“What tribe are you?” A humorous commentary

Tim TingleĀ  and I at the 2004 Oklahoma Book Awards. The title of my book was As Brown As I Want: The Indianhead Diaries. Tim’s book was Walking the Choctaw Road.

“What tribe are you?”
Janelle Meraz Hooper

Janelle Meraz Hooper

Mother’s Day is coming up. I’ve been thinking about my mom…we were very close. The kind of close that develops between two people who have survived living with a man who was meaner than a rattlesnake and dumber than adobe (from A Three-Turtle Summer). Living in Oklahoma, my mother and I had a lot of Native American friends who invited us to their powwows. All the time, kids would ask me, “What tribe are you from?” I didn’t know what to say. We were Hispanic! One day I asked my mom about it. She never blinked an eye and said, “We’re from the Aztec tribe.” At 7-years-old it was a good enough explanation for me and I skated by on that answer all summer.


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