Subject: Re: Seminole Tribune
From: email@example.com (Maria A Jimenez)
Date: Sat, 12 Jul 1997 13:32:11 EDT
On Sat, 12 Jul 1997 11:16:57 -0400 john <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> I found this article in the Seminole Tribune.
For more than 2000 years, the skeleton of an indigenous chieftain lay at peace on the east side of this hilly island, an emerald between the Leeward and Windward Islands of the Caribbean's Lesser Antilles chain. Buried with adornment and artifact - the trappings of his wealth and status - the Chief's last resting spot was a pre-Arawak village near the shore of an endless turquoise sea, at the footstep of a serrated mountain range, on a speck of rock and rainforest unrecorded until Christopher Columbus sailed by in 1493.
Fifteen months ago, during an excavation required by the expansion of the tiny seaside airport here, human bones - long ago gobbled by the sinkhole of time - were discovered beneath an old sugar cane field. The abandoned rum plantation is now one of the finest archaeological sites in the Caribbean. Beneath 8 1/2 inches of soil lies the remarkably complete village; called the Trants Site, it mirrors sites found in Venezuela's Orinoco River Valley.
We already know from where our ancestors come from...
The chief and the carbon-dated bones of his subjects provide the missing link between the indigenous people of South America and the Arawak and Carib speakers of the Americas to the north Scientists removed seven skeletons - including the bones and funeral possessions of the tall chieftain - and brough it all to the United States for closer study at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Natural History.
My People answer me this ! What would happen if we went and dug up
the grave of one of the Others?? How would they React?? Well,
I'll tell you... They would look Upon us as
Desecrators and they would quickly throw as in jail... Tell me do
I speak Truth or lie?
Do you see the irony, who's rights is the global law protecting? Certainly, not the Rights of indigenous people...
Do as I say Not as I do.... The Bones of the chief
and his subjects, in my opinion, as an individual, and their
belongings should be returned to their resting place in a respectful
Three weeks later, on July 15, 1995, a Volcano erupted on the tiny (39.5 square miles) resort island of 10,000. A volcano few outside the geology classroom knew existed. A volcano, radio carbon tests now indicate, that last erupted about 400 years ago. People who live on the island describe it as a low rumbling freight train sound that went on for hours and blew up a thick cloud of ash that billowed out in stunning gallups of thicksmoke and hung in the air like a giant scoop of grey ice cream that didn't melt for weeks.
There was no warning. Just about the time that Carnegie scientist Dave
Watters began unwrapping the bones of the Arawak chieftain in
Pittsburgh, the sky went black over Montserrat. Then the earthquakes
started. They haven't stopped.
Sometimes we have up to 600 a
day. We are so used to it, we don't even notice it anymore,
says Richard Aspin, a consultant to the Montserrat government, who
There ARE those who say the bones of the Chief should
be returned. In the absence of any other rational reason for all this,
I can't dispute the idea. Whether that will work on the lady on
the hill or not. I don't know.
A chance meeting with this reporter and Montserrat Director of Tourism Leona Midgette during a tourism conference in Berlin, last spring, led to an invitation for Seminole Chairman James Billie to visit Montserrat and, perhaps, to exchange culture and perform his music during the island's festival season in December. No sooner did Ms. Midgette return to her tiny homeland, however, than the volcano erupted again, this time with such force and destruction that 60 percent of the island was evacuated, the capital city - Plymouth - completely shut down, and about 4500 people - mostly the poor who live on the south end - were rendered homeless.
I've had to move three times, myself,<.q> says Gov. Frank
Savage, who is appointed by the Queen of England as her governing
representative on this British Principal Trust Colony.
is meeting in a private home.
Since April, no one has been allowed to return to the Southern part of Montserrat, which is covered in a fine, gray ash. Cruise ships don't stop by anymore. Jet-setters don't stop in to rent the luxurious villas which dot the safe side of the mountains. The rainforest which once crept along the valley and up the Soufriere Hills has been destroyed, every square foot of the town of Plymouth is now a ghostly gray, cars and houses are buried in ash. a gigantic pyroclastic flow of ashen lava has formed a fan-shaped delta on the coast line, and little airy volcanic rocks are everywhere.
The last time the whore on the hill lifted her skirts, rocks rained
down on a five mile radius, even out to sea, said Aspin, who says
the Soufeire Hills volcano has no name.
Most refer to it as the
angry lady or the whore on the hill.
I detest this reference
Whore on the Hill and the sexual
Shot her rocks off indeed... We are speaking of a
Sacred Site it is obvious to me that as Usual the Others have
no respect for our people our our beloved ancestors....
angry lady shot her rocks off with incredible fury about
four days before Chairman Billie's recent visit to the island in
September. A tour arranged by the island government and a chance
meeting with the Montserrat governor brought closer to the surface the
plight of the local Montserratians, most of whom face an uncertain
future, to say the least. Churches and other large buildings are
stacked with costs.
It is not like it was when Hurricane Hugo came in and we hid out
for two days until it was over, says guide Cecil
There is no end in sight.
Hugo physically destroyed Montserrat in 1989. But the volcano has
taken more than a physical toll.
There is a lot of stress in not
knowing what is going to happen, when, says Aspin.
is crazy. We recently got a letter from Colombia complaining that the
ash from our volcano is drifting over and dropping on their coffee
crop. Juan Valdez is mad that his coffee is being ruined! What do they
want us to do?
In what has been the paradise where Elton John was married, where Michael Jackson and Mick Jagger maintained villas, where Bruce Springsteen, Sting and others made albums and Beatles producer George Martin maintained a legendary recording studio high on a mountainside, now exists a destroyed economy, a half-gone island and an uncertain future.
Geologists can't predict what is going to happen, how long the
volcano will stay active, when it will go back to sleep, says
German geologist Prof. Hansjorg Oeltzschner.
People hope it will be
next week. But this volcano has no track record. It could be seven
years. It could be decades.
The Queen and the British Government has pumped more than $100 million in disaster aid to tiny Montserrat in the past 15 months. The citizens of Montserrat have invited prince Charles (and his wealthy Prince's Trust) to take a look-see. There is talk of rebuilding the capital city on the safer northern end of the island. There is talk of evacuating everyone to another country. This is expensive talk. It all makes the British government nervous, for all the Queen's geologists and all the Queen's money may never be able to put Montserrat back together again.
Which brings us back to Carnegie Curator of Anthropology Watters, who has the permission of the Montserrat National Trust to study the bones and other artifacts for two years - until June of 1997. The deal was struck, it should be noted, before the volcano.
It's a loan. We figured two years to properly analyze this
material, says Watters.
I've been going down there since
1978 and I never even thought of volcanic activity. I mean, all of
these islands are volcanic islands - that is common knowledge. But,
you never except it to happen.
If THE OTHERS want to study our ancestors, why is it neccesary to remove them from the site,, They I am sure can find ways to study without removal...
Watters is a scientist, so he does not put much stock in the idea that the angry Gods are demanding the return of the Arawak ancestors' skeletons.
Obviously , being a scientist he would not believe, The old cliche
if science can't prove it, it doesn't exist
He sees the Trants Site as
valuable, priceless in helping
scientists understand the northward migrations of the Americas'
Valuable and priceless
KEY WORDS There are many on Montserrat,
however, who wonder about the coincidence of a long dormant volcano
blowing up after ancient skeletons are taken from their graves.
I wholeheartly agree with the People of Montserrat, RETURN THE BONES
of OUR Ancestors to their resting place
ALL THE BONES Not just
In fact, Chairman Billie was asked several times if there were any medicines or medicine men who might be able to deal with a natural disaster such as the volcano.
Shamanism is still alive, he told a curious
There are still those who practice it and teach people
the old ways. I will have to ask them if they remember any songs to
cool down the earth, to appease the Gods of the earth. I will tell
them the story of the removed bones and see what they say.
Who is to say it is not true, asked the Seminole Chief.
is an insane world. The Conquistadors came in and tried to behead us
because we did not understand what they were trying to say! What is on
the surface may not always be the truth.
True, and in this case it is a collective emptiness, a series of voids
about 8 1/2 inches below the surface. Are the empty tombs of
Montserrat crying out for corpses? How long will the angry lady go?
Can the Seminole medicine man help? One thing is for certain, sings
Chief Billie, in one of his signature songs:
The old ways will
survive. Stay tuned.
I have said all I can on this for now, i Do not wish to lash out in anger at these people that continue to desegrate the resting places of our indegenous ancestors... For in anger you may say things that are very unlady like...
DS Adonaset Fort <email@example.com>
Subject: RE: Seminole Tribune
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 1997 16:50:12 -0400
Oyea Tau Natiaos, Guatiaos
There are several things that cause me irritation with this story.
>>Scientists removed seven skeletons - including the bones and funeral >>possessions of the tall chieftain - and brought it all to the United >>States for closer study at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Museum of Natural >>History.
First, In another show of disrespect, the arijua desecrate the resting yara of a Bo i'ro. Never would the taino people consider doing such a na (thing). The-Goeiz of the Bo leader is speaking through the volcano - it is demanding that the body of the Cacike be returned to its resting yara (place).
Seminole leader, Jim Billy said:
Shamanism is still alive,he told a curious Gov. Savage.There are still those who practice it and teach people the old ways. I will have to ask them if they remember any songs to cool down the earth, to appease the Gods of the earth. I will tell them the story of the removed bones and see what they say.
Who is to say it is not true,asked the Seminole Chief.This is an insane world. The Conquistadors came in and tried to behead us because we did not understand what they were trying to say! What is on the surface may not always be the truth.
Jim Billy can bring in all the bohiti that he can find - the bohiti can not cool down the ke' the only na that will cool down the goeiz is the return of the Cacike to his burial yara on the island.
Bibi ke' is demanding justice. Let Bibi ke' speak - let the world guaroco (know) that we have found a voice in her - let the world guaroco (know) that the Ara'guacu' will ua' (no) longer be silent while our ancestors are dissected in museums. Atabey is our voice in this terrible happening - let ua' (no) bohiti try and silence her voice.
Walk in Harmony