Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Chief Tamaha, painting by me

Tamaha

A chief of the Mdewakanton Sioux who met and aided Lt. Zebulon Pike during the American explorer's expeditions in 1806 and 1807. Their ensuing strong friendship prompted Tamaha to remain loyal to the United States during the War of 1812 despite the fact that most of the Sioux supported the British. Tamaha not only refused to join the other Sioux in the war against the United States, but served General Clarke as a scout and messenger. On one of his trips, he was imprisoned by a fur trader in the employ of the British and, though threatened with execution, steadfastly refused to divulge any information to the enemy. After the war, in 1816, he visited St. Louis to participate in a council of the 46 chiefs from the upper Missouri. General Clarke took that occasion to present Tamaha a medal of honor for his faithful service to the United States. Tamaha lived to the age of 85, venerated by red man and white man alike. He died in April 1860 at Wabasha, Minn.


This is my great grand-father. He and his wife Wynona had a daughter. Her name was Apan Elku meaning Little Elk. When Chief Tamaha signed the treaty of 1812 (pictured above he is the man in the first row sitting down in the middle, this is at the signing of the treaty of 1812) he agreed to change his tribes names to English. Her name was changed to Ellen Turpin. She was my grand-mother. She also was a great Medicine Woman. She delivered many white settlers babies.

I just got my letter of acceptance into this tribe...

The first paragraph goes like this...

"Welcome to our Community! The Mendota Mdewakanton Dakota Community's Membership Committee has completed review of your membership application and found that you qualify for descendants membership under the terms of our Constitution and Bylaws."

Then in the next breath they are asking me for $15.00 a month to 'belong' to their community. If I don't pay it, then I don't belong, they throw me out.

I wrote back saying that they already found that I qualify because of descendancy, meaning blood. Blood is blood and $15.00 bucks a month wasn't going to change that fact so to go a head and throw me out.

Because of my work with special needs Native American children I had to count my blood drops of descendancy . It turned out to be 53 % Native Blood. All documented and approved except for that $15.00 dollar thing.

I ain't gonna pay it.

I'm bitchy that way. It's in my Sioux blood.

JackieSue Bruce went out and bought the cylinder I needed to mail you Willie. So Friday I will be mailing him to you. Finally! And you need to change my name from Lakota to Dakota Princess, thank you very much :))))





6 comments:

buddha_girl said...

I am so proud of you for standing up for what is right. You either belong or you don't. $15 doesn't make crap happen.

What a disappointment.

PS
Did you know that I adore Rob Thomas?

Rainwolf said...

Very cool. I wouldn't come off the $15 either, that's a racket.

yellowdog granny said...

$15 isn't going to make you more Dakota..them assholes..
You should have told them your people payed in blood and no need to play blood money...
you are now officially my Dakota Princess...oooh cool..willies on the way...
he will join the wall with my other oil paintings..the greeen mermaid that tastes like chicken by my nephew and a lovely finger painting by buddha_girls artist son Robert..Babs has the raven hangin in her hall way and when you open her door it is right there to greet you..i love it...

Allan said...

Now THAT is family history! Very interesting and impressive man, he was.
Re: your request- I will try, but hit me again closer to October,please!
BTW, my friend Tall Feathers does a three-hour radio show devoted to Native American music every Saturday morning 6-9 AM EST , www dot WRIR dot org.

billy pilgrim said...

$15.00 a month, $180.00 a year....

good thing you showed them where the bear shit in the bucket. i suspect the $15.00 a month would increase as time goes by.

i like turpin, it reminds me of terrapin. and i love terrapins.

sageweb said...

What a beautiful painting! And good for you for not paying 15 dollars, that seems ridiculous, you have the blood what more could they need?