Honor Project

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Emm.. Sometimes I can't help but make a move with my somber trouble Do you want a joke? :) What do you get when you cross a canary and a lawn mower? Shredded tweet.


Hello All! Very nice JOB!!!


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karen vigneault

Howka Kevin, I was at your grandfathers funeral. I am sure u remember me I came up and introduced myself.. I wanted to share something with you from our tribal spiritual leader.. This is the history of our/ and your culture. And how our birdsinging has always been a part of our tribal culture. Hope u are well.. come to some of our ceremonies sometime..we have one in sept. 8 & 9th

Traditional Origins of Southern CA Bird Songs
By : Ron Christman

Ron Christman has been listening to local tribal songs for all of his life. Ron's father sang variations of the Kumeyaay traditional song styles. Following Ron's military service and during his long employment as an Engineer by the California Department of Forestry, he sought out tribal elders for instruction in singing these traditional Bird songs. For the past thirty years Ron is often called upon to participate in the custom and tradition of the local Kumeyaay people. He is frequently requested to speak to non-tribal groups and address civic and youth activities. This particular occasion he was to acknowledge a commitment to sing after fulfilling a request to sing all night! By his own admission he felt kind of rough after two or three hours sleep.

"This is our homeland. This is the land of the Kumeyyay people. These songs were given to us because in an earlier time people were running around willy-nilly and not really paying attention to each other. They were not respecting each other. They were treating each other with a lot of indifference and creating a lot of problems for themselves and everybody around them. The creator took notice of this behavior and saw a need for a process to change the situation. He created a series of variation and sets of songs. These are allegorical in nature. Telling us, by example, different stories about different animals and different beings that are on this earth with us. Telling us how to interact with each other in a way that is beneficial to ourselves as human beings but also telling us how to be beneficial to all living things. Our brothers the four legged and the winged and all the different beings. The plant life, the rocks and the very earth we walk upon.

So, the Creator sent these songs with a very, very colorful beautiful bird. This bird, which is to bring the songs and also the dance that goes with it, is not quite what it appears to be. As it happened this bird messenger, with the gift from the Creator, is kind of a jealous person. He wanted to keep the songs and dances to himself. This bird thought, if he had to he was going to try and make arrangements to sell these songs. In this way he might gain in whatever way thought he possibly could. He would try to gain personally and advance his stature in the community. In this way he felt he would be somewhat better than all the rest. So he kept these songs and wouldn't give them out to no one.

Then, the Creator came down and told him that he has to give these gifts up. These gifts were not for him but for the people. The Creator told him, "You were sent here only to sing these songs and to show the people the dances. You will pass them out to all the people so the people could know what the correct way to behave like a true human being and not just run around treating each other with great indifference." So bird says, "OK. Fine, I'll do that." Creator went back home to his island just a short ways off the coast here. So, lo and behold this bird did the same thing again. He arrogantly said," I live here, Creator don't live here so I'm going to do what I want to do. I have no need to depend on anyone else. I have the power of these songs because they say that under the right conditions and if sung in the right way if you have bad weather and you want a ceremony you can have bad weather and sing these songs and the bad weather will go around you. If you have people that are feeling poorly mentally and are down in the dumps you can sing these songs and it'll bring them right back up. If you're looking for a new husband or wife and you sing these songs, you'll get what you need." Well bird thought about this entire thing and said to himself," Well I'm going to keep these songs and if they want them than they're going to have to pay dearly for them."

So the Creator being what the Creator is, he knew about these ideas and plans and he came back and took away those beautiful colors and the beautiful plumage and the beautiful voice that this bird had.
So, what came to be, is the bird we now recognize as the California crow. That is why today this bird can only squawk and why he is now only one color, dark.

We now come to another little bird. This little bird is humble, unassuming and very, very beautiful to this day. We call him Tu cuk in my language. Ashaw tu cuk. The Creator said to Tu cuk 'You bring these songs to the people. I'll see that you will always be remembered.' So, that bird immediately went to see the people and brought us these songs."

Ron Christman: California Indian Days; Balboa park, San Diego - edited by Roy Cook

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