Aftershock   Leave a comment

University House, La Jolla, CA

Thinking about the earthquake yesterday, and how it really didn’t damage anything but slumber, reminded me of how the UCSD Chancellor’s house is vacated and supposed to undergo renovation in part due to it’s non-earthquake-safe foundation. That, and it’s built on a sacred Indian burial ground, but the university refuses to vacate the land or let the Kumeyaay people repatriate the bones the white man has locked up in a local museum.
It’s an old story with no real developments since 2008, but it’s still pretty attention-grabbing. I know it’s a science-focused school and science doesn’t believe in hocus pocus voodoo hauntings, but spooked or not, it just seems insensitive to tell the Indians, yeah we built a party mansion on your sacred burial ground and sent your ancestors’ bones on a tour across American museums before locking them in a basement in Escondido. Tough shit.
It just seems like something out of a bad movie to have built a gaudy, $2 million, edifice on an ancient Indian burial ground, tell the concerned indigenous locals, “too bad”, and then the house is falling apart and unlivable in less than forty years, but the university still won’t tear it down or move it, let alone give back the bones they dug up. I don’t really believe in bad luck, but damn, UCSD sure is doing everything they can to see whether or not it exists. Just give the Indians back their burial ground and their ancestor’s remains, what’s so hard about that?
The other thing I realized about ancient Indian burial grounds and the American buildings that tend to sit atop them is that the Indians knew how to pick their spots. I mean, they always choose prime real estate for their sacred burial grounds. It’s not a coincidence that stadiums and skyscrapers and mansions get built on top of Indian burial grounds. Corporations and rich people want to build their buildings on the nicest piece of land they can find- the Indian wanted to bury their chiefs and loved ones on the nicest piece of land they could find. Indians could sure pick a pretty place, such as the cliff overlooking the ocean that University House sits atop. Never really realized it’s not at all a coincidence or accident that Americans want to build on sites that happen to be sacred burial grounds. Of course that awesome spot is a burial ground, that’s why the Indians put it there.


Posted February 2, 2010 by Wada in Uncategorized

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