Displaying Enemy Heads
On Pikes

Hau Mitakolapi!

So often, these issues are addressed in such serious tones, albeit very effectively. However, occasionally, someone gifted in the art of sarcasm will address an issue in an extremely humorous and equally effective way.

The Docket 74-A and Buffalo Head Nickle issues are visited in the following letter with more than a little sarcasm and humor. I include it here for its insightful perspective and to give us all the opportunity to enjoy the laughter that its humorous presentation evokes.

Wed, 13 Mar 1996

Dear Wanbli Sapa,

Thanks for sharing this issue with me. I don't see what they think they're doing, paying money to different people than those they signed the treaty with. Oh well, I suppose they think one Lakota is pretty much like another.

I have to confess to seeing a certain amount of irony in the coin issue. I was composing a letter in my head, mock-conciliatory, to the Senator...saying,

"Dear Senator,

Please forgive my friend's ire about the coin situation. Being of another culture, he doesn't understand the ancient anglo-saxon custom of displaying enemy heads on pikes and how it has evolved into putting them on money instead. It also sort of harkens back to the good old days of ritual cannibalism among the Celts where you ate bits of your enemy, thereby absorbing their good qualities into yourself. I believe the modern word is "arrogate."

Similarly , with the buffalo, I suppose that my esteemed government leaders who originated the buffalo head coin must have felt, once the critter was nearly eliminated, a few pangs of sentimentality for it, another nearly eliminated species (though a foe only, as far as I can figure out, of the railroads since otherwise the buffalo were entirely a more useful and productive beast by far than most congressmen, yer worships) and decided to place it on the money. I guess so they wouldn't forget what one looked like.

None of this cuts any ice with my friend, though, and from what I can gather he and the others in our little correspondence group don't think much of commemorating Native American history and culture on the coin of the realm either as a way of impressing foreign nations with how liberal they are. They'd like to see something a bit more meaningful, like maybe the return of the Black Hills to the Lakota or the keeping of other treaty promises made, and often sadly broken long ago.

Now then, ladies and gentlemen, I'm sure if you could see your way clear to returning the Black Hills to Wanbli Sapa's folks, I bet they'd be glad to let you make a coin about that. Yours etc...


Black Hills Thievery, Part One

Black Hills White Justice...a reference tome

Lakota Declaration of Sovereignty

How Wasichu Justifies The Taking Of First Nations Land

Wasichu's Approach to Sovereignty

Wounded Knee Home Page

First Nations Page

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