My Ancestors

Although this webpage is in my name, it is not about me. In the accompanying photos you will see merely an image with a name, a personality, a reputation. What you are actually beholding is my ancestors in the flesh; and when you look into the face, you will be staring into the faces of those yet to be born. Whatever these pictures show me doing, I am serving my people and honoring my lineage.

My ancestral story is no more unique or important than anyone else’s, because the ancestors of each and all of us were tribal peoples who set out on great journeys all across the Earth to find places where they could dwell in balance with the plant and animal relations. This makes us all descendents of tribal peoples, and therefore we are all of native blood, whether we know it or not.

When many of our ancestral people (and many native people in general) tell their personal stories, they first honor their ancestors and Elders, for it is their stories and their example that guide a person to become who he is. Until recently, I could only properly honor my Elders, because my ancestors were unknown to me. When as a child I asked my father

what he knew, he would proudly–and defensively–state that we were German. I sensed that he was hiding something that he himself may not have completely understood. “Why was most of his side of the family dark-skinned?” I would ask myself. “And why did kids at school ask if I was Jewish?” My mother’s ancestry was shrouded by another veil: the shame of illegitimacy. No one seemed to know–or at least was willing to tell–where her mother came from. Her birth certificate was fabricated to look as though she was the product of a normal Christian marriage.

Through DNA analysis and genealogical research, I found my ancestors. My mother is of the tribal people from the Central Asian Steppes. Hundreds of generations ago they migrated north and then split, with some of them heading east to help populate Europe, and others finding their way to North America to become one of the first of the many diverse groups to people the continent.

The ancient tribes of North Africa’s Nile Delta are my father’s people. Originally pastoralists, they migrated to the fertile lands of the eastern Mediterranean, where they gave up their nomadic ways to become the first agriculturalists. Perhaps my father would have been proud of his ancestry had he known he was a member of the kohan, the Hebrew hereditary priestly caste. If genealogical and Biblical records are correct, my father is a direct male descendant of Aaron, elder brother of Moses and the first Kohan Gadol, or High Priest.

For balance, my mate, Lety, brings an entirely different ancestry to our relationship: Mayan, West African, and Mongol origins. With her stories, perspectives, and healing ways being different than mine, our sharing is enriched by cross-pollination.