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 Yiska Dehaaya - Dreamspeakers

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Join date : 2013-11-10

PostSubject: Yiska Dehaaya - Dreamspeakers   Wed Nov 13, 2013 5:30 pm




Name:  Yiska (Bizaadii) Dehaaya (“The Night has Passed - One Who Went Upward”)
Handle/Alias:  Jonathan Sands
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Ethnicity: Diné (Navajo)
Religion: Traditional Navajo mythology
Age:  36
Height:  6’0”
Weight:  175-180lbs variance
Body Type:  Lean and lithe.  He has the frame one may expect of a ballet dancer.  Deceptively slender, dense musculature.  
Physical Condition (Fit, unfit, something in between?):  Rather fit, although not impeccably so - his profession leads to a variance in income and thus, at times, a lack of ample nutrition. He does attempt to keep active, however.
Eye Color: Rusty brown
Hair Color and Style:  Sable in coloration, sleek and smooth - he wears it shaved on both sides and down to the middle of his back, usually tied in several places by silver and turquoise bands or lengths of decorated buckskin.

Distinguishing Features:
1.  An assortment of tattoos, most of a tribal significance:
[Chest] Bear:  Power, freedom - the heart-line symbolizes its life force
[Left arm] Eye of the Medicine Man:  Representative of a medicine man’s spiritual healing and magic
[Back] Eagle:  Courage, wisdom, strength
2.  A variety of piercings, most either of silver, turquoise or coral.
3:   Somewhere on his attire, he usually has bits of furred hide or feathers, usually bear, cougar, wolf or eagle.

Characteristic Gestures:
1.  Toying with wood-bead bracelet
2.  Rolling or clacking tongue stud against teeth
3.  1000 yard stare - “Listening”
4.  Humming and/or murmuring to himself while thinking

Tradition: Dreamspeakers
Faction (if any):  Minor ties to Baruti via association with Nastas Neez ts’osi
Avatar: Primordial - Wolf-Bear - A constantly morphing blend of Wolf and Bear spirits indicative of their Native traits and his spiritual ties to them.
Resonance:  
Dynamic - Penetrating
Entropic - Haunting
Static - Meticulous

Cool and quick and ultimately organized, like deceptively thick or thin ice across a wide lake beneath heavy feet.  Cold like a winter storm when idle and bonfire hot like the sun on a summer day upon the open sands when in motion.  Alternately carefully constructed and snappish both depending on current temperament, it is as hot-to-cold as the elements.

Mentor?  Nastas Neez ts’osi - A strange old medicine man that lives on the edge of Window Rock.  Usually left alone by many of those on the reservation for rumors of ties to the ’ánt’įįhnii  of the Witchery Way and further suspicion of being yee naaldooshii (Skin-walker).  There are some still desperate enough to ask for his assistance, however.  

Family Background/Lineage:  

Mother - Haseya Bizaadii  1941  - 1994
Father - Naalnish Bizaadii 1936 - 1994
Sister - Nascha Bizaadii 1983 - 2006

- Yiska’s family lived on the Navajo reservation, just outside of Naatʼáaniinééz (Shiprock, NM), and had been stationed there for several generations following the relocation via the Dawes Act in 1887.  Living conditions were relatively poor, although after being relocated into New Mexico, his family amongst others attempted to continue old agricultural traditions.  
-  Matrilineally, the Bizaadii were silver artisans after it had been traded to the tribe during the European invasion, and also began to trade basketry and pottery.  Patrilineally, the family were hunters and trappers, trading mostly furs with the Europeans.
- Yiska’s father worked briefly for the reservation BIA until his drinking impeded his work there.  Losing his job in 1986 began a long string of fighting between his parents, his mother’s eventual alcoholism and in 1994, a fire sparked by old electrical appliance cords killed both of them as they lay in bed under the effects of spirits.
- After his parents’ deaths, Yiska struggled through school by using it as a grounding place.  Otherwise, his dreams were full of horrors he did not remember upon waking, and he began the habit of talking extensively to himself and individuals unseen.  More modern thinkers on the reservation attributed this to the shock of losing his parents and his home, but some believed he was Touched, although by what spirit was contested.
- In 1995, Yiska abandoned a paid scholarship to the University of New Mexico with the simple explanation that his path was elsewhere:  he suddenly moved to Window Rock, AZ and within the year met Nastas Neez ts’osi, a widower medicine man who would eventually become his mentor.
- Nascha dropped from her schooling at the end of her freshman year, as is commonplace on the reservation.  She later developed a case of cervical cancer as well as an unwanted pregnancy in the process - in 2006, after Yiska moved to a different area of the reservation, she was found to have hung herself from the roof of her hogan.  Neither she nor her unborn child were saved.

Supernaturals? Met them/hate them/indifferent?
Vampires - Although he has yet to meet any (that he knows of), Yiska has an aversion to the idea of them.  Considering that they are undead, they are outside of the natural cycle of things.  They long ago should have passed on.  The vampiric politics among their clans are lost on him, and he sees no real need to differentiate between them.  A vamp is a vamp is a vamp, and they are no longer part of the natural world.  Aggression is not his usual response to others and certainly not immediately in relation to vampires, but he intends on being rather wary if ever he encounters them.
Shapechangers - Both because of his tradition and his tribal background, Yiska has an affinity for shapechangers.  Although his own abilities are not exactly like them, he feels a certain kinship with them and their common ties to the natural world.

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Special Occupational Training:
-On the reservation, an elder storyteller named Hok’Ee took interest in Yiska just before he enrolled in high school.  They were fast, strange friends, and Hok’Ee’s stories served as a distraction from the boy’s familial troubles.  He holds particular interest and knowledge of his tribal history and mythology, and he uses these skills as a means to fund himself in New York and elsewhere by performing spoken-word art.

Skills, Abilities, and Talents:
1.  Storytelling/on the spot fabrications
2.  Traditional Navajo dances - specifically storytelling dances
3.   Knowledge of herbal remedies, prefers to make his own soaps, salves, etc.
4.  When he’s in good health, he can play a mean game of basketball.

Areas of Expertise:
1.  North American herbalism and applications mostly of medicinal and recreational means.
2.  “Poor man’s cooking” i.e. frybread, ‘poor man’s meal’ and other dishes more exclusive to the Depression era poor.
3.   Animal behavior - mostly in the Southwest, but has studied Northeast wildlife prior to and after coming to New York.

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Short-Term Goals:
1.  Become more acquainted with the animals and plants of the Northeastern regions of America
2.  Learn the purpose of Nastas Neez ts’osi sending him to New York.

Long-Term Goals:
1.  Master the arts of shape-changing, whether this leads him to the full potential of yee naaldooshii or not.
2.  Getting a better handle on his temper and general outlook through various meditative methods instead of recreational “supplements”
3.  Investigate more about Nastas Neez ts’osi - the old man does not talk much about himself or his past

Short-Term Needs:
1.  A better source of income - his paycheck varies dramatically from week to week depending on turn-out and tips for his performances.
2.  A better living space - his run-down ‘apartment’ has holes and gets rather cold at night.  He’s in decent with the landlord’s son, but doesn’t expect the arrangement will last considering how often he is unable to pay rent.

Long-Term Needs:
1.  Companionship - Especially after his parents’ deaths (and after his sister’s suicide), Yiska drew away from others, muchly because of his strange behavior near to and after his Awakening.  His association with Nastas Neez ts’osi ostracised him from those in Window Rock.  Someone besides the spirits to call friend would be a much-needed comfort.
2.  Becoming better learned about the world - He both does and does not regret going to college.  What money he does earn and doesn’t need to spend on food is spent on books and the like, sometimes at the expense of new clothing and the like.

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General Personality Type:
Introvert/Extrovert:  Forced Introversion
Interaction with Nastas Neez ts’osi and the reactions from others because of it taught Yiska to keep to himself.  With secrets to keep, he withdraws often and despite the desire for relatively constant social interaction, he has a tendency to cut himself off.  By nature, he is an extrovert, but he has found it to be damaging because of the influence of others.  He also may or may not have gotten into some trouble here or there because of attempts at outward interaction after traveling to New York.

Quirks:
1.  Every morning before setting out, Yiska sings a traditional Navajo Morning Blessing in preparation for the day (even if it isn’t actually morning when he first rises):  This here is a decent example.
2.  If he is traveling and a coyote crosses his path, he will refuse to continue onward in that direction or on that direct path - Navajo believe it is preface to some sort of disaster happening if they continue on that way.

Eccentricities:
1.  Upon moving residences, Yiska will usually go through the process of smudging the house/apartment/etc.  Even before his Awakening, he believed in ghosts, and that has not changed.  He usually goes through this process every month or two (depending on how readily he can get sage) or if anything particularly unsettling happens within his abode.

Speaking Style:  Normally, he tries to keep himself paced.  His speech is usually very rhythmic, and much of this is because of his work with spoken-word art (as well as his background in storytelling).  If he gets excited or frightened, he often speaks a bit quicker and at times runs words together.

Temperament:  Generally, Yiska can come across as distant or unimpressed, unless others are particularly attentive.  His aversion to people is more a forced thing out of “necessity” rather than desire.  He can be warm with those he calls friends, however, and will often display a more playful demeanor when in private or among those he feels comfortable with.
Method of Handling Anger or Rage (Repress, throw things, etc): Yiska does not usually lash out physically, but he can have a bit of a sharp tongue.  While he has gotten better at resisting the urge to throw a fit, there are times he just can’t help himself.  When he gets like this, he has a tendency to become quite petulant - although he isn’t a child any longer, inexperience with anything outside of the reservation lends him a sort of naivete that can manifest in sulkiness or childishness.

Admirable Traits:
1.  Willingness to assist - if one proves to be loyal (or worth his time otherwise), he is more than happy to help, especially in medicinal means or traditional healing prayers.
2.  Earnest interest in cultures and languages not of his own - he also has quite the interest in philosophy, even if his knowledge of it is minute.
3.  Sociable - Although he does not always show it, Yiska is usually pleased to meet and interact with others.  What normally stops him from this is his put-on seriousness and distance.

Negative Traits:
1.  He has quite the temper, especially if particular buttons are pushed.
2.  Inconsistency in social interactions: because of his self-imposed introversion, his truer nature can sometimes show through before retreating the next time he meets someone.  At times, it can be confusing or lead to misunderstandings.
3.  Sometimes his Navajo spirituality can get in the way.  He remains superstitious, often about animal spirits and the “vibes” he gets from people, and at times can be detrimentally stubborn about them.

Bad Habits/Vices:
1.  A search for worthwhile companionship away from the judgements of his tribe have led him to, on occasion, collect bedfellows for a night or two.  It also helps when their flats are more comfortable than his current living quarters and they have warm food available.
2.  Quick fingers - A man’s got to eat, right?  He sometimes pilfers things outside of necessity. Some habits are hard to break.
3.  Recreational drug use - while he doesn’t usually use anything too hard, he does have a tendency to spare coin for a little Fun Time in Dreamland (when his paychecks are decent, anyhow).

Prejudices:
1.  As much as he doesn’t wish to perpetuate the stereotype of the Indian hating the white man, he is a little wary because of living situations on the reservation.
2.  Vampires - As stated before, he is wary of vampires because of the fact that they live outside the cycle of the natural world.

Pet Peeves and Gripes:
1.  Those people that claim Native blood because it’s “hip” but don’t practice or even know about any of their tribe’s customs (if they’re even actually tribal at all).  
2.  Indian generalizations:  a lack of understanding of different tribal customs and that indeed not all Natives are the same.  And if one more person greets him with “how”...
3.  Unnecessary dismissal of others or blatant discrimination based on anything trivial - closed-mindedness.
4.  Cultural appropriation

Things That Make Uncomfortable or Embarrassed:
1.  Negative/off-handed commentary about his weight/appearance, especially if he’s going through a bout of low(er) income. If they’re not telling him he’s attractive (and sometimes even if they are), it can cause some shuffling.
2.  Proof of his relative lack of education arising - while he did graduate high school, reservation schools are not known for their stellar requirements.  They were probably just happy he graduated at all.
3.  Any talk of suicide

Ever Been Arrested?
1.  Not as of yet. Give him time.

Political or Social Issues Most Important To Character:
1.   Tribal autonomy - while his focus is obviously mostly on the Navajo, it is good to see other tribes earning their ways/preservation of traditions as well.
2.  Climate Change and other environmental issues that directly affect the US (and ultimately the world as a whole)

Fears:
1.  Invisibility - While he does not hope for nor expect to be a name lauded throughout history, he does not wish to be obscure at his end.  Memory is important, and to be forgotten would be to live the same horrible life of the Natives still on the reservations.
2.  Failure in the obscure task Nastas Neez ts’osi sent him to New York for; he takes it as another ‘test’.

Mental Disturbances:
1.  Close to and after his Awakening, Yiska developed a mild case of Derealization Disorder.  Nastas Neez ts’osi attributes this (although not by a clinical name) to having experienced the open world.  After experiencing the dreams, his perception of the physical world can seem dull or lacking.

Hobbies:
1.  Collecting and reading mythologies of different cultures, especially if they relate to familiar Navajo mythos.
2.  Learning herbal uses and treatments
3.  People-watching - he has not lived outside of the reservation for long; he is still learning how more metropolitan people act.

Interests:
1.  Languages - Although he only knows Navajo and English, he hopes to eventually learn more.
2.  Finding parallels between cultures, especially in stories.  Navajo, Hopi and some Pueblo are all he has known until recently save whatever he picked up from tourists coming through the reservation.

Drinks Alcohol: Far less than stereotypes would expect - regardless, he has been known to partake socially.

Favorite Physical Attributes in Opposite Sex:
1.  Height - he likes a comparable difference between himself and his partner, whichever way that is.
2.  Eyes - Eyes can tell a lot about a person if one knows how to look
3.  Shape - curves can mean good health and something to hold onto
4.  Long and strong legs

Attributes About Character that Turn on Opposite Sex:
1.  Facial structure - That “iconic” Native look:  chiseled, angular features, a hawkish nose, broad brow
2.  Hair - Although he’s shaved quite a bit of it, what he does have is worn long and kept in good condition, especially considering his lifestyle.
3.  Natives still hold some exoticism within the US - some might find that to be intriguing.

Sexual Turn-Ons:
1.  Natural, healthy/clean body scents
2.  Animalistic, primal reactions unhindered by social graces - there is attraction in base, instinctual methods:  biting, bruising, etc.
3.  Intellect and open-mindedness

Sexual Turn-Offs:
1.  Bigotry, hubris and on the flip-side, an utter lack of respect for oneself (displayed in various ways)
2.  Auras of entitlement - intimacy in its various forms are to be earned, not bought

Traumas/Psychological Scars from the Past:
1.  His sister’s death - jesting or speaking of suicide and suicide victims is still very uncomfortable for him.  Although his parents’ deaths were more impactful on his life as a whole, Nascha’s death is still more troublesome for him.  He has not, in essence, had his time to grieve.
2.  Although of less influence now, the sudden loss of his parents still scars him.  The fire had been a danger to all of the family in the house, but they only lost their parents and possessions.

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