ERIC Number: ED462235
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Reference Count: N/A
The Way of the Drum: When Earth Becomes Heart.
Antone, Grafton; Turchetti, Lois Provost
Two Native people describe their respective journeys to healing, journeys that involved the rediscovery of language and culture. In Part I, "Healing the Tears of Yesterday by the Drum Today: The Oneida Language Is a Healing Medicine" (Grafton Antone), the first narrator taught the Oneida language to adult students at a community center. Lacking materials, the class set about translating the Thanksgiving Address and the Iroquois creation story. These materials helped the students see how cultural and spiritual values were revealed within the language. Similarly, a healing program begun by the United Church of Canada uses traditional songs, drumming, and cultural practices to help survivors of the residential school experience regain their wholeness. In Part II, "When Earth Becomes Heart--'Oral Tradition' Is the Best Medicine" (Lois Provost Turchetti), the second narrator explains how initially, some of the original people of the Caribbean described themselves as Taino, meaning "good person" or "true human being." These people also called themselves "Caribs," "Arauaks," and "Hohodene." Today, "Taino" is used broadly to refer to the Indigenous Caribbean peoples. "Taino" languages are related to the Athapaskan family and are being revitalized by at least two distinct "Taino" nations. In "Xaymaka" or "Yamaye" (Jamaica), the Maroons are a distinct, independent, and sovereign nation, the offspring of "Arauak" ("Taino") and several African nations (Coromantee, Berber, Fullah, and others). In this second part of the article, Turchetti speaks as an indigenous person born in Xaymaca-Yamaye of Chinese, Asian Indian, French, African, Italian, German, South American, Jewish, Scottish, Welsh, Irish, and Maroon-Taino blood and culture, and describes the oral tradition "writing," the healing power of spoken language, and her discovery of the relationship between oral tradition and mythic "glyphs." She concludes that despite its power, oral tradition and mythical thinking and speaking are endangered. (SV)
Descriptors: American Indian Education, American Indian Languages, Cultural Education, Cultural Maintenance, Language Maintenance, Mythology, Oral Tradition, Personal Narratives, Second Language Instruction, Teaching Experience
For full text: http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~jar/ILAC/.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A