Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Oldest joke in the (Indian) world

What a busy and serious week, then a busy 'n' fun weekend in store for your Choctaw brother~!

I visit all the furthest away and the biggest casinos in the region this week, after yesterday's (Monday) wet visit to the Tax Commission home offices in Oklahoma City.
I'll drive more this week in 5 days, have to focus more, collecting first quarter receipt tallies, than usual weeks.
Then Friday night and Saturday, our first Choctaw pow-wow of 08 is just outside Tuskahoma.
Yahheh! I missed the first pow-wow last year, choosing instead to be hospitalized and saving my ulcered-up life.

While it's nearby my house this time, I expect I'll sleep there on the ground or in my truck's bed. It ain't ever cool to leave early...
~if you know what that means- lots of drumming, singing, chants, good fellowship, a fight or two~

Things wind down at first pow-wow about 4 am, or whenever the last of secret beer stashes have been attacked, 'scalped' if you like, no one else knows where they will sell us more afterhours, the fires' getting dim and when any piece of ground, or any backseat looks so comfortable to sleep on or in.

The fellowship is the mainstay of pow-wows; in the old days, these were the Indian events where friends who lived so far away could all get together, learn and tell their stories, their histories, make new friends.

Boys beat on their chests and play stickball, women and girls gather together and whisper about men and make frybread, and the men sit, drink and talk, solving all the world's troubles. And NO, no one wears their ceremonial garb here, but you do see plenty of eagle and hawk feathers.
Emails and long-distance telephone tried to replace the honor of time, of special effort to come; cheapening life.

I've had this ceremony circled on my calendar all year.

I'm reminded of an old story, often told round the big people's fire, from when I was a little one:
Of two cow punching cowboys, out on the western range, tending their cattle at night.

"Lefty" and "Skinny" were the two cowhands, and they had never been that far out alone, into Indian country with the herd before. As night fell, these two green cowpokes sat close around a little, tiny campfire, sipping the final bits of coffee, after a poor supper.

Skinny asked Lefty "You think there's Injuns out there, tanite?"

"Yeeup, could be. Prolly Apaches. Maybe Comanches." Lefty whispered.

After a while, off in the dark distance, they both began to hear drums beating.
"It's Injuns! Lefty, what will we do?" Skinny cried!

"I heared that whut we gotta do, is to pull our horses and this wagon into the middle of the cattle, and hide," instructed Lefty. Well, that's what these two yahoos proceeded to do, even as the distant drumming continued.

When the Indian drumming seemed to become faster, more intense, louder, these two cowboys crawled under their covered wagon to hide.

As these men hid under their wagon, Lefty worried, "Those Injun drums are gittin' closer. I think I hear war whoops too, Skinny!"

"I know, I hear em too. I think I hear their war party coming! And, I shore don't like the sound of those awful drums one bit, Lefty!!"

Then, from very nearby their hiding place, an Indian calmly came near, and said in English, "Those drums DO sound pretty bad... but it's not our usual drummer tonight."

Long week working, then some real fun, drummin' and dancin' in the dark,
faces lighted only by tongues of fire.

3 comments:

Jungle Mom said...

Is that a Choctaw 'Ha,Ha'?

Is Choctaw fry bread similar to Navajo fry bread?

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The Localmalcontent said...

A Chahtahaha. I like that.

Lukii, thank you, but wrong post. Go back one.