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Muscogulgi culture and primitive skills event

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I'm very mad and very disappointed. at 9:30 yesterday morning, I was ready to go to the event. By 2:00, everyone else finally was ready. I couldn't get the wife to take me and drop me off with the kids and just come back later... I don't know why the whole day got wasted and I never got to go back yesterday, but by the time we would've got there we'd have missed the whole thing so we just came home.
A once-a-year chance for me to learn something from people who grew up on reservations preserving their cultural heritage through practice and teaching of "earth living" and I really only got to spend a little time with each one. I am thankful for the time I did get, and honestly, a lifetime is not enough time to learn all you can from each of these people. To hear words spoken so poetically in a tongue native to the area where I live yet so foreign.. and somehow I understood what he meant by "doing". wow. People spoke this language not more than 3 miles from my house in a forgotten time, but it is alien to my ears.

so I won't have as many stories and thoughts to share as I'd hoped because I had only a little time to share with these folks.
I watched a knapper making a knife spend 30 minutes setting up for a flake that he pulled off about an inch wide and 3" long with one quick, sure strike, from a spall he was making a knife from and so I learned "thinning" and "set-up". I watched a guy build a semi-permanent shelter in 45 minutes, big enough to stand in and easily sleep 5; NOT a debris shelter.. and he used materials native to this area instead of Oklahoma; I could name the plants, although the native words seemed much more like a song than a plant name.

I saw posers pretending they were primitive dressed in commercial buckskin and I wondered how the Native Visitors felt. Certainly you see my abo shirt is not all that fancy, but at least I made it with my own hands through natural means.

I understand the red and white better in my extreme satisfaction and utter disappointment. My mixed feelings about the genuine and the fantasy. It's a lot to take in, in such a little time but the overall experience was enlightening and invigorating.

I didn't get to see Mr. Russel Cutts again this year, but his wife did attend and demonstrate braintanning. I told her about how easy it was to bark-tan, and she shared some softening tips. Another fellow was demonstrating friction fire this year and he took notes from me on some materials I've used from this area (neat!). I learned and shared what I knew.

I spoke with people as white as the snow, and people as red as the earth. Some were artists, some were functionalists, fancying everything from intricate shell carvings, to fierce crude bone weapons.

I regret that I didn't even get to sit with the pioneer skills people, I just didn't have time the first day, and didn't get to go the second, so I missed out on basketry and thread spinning and looming and blacksmithing and flintlocks and...
I made the best of the time I had with those with primitive skills booths, and those that had displays of items they made themselves in the traditional way. Many of the displays were recreations of broken pieces by Native Americans who travel around teaching and studying in archaeology for their own historic research.
Educators, teachers, and historians. what a way to spend a Saturday!
I learned quite a lot about balance in all things and that man is offensive to the earth. We selfishly take without thanks or second thought. We make profane from sacred things, and we take for granted and misuse and disrespect nature with most aspects of our lives. The whole thing has really changed my outlook on many things.
Mr. Diamond Brown gave a vigorous speech about the parallels and opposites of our cultures. Many of the values of Christianity were already in place before white settlers ever came to this continent, and the diverse terrain mixed with interconnectivity of the Muscogee nation is absolutely amazing. When I asked him the Native word for the "ball game" he was very quick to let me know that it was NOT a GAME. Pokseeta was a substitue for war and war was a last resort for those who could not find forgiveness for some unimaginable offense to another clan or tribe. Wars were only fought between clans or tribes who found the offense irreconcilable and most disputes were settled by "The Little Brother of War", pokseeta.
I spent a great deal of time with Mr. Jack Boedecker who spoke a few words to me in Muscogee tongue, which I recognized and we talked at length about pottery, symbolism, religion, culture.. we talked about so many things I'm not sure I even remember it all. I had a truly amazing time with this man and his knowledge was in depth.

I don't even know what all else to talk about, so if there are any questions, please ask and I'll do my best to describe my experience. This entry will be a work in progress, as I'm sure it'll take months for me to fully process the information I took in. I spent most of the day yesterday by myself, hand-stretching a buckskin, meditating in the ancient way, saying prayers for understanding and compassion, and Thanking the creator for everything I've been given.
Thank you for allowing me to share this experience with you.

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  1. jake abraham's Avatar
    cool thanks for sharing