers.
Like the founder of the New Seminole, Micco Busimanolotome Osceola, I came to the conclusion that dancing and chanting wouldn't change a thing. Praying, neither. We had to "take it to The Man," as he would say. Well, that didn't work out too well for us either. Although we didn't Ghost Dance, we did have our own Wounded Knee: at a nondescript hammock deep in the Everglades we called Rendezvous Point.
But as I've been told more than once by Special Agent "Micco Mann," that we, unlike the Lakota Sioux who were only dancing, had it coming. So, in retrospect, maybe it's time for another Ghost Dance. One that embraces technology to save the world instead of violence. Maybe the New Ghost Dance is a New Seminole floating in space, dancing pow wow style between the earth and the moon and the stars; always there to remind the crew all is sacred. Maybe it will be Nokosee. Or me. Or our daughter, Haalie.
Stop the insanity! Stop the "blood quantum." Counting your Indian blood today is about as practical as counting coup. If your head's not there-- where Sitting Bull, Chief Joseph, and Crazy Horse lived-- even a full-blooded Native American is slumming on the rez and on the streets where the "Outside" lives. I'm a blue-eyed blonde married to what some of the anal Rez Police might call a half-breed. Nokosee on his dad's side is Seminole but his mom is a Cuban his dad met at Hialeah High when they were students. Of course, if you read my books, you know I had to prove my worthiness to Nokosee's old man, the founder of the New Seminole, Micco Busimanlotome Osceola. Doing a "walkabout" in the Everglades alone with only a knife and a compass was nothing compared to what came down the pike-- and got me holed up here at the Miccosukee Embassy in Miami doing sanctuary. But I proved to the old man I was worthy of his son, the first of the New Seminole who would lead an eco-war on the "Outside" to save the Earth. Not that we're still thinking about doing that. We have a daughter now, Haalie Osceola. That changes everything.
If you read my books, you know my father-in-law and the founder of the New Seminole Busimanolotome Osceola was a Baby Boomer and loved the Broadway "Tribal Rock" musical Hair. In fact he named his daughter after one of the writers-- and had me believing for a very long time that Jerryragni met "Hair" in Muskogee (yes, he was a great "kidder"). His favorite song was part of a group of songs that are heard in the finale. It's called "The Flesh Failures" and summed up for him what was wrong with America. Plus, you could dance to it in the swamp which was very important to him and us. We did it many times between giant cypress trees, looking for the most part just like those who performed it on stage since we were and are a cockamamie collection of hippies and Seminoles. Here are the lyrics:
We starve-look at one another
Short of breath
Walking proudly in our winter coats
Wearing smells from laboratories
Facing a dying nation
Of moving paper fantasy
Listening for the new told lies
With supreme visions of lonely tunes
Somewhere inside something
There is a rush of
Greatness, who knows what stands in front of
Our lives? I fashion my future
On films in space
Silence tells me secretly
The song then segues into the upbeat hit song Let the Sunshine In. Here's a version by Jennifer Warnes I've been listening too lately. Enjoy on this Earth Day. Make Earth Day Every Day.
Holatte-Sutv Turwv Osceola.