Rosanne Bittner: Heart of the West
Meet Asa Nacona Big Mountain,
I am frequently asked where the inspiration for my characters comes from. Sometimes, my readers send it to me -- as in the case of this young man, Asa Nocona Big Mountain. While I was writing Book #2 of my Mystic Indian Series, I kept his picture near my computer as inspiration for describing Stalking Wolf's son. His photographs are still part of my office decor.
When Asa was 4-1/2 years old, his mother, who is one of my fans, graciously gave me permission to put his picture and story into my website so that I can share them with all of you. Over the years, we have all watched him grow up through his photographs. (On this page, you can see Asa at ages 9, 11, 15, 17, and 20.)
In the Comanche language, "Asa" means "Star" and "Nocona" means "Wanderer." His father, a Native American Dancer, chose Wandering Star as Asa's Indian name.
Asa's ancestors include Chief Big Mountain, a full-blooded Comanche who was born in 1877 and died in 1954. Chief Big Mountain performed as one of the original riders in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show, starting a tradition in which all of his descendants have followed. Late in his life, Chief Big Mountain married Princess White Dove, a young Apache maiden. Asa's grandfather, also called Big Mountain, was the eldest of their six children. Big Mountain, in turn, married a member of the Mohawk tribe, and their son was Little Deer, Asa Nocona's father. So, Wandering Star carries Comanche, Apache, and Mohawk blood on his father's side--while his mother is from England! This boy reflects the best of both worlds.
Even at four-and-a-half, Asa Nocona was already following in the Big Mountain family tradition. He learned a simple version of the Eagle Dance, which he performed for his classmates at school, and later mastered the Hoop Dance.
At 15, Asa was working hard at school, and had taken and recieved the first of his GCSE exam results in Biology, Chemistry and Physics with an excellent result. He planned to take Advanced Science with a view towards his future goals of studying Zoology. At at that time, his eventual aim was to work with the killer whales at Seaworld, in their study and training program.
However, Asa has taken a different, though not totally unexpected path. When he was 17, he was accepted at the Isle of Wight Music College (otherwise known as Platform One).... It was obvious to his family that he is heart and soul in music -- his mother says he's a born bass guitar player (loves rock metal mostly). According to his mom:
Asa is now 6'3" tall and towers over his Mother! He loves fishing, music, computer games and good books when he finds them. I hope that he considers my books among those!
Please don't ask me to give you more information on Asa; I promised his mother that I would protect the family's privacy. However, feel free to Email me and say hello to them! I will forward your comments to Asa and his mother.
When informed that he would be on my website and might hear from some of my readers, Asa replied, "Cool!"
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