Traditional Protocol and Nanaboozho Print

Boozhoo Niijii,

I was recently admonished by a friend for speaking Nanaboozhoo's name outside of winter time, I would like to address this here. I know traditional protocol when it concerns stories such as those teaching stories, however, I would also like folks to know that the images/ stories I have spoken about on my many blogs are already out in the world to be read, talked about and looked at. I do not include in my art any stories that have not been previously talked about via the internets, previously published in books or other media. That being said, we currently live in a different world than our ancestors. We have both Natives and Non- Natives that write stories about us, or hear a story and think it is their job to tell it to the world and make money selling it. We live in a world were you can search and read/listen to Mide' stories or songs via the internet.... things most sacred to us. We live in a world in which our children who may attend tribal schools can read Nanaboozhoo and Thunderbird stories (stories that used to be told only in winter and only by storytellers), from books written by other Natives and checked out from their school library at any time of the year. Does this make them any less sacred? Does this tarnish the lessons contained in those stories or make them any less valuable?

I choose not to think so, I think in this age where we are losing our youth to another culture (western internet urban cultures), I think if they see and like my art which tells them about one of our sacred Manidoo, well good, maybe it will inspire them to go home and learn some more from their Elders --- or at least foster a conversation on it with their Elders and families.

Mi iw