I recently came across a book on Amazon.com entitled "Taino ti"- a native Taino greeting of the Original people of the Caribbean. The artwork on the cover appears to be anime or what many refers to as "Japanime" because of it's origin in Japanese cartoons, such as the famous "Ninja Scrolls" and "Fist of the North Star".
Here is the product description-
"Yuis Rosales can't remember a time when he wasn't haunted by dreams of strange people, jungles,and the gods whose forms only he can create. Just when these nightmares are threatening to overtake him, he meets Felipe, who quickly invades both his waking, and his sleeping hours.
Yuis only wants to see his art hanging in a gallery, but when he leaves for Puerto Rico, he discovers a history so horrifying that his dreams pale in comparison. His past as a Taino shaman collides with a madman's lust for mystical dominion...
Summoning his own power, Yuis must learn to trust his totem beast, Mukaro...and his passionate lover."
It seems that some elements of our Taino culture have been appropriated for someone else's fantasy story, which is not suprising, yet still disappointing. I can't help but wonder what this person's relationship to us is. This also stands out in my mind as another representation of how Native cultures are considered as mythical in and of themselves, putting us in the realm of witches, elves, gnomes, unicorns, etc.
Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Taino-Ti-ebook/dp/B002CCAICY/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1245935739&sr=1-10
We must not be afraid of the 'unknown'. We must embrace the 'unknown' as a medium through which questions about life and reality can be revealed. We must understand that we have become hindered by our lack of understanding of the unknown. Our relations have been divided and severed because of our ignorance of our people. Instead of embracing the 'unknown' and seeing it as a chance to challenge ourselves and our ability to break through societal imposed limitations, we came to accept it and internal it as an assumed static state of humanity, as if we can and will never 'know' beyond what we already think we know.
Many of us claim to know about ourselves and our ancestors. We claim to know about our culture and who are 'people' are. Yet most often times we are only regurgitating and rehashing what was 'taught to us' and told to us by those whom imposed the boundaries, divisions and restrictions of colonization. These people aren't "our" people and so on- perpetuating the 'us vs. them' mentality and contributing to the crumbling of the sacred hoop of life. May of us will rather quickly accept the oppressor and the oppressors children as our own before we embrace other children of the Sun- "melanated" sons and daughters of the planet. So we can bear witness to the deep psychological impact of colonization and slavery, and the survival mechanism and adaptation strategy of 'identifying with the aggressor', as it is referred to in western psychology. Which means, not only have we taken on many of the same behaviors and mannerisms of the oppressor, but likewise, psychologically identify with them and see them as more favorable, and consequently looking at our other oppressed brothers and sisters in the same perspective that they do.
It is critical to our healing that we reunite and bring together the 'Original' nation, the Indigenous family. We must struggle to break beyond the limitations we have inherited over the decades and re-establish our connection with each other. We must not think we 'know' of each other from our exposure to television and media propaganda nor must we allow ourselves to dwell in a pool of ignorance and be content with 'not knowing' or even yearning to know about the other. I assure you, if we embrace the 'unknown' as a chance to heal, we will find that it will bring together all legacies and histories to one point, like the outer points of the letter "X" which meet in the center. "X" in mathematics represents the 'unknown'. And we can solve and 'resolve' the equations of inequality by coming together and realizing our oneness, not just in struggle, but in the universal spectrum of existance.
Native and African Americans chronicle history together for first time in Louisiana
by Carol Forsloff
In Natchitoches, Louisiana history was made today. The Native American and African American communities were separate communities in the South by design of white oppression. Now, for the first time, they are sharing their histories.
The African American and Native American communities of North Central Louisiana, specifically the area around Powhatan in Natchitoches Parish, had knowledge of each other’s existence but at the same time virtually no real social interaction.
Native Americans were second-class citizens and felt different and isolated, while African Americans were the lowest on the social pecking order in a highly stratified society that in some ways remains in certain historical patterns.
Therefore, history has been predominantly oral and genealogical as opposed to written. The “White” or predominant history has included both African American groups and Native Americans, but their intimate knowledge of that history has been limited by the stratification and taboos that took place, according to the participants in a videotaped forum today.
Chief Rufus Davis, Dora Belton, Shirley Love and Vern Fisher met at the Adai Cultural Center today and initiated a shared history platform in order to put together the missing pieces of their ancestral involvement, known about, but never fully shared in conversation.
Chief Davis is the head of the Adai Nation, a tribe of approximately 1800 members in Texas and Louisiana, 68 years old and a resident of the Parish since birth.
Dora Belton, of mixed Choctaw, African American and French ancestry, 93, lived in the Parish until age 18, then moved to Illinois and Texas where she worked as a licensed practical nurse until the age of 65 when she retired and returned to her home in the Parish.
Vern Fisher, 54, is an African American from Mallard, Louisiana, two miles from the Adai Cultural Center.
Shirley Love, 51, is originally from the area surrounding Powhatan in Natchitoches Parish but has been living in Michigan since she left high school. All came together for the first time as a group today to begin a pioneer effort to bring their shared history to each other and potentially to the public. The first segment was videotaped today over a period of more than two hours. I was there today as the moderator of the filming, asking the questions and celebrating with the group what is history making in terms of this shared experience.
Natchitoches Parish is a place rich in history because it is the oldest settlement in the Louisiana Purchase and where various European, African and Native American groups lived separately but shared a common history on some levels.
The problem is the intimate details of that history were neglected due to the imposed restrictions on social interaction. The Native American and African American communities, according to Belton, Davis and Fisher, knew about each other and relied on each other to exchange herbal remedies, quilting and other cultural knowledge, but without deep intimacy and communication. The separate groups were mutually supportive in each other’s survival and grew up knowing “their place” and knew that place was separate from their white neighbors of predominantly French, Spanish and English ancestry.
Today, old stories were shared, some for the first time. This is part of a growing opportunity, initiated by Chief Davis, to help groups provide each other important data that helps to reinforce group identity and integrity.
According to the forum participants, the Native Americans and African Americans had mutual regard for their separate ways, knew from the whispers of their ancestors what shops to avoid and what patterns of behavior to evidence. But these truths have not been spoken or written down in detail, as is now being done.
It was for the participants a stunning occasion, and the ongoing experience will be shared as the stories of shared history take shape. Old neighbors are experiencing communication and interaction in this way for the first time, as the process is taking place for this to be formalized.
Videotaping will allow the preservation of information and the evolution of written documentation to be completed. This “first” brought a celebratory mood to those involved as they take the first steps in cementing a new brother and sisterhood they said today will only enhance their individual sense of community and pride.
Our people have long been 'scientists' and have had a very keen knowledge and understanding of the the universe. It is this knowledge and understanding that cultivated our understanding of the relationship between the 'heavens' and ourselves. In the post-industrial age where our sky has become polluted to a point that we can no longer view the cosmos with a clear eye nor discern the objects and celestial bodies abound within it, it is beautiful to hear of our people striving to reclaim that legacy. The Universe is 'everything'- Sun, Moon, and stars- and especially U N I (You and I).
While we were at the forefront of agricultural sciences, we must also be able to understand our civilizations as multi-faceted and layered and not regulated to farming alone, although it was a large bound. Our mastery of agricultural techniques often came from our knowledge and understanding of celestial bodies and their movements, which affected weather year round and the conditions of planting and harvesting. We were able to observe and internalize what we learned about the universe, manifesting it in our day to day lives and bringing our peoples into a wholistic worldview and way of living. In this day and time, it is imperative that we continue forward with reclaiming our legacy on all fronts- from agriculture to astronomy- in order to save ourselves from the ignorance perpetuated by 'western science' against our people.
This is one of the many reasons why, within the Nation of Gods and Earths, we place so much emphasis of learning about the universe and refer to man as the "Sun", woman as the "Moon" or "Earth" and children as the "stars', adorning symbols of such on our "Universal Flag". The universe represents the origin of all. The movements and interactions of the celestial bodies display a wonderful example of harmony and order from which we draw inspire, examples which we strive to parallel in our social relationships, according to our degree of understanding.
Andean Astro-Olympics in Bolivia
La Paz, Jun 18 (Prensa Latina) Bolivia will host the First Andean Olympics of Astronomy and Astrophysics receiving this week representatives of South American countries announced the Science and Technology vice minister.
Sessions of the celestial event will take place in Bolivian venues considered natural wonders such as Lake Titicaca and the Archeological center of Tiwanaku, both in La Paz province.
According to a press release by the vice minister the Olympics will run Saturday and Sunday with participation of teams from Chile, Peru, Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela, Ecuador and the host country.
Bolivia organized the event to coincide with the winter solstice in the Southern hemisphere during which the Aimara peoples receive New Year, 5,517, with ritual traditions.
Among the objectives is the promotion of activities related to astronomy and astrophysics from a regional world view.
I wasn't able to attend this year. However, it was brought to my attention that there wasn't really any media coverage of the event as there was in past years. Could it be an attempt to stifle the image of the true cultural, social and political influence we hold within America? Considering the recent contraversies concerning Judge Sotomayor, it isn't surprising. The media and those upset with her nomination coil at the idea that the majority of Borikuas support her. As we have seen in their open remarks to her nomination, the mindset of the ruling class has been churning with disgust and anxiety at a "Afro-Latinized" America. In their eyes it is simply too much power for people of color to brandish as it upsets the long standing status quo in our society. With her proud embrace and relationship to her raices, her roots, Sotomayor has set the tone for many other Borikuas to make similar statements, such as Dem. Rep Serrano (whom welcomed Venezuelan Presidente Hugo Chavez on his trip to the Bronx) and reaffirming the reality that we, as children of Boriken, are to immigrants and stand in solidarity with our Mexica, Mayan and other so-called Latin American family members. It brings attention to the fact that our citizenship is an illusion, and that we continue to remain as colonials of an empire. Despite how many of us have relocated in el norte and assimilated as a mens to adapt, adjust and overcome the impact of colonization on la isla. The Puerto Rican Day Parade is a reminding, and maybe even a slap in the face to the Bible-belt Americanos, that we are Borikua first and foremost.
Here is a video I picked up from mibodegaonline.com:
This quick clip was made to address the lack of media coverage for one of the biggest parades in NYC. The one channel that covered the parade was surprisingly Fox news. The question we have to ask ourselves is A) Why isn’t there really any media coverage of this big traditionally held parade? The Puerto Rican Day Parade has been done every year since April 12, 1958. So why is it so hard to find coverage of this parade?
Each and everyday we find ourselves bearing witness to more changes within societies around the world. As 'change' is inevitable, and the 'only' constant in the universe, 'change' is only good or bad depending upon the perspective. We are seeing more and more Original people being active in their own lives, seeking changes and life outside the parameters established by the 'state' and imposed by colonization. These 'changes' and the struggle to achieve them will not doubt create some friction in our/their lives as we engage the world's governmental systems in order to re-take control of our people's destinies and re-establish our own cultural sovereignty. Despite the mirroring struggle of many of these systems to resist these changes, as we have struggled to resist their tyranny, it must and will happen. For it is, as I understand it, 'universal law'. Justice. Because the ways and actions of those seeking to oppress and exploit the caretakers of the planet and her resources, for their own economic gain, have not and can not be justified. Regardless to how much they try to lie to themselves, they can not lie to the universe or Mother Earth. As she still bears the scars. Likewise, no matter how much some of us may try to lie to ourselves, compromising the 'truth' with fabricating compassion for the atrocities of the past 517 years, the changes taking place both socially and 'scientifically' (climate, nature, etc.) are the evidence of a struggle for justice, a struggle to regain balance and harmony. They are the voice of an uprising, rooted not simply in people's desire to alter the course of history, but rather, deeply rooted in a cosmic, bio-chemical and 'spiritual' struggle for 'peace'. It is the awakening of ancestral memories seeded in each and every sub-atomic particle of existance, an intelligence that flows and 'knows', and seeks to re-establish itself as the foundation for this 'cipher' of human civilization.
Unbeknownst to the western world, many of us are seperating from them. Not separating to become many, but separating to realign with each other and with the oneness of the mind, the oneness of the universe.
An Independence Claim in Nicaragua
PUERTO CABEZAS, Nicaragua — After declaring independence from the rest of Nicaragua in April, a group of indigenous activists from the Mosquito Coast readied a grand celebration to commemorate the occasion. Their feast would be ruined, however, when the regional government sent in the police to seize the main course.
Commercial sales of turtle meat, which has long been a delicacy here, is restricted in Nicaragua because of declining populations of endangered green sea turtles — one of many cultural clashes that the people in this remote corner of Nicaragua, who have eaten turtle for generations, say have propelled them to create their own country, which they have dubbed the Communitarian Nation of Mosquitia.
The Council of Elders of the Miskito people has an extensive list of grievances. For as long local residents can remember, the federal government has allowed outside companies to exploit the raw materials in their jungle territory — everything from lobster to lumber to gold. Little benefit has come to the people who eke out a living here, they say.
Fed up, the separatists seized the region’s ruling party headquarters on April 19 and appointed Héctor Williams as their wihta tara, or great judge. Mr. Williams, a local religious leader whose thin black mustache stretches out toward his deep dimples, said the region suffered from a variety of woes — devastating hurricanes and rat plagues to a mysterious disease known as grisi siknis, which is marked by collective bouts of hysteria.
“We have the right to autonomy and self-government,” declared Wycleff Diego, the breakaway movement’s ambassador abroad, as he held up the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Over the weekend, the ruling party, Yatama, literally “Sons of Mother Earth,” retook the headquarters in what it said was a peaceful operation. The separatists denied that, saying weapons were used, and vowed to continue to fight for independence.
Despite the setback, the budding independence movement is giving the Nicaraguan government headaches and rekindling some of the ire from the contra war that tore through this country in the 1980s. Mr. Diego was a soldier in that war, a fighter for the American-backed contras.
Many Miskito people, who make up one of several ethnic groups on Nicaragua’s diverse Atlantic coast, joined with the contras. They were inspired by their historic animosity toward the rulers in Managua, Nicaragua’s capital, which is 15 hours distant over bumpy dirt roads.
As in the rest of Nicaragua, the contra war would leave lasting pain along the coast. The Sandinista government’s armed forces led a fierce campaign to remove Miskitos from their native lands along the Coco River.
President Daniel Ortega, who led the Sandinistas in the 1980s and then returned to power in January 2007, is widely distrusted by local residents, even more so after his government’s lackluster response to Hurricane Felix, which leveled many coastal communities in September 2007.
The breakaway movement, some say, has also been fueled by the Ortega government’s failure to support thousands of impoverished contra war veterans, who had been promised land, housing and other assistance during his presidential campaign.
Even the government’s allies, while condemning the independence movement, concede that Managua could have responded better to the Miskitos’ needs. “We haven’t been the best administrators of public things, but that doesn’t mean we should spill blood,” said Steadman Fagoth, a former Miskito independence leader and contra commander who has since allied himself with Mr. Ortega.
A top Sandinista leader, Gustavo Porras, has accused Robert Callahan, the American ambassador to Nicaragua, of conspiring with the separatist movement in cold war-era fashion. Mr. Callahan, who worked in the American Embassy in Honduras when it was the command center for the Reagan administration’s contra campaign, denies involvement.
“The question regarding any contentious issues that may exist between parts of the Miskito community and the government of Nicaragua is a matter for the Nicaraguans, and one that they themselves must resolve,” he said in a statement.
Two major drilling concessions have been granted off Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast, but officials involved in those efforts said that the separatist movement might scare away future investors. “It’s going to send the signal that you can’t do business in Nicaragua,” said Stan Ross, chief executive at Infinity Energy, a Denver-based company.
Concerned about provoking further instability, regional authorities had refrained from forcibly removing the independence leaders from the party offices. Puerto Cabezas has twice been racked by violent protests in recent years: in 2007, when residents complained that the government was not helping them enough to recover from the hurricane, and in 2008, when Mr. Ortega’s government postponed mayoral elections.
“We’re not going to fight between Miskito and Miskito,” Reynaldo Francis, the regional governor, said before this weekend’s action. “It’s not that we’re afraid of that movement.”
Mr. Williams, the separatist leader, who has enlisted the support of hundreds of Miskito lobster divers who are protesting a drop in pay as lobster prices plunge, said he had to discourage the divers this weekend from attacking the party offices.
The only weapons visible during a recent visit — before the weekend eviction — were slingshots, although the separatists said they were seeking financing to train and equip an army of 1,500.
“We’ll defend our natural resources,” vowed Guillermo Espinoza, the movement’s defense minister, who was known as Comandante Black Cat during the contra war. If no guns can be found, he said, the separatists will make weapons themselves.
Blake Schmidt reported from Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua, and Marc Lacey from Mexico City.
It is the gift that all of humanity deserves to be presented with. To know the self. To be imparted with the awareness to constantly explore one’s ideas in the most empowering manner. To delve into one’s nature truthfully and share in a way that betters all. To have the greatest weaponry available to identify and protect oneself from any enemy’s oppressive measures. This is done supremely with knowing oneself.
Knowledge of self, where we know we are the creators of our entire universe and subsequent reality, we are not the first. In the history of the world, many of our ancestral cultures and civilizations shared the idea of man as God and the infeasibility of a mysterious and/or unknown God. However, The Nation of God and Earth truly adds on a unique perspective in many enlightening ways.
Firstly, all of these great, poor, righteous teachers did not look for the right student to expose themselves and their ideas; rather, they presented themselves as God or Earth and allowed potential students from any and all walks of life to inquire. This is a departure from the nomadic Sufis imparting insight and safely vacating to see another day or the Taoist masters who lived as mountain men away from society. The Gods and Earths have openly shared their understanding regardless of the consequences. The consequences have been great from the contradictions and hypocrisies of not living it out, being ostracized from one’s family and community to the direct oppression and harassment of the oppressive governments and power structure to even fatal demise. Still, the Gods and Earths continued to teach.
Secondly, the foundation of the teachings, the supreme mathematics made such a complex subject, man’s reality as creator, into a detailed law and order of the universe and description of the Original people with a simple word(s) for each numeral. With this innovation of the science of everything in life so simply defined and ready for application by anyone, these teachings are vital to any age group. It also elevates the insightful teachings of the Nation of Islam, extracted and refined as our 120 lessons, into a mathematical system of study and development.
Thirdly, we are the truth we seek in each and every problem or inquiry of life. A knowledge of self becomes the most empowering tool known because it is an actualizing of statements proven true. The Original man is God/I am the Earth. I am this and I prove it true. What then is within me that enables me to survive and thrive with and for all? Knowing oneself the answer presents itself.
Nothing could be more empowering, beautiful and engrossing as the Knowledge of Self.
Peace, Sunez Allah, Co-Editor
Knowledge of Self: A Collection of Writings on the Science of Everything in Life presents the thoughts of Five Percenters, both young and old, male and female, Black and white, in their own words. Through essays, poems, and even how-to articles, this anthology presents readers with an accurate portrait of what the Five Percent study, teach and live daily. With a foreword by Lord Jamar of Brand Nubian, contributions from Cappadonna and Popa Wu of Wu-tang Clan, early founders of the Nation and Gods and Earths from the United States to England.Featured Writings and Topics Include:
• Love, Hell or Right: The many incredible life stories of Gods and Earths getting a Knowledge of themselves. • Who are the Original People?: Who is Black and Who is Not?; Somos Originales, why the Latino is also a Supreme Being?; Who are the Blacks In China? What is a mystery God? Why don’t we believe in a mystery God?
• The Mind is the Master Key: What is the Mind, its power and how do we augment it supremely? What are the oppressive conditions we are living, how do we identify them and use our mind to change our reality?
• The Martial Law of the Martial Arts: What is the relationship of the Martial Arts and its philosophies and the Gods and Earths?
• The Pedagogy of the Five Percent: What are the teaching styles of the Gods and Earths. How do we educate our youth and save the babies? What is the civilization class? An analysis of the P.E.A.C.E. Course, one of the many courses offered at Allah School in Mecca, the first school of the Nation.
• Life after Life?: What happens when we die? What is the mental death vs. the physical death? The Gods and Earths’ ideas on the afterlife and death are offered in detail.
To preorder the book go to http://www.lavoerevolt.blogspot.com/, http://www.originalcreations.blogspot.com/, or www.myspace.com/knowledgeofselfbook
(Features some writing from yours truly...Please support!)