one year. warep amahin.
wow. as i was going through my archives i noticed today is exactly one year i started this blog. honestly… i gotta admit, for better or worse, i feel pretty proud of it.
last april, one year ago from today, i started this blog because i wanted to document the first person ohlone experience from my own eyes. we are always being studied. anthrpologists want to study our culture, linguists want to study our language, archaeologists want to study our ancestors, naturalists want to study our plant usage, historians want to study our struggles… we are always being studied. sometimes it gets annoying. i started this blog to document my experience though an ohlone perspective, not one of non-indians making an earnest attempt to understand, but me using my own words to describe the beauty, the struggles, the confusion, the hardships, the pain, the joy of modern ohlone identity. of being connected to something so old. of living in ones’ homeland. of isolation. of being ignored. of persevering. of fighting. of cultural continuation. of hope. of survival.
what have i accomplished a year later? when i look back at this blog (which i am for self reflection and growth) i notice i have grown signficantly. and the most important shift is a year ago, i felt confused. i wanted to speak my language but i didnt know where to start and i knew a handful of words but nothing else. i wanted to be in ceremony. i wanted to feel unification. i wanted to grow. a year ago i struggled with a lot of these things. today, i realize all the tools i need are in front of me. with the help of my elders, my grandparents, and my parents i have strengthened my ohlone identity. with the help of my mentor andy, i have grown politically and through ceremony. through tireless dedication, and the help of tribal leaders like corrina gould, and linda yamane i have learned sufficient chochenyo to hold a coversation, something i didnt think i could do a year ago. with all the leaders in our community, i have witnessed true eldership, leadership. my ‘extinct’ brethren, how strong we are.
i throughly believe a shift is occuring right now, where creator kaknu is granting us the power to tell our own story. to sing our own song. to rise stronger than ever before. it has already begun. already we are speaking in our language again at home, we are at ceremony, we are dancing with flickerfeathers, we are singing ancient songs that havent been sung in generations, we are using ohlone placenames, we are weaving baskets, we are slapping clapper sticks against our palms, we are wearing abalone that jingles around our necks, we are paddling down the river in tule boats. we are thriving, thriving, thriving on the edge of the world like our ancetors did since the beginning of time.
through my blog, i am documenting this revitalization and i swear to myself every once in my being will be forever dedicated to my culture, my ancestors, and my people to make sure that the ohlone story will continue forever. we are forever strong.
what started as an experiement has become something bigger, i think. may it continue forever. ishmen ‘ewe makkiš.. ‘ičan tuuxi. sun shine on us. its a new day.