Sunday, January 10, 2010

Argument for the Rights of Indigenous Life


Ancestors of modern horses inhabited ancient plains and primeval forests of North America beginning around 57 million years ago. Equidae, the family of horses, comprises some of the oldest mammals known on earth.

Horse evolution took place in North America through a complex, branching process. Only one branch survived and kept growing, changing into Equus, which includes modern horses, zebras, and burros. Modern Equus caballus evolved on the North American continent.

Be that as it may, the historical, moral and pre-emptive legal rights to these divine beings can be well established. The historical facts that reintroduced the majority of the Indian ponies and wild mustangs, sometimes called the Spanish barbs, into Native America are as follows:

Subsequent to the European discovery of the Americas by Columbus, the Spanish crown, motivated by conquest and plunder, sent forth expeditions in primarily three waves, to wit Hernando Cortez to Mexico in 1519, Francisco Pizarro to Incan Peru in 1524, and Alvarez de Pineda to the Mound building Mississippi in 1519. Unlike the common media displays regarding the competency or lack thereof of indigenous American societies these were well-organized empires and polities with complex city-states and centers rivaling those of Europe at that time. These expeditions were largely successful in Mexico and South America but because of the military might of the mound builders of North America, who were the lineal ancestors of the Choctaw, Natchez, Shakchiuma and other Muskogean peoples, the Pineda expedition was repulsed necessitating it’s retreat to the Panuco River in Mexico. Arguably, at this time the Mississippian people might have acquired the treasured Spanish barbs. Unfortunately, the expedition was poorly documented.

However, the successive expedition to the region mounted by Hernando de Soto in 1539 was much better documented and leaves little doubt of the acquisition of and introduction to the Americas of these horses. The principal chroniclers of the expedition were Roderigo Ranjel , de Soto’s secretary, who kept a written diary and gave oral testimony to Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdes, appointed historiographer of the Indies by the Spanish crown in 1523. Ranjel’s account was prepared and published in 1546. Another account is given by “a gentleman of Elvas” who published an independent account of a Portuguese expedition participant in 1557. Both accounts tend to agree on common points and lend credibility to their accuracy. According to Ranjel, de Soto’s expeditionary force having decided to engage the Sacchuma (Red Crayfish people) under their leader Micolasa (King or Chief Scar) on March 4, 1542 were repulsed having their camp in turn burned, twelve Spaniards killed and fifty-nine horses taken. As an aside, the Shakchiuma were later incorporated as a Choctaw tribal clan group and Coleman Cole, a Choctaw chief during the Choctaws initial years in and forced removal of the Choctaws to Indian Territory, was a member of the Red Crayfish clan.

Subsequently, according to Elvas, de Soto in flight from the main body of proto-Choctaw warriors known as the Quigualtam and attempting to return to the safety of New Spain’s establishments in Mexico,  died in April of 1542 at the indigenous township of Guachoya, somewhere in present Mississippi. This despite de Soto having been a seasoned campaigner and a chief lieutenant of Pizarro during the Incan conquest and subjugation of the Inca, Atahualpa. Conquistador Maldonado with a few stragglers took the lead in attempting to make their way out of the mound builders realm but not before butchering a few horses for food and turning the remainder loose. These horses became members of the proto-Choctaw tribal culture and issue almost a quarter of a millennium before the establishment of the United States.

Subsequently, the government of Spain as late as May 14, 1792 were concluding treaties of friendship and commerce with the Choctaws and recognizing their rights to land and property. In exchange, the Choctaws granted to Spain a tract of land at the mouth of the Yazoo River in present Mississippi where they constructed Fort Nogales.  This implied exchange and historical documentation leaves little doubt to the pre-emptive right to these divine members of my nation.

Native American Church Of The Ghostdancers
Indigenous Peoples Council
Native American Masonry
Past Master
Refugee Advocate/Wild Mustangs/Bison
Federally recognized Native American Church Body
Conservancies for Indigenous Life
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