Friday, June 8, 2012

Happy Friday! Living Or Dead, and Fathers' Day,


Alihelisdi Tsunagilosdi Gohi-iga!   Be happy, it's Friday!
     How many of you followed the Transit of Venus on Tuesday/Wednesday? It's the kind of event that reminds us of our relative scale in the universe. We are barely specks of dust in the grand scheme of things. But unlike specks of dust, we are self-powered. 
     In Cherokee, there are two pluralizing prefixes, ani and di. Ani is sometimes mistranslated as 'people', because it pluralizes the clan names. Waya become Aniwaya, Tsiqua becomes Anitsisqua. Di is used for inanimate objects. Gasgilo becomes digasgilo, sesdi becomes disesdi. 
     At one time the difference was whether the noun was self-locomoting. Humans and animals that move on their own power took the ani prefix, but so did stars and clouds. 
Another school of thought reserves ani for humans. 
The most common division, however, is between the living and non-living. 
     In the opening episode of the updated "Battlestar Galactica," we have this brief exchange between the first human-looking Cylon to make contact with humanity and a human ambassador at a remote space station:
Number Six: Are you alive?
Human: Yes.
Number Six: Prove it!
     Six then kisses him passionately, while he responds... like a dead frog. She didn't ask to see his CDIB; the princess kissed the frog, and he stayed a frog. 
     This scene summarizes the series to some. The underlying questions are "Am I alive? Am I human? Or am I a robot programmed to think it's human?"
     Think of this when the "identity police" challenge you. Are you ayvwiya, a Real Person? Can you prove it? Are you actively involved in the Cherokee heritage, culture and language, or are you just croaking? 

Father's Day
It's coming up next weekend, and that will end our Spring Special. 

Stray Bits
[1] Many are familiar with James Mooney's "Myths and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees." Mooney's descendant and namesake has just agreed to be part of a project to release an annotated version, explaining some of the symbolism. Rather than a dead "museum piece," this would reflect how the stories of our ancestors still influence and guide us today. We would also like to make this an illustrated version, so if any of you artists have a piece that would be appropriate for one of the stories, please contact me.
[2] The bad news: Amazon doesn't support Cherokee characters. The good news: there's a way around it! For all of you budding writers... 
[3] A Hollywood film company contacted me about getting Hopi and Mayan Elders to describe their genuine prophecies as part of a documentary series in production on indigenous views of 2012. Told them I'd do my best, but the Hopi are notoriously close-mouthed with outsiders on these subjects. There's more positive response from the Mayans and Inuit Elders, but still wary.

Donadagohvi, until we meet again
Nvwadohiyada, Healing and Peace be with you!

PS:  Beside this mail list, I have two others. There's no charge, so click the links and join if interested: 

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