"But, here is something I offer at the risk of creating a new culture myth and sending non-Indian linguists scrambling. It seems that we really have no word for ''mascot.'' That is, in the few Native American languages I've surveyed, there are no words or concepts for ''mascot.'' For my survey, I asked Native language experts if there is a word for mascot in their heritage language. ''There's no word in Tsistsistas [Cheyenne] for mascot,'' said Dr. Henrietta Mann, who is Cheyenne and a leading Native educator. ''The closest concept we have to 'mascot' is 'pet,' but that's not a traditional concept.'' Virginia Beavert, who is Yakama and is editing the Heritage University Yakama Language Dictionary, said that the ''Yakama people do not actually have a mascot.'' She described Coyote as culture hero, but not a mascot. ''Coyote 'Spilyay' made predictions to where certain kinds of roots, berries, medicines and other important survival foods were to grow to benefit the people. He was a trickster who made the laws.'' Dr. William Demmert, who is Tlingit (which means ''people'' or ''human beings'') of the Eagle/Wolf clan and a well-respected educator and language expert, said, ''I am not aware of any name for a mascot or pet - no such animal - animals would have been referred to as 'beings.''" Get the Story:
Harjo: Who's making up Indian culture myths?
(Indian Country Today 12/8)
Harjo: My photo album of Vine Deloria Jr.
Harjo: 'Scooter' Libby scandal and Rosa
Harjo: White man's words trump Native views
Harjo: Native nations stand up to
'Fighting Sioux' (10/03)
people know what it's like to be uprooted (9/23)
Harjo: We can prove that Native people ate corn
Harjo: Hanging onto mascots, toys of
Harjo: Elite group wants
control over dead Indians (08/05)
O'Connor trampled on Native religious rights (07/08)
Harjo: Ruling expected any day on use of R-word
Harjo: NCAA should ban all 'Native'
Harjo: Native people,
like 'extinct' bird, survive (05/13)
Harjo: Native women aren't safe in Indian
of the non-Indian Indians (04/08)
Churchill tells Suzan Shown Harjo: Kiss my ---
Suzan Shown Harjo: Churchill went
column stirs Indian Country passions (02/07)
Harjo: Eliminate fry bread and other 'Indian'
Harjo: The 'good' Indians
versus the 'hostiles' (12/17)
Pine Ridge election about character (10/29)
Harjo: Anderson harassed Indian reporter over BIA
202 630 8439 (THEZ)
More Stories Burns wishes Abramoff had 'never been born'
U.S. forced Aleuts into internment camps
2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 2000