Saturday, April 9, 2016

Hopping and Skipping Across My Mind

My mind jumps from A to D to F and often will skip the in-between steps. Yesterday I burst out laughing because my mental jumps surprised even me. See if you can follow the logic below the following...

Jingle dresses are a popular outfit at pow-wow dances. The dance
is energetic, so it is usually danced by people under 30 years of age. 

I was packing a shipment of jingles that had just arrived at the shop, and glanced over at the boxes that we use for storage. They are clearly marked "Made in Taiwan" and my mind started casting to Taiwan and small Oriental men making and packing a pow-wow dress ornament that will be worn by active daughters of Native American warriors.

The war against the Lakota Sioux was only 150 years ago and
the Lakota Sioux were victorious - they never signed a peace
accord and the US government admitted they were defeated
by the Sioux warriors.

Thinking about Native American warriors made me think about my family - tall, competent warriors of the Lakota Sioux tribe - descendants of the great war chief, Red Cloud and his assistants. These men, on average, stand over six feet tall and probably could wrestle a buffalo to the ground without breaking a sweat.

Genghis Khan was responsible for more than 40 million
deaths and his hordes overran much of the known earth
of the time. He was brutal and ruthless, every inch the warrior. 

So I'm visualizing this smaller Chinese man standing next to my Uncle Joe (6' 4" but with the greatest smile) and my mind is taking a leap back into history.

Chinese man = Taiwan = China = warriors = Genghis Khan

Lakota man = Pine Ridge Reservation = the grasslands of the sacred Black Hills in South Dakota = Red Cloud

The Sioux tribes covered a lot of territory, but they remained
small, independent bands. If they had banded together into
a single, cohesive political and military force, they would
have won the West without any difficulty. 

Who would win in this battle of great warriors? Both were known to be without fear, both were famed for how vicious they were to those they attacked, and both were famed horsemen. I start envisioning this battle - the Khan against the War Chief. My money is on Red Cloud.

Red Cloud was the military War Chief who brought
the might of the American Government to a standoff
with just a few hundred warriors against the might of
the entire American military. 

A quick note on my family - my adoptive grandmother, Zona Fills the Pipe, was the daughter of Young Man Afraid of His Horse who was the son of Old Man Afraid of His Horse who was one of the closest companions and a fellow warrior with Red Cloud. Grandmother's house stands on Red Cloud land in Pine Ridge. So, as I swim today, I'll be wondering about those crazy skips that my mind can make and enjoying the mental image of Red Cloud vs Genghis Khan. Have a great weekend.

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