October 18, 2006

Where X-Indians dwell

The X-Indian Chronicles
The Book of Mausape

Author:  Thomas M. Yeahpau
Illustrator:  Bunky Echo-HawkMausape, a young "X-Indian" man dreams he's about to compete against the King of All Fancy-Dancers--who, it turns out, is Elvis Presley in full Las Vegas regalia. Another teenage boy, concerned that he's not a real warrior, seeks confirmation behind the liquor store from Grandma Spider, a wise, obese old creature with the torso of an elderly woman and the eight legs of a spider. In stories and poems mixing magical realism with unflinching reality, a young American Indian author offers a raw, graphic view of life on a reservation, a place where bitterness toward the white man lingers, where the enemy often appears in liquid form, where misogyny often raises its ugly head, and where a new generation's pop culture infiltrates ancient beliefs. A standout voice in the anthology NIGHT GONE, DAY IS STILL COMING, Thomas M. Yeahpau explores the place between native culture and contemporary America where X-Indians dwell.Note:  Thomas Yeahpau is a Kiowa writer/filmaker/musician. Bunky Echo-Hawk is a Pawnee artist and a big supporter of Blue Corn Comics.

8 comments:

Not a Sioux said...

I have to admit ignorance on what an "X-Indian" is. I quickly ruled out "member of a Native American team of mutant super heroes". Wikipedia has nothing. Google has nothing but references to this book, and other irrelevancies such as "Mac OS-X Indian Fonts". I would guess I am not the only one wondering. Or is it really not a social group term at all, and is just the title of a book?

Rob said...

I believe the author invented the term. I suspect it translates to "cross-Indian"--as in a cross between an Indian and a non-Indian. Or maybe it plays on the X-Men motif and means a strange or unnatural type of Indian.

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Actually, an 'X-Indian' is the same as the concept of my story, "The Last Quest", wherein a modern Native must find his place using both his worlds, the dying world of his tribe and the much-in-danger-of-dying modern world. Set-se Mah-oh-say, the BigFoot, tells John Tallowhands that he must find what is 'between' those worlds, if he and his people are to survive. Even the BigFoot reveals that his people are dying, in keeping with the tribal world that knows and knows of him.
Thomas Yeahpau is Kiowa, grew up here in Anadarko, attended the Riverside Indian School on the north side of town, and is related to me on my mother's side. I have been a guest speaker at Riverside several times over the past couple of decades and have shown my STAR TREK and read my stories to groups of students, Thomas Yeahpau included. "The Last Quest" and "Rite Of Encounter" always were their favorite stories.
As it wasn't publicized much at the time, I now can say that Thomas Yeahpau went on to Haskell Indian University, became a story and film writer/maker, later attended the Indian Arts Institute, wrote and produced a short film called "My Favorite Runner", and through it won one of the $50,000 2005 ABC/Disney Talent Development Writing Fellowships. His 9-month internship at Disney Studios began last February. He is 31 and currently lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.
It is writerfella's intent to include his "The Dragon Of Lonely Island" or a stand-alone segment of 'THE X-INDIAN CHRONICLES' or the story that appears in the anthology 'NIGHT GONE, DAY IS STILL COMING' in HORSEMAN, STARMAN.
Otherwise, writerfella is very pleased indeed to have known Thomas Yeahpau as a child and it is time for he and I to become re-acquainted.
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
POSTSCRIPTUM: and Thomas Yeahpau even created his own film festival at Haskell University, called Stories_N_Motion which is held in March. the website is

http://www.stories-n-motion.com

and the e-mail is

stories_n_motion@yahoo.com

All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
POSTSCRIPTUM 2: and by the bye, if anyone hasn't seen "My Favorite Runner" or wishes to seed it again, it can be found at Thomas Yeahpau's MySpace site.

http://www.myspace.com/nativezdoinnativeshit

Click on My Videos and it's among five others uploaded there. Be warned, it begins as hard to watch but progresses into a story full of humor and truth and symbolism at one and the same time. In its short space, it tells more and reveals more than SMOKE SIGNALS ever considered doing. And its heart says that even the smallest dreams of the smallest people still mean worlds to them. I wept...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Rob said...

Somehow I knew you'd know Yeahpau. ;-)

Did he tell you the definition of "X-Indian," or did you deduce it?

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
Elementary, my dear Watson. You only have to know Kiowa legends to see why his character consults with the spider woman (the fabled totem of my clan, the Spider Clan) behind the liquor store. This is symbolism at its most clear.
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Thomas M. Yeahpau said...

X-Indian means two things. First, I believe there are really no real indians left, only people in our race that try their best to keep our traditions, but fail to see how much they actually have lost most of them. Second, the Generation X Indians, which I belong to. I'm glad to see you've been following up on me Russ because I recall that time you came out to Riverside to talk to us and I had to talk my peers into attending your meeting by saying I would smoke some weed with them, because we all learned a great deal in what you had to say and seeing what you did showed me it was possible and here i am, working at the ABC/Disney studios, the two biggest companies in TV and film. I am truely grateful for your words -Thomas