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

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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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