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#1 Atehequa

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 07:25 PM

My parents who could barely speak our language and were all but assimilated into white Christian society.They left agency lands in Oklahoma when my father went into the military during World War Two. After a twenty year hitch my father remained near the base and opened a business in eastern Virginia. Fortunately I had a grandmother and grandaunt who were not only traditional, but could speak the language as well. They would come from agency lands in Oklahoma to visit my mother. In time my grandmother lived out her last years here with us. For some time my parents attempted to keep us kids away from our heritage, but later they had a change of heart. I've a Christian name, but my grandmother nicknamed me Atehequa, black fox, what my people called the fisher cat, a somewhat large dark mustelid which use to live in many parts of what is now America. She called me this because I like to climb trees. She passed from complications of diabetes, a serious ailment which many indigenous people here suffer from. 
 
As far as the Haudenosaunee are concerned, they were the long time blood enemies of my people along with our friendly neighbors. When the Haudenosaunee acquired guns first from the Dutch and later the English, they waged war upon all northeastern Algonquian tribes as well as their own kin the Wendat, Erieehronon, Attawandaron, Tionontati, Susquehanna and Cherokee. Only distance, large numbers, strong Muskogee allies and the firearms acquired from the English colonial traders prevented the latter in their southern Appalachian homeland from annihilation. The Cherokee were also our blood enemies after double crossing us in the early 18th century. Before that we had been displaced from our Ohio River homelands by the Haudenosaunee durning the Beaver Wars. The Cherokee had invited many of us to live in Tennessee to serve as a buffer against the Catawba and Haudenosaunee. In 1715 when the Catawba and Haudenosaunee became less of a threat, the Cherokee and their Chickasaw friends along with English colonials attacked and drove us from Tennessee. Following that our people divided into septs and moved around what is now eastern America. Some lived along the Savana River in Georgia, some lived in the Lehigh Valley in Pennsylvania, others lived in Wisconsin, while a good many settled in eastern West Virginia and northwestern Virgina where they continued fighting the Cherokee, Catawba, Chickasaw, English and Haudenosaunee. Now armed with French firearms we were a power to be contended with.  By 1750 we were returning to and reclaiming our old homeland in the Ohio country.
 
War with the Haudenosaunee was terribly fierce and a warrior would rather die fighting than to be taken captive. The Haudenosaunee had perfected torture to a grim art and could keep a captive alive for days while being slowly tortured to death. Upon arriving at a Haudenosaunee village and after running a gauntlet, male captives were rarely adopted, the ones not so fortunate were condemned, officially given as sacrifices to their war deity, Aireskoi, often lavishly feasted, then in time bound to a post, slowly tortured to death, roasted and cannibalized. In this way the Haudenosaunee consumed not only a warrior's body, but attained his essence as well. Sorcerers also engaged in inter-tribal warfare
 
Having held onto traditions and keeping  relationships with our ancestors, we live in the generations which keep us connected to the past.  As far back as I know, my lineage goes back to the Hathawekela  divison of our tribe who at one time were headquartered near Winchester Virginia under the leadership of Okowellos Paxinosa(Hard Striker) father of Hokoleskwa(Cornstalk) both ancestors of my mother. Okowellos Paxinosa's father was a Munsee, one of three divisions of the Lenape people. Later my family were considered as Absentee Shawnee in Oklahoma's Indian Territory. 
 
Even though in these modern times I've a few friends among the Qualla Cherokee and know just as many Haudenosaunee, I know these two Iroquoian people as old adversaries, but less so than the English and their descendants the Anglo-Americans. Still as they say, much bad water flows under the bridge. This holds especially true with the Wiccans as two of their covens along with their New Age Movement friends greatly disrespected me, my cousin, a Lumbee and two Qualla Cherokee at a large seasonal festival held near Jamestown Island back in 1997. Until those two covens make ammends to us, there shall be ill feelings betwixt my little mixed Shawano-Lumbee-Qualla-Catawba-Chickahominy-Mattaponi band/circle of kin and friends. For what those of the New Age Movement(which I feel Wicca is somewhat associated with)did, there will never be friendly feelings for them.
 
Although we can no longer tomahawk, club or shoot people, other measures have been taken.  Since we feel that these people are infected with evil spirits,what is looked upon by the western world as sorcery has been used against them. I've a cousin who is very skilled in what you would call witchcraft. My wife is also a practioner, but is mostly concerned with plants and herbs. However we will not hestitate to call them out on their bullshit misrepresentations of all American Indians on their New Age internet blogs, forums and message boards. 
 

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#2 ArcticWitch

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 07:52 PM

Thanks for sharing!  History of the area of my ancestral region is fascinating to me, and difficult for me to compile due to so much Appalachian history being handed down verbally rather than recorded in books.  I was always under the impression that eastern U.S. tribes were relatively peaceful compared to those in the southwest; your post was illuminating, to say the least.  Although it sounds like you'd obligated to magically tomahawk me if I had ever practiced Wicca (which I haven't) in conjunction my heritage of European Caucasian and Cherokee. ;)


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#3 Horne

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 09:01 PM

Atehequa (nice to know what the name means after reading your post), what did the wiccan covens do to offend you and your relative and friends during that festival? Must have been something big. I can literally sense your anger through your post, it's intense. 


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#4 Lilitia

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 10:23 PM

Atehequa I have also developed a nasty taste in my mouth for the New Age "plastic Shamans" as my dad likes to call them (there are no such "shamans" per se in the Choctaw tradition anyway and I get so pissed when people play at being "Native American Inspired", it's so racist) and the Wiccan community in my hometown and at large as well.  I respect their freedom to choose their own religious path but It is simply not for me, and I have not have very good experiences with either.  I didn't leave Oklahoma until I was 9, when my dad found a job in Texas and we left the rez outside Broken Bow.  Since my mother is white (she is of Scottish and German descent) and my siblings and I are bi-racial, I had a hard time fitting in either place.  There is also bad blood between the Choctaw and the Cherokee people, although it did not occur until the deep betrayal of the Cherokee at Dancing Rabbit Creek when they, along with the Chickasaw, sold out to Andrew Jackson and poked and prodded my great grandparents from the Great Mound in Mississippi to Broken Bow, where most of my dad's family still lives to this day.  It is not as deep an ancestral hurt as in your case.  However, I have not fared well with Cherokee people in person to this day, but I think it is just because I don't fare well with people in general.


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My mama used to tell me 'bout these
Broke, poachin' ass bitches in these streets,
So many people wanna see me fall,
Invite me to the table but don't want me to eat at all.... ---- Z'Ro the Crooked

#5 Caps

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 10:59 PM

I unfortunately don't know enough of my Native history to comment, but my mother is considered half Native American.  My grandfather was born somewhere in this general area in 1909, but his parents had relocated here from Eastern Tennessee in the Reconstruction period while other family members of theirs went to Oklahoma and others still relocated to Kentucky, West Virginia, and Western Maryland.  He fell into the "colored" category under Jim Crow.  (and as a second thought, that might have been based on opinion, he was somehow allowed to marry my grandmother).  The roots of our ancestry were likely lost in not only the Civil War but the wars you mention...family origins are purportedly from Eastern and Central Virginia.  I think I've said before that we believe we are Pamunkey and/or Monacan but what is somewhat interesting is the few words that have made it into our modern family are very Cherokee sounding, but that doesn't say much because of all of these tribes speaking Algonquian languages.  My mom sometimes gets frustrated with inquisitive people and just says she's "Cherokee" but I highly doubt my bull headed mother would understand the disservice this does to what the potential of our ancestry could be.  In truth, we could be...we won't know until someone steps up and gets a DNA test done...and that someone will probably be me.  I know of Native ancestry, Irish, English, Norse, and German but you never know what might show up.  I think as far as percentages go I'm more Irish and German than anything, it probably takes up close to half of my ancestry.  I'd assume that I'm 1/4 Native but only DNA would show it.  I know those physical traits are more dominant, as I'm often mistaken for a Latino XD

 

As far as fluff bunnies, I think we all have issues with them, otherwise we wouldn't feel the need for being on this site :wink:


Edited by Capsicum, 02 November 2014 - 11:01 PM.

"It is the still and silent sea that drowns a man." - Old Norse proverb

"It is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war."

#6 Lilitia

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 11:20 PM

I get asked "Are you Latino? Middle Eastern? What?" at least once a week.  Gets old.  I totally get you on that one. Gods forbid I get offended at the presumptuousness of the person for asking. 

 

As for the "fluff bunnies" (love that!) go...Atehequa, I too have some morbid curiosity as to what they did to make you feel the way that you do about them.  I know that for me there were several incidents that snowballed into the way I feel now, but everyone has a different experience.

 

Regardless of that, I am glad you are active on this forum because I feel as if your posts are always very good reading and quite informative. You have a lot to contribute here, and have contributed a lot too. 


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My mama used to tell me 'bout these
Broke, poachin' ass bitches in these streets,
So many people wanna see me fall,
Invite me to the table but don't want me to eat at all.... ---- Z'Ro the Crooked

#7 travsha

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Posted 02 November 2014 - 11:25 PM

Hating someone else is like holding a hot coal in your hand, and trying to burn someone else with it.

I am Jewish, German, Native and white, and probably 10-15 other nationalities.... No way I could hold onto racial or religious hate, just because I could never be at peace with myself. All cultures (every single one) kill and offend someone else at some point.... Holding ońo that pain just ensures the pain continues, and that's how we pass our pain onto other generations...

Recipricicity - maybe my highest value... Certainly up there...

I love your story by the way - it's great that you know your families history so well! Really cool.

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#8 Caps

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 04:05 AM

"Hating someone else is like holding a hot coal in your hand, and trying to burn someone else with it."

ah, a Buddha quote

 

True, but hatred is a powerful tool in witchcraft, not something to be taken lightly or used in folly.  It has its uses.


"It is the still and silent sea that drowns a man." - Old Norse proverb

"It is better to be a warrior in a garden than a gardener in a war."

#9 travsha

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 07:21 AM

Hate certainly has power, but for me personally is not worth it. I know how much emotions effect your body, as I make a living helping people who have become sick from their own emotions. Even when I do massage, I would say I am treating the emotions much more then I am treating the body. Emotions have way more power then most people realize...
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#10 Atehequa

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 01:39 PM

Atehequa (nice to know what the name means after reading your post), what did the wiccan covens do to offend you and your relative and friends during that festival? Must have been something big. I can literally sense your anger through your post, it's intense. 

**************************************************

 
Where I'm employed there are a good number of New Agers and some Wiccans. One of them invited me to attend this three day festival called the Autumn Dance. Always up for new experiences, I not only accepted but brought along one of my Shawnee-Catawba cousins, a Lumbee, two  Qualla Cherokee and a rather huge friend of Germanic origins. My wife, more wiser than I on such matters refused to attend and warned me there could be problems.
 
From the very beginning it got weird as the Wiccan coven leaders presiding over this festival did not want us pitching our tents in the main encampment. We were directed to a bit of bluff-like high bank over looking the James River. Still somewhat of a drinker back then as were the rest of my party, we had a few stiff ones after setting up camp. We also passed the pipe then ambled down into the main encampment.  
 
This festival was also referred to as a 'gathering of tribes' however we did not feel welcome. For the most part we were snubbed by the majority of those people there. We listened to one Wiccan woman talking to people going on about evil men and their nocturnal emissions.
 
What really set me off was a fellow sitting upon a grassy rise with a group of listeners. Although this fellow was obviously white, he claimed to be a 'shaman' of my people(Shawnee). Knowing our spiritual leaders did not refer to themselves as shamans, plus this fellow did not even know the name of our creator spirit, nor he could not speak a single word of our language, I denounced him as a fraud which immediately made me a heavy to most of his admirers. This fellow who was going by the handle of 'White Wolf,' scurried over to a Wiccan priestess leader and said we were causing trouble. Approached by this fellow and a mean looking woman attired like Morticia Addams my companions and I were called negative trouble makers and would be asked to leave if we caused any more problems. Offering them a few choice words in our native languages, we laughed in their faces and made our way back to camp. This was the first time I met a white plastic medicine man claiming to be 'Native American'.
 
Once back we were happy to see others that the main encampment had deemed as undesirables. On that bluff we got our own groove underway, passing the pipe and beating on drums. One the Wiccans from work along with her husband came into our camp just to get juiced up on drink than told me - "Once we get back to work, I wasn't here with you guys, okay?"
 
'Oh great' I thought 'Come here to drink our booze, but she doesn't want anyone from work to know she was partying with us.'
 
The next morning when a large gathering of Christian RVers encamped on the other side of Jamestown Campground, an envoy of concerned Wiccans entered our camp requesting we be a buffer betwixt them and the new arrivals. Oh how they feigned friendship. Lying to them we agreed, but when the Christians began harassing these moon bugs, we of the bluff did nothing in the way of assisting them except hurling a few dirt clogs at some of them in a boat yelling at the moon bugs later that evening. We weren't good enough to camp with them, but they wanted us to fend off a horde of bible thumpers. 
 
Later we found out that the Christians came for no other reason than to protest this Wiccan -new age gathering. The owners of the campground were just happy the two gatherings had brought in so much business during the off season and did not interfere. The campground was getting ready to close down for good anyway.

Edited by Atehequa, 03 November 2014 - 01:55 PM.

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#11 Atehequa

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 01:48 PM

Hating someone else is like holding a hot coal in your hand, and trying to burn someone else with it.

I am Jewish, German, Native and white, and probably 10-15 other nationalities.... No way I could hold onto racial or religious hate, just because I could never be at peace with myself. All cultures (every single one) kill and offend someone else at some point.... Holding ońo that pain just ensures the pain continues, and that's how we pass our pain onto other generations...

Recipricicity - maybe my highest value... Certainly up there...

I love your story by the way - it's great that you know your families history so well! Really cool.

*******************************************************

If it had actually got hateful, my huge Teutonic friend who we affectionately call 'Bear' would of probably grabbed a moon bug and used him as a club to beat the others. No it was rudeness probably tinged with a bit of racism as we with the exception of Bear were the only non-white people there. 


Edited by Atehequa, 03 November 2014 - 01:48 PM.

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#12 hawkwind

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 03:32 PM

I hate racism in any form! I live in Pennsylvania the northeastern part. We have alot of native american history here. The one tribe I was told about by a member of the tribe was called Tonawada tribe. The town where there settlement was is named after them. He told me that most of his tribe died bc of disease from the white man. I have the utmost respect for Native Americans. To me the U.S. is their country that white man viciously stole. Atehequa,you story is very enlightening. I genuinely say this from the heart I respect you and your strength!


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#13 Horne

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 04:39 PM

That's a lot of crap and disrespect you had to endure there, Atehequa, I would have been seriously pissed off as well! Making you set up camp apart from the main one is already questionable, then being called a "troublemaker" for calling out someone on their BS pretending to represent the heritage of your people is utterly intolerable! The wiccan and her husband should not have hung out with you if she was afraid being openly seen or associated with you, people like that aren't friends, friends are people being proud and happy to know you, what a total bitch! Damn, and then being asked to help out by people who don't really want you there, I have no words...  I can understand your anger towards those people really well!


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“Awake becomes
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#14 Barnstock

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 05:04 PM

Atahequa, your story gives a good description of people who play at being something, rather than actually being what they claim to be. In my estimation, it's a matter of wearing stripes that haven't been earned. The mask always falls off at the first sign of trouble. The most shameful thing was that they came to you for help when faced with conflict, rather than deal with it themselves, worse yet, that to this day it's very unlikely that they understand that it was a bad thing or why.

 

It always seems that these "plastic shamans" have the coolest names; White Wolf, Grey Wolf, Red Wolf, Bear Claw, Treebeard, etc. You never meet anyone calling themselves Skunk tail, Sneaking Possum, or Turkey Waddle. I guess that's the first rule of being a fake shaman, pick an animal regarded as regal in modern society's view, add a color, and bam! instant shaman. It's a sad fact of the world we live in, and I sympathize with your dismay and anger.


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#15 RoseRed

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 05:06 PM

Lying to them we agreed,

 

 

 

That really surprises me. 


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#16 Guest_monsnoleedra_*

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 05:31 PM

That really surprises me. 

 

 

Sort of surprises me as well.  While I can't prove my Native heritage I've always been told lying was one of the worse offenses.  If your words are no good then the person is no good.  Granted maybe some of that corrupted Noble Savage crap that has clung to my families clannish history and beliefs but a man's word is his truth and binding.

 

I don't think Atehequa meant it in such a way if I follow his normal writings.  Still is something to pause upon though.


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#17 ArcticWitch

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 05:35 PM

Did you ever ask the Grand High Priestess Poo-Bah of the Fluffies why they wanted you to set up camp away from the main encampment?  (Just playing devil's advocate here- reading your story, the first thing that came to my mind is that the festival had an agreement with the campground limiting the number of tents in the main encampment, with the bluff area set aside as an overflow area.)


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#18 Atehequa

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 05:46 PM

That really surprises me. 

Why? Some NDNs are great liars as well as thieves and gamblers. Ever heard how we use to get horses?

 

It was like saying 'Yeah you folk go back down to your encampment and feel secure we won't let anything bad happen.' Especially after they segregated us and got all haughty to boot. 


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#19 Atehequa

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 06:17 PM

Did you ever ask the Grand High Priestess Poo-Bah of the Fluffies why they wanted you to set up camp away from the main encampment?  (Just playing devil's advocate here- reading your story, the first thing that came to my mind is that the festival had an agreement with the campground limiting the number of tents in the main encampment, with the bluff area set aside as an overflow area.)

*******************************************************

 

Well we were some of the first to arrive and there was plenty of tent sites available down where the main encampment was to be. I think we were kind enough in not setting up camp there regardless of what they wanted. We were kind enough not to go on the war path. After we were regular patrons of Jamestown Campground. Aside from a few coworkers, I had never seen any of those people there before that Autumn Dance.

 

Perhaps the event's organizers knew the Christians were going to show and were using us as free security/mercenaries. Aside from my cousin Suzee and the Lumbee, the other four of us are rather sizable people. We probably could of run roughshod over them all, but our intentions were friendly. It turned out alright, especially after some Heathens joined us upon our bluff. The Christians bothered us not. It was weird how they took john boats along side the Wiccan encampment and scolded them. From our bluff we hurled dirt clogs and hunks of wet yellow clay at their small craft. That is because their loud scoffing was molesting our holiday getaway. I think Bear threatened to jack somebody up at the campground store, but nothing came from it. He's usually the peaceful sort, but has been known to go foaming at the mouth berserk on occasion. Things could of got worse, we could of brought some Pamunkey boys with us, or maybe even a few Charles City County Chickahominy. 

 

Ever hear drums, rattles, rasps, flutes and bull roarers  sound at once? However our attempts at throat singing sounded more like the croaking of bullfrogs. We made great music upon that high bit of riverbank. 


Edited by Atehequa, 03 November 2014 - 06:18 PM.

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#20 Atehequa

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Posted 03 November 2014 - 06:25 PM

The Great Bear, About 6'9" and over 300LBs, a mountain of flesh and a good fellow to have around when things go sideways -

 

Attached File  2uh35fb.jpg   140.67KB   0 downloads


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