Eureka – Finding California

The Land – part 7

Trees of Misery.

She wept in front of us all.  We were in the “museum” of a tourist trap off Highway 101 touting mysterious trees and weird gravity.  We were being shown examples of traditional artwork of the Native American tribes of the northern California coast for a college class.  Looking over the carvings of wood and bone, the woven baskets and the colorful beads you’d think you were looking at the ancient artifacts of a long extinct culture.  She said these things could have been her grandmother’s.  She reminded me of mine.  And she wept.  This was not history for her, these were not artifacts, these were living memories.

 

She gathered herself, and made it clear to us all, that her people were alive.  They weren’t just stories in a book, or mythic imaginations, they were real people living real lives here and now.

While she referred to this area as her people’s land, she didn’t seem to concerned or eager to tell us to leave.  None of our tires were slashed either, and no rocks were thrown that day.

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