Rides and Tales

Observations From Behind Bars

Out of the Blue

with one comment

A few years ago, my missus became part of a drum circle; it’s not your run-of-the-mill, neo-hippie rhythmic jam session, drum circle, but one oriented toward Native American tradition, one whose leader is also a well-known advocate, holy man and educator. When I say, “became part of”, I mean she’s learning Lakota and Apache songs and traditions and participates in  the group’s ceremonies and social events. Of course I have a standing invitation to any  of the group’s funtions and have attended a few, including her Naming Ceremony.

My wife is the first person without Native ancestry  to receive a tribal name from the aforementioned leader.
I had a Cherokee granny but, as far as I know,  she lived in the  manner of any other woman in rural Appalachia. In any case, while   my wife’s enthusiasm and my contact with the people in the drum circle  awakened an interest in tradition, I haven’t been moved to trade my scooter boots for moccasins, if you catch my drift. God knows there are already enough white people who “do Native American”, as they so eloquently put it.


“…It isn’t the quantity of Cherokee blood in your veins that is important, but the quality of it…” [Principal Chief Jim Pell]

”I said all that to say all this…” [Elvis Presley]

The group decided to have a potluck dinner in a park situated  on the second-largest Indian burial ground in Texas. Being as the drum circle folks are very hospitable, not to mention, talented cooks, I accepted the little woman’s invitation to accompany her to the feast.

Understand that, despite my wife’s level of involvement, I’m a guest of the group and I tend to hang back, a little.

After food and hobnobbery, the group thinned as attendees began to drift homeward; I was invited to sit with some folks who were listening to an Apache man who had just moved to town and was introducing himself. While I was catching up to his story, he reached into his bag and began removing items he, then,  distributed as gifts. While I am aware of  the importance of gift-giving in ceremonial life,  I was caught completely off-guard when he placed a bolt of blue cotton fabric in my hands.  I was unsure of  what to do, being an outsider, and all,  but the very act seemed to confirm that I was where I was meant to be.   

Later, my missus mentioned the color’s significance and offered to make a couple of bandannas for me. I told her I’d also like a hatband for my big sombrero.
Here is what she created for me:

My big sombrero

The design is hand-sewn seed beads and depicts the colors of four sacred directions.


As of this posting, I still have my scooter boots. I’ll get back to you as things develop.

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Written by fiddle mike

August 21, 2012 at 5:12 am

One Response

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  1. The Missus is talented. You’ve every right to show off her skills. NICE.

    chesshirecat

    August 21, 2012 at 6:08 am


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