Today was a lot of fun, like always. I got to hold Courage (Rose’s bird) again, and we did many fun activities with rhythm. I love making my friends come up with me to the frontof the class.
To be honest, apart from my museum video, making breakfast was my favorite part of the day. We made potatoes, eggs with soy chorizo, toast, and chilaquiles with cotija cheese on the side. It was spicy and delicious. It was the first time I was super full from breakfast. Miahuatl is the bomb.
We had the best dinner of the whole program this evening! There was actually tons of food for vegetarians today (aka Ninaya and I). We had vegetarian lasagna, zucchini with red sauce, garlic bread, and cobbler-ish stuff for dessert. Today was a GOOD food day.
Native Culture and college education can 100% go together, as it is so obviously seen in the Pipeline. It just takes the respect of our cultures and teachers that know the ways. To go together, there must be a balance of Western and Native learning.
Today we went to the Pomona College Museum of Native Artifacts. The works were amazingly beautiful, but we all had a realization that was kind of- upsetting. Everyone who worked there was white, and the woman admitted to us that she knew very little at all about the pieces. That was, until our elder Joe came in. He immediately explained the significance of so many of the artifacts, and the cultures they were from. The works were hundreds or thousands of years old, and they were sitting in drawers in a basement that few people visit. There was one piece that stood out to me a bit more than all the others; a piece from as far back as 3000 BCE. She told us she knew nothing about it but that it was an adornment which had been taken from a burial ground.
When you bury your dead, your elders…. you are doing it so to lay their physical body for rest. In many cultures, it is a very sacred practice to bury the dead with adornments or their belongings for their trip back to the afterlife, to heaven, to the Creator. Joe is so wise. He said to us, “I often wonder how white people would feel if I dug up their dead and kept their belongings in my basement.” My mentor Miahuatl kind of laughed and said, “It’s funny how these things are ours and we’re not even allowed to touch it.”
Frankly, Joe didn’t care whether or not we weren’t supposed to touch it.
They need to go back to their homes.