Mar 15, 2015 - Indigenous Cosmovision by Damon Corrie
Most people do not have a deep understanding of indigenous cosmovision, only a very rudimentary surface understanding (or should I say ‘misunderstanding’ of it)….it is a great UNIFYING force…and perhaps that is why it has always been targeted for OBLITERATION by the force of DISUNITY that seeks predominance on the Earth.
Non-indigenous peoples have a very twisted outlook, which actually is more looking IN that OUT, the average person today will stupidly say “My family is my spouse and our children and that is it”…really? Your life is so miserable and worthless that only 2 or 3 people is ALL you have as family?..I truly pity such an insignificant existence…i’d rather be dead than to be so ‘love-handicapped’.
MY family is my ancestors, my living blood AND in-law relatives (including grandparents, parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins no matter how far ‘removed’ – as I have 9th cousins I hold close, and all of these categories on my wife’s side as well as our children are the glue that holds us all together) and my true friends, by MY definition of family – besides my 300 known blood relatives it pretty much means that virtually 1700 Pakuri Lokono-Arawaks (and indeed every Lokono-Arawak on Earth) are my family too, because when I trace the inter-marriages of everyone in the tribe back far enough (just in the last 150 years) we are almost ALL related genetically again.
But I don’t stop there, the Kalinago of Dominica are a mixture of Lokono women and Kalina men – so I raise my children to consider every Kalinago tribal member to be a Tribal Cousin to us, and since the Taino were once in the same people as the Lokono….I raise my children to consider every Taino to be our Tribal Cousins as well. But I don’t stop there either, my grandmother’s mother (the one the English Governor of Guyana called a Princess because her dad was a Hereditary Chief) was herself the daughter of an Akawaio mother and a Lokono-Arawak father (he married the daughter of the Chief of the Akawaio tribe to secure a Tribal alliance with them), so I consider every Akawaio to be a Tribal cousin as well, and just one generation back before that, the Princess’s father (Hereditary Chief Amorotahe Haubariria) was himself the son of a Lokono-Arawak Hereditary Chief father and a Makushi mother (as he too married the daughter of a Chief from the Makushi Tribe to secure an alliance with them in his time)…so I consider every Makushi to be a Tribal cousin as well….so when I add all of these categories of people together my ‘family’ is HUGE….and by drawing such a huge circle around myself (instead of a tiny one), it has helped me to give better advice to the elected Chiefs of many tribes today – who have lost this traditional thinking and have become more insular-minded…and therefore less effective leaders, because if your heart is big – you THINK and ACT BIG…but if your heart is small – you THINK and ACT SMALL….this is why one may observe that most non-traditional leaders seem to better themselves more so than the people they are supposed to serve…they seem to leave office with houses that magically got larger when they were in office, new vehicles appear that they did not have before, and their bank accounts suddenly grew….yet you look around the community they ‘served’ and you can scarcely see ANY sign of progress or any ‘great’ improvements having occurred during their tenure as elected Chief.
This is a phenomenon that people who only have modern schooling and who think ‘Leadership by democratic elections is always the best way to govern’ but who know nothing of traditional governance – can’t seem to figure out yet.
They do not know that in the case of the Lokono and many other tribes, hereditary leadership was the traditional way of governance (and the Europeans are the ones who outlawed it and imposed the democratic elected leadership system in most cases), and it was not tyrannical like in Europe…because no Lokono Hereditary Chief ruled by force, he ruled by persuasion, if the Hereditary Chief did a good job – people flocked to live under his rule, but if he was a lousy leader – the people simply abandoned him and recognised the rule of another Hereditary Chief who was ruling better….the Hereditary Chief had no army or police force to compel anyone to submit to his will as the monarchs of Europe had.
Also, the ONE ALL IMPORTANT THING that popular Hereditary Chiefs of this moral calibre (such as my ancestors) had that most elected Chiefs do NOT have, is that sense of MORAL RESPONSIBILITY to rule well, because if you did not – you knew that you would face your forebearers with shame and disgrace when you departed this physical world for the Spirit world…the average elected leader does not have this moral burden on their shoulders of maintaining the good family name and reputation, so they get into office and become kleptocrats, seeing how much they can steal from the people to enrich themselves for the limited term of office they have….not EVERY one does this, but most elected Chiefs I know around the world have acted in this ignoble manner, some openly, most secretly…siphoning Tribal revenues off here and there in nepotism and cronyism, where agreements among thieves in their councils are cemented in the shadows.
When I thought it was necessary to take drastic actions in defense of the people in the 1990’s, I merely exercised the same ‘leadership by persuasion’ that my Hereditary Chief ancestors exercised…..I did not involve the elected Chiefs, I gathered older and younger men on my own, and I told them what I thought we needed to do and asked if anyone had any better suggestions to share in the Council I called , and all present agreed to follow me and we did it successfully, no-one was told they ‘had’ to do anything, but everyone who volunteered risked their lives to see the plan through.