Alyena Koehler 18: Tobacco

“The Native Americans have sacred tobacco that they used to bless their fire with and when the Americans came they used it for smoking to dis them. Now the Americans are dying because the spirits are spiting then with cancer.”

Context: Alyena told me this story at the University of Southern California. She is a student at Santa Monica Community College. She was born and raised in Agoura Hills California, and is not religious. She heard this story at a Native American sound bath one week prior to the recording of this folklore.

Analysis: For Native Americans to be telling stories of how their colonizers are dying with cancer is telling about their sentiments towards what happened to them. The Native Americans were brutally colonized and still never received the justice they deserve for their mistreatment. For them, a story like this serves a little bit of justice for what these people did to them.