Do you have Native American ancestry? – The Andalusian Star-News


Do you have Native American ancestry?

Posted 7:30 a.m. Saturday, October 29, 2022

Do you have Indian blood? I once claimed that I was part Indian. I’m not.

When I was young, my fun-loving dad, mom and I sat around the table reminiscing about a recent visit to my paternal grandparents. My grandmother had a dark complexion and high cheekbones. She wore her long gray hair wrapped in a knot on top of the back of her head. My father had charcoal black hair with similar features to my grandmother. In my imagination, I always thought of her with dark hair as a little girl.

During this conversation at the table, my father, perhaps with an impish smile on his face and a wink at my mother that I had missed, told me that my grandmother was a blood Indian. pure. It really fired my imagination. My class had studied Indian culture, so why should I doubt dad’s statement? Remembering images I’ve seen in books and Indians depicted in movies. It seemed logical to me that Grandma was Indian. Nothing else about that little conversation stuck with me.

The next morning, I was looking forward to going to school to tell my teacher and classmates about my Indian heritage. I knew it because my father said so. When I told my parents that I stunned my teacher and the whole class with my wonderful news, they looked uncomfortable. Then they explained to me that my father had only teased me. I felt bad telling my friends that it was wrong that I had Indian blood. My mother told me later that I was not the only one who spread this rumor. It seems that during his school days, one of dad’s brothers had a discussion with the son of a doctor in the community. Both were bragging that one could beat the other when my uncle beat the other’s statement declaring he was the better fighter. He said he was such a good fighter because he had Indian blood. To make his claim even more authentic, he added that his mother was a pure-blooded Indian. Maybe it had even been discussed at home that she certainly looked like she had Indian blood with her high cheekbones and dark complexion. This impressed the other boy so much that he informed his father, the doctor.

When our grandmother next visited her doctor, he told her that he had heard of her Indian heritage.

I suspect it was this family history that prompted my father to pass the word on to me jokingly. After that, every time he shared a story with me, he was careful to mention whether it was truth or fiction. And I made sure to listen carefully.


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