Inspired by Rip Van Winkle: Chogan, an Alogian Tale

Image result for algonquin tribe

http://www.native-languages.org/algonquian-legends.htm

Chogan was his name he was known for being part of the Tribe’s watchmen. Everyone did their part in unison as part of the gifts that mother nature had bestowed on them. Women and children equal to the men of the tribe because they depended on each other. Most men would go hunt for the days’ time or talk among other tribes for goods. Life was serene and peaceful. Nadie and Pules were the wives of chief elder Eluwilussit. During the gathering time, the children, men, women, and Chogan would listen to the tales of wise wives. They told of times where Nanabosho, a man friend to the rabbits, bravely fought off the evil water spirits and saved our tribes. Sometimes they would tell legends of the Pukudgies who in their mischief play tricks around the mountains.

 

The land was abundant and generous in its spirits. Birds chirped and the land was filled with trees, lakes, and animals. Sometimes Chogan would take the children with their small spears and teach them how to hunt. He would remind them of the paths to mark if should anyone get lost. All the kids were smiling and cheerful. Treading softly and cautiously sometimes they would come home will many fishes. All the kids would run back into their huts showing their parents their prize. Smiling Chogan would tread carefully into his own hut where his best friend lay, his animosh (dog), wolf. Wagging his tail wolf licked his face removing all sweat from his cheeks. Petting he set aside his satchel and breathed in. That day he had seen a herd of deer and wanted to hunt one for the whole tribe. However, the deer herd was by the Haunted Mountain where Pukwudgies, little forest people, tricksters who have misplaced some tribesmen.

 

Unable to contain his curiosity and excitement he set out to hunt them. Wolf followed him and he began to walk towards the familiar marked trees.

“Chogan where are you headed?” the voice said to him. Turning around he saw Wematin, child of Biwilka. The little child grinned with a one-toothed smile. His long black hair nearly covered his whole bare back. He had large round black eyes that were currently sparkling with curiosity. The most noticeable feature of Wematin was a scar on his left eyebrow he had gotten it from hunting a squirrel. Shaking his head from the memory. He addressed the following.

 

“First of all, you cannot come with me,” Chogan replied with a stern voice.

“Aww come on Cho—” his whining voice was cut off right before it woke up anyone else.

“Second of all, I will be going to the forbidden mountains.” He whispered. Wematin’s eye’s widened.

“But they are forbidden, why are you going over there?” He asked.

“I found a herd of deer,” he replied.

“Wow! That could feed everyone in the village!” he shouted happily.

“Shh!” retorted Chogan placing his hand on Wematin’s mouth.

“Okay I will wait right here okay?” whispered Wematin.

“Don’t tell anyone I want it to be a surprise.” Winked Chogan. He began treading up the mountain towards the place where he last saw the herd of deer. Soon enough he saw a bent figure.

“Who is there?” Chogan questioned as Wolf barked. The figure appeared before his eyes. It was an old man naked with warrior marked paint across his chest and cheeks.

“Come along boy,” the old man responded. Chogan stood up Wolf hiding behind him.

“Sorry I cannot you see I am—”

“Waiting for the herd of deer to pass by?” the old man cut him off.

“Yes,” Chogan replied surprised at the man’s intuition.

“They will come soon enough I just need to get back to my men but have trouble with my old bones,” The man responded. Nodding Chogan helped the old man to deeper into the mountains Meanwhile, Wolf treaded behind them whining under his breath.

Around a circle of rocks were other men wearing the same clothes and warrior pain across their chests and cheeks. They were signing and drinking from a small bottle.

“Come sit down, this young man helped me, so let’s celebrate,” the old man said addressing his fellow men. They all nodded and one of them passed Chogan the bottle. In this odd situation, Chogan decided to accommodate to the old man’s wises and drank.

 

A loud sound ripped through the skies. Chogan awoke in an instant. Alarmed and disoriented he looked around and the old men were gone. Whistling he called to Wolf, but he never came. Standing up his satchel fell stiff and old. Brushing it off and putting it back on he walked back to the huts. Wolf and his spears were gone surely it must have been the old men playing tricks on him.

 

Black slithers of smoke lightened the skies. All the tribesmen were gathered in a large crowd with spears in their hands and red painted cheeks.

“Men what is going on?” question Chogan.

“Who are you?” questioned another man who Chogan had never seen in his life. He thought he knew everyone.

“I am Chogan,” he replied.

“Chogan is that really you?” a man stepped out from the crowd. Others mounting their horses.

“Wematin hurry there is not enough time, they are closing in fast and killing everyone,” said the leader.

Wematin was now a full-grown man. His height was greater than that of Chogan. His scar was barely visible, and his long black hair was cut short.

 

“Chogan by spirits you have aged! I thought you lost forever it’s been twenty years.” Wematin embraced him.

“Wait twenty years for was only gone a night!” he replied.

“No, look at you, your hair is long with streaks of silver and lines cover your face. You have aged,” said Wematin somberly.

 

Touching his hair he saw the long silver streaks dominating its once black color. Unable to stand Chogan fell on his knees. This can’t be he thought. It must be a dream.

“Chogan you must leave with the women and children. War is about to befall into our lands. Many have already died.” Wematin said.

“War with who,” that must be crazy he thought.

“White folks have broken many promises. They plan to take our lands next. We must fight to take back what is rightfully ours. Go on you are an elder and others need your help,” Wematin said as he mounted his horse. Chogan looked around. Birds fleeing away their cheerful chirps were gone. It was quiet and desolate. The sky was tainted with billowing streaks of smoke. He could see it all the way from where he stood. This was not his home. Cries and loud sounds were heard from a distance. He ran towards the group of huddled tribes’ women, children, and elderly men. He was greeted with shaking frames and tired eyes.

 

The story I have tried to imitate was inspired by Rip Van Winkle, through an Alogian native American character, Chogan. I know that the history of these two subjects is very apart, but I was drawn to the previously discussed natives that were mostly erased from the colonization of the United States. The story is set around an Alogian tribe who haven’t yet encountered the start of colonization. So, in a sense, everything is good just like Van Winkle and his daily life. I followed along and kept some of the original story parts like the dog Wolf, setting, and the shift of time. However, the change occurred within the original Algonquian folklore like the Pukudgies, who are mischievous little people. In the story, these little forest people are the ones that lead Chogan astray and get him drunk. When he wakes up, he is not met with political change and othering. He is the othered that is in the middle of a war within the native Algonquian and the American colonizers. Morphing the stories is similar to both themes of displacement and loss of identity that continued within the native American people. For the Dutch, they lost their freedom and their language as the New settlers overtook.

— Karla Garcia Barrera

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Voices of the Harp(s)

Response to Irish Melodies, “Dear Harp of my Country,” by Thomas Moore.

 

The harp represents valuable cultural history rich in societal placement due to its sophistication and technicality that later became an instrument of saving the Irish tradition. The harp was used within the aristocratic class in the early history of Ireland. Its sophistication is what drew to the value of Irish culture but never directed towards the people themselves. Despite the art of playing the harp it never stopped the racist ideology towards Ireland and its people. Ireland alien and regarded as a barbarous country.

However, Thomas Moore’s Irish melody encompasses the suffering and subjugation of his people. The title, “Dear Harp of my Country,” metaphorical expression in lifting the art of the state of Ireland and the art of the harp. The “darkness,” the Irishmen felt was uplifted with freedom, light, and songs. However, as time progressed light casts shadows, in this case, something short-lived, “I was but as the wind, passing heedlessly over…” My interpretation of Moore’s poem is about the country and the use of harp as personification as an extension. The harp was famous a national pride and symbol. But, the decline in its use and societal changes have dimmed. Like the harp, Ireland was a place that had freedom of the self and religion. However, those with an upper hand in society and power created the “cold chains of silence.” In other words, oppression and alienation by objectifying Ireland as a barbarous nation.

— Karla Garcia Barrera

Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico; 2018

Related image– Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/world/mexico-s-drug-traffic-is-now-hitting-home/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.03bda2b5eb17.

Wandering through the deserted and crumbling streets,

Who was once home to ants of people with welcoming hearts and soulful smiles,

is deserted, barren, filled with forsaken tension

Every face I meet has hollow cheeks,

their eyes rolled in casting white stares.

they’re hooked on to deathly white powder,

Their arms enemy to the green veins that appear with silver glints of metal sticks.

Lies in the daily life of Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico.

The cries of its people lie deaf just like the bodies that are often laid to rest.

Midnight becomes much worse, the cries, within cries are carried through the wind, never to be heard again.

Therefore, those who cry are chained to the deathly comfort of white powder and metal sticks.

A home whose warmth has grown empty and cold.

  • Karla Garcia: Wordsworth, “London.”

 

 

 

Reminiscence of Nature and Death

Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840), The Abby in the Oakwood, 1808-1810

Image result for Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840), The Abbey in the Oakwood, 1808-1810

 

When one first looks at this picture, we see the sun setting or maybe it raising. There is a sort of loneliness and darkness. Both are expressed by the remnants of what looked like a building and a seemingly black fog. This is an Abby with lone oaks that have passed along the years. However, it can also be seen as fragments of the past and even the future.  The lyrical balled, “The Fountain: A Conversation,” by Willam Wordsworth expresses a nature as a mirror to ourselves and our own conditions (p. 353). The balled’s tone could be interpreted as melancholic. The first couple of stanzas refer to a time of youth when Wordsworth would lay with his friend Matthew, and talk openly about nature. The imitation of sounding like the gurgling lake and “witty rhymes.” He continues to express how, touched as a child he was, by nature his heart stirred and he yearned for the same sound in the present time.

Moreover, he changes his reminiscent childhood memories to the decaying of the body and the wiser mind. He says, “mourn less for what age takes away than what it leaves behind,” the crucial perspective is what is left behind. In other words, Wordsworth is not concerned about the physical and even mental decline of aging. He is more concerned over the people he cares about when he goes away. Nature continues freely, but within society, man is oppressed and even obligated to hide behind the masks of happiness. Therefore, I interpreted this piece as a sort of acceptance of life coming to an end and enjoying the moments and memories with loved ones. Just like this picture, it once was a place that was bright with flourishing oak trees and chirping birds. But, just like everything there is always change that occurs, and nothing lasts forever. However, we can admire the memories of nature as it continues to change.

— Karla Garcia Barrera

Two Sides of the Same Coin

How is Iron Maiden’s heavy metal version of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” like or unlike Romantic poetry?  Consider how the poem’s use of lyric speaker, imagery, poetic tone, figurative language, and rhythmic beat resonates with the Iron Maiden music video.  Explain your answer through a focused close reading of the poem and the video.

The original poem is rhythmic with various descriptions of imagery. The language is different than the more modern version of Iron Maiden’s heavy metal version. However, both are examples of romantic poetry in their expression one in music, the other written. Often times, poetry was expressed orally giving the audience a sort of storytelling tones. Within the modern heavy metal version, I was able to feel more emotions through the music. Phrases that were singled out were catchy and interested me.  The pace with climactic instances of the poem was highlighted within the song.

Taylor Coleridge’s poem beings with the descriptions of nature within the mariner’s narration. The sea and the omen of the bird all may signify a greater purpose or message to the audience. The Marnier finds himself the sole survivor and teller- of the misfortune tale. Similarly, Iron Maiden’s song expresses a greater significance taken from the poem: “And the thirst goes on and on for them and me…day after day, day after day, we stuck nor breath nor motion as Idle as a painted ship upon on the ocean…,” thus a rhythm that is relatively repeated, and catchy. Moreover, they include themselves along with the Marnier, “for them and me,” this suffering and emotional devastation is not just the Mariner’s experience, but also related to the audience.

The evocation of God stays within the modern telling of the poem which expresses another meaning. All of God’s creatures and things must be loved and respected. If not, harm befalls those that are involved. We as the audience, also obtain this warning. It is not so much about a warning, but about the transcendence of experience. For my modern interpretation, the journey of our life is the ocean.

  • Karla Garcia Barrera

More Than Perceived

From what we have obtained in reading various authors like John Dryden, Churchill, Mary Rowlandson, Johnathan Swift, and Alexander Pope etc, are their attention to the audiences in their literary works. For example, in Mary Rowlandson’s captivity novel she speaks to her fellow puritan community and common English folk. Her language and narrative detail in her religious beliefs.  In, “The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano,” written by Olaudah Equiano situates the narrative rhetorically expressed, which exemplifies the awareness of his audience. Therefore, his narrative encapsulates various references to high-leveled literature. Often times he refers to the bible and authors like John Milton or Thomas Day. Below the quote that Equiano refers to is The Dying Negro poem that was published in 1773. This poem alludes to an African American slave that intended to mary the woman he loved who was a white woman. However, committed suicide under the circumstances of being free. In other words, he died in order to be freed from slavery, servitude, and atrocities. (The whole passage will not be cited only a portion of it, pp. 91).

” where my poor countrymen in bondage wait

the long enfranchisement of ling’ring fate:

Hard ling’ring fate! while ere the dawn of day,

Rou’sd by the lash they go cheerless away…

No eye to mark their suff’rings  with a tear

No friend to comfort, and no hope to cheer… ”

By referencing a known work, he further enforces the audience to sympathize enforcing anti-slavery movements. This poem encompasses a bigger picture of the forced inhumane conditions and emotions that the slaves endured. Slaves were deemed as live cargo deemed as bodies to be bought and used at the expense and profit of Britain and other powerful colonizing countries that were active in the slave trade. Unlike many, Equiano was able to be enfranchised, became free. The fate that the poem refers to as well as the cold unyielding attitudes of many white’s denials of enfranchisement.   During this part of the narrative, Equiano expresses his emotions in captivity and injustices that he faced. In integrating other literary works further, employ the audience’s attention to detail of his account and the commonality of such injustices. He calls to question the humanity of his fellow beings. Also, he brakes the sterotypes presented of slaves. His capability of eloquent rhetoric, language, and incorporation of awareness extend beyond the views and therefore prove much of the biases and justification given by the white community.

— Karla Garcia Barrera

Show versus Tell

“On plain Experience lay foundations low,
By common sense to common knowledge bred,
And last, to Nature’s Cause thro’ Nature led.
All-seeing in thy mists, we want no guide,
Mother of Arrogance, and Source of Pride!
But she, good Goddess, sent to ev’ry child
Firm Impudence, or Stupefaction mild; [530]
And strait succeeded, leaving shame no room,
Cibberian forehead, or Cimmerian gloom…”
As we understand Pope’s, “The Dunciad,” satirizes the institutions and enemies of his time. He does this by examining Homer’s epic and inscribes it as a tool to make his enemies understand what a true poet can achieve, thus expressing favoritism towards support rather than merit. Alexander Pope criticizes his society through this poem and expressing how arts and sciences have become void of substance and learning, rather than by logic, or reason. Pope specifically focuses on how the literary works of his time are being pronounced as valuable and critiquing the overall given value. As such, the excerpts above taken from The Dunciad, demonstrate his style and critiques as he employs throughout the whole poem.
Furthermore, we obtain a rather offensive manner of reproach given in response to Pope. Colley Cibber relates an image [below]:
Pope visual satire
 This picture demonstrates a depiction of Pope and his disability in the display. Cibber continues then to question his masculinity and makes fun of his disability. As an act of kindness Cibber also is in the picture prying Pope off a prostitute and saves him from contracting a venereal disease, or in modern times known as STD. The amount of offense is unbelievable,  as I once thought. However, Alexander Pope, given his intelligence despite his disability, further expresses, really, how unintelligent Cibber is. Pope writes a whole Homeric epic in dedication to his enemies, institutions, and further demonstrates his vast knowledge. What we obtain from Cibber is pure bullying, hatred, and implies his true character. His response falls below that of Pope. Which again calls to question how Cibber, a sour and mediocre man, can be announced a Laurate. However, we do know Cibber was only appointed his position due to his political stance on the Whig party. Thus, just as Pope expresses, Cibber is quite literally an embodiment of a dunce, that only uses his “intelligence,” to offend and spread hate.
— Karla Garcia Barrera

Implicit Aspiration

As we have come to know about Gulliver’s fascination with Hoyomhns, who appear to live and not just survive. Their ambition is reduced to something worth being ambitious of, and so unlike the European peoples (Yahoos). We also know about Swift’s implicit and satirical concepts and messages in this travel logs. Thus, I would like to focus on a particular passage (down below):

“I hope Gentle reader will excuse me for dwelling on these matters and the like Particulars, which however insignificant they may appear…yet it will certainly help a Philosopher to enlarge his Thoughts and Imagination… my sole design for presenting this and other accounts of my Travels… the whole scene of voyage made so strong an impression on my Mind, and is so deeply fixed within my Memory…” (89).

In this passage, Gulliver had just taken care of his biological urges in the Garden. And includes the audience, stating his reasoning as to why his accounts of potty time are so important to him, as a travel logger. If they are so insignificant matters why justify it to the audience? He directly states that by accounting all of these scenes, one will enlarge his philosophical thoughts and imagination, simply by reading this open vulgarity.  Such is the impression of his own condition, he must also write about his morning activities. Personally, I interpret this underlying text, as Swift satirizing the travel/captivity novels. These accounts which by all means, may have no real credibility, are essentially full of crap. Reading these imperial and colonialist works, in the context of Swift’s time, are the opposite of the enlargement of deeper meaning, they are fiction.

  • Karla Garcia Barrera

 

Deceptive Woes of the Inflictor, Mary Rowlandson and Colonial Nations

The novel of which has gained the attention of masses,  part of its art is that of deception, forced Christendom, and genocide of our fellow human neighbors.

Though her pain was great which afflicted a great many,

None had mentioned the true woes of such cause.

Dear Mrs. Rowlandson, Dear white man why must you ignore among those of which you

have thus afflicted to a much grander degree?

Under the pretense have you clocked yourself, that is it,

All in the name of our Holy Father.

Yet it is Christ and his creation whom you have cruelly demolished in vanity.

Such willing and loving souls, our brethren the native Algonquians, gave to you.

Yet, were robbed of their lands, of their homes, of their wives, of their children, and of their very own lives.

But, the whites attest to their own, a color so ever-present in the privilege, as another  justification for thus actions.

I shall state from the holy book, Christ’s very own words, which you have thou violently denounced, “Thou shall love thy neighbor.”

I thus address to you, Dear Mary, and to you, dear white man: Now if any man has not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his”—Rom. xiii. 9.

So, how have you fared in following Christ word? If thy neighbor is demolished of his rights, as our brethren, because of such a nation.

The innocent blood of our fellow Indian friends is inked on the very words you have so gracefully written.

The very affliction of which you so grieve is self-afflicted by the actions of your own fellow friends.

We should instead, receive transparency of the actions thou people have wreaked upon the Americas. Not read the novels of which mediate and obstruct the true cause of such destruction.

Woe to the ones who were robbed.

Woe to the native parents’ who wake up, without their child.

May their cries be heard among the nation.

Woe to the children whom you’ve slaughtered.

Woe to our fellow Alogians.

Woe to the ones you skillfully depict and lie about.

Woe to the ones who truly and unjustly own, to woe.

Trail of Tears

  • William Apess, a Pequot.
  • by: Karla Garcia Barrera

 

 

 

 

Justification Through Ideology

Native LandExtremism 1Extreme 2

As we have come to read the works of Winthrop and Dryden, we also come across captivity Novels that were amongst the most popular novels of the time. The “Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson,” by Mary Rowlandson detailing her through the lens of her Puritan beliefs, of her captivity from the Native Algonquians. Such works contain a similar ideology of justification for such ideologies or reference thereof. For instance, we have John Dryden’s, “The Indian Emperor, or the Conquest of Mexico,” portrays native Indians specifically the Aztecs as selfish, like Moctezuma, and through his work, emphasizing for an imperial and just Great Britain. Nevertheless, instances of torture and conversion are expressed in the play. However, through this Ideology of Eurocentrism, dehumanization, and justification for those actions are granted, thus, okay. In Mary’s captivity novel, the descriptions of the Algonquian people are racist, stereotyped, and dehumanizing. In the beginning, she addresses the Indians as savages, barbarians, black-faced, and enemies. We also obtain insight into the lives of the Algonquian people, and thus, a cross-cultural moment and gradual change of addressing the natives. However, puritan ideology was most emphasized throughout her novel.

Everything we are seeing is through the lens of Mary herself, however, we never obtain the native’s suffering in this war. Her descriptions do not talk about the native’s surmount and undeniable losses including great defeat. The genocide of the Alogians children, women, and men. The lens that she is applying while conveying the “work of God,” or his purpose, serves her justification for others to see the natives as savages. This ideology we see at hand uses the bible to enforce, not God’s word, but the vanity of man. Winthrop cites the book of Matthew in which states to love thy enemy, yet took the lands and lives of their, “enemies,” and justified by saying it was God’s will. The Eurocentrism, imperialistic, and colonializations are saturated within these works. These kinds of justifications we see throughout our times. We have the genocide of many natives all over the world. Like the Trail of Tears, World War 2, and blatant racism that is displayed in the media, in our t.v. and our lives. In the U.S. we have what I call the silent genocide of continuous murder of native women that are not reported in the media. The racial agendas like Fox News and people like Tomi Lauren who justify their ideologies of white supremacy just like in Winthrop, Dryden, and Rowlandson among many more. However, within reading them we also obtain the additional perspective and as such are not as ignorant. Ideology in extreme, or with universal principals, is a danger to the world.

  • Karla Garcia Barrera