Navajo Nation Loses Elders And Tradition To COVID-19

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    • #321229
      ravensong
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 2,222

      “It’s killing every day,” says medicine man Ty Davis, who knows at least five traditional practitioners who have died from COVID-19.

      “It put me into shock,” he says. “What do we do now? How do we retrieve that knowledge that these elders once knew now that they have died with those ceremonies? How do we get those back?”

      Each medicine person specializes in different ceremonies. So when someone dies they take that knowledge with them. Over the last several decades the tribe has gone from a thousand Diné or Navajo medicine people to just 300. The coronavirus threatens the few who remain.

      Medicine man Avery Denny is attempting to change that trajectory by taking on apprentices where he teaches at Diné College on the Navajo Nation.

      https://www.npr.org/2020/05/31/865540308/navajo-nation-loses-elders-and-tradition-to-covid-19

      A short and informative article, very worth reading in full.

      “A lie doesn't become truth, wrong doesn't become right, and evil doesn't become good, just because it's accepted by a majority.” ~ Booker T. Washington

      The truth is, there’s no such thing as being “anti-Fascist.” Either you are a decent human being with a conscience, or you are a fascist.
      ~ Unknown

    • #321252
      So Far From Heaven
      Keymaster
      • Total Posts: 9,385

      They are far more ‘complicated’ than this short article shows.

      It is a clash of worlds that they face. To show this I will tell you about an opening of a newly renovated and far more sophisticated lumber mill that I was part of there.

      After more than a year and at considerable cost they had renovated and upgraded an old mill to one using the latest technology of the time. The new was of course alongside the remaining old stuff. They had brought me in for expertise on a small part of the essential workings of a mill using the latest computer driven equipment.

      That alone should identify the root problems of the people retaining the old and the new. One is essential for their very nature and purpose, the other essential for their survival in the world because it is a dependency of outside to those inside.

      I was given the honor (as well as two other outsiders) to participate in their dedication ceremonies. Notice the plurality. At first it was just the  same old shit you’d see at any mill anywhere else, but the REAL ceremony happened afterward. And I guarantee the leaders of the Nation were well versed in everything the medicine men brought forth.

      It is the clashing of two worlds that they face. I will assume that they will figure it out. And actually be better in the end.

      • #321275
        jwirr
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 1,920

        I also am a white woman involved in one of our tribes that has modernized and still holds the old traditions sacred. I had the honor of being the home health aide for the old medicine man and his wife. This lose for the Navajo tribe is a  real disaster. These people are the real leaders of the tribe despite their elected leaders. And unlike much of the world on a rez the elders are highly respected and loved.

        jwirr

      • #321313
        Voltairine
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 1,997

        Brutal pragmatism combined with healthy dose of self irony and seriously healthy self-love free from all superiority-inferiority complex…

        That what it takes to survive, and they survive strong and beautiful. The institution of Elders is part of the ‘What Ever Works’ attitude. Even though I’ve participated in various rituals of North Eurasian, South American and North American traditions and expressions of shamanhood, my comprehension of the immensly complex North-American distributed and collective system of Elders remains very superficial at best. All this experimentation and variety of plurality of traditions is of the same spirit, and part of the same game: Evolution.

        Aloha!

      • #321337
        ravensong
        Participant
        • Total Posts: 2,222

        for awhile, still good friends after 20 years.  She was born on Hopi rez, but she left the rez early in life and is non-traditional.

        Spent some time on the Navajo rez and what I know from my experiences with her is that there is no way for me to ever come close to understanding complicated traditional Navajo or Hopi ways without being born and raised in their culture.

        Nice people.  Hope the ceremony was a pleasant experience for you, So Far From Heaven.

        “A lie doesn't become truth, wrong doesn't become right, and evil doesn't become good, just because it's accepted by a majority.” ~ Booker T. Washington

        The truth is, there’s no such thing as being “anti-Fascist.” Either you are a decent human being with a conscience, or you are a fascist.
        ~ Unknown

        • #321368
          Voltairine
          Participant
          • Total Posts: 1,997

          Yes, all the various ceremonies I’ve participated have given much healing and teaching on deepest levels.

          Aloha!

        • #321407
          So Far From Heaven
          Keymaster
          • Total Posts: 9,385

          I’ll always remember parts of it. We, the outsiders, were asked to keep it private so I can’t go into details @ravensong

          but it was fascinating and calming at the same time.

          Then again, I taught at a school for a year where there were students from 7 pueblos. So I guess I have a different take on a lot of this. Forget whatever Voltairine is saying. It’s obvious that they don’t know shit about the clash. Most of the people I’ve interacted with have managed to have both cultures and live mostly Native lives, but are also educated and with it on the outside world as well….

          • #321418
            Voltairine
            Participant
            • Total Posts: 1,997

            What statement, exactly, needs to corrected in your opinion? I don’t understand.

            I have my own indigenous background as well, you know, and also high level of education in the European colonialist culture. A man of two worlds who keeps on finding his balance, that’s something I can easily identify with.

            Aloha!

            • #322264
              So Far From Heaven
              Keymaster
              • Total Posts: 9,385

              any one that captures your fancy, @voltairine

              • #322486
                Voltairine
                Participant
                • Total Posts: 1,997

                you have some personal grudge. Dunno why and don’t need to, your problem.

                But, by making an ad hominem which you refuse to specify in relation to the issue, you are making a disservice to the topic at hand, disservice to other readers and participants of the discussion.

                Aloha!

    • #321362
      Enthusiast
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 5,142

      This is heartbreaking.

      I would like to remind you that U.S. health insurance companies do not contribute anything to health care. They are only a PARASITIC middle man receiving an undeserved cut of "FREE MONEY".

      Me

    • #323049
      RealityRedux
      Participant
      • Total Posts: 663

      https://www.indianz.com/News/2020/05/04/we-are-a-forgotten-people-native-candida.asp

      I’m so ashamed of our government and sickened about what has happened with Navajo Nation since Covid-19 has made its way to the states.

      I have close friends from the Phoenix, AZ  area who tried to get supplies into that reservation late Feb / early March but because Covid was so bad there, their journey was blocked. I’ve not heard much word about the Fed doing much if anything for these poor people. Trump Nation is such a disgrace! If only half as many American citizens who march in protest for Mr George Floyd, would march in protest for the Navajos, maybe … just maybe more help would find its way there to them.

      Formally RealityCheck

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