mid winter

i am hearing from trappers who have porcupine hair. i made a deal with the lady who contacted me first. i agreed to buy from her at the end of the season. since then, i heard from a coupla other trappers. i gotta keep my word to the first one.

i usually deal with the same trappers every year. none have said they saved some porcupine quills. i have asked for them. i want to practice doing quillwork. if i can become adept at it, i want to fix a fan with a birch bark handle. i want to adorn it with quill work i did.

a nephew came by to look at a roach for his son. he liked one that i had. i told him about the times that i had been ripped off. some took advantage of my trusting nature. one played the i am an elder, can we do it the ‘indian way’. as much as i didnt want to, i trusted him. he ripped me off then called me a liar when i said he didnt pay me. i am an elder too.  i guess his “indian way” is to steal his regalia.

i trusted another guy. he owed me like a hundred bucks but he avoided me for over a year. once i went to nation station. that was when it had a back door. when this dude seen me coming, he skated out the back door so he wouldnt have to face me. he finally paid me. i dont understand how some “tradish” guys can do that to their own people. or to anyone really.

i told my nephew i dont like being distrustful of anybody. that aint my nature. reality is some of our people will rip others off. that was never any of our teachings. others ask for the “Indian price”. i say that is the Indian price, others charge way more than i do. but some want my art as cheap as they can get it. 

my nephew asked me how much i would charge for a bustle. i told him to get the materials and i would show him how to make one. he will be able to make more for his son as he got bigger. i will teach my nephew because i dont like to see our people ripped off. our life is tough enough.

i have cleaned eagles for people that got them from fish and game. i  did it for nothing because some guys were taking half the feathers as payment for doing that. one of the guys was the one that skated out the back door of nation. real indian eh? another guy kept all but a few feathers. i cant believe someone would dishonor those feathers by cheating others out of them.

i havent worked on my deer hides yet. they are frozen and will stay that way for a while. when i can work them, i will scrape the meat off the flesh side. then i will salt the hides. that will preserve them until i need them.

gotta do my chores and stoke up the fire.