April 30th, 2013

Modern (circa 2000s) Cheyenne culture, particularly with regards to teen girls

I'm writing a fanfic that involves a Cheyenne girl as a minor character. Research I dug up says she was born in Colorado, but there are no Cheyenne reservations there (implying either her parents were traveling, living temporarily off-res, or . However, given the original source material, some liberty can easily be taken with backgrounds. I could make her from either of the reservations, or living off the reservation, as I like. While I would like the character to have lived on a reservation for part or much of her life, it would probably be easier for the story if she were off it for some reason as a teenager (14 years old, roughly). Edit: I'm leaning towards having her live on the southern reservation for a good part of her life, but am finding it very difficult to find any cultural info beyond the superficial. Most of the websites seem to have perished years ago.

Including this character is a must as she does appear in the source material (and I'm trying to be faithful about character inclusion), but her appearance is so minimal I have no grasp on her personality, attitudes, culture, etc.

What I do know: She's Cheyenne (Tsitsistas), she's 18 years old now, having spent the last four years at a specialized school (with children from a variety of backgrounds, though most are white), and the school is as culturally sensitive as it could be. The special nature of the school doesn't impact this question so much--that I can research, actually. She grew up with both parents, and has a close relationship with her maternal grandfather.

What I don't know: Based on any one of the three potential backgrounds for her (no reservation background, Northern Cheyenne, Southern Cheyenne--and yes, I'm aware they might differ greatly in some areas), in what ways would her culture/outlook on various things be similar or different to mainstream US culture? In other words, how likely is it that I should treat her as "the same as any other teenager" with regards to her thoughts or interaction except for a few areas, vs. having her react/interact very differently from the others her age? (Other students her age at the school are from varying US subcultures, mainly urban/suburban white.)

Also, in what areas would the school have made special arrangements for her, if any?

These questions are very open-ended, precisely because I don't "know" the character yet. I can't picture her because I have no experience with her culture. If you have any input, even if it's just "here's a story (preferably freely available online--fanfics are great for that) involving a Cheyenne girl that might give you a base to work from", that would be awesome. If you're only familiar with one of the three potential backgrounds, still awesome! I haven't decided yet which way I will go with her background, and it'll probably be decided by whatever information I'm able to get. Unfortunately, simply reading a "here's info about the tribe" page isn't going to help me picture this character, which is the real trouble; I'm not half bad at general research. Any info you can give, particularly any personal knowledge or experience, would be very helpful. While she's not a main character, I'd like to make her inclusion realistic (probably more realistic than the source material, even).

Edit: I did come up with a few more specific questions, thanks to all the probing--sometimes it just takes me a bit, thanks for your patience!
First off, what is the pattern of migration on/off the reservation? Do most people, once on it, stay on it all their lives, or is there a lot of transience? What factors affect someone's leaving--personality, financial, other? I'm trying to come up with a plausible reason for her parents to have been off-res for her birth (quite a distance away, actually), why they would have returned so she would grow up there, etc. Also, what would be her attitude towards leaving it for the school? Would she only do it because her elders told her to, or would she likely be curious and interested in going?
Also, given she spent a lot of time with her maternal grandfather, what sorts of things would he have taught her? What would they have done together?
The aspect that I most need to iron out is how she would interact with the other (mainly White, though one's Asian) students her age. How much of an effect does personality versus culture have on her spending a lot of time with the others? Is it likely that she would be somewhat aloof, or keep to herself more? Would there be any cultural aspect that would involve her attitude towards the others, either the ones her own age or the ones several years younger? How much of a bond would she have with another Native American (Indian, if one prefers that term, as it seems some do) from another tribe, just because he's also Indian (and would it depend on which other tribe?), or would it be more affected by personality, gender, or age? (the other two Native Americans at the school are boys a year or two younger than her, and not from the same group--several states away, rather, very different nation)
And finally, if she were raised with traditional values (presumably from spending much time with her grandfather as well as her parents, from the bits of background knowledge that already exist for her), what would be her attitude towards violence, such as self-defense or attacking someone else before they can attack you? How much of an in-community agreement is there with regards to how one handles hatred? revenge? crimes that cannot be brought to proper justice? (I'm kind of wanting to know how much leeway I have in constructing her viewpoints in these areas.)
Are there any spiritual aspects that I would need to take into account with regards to her everyday or weekly habits?

Thank you so much!

[ANON POST] Living with sickle cell anemia

My story is taking place in Morocco a few years into the future, and one of my MCs has moderate sickle cell anemia. She doesn't have access to much medication because she's on the run from the authorities, but she has a small bottle of folic acid pills that she takes daily for the first half of the story.

I've done several google searches on "sickle cell anemia treatment", "medication for sickle cell anemia", and "living with sickle cell anemia", or variations of the following terms, and I read several articles from the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute and other such official websites. I also asked my bio professor and she linked me to Gale Power Search, which my school has an account for. However, I'm still a little fuzzy on the small details, and I thought this would be the place to ask. If anyone has answers to these questions or can redirect me to a site which could answer these, that would be great.

1) What small day-to-day aspects of life are affected? Other than taking folic acid pills or other medications, what does one do on the small-scale to lower pain levels and lessen the number of crises one has? Are there certain things one can't do, and to what extent? (f. ex., compared to healthy humans, how much harder is exercise, dealing with altitudes, etc.?)

2) What noticeable changes are there if removed from folic acid? How much of a difference do the pills make, what might the character struggle with that they could accomplish before?

3) How common, on average, are crises? I understand that it changes depending on the severity of the case, but given a moderate case, would one-two crises a year be reasonable, or am I off?

Thank you!!!

[ANON POST] Italian/Argentine Spanish - Language Help and Names

Setting: Alternate universe. The story is YA urban fantasy.

Research: For the names/nicknames: Googled a long list of names/surnames and their meanings, but have only been able to find basic information. Not much about how common/plausible they are. Also searched "Languages in Argentina," "Argentine dialects," "Argentine Italian," etc. Read all the Wikipedia pages. Also read the posts in Italian and Spanish in the archive here and done a cursory search at Multilingual, but I'm not familiar with Livejournal, so I apologize if I've managed to overlook something useful. I would appreciate some help with search terms if you guys are up to it.

I speak intermediate level Spanish, but no Italian at all.

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So, uh, I have these two kids. Through various ~*plot events*~ they wind up being spirited away to the same supernatural alternate universe, and staying there for a period of years. They need to learn to communicate. The MMC is from Argentina, but has Italian heritage on one half of his family. The FMC is from Italy, but I don't know yet what part.

So here are the things I need to know:

1. How similar are "standard" Italian and the form of Italian spoken in Argentina? Would these two characters be able to understand one another? Would she be able to tell where he was from? I know that regional dialects in Italy vary a lot, but I see FMC as speaking very formally and precisely, without any hint of an accent.

2. In that line of questioning, how similar are "standard" Spanish and Argentine Spanish?

3. The last thing is a bit of a specific translation question. The FMC doesn't know the MMC's name for quite some time, so I need her to have some kind of Italian nickname for him. She's been around the block more than he has and doesn't care for him too much, so it'd have to be something sort of patronizing, maybe something that has insulting connotations which he wouldn't understand. I was thinking 'uccellino' maybe, like 'fledgling' or 'little bird,' would that work? (Both characters have some vague bird motifs going on.)

Thank you guys so much! I don't know where else I could go to ask things like this.