A nation of people are only as dead as their language.
Growing up my family never spoke our native languages. To be quite honest, we hadn’t set aside very much time to revisit our family’s archives and find the value in our rich heritage either. Aside from all of the stories and struggles passed down from generation to generation we had very few concrete facts about our lands, heritage and culture. The latter—tragic results of being native to America attending European schools for so many generations. Yet, as I grew, learned more, and revisited our history and herstory I became ever so determined to teach my future children their native heritage, culture, and language. After all, each of us is the master of his or her own ship or destiny. It is my duty, like many who share this generation with me, to help recover, reclaim, reestablish and restore the heritage, the culture and the balance for future generations now and forever to come.
My mother always held so much esteem for the Tsalagi blood running through her veins and had a knack for picking out all the little quirks and peculiarities I received from my Saponi-blooded grandma’mal. Thus, for awhile I just assumed I was simply doing my Madre a justice by researching and bringing to her facts to support her stories and speculations. Little did I know, somewhere in the process my DNA was tapped and my world flipped right side up again—and so much of what I had been taught by foreigners for many years proved to be either Machiavellian or just plain ‘ole bold-faced lies of many sorts and a plethora fictions.
We know now so much of what my grandparents and great-grands did not know and/or could not express while they had their time on this blue-green earth. Therefore, I refuse to have the latter said in remorse of the generations we have living, breathing, and flourishing today—nor of the generations to rise from our ashes.
—Biwa & Andestagōnwa ♥