Thursday, January 24, 2008
©2008 Turtle Heart
Wherever I have traveled, I make bears. Mhuk-wa. Mhuk-wa helps me find the medicine, helps me to remember that I know my way. Italians are not so interested in American Indian art. Not like, say, Germany, where it is almost a national passion. They actually have Eagle Feather stores in Germany. In Italy not so much. In general Italians do not have a habit for acquiring art as they do in say, everywhere else. Especially the Southwest. In Taos you will find an actual collection of commendable art of several cultures in nearly every home, at every station of life from the near homeless to the rich. Italians are famous for their sense of design. They are not big collectors of art. As an artist I have taken this news in a sort of mixed media way. I try to make things, first, using native materials. We have several unique stones found only here two, I have tried to feel the emotion and history of the island and let my intuition work through what I feel. The result has been some new work for me as an artist. It was perhaps import for me to see that such a thing is possible. Is an artist only the style in which he or she works?
People reviewing my portfolio often tell me they are looking at the works of several artists. I usually take this as a compliment, but it is more often posed as a question. I like to experiment as an artist and explore new ideas. My art transports me to a state of mind, at the very least, in which I can think about the sacred, the mystery life. I have learned many things about sacred pipe by paintings I have made of pipes, and carving pipes.
Here in Italy I have been carving, painting and learning about Tanit. And Italian tourists want to buy something from Pantelleria, they could mostly care less about my Indian art. As an artist this has been good for me. I am trying new things, trying to express what I am learning from and about Tanit and about this land where I now live, Pantelleria.
Everybody, it turns out, likes my little bears. I have sold every bear I have ever carved, big or small. Even here on Pantelleria, the tourists will buy my bears, at least the little ones. They see that it is a bear. I tell them almost every Indian I have ever known, if not all of them, have a bear somewhere in the house. Indians like bears, from all tribes. I have sold my bears to every kind of American Indian. Maybe I will put some of my bears up on the web site and try to sell them. It is hard to make money here in the Winter. No tourists. It is the time I try to make two things every day. This winter work gets me ready for the arrival of the “season”, so the more I make the better chances of some good earnings in the season.
This little bear that is in the photo with the article. He is made of Pantellerite, a subtype of volcanic rock that is found only on this island in the world. It is a very hard and fine-grained stone. It has a lot of character. On the island it is used for doorways, cornerstones and as pavers, work for which it is well suited as well. The fine carvings you make from this stone are very resistant to weather, rain, hot and cold. It comes in a thousand shades of green only. I carve it with hard diamond tools.
Bear knows how to find medicine. He teaches us that. He teaches us that what you most need is nearby, close. He understands the plants of the forest and has great powers of protection, silence and strength. He has long been a teacher to tribal cultures, even those that do not have bears. His reputation is that good.
Sunday, January 06, 2008
American Indian Mafia
by Joseph H. Trimbach and John M. Trimbach
A must read. Anyone and everyone who has the slightest interest in really knowing the truth about Wounded Knee takeover in 1973, dennis banks, rusell means, and leonard pelitier must read this book.
The many publishers and organizations that have substituted help for real American Indian problems while giving money to the professional fund raisers of AIM should prepare themselves for some revelations and possible future indictments against their plastic Indian heroes.
I can’t remember when I have felt so much relief. To finally see that someone has prepared to challenge the fantasies and misdirections of AIM, Spirit of Crazy Horse and all the Peletier propaganda designed to turn a killer into a hero may be in for a shock.
New evidence makes it all but dead certain that dennis banks was intimately involved in the torture, rape and finally murder of Ana Mae Aquash. I remember reading the empty pages of a book dennis banks wrote a few years ago. It was shocking to see how empty his spirit is for anything that I could recognize as helpful to Indian people. It was about the most empty book I have ever read.
These darlings of the media and the subjects of so many historical fantasies may in fact be exposed at last for some very brutal crimes, as well as the horrible path of destruction to real Indian people and real Indian problems left in the wake of their blind ambition for attention, and our blind ambition to somehow help the “red man”.
Retired SAC FBI Agent has presented formidable and precise, lawyerly points of disagreement about the distortions made by both AIM and the international media and which occupy the shelves of our libraries and university history departments.
The gigantic mountain of deception and misdirection perpetrated by AIM in the 1970s will no doubt prove a formidable obstacle to overturn. It seems at last to have begun in earnest. I for one am filled with hope that this clearly presented rebuttal to all things AIM and Wounded Knee, and the Means/Banks/Peletier hordes ready to believe so much based on so little, have found at last a day of reckoning.
So many people have been fooled by so few. Trimbach’s arguments are not perfect. Also he will be damned by many no matter how sterling his account really is (and it is). He speaks from his credentials. This is more than can be said about rusell means, pelitire, or dennis banks. None of these Indians have any religious, political, traditional, ceremonial or cultural credentials. They are not “medicine men”, they have zero credentials as protectors of the sacred.
Perhaps over the years they have had the opportunity to listen to some of these people. Not one of those people would have told them to kill Ana Mae or those FBIi agents, of that I am certain. They would have told them to respect the many old Indian people in the village of Wounded Knee and not to steal all their possessions, destroy their homes, and treat them with indifference and brutality.
Trimbach’s words ring true because they match his actions and come from his verifiable experience. No, his words are not perfect but they are important words that ARE part of the true story of what happened when these celebrated gangsters were given their chance to appear as leaders and inspirations for all Indian people.
Many of us hope that this important new point of view could be the beginning of the world seeing at last what is really going on at Pine Ridge American Indian reservation and maybe actually do something real about it. Aside from the revenge murders of some of their opposition, the “warriors” of AIM have done nothing for Pine Ridge, ever.
I for one am nauseated that people like leonard pelitier’s could be mentioned in the same breath as names like Crazy Horse or Nelson Mandala. Mandala never walked up to two helpless people and put a bullet in their brain. This is the act of a coward, not a hero. Crazy Horse did not go into the homes of his tribal neighbors and steal their personal belongings. Crazy Horse was a serious traditional Indian man who followed his sacred teachings every day. His power came from walking in a sacred manner. These Indians who are so famous and are the cause of worry by millions and millions of people around the world have walked the earth as armed robbers, with rifles and cowboy boots. They have beaton and murdered many of the sacred women who reached out to them and helped them. Their cold brutality to the sacred women tells the whole story of who these men are. Many, many people witnessed leonard pelitier put a pistol in Anna Mae’s mouth and threaten to kill her.
This guy Trimbach is kicking ass and taking names. Old J Edgar would be proud, and I mean that in the highest sense of tradition. As an organizer and investigator, Hoover was brilliant and disciplined. His ranking officers of this period were precise agents of a free and brilliantly executed democratic recognition of the constitution and the responsibilities of government to protect its citizens. Yes, they made some mistakes. I don't believe they made any important ones at Wounded Knee.
I think the people of Pine Ridge should invite Trimbach there and make a big honors dance for him and a give away. I would dance for him and his agents and I probably will. I hope some tribe will do it. I encourage some tribe to do it.
Let the truth be known though the heavens may fall.
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Buy a copy and donate it to your local library or university.
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