You may have seen this a few years back, as I did an AMA and it blew up! I had a lot of unanswered questions that I think a lot of people want answered (I've received a ton of DM's asking me to do a part 2 for this even though it's been 2 1/2 years!). I wasn't too sure about this whole thing about doing a part 2, but here I am, ask me anything! I will disregard all negative comments however, but everything else is fair game.

One of the things I want to accomplish with this is help those understand what goes on in a native american lifestyle(without giving too much away)

Some of you have asked what I want to accomplish in life, I will be more than happy to answer any questions regarding my future career plans, etc.

I cannot give you any info on what to do if you just recently found out you're Native American, as I have never really had to deal with that personally, so I apologize if you didn't find the answers you were looking for.

Proof of my Tribal ID:

Comments: 1739 • Responses: 49  • Date: 

Gaggin1260 karma

This is really weird to see because my family is from that same Pueblo! I haven’t been back there in awhile but i do love dropping by. Have fun!

How many people still live in the Pueblo? And if you known anybody from the Cata family, tell them Sonny’s grandkid says, hi!

RyanRainbird31139 karma

I am a Cata lol, thjere are about 2,000 enrolled members

Gaggin794 karma

Holy crap this keeps getting weirder. Small world. Good luck to everyone and hopefully ill stop in within the next year or so. Take care!

RyanRainbird3616 karma

Feel free to message me!

cstbkl42088780 karma

The clothes that you will be wearing for the dance, how did you obtain them? Were they made for you or passed down?

RyanRainbird3915 karma

I have a few people that I contact prior to dancing and they make me what I request, mocccasins, shirts, and any other things. Some of the stuff i have is passed down but I like to try new colors out every year

rorrimlmirror236 karma

People talk about cultural appropriation these days. What ar your thoughts on non tribal people liking and wanting to wear clothing inspired by your culture?

RyanRainbird3219 karma

It's understandable to a certain extent but I see a lot of people just wearing the native clothing because its cool or trendy but generally (from my experience) the same people are never really interested in diving into the actual culture (the good and the bad) but just do it because its the type of fashion we wear in the SW

sir_osis_of_da_liver171 karma

Shit, would not have expected to see someone from Ohkay on reddit. My dad is from Ohkay and I grew up dancing and going to feast days. Unfortunately, I work and live out of state most of the year... so I haven’t been able to participate as an adult.

RyanRainbird3214 karma

It's never too late.

madsci55 karma

I haven't seen anything in the AMA about the dance itself yet. What can you tell us about the native dance styles and how they vary between the tribes?

Hoop dance is the area that interests me most - I make LED hoops for performers and some of the multi-hoop moves are very much influenced by native hoop dance traditions.

There are very few modern hoop dance performers who do that sort of off-body work with more than about 5 hoops, though, and I've been told that 28 is traditional in native dance.

Obviously LED hoops are not a part of the native traditions, but it'd be fun to see what a skilled practitioner of the traditional dances could do with modern hoops and lighting design chosen to reflect their artistic heritage.

RyanRainbird3132 karma

The dance starts at sunrise, we come down from a mountain/hill thats nearby ( about a 1/4-1/2 mile away) and proceed to dance our way into the Pueblo. We dance til around 8 am or so, then we take an intermission from 8-9:15. Then we dance until 4 with 1 more intermission in between noon and 4 pm or so.

At 4 pm we do the runaway song, where we dance our final song and a clown/apache shoots a blank gun into the air after the final verse and we run before a woman can catch us. The whole point is to get caught by a girl, where she takes you back to her house after and feeds you after a long day of the dance.

Here's a video of the the dance we perform in from 9-2:30/3:00ish

I could not find the ending however

tookerjuubs564 karma


I'm from Nanbe (currently in Atlanta) and I'm wondering about your views on the decolonization policies that some pueblos are undertaking- e.g. Changing the Spanish names back to original Tewa (Tiwa/Towa), not saying "pueblo Indian" but rather Tewa, etc. What do you think?

Kuu da

RyanRainbird3721 karma

My best friend is from Nambe! Do you know the Kaskallas? I love the fact that we went from San Juan Pueblo to Ohkay Owingeh really was a big deal for us because I felt we were now makjing progress and embracing a new era of native american greatness/pride

tookerjuubs436 karma

Ha yeah the Kaskallas are my second cousins. Im from the Romero/Howkumi branch.

RyanRainbird3334 karma

Small world am I right haha

RyanRainbird3479 karma

Wow, so I been getting a lot of replies regarding the fact that I said I am not offended by the Native American mascots. I do not speak for everyone, like I do not find it offensive because there are higher things on the list of priorities to accomplish. However there are some people claiming i speak for the white man, that i am not a true native american but everyone is entitled to their own opinion and I wish some people would understand that before cussing others out and sending hateful messages.

With that being said, keep asking any questions!

lady-fingers243 karma

Good lord - this is what society has come to? People getting offended that you aren't offended?

Anyway, thanks for doing this AMA!

RyanRainbird3205 karma

I know haha, I really don't know what to tell the guy. He keeps messaging me threatening me and etc but what can I do if a social justice warrior disagrees with me. I'm just trying to help

-Lumos_Solem-123 karma

You're not the only one. I've seen many Native people in New Mexico who aren't offended at all and think the fight is ridiculous.

Personally, as a Laguna/Isleta woman, I do think it's time for the racist mascots to go. They're dated and it's crazy that they've lasted this long.

RyanRainbird375 karma

Again I respect your opinion, everyone is certainly entitled to their own, but growing up that's all people have asked me is if i feel offended about Tribal Mascots when there are huger issues that need to be confronted

Icommentoncrap434 karma

What do you like the most about being a Native American and what do you like least about being a Native American?

RyanRainbird31006 karma

I've always loved being native american, but when I moved out of state for the first time I truly fell in love with my culture because I then got to see how blessed I am to be apart of the indigenous community. I guess I finally got to see how unique it was and the pride I have will never go away.

What I hate is that people will ask the dumbest and most thoughtless questions, like when I'm at work serving tables I always get a guest or two that ask me if I did a rain dance or they ask me if they can be apart of the Pueblo's dances because they just recently found out they are like 1/16th Native American etc.

Buffalo__Buffalo594 karma

...because they just recently found out they are like 1/16th Native American

There's a reason why the Generokee tribe is the fastest growing Native American tribe in all of North America.

RyanRainbird3476 karma

Generokee haha. Thats the best thing I have heard in awhile

Intangibli585 karma

I’m also Native American, and kids in school loved to ask if I had done a rain dance every time it rained (which, living in the Bay Area, happened a lot). Finally I just started lying and saying I had, so kids started thinking I was legit magic.

One kid told his mom, and instead of her thinking he was just being a silly confused kid, she came to school and asked if there was such a thing as a “reverse rain dance” and if I could do one for her birthday (it apparently rained every year prior and she was sick of it). So, my best friend at the time and I did a “reverse rain dance” in my backyard the day before (i.e. we played my drum and danced around like idiots. Highly offensive in retrospect, sorry ancestors).

Lo and behold, it didn’t rain the next day. The day after, the kid’s mom came and gave me a big hug and thanked me profusely for stopping the rain. Hey, maybe I am legit magic...or white people are just ridiculous. You decide.

RyanRainbird3187 karma

That's hilarious hahah

MsEscapist13 karma

Hah! Ask them if they think they could be part of a ballet just because their grandma was! Should drive the point home.

RyanRainbird34 karma

I'm gonna use that in the future ahah

rally_point298 karma

Where do you stand on the ‘Washington Redskins’ debate? Do you find it offensive and a slur? Have you or anyone you know been called this term in a derogatory way? Thanks for your insight.

RyanRainbird3954 karma

I don't find it offensive. It's funny me and my buddy were talking the other day how white liberals are generally the only people offended by it. Me personally, I think that there are bigger things to worry about in the native american community instead of an NFL or MLB teams mascot. I'd like to see alcoholism go away and many other things prioritized first before any if that other stuff

cstbkl42088284 karma

Do you tend to avoid any vices that have typically hurt native americans like alcohol? Also did your diet growing up include a lot of traditional pueblo dishes and do you continue to make them for yourself?

RyanRainbird3577 karma

Alcohol is still prominent in the community, and I would like to be able to help my community find other outlets that are positive instead of drinking and gambling. I find it kinda sad that on my reservation, the casino and the liquor store are practically right next to eachother, and are open all week,, whereas the recreational centers never have a set time that they're open. And yes my grandmother made traditional dishes while I was growing up and she still does to this day. My favorite dish is Red Chile stew (potaoes and meat with red chile) and posole mixed together! it's so good!!!

mrs-morris134 karma

I’m Laguna Pueblo and whenever I get homesick I make red chile stew! Made it last week, lol. My husband loves it when I’m homesick because I finally cook.

RyanRainbird386 karma

I have family in Laguna as well! what are your favorite dishes?

tschoermen274 karma

Do you speak a native American language?

RyanRainbird3482 karma

Not fluently, but I will get there, I have a great support system that has been helping me out an I will learn it, just need some time.

mysticalscorpion194 karma

What are you/your tribes views on homosexuality?

RyanRainbird3240 karma

I'm not sure what the tribes view is but I don't mind if someone is homosexual. That is their choice in life and if it doesnt bother me, I have no reason to tell someone what to do in their life

ZZBC192 karma

Are there any books or movies that you think have accurate/informative portrayed of native culture?

RyanRainbird3262 karma

To be honest i haven't watched a ton of native american movies (i know its ironic cause i mentioned i do film, and am native) but I just never ended up watching a lot of those movies. However, i do reccomend anything with Wes Studi, he's a fantastic actor and portrays things in a very accurate way.

khal_Jayams27 karma

Wes Studi is amazing. The last of the Mohicans was the first "serious" movie I remember watching as a kid and even then I was blown away by him.

RyanRainbird330 karma

Watch Hostiles! Great movie that just came out and he stars in it

poopmailman186 karma

What’s up bro? Fellow Puebloan here from Isleta lol, never thought I’d see a Native on here doing an AMA!

RyanRainbird3158 karma

How's it going man? I felt it was necessary as people have a lot of different outlooks on us to this day. Let me know if theres any discrepancies on my part

CrookedHearts182 karma

Are you into Native literature? If so who are your favorite? I a huge fan of Leslie Marmon Silko, Sherman Alexei, and Louise Erdrich.

RyanRainbird3207 karma

I love Sherman Alexie

Chillinoutloud78 karma

I've listened to Alexie read his own writing, and he vocalizes the "excited" response (ie "oh, wow!") tone EXACTLY as I remember it in Espanola, and San Juan... now Ohkay Owingah... as a kid.

You are a Cata... we're cousins. I don't recognize your picture, but I think it's awesome you're doing an AMA.

My mom and brother will be going down to the pueblo for the dances later this month. I've heard the pueblo has some pretty cool things going on recently. Are you a part of any of it (beyond the traditional)?

RyanRainbird396 karma

I recently recieved the first scholarship from this company called anew. They focus on bringing in necessities like furniture, fridges, washers and dryers etc to the community to help out the people that cannot necessarily afford them. I would like to use my platform at Anew to do something bigger in terms of giving back to the community

OcelotMatrix176 karma

Do you feel pressured to marry someone with equal or higher blood quantum if you want your children to participate in your traditions?

RyanRainbird3275 karma

I'd love to marry a native woman, and of course I want my kids to participate but if I do fall in love with someone that isnt native, it wont be the biggest deal

weinerdonkey143 karma

Do older members of your community still hold grudges against whites for what they have done to Native Americans?

RyanRainbird3291 karma

Not really, if you respect our dances and ceremonies and don't ask stupid non educated questions then we are all good, but you would be surprised how many people try to become part of the culture, etc. Life is all about respect and even though we never fully received it, we are taught to be a bigger person, mentally and emotionally.

chucklikespizza132 karma


RyanRainbird3230 karma


chucklikespizza52 karma


RyanRainbird388 karma

Posole for sure!

2073521125 karma

You have to renew your ID card every two year?!

RyanRainbird3142 karma

every 4 years

The_swirl111 karma

Is there one specific part of your culture you wish more people knew about ?

RyanRainbird3223 karma

There's a lot of things I wish people knew about, I can't think of one specifically but there's a reason why I am a film major, I want to be able to show the world what goes on in our daily lives and how we operate on a daily basis. A lot of people think that Pueblo ppl live in Tipi's, etc but that couldnt be further from the truth

alikidisciple94 karma

How much emphasis is put on becoming financially successful?

RyanRainbird3269 karma

Not emphasis on being successful financially, but to be wealthy in terms of knowledge and wisdom is what is preached.

ManiacFoSho80 karma

What does your tribe do to hand down ancestral knowledge, spiritual beliefs, tribal history, etc? Can you share anything that might be meaningful to people?

Thanks for doing the AMA! I grew up in NM and miss the beautiful landscapes.

RyanRainbird3155 karma

Sadly I could get in trouble if I were to tell you that so I will have to decline. But I will let you know that everything is passed down verbally so you wont find any information youre looking for online or in any books

streamstroller56 karma

How do you, as a first nations individual, view the ongoing immigration debate? Is it galling to have lily-white immigrants looking at brown-skinned people with native heritage as somehow not "American"?

RyanRainbird3281 karma

I think that it's ironic that a bunch of people who's family were probably immigrants are now trying to push out latino, middle eastern, and other races out of the country when they literally did the same thing to get here, but much more violently. I have no problem with other races but I do have a problem when one of the races acts like they did not do the same exact thing a few centuries ago, and that it is their country. It's a selfish and sort of narcissistic thing to say. I hope that was a clear enough answer

Duckman29640 karma

Are there any big misconceptions about Native American history and culture that were created by Hollywood?

RyanRainbird3144 karma

A lot of people think we still live in tipis and dont follow current trends, but you'd be surprised to see how many people on the rez have wifi, iphones and HDTV haha. I always show people this clip, because it makes me laugh so much, and it's surprisingly accurate

dubbed4lyfe39 karma

What's something about your tribe you want people to know? I'm sorry if that came out offensive, I'm not sure how to articulate it any better, and I'm not really knowledgeable about native american culture. Also, I'm an Indian American. Does it bother you guys when you get called "indians"? Whenever I tell some people I'm indian, they ask me my tribe and then I need to explain I'm not the Indian they're thinking of

RyanRainbird368 karma

One of the things I want people to know more about is the Pueblo revolt that was led by Popay (look him up) and the role Ohkay Owingeh has in history. we were the first capitol, and have had many prominent figures in our tribe that more people need to know more about!

AgentJohnDoggo33 karma

How do you feel about a lot of facts of Native American history being taken out of/ changed in textbooks? Specifically Trail of Tears and changing the narrative to essentially say that Native Americans willfully gave up their land.

Thanks for doing the AMA!

RyanRainbird366 karma

That's one of the things/stories I would like to be told from our point of view. A lot of our history has been edited and changed because some people may have realized what was done to us was/is not acceptable. If there were more prominent natives then we could let this be known to plenty of people but right now we need help identifying certain leaders amongst our community that are willing to sacrifice their time and travel to spread the word of our history. I would like to be one of those leaders someday

OutOfGum8831 karma

I noticed in another comment that you are film major (same here!):

  1. Any Native American-centered films or directors you recommend? I'm admittedly quite ignorant on this subject.

  2. Do you have a favorite director/film?

RyanRainbird349 karma

I love the revenant, anything with Wes Studi, and I love Tarantino. We should collab on a project someday!

justscottaustin30 karma

Let me ask you, as a true native of America, a somewhat indelicate question, though it is absolutely the elephant in the room, so to speak, until someone asks....








Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or 1 horse-sized duck?

RyanRainbird354 karma

Dude i literally ask my friends that same question! ! horse sized duck but I'd love to see horses that small

jadeandobsidian28 karma

How do you feel about efforts to preserve native languages? Do you think there's a point where it's not worth it to try?

RyanRainbird361 karma

one of my main goals in life is to use my platform to preserve the languages of tewa and keres for the nearby pueblos. If i can do that it would be my greatest accomplishment.

It is incredibly important to preserve these languages, as most of our stories are passed down verbally and not written in books or posted online

shbhatt15 karma

How do you feel about the usage of Indian vs Native vs Native American? Is there something else that's preferable?

RyanRainbird330 karma

I prefer native american but sometimes people say it without realizing it, so I have no problem when it comes to that unless you say it in a derogatory way.

ace42512 karma

Where in NM and when is this event held? Is it open to the general public? Or is it a private tribal event?

RyanRainbird320 karma

It's in Ohkay Owingeh, NM on Feb 18th, you can stop by as it is open to the general public from 6 am- 4 pm

unhappygounlucky11 karma

Hey, how are ya?

RyanRainbird323 karma

Good and yourself?

Hammtheman6 karma

In your picture your Id is expired. Is there a real repercussion for it expiring? Its not like you wont be Native American once it expires. Also What types of things do you use your card for? Does it get you into certain places or will those places not let you do something because your card is expired?

RyanRainbird35 karma

I just got a new one a few weeks back, everyone knows who I am so I dont think i would have a problem using the old one if i needed to

Diaryofannefrankpt2-7 karma

Natives have a hatred for the White man that is still very much alive today. I grew up in rural NM and have experienced it first hand all my life and have dated native girls before and have felt this racism first hand. Do you think there is ever going to be a stop to it?

RyanRainbird32 karma

I personally have a white grandfather on my moms side who is very much welcomed in the pueblo. I'm not saying you're wrong or anything but maybe there is something you've said that has irritated whatever tribe you've come in contact with?