The Great Sun and the Pyramids of North America

Paz! Tau!

Here are two videos that I wanted to share. The give some information and insight to the truth about our people, the Original people on this part of the planet Earth. Through exploitation and lies we were made to appear as "savages" and as simply running around in loin cloth, living in tee pees and hunting buffalo when the Europeans arrived. Some tribes maybe. However overall we were building. For the Earth is to be built on. As well, we often just associate "pyramids" in America with the Mexica (Aztec) and Mayan civilizations. However, pyramids were and are being found all over the wilderness of North and South America (Abya Yala). The first video is about the city of Cahokia and the pyramid city of the Mississippi. the second video is about the pyramids in Georgia. More to be revealed.


Environmental Racism and "US"

Paz! Tau!

Las matematicas de hoy son 'sabiduria y cultura'. Today's mathematics is wisdom culture. I wanted to add on with a article regarding environmental racism, in honor of "Earth day" and more important the history and relationship of Original people to the land and their environment. Much love to my Brother C'BS Alife for addressing this topic previous and consistently. It is something that remains 'unknown' to many of our people, let alone the masses in general. And today's degree in the Supreme Alphabet is 'X', which in the science of mathematics is a variable that stands for the 'unknown' or an unknown value. So I wanted to make the unknown known and bring the arms of the letter "X" in on this one point, or topic.

Native Americans, Blacks, and Latinos - The Effects of Environmental Racism on People of Color in the US
Nicole Iaquinto | March 25, 2008 - 4:04 pm

Since the end of state sponsored segregation in the 1954
with Brown v. Board of Education decision,
the prevailing myth of American prosperity has convinced the people that there
are no structural racial barriers to keep minorities from reaching the American
dream. Fancy cars, stately houses prestigious educations, high powered jobs,
and a life of material wealth is available to all who work hard enough to
achieve it. According to this mindset, it is thought that all individuals have
the freedom of social mobility. These individuals, despite race or class, are
believed to have the ability to live anywhere they please, working their way up
from low income areas to the suburbs if they so desire. In light of this claim,
I feel it is my responsibility to challenge this potentially dangerous
ideology. This misleading argument discourages the claim that people's living
situations are affected by the state in any way. It is in this sense that the
claim is dangerous, considering that it is widely accepted by the majority of
the population of the United
States, but the facts simply do not line up
with the reality of the situation. The reoccurring pattern of waste facilities
and toxic dumping areas being located near or in minority communities cannot
simply be a mere coincidence. There is a severe and obvious environmental
racism problem in the United
States, and innocent people are suffering
due to the majority of the population's refusal to recognize the problem.

The same pattern of minority suffering is seen over and over
again. Those people who are considered African Americans, Native Americans, or
Latinos are consistently counted among those who live in areas with the most
hazardous health conditions, sites to toxic waste facilities, and low income
housing projects. In the 1987 Commission for Racial Justice, it is stated that
three of the five largest waste facilities dealing with hazardous materials in
the United States
are located in poor black communities. This study also showed that three out of
every five African American and Latinos live in areas near toxic waste sites,
as well as live in areas where the levels of poverty are well above the
national average. African Americans and Latinos are not the only ones to
suffer; Native Americans also experience environmental racism in their
communities. Many Native Americans who live in communities where most people
are below poverty level face some of the worst toxic pollution problems in the
country. The 1987 Commission for Racial Justice stated that "approximately half
of all Native Americans live in communities with an uncontrolled toxic waste
site." Faced with statistics such as these, it is hard to believe that this
pattern is completely coincidental. Whether or not these instances are
completely arbitrary or consciously planned does not change the fact that an
innocent group of people are being systematically disadvantaged and being made
to suffer.

Living near toxic waste facilities and living in low income
housing has caused many disparities among the poor and minority communities.
Hazardous materials affect almost every aspect of the community's lives. The
food people eat, the water they drink, and the air they breathe are all
affected by these facilities. Homes, schools, and the workplace are deemed
unsafe because of environmental hazards in the buildings, which remain widely
under cared for and outdated. Recent studies have shown that children of color
who live in poor areas are more likely to attend schools filled with asbestos,
live in home with peeling led paint, and play in parts that are contaminated.
These same children are nearly nine times more likely than economically
advantaged children to be exposed to lead levels so high they can cause severe
learning disabilities as well as other neurological disorders. Even more
startling, 96 percent of African American children who live in inner cities
have unsafe amounts of lead in their blood. Poor and minority citizens of such
areas have little or no control over such environmental factors, nor do they
have the means to protect themselves.

It is no secret that most people who live in low income
areas in the United States
are people of color. These groups of people are vulnerable to states demands,
as they have very limited mobility, few economic resources, and are severely
underrepresented in their local and state governments to reject such unsafe
facilities coming into their community. Unlike in more affluent areas, those
living in low income areas cannot simply take off work to attend town meetings
or protest against environmental hazards like richer people may be able to do.
The vicious circle of discrimination continued further after the environmental
hazards are present in society. Children cannot attend schools due to the
unsafe conditions of the buildings or because of sicknesses caused by harmful
materials inside the schools. In turn, the community lacks an educated
citizenry. Less children end up getting a higher education which allows them to
get good jobs and move out of slums. The same goes for adults in the workplace.
Those who find themselves already disadvantaged are faced with the prospect of
only being stuck in dead end jobs. The jobs available in such areas are
dangerous to ones health and low paying. It is inconceivable to move a family
out of a low income area on wages that barely cover living expenses.

When such citizens are discriminated against by the state
for simply being born poor or of a different color other than white, it turns
into discrimination beyond belief. These people are denied the hope of
achieving the American dream of prosperity for reasons they could never
conceive to control. One cannot deny that the state, which is supposed to be
protecting citizens, is taking advantage of the poor's lack of resources to
fight such injustices as those in more economically advantaged positions would
be able to. In the "Land of the Free" should such disparities be tolerated with
little or no resistance?

The consequences of environmental racism are of the utmost
importance to consider. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people get sick
(and some die) because of things like lead poisoning, asbestos poisoning,
drinking water and eating food that has been contaminated by hazardous waste
facilities or unfit buildings. These same people suffer from an inability to
remove themselves from these dangerous situations because of a lack of mobility
caused by lack of education, lack of employment, and lack of proper political
connection. These inefficiencies are all created and strengthened by the
structures that claim the necessity of reaching for the "American Dream."

Much of the statistical information was take from:

White, Harvey L. "Race, Class, and Environmental
Hazards." Ed. David E
Camacho. Environmental
Injustices, Political Struggles: Race, Class, and the Environment. Durham & London: Duke University
Press, 1998.

Everybody is a
potential victim, but people of color are more likely to feel the effects of
environmental racism:

* Communities with a single hazardous waste facility were
found to have twice the percentage of minorities as communities were found to
have twice the percentage of minorities as communities without a facility,
while communities with two or more facilities have more than three times the
minority representation than communities without any such sites.

*Three of the five largest commercial hazardous waste
landfills in the United States, accounting for approximately 40 percent of the
total commercial landfill capacity, are located in overwhelmingly African or
Hispanic American communities.

*Children of color
who live in poor areas are more likely to attend schools filled with asbestos,
live in home with peeling led paint, and play in parts that are contaminated.
These same children are nearly nine times more likely than economically
advantaged children to be exposed to lead levels so high they can cause severe
learning disabilities as well as other neurological disorders.

* Even more startling, 96 percent of African American
children who live in inner cities have unsafe amounts of lead in their blood...

*...85 percent of African American children in cities are
estimated to have unsafe lead levels, compared to 47 percent of white children.

Check out my website
for more info on environmental racism: http://therevolutionarytimes.googlepages.com/home. If this topic
interests you, you'll find more links and resources (including a detailed
annotated bibliography) on the website to help you get started on some further


Folk Songs of Brazil: Remembering our Roots

Paz! Tau!

Las matematicas de hoy son 'sabiduria y comprendimiento'. Today's mathematics is wisdom understanding. Wisdom, through your words and ways, is an expression of knowledge, ideas, information. Knowledge is the foundation of all things. It is through the wisdom of our people and our our elders, that we can gain a greater understanding or our foundation. That is, who we are, where we've been and where we're going. Below is an article from UTNE magazine (much love to "The Latin Americanist" for the link) about folkloric song and dance in Brazil, where many Afro-Indigenous traditions are preserved.

Slave Songs in Brazil

Tia Maria, an 87-year-old Brazilian woman, wears a homemade jungle-print cloth dress, a matching head wrap in the style of her African ancestors, and a necklace of thick wooden beads. She lives in a tidy turquoise house, unique in her Rio de Janeiro neighborhood of unpainted cement-block dwellings, most of which are covered in the graffiti that tattoo the historic, violence-weary city’s buildings like a single, furiously written sentence.

On this afternoon, Tia Maria sits barefoot, surrounded by 25 children in her courtyard a two-hour drive away from the tourist-filled beaches of Ipanema. She begins to sing, in Portuguese, in a rough, startlingly strong voice:

This jongo ain’t no fighting song!
But its rhythm holds us until the end!

The children follow suit, playing drums in perfect time and echoing the rhyming refrain in squeakily pitched voices. With hands spread apart as if they’re flying, pairs of children as young as 6 tap out a two-four rhythm with their feet and lunge into the circle to dance. This continues for the next couple of hours, until the sun begins to set on the overhanging star fruit trees and Tia Maria grows tired.

Tia Maria, whose full name is Maria de Lourdes Mendes, is one of the oldest living practitioners of jongo, a ritual preserved by escaped African slaves and their descendents in Rio de Janeiro and its neighboring states. Afro-Brazilians used jongo to honor their ancestors, to sing of the pangs of slavery, and even, researchers say, to communicate with one another in a code their overseers couldn’t understand. With its innuendo-inflected storytelling, its call-and-response lyrics, and its competitive yet playful pairings of encircled dancers, jongo is seen by folklorists as a great-grandparent of the treasured samba. A few years ago, it was in danger of dying out, but with the help of a Brazilian government program called GriĆ“ Action, jongo and other cultural practices are being rerouted away from history’s dustbin and into the 21st century.

Jongo was an adults-only midnight dance. “My neighbor would have people to her house to pray to the saints. But when it came time to dance jongo, they put the children to sleep,” says Tia Maria, speaking of her childhood in a Rio slum. “We pretended to be sleeping, but we watched every little thing.”

When she was in her 60s, Tia Maria and two other jongo practitioners made a radical decision: They would teach jongo to neighborhood children. The masters worried that people were forgetting the ritual and an intervention was needed to save it from disappearance.

To read the entire article: http://www.utne.com/2008-03-01/Arts/Slaves-Songs-in-Brazil.aspx


Rediscovering the "Original Nation"


Las matematicas de hoy son 'conocimiento y dios'. El grado en el alfabeto supremo es "Reina". Today's mathematics is 'knowledge God'. Today's degree in the Supreme Alphabet is "Queen".

Today, I would like to focus on a specific number, "17", and it's significance to us within the Nation of Gods and Earths. The first place in our lessons that we see this number is the 1-10 Student Enrollment, the 3rd degree, which states:

"What is the total population of the Original Nation of the Wilderness of North America and all over the planet Earth?

Answer: The total population of the Original Nation in the Wilderness of North America is 17 million, with 2 million being Indian, making it a total population of 19 million. And all over the planet Earth, 4 billion 400 million."

The number "17" corresponds with the "17 million" of African descent here in the U.S. during the time when the degree was written, 1934. The science behind this degree is in how the word 'original' is used in reference to 'nation'. Original in the context of our paradigm, means "of color" as well as "from the beginning", as in the "first peoples", indigenous peoples. It was a point to mention the distinct population of Native Americans to spark the conscious of the people and create solidarity. For as I have mentioned in previous blogs, the basis for Native and African peoples coming together is both political and cultural. However, it is often confused to be solely political, which limits our understanding of each other and ourselves, as well as our ability to continue to elevate to our highest state of consciousness and existence. We are brothers and sisters and are one people. We came together prior to colonialism, not just in the struggle and poverty of the urban jungle or chattel slavery. Thus, this is why we can see the term 'Original NATION' as referring to the coming together and existing together, of both peoples, building, "nation building". This is important to understand because a large population of so-called African Americans has Native blood and as most of us of so-called Latin Americans know African and Native blood is the majority of who we are. Despite the emphasis we were taught to place on Spain and our Spanish blood. So we can understand now, as well from the video I chose to post, that the merging of Native and African culture and people is not solely the result of slavery and is who we are, beyond Spanish interjection and inference. If anything they just furthered the reality, and of course through in their "two cents" (DNA). But they are not the anchor for who we are. We are the Original people on this part of the planet Earth, Nativos y Africanos, one people.

Many Native Americans, as well as so-called Latin Americans, have the misconception that the mixing of African and Indian is something that was primarily characteristic of the Carribean, South and Central America (to a degree) and the U.S. South, as the result of slavery. Research and studies have shown, from archeaology and anthropology, that Africans were travelling to the Americas and trading and building with the Native peoples way before the arrival of Columbus. Most supportive evidence has been found in Mexico, the Carribean and South America. However, much evidence shows and proves this in North America as well, especially from tribal stories handed down through the centuries. One of which was captured in the following video. Please watch and enjoy, and reconsider your history.

Peace! PAZ!


Native Sovereignty and the State of U.S. Politics

Paz! Tau!

Las matematicas de hoy son 'conocimiento y cultura'. The knowledge of who we are is kept alive and perpetuated through 'culture'. It is often the knowledge (or ideas and ethics that become the 'foundation' for someone's life) affects the way we interact and exist amongst other cultures. Namely, 'U.S.' culture, whatever that truly is. Knowing what is our culture and what is not allows us to move forward with self-determination because we can become empowered to make choices in the best interest of our Nation's well-being and autonomy. Below is an article that was originally published on April 10th. I wanted to repost it because it really shows the current state of politics that we as Original people are caught within. We continue to struggle between our own sovereignty and the politics of the oppressor. As we see, the U.S. government is willing to risk of lives of the poor and underprivileged in attempts to "threaten" relations with Venezuela. If you haven't been keeping up with what's been going on, I suggest that you do because it has everything to do with our everday lives. Especially when BUSH has begun labeling anyone who is opposed to the Free Trade Agreement with Colombia a "Chavez Supporter" and is starting to demonize those who accept aid from Venezuela or even are sympathetic to 'La Revolucion'.

Within the Nation of Gods and Earths, the 14th letter is N, which stands for "Now, Nation or End". Now is the ultimately the past, present and future. It is NOW, in which we must mobilize ourselves for the sake of our NATION or we shall surely end. That means building from a strong foundation so that our culture can be around to empower our people to be the best human beings they can be. It also means making decisions in the best interest of our families. Decisions and perspectives that may not be parallel with the determined agenda of those in government who manufacture public opinion.

We are seeing that we are at a point in history where the "powers that be" are truly feeling threaten by the power of the people and the prescence of solidarity. Especially between Original people- Native, so-called "Latin" and "African" Americans. Palante Siempre!

U.S. Native Americans Lead Opposition to Designation of Venezuela as Terrorist Nation
April 10th 2008, by Gale Courey Toensing - Indian Country Today

INDIAN ISLAND, Maine - Members of the Penobscot Indian Nation are spearheading opposition to a congressional resolution that would designate Venezuela as a state sponsor of terrorism.

James Sappier, former Penobscot Indian Nation chief, and Erlene Paul, the head of Penobscot's Human Services Department, said House Resolution 1049 threatens not only a program in which the South American country has provided free heating oil to hundreds of American Indian and low-income communities for the past three winters, but would also jeopardize the good relationships tribal members have developed with Venezuelans and could impact oil imports for the entire U.S.

Sappier said he has alerted the tribes involved to contact their congressional representatives to vote against the resolution.

''It's the least we can do. Why would Congress do this? The program has provided a donation to the U.S. low-income and poor people of almost a billion dollars over the years when domestic oil companies did nothing.

''We're worried sick that we're going to lose the program because of this kind of frivolous attitude of some congressmen. But it wouldn't be just the tribes that would be affected; it would be everyone. If you think your oil prices are high now, imagine what they'd be if we stopped getting oil from Venezuela - that's 14 to 16 percent of our imports,'' Sappier said.

Venezuela provides the U.S. with about 1.4 million barrels of crude oil per day.

The resolution was introduced March 13 by Florida Republican Reps. Connie Mack and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. It asks the State Department to place Venezuela on a list of countries that provide support to terrorist organizations, a designation that would impose a number of sanctions on Venezuela and U.S. companies and individuals that do business there. Other countries on the list are North Korea, Iran, Syria, Cuba and Sudan.

Seven other Republicans representing Southern states co-sponsored the resolution.

The resolution puts forth a number of unsubstantiated allegations first published in a New York Times front-page story March 30 - and repeated in a number of mainstream media outlets since then - that claimed laptops captured from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia contain potentially ''smoking gun'' evidence tying Venezuela's government to the Colombian guerilla group. FARC, a self-proclaimed Marxist-Leninist group that formed in the 1960s to represent poor rural Colombia's against the wealthier classes, is designated a terrorist group by the U.S., Europe and Colombia.

The resolution is ''really a fabrication,'' Sappier said. ''One of the elements we've been interested in is that none of the states who are acting to sanction Venezuela participated in the heating oil program or got to know the Venezuelans. I don't know what their motivation is.''

Maine's Wabanaki tribes - the Penobscot, the Passamaquoddy, the Maliseet and the Micmac - were the first to enter into the heating oil agreement with Venezuela in 2005. Sappier was a co-signatory to the initial document and Paul administered the program for the entire state.

The program has since expanded to provide 100 million gallons a year of free heating oil to more than 200 tribes and Alaska Natives, homeless shelters and low-income families. The tribes received 25 percent of the heating oil distributed.

Mack links placing Venezuela on the terrorist list with the passage of a free trade agreement with Colombia in a press release he issued March 13.

''Naming Venezuela a state sponsor of terrorism and passing the Colombia Free Trade Agreement in Congress will strengthen the stability of the Andean region and help in the effort to preserve freedom, security and prosperity for the Latin American people. I urge my colleagues to support this important resolution,'' Mack said.

The Bush administration signed the FTA with Colombia in November 2006, but it has yet to be approved by Congress and the Senate. Some legislators oppose the FTA because of Colombia's horrific record under President Alvaro Uribe's regime of human rights violations that have been verified by a U.N.-sponsored mission and other human rights agencies. Uribe is strongly supported by the Bush administration.

Mack has gained a reputation in Congress as one of Hugo Chavez's strongest critics, referring to the democratically elected Venezuelan president as ''a strongman.''

But the resolution goes beyond unsubstantiated allegations about Venezuela's involvement with FARC. It also condemns Chavez for his relationship with Iran, quoting a U.S. Annual Threat Assessment report of Venezuela's ''expressed willingness to cooperate with [Iran] on nuclear energy.''

The quote was ''cherry-picked,'' the Venezuelan government said in a detailed response to the allegations at www.embavenez-us.org, and excluded investigators' statement that they ''are not aware of any significant developments as a result of these discussions.''

''It is worth stating that though no significant developments on nuclear energy have been produced, every country has the sovereign right to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes,'' the embassy said.

Mack also cited as evidence of Venezuela's worthiness to be on the terrorist list its agreements with Iran on military cooperation, shared intelligence, financial cooperation, civilian airline flights, and ''initiating cultural exchanges.''

Presented with some of the objections to the resolution, Mack issued the following statement to Indian Country Today: ''There is no doubt that Hugo Chavez supports the FARC, an internationally-recognized terrorist organization, with money, resources, and safe passage within his country's borders. Chavez is a clear and present danger to all those who cherish peace, freedom and security. Should the Administration put Venezuela in its rightful place as a state sponsor of terror, we would hope others would step in and provide this type of [oil] assistance to those who need it. But that is why I urged President Bush in a letter dated March 6 to have proactive policies in place to protect our national security interest and increase the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.''

Venezuelan ambassador: Terrorist resolution has 'no basis in reality'

An interview with His Excellency Bernardo Alvarez Herrera, Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, on House Resolution 1049.

Indian Country Today: It's hard to imagine anyone really believes Venezuela is a state sponsor of terrorism. What do you think is behind this resolution?

Bernardo Alvarez Herrera:This is not the first time there's been an effort to put Venezuela on the list of state sponsors of terrorism. It's always been a threat; sometimes it reflects the domestic policies of the U.S. and sometimes it expresses the degree of hostility which the administration has had with Venezuela over the years of the Bush administration. Basically, it's a way to undermine the process of change that's going on in Venezuela and also to contribute to this matrix in the public opinion that we have rogue countries, rogue states, in the hemisphere.

ICT: Congressman Connie Mack links naming Venezuela as a terrorist state to passing the free trade agreement with Colombia. How does the FTA come into play?

Alvarez: It's also not the first time they've done that. I remember when they were about to pass the FTA in Central America. There was a famous article by Donald Rumsfeld, who was Defense Secretary at that time, saying the only way to counteract President Chavez was to approve the FTA in Central America. It's always the same story - when there's no way of justifying things, you always appeal to the idea of ''national interests.'' I think they've been trying even in Congress to use that argument, telling people if you oppose the FTA you're sitting with the terrorists.

I want to make something very clear. We don't have anything to do with trade agreements between the U.S. and Colombia or the U.S. and other governments in the hemisphere. We have our own view of how we should go. We have a definite scheme of integration, but you can do all the research you want and you will find nothing about Venezuela regarding the FTAs between Latin American countries and the U.S. This is not our business. This is the sovereign right of the countries, but it is being used here, and it's clear that for the Bush administration the approval of the Colombia FTA has been like an emblematic objective.

ICT: What does that mean?

Alvarez: There was a speech by President Bush recently where he suggested in a way that the way to counteract the ''threat'' of Venezuela, etc., is to approve the FTA with what he called ''the best U.S. ally in the hemisphere'' - which is Colombia.

But don't forget - one thing is the resolution in Congress to put Venezuela on the list; but the other thing is the executive decision. The U.S. administration has been saying they have a team of lawyers studying whether Venezuela should go on this list. This is a decision they will likely make in May.

ICT: Do you think the resolution will pass in Congress?

Alvarez: There are few people who really believe that Venezuela is a terrorist country. I don't think that's going to fly in Congress, but the administration does have their lawyers studying this executive decision.

The funny thing is trade between the U.S. and Venezuela has grown from $29 billion in 2004 to $50 billion in 2007. We're the second biggest trading partner to the U.S. in the hemisphere [after Canada]. We have an incredible commercial relationship - we have the heating oil program, we have 67 players in the major leagues, 15 flights daily from Florida to Caracas. It's amazing that [the resolution] is coming from [three representatives in] Florida.

ICT: Is it a partisan issue? They're all Republicans.

Alvarez: These people want to put together a more ideological neoconservative approach and it's basically the Cold War mentality. If you read the resolution, it's the same narrative from the Cold War with lots of contradictions.

ICT: What will happen if the resolution passes or there's an executive decision to place Venezuela on the terrorist list?

Alvarez: We are ready for everything. This is a decision of the U.S. government, the U.S. companies. I think they have to understand the consequences of such a decision. I think there will be unanimous rejection from the hemisphere. I think there will be incredible and very difficult economic effects. It would be bringing that to a hemisphere that has been moving toward peace, democracy and social change - because as you know, there is a very complex situation in the Andean countries - and that will have a reaction from all the countries in Latin America.

But it will be a legacy, because it's very easy to put a country on the terrorist list, but how easy is it to take it off? And it will be a legacy that will create a lot of problems for the U.S.

ICT: What problems?

Alvarez: I want to be clear: We are a country with dignity. We do what we think we should do. We have relationships with countries all over the world. We participate freely everywhere and no one is accusing us of anything except the U.S. government. We have made our positions and we're ready to work with the world.

So, we're not begging the U.S. not to do this to us. This is a problem of the U.S. We haven't done anything to harm that relationship. I think people in the U.S. should sit down and think about this and evaluate the consequences of this.

ICT: What would happen to U.S. oil imports from Venezuela?

Alvarez: I don't know, but do you think this is a time to play with that? Do you think we can keep the heating oil program for the indigenous people of the U.S. if the U.S. puts us on a terrorist list? Imagine; put yourself in the role of Venezuela. What are we going to do? We don't know yet, but of course something is going to change. You can take that for granted. Are Venezuelans going to sit down and say, ''Sorry, U.S., we'll behave better in the future''? It's clear to everybody that this is a political decision. It has no basis in reality, none at all.


Clothing: A Perspective of Role

Paz! Tau!
Las matematicas de hoy son “construir y destruir”. El grado en el alfabeto supremo es “El o Ella”. Today’s mathematics is build and destroy. Today’s degree in the Supreme Alphabet is “He or Her”.

Build and destroy are dialectical opposites and represent the forces of creation and destruction within the universe. This is a process that is constant and is ever at work with all degree’s of matter and life. What is often misconstrued is that relationship between the two, for they are looked at as opposing forces instead of two parts of a whole. They are both intricate and integral to the balancing of the universe. Our people have understood and acknowledged it in daily life and through different rituals. We acknowledged life and death and embraced each with a specific context and understanding.

The principle of “build and destroy” is parallel in many ways to the Eastern perspective of Yin and Yang. It is a principle that manifests at varying levels of existence, especially socially, between He and Her. He and Her, are representative of those balancing forces within the universe. The man, being the naturally more assertive and proactive force within the universe, and the woman, her, being the more reactive and receptive force within the universe. This is one of the reasons we symbolize the “Sun” with the Original man and the “Moon and Earth” with the Original woman. Because of the role they fulfill in the universe and have similar the relationship is between man and woman.

Within “El Nacion de Dioses y Tierras”, man and woman’s relationship can be better understood in terms of the 8th Jewel in a plus degree entitled “The 12 Jewels”- “Clothing”. The 12 Jewels are as follows: knowledge, wisdom, understanding, freedom, justice, equality, food, clothing, shelter, love, peace, happiness. They represent the essentials of human existence on this planet and serves as goals for achievement within one’s own life. However, the 8th principle is “Clothing”, which has a lot to do with providing and making sure one has clothing appropriate for the weather and work, etc. Clothing is also important as it concerns the relationship between man and woman. The roles and relationship of each are based on culture. Certain clothing is adorned by men and women of specific cultures. Many of us have heard jokes about "who wears the pants" in the family. Often, the men and women dress according to their gender, distinguishing, not separating, one’s roles from the other within their society. The relationship of men and women is often strengthened (build) or weaken (destroyed) by the manifestation of clothing with the culture. As we have seen within Western Society. Clothing can be used to exploit one’s gender and social value and destroy male/female relationships which prevents the strengthening of the community and the continuation of culture. This is especially true when considering women and their ability to thrive in many societies. Some women who come from another culture feel that in order for them to “live” or more up in society, they have to alter their dress and mannerisms and abandon their culture ways.

This is a discussion we have within ‘El Nacion’ due to the traditional dress of our women, being head wraps and ¾ length skirts, clothing which represents the covering of the planet Earth by 3/4th’s of water. Often sisters feel the are restricted from adorning head wraps or long skirts in certain atmosphere’s such as the workplace, for fear of persecution and chastisement. However, it comes down to being a personal decision to adapt to mainstream society or maintain cultural identity and expression while still determined to push forward and succeed. My Earth and I discussed this as we watched a television program last night on the Travel Channel, ‘Bizarre Foods‘. The gentlemen was in Bolivia and attended a woman’s wrestling match, which we found quite odd for Bolivia, being so steeped in tradition. What was to our amazement was that, aside from it being no more or less “cheap fun”, like the wrestling here in the states, their was a high degree of cultural respect. The women remained in their ‘refinement‘, their modest cultural clothing, the whole time. Even while throwing elbows and leg drops on each other. This for us, was a strong example of cultural identity and the affirming of a women’s identity within society. As opposed to the United States, where the theme is to get rich at any cost or sacrifice. Not to mention that Bolivia is steeped in indigenous tradition and socialism, which combine to bring forth a more modern view of the women in society. The women have themselves shown and proved to their importance in Bolivian society- from carrying babies while farming crops, cooking, doing construction etc. All in their traditional Aymara dress. Something for us to think about as we struggle with gender identity here in the U.S.- where it is increasingly harder to disguise men from women and women from men, both in dress, role, and more. Not mention how we relate to and interact with women in our own culture (both the Nation of Gods and Earths and Indigenous culture)

Do the knowledge.



Native Natural Nutrition: The Ancient of Ways

Paz! Tau!

La matematic de hoy es ‘sabiduria”. Today’s mathematics is ‘wisdom’. To have wisdom is to be the beholder of the keys to understanding. Wisdom, contrary to many ancient perspectives, is not the origin of knowledge and understanding. Wisdom is the transitional stage from knowing to understanding. From the intangible to the tangible. It is what we chose to say and do. Yet, not all of what we say and do, even in the name of “ancient wisdom” is wise. What distinguishes someone as wise, comes from their ability to apply what they know in a practical context, according to the life they experience. I am not one to say that “ancient wisdom” isn’t practical. It is, if you understand how it applies. The mistake most people make is striving to live out the words instead of the principle, and thus become trapped in striving to live out a reality that is hundreds or thousands of years old (case in point- religious fundamentalism). When in actuality, one can draw from it and apply that which is relative to their own, day, time and situation. Similar to what Morihei Ueshiba speaks of when elevating one’s self as a warrior, amidst traditions of warfare.

Even though our path is completely different from the warrior arts of the past, it is not necessary to abandon totally the old ways. Absorb venerable traditions into this new Art by clothing them with fresh garments, and build on the classic styles to create better form.”- Morihei Ueshiba (founder of Aikido)

With that being said, I wanted to share an article about vegetarianism and Indigenous peoples. Of course, I often hear from my Native brothers and sisters that vegetarian means “poor hunter”. The humor reflects a degree of truth, in that many Natives people, especially here in the wilderness of North America, think of vegetarianism as a “Euro-centric” concept. Which is far from true. Europeans may have coined the phrase but not the science and culture. Please read thru the following article. And strive to be more wise with what we put into our bodies. Especially if we are preserving our people, not just in memory, b-u-t in physical prescence.

Native Americans and Vegetarianism

This article first appeared in the Vegetarian Journal, September 1994, published by The Vegetarian Resource Group

By Rita Laws, Ph.D.

How well we know the stereotype of the rugged Plains Indian: killer of buffalo, dressed in quill-decorated buckskin, elaborately feathered eaddress, and leather moccasins, living in an animal skin teepee, master of the dog and horse, and stranger to vegetables. But this lifestyle, once limited almost exclusively to the Apaches, flourished no more than a couple hundred years. It is not representative of most Native Americans of today or yesterday. Indeed, the "buffalo-as-lifestyle" phenomenon is a direct result of European influence, as we shall see.

Among my own people, the Choctaw Indians of Mississippi and Oklahoma, vegetables are the traditional diet mainstay. A French manuscript of the eighteenth century describes the Choctaws' vegetarian leanings in shelter and food. The homes were constructed not of skins, but of wood, mud, bark and cane. The principal food, eaten daily from earthen pots, was a vegetarian stew containing corn, pumpkin and beans. The bread was made from corn and acorns. Other common favorites were roasted corn and corn porridge. (Meat in the form of small game was an infrequent repast.) The ancient Choctaws were, first and foremost, farmers. Even the clothing was plant based, artistically embroidered dresses for the women and cotton breeches for the men. Choctaws have never adorned their hair with feathers.

The rich lands of the Choctaws in present-day Mississippi were so greatly coveted by nineteenth century Americans that most of the tribe was forcibly removed to what is now called Oklahoma. Oklahoma was chosen both because it was largely uninhabited and because several explorations of the territory had deemed the land barren and useless for any purpose. The truth, however, was that Oklahoma was so fertile a land that it was an Indian breadbasket. That is, it was used by Indians on all sides as an agricultural resource. Although many Choctaws suffered and died during removal on the infamous "Trail of Tears", those that survived built anew and successfully in Oklahoma, their agricultural genius intact.

George Catlin, the famous nineteenth century Indian historian, described the Choctaw lands of southern Oklahoma in the 1840's this way: "...the ground was almost literally covered with vines, producing the greatest profusion of delicious grapes,...and hanging in such endless clusters... our progress was oftentimes completely arrested by hundreds of acres of small plum trees...every bush that was in sight was so loaded with the weight of its...fruit, that they were in many instances literally without leaves on their branches, and quite bent to the ground... and beds of wild currants, gooseberries, and (edible) prickly pear." (Many of the "wild" foods Anglo explorers encountered on their journeys were actually carefully cultivated by Indians.)

Many of the Choctaw foods cooked at celebrations even today are vegetarian. Corn is so important to us it is considered divine. Our corn legend says that is was a gift from Hashtali, the Great Spirit. Corn was given in gratitude because Choctaws had fed the daughter of the Great Spirit when she was hungry. (Hashtali is literally "Noon Day Sun". Choctaws believe the Great Spirit resides within the sun, for it is the sun that allows the corn to grow!)

Another Choctaw story describes the afterlife as a giant playground where all but murderers are allowed. What do Choctaws eat in "heaven"? Their sweetest treat, of course: melons, a never-ending supply.

More than one tribe has creation legends which describe people as vegetarian, living in a kind of Garden of Eden. A Cherokee legend describes humans, plants, and animals as having lived in the beginning in "equality and mutual helpfulness". The needs of all were met without killing one another. When man became aggressive and ate some of the animals, the animals invented diseases to keep human population in check. The plants remained friendly, however, and offered themselves not only as food to man, but also as medicine, to combat the new diseases.

More tribes were like the Choctaws than were different. Aztec, Mayan, and Zapotec children in olden times ate 100% vegetarian diets until at least the age of ten years old. The primary food was cereal, especially varieties of corn. Such a diet was believed to make the child strong and disease resistant. (The Spaniards were amazed to discover that these Indians had twice the life-span they did.) A totally vegetarian diet also insured that the children would retain a life-long love of grains, and thus, live a healthier life. Even today, the Indian healers of those tribes are likely to advise the sick to "return to the arms of Mother Corn" in order to get well. Such a return might include eating a lot of atole. (The easiest way to make atole is to simmer commercially produced masa harina corn flour with water. Then flavor it with chocolate or cinnamon, and sweeten to taste.) Atole is considered a sacred food.

It is ironic that Indians are strongly associated with hunting and fishing when, in fact, "nearly half of all the plant foods grown in the world today were first cultivated by the American Indians, and were unknown elsewhere until the discovery of the Americas." Can you imagine Italian food without tomato paste, Ireland without white potatoes, or Hungarian goulash without paprika? All these foods have Indian origins.

An incomplete list of other Indian foods given to the world includes bell peppers, red peppers, peanuts, cashews, sweet potatoes, avocados, passion fruit, zucchini, green beans, kidney beans, maple syrup, lima beans, cranberries, pecans, okra, chocolate, vanilla, sunflower seeds, pumpkin, cassava, walnuts, forty-seven varieties of berries, pineapple, and, of course, corn and popcorn.

Many history textbooks tell the story of Squanto, a Pawtuxent Indian who lived in the early 1600's. Squanto is famous for having saved the Pilgrims from starvation. He showed them how to gather wilderness foods and how to plant corn.

There have been thousands of Squantos since, even though their names are not so well-known. In fact modern day agriculture owes its heart and soul to Indian-taught methods of seed development, hybridization, planting, growing, irrigating, storing, utilizing and cooking. And the spirit of Squanto survives to this day. One example is a Peruvian government research station tucked away in a remote Amazon Indian village called Genaro Herrera. University trained botanists, agronomists and foresters work there, scientifically studying all the ways the local Indians grow and prepare food. They are also learning how to utilize forests without destroying them, and how to combat pests without chemicals.

The trend that moved some North American Indian tribes away from plant food-based diets can be traced to Coronado, a sixteenth century Spanish explorer. Prior to his time, hunting was a hobby among most Indians, not a vocation. The Apaches were one of the few tribes who relied heavily on animal killing for survival.

But all that changed as Coronado and his army traversed the West and Midwest from Mexico. Some of his horses got away and quickly multiplied on the grassy plains. Indians re-tamed this new denizen, and the Age of Buffalo began.

Horses replaced dogs as beasts of burden and offered excellent transportation. This was as important an innovation to the Plains Indians as the automobile would be to Anglos later on. Life on the Plains became much easier very quickly.

From the east came another powerful influence: guns. The first American settlers brought their firearms with them. Because of the Indian "threat", they were soon immersed in weapons development and succeeded in making more accurate and powerful weapons. But they also supplied weapons to Indians who allied themselves with colonial causes. Because it was so much easier to kill an animal with a rifle than with a bow and arrow, guns spread quickly among the Indians. Between the horse and the rifle, buffalo killing was now much simpler.

The Apaches were joined by other tribes, such as the Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapahos, Comanches, and Kiowas. These tribes "lost the corn", gave up agriculture, and started living nomadic existences for the first time. It wasn't long before their food, clothing, and shelter were entirely dependent on one animal, the buffalo.
George Catlin lamented this fact as early as 1830. He predicted the extinction of the buffalo (which very nearly happened) and the danger of not being diversified. Catlin pointed out that, were the Plains Indians only killing a buffalo for their own use, the situation might not be so grave. But because the great beasts were being slaughtered for profit, they were destined to be wiped out.

It was the white man who profited. There was an insatiable Eastern market for buffalo tongue and buffalo robes. In 1832, Catlin described a wholesale buffalo slaughter carried out by six hundred Sioux on horseback. These men killed fourteen hundred animals, and then took only their tongues. These were traded to whites for a few gallons of whiskey. The whiskey, no doubt, helped to dull the Indian talent to make maximum use of an animal. Among the tribes who did not trade with whites, each animal was completely used, down to the hooves. No part went to waste. And buffalo were not killed in the winter, for the Indians lived on autumn dried meat during that time.

But now buffalo were killed in the winter most of all. It was in cold weather that their magnificent coats grew long and luxuriant. Catlin estimated that 200,000 buffalo were killed each year to make coats for people back East. The average hide netted the Indian hunter one pint of whiskey.

Had the Indians understood the concept of animal extinction, they may have ceased the slaughter. But to the Indians, the buffalo was a gift from the Great Spirit, a gift which would always keep coming. Decades after the disappearance of huge herds, Plains Indians still believed their return was imminent. They danced the Ghost Dance, designed to bring back the buffalo, and prayed for this miracle as late as 1890.

In spite of the ease and financial incentives of killing buffalo, there were tribes that did not abandon the old ways of the Plains. In addition to the farming tribes of the Southeast, tribes in the Midwest, Southwest, and Northwest stuck to agriculture. For example, the Osage, Pawnee, Arikaras, Mandans, Wichitas, and Caddoans remained in permanent farming settlements. Even surrounded by buffalo, they built their homes of timber and earth. And among some of the Indians of the Southwest, cotton, basketry, and pottery were preferred over animal-based substitutes like leather pouches.

Catlin was eerily accurate when he predicted dire consequences for the buffalo-dependent tribes. To this day, it is these Indians who have fared the worst from assimilation with other races. The Sioux of South Dakota, for one, have the worst poverty and one of the highest alcoholism rates in the country. Conversely, the tribes who depended little or not at all on animal exploitation for their survival, like the Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, and Chickasaw, are thriving and growing, having assimilated without surrendering their culture.

In the past, and in more than a few tribes, meat-eating was a rare activity, certainly not a daily event. Since the introduction of European meat-eating customs, the introduction of the horse and the gun, and the proliferation of alcoholic beverages and white traders, a lot has changed. Relatively few Indians can claim to be vegetarians today.

But it was not always so. For most Native Americans of old, meat was not only not the food of choice, its consumption was not revered (as in modern times when Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving as if it were a religious duty). There was nothing ceremonial about meat. It was a plant, tobacco, that was used most extensively during ceremonies and rites, and then only in moderation. Big celebrations such as Fall Festivals centered around the harvest, especially the gathering of the corn. The Choctaws are not the only ones who continue to dance the Corn Dance.

What would this country be like today if the ancient ways were still observed? I believe it is fair to say that the Indian respect for non-human life forms would have had a greater impact on American society. Corn, not turkey meat, might be the celebrated Thanksgiving Day dish. Fewer species would have become extinct, the environment would be healthier, and Indian and non-Indian Americans alike would be living longer and healthier lives. There might also be less sexism and racism, for many people believe that, as you treat your animals (the most defenseless), so you will treat your children, your women, and your minorities.

Without realizing it, the Indian warriors and hunters of ages past played right into the hands of the white men who coveted their lands and their buffalo. When the lands were taken from them, and the buffalo herds decimated, there was nothing to fall back on. But the Indians who chose the peaceful path and relied on diversity and the abundance of plants for their survival were able to save their lifestyles. Even after being moved to new lands they could hang on, re-plant, and go forward.
Now we, their descendants, must recapture the spirit of the ancient traditions for the benefit of all people. We must move away from the European influences that did away with a healthier style of living. We must again embrace our brothers and sisters, the animals, and "return to the corn" once and for all.

(Rita Laws is Choctaw and Cherokee. She lives and writes in Oklahoma. Her Choctaw name, Hina Hanta, means Bright Path of Peace, which is what she considers vegetariansim to be. She has been vegetarian for over 14 years.)


The Earth: Vegetarianism, Breastfeeding, and Original Women's Health

Paz! Tau!

Continuing on with the issue of indigenous peoples and vegetarianism, I came across a website from the Philippines, Nurturers of the Earth, promoting vegetarianism and breastfeeding. Both of which I feel is integral to raising healthy children. The coalition provides educational workshops for women.

Today’s mathematics is knowledge. La matematic de hoy es ‘conocimiento’. It is the knowledge of proper health and child rearing that will allow us and our women to continue on as the nurturers and healers of our children and communities. That is not to say that a man can’t or shouldn’t, but rather it is important that we promote Earth consciousness or “Eco-consciousness” amongst or women, for the Original woman is the Earth. And by advocating such things as a proper plant-based diet and breastfeeding, we reconnect our women to their natural selves, away from the destruction of the industrialization and exploitation of imperialism. We provide a strong foundation for them to be them within a ethic-less and virtue-less society while acknowledging and cherishing the life that comes through them, as life springs forth this Spring season. After all, “Earth day” is right around the corner. And I will admit, I am not one to set aside special days of observance for things that should be practiced year long. So for me, Earth day is a day to honor and appreciate my Queen, my Earth., as I get to bear witness to her beauty, as life pours through the blossoms of the trees and the flowers.

Please check out “Nurturers of the Earth” below: