"...We were happy when he first came. We first thought he came from the light, but he comes like the dusk of the evening now, not like the dawn of the morning. He comes like a day that has pass, and night enters our future with him...

     "He has filled graves with our bones. His horses, his cattle, his sheep, his men, his women have a rot. Does not his breath , his gums stink? His jaws lose their teeth and he stamps them with false ones; he spoils what the spirit who gave us this country made beautiful and clean..."

Charlot, Flathead, 1876

Fazenda, Santa Elina, Brazil, 1995

     "On a day so bright it seemed to hide no secrets, the 500 or so landless men, women and children of Santa Elina thought they had won in their occupation of a virgin forest belonging to an estate more vast than Manhattan and the Bronx combined. Faces painted with coal, brandishing sticks, slingshots, sickles and chain saws, they had faced down the military police sent to evict them, and drawn hope from a hint that they might win the soil of their common dreams. Euphoric after 24 days together, the homesteaders hugged, lit firecrackers and raised their hunting rifles to the sky. But the scene just a mile away would have stopped their celebration cold. Soldiers were pitching tents and unloading ammunition and tear gas. Some strolled with machine guns on their shoulders.

     "That night, the military police, bolstered, witnesses said, by hired guns working for local landowners and a special forces team wearing black ski masks, stormed the encampment in a surprise attack.

     "The police battered and killed the squatters, using women as human shields and torturing, executing and stomping on prisoners, according to victims and medical and autopsy reports. They shot a 6-year-old girl dead as she tried to walk to safety by a towering tree, forced one prisoner to eat soil mixed with his blood and another to eat the brains spilling from a battered corpse they had ordered him to carry, the victims said.

     "Even by the standards of Rondonia, a frontier state of Amazonia where land disputes are often settled in blood, the scale of the brutality on the night of Aug. 8 [1995] in which 10 homesteaders and 2 policemen were killed, 9 homesteaders disappeared and hundreds of homesteaders were wounded has shocked sensibilities and prompted state and federal investigations. The violence was also stark testimony to the failure of the grand promises that built Rondonia. One of the few parts of the Amazon with fertile soils, Rondonia was the site of widespread forest clearing in the 1980's, assailed by environmentalists but justified by the government as a way to give land to the settlers who poured in from the south. Instead, it has become the most volatile of all the flash points that mark Brazil's ongoing struggle between large landowners and landless peasants, in which disputes have been exploding into violence at alarming rates..."

Diana Jean Schemo - The New York Times, Tue, 19 Sep 1995

     "I did not know how much was ended. When I look back now from this high hill of my old age, I can see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as I saw them with eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people's dream died there. It was a beautiful dream...

     "The nation's hoop is broken and scattered. There is no center any longer, and the sacred tree is dead."

Black Elk, Oglala Holy Man
...on the aftermath of the Massacre at Wounded Knee


Would appreciate any information on this painting.