May 13, 2009

Ma-chu-nah-zha: I Am a Person

What's Happening:  Standing Bear comes to life

By John KeenanRoxanne Wach was moved when she heard the words of Standing Bear spoken aloud in a Nebraska courtroom.

"I can’t begin to express the power of the words," said the director of "Ma-chu-nah-zha: I Am a Person," which was being performed Tuesday afternoon in the special proceedings courtroom of the Roman L. Hruska U.S. Courthouse in Omaha.

The performance is one of a series of events marking the 130th anniversary of the trial of Standing Bear, the Ponca chief who won a landmark case in an Omaha courtroom that recognized him as a person, with certain rights under the law.
Comment:  Wow...Standing Bear has gotten an amazing amount of press in the last few years. He's appeared in almost a dozen media projects: books, plays, an opera, etc.

To give you some idea of his popularity, this is the 19th posting with his name in Newspaper Rock. Here's how often some other well-known Indians have appeared:

Squanto:  8
Major Ridge:  8
John Ross:  7
Red Cloud:  10
Wovoka:  2
Chief Joseph:  9
Cochise:  14
Quanah Parker:  3
Charles Eastman:  15
Will Rogers:  13

For more on Standing Bear, see Standing Bear = Enemy Combatant, Former Governor Writes About Indians, and Standing Bear, Pop Icon. For more on plays in general, see Native Plays and Other Stage Shows.

Below:  "Standing Bear, portrayed by Eduardo Millan, in the play Ma-Chu-Nah-Zha: I am a Person."

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