Asteroids: Standing Bear

May 17, 2011

Standing Bear

Image Credit: Newspaper Rock: where Native America meets pop culture

At some stage in the 1980s, I purchased and read Dee Brown’s Indian history of The American West, “Bury my Heart at Wounded Knee”: a consciousness raising experience if ever there was one. The names of the great leaders and warriors – Red Cloud, Dull Knife, Crazy Horse, Geronimo, Big Foot, Chief Joseph, Sitting Bull, Quanah Parker – to name but a few, are as familiar to me as that of my own.

The American West has always called to my soul and High School American History in 1977 was the white man’s version. I recollect being troubled by the concept of Manifest Destiny, yet was far too young to grasp its political godsanctioned seal of approval to decimate a People and rob them of their land.

The Greek Myths tell of Hercules demanding from Pholus the Sacred Vessel of wine, claiming that it had been left for him some four generations before. Pholus, in the spirit of a good host, gave Hercules the vessel, which annoyed the other Centaurs ~ one big squabble later ~ Pholus and Chiron are both dead.   The Battle of Little Big Horn?

Is the Centaur mythology just a grouping of tragic Greek stories, or may they have been prophetic.  A long-range vision of the fate of the indigenous peoples at the hands of the white man, and their insatiable greed and missionary insensitivities. 

Ah well…….no use crying over spilt milk.  I will cry no more forever over that which cannot be changed.

Standing Bear is positioned in my natal Fifth House and I was heartened to see, when checking the transits for this Scorpio Full Moon, that Standing Bear has returned, and is sextiling my Chiron Return.

Standing Bear Memorial Bridge

Image Credit: Flowrbx.

In the now almost forgotten civil-rights case of Standing Bear v Crook, that began on April 18 1879, it was argued that an Indian was as much a ‘person’ as any white man and could avail himself of the rights of freedom guaranteed by the Constitution.  Standing Bear was given permission to speak for his people:

I am now with the soldiers and officers. I want to go back to my old place north. I want to save myself and my tribe. My brothers, it seems to me as if I stood in front of a great prairie fire. I would take up my children and run to save their lives; or if I stood on the bank of an overflowing river, I would take my people and fly to higher ground. Oh, my brothers, the Almighty looks down on me, and knows what I am, and hears my words. May the Almighty send a good spirit to brood over you, my brothers, to move you to help me. If a white man had land, and someone should swindle him, that man would try to get it back, and you would not blame him. Look on me. Take pity on me, and help me to save the lives of the women and children. My brothers, a power, which I cannot resist, crowds me down to the ground. I need help. I have done.”

 On May 12, 1879, Judge Elmer S. Dundy ruled that “an Indian is a person” within the meaning of habeas corpus He stated that the federal government had failed to show a basis under law for the Poncas’ arrest and captivity. Standing Bear and his followers were immediately freed. The case gained the attention of the Hayes administration, which provided for some of the tribe to return to the Niobrara valley.[Source: Dee Brown]

The White Man Has the Last Laugh?

Newspaper Rock: Standing Bear Place Mats

Standing Bear Colouring Page ~ Nebraska History

Not Bloody Likely!

Standing Bear Looks to the Future ~ The Standing Bear Foundation

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