15 September 2008

Turtle Woman Rising: Drum the Heart, Heal the Earth

Turtle Woman Rising "Drum the Heart, Heal the Earth" will be held in Washington DC. on October 10-13 2008 in front of the White House.

Under the auspices of THE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF THIRTEEN INDIGENOUS GRANDMOTHERS, Turtle Women Rising is being organized by SFC Eli PaintedCrow, a 22 yr. retired Army Veteran who served in Iraq in 2004. A Native American from the Yaqui Nation, grandmother of 8, and a mother of 2 sons who both served in the military, she has been called upon by her consciousness and her spirit to play and pray for peace.

This is a call out to all women who are invested in our future. Our mother is in need of healing; our hearts are in need of connection. Our children are in need of protection. Our lives are in need of saving. Join my sisters and me and we will unite our energies to raise the vibration of the Universe. Let us speak to the Earth Mother (Turtle Island), and let her know that we are taking action towards her healing. Let us realize our strength and power as women and together we will shine in our light of Love and Peace.

Most important let us speak to each other’s hearts and hold the energy of Peace. Peace cannot be given; it must be created in the hearts of the living. We cannot demand Peace, we can only become it. We cannot fight for Peace we can only live it. When the hearts of the people understand the power in the sharing of resources and in the re-creation of inter-dependence the world will know abundance, safety and joy for all living things. We will know Peace.

Every culture holds the energy of the heartbeat that lives in the drum, giving all people this ability to share in the language of the universe, the sound of life. The drum beat is a form expression that allows our spirits to speak to each other’s heart. It is a way to connect to all life without creating disagreements. Every living thing has a vibration, a heartbeat. This vibration has the power to heal, transform and raise consciousness to our minds, heal our hearts and activate our bodies and feed our spirit.

You are a Turtle Woman Rising and we need your Light:

button Come to DC and take part in healing our planet by creating strong vibrations of Peace in front of the White House.

button If you cannot be in DC then help create a strong vibration to reach the White House by participating in daily drumming individually or as a group where you reside. Drumming can be at home or at a local Political office that needs positive energy.

button Sponsor someone to participate in the healing that will take place in Washington D.C.

button Pass the word around to your friends and neighbors.

button Be a spokesperson for Peace when the opportunity presents itself.

button Support Organizations that promote peace that you identify with.

There is also a call out to our warriors for security and firekeepers. Please contact Eli at info@elipaintedcrow.org. Turtle Women Rising is honored to be a fiscal project of the Center for Sacred Studies (CSS), a California 501c3 nonprofit organization, through THE INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF THIRTEEN INDIGENOUS GRANDMOTHERS.

10 September 2008

First Taino-Jibaro Festival and First Artisan-Cultural Fair of Guayaney

This news, kindly sent to me by Dr. Carlalynne Melendez of the Liga Guakia Taina-ke, a not-for-profit cultural conservation and ecological protection organization. The first news, with blogs marking the event, involves the first Taino-Jibaro Festival of Guayaney, held this past May. See:


The main objective of that Festival was to unite the communities of that region and to create community networks.

The second news concerns an important and exciting upcoming event, with an interest in expanding its participation to indigenous peoples from across the Caribbean. The Liga is currently organizing the First Artisan-Cultural Fair of Guayaney (December 5,6,7 2008). Those interested should contact Dr. Melendez at lynemelendez@yahoo.com.

Finally, the Liga also has a radio program: Guakia Inkayeke Ahiyaka (Our Community Speaks), transmitted by Radio Walo in Humacao. You can listen to the program online at: http://www.waloradio.com/portal/ or at http://ahiyaka.blogspot.com/. The program airs each Sunday at 9:30am (Puerto Rico Time).

07 September 2008

UC Berkeley Begins Destruction of Native American Sacred Site

Thanks again to Tony Castanha for passing this along:

BERKELEY, CA- University of California police moved in yesterday morning and cut many limbs and branches of a Redwood tree and cut down twelve Oak trees that have been protected by tree-sitting protesters for the last 21 months. Five people were arrested as they peacefully pleaded with arborists not to destroying the trees of the Memorial Oak Grove deemed a sacred burial site to Ohlone Indians.

Twelve trees were cut today and the University says they will continue cutting 46 over the weekend. Four protesters remain in a single Redwood tree in the center of the grove. Arborists trimmed most of the branches from the Redwood tree occupied by the four remaining tree sitters. Cutting the branches made it virtually impossible for the tree sitters to move from tree to tree. A spokesman for the campus said that within three days, the University would no longer honor its agreement to ensure they had adequate nutrition and water. The tree sitters currently only have one liter of water to share between four people as they sit in 90 degree heat.

The Memorial Oak Grove is regarded as a sacred place to Native American people and is documented as such by UC Berkeley's own Anthropology Department. There is evidence of 2 shell mounds sites in the area, with 19 ancestral remains found within them. Along with UC Berkeley's attempt to develop on a sacred place, they are guilty of housing over 17,000 sacred remains and objects. UCB currently holds the largest human remains collection in the United States of which it is not in compliance with the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA)

"I brought my five year old daughter and two month old son out today to bear witness to the massacre of sacred life," said Morning Star Gali of the Pit River Tribe and co-chair of Advocates to Protect Sacred Sites. "The cops responded by yelling to move them behind the median. I asked if they would stand by as complacent if it was their grandmother' s gravesites being desecrated. I want my children here to witness the destruction of sacred life and how important it is to protect it. I wanted them to witness the cops, arborists and UC Officials that participated and cheered as the trees came crashing down from bulldozers. This exhibits the ongoing Human Rights abuses committed by the University. They refuse to comply with NAGPRA by holding 13,000 of our ancestors remains hostage, they illegally reorganized NAGPRA with no tribal consultation and now they continue to desecrate sacred burial grounds."

The Memorial Grove is a native Coast Live Oak ecosystem. Native oaks support the most complex terrestrial ecosystems in California. The California Native Plant Society CNPS has stated that the Memorial Oak Grove is "an important gene bank for the Coast Live Oak." Every one of the oaks in the grove should be protect by law and the Berkeley Coast Live Oak moratorium forbids cutting mature Coast Live Oaks in Berkeley. UC refuses to recognize the law. The grove is also part of a National Historic Site. The Stadium and landscape is a memorial to Californians who died in World War I.

The tree sitters are urging people to come and show support for the trees and bear witness to the University of California's blatant disregard to sacred sites and native ecosystems.

05 September 2008

Healing plants

Before there were "blogs", we at Biaraku had an ongoing forum of ideas that we distributed via email. I thought it would be a good idea to revisit some of the themes that we covered. Now there are even more resources on these subjects on the web.

Gina "Rixturey" Robles-Villalba



Part of the Taino heritage to the world has been the addition of native healing plants to the pharmacopoeia of medicinal knowledge. Our abuelos and abuelitas always have used this knowledge to their benefit before the advent of modern science, hospitals, and pills.

Maria Dolores Hajosy Benedetti has written a wonderful book called "Earth and Spirit: Healing Lore and More from Puerto Rico" (©1989, Waterfront Press) that delves into this rich heritage from the point of view of the practitioners of popular and herbal medicine. Through interviews from all over the island, she brings together this tradition and systematically lists remedies for a number of ailments as well as list the English, Spanish, Latin and botanical names for the plants mentioned in the book. This book is available in English and Spanish.

This healing lore comes close to home, for we all can remember an abuelita or parent who made home remedies -- the guarapos and alcolados -- for a variety of ailments. To remedy a head cold, my father would make a guarapo of cloves, cinnamon, apples and lemons, sugar to taste, and to this mixture add a dash (or more) of rum.

On the web, TRAMIL is a project dedicated to the investigation of traditional popular medicines of the Dominican Republic, Haiti and the other islands in the Caribbean Basin. It was initiated through the efforts of enda-caribe, the Laboratory of Natural Substances of the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacology, Port o Prince, Haiti, the Federación de Asociaciones Campesinas de Zambrana-Chacuey, República Dominicana, and the dispensary of SOE de Thomonde, Central de Haití. Their web site (in Spanish) is http://www.funredes.org/endacaribe/Tramil.html

Another book in English, "CARIBBEAN HERBS AND MEDICINAL PLANTS AND THEIR USES" edited by Kevin Harris & Mike Henry, takes a look at some of the herbs and medicinal plants found in the Caribbean, with advice on how to use them wisely, moderately and regularly, it also explores some of the myths and legends associated with these herbs and plants.