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Hi Rick S,

The only times I heard of a "Rainbow Bridge" was in context of Nordic myth,
and of course the Ring Cycle which is based on it.  Is Rainbow Bridge
religion exclusively Navajo, or is it some kind of pan-tribal spirituality?

Robert

	-----Original Message-----
	From:	Richard Seddon [SMTP:[log in to unmask]]
	Sent:	Thursday, March 22, 2001 8:22 AM
	To:	[log in to unmask]
	Subject:	Re: Dans le Restaurant and the Commedia

	Nancy:

	The Navajo prior to Spanish colonization were a stone age nomadic
people.
	At what point in their absorbtion of the greater cultures technology
do you
	think we should protect their folk ways?  45 years ago when I lived
on the
	Navajo reservation,  the reservation Navajo was just beginning to
adopt the
	truck as a mode of transportation.  Most Navajo women walked or rode
in
	horse drawn wagons.  The men walked or rode horseback.  Horse/wagon
	technology  came  from the Spanish.  They were semi-nomadic using 3
homes in
	a cycle throughout the year as they grazed their sheep.  A
technology and
	folk way that they also got from the Spanish.  The cradle board was
an
	essential technology to that economy but was carried over from the
ancient
	culture.  The point is that the Navajo that I remember with fondness
and
	nostalgia as "The Real Navajo" was a corrupted culture that had been
	corrupted in the 16th and 17th century by Spanish colonialism and it
is the
	most ancient of technologies that you would like to abolish.  The
young
	Navajo woman I spoke of has Aunts who live in Denetah (the
reservation) but
	she is uncomfortable around them.  They do not approve of much of
what she
	believes concerning a woman's role and since she speaks no Navajo
find it
	difficult to express their folkways to her.  Navajo does not
translate well
	into English.  The time sense is totally wrong.   The folkways she
is
	learning is of another mostly artifical culture,  that of the cigar
strore
	Indian, the Indian of Hollywood and AIM (the American Indian
Movement).  She
	is a Christian,  her Aunts are not.  She has used a Christian
medicine man
	(her words)  for counselling and feels uncomfortable with her Aunts
who
	practice the Rainbow Bridge religion.  I would hazard a guess that
her Aunts
	would be ecstatic to teach her Navajo and no one from the greater
culture
	ever interfered with that happening.  It is her choice and continues
to be
	her choice.  She could even attend classes at UNM, her alma mata,
and learn
	it without moral lectures from her Aunts.

	What points of this culture do you propose to capture?   The ancient
Navajo
	was a warlike raider of sedentary people.  They were every bit as
violent as
	the Apache and were feared more than the Apache by the Pueblos.
That Navajo
	was not a sedentary agriculturalist.  As part of their economy they
would
	plant a crop and then leave it returning only for harvest if there
was one.
	They were hunter/gatherers who basically might gathered a crop of
their own
	or Puebloan.  The Puebloans were their favorite prey for food and
slaves.
	Since the greater American culture is one of law and order I don't
think the
	ancient Navajo folkways would fare well

	BTW,  instead of a cradle board the young Navajo woman would use a
modern
	portable carseat.  If she wanted to carry her child herself she
would use a
	modern belly pack instead of a blanket wrapped into a tote.   A
further BTW,
	the beautiful Navajo jewelry which is so valuable today was a
technology
	given to the Navajo by the Spanish in an attempt to provide the
Navajo with
	some other economy beside war raiding of the Puebloans who the
Spanish (dare
	I say Hispanics or Latinos)  were trying to exploit in a much
different way.

	Rick Seddon
	McIntosh, NM, USA
	-----Original Message-----
	From: Nancy Gish <[log in to unmask]>
	To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
	Date: Wednesday, March 21, 2001 9:51 PM
	Subject: Re: Dans le Restaurant and the Commedia


	Dear Rick,

	I agree with your main conclusion, which was, I think, my main point
	originally.  And although I have not at all studied the situation of
the
	Acadians in the same way, I live in Maine, where the largest
minority
	except native Americans is Franco-American.  Many of my students
grew
	up in French speaking homes and were forced to give it up.  I had
one who
	told me in deep distress that she knew no French anymore but her
dreams
	were in French, and asleep, she could understand.  I was not saying
	everyone else was angelic, only that the glorious triumphalism of
the
	English language was pretty problematic.  So the fact that others
also did
	horrible things is not at odds with what I said.  I also do not
think that
	the
	elimination of fleas and cradle boards logically entails the
concomitant
	elimination of identity, language, culture, etc.,etc.  They really
might be
	separable.

	Unfortunately I don't think lack of sensitivity is limited to the
17th and
	18th
	century.  The 20th was about as brutal and insensitive as one could
get
	and had better guns.
	Nancy
















	Date sent:      Wed, 21 Mar 2001 12:03:49 EST Send reply to:
	[log in to unmask] From:           [log in to unmask] To:
	[log in to unmask] Subject:        Re: Dans le Restaurant and
the
	Commedia

	In a message dated 3/21/01 9:31:42 AM Eastern Standard Time,
	[log in to unmask] writes:


	> "The Story of English" was extremely well done, and I assume the
facts
	> were pretty accurate, but the thesis it promoted was, in my view,
very
	> problematic.  The only section I could really evaluate was on
Scots (and
	> to some extent Gaelic), and I found it infuriating in its
assumptions
	> about the wonderful way English supplanted them.  It simply did
not
	> happen that way nor was its priviliging welcomed.
	>
	The world seems to be moving towards an "international" culture or
	monoculture, which is good in some ways and bad in others. I hope
we'll be
	able to do this and still retain the best of each "minority" culture
being
	supplanted. I think, however, that it might be misleading to
politicize
	this or paint it as a form of oppression.

	One has to allow people in any part of the world to live their
individual
	lives in the way they want. If a Mayan Indian wants to go to Bahrain
and
	become a petrochemical engineer, that's the person's right, even
though it
	might remove him or her from the mainstream of Mayan culture. If
people in
	Russia or China like fast food, and are willing to stand in line at
a
	McDonald's restaurant, that's their right, even though I'm sure
there are
	other people in China and Russia (and plenty of Americans) who hate
the
	idea of fast food.

	There's no alternative to this kind of dissemination that isn't
oppressive
	in itself, besides being completely unworkable. The UN can't just
order
	everyone in the world to live in the "traditional" way their
ancestors
	did, and speak the ancestral language. A significant number of
people want
	to make other choices, and it's been quite a while since most people
in
	the West seriously followed the ancestral ways. Sure there are
peasants in
	Turkey still baking bread in stone ovens. But there are also people
in
	Istanbul living much as one might live in any large city anywhere.
And we
	don't need to necessarily see the city dwellers as traitors to any
	nationalist or ethnic cause.

	English seems to be becoming, so to speak, the lingua franca of the
	Internet. The advantage of a worldwide language (remember
Esperanto!) is
	that it fosters communication. Certainly one can find unfairness in
	whatever language it happens to be, just as one can find unfairness
in
	modern businesses all over the world having to use such
untraditional
	tools as computers, telephones, and cash registers. But I do think
it's an
	unstoppable trend, and the world in the end forgets the unfairness.
The
	trend is judged by its results. I'm not saying this is right or
wrong.
	Just that I don't see any way of addressing what you perceive as
	oppression without instituting a greater oppression--the tyranny of
the
	group.  That's the "stay with your own kind" (and preserve the
culture)
	theory which has already been tried, and not everyone liked the
results.

	pat