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Biting more than i can chew
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Author:  joxtaposition [ Mon May 08, 2017 9:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Biting more than i can chew

Hello. I am new here so if I post this in the wrong forum please forgive me.

My name is Joshua and I am an artist. I am here because I have an idea for a story, and I need more information so it won't be culturally insensitive.

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The idea is about a Taino shaman visiting an Iroquois tribe to warn them about some danger that just the protagonist, the son of and important leader in the tribe, can solve. There lies my problem, first of all, because of the complete and utterly annihilation of Taino people who lived in the Dominican Republic, information about their deities, believings, and way of living is scarce or corrupted. These all idea of Taino visiting Native American soil came to me when I relied on Native American culture to fill the gaps and end up finding the crash of cultures harmonious... Even funny. However, i have not the first idea about Native Americans. The educational system here in the USA is pretty much... White. I never learned about them more than simple useless facts.

What I need help is the plot. It relies a lot on Native American/Taino mythology and focuses exclusively on Native Americans gods.

First, i chose Glooskap and Malsumis and my main gods. I liked the premise that Malsumis is the kind of god willing to destroy the land of the protagonist for revenge and i loved Glooskap because he seemed the kind of non-illusive god who would like to help the protagonists at the end. Still, I don't know how respectful this is, culturally wise. I just think of the end of Algonquin legends about the brothers. Of how Glooskap flung fern plant at Malsum and how he would like to return to the land of the living fully, to get some revenge.

For this particular story, I find these cons:

1- I don't know how the antagonist will free Malsumis (if it is possible)
2- I don't know how the protagonists will put Malsum back underground (Glooskap I s'pose)
3- I can't find a relationship between these legends and Taino's zemis. (Juracan can be bad but he isn't comparable to Malsum)
4- There is a version of the twin story in which Lox, the evil trickster told Malsumis about Glooskap's only weakness in exchange of some wings. Malsum tossed him away and in revenge, Lox told Glooskap Malsum's weakness too. There is another one that says that Glooskap told Malsum his weakness because he couldn't lie... But yet according to this webpage, the name Glooskap doesn't translate to 'man made by nothing' but 'liar' because in the latter story he lied about his weakness to his brother. I have no idea which one is truth.
5- Some say he is like a wolf. Some other says he isn't.

Looking for more I find another pair of deities. Ioseka and Tawiscara. Also brothers. I preferred Tawiscara over Malsum because he is portrayed more sanguinary and up to destroy everything his brother created. I also found the Iroquois tribe matriline more suitable to my story as the mother of the main character is suppose to have an important position in the tribe. Another reason to like the brother too is because Tawiscara makes everything his brother created, dangerous and has similarities to Juracan (wich was a zemi responsible for natural disasters and the dead of the Taino) ending up in a more natural understanding of the main characters and way more fluid plot.

Still, I did find some cons as well:

1- In some stories Ioseka and Tawiscara work together. Making Tawiscara evil may offend someone?
2- Where is Tawiscara now? I read he was also killed by his brother Ioseka. How can the antagonist frees him?
3- There is a way to put him back? (Ioseka?)
4- How to find Ioseka then?
6- Would a fighting with Pamola be considered rude (I know it is but I don't lose anything asking.)
7- Would fighting Lox would be considered rude?

I don't have any religious believings. I don't know how someone feels when a person tells a story about theirs. I think would be great if someone explains to me how to make this story a piece of informative art that sensitize/teach people about the Native American culture and their differences/similarities to the cultures in south America. I don't have ill ideas, I don't want to exploit Native American's mythology i want to show the beautifulness of two cultures and honour the people I am supposed to be a descendant of (Taino). If the thing is impossible, let me know. I will drop it. The last thing i need is people telling me i am racist by a silly mistake.

If it isn't, tell me how to avoid things like misinterpretation and stereotypes. To make something that adds to society instead of taking away.

Thank you for your help in advance.

Author:  ollan xolatl [ Tue Jun 27, 2017 8:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Biting more than i can chew

i say write your story how it feels to you.

if you get into a lot of old names from other stories maybe a new set of names and places are of first order.

a breath of fresh air in a way

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