Yesterday was a very memorable day for me, it was very inspiring day. I would never have guessed people that came to this program would have been through such trauma. I think the exercise really brought us closer, and it was a good ice breaker!To hear everyone be so open and emotional really hit home for me.


At dinner me and belmont had a very brief conversation. I told him were im from , but on a deeper note i told him more on my perspectives on my culture & traditions as a cherokee. Growing up i was raised as a jingle dress dancer in the arena along side with my younger brother daniel who danced as a fancy dancer. Looking upon  my yunger self it was a clear fact that i was an indigenous 7 year old, who danced my heart out every single time i was in the urina. As me and my brother grew , so did our knowing on our culture. Around age 10 my mom began to question herself on a religious note if worshiping the creater and other spiritual symbols was the write thing to do, as a christian.

I remember my mom filling black bags with our regailia. She didnt fold it or nothing she just threw it in the bag. She took off the dream catchers from the walls because they were still hanging. She got all the jewelry that she ever made. Because she used to bead so all of her little tuppleware were filled with beads. She shoved them in the bags on top of the regailias and the dream catchers. She tied the bags in a knot and me and my brother were right there. We walked down to the car like we didn’t want to go but we had to. My mom opened the trunk. I think there were two bags. One at a time with doubt in her eyes, she was really hesitant. Then we drove to food-for-less quietly. We pulled up by the trash can. She got out of the car, while me and my brother were still sitting in the backseats. And I still remember when she was walking to the trunk she gave me a glance before she opened it. She got out one bag and she was looking at it while she was walking to the trash like her mind was filling up with all these memories. Everything was coming back to her, i mean it never really left, but you could just see the hurt. She knew that she put a lot of time, energy and faith in it. Because every time before we danced we prayed. In our regailias we danced for god. When she threw the first bag you could tell she was in that mood of okay there is no going back now. And she was really sorry for us because she knew that we didnt want to get rid of them. By that time we were already crying. She got out the second bag. Frustrated really because she didnt want to do it anymore. She got the bag and was dragging herself there. She looked slumped like a mother. All of our dancing, everything we have ever ever done, every single bead, every single cut, every single feather, everysingle tare, every single design was in that bag. All of our memories all of our faith and all of our dignity was in there. Because that made us who we were. She was basically throwing us away. You could tell that it hurt her as a mother. Because we were dancing in that bag and she was just throwing us away.

She got back to the car and we drove away from our culture and who we were.


2 thoughts on “The talking circle, aleyah

  1. I’m glad to hear that the exercise was so impactful for you and your community. Do you find yourself more willing and able to share with the other students in the group?

  2. Aleyah,

    Thank you so much for sharing your story; I can’t imagine the pain you felt as your mom drove away from your regalia and culture. Your writing has improved in such a short amount of time and I hope that you keep writing to discover your voice. You have such an important story to share and I hope that you feel more and more comfortable sharing with us. Just make sure that you read over your work for grammar and spelling errors.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s