events and news of the Inali Dancers, an intertribal native dancing, singing, and culture group in western illinois

Friday, March 09, 2007

teach the children well

Really slow time. Almost no one showed up for the last friday practice (for good reasons), so we spent the evening just talking. Actually, it was a great time. Don't forget next friday's practice, though. I want to do some singing!

Jerry got a really neat phone call recently. It was from some boy scouts who have a native dance group. They wanted to know if they could come to Creve Coure and dance. They also have a drum, and wanted to know if they could set up even though they only know a few songs. Sound familiar?
I think it's really cool we're getting calls like this. We've come a long way, baby!
Seriously, we need to do all can to teach the right ways. Native culture is being lost so fast it makes my head spin. If we all try to spread these things, maybe things like this won't happen:

George Knapp, Investigative Report

March 1, 2007 10:14 AM

Vandals Desecrate Las Vegas Cultural Site
Also on
Nevada Rock Art

One of the valley's most important cultural sites is under assault by unknown vandals. The place is known as Little Red Rocks and it's home to petroglyphs that date back thousands of years.

Unlike most cultural sites, this one is on private property. The owner has spent a bundle to protect the area but nothing seems to work. Now a new partnership has been formed that is designed to protect what's left.

"At one point we put boulders across Charleston, I mean big boulders, and it took heavy equipment to set them. That wall was breeched in a couple of weeks. And we know that whoever did that had to use heavy equipment," said Howard Hughes executive Tom Warden who says his company has spent more than $1 million dollars trying to protect Little Red Rocks from vandals. Nothing works.

Whether its malice or ignorance, scofflaws and trespassers on this private property have truly outdone themselves in causing as much damage as possible. The graffiti is massive and multicolored. Some is even ironic. We found a burned car in a Native American roasting pit.

The area is peppered with ancient petroglyphs and pictographs which -- hard to believe -- have been specifically targeted by bullets and paint balls.

"In a case like over there with the pictographs, the only way to get that stuff off is to sand blast it," said archaeologist Dr. Alanah Woody of the Nevada Rock Art Foundation, who is part of a joint project with the Hughes Corporation to catalog and save these cultural sites.

"Continuing to burn things in the same spot, eventually that whole surface is just going to come off. And you can see the petroglyphs right under here. All that is engraved, deep, deep wide lines, probably pretty old, five, maybe 4,000 years old even," Dr. Woody said.

She also points out evidence of damage from bullets. "That's a bullet hole." Internet websites invite others to do what is called truck crawling, which destroys the rocks and the archaeological treasures found around them.

"See all the marks here, that's from the undercarriage of their vehicle, gouging out the rock," Dr. Woody points out. The owner has used helicopters to remove burned out cars. They even put up a fence but it was torn down the next day.

A new sign that went up near an access road should be hard to ignore but the crumpled remains of its predecessor speaks volumes.

"The truth is, a lot of it is young people, who just don't know better. They are coming up to party, to build bonfires but that's the kind of activity that -- number one -- education is going to help prevent and -- number 2 -- restricting access," Warden said.

Does this disgust you as much as me?


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