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A Flute Player's Story

By Rachel Halpin


This is My Story

My name is Lenmana Moreno and this is my story.

My story is an interesting story. At least, I think it is. It takes place in New York City, New York in the years of 1899 and 1900. I suppose it really starts many years before that. It starts in Arizona with my parents. My mother was a Hopi Indian living in Arizona. She lived with her family on the plains. My father was a Spanish man from New York who was unhappy with his life at the time. He came to live among the Hopi people, hoping to find new meaning in his life. He found that with my mother-at least, that's what he always said. They were happy, at first.

Then I was born. I could always tell my parents loved me. They took care of me and tried to raise me right. But they came from different cultures and so it caused conflicts on what culture to raise me in. My father wanted to raise me in a Spanish-American culture. My mother wanted to keep her culture and teach me her ways.

My mother called me Lenmana Kachina. Lenmana means "flute girl" and Kachina means "sacred dancer" or "spirit". She told me I always danced when she played her Native American flute. My father wanted a name that people could say. He called me Allegra, meaning cheerful or joyous. His reason was that I was born with a smile on my face and because I brought so much joy to the family.

Before we continue, I should introduce you to the members of my family. My family was by no means a perfect family. I don't believe such things exist. But people can live together in harmony, and that is how my family lived for many years. My family had four people in it. You have been introduced to my father and mother already. There is also my twin brother, Cha'akmongwi. His name means crier chief because when we were young, he would cry more than I would. My father called him Castel, which means belonging to a castle. I think my father secretly wanted his only son to be rich and powerful one day. My twin was my father's favorite child. I was my mother's. They would never say it out loud, but it was true. My brother was so much like my father even my mother couldn't tell them apart some days. I was the spitting image of my mother from a very young age. But I had the stubbornness of both my parents. That stubbornness is what brings this story into existence.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. So let me start from the beginning. I think I should start from the very beginning. A very good place to start, no? So here is my story, from beginning to end. My name is Lenmana Moreno and this is my story.

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