Navajo lady weaving on traditional loom, complex designs made from wool threads from her multi-color sheep and goats which she watches over while weaving. Note the hogan, her stone house.
This summer, it is bad news for a number of Southwestern native tribes. In the news are stories about suicide on the once-proud Navajo tribes of the Four Corners Region. I know this area very well, I have had relations with other Arizona tribes, intense relations for an outsider, the disintegration of these tribes, the annihilation of their culture and their deep despair is not due to the government being cruel to them but due entirely to welfare lifestyles and money, US dollars, flowing in effortlessly causing social chaos and loss of culture.
Navajo Cops – YouTube try to cope with suicides and drink/drug addictions, 50% unemployment and no survival skills.
l have watched this from a front row seat. I knew the tribes when only a very small child, uniformly, the tribes were wonderfully kind to me and my whole family. They had very little and shared simple meals, we ran about with the dogs and horses and did wild and wonderful things, all outside in Nature. And then…it all began to change in the 1960s.
Navajo, Diné, Indians of New Mexico, Arizona,1945 Documentary – YouTube
This old movie talks about the reservations, I am highly familiar with the 4 Corners tribes, been there many times. What saddens me, watching this tourist video, is that the ladies of the Tribe wore the most beautiful clothing and jewelry, much of which I have even today. I loved it so much, I wore it, myself, a great deal. The velvet tops and flowing skirts were wonderful garb!
When I retired to my own upstate NY farm, I had a large flock of sheep as a fond reminder about how Navajo made most of their culture on the back of horses (we had horses, too) and I did things the old way…and the Navajo are being destroyed like my little sheep farm: free trade has turned most Navajo into welfare families. Useless and hopeless, it is now pure hell for them all.
Russell Begaye and Jonathan Nez, Navajo Nation’s president and vice president, respectively, issued an executive order earlier that month designating the third week of December and one week in June for focusing on preventing suicide after a recent spate of deaths rocked the tribe.
While suicide has long taken a disproportionate number of Native American lives, Begaye said in a recent interview with The Daily Beast that the spike in his community is new, and pointed to an unusual potential factor in the uptick: a destructive wastewater spill this past summer that impacted Navajo lands.
Begaye told The Daily Beast he was concerned that the destruction caused by the Colorado’s Gold King Mine spill last August may be contributing to the suicide uptick and that the drawn-out clean-up efforts exacerbate the struggles that members of his community…
“EPA and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (with EPA funding) provided over 1 million gallons of livestock and agricultural water, and nearly 8,500 bales of hay, to Navajo communities along the San Juan River. The agency deployed staff to the Navajo Nation Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Window Rock, Arizona, and sent community involvement staff to engage with Navajo communities impacted by the spill. The agency continues to offer the Navajo Nation support regarding data collection and analysis and long-term watershed monitoring.”
What? The Animas river, I have played on that gorgeous river with stunning views! Ruined, but this isn’t causing the despair. The despair has been brewing much of my life. Marriage is collapsing slower than black marriages which have virtually disappeared. But the culture is definitely vanishing, bit by painful bit.
This 80 year old rug was made with natural dyes from the rocks and plants of Northern Arizona and New Mexico. These don’t fade hardly at all. Note the fine details, the strong design, representations of the gods of farming and animals, a celebration of the summer monsoon rains.
The reds tell me, this is modern dyes, not made from plants like in the past. The design is beautifully done but not even remotely as skillful a design as the much older rug. I remember the old rugs! My family, my godmother’s family, had these, the old rugs, everywhere. It is sad, watching all this slowly die but then, the sheep business has been utterly annihilated by free trade.
Across the planet, ‘native tribal’ people are suffering culture shock, losing their cultures. The women watched the sheep and wove the most amazing blankets while the men did amazing silver work, tended the cattle, cured skins, hunted coyotes, and made all the dwellings. This vibrant, amazing semi-desert/mountain/river culture has been most effectively killed during the last 50 years with it accelerating.
The loss of culture is very depressing. But there is a sense of what has been lost in the Tribes whereas black communities have nearly nothing to grasp except a few triumphs during Jim Crow years which saw a very vibrant culture and marriage struggling to make way against a strong tide. The disintegration of all native cultures is a tremendous loss for all humanity.
HISTORY OF THE PUEBLO & HOPI PEOPLE INDIAN TRIBE “THE PUEBLO HERITAGE” 76024 – YouTube and old video about the Hopi tribes that live next door to the Navajo and who predate them, farming in Northern Arizona for over 1,000 years. The Navajo, before they ended up living in mostly trailers, lived in small groups who moved about with the sheep. the Hopi, on the other hand, lived in literal cities and towns and left spectacular ruins in Arizona and New Mexico.
They were, last time I visited, very much against interacting with outsiders. It was a very delicate negotiation to visit them. The Navajo and the Hopi looked very similar to each other 100 years ago, today, they look more and more like everyone else and will lose their culture relentlessly as they buy into modern society. It breaks the heart to see the video above, of ladies making pottery! Exquisite.
Over the past century, however, the sovereign lands of the Hopi Tribe have been continually reduced through takings by the United States and litigation with the Navajo Tribe. As a result of these actions, access to Hopi ancestral sites and sacred places has become increasingly difficult and, in some instances, dangerous. Shrines are also being desecrated by vandalism or “use” by non-Indians.
The religious practices of the Hopi people are embedded in the landscape that the deity, “Ma’saw,” gave to them when they entered into a covenant to earn stewardship of the earth. The ceremonies, pilgrimages and rituals that sustain the Hopi religion are inextricably linked to shrines that were established in ancient times at specific springs, mountain peaks and other sacred areas. These shrines were created in accordance with divine instructions as a permanent testament to the Hopi’s covenant with Ma’saw. Each shrine and sacred place contains an irreplaceable life essence that prohibits any relocation or alteration of the shrine.
Oh, do I know this! The tribe living with Kitt Peak did the same and were very upset when the Kitt Peak Observatory people expanded facilities without permission. The Tribe thought we were going to live there, not strangers! Now, the Tribe has no access and in return, put up gates and fences to keep out outsiders.
70 years ago, the Hopi tribes were considered to be the most intelligent of all Tribes. But the tsunami of modern life is wiping out even this, literally: Native Americans: The Tragedy of Alcoholism
16 PM EDT
Native Americans: The Tragedy of Alcoholism
BY PALASH GHOSH @GOOCH700 ON 02/11/12 AT 10:10 AM
Native Americans of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation near Whiteclay, Nebraska, have filed a $500-million lawsuit against beer manufacturers for the devastation that alcohol has wreaked on their community for decades.
The Oglala Sioux Tribe said the extraordinary sum they are asking for would be used to pay for health care, social services and child rehabilitation.
As in many other Native American communities in the U.S. and Canada, alcohol abuse has destroyed the lives of many in the reservation. For example, one-fourth of the tribe’s children suffer from fetal disorders related to their parents’ alcoholism.
The illegal sale and trade in alcohol in Whiteclay is open, notorious and well documented by news reports, legislative hearings, movies, public protests and law enforcement activities, the lawsuit stated.
Not only have the plaintiffs targeted the largest beer-makers in the world – including Anheuser-Busch InBev Worldwide, SAB Miller, Molson Coors Brewing, MillerCoors, and Pabst Brewing, but the lawsuit also named four beer sellers in the town of Whiteclay as defendants.
And how bad it this for black children? Same problems! Same inability to cope. Wasted: Horrifying photos of parents passed out by school bus after overdosing in their car with four-year-old boy in the backseat reveal the terrible toll of the opioid epidemic sweeping America and these are ‘white’ European stock parents. Sad, isn’t it? And it really is. People are giving up hope and falling into ruin right before our eyes.
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