Thursday, May 11, 2017

We'wah Memorial Slow Cooked Meal

Yes, this simple slow cooked meal is more Italian in nature than First Nation. However, slave thought it would be a nice way to honor and teach about this most famous two-spirit leader.

An easy to throw together hearty meal is a great way to fight off the early spring rains. Frozen tortellini, fresh spinach, tomatoes and no-fat cream cheese cooks itself! And you will get the credit! All this needs is a bread and maybe a simple salad for a complete dinner. Be sure to read the short article on We' wah after the recipe.

1 bag of frozen tortellini (with meat)
1 8oz bag of fresh spinach
1 can drained diced tomatoes
1 can of low salt vegetable broth
1 block of no-fat cream cheese


Wipe out the slow cooker and spray with cooking spray. Set on low.
Cut the cream cheese into cubes. Open and drain the tomatoes. Open the can of broth.

Although not necessary, slave likes to cut the stems off the spinach. This takes time but is rewarding if spent focused on the one you serve. Slave finds it centering.

Lay the spinach into the cooker. Dump the tomatoes on top.

Scatter the cube of cheese across this and add the frozen pasta. Pour broth over the top, cover and let cook for 5 to 6 hours. Stir halfway through the cooking time.

This makes a great way to serve on a rainy day.

So happy to be serving my Master Indy


To satisfy and restore.
To nourish, support and maintain.
To gratify, spoil, comfort and please,
to nurture, assist, and sustain
..I cook!

Please buy slave's cookbook:

The Little Black Book of Indiscreet Recipes 



We’Wha the Revered Zuni Man-Woman

She was the most famous “Two-Spirit” leader. 

We'wha (WAY-wah) was born in 1849 in New Mexico as a member of the Zuni tribe. They were enemies of the Navajos and Apaches and agreed to help the new colonists fight wars for land. However, the Americans brought smallpox to the village and in 1853 both of We'wha's parents died.

We'wha dressed differently than the other boys, not in pants but instead wore a long shirt that hung like a dress. This was the outfit reserved for young girls. We'wha was first brought into religious ceremonies for Zuni boys at age twelve. A few years later the tribe recognized We'wha's :”Two Spirit” traits and her religious training was handed over to females. (Zuni men and women could be recognized as “Two-Spirit”, from as early as three or four.)

She learned the skills of the Zuni woman, grinding and making corn meal, making ceremonial pottery, cooking, and various domestic tasks.

In 1864 the Zunis and the American troops won a victory over the Navajo. Some members of We'wha's tribe moved into abandoned lands, becoming farmers. There We'wha did the male occupation of a farming. In the 1870s We'wha took on more of the household duties.

In 1877 Protestant missionaries began to arrive. The idea was First Nationers should be assimilated into “American” society by conversion to Christianity.

The Presbyterian Minister and medical doctor assigned to the tribe was named Taylor F. Ealy. We'wha helped his wife care for their two daughters, taught, and did various housework. We'wha may have served as a matron in the dormitories of the mission school. She would also have had the responsibility of kitchen maintenance, laundries, and teaching young girls domestic skills. In 1881 the frustrated missionaries began to depart the village. The Zuni, socially-recognized “Two Spirits” as filling a third gender role. Two-spirit people were honored with influential positions.

We’wha became a recognized expert in Zuni religion.

One of America’s first women scientists, the anthropologist Matilda Coxe Stevenson stated: “This Zuni was one of the tallest (at six feet) and strongest members of her tribe.

Early in 1886 Stevenson “introduced” this amazing person to the country's leaders in Washington DC.

The trauma of the Civil War was past. The last of the First Nation tribes had been defeated. Now the country was starting to see the consequences. In Washington, a new generation was eager to learn more about its vanishing native people.

The “Zuni 'princess' We’wha”, as the local papers dubbed her, was an instant celebrity. All that year, she mingled with politicians, government officials, politicians, and the local elite. She befriended the speaker of the house and called on his wife. She demonstrated Zuni weaving on the Mall and worked with anthropologists at the Smithsonian Institution. Finally, in early June, she paid a personal call on President Cleveland himself.

No one in Washington doubted that the visitor from Zuni was a woman. There was no mention of the fact, We’wha was born a man. The European views did not accept the concept of a third gender.

That such an individual could be a representative for the Zuni tribe shows the extent to which they were accepted by the First Nationers. In most tribes the ability to combine male and female qualities was viewed as a gift. It came as no surprise to the Zunis that We’wha would travel thousands of miles, to a strange language and culture, to mingle with the leaders of a powerful nation. We’wha was expected to be extraordinary.

After We'wha returned to their pueblo, relations between the Zuni and the U.S. Government deteriorated. We'wha was arrested along with five other Zuni leaders, accused of witchcraft, and held for a month in prison. 

At the age of 47, in 1896, We'wha died from heart failure, while participating in their annual Sha'lako festival.


Read more in the book “The Zuni Man-Woman” by Will Roscoe.

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