Native American/Indigenous People Day and My Feather Story

Ofrenda del dia de los muertos 3

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I’m notoriously bad at holidays. I loathe them with a passion. [With the exception being Dia de los Muertos y New’s Years Eve/Day] If I ever plan on doing something on a holiday I am always at least a day late. I’m posting this anyway because I feel the below mentioned holiday should be scrapped and the titled holiday should be adopted. Written yesterday:

Today some people are celebrating Columbus Day. Why? That is a good question. I don’t really know. It never made sense to me. As a child I was taught about how Columbus discovered America. I don’t know if I was the only child thinking it in my class since we were encouraged to listen, not to question, but to me, it just seemed so wrong.

How could a place be discovered by someone, when there were already people living there? Wouldn’t the people who were already there been the discoverers. And, if you want to say well Columbus helped to colonize the Americas with Europeans…that sounds a lot like a neglectful, perhaps naive way of saying he INVADED America.

So, instead of celebrating the eventual destruction of indigenous ways and people. Instead of celebrating slave labor, corporate greed and numerous other atrocities in the name of civilization. I’m celebrating Native American Day and teaching my daughter about it.

Today, there’s a trend of feather hair extensions. As I said before, I’ve been wearing feathers in my hair for a few years, mostly because I started finding feathers all over the place, and I connect very deeply to their power. Today I want to share my feather story. A lot of the feathers being used in hair extensions are not cruelty-free.

My feathers were found while on a spiritual quest. I visited the lands of the Seminoles in Florida, went to Native American spiritual sites and spent most of my time in nature. During this time I traveled a lot, read a lot on the history, did earth meditations, and studied the Muskogee Creek language(while trying to abandon English speaking and stalking the Spanish-speaking people of Florida, so I could communicate more fluently). I fully connected with my Native American ancestry during this time and my own spiritual path.If one wants to find feathers, all you need to do is look around you. Go where birds go and see a feather, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck! ;)

On my spiritual path I found lots of birds and lots of beautiful feathers that I could not ignore. I felt like these feathers were there for me, to show me something, to reward me for the hard spiritual work I was doing. I felt I had earned these feathers. I put a lot of them in my hair and wore them. I used others as bookmarks, or put them in protective sleeves in my spiritual notebooks. I used them to smudge sage and while spirit-dancing. I used some of them for healing or put them in my pocket for going into environments I was uncomfortable or unfamiliar with. Later, I used some to decorate my living area, or create an alter. I placed some by my kitchen work station.

I was definitely weirded out when I discovered that feather-wearing had become a trend. I definitely think everyone should have their own style and have a reason for representing their own style. I did consider giving up my feather wearing, and to some extent I did, though subconsciously it has been because of moving, needing to organize and just not putting in a lot of effort in being stylish (although I didn’t do it for that reason anyway).

The story of my feathers is also one related to this story of holidays. Everyone should have their own reasons for celebrating what they want to celebrate, just like they should have their own reasons for wearing what they want to wear. I don’t think a lot of people who celebrate Columbus Day do it because they have their own personal story that they are representing. I think it is celebrated because it is trendy, right now, in the U.S. to celebrate it.

I think it would be a lot easier on us all if we knew that people were engaging in activities and supporting events, causes and ideas out of authenticity. So for instance, if everyone celebrated things they were educated about and encouraging of, I would know that people celebrating Columbus Day are people I’d better stay away from.

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