margo tamez / Settler Wars Cameron County 1910-1916 / U.S. Army Corps Illegal levee 1935

Nde’ Mothers’ Voices Against the Wall ~~ A Prayer



(These photos are from the Naiiees Ceremony. Tamez Family and Nde’ Photos and are Not for Distribution Without Express Consent from the Family Members, Thank you!).

Dear Friends;
I send you all a prayer and a wish for your unending grace, growth, empowerment, loving paths, kindnesses, and safety today. I suddenly felt a huge wave of inspiration, which I think came from seeing the immense power of the will of human beings coming together to dismantle the wall in Berlin. Suddenly, quite fast, this feeling rose to the top of me, literally from my toes to the top of my head! And, then, this poured out of me. I hope this will explain a little of how I feel about the wall, and why I work everyday, in some way, to stop the wall’s construction in our lands, the Nde’ people aboriginal to the Lower Rio Grande. Thank you for letting me share with you. Be blessed today in all you do.

Nde’ Mothers Voices Against the Wall

Ussn, Bringer of Life, I thank you,
Creator, please hear the prayers of our mothers and grandmothers,
our fathers and grandfathers,
our children and grandchildren at this time…

Ussn, please hear the voices of the ancestors …
whose footprints, handprints, prayers, struggles and love
spread across the lands like morning mist

I ask you Ussn, for your help,
in a serious way, I ask for your help

The mothers tell us in their words, worries, and sadness
We must destroy this wall of death

Ussn, I believe the voices and the wisdom of the mothers
for their severe worries show me that the taproot of this wall
brings to pass upon our people immeasurable destruction

and that this wall of steel and cement
is against the very core of the teachings
of my ancestors of
the Garcia, Cavazos, Esparza, Montalvo, Galvan, Rodriguez, Tamez… clans
who taught us that we are here for the community, not self, and
we are to simply honor all forms of Life, provided to us as a sacred gift.

Ussn, Bringer of Life,
Hear my prayer…
the wall encroaches upon my soul and displaces light
leaving only shadow and misery inside my heart,
and this is the illness of the wall…
spreading bad thoughts, bad words, bad actions, fear, distrust, anger
like projectiles of destruction deployed upon our people’s minds, bodies and spirits

I see everyday the shadow and misery of this wall
already pressing down, like a soldier’s boot, upon the necks of our children
extinguishing the children’s breaths, extinguishing any possible future
as free, and indigenous and humans
what we call Nde’ ~ the Real People.

This is the wall,
and here is what the elders say
came before the wall.

Hear the voice of resistance
bitter wails of ancestors engulfing my lungs
their impatient howls bursting out my throat
rattling the chains of trauma & memory and the old ones say
“Enough!!”, their cries
blasting through the numbness
like tiny shrapnels of lightning
the ancestors come out like that—hard, real, no more time for waiting.

The wall’s path
follows other paths of hate upon our ancestors…
whose mangled and mutilated bodies
lay un recognized and un eulogized and under grounded
in Starr county, Hidalgo conty, Cameron county…

We remember, we remember
We are the daughters who our mothers
nursed and teethed on the daily rations
of witnessing our elders as survivors of war in our own lands

The elders of these lands say…
in the Lower Rio Grande,
the wall is being built

upon

the indigenous children of the 19th century
hunted down by soldiers and militias
the small children and women
who could not escape the blunt end of the rifle
cracking their skulls
and the ones who got away
their minds incised with the terror of those screams

the indigenous mothers in 1910-1916
forcibly removed from their huts, gardens and medicines
who begged for mercy from the settlers before they starved
in a land abundant with wildlife, mesquite, mescal—they were starved
their gasping voices laid over by farmlands, cotton, cement …
the newer forms of slavery

the indigenous grandmothers of 1935
who fought the soldiers against the construction of the levee
on the day my mother was born
and who screamed to the soldiers
to stop the impending deaths of their sisters and children
who would be flooded out on the other side
the destruciton of women’s collective corn fields
the destruction of fertile topsoils tended carefully over generations

the indigenous youth and adults in 1937-1965 sent off to wars, and to labor camps
in the fields of the new lords
to blend and to bend among the multitudes of imported ‘laborers’
under the guns and barbwire open-air fortress of South Texas
‘the machine’
human bodies reduced to mere ‘energy’
as if calculating batteries

the indigenous grandparents from these lands
enduring and enduring
from 1752-2008
toiling like mere ‘units’ not ‘People’ or ‘Humans’
in their own lands
for food, for shelter, for wages…

the indigenous of the Lower Rio Grande in 2008
our memories, histories, languages, experiences—resilience!
refusing to be buried and the evidence of the violence
once again hidden beneath a wall of death

Hear me! Ussn! Hear me! An Nde’ Woman,
Let this voice be heard for the People!

I won’t surrender our history
I won’t surrender our ancestors
I won’t surrender our language
I won’t surrender our territories
I won’t surrender the medicine
I won’t surrender the children
I won’t surrender the parents
I won’t surrender the elders
I won’t surrender the memories
I won’t give up the traditions
I won’t give up the songs
I won’t give up the future

Because I am the daughter of Life
Because I am the daughter of Naiiees Isdzaneklesh
Because I am the daughter of the Lightning People
Because I am the daughter of the Nde’

I am a daughter of the resurging Nde’ Nation
My roots are in El Calaboz Rancheria
the place of my mother’s birth
Where the elders gave her lightning ceremony
Where she went into the world to Slay the Monsters
With the Elders Smiling Behind Her
With the Elders Smiling Behind Her

Where the Wall of Death
Stopped in the Path
of the Bringer of Life
El Calaboz!
The place where the People Fight for Life from the Belly of Mother
From small holes in the ground
the indigenous fight the monsters
From small holes in the ground
the indigenous cannot be seen, and yet can see and feel
the rumblings of the enemies from far away…

Ahe’he’e Ussn –thank you Bringer of Life
Ahe’he’e Diyin –thank you Holy People
Ahe’he’e Shimaa Lepaiie –thank you mother clan
Ahe’he’e Shitaa Lepaiie –thank you father clan

Margo Tamez
November 7, 2008

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