January 9 – Wakan Tipi

Wakan TipiWakan Tipi means, in the Dakota language, The Dwelling of the Great Mystery. It is said to be the Center of the Universe. Wow. A big OM to that.

November 14, 1766. English explorer Jonathan Carver *discovers* the cave, and names it Carver’s Cave. (I can’t decide if I’m more annoyed by the patronizing approach or by the BORING nature of it!)

The Cannibalism of Colonialization

An American Indian lady I was listening to on NPR mentioned that her people refer to the European colonialization as a *Cannibalism*.

CANNIBALISM. Worse than rape and murder. Worse than genocide. About as disgusting, inhuman, and evil as you can imagine. But yet, we eat the meat of animals. The Buddhist in me says…hmmm.

Anyway, I identify as white, as European, as a colonist. I did have ancestors who came over on the Mayflower. One of my many-greats uncles was Owen Chase, who was a mate on the whaleship Essex, which foundered in South America and the survivors were forced to resort to…cannibalism.

I also have an ancestor known as Ollie Box. She was a full-blooded Cherokee, so I’m sure she had a real name, but we’ve never known it.

You don’t have to be Native American to get angry about the knowledge, resources, medicines, spirituality, land, animals, people, languages, customs and all the other things that were taken away from us or made extinct polluted or spoiled by OUR ancestors.

One way of trying to make things right is to begin calling places and things by their original names. So today, I pledge to call this sacred place Wakan Tipi, not Carver’s Cave. In addition, I will call Ayer’s Rock in Australia by ITS real name, Uluru, or Sacred Pebble.


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