Burning Man Boots

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Going in to Burning Man equipped with my ‘Cowboys and Indians’ boots. One of the unspoken ironies of living in the Americas for Indians of the great subcontinental diaspora is the coincidence of signifieds for the generalizing signifier ‘Indian’. I remember arriving in Vancouver to find that I was referred to as an ‘East’ Indian. I wondered if it was a reference to the historical East India Company that managed that far end of the British empire while this end was being run by the Hudson Bay Company. Yes … its always been a corporate universe … but that is another story! No quite simple I believe that I am ‘East’ Indian in ‘North ‘America’ to to distinguish me from the other Indian – the ‘native Indian’ or as I know them from a childhood of \Cowboys and Indians’ play, the Red Indian’. Indeed, living in the Americas is living with both the nominal and significant consequences of the original hubris and error of Columbus and his ilk.

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