It ain’t easy being Indian... Coprolites and our begining

By Ricey Wild
News From Indian Country 9-08

 “…it looks like a handful of poop is rewriting American prehistory.” Archaeology (a magazine) July/August 2008, p. 45.
Now, I don’t usually dwell on the subject of pooping because to me it’s a matter of “so what?” everybody does it. Of course I have giggled about stories of what my people call a “boogit” or more crassly, a fart. Think of it though, in the actual physical performance it sounds just like that phonetically “Boo-gitt.” I dunno. That’s what I think anyways. Maybe your tribe’s boogit’s sound different. I can only testify that my own are near nonexistent but when they do appear, they are sweet, musical toots, like a Mozart melody.

Ho-Lay! Carried away, ennit? Never mind boogits for now, my main subject was poops, or more specifically, 15,000- year-old Native coprolites. Coprolites that are the beginning of the real truth about our ancient existence here in Turtle Island, how very ironic! “Our ancestors have been crapping here longer than your ancestors, you gosh darn boat people! So there!” (I mentally hurl a turd in their direction.)

Some scientists in Oregon excavated a cave in which was found animal bones, camel and horse with scrapes on them, the dinner of which of course resulted in the poops. Now I don’t wanna get all scientifical on yooz, the point I am trying to make here is that as I said many years ago now, and I quote me, that the white mans’ technology would eventually prove them wrong. I add now on every count.

Take that you Bering Strait theorists! Yay! I just love this, and I will sleep better tonight and for many nights to come, in the sure knowledge that our Native history, our tribal stories and our family legacies will be validated, not terminated. And if anyone ever asks me again “where I come from” I will cheerfully enlighten them. Actually, I’m gonna tell anyone who will listen.

As I said, the Rezberry Enrollee Appreciation days were at the end of June. There was a carnival, feast and cash prizes. At this time of year, Rezberrians from all corners of the county (just kidding!) gather for a rollicking good fight. I mean time. There are the relatives who live far away you hug so hard and almost cry you miss them so bad, Amanda, and then there are the ones who if you see them once a year that’s one time too much. Them ones only probably live down the way a bit. Some friends of mine have this corny sign in their luxe condo: Friends welcome anytime, Relatives by appointment only.

I worked most of the weekend of celebrations, but I did manage to buy some mini-frybreads from the carnival, coated in sugar and cinnamon, you know, real traditional Indian chow. The mini-frybreads cost 4 bucks! OMG! But that’s not why I bring that up. While in line behind a woman and her two kids, I noticed that they were white. What? This is supposed to be for Rezberrians only! I could not help myself. I said, “Are you guys supposed to be Indians?” The mom looked at me all offended, and we both looked at her two kids, both pale, freckled cute little things. The mom who had blonde hair growled back at me, are YOU?

There’s me, all big and brown with snapping black eyes, and we both knew I didn’t have to answer that question. The mom then said something like don’t judge a book by its cover, and I replied, “I never do, I was just curious.” I am! Having brown skin, dark hair and eyes is not required any longer to qualify as “Indian,” but it used to. At least it makes it easier for us to identify each other in public. Ah yes, the current painfully relevant question. What makes an Indian an Indian? Hmmmm.

Besides the usual silly carny games there were some that seemed a bit sketchy even for them. You just handed them your money and they said “oh! Too bad! Want to try again?” Just like at the casino. There was Rez rep dunkings, archery contests, and an Indian mime. He didn’t get boxed in by an imaginary box, he got boxed into a tiny reservation.

Elvis in da’ house!!!

My cousins Faye and Chuck have a party every year the same weekend as Enrollee Day. The food, the fun the laughing, dancing and visiting! They really know how to throw a party. A surprise guest showed up – in case you were wondering if Elvis lives he does! He currently works at the Risky Raccoon Resort in housekeeping and every now and then the King reigns to perform for private parties. I, along with other pantie-throwing screaming fans got a silky, sweaty Elvis neckerchief. I hope his manly odor lasts until I see him again! (Eee-Yiiii!)