shoshone

John Two Hawks

104 posts in this topic

I searched for a thread on this, but it looks like he doesn't have one yet, so I hope it's okay that I made my own.

 

Probably if you're a Nightwish fan, you know John Two Hawks as the Native American singer/flautist on the track Creek Mary's Blood.

 

Sadly I come bearing really, really crappy news.

 

According to Two Hawks' Wikipedia entry, he is an Oglala Lakota Sioux. I've always liked his music and really admired that an NDN guy could break out in this tough music industry.

 

Now, one of my coolest friends happens to be Oglala and I went up to Pine Ridge Rez this Christmas to spend time with her and her family. (It was really cute...they had a guy dressed up as Santa Claus doing the grass dance. :blush: )

 

I roomed with my friend while I was there, and at night I made her listen to Nightwish (like I do to all my friends :music: ) and when it came to the part in Creek Mary's Blood where he's supposedly speaking in Lakota, she ripped the earphones off and screamed, "He's a fraud!"

 

Because, as it turns out, he's not speaking Lakota at all, but total gibberish--with a few words random like "sukmanitutanka" thrown in to sound authentic.

 

The very next day we took a short walk down to the tribal office to look up John Two Hawks. Because if he's really Oglala, his name or his family's name will be in the registry. (They keep records all the way back to the 1800s, both paper and computerized, and they let anyone look at them upon request.)

 

There is not, and has never been, a Lakota Native American named Two Hawks.

 

I'm really, really sad about this because I liked him for a long time. And it's just...like, he's a phony. Like we don't have enough of THOSE running around our communities. I remember Tuomas telling in Once Upon a Nightwish how he found the guy through Google. :unsure: Google, huh? Either way, Tuomas was way too trusting. He should have asked to see a quantum card, enrollment papers, whatever. As a result he was lied to and cheated by this so-called reputable musician.

 

I don't know what John Two Hawks is, but he's not an Indian.

 

I'm spreading the word! :diablo: Because I'm sick of wannabes stealing and misrepresenting our cultures.

 

Another thing, I told my friend about how Two Hawks named Tuomas "Shadow Wolf" or "Sunkmanitutanka Nagi" in a naming ceremony.

 

Well, she debunked that right away, because Sunkmanitutanka Nagi doesn't mean Shadow Wolf. According to Becky, "Shadow Wolf" would really be "Mahipiohanzi Sunkmanitutanka." (I had to ask her to write that down for me... :fool:) Also, she says that in Lakota tradition, a naming ceremony is NOT some random guy and his wife saying "Your name is now...[blahblahblah]." She says it's a very complex ritual that's part of the Seven Sacred Rites, that the person receiving the name is instructed to create a rainbow gift for Rainbow Woman, that the person receiving the name is the one who prays and the name comes to him in a dream...not some third party. Naming ceremonies are not just some hocus pocus new agey "let's burn some sage and I'll give you a cool sounding name"...

 

Yep, just another white guy exploiting NDN culture...and unfortunately taking our favorite maestro along for a ride. :unsure:

 

...I don't know how many of you actually care, but as for me, I was heartbroken. Google is not your friend, Tuomas!!! :dwarf:

 

I know in the past Nightwish would never perform this song live without Two Hawks.

 

Well, I hope they never perform this song ever again, because what he did to them was completely outrageous, unprofessional, and offensive (in my opinion). And the song is ruined forever (also in my opinion).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh my God, that sucks (if it's true, I don't really understand this sort of geneology thing and whatnot so I can't look it up myself)! I would have never expected that :( I kind of wish I didn't know because it will ruin the song for me now. And it's such a great song too :(

Wow this is actually really upsetting me. I hope this news will make its way to the band because I really don't want them performing with him anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It doesn't matter is he in the registry or belong to the specific tribe or not. He has indian roots "painted on his face" it's enough.His skin color and look says a lot about his origin.I don't care it is official or not ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But Emej, if he is pretending to be a Oglala Lakota Sioux when he actually is not, that means that he is lying. You can't just go around saying that you belong to a tribe which you don't actually belong to.

Now I am not 100% sure that this information is true (I have no way of checking it myself), but if it is that means his whole career is fraudulent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe it's a good idea to contact him directly or his management to hear the other side before anybody is screaming .. fraud? It's quite an allegation you put up here, shoshone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I definitely agree. Shoshone should probably do it because she knows all the details. I just looked at his website and it seems a bit... flaky. Monthly "oneness" newsletters and everything. There is an email address for inquiries but I'm not sure if that's what we're looking for...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

... I think my stomach just imploded. :o This makes me so sad, I had always loved Creek Mary's Blood because it provides a link to my heritage that I am otherwise sorely lacking. But if he truly is a fraud it just strips away all the magic of the song. This is really heartbreaking for me. It was so nice to have a crossover song with a Native American musician involved. I love traditional music too, of course, but I really enjoy crossovers more than anything for most types of music. I don't suppose anyone knows any other crossover songs that are authentic? Shoshone? :unsure:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe it's a good idea to contact him directly or his management to hear the other side before anybody is screaming .. fraud? It's quite an allegation you put up here, shoshone.

 

It's a good idea, I'll look up his contact info.

 

emej, what you said was the most insulting. Did you ever hear of Iron Eyes Cody? Full-blooded Italian guy who passed himself off as American Indian in the 1950s. No one knew he was lying because Mediterranean blood can easily resemble several tribes, like Cree and Cherokee. I'm going to assume you're not American, so you don't know how tough it really is to be an NDN and break out in the entertainment business. Shannon and Shauna Baker had to pretend to be Latina just to get any work...

 

 

*edit*

 

Apsara, for some great "modern" NDN music I suggest Robbie Robertson (enrolled Canadian Mohawk), he has a whole album titled Music for the Native Americans. Ghost Dance is my favorite off that album. For real authentic stuff (like, the way they were singing back in the BC era! :P ) I suggest Judy Trejo (Shoshone/Paiute). Nadine Vasquez is a Shoshone singer as well, but she's harder to come by. If you tell me your tribe I'll be happy to try to find musicians for you who come from that tribe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Thanks! :D I'm Cheyenne and Blackfoot that I know of, something else on my father's side that I don't know. (He's adopted, so I know the % but not the tribe because he forgot, because he's... Himself. :rolleyes:) He was adopted in Kansas as a baby, so likely something near there since people didn't seem to move as much back then, but I have no idea what he is, I've been thinking of having a DNA test to try to find out. I appreciate the help. :) It's hard to find trustworthy sources for this sort of thing.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ Apsara - For Cheyenne musicians I found Joseph Firecrow, a contemporary flautist. According to his website he is of the Cheyenne Nation, his discography says Northern Cheyenne.

 

http://www.josephfir...w.com/index.htm

 

I'll say right now that his regalia looks 100% authentic to me, I've seen regalia like that at powwows pretty much every year of my life.

 

I really like this song of his! And he's got Joseph M. Marshall III narrating for him so you know he's legit. (Marshall's a badass like that :P )

 

[media]

[/media]

 

For a Blackfoot performer there's Phoenix. I know he's legit because they interviewed him a couple times on Native Voice TV. You can hear him at 1:21

 

[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwNC2SiTyfc[/media]

 

I never listened to him before but I like that smoky voice of his! :music:

 

He's got an album called After Buffalo. Apparently there's another Blackfoot musician called Phoenix Sigalove, but I DON'T think they're the same guy. I don't know for sure because I can't find the other guy's music.

 

About DNA tests, I know they can tell you "Yep, you're Native" but I don't know if they can help you find the tribe. A friend of mine said this can be really, really hard because every tribe in America (and Canada, and Mexico) traces back to the same six women. (Those women got busy! :P )

 

Well, anyway, I'm sorry this is off topic. I was originally going to PM you, but then I figured other people might be interested in hearing the same musicians. Sorry everyone!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Never mind the OT shoshone, at least I'm fine with it, since you try to prove that Two Hawks is a fraud, posting songs of authentic artists is fine by me :)

 

Now, about Two Hawks, I'm gonna be honest, I'm laughing my butt off since I read this. Not because he's using your culture to get fame and money and anything-this is very serious and it's clear fraud, plus very offensive to many artists that are authentic and never get any recognition past Natives-but for Tuomas' naivety, if he really found him through Google(I thought he would be more careful, I mean hasn't he lived for some time in the USA or something?) and for the overall story.

 

It's a serious one, to manipulate one culture especially if you don't belong in it, but I don't know, it seems so... Annoying and funny(the hysterical type of funny) at the same time. In Greek we have a word for it, it's a composition of the words "tragic" and "laughable" but Google Translator gives it in English as "grotesque" :huh:

 

Anyway, I hope you understand what I mean. I hope this story gets sorted out. It's a great offence, especially since the Natives have gone through serious ethnic cleansing and they still have to face racism even in the most common aspects of life.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Maybe grotesque is the perfect word!! :rofl:

 

What you said at the end really touched me. It's like, you just get it. A lot of non-Native people near where I live don't understand us at all. But here's this total stranger, and she gets it.

 

Thank you, and I really mean that.

 

About Two Hawks: I got in touch with the moderator for Ocean Souls of America. She e-mailed him and he e-mailed her back in the same night. I'm waiting to hear back from a mod from this forum as to whether or not I can post the e-mail. (Both OSA and Two Hawks gave their permission.) In the e-mail Two Hawks admitted he's not enrolled in any tribe.

 

He claims the poem is not gibberish, but "a poetic dialect." But, again, my friend Becky couldn't understand a word of it, and Lakota is her first language. Becky also translated Tuomas' poem into Lakota herself (I'll post it later if I get permission), and it doesn't match Two Hawks' supposed translation at all.

 

There is a Lakota-speaking group on Yahoo Groups, and they too agree that the poem is not real Lakota. (When I get permission I'll link to their messages.)

 

I hate to go off of hearsay. I'm Shoshone, not Lakota, so I can't judge this myself... But too many things don't add up here. There is a lot of dishonesty going on, and whether it's to the fans, to Nightwish, to the Oglala Nation, or even all three, it's just plain wrong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, I'm really happy I got you :blush: :wub:

 

Now, I hope you finally get permission to post all this info. But maybe the thread should be marked as "READ AT YOUR OWN RISK" because this is going to ruin the song for many people :P I support this move though, it's better to know the truth.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If I could figure out how to edit the title, I would! Ohhhh computer why are you confusing!! <_<

 

Anyway, I got the permission! So without further ado... (it's very long)

 

Two Hawks' email, posted by C. on the OSA forum:

 

To whom it may concern....

 

In over 25 years of public life, I have never publicly responded to tabloid type, misguided or slanderous gossip about myself. This is the first time I have ever done so. And it will be the last.

 

I am a quiet person, who despises self-aggrandizing. I also much prefer to remain silent when others speak unkindly of me. Yet I also despise being questioned by strangers, malcontents, trouble makers and even well meaning, but misguided folks about my American Indian identity and its authenticity. What follows is straight talk about my history, my background and my story. If this is not enough to satisfy the appetite of those who crave conflict, then there is nothing more I can do or say. This will have to suffice.

 

To begin, I want to point out a couple glaring bits of misinformation in the statements made, and say a few things directly to them.

 

First off, whoever you are, I want you to know that I am not angry at you. You, like all people, have a right to your feelings and opinions. As do I. I only wish you would have taken some time to think things through a bit more before you decided to publicly slander someone you have never met. I do not know you, so I will not speak unkindly of you. I hope that my response will ease your mind and help you understand.

 

A couple important things. One, the book you mentioned, ‘Once Upon a Nightwish’, I am sorry to say, is chocked full of mistakes, misinformation and complete fabrications, especially where they have written about me. I was never consulted by the author, nor was I given the opportunity to see the book before it was printed. Nothing in the book about the private spiritual experience my wife and I had with Tuomas is even remotely accurate, and much of it is pure fabrication. So your Oglala friend is correct, there was no traditional naming ceremony. And the notion that there was is simply ridiculous and highly offensive to me. And by the way, the Lakota word Mahpiya aohanzi means a shadow from clouds. The Lakota word Nagi refers to a shadow in the spiritual sense. Now onto the second point. The language at the end of ‘Creek Mary’s Blood’. I am sorry to tell you, but it is indeed Lakota that I am speaking. What you and your friend quite likely are unaware of, is that the oration at end of the song is a poem, written by Tuomas, translated to English. I then did the work to translate it to Lakota. So, what you are hearing is a poem, not everyday dialogue. I do not live around many Lakota people who speak our language fluently, therefore I consider myself ‘semi-fluent’. I did my utmost to honor our ancestral language in a good way, I proceeded humbly and diligently, and even had a Lakota friend of mine who is well known as a fluent speaker listen to it, and give his approval just to be sure. Might there be some errors? Perhaps. But total gibberish? Not a chance. Those are the two items I wanted to address pertaining to Tuomas and I, and my contribution to the ‘Once’ album. Now for the rest....

 

What I have done....

I was one of the first Native American Flute musicians to introduce this brand of music to the general public decades ago. I was not the first, yet I played no small hand in helping to bring Native American Flute music to where it is today. I am proud of that, though never prideful. As well, I have been actively involved in issues involving Native American civil and human rights for decades, lending my time and my voice to many worthy causes throughout Indian country. My activism has, in the past, cost me friends and employment. Yet, I always pressed on and continued to stand strong for what was right, even in the face of lost income and lost relationships. Activism is never easy, and I know this from experience. Continuing.... For over 20 years, I have traveled across this country to schools of every kind to teach and break stereotypes about Indian culture, history and contemporary issues. It is safe to say that I have spoken to well over 100,000 students and teachers over the last two decades. Always making sure to cut through the nonsense concerning what is true and what is fabrication about our culture. I take pride in having done what I can to turn the tide of mainstream ideas about Indian people to a more accurate, authentic view. I continue to do so even up to this moment. I have never wavered in my commitment to serving my people and righting the wrongs done to us.

 

Who I am....

My full legal name is John Two-Hawks. It is the name on my social security card. Two-Hawks, or Two-Hawk, is a proud family name that goes back many generations. It is not unheard of in Lakota country. The name also holds deep spiritual meaning for me personally. I do not take kindly to attempts to belittle, insult or denigrate the integrity of my name. I am Lakota by blood, ethnicity and cultural upbringing. I am a non-enrolled, yet culturally recognized Oglala Lakota. I have never claimed anything more or less than that. I also have Potowatomi blood from my paternal grandfather. Though I do not identify myself as a Potowatomi, I am proud to carry the blood of these beautiful people as part of my heritage. I also have some French and some Irish lineage. So I am not a "full blood", but believe me when I tell you that I am 100% Lakota through and through. I grew up learning Lakota cultural ways from the few family elders I was fortunate enough to have around. I know our traditional ways, our customs and our history. And yet, I will be the first to say that there is always more to learn, more to understand. So do not mistake me when I say that I know who I am and from whom I come. No one who really knows me has ever questioned my Indian identity. The Lakota people who know me, know without question that I am blood. So this is my story, albeit a brief version of it. I know who I am. And I do not need to define it any further. I hope and pray this lays this to rest once and for all. These kinds of things are really such a waste of the quality time we have here on this earth. Let us seek love, healing and kindness, that we may one day mend the sacred hoop....

 

May you find your own truth for yourself, and walk your path with humility.

 

Ya kici wanagi, na e'cun waste.... (Go with spirit, and do good....)

John Two-Hawks

 

To make a long story short:

 

He says he has Indian blood, but he admits he's not enrolled in any tribe.

 

He says the poem "might have errors," but that he had a "fluent" friend check it over to make sure it doesn't have errors. (Then how can it have errors?)

 

He insists it's real Lakota ("poetic Lakota"), even though my friend told me, "I don't understand a word of what he's saying." Just how "poetic" does your Lakota have to be for a native speaker to be completely unable to understand it?

 

He makes reference to my friend's Lakota (mahipiohanzi), but in the process gets the word/words wrong (mahpiya aohanzi).

 

I'm going to post Tuomas' original poem in English. Then, I'll post my friend's translation into Lakota. Then, I'll post Two Hawks' translation. You'll see that they don't line up.

 

I still dream every night

Of them wolves, them mustangs, those endless prairies

The restless winds over mountaintops

The unspoilt frontier of my kith n'kin

The hallowed land of the Great Spirit

I still believe

In every night

In every day

I am like the caribou

And you like the wolves that make me stronger

We never owed you anything

Our only debt is one life for our Mother

It was a good day to chant this song

For Her

 

Our spirit was here long before you

Long before us

And long will it be after your pride brings you to your end

 

Iyohilla woihanble

Miyaca, thasunke, thankinkinyan

Tate wohitipika pahata

Maka owaspe wotiyemnasni

Oyate

Maka owaspe wakan

Wakan Tanka

Wicawala yelo

Iyohilla

Kikta-ya

Unpan kin hemaca

Miyaca yelo

Wamasaka mayaye

Wanica woicazo he miye

Woicazo kici inawaye kin kta bluha

Anpetu wan span se waite he yelo

Kici inawaye kin

 

Unkitawakan wacan letu

Itokab nisnala

Itokab miyecuhci

 

Watankaicilapi u'yutakunisni kte.

 

Hanhepi iyuha mi ihanbla ohinni yelo

Òn sunkmanitutankapi hena,

sunkawakanpi watogha hena,

oblaye t'ankapi oihankesni hena

T'at'epi kin asni kiyasni he

akatanhanpi iwankal

Oblaye t'anka kin

osicesni mitakuyepi òn

Makoce kin wakan

Wakan Tanka kin òn

Miwicala ohinni - Hanhepi iyuha

kici - Anpetu iyuha kici yelo

Mi yececa hehaka kin yelo, na

ni yececa sunkmanitutankapi

kin ka mikaga wowasaka isom

Uncinpi tuweni nitaku keyas ta k'u

Unwakupi e'cela e wiconi

wanji unmakainapi ta yelo

Anpetu waste e wan olowan

le talowan winyan ta yelo

Unwanagi pi lel e nita it'okab o'ta ye

Untapi it'okab o'ta

 

Na e kte ena òn hanska ohakap

ni itansni a'u nita ni ihanke yelo

 

The bolded words are real Lakota. The rest are, according to Beck, made up.

 

People on a Lakota-speaking Yahoo group agree with my friend that his Lakota is incomprehensible:

 

http://groups.yahoo....pi/message/5693 (a discussion I found from 2007)

http://groups.yahoo....pi/message/7371 (a discussion I found from 2008)

 

John says his family name really is Two Hawks. But Two Hawks doesn't show up on any Oglala rolls. It doesn't matter if he's enrolled--if Two Hawks is a real Indian family name, the name WILL show up on an old Oglala census as belonging to one of his ancestors.

 

Here, I'll go one step further in proving it. Go to archive.org. In the search bar, type "Indian Rolls." Look for a link that says "Shoshone and Arapaho," or "Shoshoni and Arapaho" (spelling depends on the guy taking the census). These are all the Wind River rolls from the 1800s. And at some point, you'll definitely find someone on them with my last name. (My last name is Runs with the Crowd.) See, that's the thing about Native surnames. We didn't have them until the 1800s. So a name like Runs with the Crowd--or Two Hawks--will definitely be both fairly recent and documented.

 

But the name Two Hawks doesn't show up anywhere on the Oglala rolls. There was never a single Oglala Indian with the name Two Hawks. If you go to archive.org and put in "Indian rolls," then click on "Pine Ridge," you can browse the rolls from the 1800s to the 1950s. You'll find the same thing I found at my friend's tribal office: That the family never existed--or if they did, they were never Oglala.

 

I can believe that Mr. Two Hawks might have some Lakota blood in him--but he admits he's not enrolled. So legally, he is NOT Oglala, and marketing his music as such actually breaks the law:

 

http://www.iacb.doi.gov/act.html

 

And that is where I am seriously concerned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Crud!! I always mess up somehow... I'm sorry. Here's the 2007 convo:

http://groups.yahoo....pi/message/5693

 

Here's the 2008 convo:

http://groups.yahoo....pi/message/7371

 

I thought this was the most telling:

 

To be blunt but completely frank, his use of Lakota reads like that of somebody

who can

look words up in an English-Lakota dictionary, but has a VERY sketchy

understanding of

the rules of Lakota grammar & syntax. (BTW, that's an understatement)

 

Can anybody tell me precisely what :

 

"Na e kte ena on hanska ohakab

ni itansni a'u nita ihanke halo."

 

is supposed to mean? Really? In what language?

 

(Man, I didn't sleep at all, and I go to work in a few hours, so if I say anything else that doesn't make sense... :sleep: very sorry.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow this is all very... interesting. I'm definitely going to need some time to swallow this and then to build up an opinion. I am very keen on reading/hearing/finding out more about this issue :swoon:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is quite interesting...

Thanks shoshone for your interest and for your efforts into clarifying this issue. Please convey my thanks to your friends as well, for their efforts. :friends:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to believe him, but as Shoshone says some things still seem off. :fool: He was much too vague in his statement... And according to C. he has asked that the threads on OSA and here be closed to avoid "further slander." ...

seriously.jpg?width=500&height=375

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How about this now :blink:. This is very very strange, and I feel too confused to discuss it now.

 

But this topic makes me want to see this: :)

 

[media]

[/media]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd like to believe him, but as Shoshone says some things still seem off. :fool: He was much too vague in his statement... And according to C. he has asked that the threads on OSA and here be closed to avoid "further slander." ...

 

We're looking into this a bit deeper to get this correctly. There are still questions that need to be clarified to get the complete picture. Of course there will be no "further slander" but a few things don't fit together so this topic stays open as long as it takes to get this sorted once and for all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Good call, glad to hear it. :) And yeah, "slander" was his word, not mine. I haven't seen any slander here, but rather people who genuinely want to know for better or for worse what is going on here. I think most of us are hoping for the best. ...But bracing for the worst, just in case...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@ ish Hey you!! Long time no see :D Hmmm I'll just PM you :giggle:

 

@ Apsara It's not related to the topic at all, but I love that little doggie SO much. :P Couldn't stop laughing at his precious lil face!!

 

Anyway, I guess I've already made my opinion on this clear--I think the guy's talking out of his other end, if you know what I mean <_< --but there's nothing more that I can do, so we'll wait to see what Mojo digs up. Hopefully the clarification will be good for all parties. (It's Nightwish I care about the most, in all honesty)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

^ Hahaha! I liked him too, it took me a lot of searching to find an image that fit my feeling, :giggle: and then there he was.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.