LUPUS AND NATIVES, NATIVES AND HUNTING [HUNTER GRAY JANUARY 3, 2004] ADDED MATERIAL 2/23/05
NOTE BY HUNTER BEAR: 2/23/05
[You may have to type out this Link to get it. -- H]
So far, very little Federal money indeed is allocated to study and actively
combat the various forms of Lupus.
Laguna Pueblo, like all human settings, produces its share of gifted
people. Among them are the notable poet, Paula Gunn Allen, and the splendid
writer, Leslie Marmon Silko. [I know some of the relatives of each and
knew Leslie Marmon when she was a baby.]
Among her many fascinating poems, Paula Allen has one, "Dear World," which
addresses the terrible struggle a mixed blood [Native and Anglo] mother
has with Lupus:
"A halfbreed woman" . . . can hardly do anything else / but attack herself."
". . . eyes burn, / they tear themselves apart . . . / her joints swell to
point / of explosion, eruption," . . . . "when
volatile substances are intertwined, / when irreconcilable opposites meet, /
the crucible and its contents vaporize."
Paula Gunn Allen, Skins and Bones: Poems 1979-1987 [Albuquerque: West End,
various editions including 1988.]
[My variety of Lupus, although frequently lethal, is only moderately
painful. Personally, I'm feeling better these past several days. Let's just
hope it holds.]
Paula Gunn Allen tends to see a mother's dichotomous ancestry [Native and
Anglo] as being at perennially cutting loggerheads [ in addition,
complicated by demanding gender responsibilities] and also sees the
body-attacking Lupus in the same basic vein. No question about Lupus, and
in no way am I questioning Paula Gunn Allen's assessment of the mother and
the family situation, but mixed bloods have been very common in Native circles
for a very long time indeed -- centuries in some cases -- and discrimination
against them by other Native people is rare.
And I also strongly recommend Leslie Marmon Silko's literary works. In
Ceremony [New York, Viking/Penguin, 1977 -- and many subsequent editions],
the chief protagonist, Tayo, a Laguna, and a recently returned World War II
vet, reflects on the hideous damage done to Hiroshima and Nagasaki:
"Even if he [Tayo] could have taken the old man [Ku'oosh, the Elder] to see
areas, even if he could have led him through the fallen jungle trees and
muddy craters of torn earth to show him the dead, the old man would not have
believed anything so monstrous. Ku'oosh would have looked at the dismembered
corpses and the atomic heat-flash outlines, where human bodies had
evaporated, and the old man would have said something close and terrible had
killed these people. Not even old time witches killed like that."
Like the Navajo, the Lagunas have been hit in deadly fashion by the effects
of uranium mining, milling and refining. Hunterbear
Micmac / St Francis Abenaki / St
From the mountains of southeastern Idaho
It's critical to always keep fighting -- and to always remember that, if one
lives with grace, he/she should be prepared to die with grace.