Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Bit of Heritage

As I lay sleepy, my right leg splayed out on the bed, the knuckles of my left hand rest softly against my forehead, I think of my distant heritage.

A part american indian girl, Cherokee, the word that came to be accepted by most, but originally called ourselves Aniyunwiya "the principle people" and is spelled and pronounced Tsalagi in our own language.

Our culture having an even division of power between men and women. Cherokee men were in charge of diplomacy, war, hunting, leading, providing. Cherokee women were in charge of farming, harvesting, cooking, cropping, property, and family.

Men made political decisions for the tribe, and women made decisions for the clans. Chiefs were men, and landowners were women. I open my eyes and think of the beauty of the women, the way we moved, the way we presented ourselves, long beautiful hair braided or loose, soft strips of leather woven through our tresses, our wrap around skirts and poncho-style blouses, moccasins.

Our men in breech-cloth and leggings, shaved head, perhaps a single scalplock or on occasion porcupine roach. Living off the land, using only what we needed, taking care of our own. How I'd love to be there again! I compare it to my lifestyle and find the details the same and I smile slowly.

I think of how our men treated the women and our women treated the men and I smile again. A woman being property but also owning property. He could beat his women, sell her, trade her, she would please him, serve him, make a happy home.

A man gives away trouble, he cherishes devotion. His to do with as he pleases, when he pleases. Toss her to the furs of another, or keep her explicitly to himself. I think to myself, "only a fool free's a slave", a quote from the gorean novels by John Norman and comfort comes from believing it to be true.

I recall my fathers words, "if you ever put yourself in a mans position, be prepared to be treated like a man". In otherwords, if I chose to raise my hand to my Master and strike him, be ready to be beaten down.

I have never lost sight of that. He raised me well. I think of the binas I wear, or the hemps and numerous bracelets, the bells on my ankle, the collar around my neck, the belly chain. This has always been my apart of my dress and demeanor, since atleast a young girl of 11, slavery exists and existed in the pieces that don my body.

It's such a precious vision of comparison even though many may not understand it. I close my eyes and continue to wander back in time because all of my past, present and future was born of it.

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