My feelings about the Native American Culture are somewhat conflicted. The part that annoys most who actually know their Native heritage the most is that many people think there is only one culture. There isn’t. There are likely more Native American cultures than there are full blooded Native Americans alive right now. Many are long gone and forgotten, or others have merged with with one or more remaining culture. And those that do remain have been affected by U S Government Laws, non-native religions, And reservation life among other efforts to remove their cultural identities. Other aspects will be covered in later posts this month.
As a person who knows I have Native American heritage, I often wish I could connect better with that heritage. My heritage is as plain as the cheekbones too high, and too noticeable to satisfy European style. However, for whatever reason, I have no way of knowing who my Native American ancestors are. Did the Indian Adoption Act of the 1950’s and 60’s cause the disconnect? If I had been born after the Indian Adoption laws, would it have been different? There is no way to know.
I do not know my genetic heritage. So I tend to align myself with the Cherokee, who tended to take in those who had no place to go. However, from studies years ago I, I found other tribes whom I related to in spiritual beliefs as well. Perhaps, my heritage is too mixed to choose one tribe to consider my ancestors.
The blog posts presented here will barely be a thumbnail sketch. Entire books have been written on each topic. In fact, entire encyclopedias would be needed to accurately portray most of the covered topics. And much of the information is simply not available for all, or even a quarter of the cultures. Of those cultures that remain, many choose to keep their customs private, so as not to be ridiculed or misrepresented by the media. The important thing to remember is that no two people, and no two reservations will be the same. No answer is perfect for everyone.