Is this the very last plea from a dying people, possibly?

 

In 2003, the US government’s men came for the horses.

They used a helicopter to stampede them, to frighten them….some were trampled, some gave birth prematurely, some just ran and ran till they died of exhaustion.

The government people were armed, so resistance was futile.

At the end of the day, 500 horses were sold off to a local American farmer. Later, 50  carcasses were found dumped…these had died of starvation.

 

 

The horses belonged to Carrie Dann, a Shoshone grandmother. She doesn’t like talking about it, aside of saying that Indians love horses. That is all she says.

That last round up of the horses was just one of four military style operations set up by the longest running land disputes in the history of America.

 

 

For more than 30 years, Carrie and her late sister Mary, have fought the USA government for Shoshone rights to 60m acres of land, around Nevada and neighboring states.

Unfortunately, the dispute has hardly scratched the American conscience.

 

However, at one point, the United Nations demanded that the US government halt all actions against the Shoshone and find a solution acceptable to them and in accordance with their rights.

To date, nothing has been done that can be seen as a move in the right direction.

A very, very sad period for the Shoshone…and perhaps other indigenous peoples of America. When will these peoples, the real Americans, see justice? It doesn’t look likely…..

Read more about it here

 

 

Please don’t take my soul away!

I was once on a trip with a small group in India, and as always happens, the best places to visit are small villages along the route.

At times like these, I try and part company with the main group and veer off on my own, catching up with the rest later on. So I walked off and about half an hour later, I came to a little village…well, more of a collection of huts than anything else, with a well at the centre.

Soon as the people living there saw a westerner, they all clamoured around inviting me to their huts for a drink or to eat, which I humbly declined.

I got talking with a young guy….not real talk, as the guy couldn’t talk a word of english, but we sort of understood what the other was saying by sign language and a few words of hindi I’d picked up. At that moment, another westerner, came onto the scene, bristling with cameras.

Rather than say hello or try and greet the locals, he immediately started snapping shots of them with his camera. Now, I know in some cultures, taking photos is a definite no-no, and in some places in India, especially so. I could see the look of anger on the villager’s faces, but credit to them, they didn’t say anything. The young guy I was talking to explained to me that taking their photos is akin to taking their souls away.

I pushed him to get a more detailed idea of what he meant. At long last, he made me understand that they regard every human being as having a sacred soul, and that soul is to be respected. Who knows, he said, how those photos would be used in the West; they maybe thrown around and end up underfoot, the very worst of disrespect for a person. Or the photos may be on display in a place where unhealthy or immoral acts are taking place, etc etc.

The villagers asked me to explain to the other westerner that what he was doing was not good. I tried…and ended up with a bucketful of abuse!

Whatever, the moral here is that we should be careful when visiting peoples abroad. They may, and in my experience, they very definitely do not, share the same views as we have as regards morality or acceptable behaviour.