Ea niya? [hello/how are you] [Aho= male-to-male greeting.]
I am Temendequa, son of Turtle-Foot.
My father gave me the name Temendequa over 70 years ago,
when I was born in Brooklyn New York.
My father was also born in Brooklyn, nearly 99 years ago.
About 80 years ago, my father was given his name
"Turtle Foot" by White Shirt (the son of Bird Head),
who adopted my father as his son, in an elaborate ceremony,
that was held in a lodge just a little ways up the river,
one summer during the great depression of the late 1930s.
My father spoke often of this special ceremony,
but the details were always fuzzy due to hallucinations
caused by the sacred substance that was used.
Each participant was given a tin can containing a "sacred substance"
to be consumed during the ceremony.
They were allowed to spit back into the can,
if it was too hard to chew or swallow,
BUT the sacred substance was not allowed
to hit the ground or be disposed of,
and all the cans had to be empty at the end of the ceremony!
White Shirt gave my father the name "Turtle Foot",
because he so much time on his belly, digging with his hands
in the mud, along the banks of the Niobrara River.
Many of the attendees thanked Turtle Foot for hiring tribe members
to do most of the digging (instead of using nearby farm hands),
and they were also grateful that he shared
the ancient discoveries with the tribe.
After the ceremony, his new father White Shirt took him aside,
tapped his chest two times, and very firmly pointed out
that both Helen and her sister were now his sisters
Turtle Foot was a bit confused by this until someone in the tribe
told him that White Shirt had noticed the way he watched the girls
as they bathed in the Niobrara River.
A few years later, my father left the field anthropology
and became a mechanical engineer (and later a professor).
My father took great pride in his Ponca connections;
he was very proud to be associated with the Ponca tribe.
This pride was very evident in the many stories he told me as a child,
and the writings and illustrations he shared with so many others
in his books and articles and website pages.
Altho he travelled widely in his industrial careeer,
and flew to many places as an pilot in the Civil Air Patrol,
he was never able to return to the Niobrara,
but Ponca was always in his heart.
One of the last joys in his life, just before he passed away in 2010,
was an invitation to be an honored guest
at the opening of the Indian Museum in Washington.
He was extremely proud of that invitation, and tried very hard to attend;
he became very upset when the doctors would not allow him to go.
My father's parents immigrated from Transylvannia Hungary.
My grandmother said that my father weighed in at twelve pounds
on the laundry scale that was used in the store they lived above,
near the docks in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
(It sometimes makes me feel inferior noticing that my birth certificate
said that I registered only 8.5 pounds on the Brooklyn hospital scale.)
When he was born, my father's legal name was: Martin Friedman
Some time after those two Summers in Red Bird,
my father and his brother (Yennui)
legally changed their last names to "Martin",
and my father selected the name "Lance" as his new first name.
So, my legal name is Bruce Alan Martin.
I am here at the Pow Wow with my wife, Debbie,
and our daughter Crystal who now lives in Missouri.
Our son, Adam, will join us in Jackson Hole Wyoming next weekend,
where we will observe the total eclipse of the sun.
Nevertheless, I am proud to introduce myself as
"Temendequa, son of Turtle Foot"
Wibthaha [thank you]
Thank you for allowing me to make this presentation
to the Ponca Tribe, today,
and letting me share his accounts of the archaeological discoveries
which supported many of the ancient legends,
as well as the oral traditions and stories he told me as a boy,
and which he recaptured in his books and articles.