March 8, 2012

Pow Wow dancer

The girl in the photo danced at every opportunity and so beautifully. It is good to see the younger people keeping up with their traditions. Every visit to a pow wow I learn more and more about the original inhabitants of the United States. I sit and chat with whomever is open for a little talk. This year I sat next to the lady who decorates the most beautiful walking sticks with peyote stitch and her friend told me about the history of her people. She was in her late 70's and had to go to boarding school and only speak English. The children were not allowed to speak their own tongue. She introduced me to the docent who teaches Quechan to the childeren now. My English is better than my Dutch, but I am very happy that it is good enough to read, write and speak and that I learned the history of my little country. I can't imagine what it would be like if someone said, "you have to disown your heritage". Even as a child, growing up in South Africa, I was still aware that I was Dutch. However, I am not Dutch enough to be really Dutch, neither English enough, nor South African enough nor American enough, to be any of those either. I am just me, I suppose, and quite happy with it.

Here is a picture of the dancing girl's face.

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