Monday, November 23, 2009
We are attracted to the magic of turtles.
A stretched neck Turtle rattle. A Sacred item that doubles as a work of Art or a craft-piece. Beautiful to hold and to look at. Can you imagine the skill it takes to create this Art. This particular rattle has not been used in a Ceremony. There is some misgivings on my part for seeing this rattle. On the one hand, Indians have always took part in commerce. Indians traded, bought and sold items with the currency of the day. So exchange of one item for another is no mystery. However, the idea that it is not going to be used for Ceremony is kind of sad. The Turtle had it's life taken and it should be honoured for its life. That's something we seem to forget. In any case it is a wonderful piece of work. Anyone would be lucky to possess such a rattle.
My Mom and my siblings have always been fans of turtles. I can remember the first time I saw a live turtle. My Dad brought it home from the bush. It was a Painted turtle.
I don't know how I know, I just know that is what it was. My Dad showed us the turtle but we had to let it go into the river after we had the chance to look at it. I remember my Auntie had an aquarium with little green turtles, baby turtles. I never see that anymore, people with turtles. I understand that they carry salmonella.
My Mom used to give us turtles. All sorts of little ornamental turtles. Turtles mean a lot to us personally but they also represent a larger self for the Indians. Indians commonly refer to the land we live on as part of Turtle Island. I think people have some vague idea as to what Turtle Island refers to.
For me it is a connection to my Mom and Dad, but also to our past. I like the notion of Turtle Island. It kind of pisses me off that we refer to other peoples beliefs as myths and legends. Cheapens what their beliefs are.
Turtles are very popular not only in Canada and the United States but almost everywhere. In popular culture we see images of the Turtle. In television shows, in movies, in documentaries, as a car wax, beauty products, and there are even Ninja Turtles. I always wonder about stuff like that, do other people get upset when their symbols or part of their heritage is borrowed and used? Turtles sure are magical. We would miss them if they were not here.
In any case lets walk softly on Turtle Island, and Mother Earth. Let's try to be kind to our world. Cheers