Have you ever met an Indian princess? I don’t mean a pampered, dark-skinned beauty from India. I mean an American Aboriginal honey; the fair and self-sufficient daughter of her tribe. No? Got a reason for that. It has nothing to do with them being locked in lonely, ivory towers either. And no it’s not because Indians (read: Native Americans) are extinct.
The other red folks; they say, “There is no such thing as an Indian princess.” And we laugh at people who lay claim to having a Cherokee princess in their family tree. There is no such thing. Why? Because we didn’t have kings.
But I will look you in the face and I will tell you very seriously that I am a princess.
It’s a joke of course, while not being one. Always has been that way.
You see, my family tree has some fun things in it – the way all family trees do. First of all, it has my mother and my father. It has a host of other red folks, a few German or English folks (that does NOT make me part White! Keep your White thinking out of my blog post lol!), and yes a few Black folks. All family trees are like that.
When you dig deeper it has other fun things. It has… Pocahontas. Alleged, but it’s there.
It has a few kings, some princes, a couple of dukes. Considering who Pocahontas married, that’s not a surprise. They’d be there because nobility were the folks who first came over.
So I can officially tell you my great-great-grand whatever is a Disney princess. Ha! These are the jokes, laugh or go away.
It also has an excellent fellow by the name of Samson Occom. Who was he? A Christian minister, Mohegan tribe by birth, who (with help from others) founded my particular tribe, the Brotherton. And I am his blood descendant. Which means my ancestor is not only the leader, he’s the founder.
You don’t have to know all of that to get the joke – when I look at you and tell you I’m a princess. Har. After all, wasn’t it said by little Shirley Temple in a movie once that all little girls were princesses? I just happen to be the feather wearing kind is all.
I only bring this up because I’ve lately been trying to revive some publications that were historically put out by people involved with my tribe, and some things by super-great Grandpa himself. I was just reading an article someone wrote about him, and I laughed at how families will come around and do circles. He was into carpentry, specifically made small joining works. That’s what my last name means: a woodworker that makes specific types of furniture. (And yes, I am known to make something once in a great while.) He practiced book binding: which is close to the things I do and always have done. And of course he did a lot of hunting and fishing… family trades I grew up with, as my father was a shrimper and truck driver. And like my super-great-grandfather I used to be a very very devout Christian.
Even generations later the fruit doesn’t fall from the tree.
So as I find documents, clean them up, and slowly begin working with getting them into our publication menu for other tribal members to find and have a physical copy of I think to myself that I hope he would approve. I actually think he would, so I am not worried.
Just this week I finally got a cleaned up copy of Indian Melodies by Thomas Commuck in for publication. This is a songbook for shape-note singing…. yes, all hymns. It’s of historical importance, but this article isn’t about it’s history. There are a lot of articles to be found on that point already.
I almost printed it last year, but I was talked out of it. There was already a copy available, I was told. So I ordered that… and was sorely disappointed with what I got. The company didn’t even TRY to make the pages legible. It was all wasted paper. Also, it came from India. That shouldn’t be a sore point, but it was… I wanted this book back home where it belonged! I’m a Brotherton, I own a publishing company, and no one was going to talk me out of it twice. I have been working very very hard on it as a result.
I’m waiting on some physical copies to see how it turned out. Then it will be in the catalog if I like them.
Well, that’s enough roots moment talk from me. Got so much work to do. Catch you on the other side of the corn field.