(PNS reporting from WASHINGTON, D.C.) It took a lot of burning sage, cedar, sweetgrass and tobacco, but Tymangoua, the first Native American murdered by a gun in what is now the United States, delivered a message from the spirit world to Washington:
Getting shot and killed sucks!
Indigenous Peoples Against Gun Violence (IPAG) introduced Tymangoua to a press conference here Monday.
IPAG president Lauren Ko’n-Za explained:
Gun violence is not a recent phenomenon. It has existed for hundreds of years and indigenous people like Taymangoua were the first victims. Tymangoua was murdered on Sept. 14, 1513, by Spanish sailors looking to enslave him on the shores of Biscayne Bay in what is now Miami.
As she spoke, Taymangoua, still sporting a bloody leather shirt, a small fishing net, and tangled hair, appeared to materialize on the smoke-filled stage. ”
Tymangoua recounted what occurred that day. “My family and I were fishing,” he said, “when this enormous ship entered the bay. And I was all, like, ‘What the fuck is that?!’”
Tymangoua and five others from the Tequesta Nation approached the small boat that was rowing towards them.
“Fifteen smelly men with long sticks came ashore. I thought they might be lost, so I approached them, ready to help,” recalled Tymangoua.
“I waved at them, and they shot me. And that was messed up,” he continued. The other Tequestians froze up and the Spanish to put them in chains. “I was like, damns! I was going to fry some mackerel that I’d caught with some corn for dinner.”
Shortly after Tymangoua died upon the shore, his catch was eaten, and his friends were enslaved and taken to Puerto Rico.
According to Ko’na-Za, “hundreds of thousands of indigenous people were victims of gun violence as Manifest Destiny started. And that meant we got guns and shot gueros and the cycle began.” Citing infamous examples of gun violence like “Acoma, Pease River, and Wounded Knee,” she explained, we “prayed to the ancestors” and “they sent us Tyamangoua to help us in this cause.”
“I believe in gun control because it really sucked being shot and killed. It sucks even more that I wasn’t the last one. And really sucks my village’s site is now occupied by a multi-million dollar mansion,” Tymangoua coughed and complained.