Friday, July 24, 2009

maori sacred sites desecrated here too - just like over there

They fight them there, we must fight them here.

"Indians living in the vast Mojave Desert are increasingly vexing what they say are an onslaught of “Indiana Jones” types and lawless recreationists that are disturbing, damaging and even vandalizing sacred sites and breaching reservations. The 25,000-square-mile desert is the traditional home to half a dozen Indian tribes along the lower Colorado River that straddles the state lines of California, Arizona and Nevada."

Indians say vandals, increasingly directed by Web sites and books, litter the sensitive sites with beer bottles and evidence of made up rituals. Off road vehicles leave a trail of destruction with tire marks across ancient geoglyphs and breach reservations."

And when they talk to the people, what do they say?

"Randy Luden scaled a mountain of boulders etched with dozens of petroglyphs that could be thousands of years old, hoping to get as close as possible to the records of a past civilization. The Las Vegas man didn’t think he was damaging the representations made by descendants of Mojave Indians because he was careful and wore soft shoes.

That was of no consolation to two Mojaves watching from afar.

“Oh no; he shouldn’t be doing that,” said Paul Jackson Jr., a tribal artist for the Fort Mojave Reservation.

As Luden approached the Indians, Linda Otero, a Fort Mojave council woman, told him he shouldn’t have climbed on top of the glyphs because they were holy.

Gilbert Leivas, of the Chemehuevi Tribe, stands in front of geoglyphs Indians consider sacred and explains how off road vehicles come dangerously close to the site. Satellite images show tire tracks running across the glyphs.

“But how else am I going to get the full interpretation,” Luden responded."

"Otero, in so many words, said he couldn’t.

“Treat them as you would other ancient sites in Europe. You just can’t go in their hall or records and touch their scrolls. They have guards and fences to block you, they are protected.”

Now we also have sacred sites here in this country. These sites are barely protected even though they are taonga.

brailsford and his mates walk all over our sacred trails, desecrating these pathways with their bogus views, insane rituals, excretement and litter.

How long before maori say enough is enough. You just can't treat our sacred sites like this. We won't allow it. How long before we stand up for our ancestors and say, "We draw the line here!" "No more, no further, NO!

Perhaps the last word should be:

"The damage, whether blatant desecration or unintentional, is hindering Indian spiritually. Cara McCoy, of the Chemehuevi Tribe, recently went to a sacred site and found it so littered she couldn’t take off her shoes to properly pay respect. It also threatens the education of the young ones into tradition, leaving Indians questions about the future that could only be answered with their historical references.

“We are still fighting Indian wars here,” said Jackson, the Mojave artist, as he stood on a sacred site, looking down a stretch of river filled with rowdy boat recreationists."

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