Aztec math and college things

I had my final class with Candonache today. He taught me the esoteric art of preforming math on the Nepohualtzintzin. Candonache was my favorite teacher, not only because he so well illuminated the methods of Aztec math to me, but he provided me with wisdom pertaining to the beliefs of our people, and on how to improve my understanding of the world.

I also had my final class with Shelva today. I am very thankful for the consideration she had for all of us, concerning our futures and future colleges. Before I began attending Shelva’s classes I had no idea how to apply for scholarships, or even how to search for potential colleges, but because of her class I am now confident in these processes.

I appreciate the influential lessons of all the other I speakers, incredibly.

Thankyou Candonache, Shelva, and everyone else!

-Zaryn Prussia




Today thar wart nor dismay

After today me thinks I shalt hit thar hay

Tonight, I speaketh in an ordd Jorgan, right?

Sayeth thingies like cellular like cellorlor

I ist nort single or marrrried.

nOr am I interrrested in conjorgul affarrs

Ornly in strorlling through the orchard

Ornly in the things I can afford.

-Zaryn Prussia



Fondling the juicy rottenness

At midday we arrived at Western University. Before entering the grisly “holloways” of this ghastly place Vincente, our erudite elder, cleansed our souls and gifted us with ruda (an aromatic little herb) fragments to shield us from a lingering soul or two. I did this not out of morbid curiosity, but out of necessity to eliminate the fears of scenes of the macabre. My people were somewhat normalized to death, for it was a part of their life; I wanted to understand their mindsets. So when we finally entered the room of cadavers a malodorous miasma struck our noses; however this was not the smell of decay but of the delaying of it. At the same time of smelling it, the reality finally came to fruition and I was perturbed. I pulled down the latex gloves and composed myself though. We touched the hearts. I weighed them in my hands and unraveled them to an extent. I was more aloof in this experience compared to those more fanatical of the organs. We came to the bodies last. Here I especially pondered what the emotions of my ancestors would have been; whom once in their lives might of been standing over a corpse, which was perhaps a product of themselves, in war or some other tragedy. If a product of battle, was there a reaction of pride? jubilation? remorse? or all at the same time? I was only disturbed. We eventually finished and I scrubbed my hands so scrupulously in the sink, it was as if my hands were afflicted with an uncleanable mold. Later I left the building and was cleansed once again by Vincente. This was an unforgettable experience.



What I wish to change

If you were to ask me to announce what I desire to change, I would give you the succinct answer,”Everything that is wrong”. However I could elaborate and then distinguish those of which that are most behoving to me. Firstly it is my people, the Anishinaabe. I want aid in the elimination of mass poverty affecting my people and the preservation of our native culture. I also think it would be cool to help out Mother Earth, I think she deserves a little compensation for these past few hundred years.


-Zaryn Prussia



My Wishtoyo experience

The village of Wishtoyo, is located between the dry and burning mountains of southern California and the cold pacific ocean. The briny ocean waves crash up and the mountainous heat bleeds down, and amalgamatein Wishtoyo, one of the most sacred places I have ever set foot on.

When we arrived I was welcomed by the amiable and smiling Chumash people. the keepers of Wishtoyo. We greeted and then entered this circular structure, partially submerged in the earth. The place was incredibly traditional, and when I entered, it felt like I was back in the past, and all that existed outside of this erection was miles and miles of wilderness, that expanded to the boundaries of all of turtle island. I camped at Wishtoyo for 3 days and 2 nights and during this time Mati, a wise chumash elder, and his people treated us to their enthralling stories and congenial ceremonies; all of which profoundly affected me. However, the sweat we had is of particular significance. The sweat consisted of all us men, and the reasoning for this, was for us to be completely comfortable and open. We all stayed up until midnight, and then prepared the grandfather rocks to be heated. In this process we had to be meticulous, because there was only a certain way in which we could set up the rocks. After they were lit, we sat and talked with one another, for a few hours. Here everything was realized, and in the lodge everything was manifested. At that fire I thought about my mother, my culture, and my relationships. Ar the lodge I sang for my mother, the person whom I owe my existence and everything to, and my culture, the crucial part of me which I finally began to truly reconnect with, all singing surrounded by my brothers and the spirits of my grandfathers. I am so grateful for my Wishtoyo experience, it will not be forgotten.

-Zaryn Prussia

Day 5 of Camp

Today camp was quite usual. The climax of my day was the first activity. We ran and practiced the formations of Aztec troops. It was exhilarating to run in such uniformity with my brothers. Although no words were no spoken between us,(for they were not supposed to be) I felt an increased connection to all of them from this experience. We were all concurrent. We all ran together, we all sweated together, and we all arrived together. There is an incredible trust involved in these formations; you follow the man in front of you, bequeathing the route to the man behind you, and when you get into a certain formation you trust your brothers are in their position, because in the past if they weren’t it could have meant death. The following activities were Aztec math, which I always enjoy, and basket weaving which is was interesting.


-Zaryn Prussia

The 4th day of camp

Today was my fourth day of camp. In the morning, we did Aztec dances under the rising sun. The heat was very intense, but I believe it only amplified the experience, like the creator out of respect sent that blazing effulgence to make us truly perform these dances of the people of the sun. At midday we listened to an elder speak of the power of women and the importance of men to respect them. These teaching really removed from my western mindset and returned me too that of my people, pre-contact, a mindset I often stray from. I again encountered this elder from before at the dinner table, he was alone and the tables of people whom I would usually sit by were full, so I sat across from him. We discussed many topics, such as the preservation and necessity of culture, the Aztec creation story and ceremonies, and also the importance of listening to other people and differing views or beliefs; now this last piece of wisdom from him finally revealed to me the reason as to how he became so knowledgeable and sagacious; he took the truths from everything else and applied them to himself.

-Zaryn Prussia

Reaction to “Game Spirit Pride of a Nation”

Today I was exposed to the profoundly impactful film “Game Spirit Pride of a Nation”. The film is about the Iroquois or Haudenosaunee sport of lacrosse, and as I watched I was enlightened furthermore to the history and the treatment of my people. My reaction was incredibly sad to doctrine of discovery and how it was used as an excuse to thieve from and hurt my people hundreds of years in the past, but I was also very disappointed at seeing how this horrible idea is still applied today. However overall the film filled me with an overwhelming pride at seeing the perseverance of my people; even at the face of rejection by the government they were not despondent, they kept fighting on just like they did in their lacrosse games, even after many losses. I believe one day all the attempts of my people will eventually be successful.


Zaryn Prussia

Zaryn’s first day.

Today was my first day of Pitzer’s Native Youth to College Camp. This camp is unlike any camp I have hitherto attended. All my fellow campers are indigenous like me and so I am now surrounded by a myriad of people congenial to me; all representing one of Turtle Islands various cultures. These are people whom I’m very glad to have camping with me are all interested in learning and sustaining their culture like. It comforts me knowing that I am not alone in my efforts to preserve the immemorial ways of my ancestors.

Today we campers participated in making the traditional craft “clappers”, an instrument that creates a clapping noise, we also participated in an ancient dance, that’s name I have sadly disremembered. Although slightly mortifying it improved my confidence and ultimately I was just thankful to be participating in this dance.

Not even an entire day has elapsed and I can already foresee myself growing into a far changed individual. I’m excited to see where this camp leads me.

-Zaryn Prussia