Mistaken Identity

indian13  I was at the grocery store one night, several years back, and I saw this woman who looked just like my Grandmother…I’m not kidding,  just like her, though Mema’s been dead since, like, 1963. (I don’t know exactly when Mema died, but I do recall understanding death when JFK was shot in November of ’63, because my grandma had died shortly before.  I was five.)

So, there I am at the supermarket, and I see this woman who’s a dead ringer for Mema, so I approach her and I ask “Are you Native American?”  (Mema was a half breed Delaware Indian, you see,  that was on the roles, plus maybe a quarter some other kind of Indian, Creek, or Cherokee, and definitely some Wyandotte)

The woman pulls herself up tall and proud and says “Yes I am.”

“Great” I think, “I love to meet other Indians!”indian7

“What tribe are you?” I ask.

“What?” says the woman.

“What tribe are you?”

“I’m no tribe” she says rather pissily “I’m Japanese American!”geisha39

“Then why did you say that you were Native American?” I ask, rather confused.geisha16

“I AM Native American,” she answers, then retorts angrily “I was BORN here.”

Wow. Not what I meant by the question, but, okay, I concede, being born here does make you a native.

I really can see why archeologists say there was an ancient land bridge between The Americas and Asia…I mean, she looked just like my Mema!indian and geisha


About babedarla

I've spent years as a clothing/costume designer with my own business, but a recent life change has put me on a journey of self discovery and returned me to my first love: writing!
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4 Responses to Mistaken Identity

  1. johncoyote says:

    This is true. A long time ago. Many races cross over. You can see in the faces of the tribes. Thank you for the story.

  2. rose says:

    Genes will out. That’s funny about being ‘native’. How long do you have to be in a place before you’re native? Can you ever grow into indigenous?

  3. babedarla says:

    I was so taken aback…there I was, thinking I was being all politically correct by using the term “Native American” and this woman goes and makes a fuss. I should have just said “Indian”, but then I always have to say “Feather, not dot!”
    Indigenous? I’m guessing a thousand years or so, but who the hell knows!

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