ZOTTO ぞっと

 CHAPTER 8: ICHI-GO ICHI-E

HOW TO FOLD A PAPER CRANE

Write the intention you would like to leave behind in the middle of your origami paper, then follow the instructions below from KARAKURI JAPAN and be sure to subscribe to his channel for more tutorials!  

Leave your crane for somebody else to discover wherever you'd like, and tag it on INSTAGRAM or FACEBOOK with the hashtag #ZOTTODENVER

CHEESMAN PARK

LocationRoughly bounded by E. Thirteenth Ave., High St.,

E. Eighth Ave., and Franklin St., DenverColorado

Originally Arapaho Indian land, Cheesman Park area was claimed by the Town Company in 1858. The grounds, called Mt. Prospect at the time, were transformed into a cemetery, with spots for the wealthy, the poor, criminals, and even a section for the burgeoning Chinese American population.

Because the burial grounds had allowed mass graves for criminals, vagrants, and those forgotten by polite society- it never grew to be a posh cemetery as the Town Company had originally hoped. Lacking in popularity and funding, the cemetery quickly fell into disrepair. In 1872, the federal government discovered that the land was deeded to them by the Arapaho Tribe and so then re-claimed it and re-sold it to the City of Denver. From then on until 1907, the area was known as the Denver City Cemetery.

It was used for the next few decades by a variety of communities, but the area was never properly cared for. Notably, the site served as a mass graveyard for the dozens of victims of smallpox and other maladies from a nearby hospital. In 1890, Congress authorized the cemetery to be vacated and remade into what is known today as Cheesman Park. Then began the scramble for the remains to be moved out of the area. Families were contacted and asked to remove their dead from the graveyard, however very few actually did. Families of reputable name were able to transfer their loved ones, but as the graveyard was used by many and for those that were considered the undesirables of society, many bodies remained.

The City of Denver then paid an E.P. McGovern to remove each body, put it into a new coffin, and then transfer it over to Riverside Cemetery for $1.50 per corpse. However, McGovern had cut several corners opting to only use children caskets due its availability and pricing. As adult bodies would not fit into these smaller caskets, McGovern proceeded to hack and chop each body so he could fit as much as possible into one or more caskets. This meant that many remains were separated and put together with others. Upon discovery, the City of Denver fired McGovern, but never hired anyone else to exhume the remaining bodies, instead continuing with the building of the park. Until today, there still exists 2,000 plus bodies under Cheesman Park, from which stem several ghost stories and suggest that the greenery that hundreds of civilians enjoy, is actually haunted. (A) (B)

ICHI-GO ICHI-E

Think of all the people you meet in your lifetime. What if you recognized each of those encounters as irreplicable, once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, and gave them your utmost presence and attention? Literally translated into ichi  (one) go (time)  ichi (one) e (meeting/encounter), ichi-go ichi-e is an old Japanese proverb that means "one opportunity, one encounter." It can also be interpreted as "for this time only," "never again," and "one chance in a lifetime." Rooted in Buddhist philosophy, the term ichigo means "from one's birth to death." (D)

INDIGENOUS TRIBES

The land that Denver sits on originally belonged to the Arapaho tribe, as laid out in the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie. When gold was discovered in the late 1850s, white settlers arrived in the area in large numbers and began asserting their right to the land, leading to the Treaty of Fort Wise in 1861 and cessation of land by some tribal leaders. In 1864, the Sand Creek Massacre resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Arapaho and Cheyenne people, and soon after these nations would be relocated out of Colorado.

Other indigenous nations native to Colorado include the Apache, Comanche, Shoshone, and Ute. The latter includes the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, federally recognized tribes that have their current headquarters in Ignacio, CO and Towaoc, CO, respectively. These groups have historically lived in the southern and western portions of the state.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Denver was one of nine federal relocation sites, part of an effort to promote assimilation by moving American Indian peoples from reservations to urban centers across the United States. As a result, approximately 7,000 people identifying as American Indian/Alaska Native reside in Denver today, making up just over one percent of the city’s population. Denver's indigenous history is highlighted at the Denver March Powwow, a three-day event held each March since 1984. The event features over 1600 dancers from various tribes in the United States and Canada.

For Colorado as a whole, the number of American Indian/Alaska Native residents is approximately 50,000, representing just under one percent of the state’s population. In 2015, Governor John Hickenlooper signed an Executive Order creating a commission to study American Indian representations in public schools, resulting in a 2016 report on the topic. The Commission visited several schools throughout the state that used American Indian mascots and names, held community meetings, and ultimately wrote a series of concrete recommendations for community groups and institutions to implement. 

For more information, visit the following resources:

 

While in Colorado, visit the History Colorado CenterNative American Trading Company, and Denver Art Museum to learn more about the Denver area’s historical and current indigenous populations. (C)