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War Eagle

Native American Culture.

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War Eagle

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As some of the guys on this forum know i have a great interest and respect for the 'Native Nth American Indian People' of all nations, their traditional culture and way of life.

So i thought i'd start a thread on their ''Stories and Legends'', documented stories off the net like i've done or stories of your own that you've heard and or as told to you by family member elders if you prefer, illustrations and images welcome.

This first story is of the ''Sacred Pipe'' what many people refer to as The Peace Pipe. linked-image

Enjoy.

The Sacred Pipe of the T'salagi (The People)

Most all Nations have stories about the 'Sacred Pipe'. What many people refer to it as The Peace Pipe. Which is an incorrect Hollywood thought shown in the old west movies and cartoons. The Sacred pipe is to the Native Americans as the cross is to christian cultures.

The pipe, in one form or another, has come to most cultures around the world. Every group has used the pipe in one way or another and has stories of how they came to have it. The Lakota tell the story of the White Buffalo woman and how she first brought the pipe to them.

Just as the Tsalagi have this story.

It is not important how the pipe first arrived. Or who it came to first as all nations see themselves as the first to have this gift from creator. What is important is that the pipe is revered as a sacred item and also important is that it did come from The Creator. What is most important is that pipe was brought to all men of this world, for we all must share this world.

Long ago, but not long after the world was new, a tribe of red skinned people came to live on the lands which are around The Blue Smoke Mountains.

At this time, the animals of the world still talked to men and taught them how to live on and care for the land. These people were called " Ani Yun Wiya " or the One True People. In this tribe lived a brave warrior woman.

She was called 'Arrow Woman'. Arrow Woman was taught to use the bow, the spear and the knife. Even though it was a man's job to hunt and fight, Arrow Woman could shoot straighter with the bow than any man, she could throw the knife so as split a branch no bigger than your thumb and she could throw the spear into eye of a hawk in flight.

Because of all this, no man would tell her to be like a woman.

One day while on a hunt, Arrow Woman came upon the tracks of Yona the bear. She saw blood on the ground and knew him to be wounded so she followed his tracks. High into the mountains she followed. Soon she came to a place that she did not know. It was in this place, a place known only to the animals that she finally saw Yona the bear. He had a deep cut in his side and she saw him bowing down in prayer. She saw him bowing toward a large field of tall grass and speaking words that she had not heard before. Suddenly, the grass shimmered and became a lake. Arrow Woman saw Yona dive into the water. After a time he emerged from the water, his side was completely healed. Yona then saw Arrow Woman and walked to her. Yona told her, "this is the sacred lake of the animals. It is called, 'Atagahi' and it's location is known only to the animals. It is where we come for healing and strength. You are the first man creature to see the sacred lake.

You must never tell your kind of it's location for it is the home of 'The Great Uktena'. With these words Yona the Bear turned and walked into the woods and disappeared.

Arrow Woman was tired after following Yona all day so she decided to rest a while by this lake. She built a small fire and sat down to eat a meal that she had brought with her. She took a drink of the water from the lake and felt instantly refreshed. She was amazed, she felt strong as Yan'si the Buffalo. She felt as if she run faster than Coga the Raven could fly.

The woods were quiet, Unole the wind was sleeping, Nvda the sun was shinning bright but was not hot, the surface of the lake was completely calm, Arrow Woman began to get sleepy.

It was at this time that she saw 'Uktena', she had been told of him when she was a child but no one in her tribe ever claimed to have seen him. High above the water he raised his great serpent's head, the jewel in his forehead glistening.

He began to move toward her. Arrow Woman grabbed up her spear and stood up to face the great creature coming to her, standing proud, showing no fear, the way any warrior should. She raised her spear and prepared to strike the huge beast.

Uktena stopped a short distance from her. He smiled, his mouth was larger than a man was tall and full of teeth longer than man's forearm. He spoke to the brave woman on the bank of his lake. To her he said, "Put down your weapons for I mean you no harm. I come only to teach." Arrow Woman laid down her spear and began to relax, somehow knowing Uktena spoke truly.

Uktena told her to sit and to listen. Uktena dipped his head below the surface and came back up a moment later. In his mouth he had a strangely crooked stick and a leather pouch. These things he laid on the ground in front of Arrow Woman. Then the Great Uktena began to teach. He said,"This that I have laid before you is the Sacred Pipe of The Creator." He then told her to pick up the pipe. "The bowl is of the same red clay The Creator used to make your kind. The red clay is Woman kind and is from the Earth. Just as a woman bears the children and brings forth life, the bowl bears the sacred tobacco (tsula) and brings forth smoke. The stem is Man. Rigid and strong the stem is from the plant kingdom and like a man it supports the bowl just as man supports his family."

Uktena then showed Arrow Woman how to join the bowl to the stem saying, " Just as a man and a woman remain separate until joined in marriage so too are the bowl and stem separate. Never to be joined unless the pipe is used." Uktena then showed her how place the sacred tsula into the pipe and with an ember from the fire lit the tsula so it burned slightly. He told her this, "The smoke is the breath of The Creator, When you draw the smoke into your body, you will be cleansed and made whole. When the smoke leaves your mouth, it will rise to The Creator. Your prayers, your dreams, your hopes and desires will be taken to Him in the smoke. Also the truth in your soul will be shown to Him when you smoke the pipe. If you are not true, do not smoke the pipe. If your spirit is bad and you seek to deceive, do not smoke the pipe."

Uktena continued his lesson well into the night teaching Arrow Woman all of the prayers used with the pipe and all of the reasons for using the pipe. He finished just as the moon was beginning her nightly journey across the sky in search of her true love. He told Arrow Woman to wrap the pipe in cloth, keeping the parts separate. With this done He told her that she would never again be able to find this place but to remember all that she had learned. Uktena then returned to depths of the lake. Arrow Woman saw the water shimmer and become again the field of grass.

She left, taking with her the pipe and her lessons and a wondrous tale.

Ever since that time, The Ani Yun Wiya have used the sacred pipe and never again has any man seen the sacred lake of Uktena.

The pipe is not a symbol of things that are sacred. The pipe itself is sacred. Not everyone is called upon to be a pipe bearer. The person who carries the pipe and practices the pipe ceremonies and traditions has a great responsibility to his brothers and sisters, his land and country and even to the Earth Mother.

The pipe bearer does not 'own' the pipe he carries. He simply carries the pipe until the time comes for him to pass it to the next bearer. The pipe bearer is given certain powers of sight from the pipe as well as an ability to heal and purify. Should the bearer fall from grace and become a liar, thief, neglect his duties when asked, or become deceitful, the pipe would repossess these gifts and then the possibility of misfortune for the former bearer may exist.

One should be ready to accept the responsibility of the pipe for it may make demands upon you. It will become your teacher and guide. It can also be your worst enemy if used wrongly.

I leave it to you to decide if these words are truly said.

This is the way that I have learned.

As told by a Cherokee Elder.

Thanks Owl & Sunny...you know why :Dlinked-image

Edited by REBEL

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brave_new_world

Good to see some different alternative earthy and spiritual views in here.

With all things and in all things we are relatives.---Sioux

Much respect to the cultures they see the oneness of humanity and the universe for that matter.

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nativechick1989

Native Culture and Religion is fascinating, yet can be a mystery, it has it's own mystique. Due to the tradition of passing it along to younger generations, via oral-tradition and rights. Not just anyone can put together a religious ceremony or participate in one. Those who do put together a ceremony, are given that right, it was handed to them through a special ceremony ... for example, they were given the songs used for that ceremony, etc. Each tribe has its own religious traditions and customs (societies) .. my tribe's customs/religion/traditions, differ then those of other tribes.

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777MileStare

Hello, I was wondering, not to be off topic..if anyone knows something about this. I live in a town that was almost burned to the ground in the early days before it was 'truly' established and back on track. There was a huge indian battle here and alot of them died I heard. I have this weird feeling that my house may have been built on 'sacred ground' possibly. When I first moved in I noticed designs in the ground that looked like 'insect' tracks. (You know how sometimes ants make these long tracks in the yard?). But it didn't seem to be just any ordinary tracks because they were in this design that looked to me almost like an indian marking. It was huge, like 50 something feet across at this tree line, lined up at a point. But what I saw was what looked like this eye in the middle. Almost like an upside down paradigm with the 'eye'.

Does this mean anything? Like an indian burial ground? *I'm not sure if this really shoul'd just be it's own topic, or the post that it is... Thanks.

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War Eagle

Your welcome to put your story here PFlak, only wish i had an answer to your question.

Lores: Legend Ojibwe DREAMCATCHER.

Submitted by Cheyanne.

Long ago in the ancient world of the Ojibwe Nation, the Clans were all located

in one general area of that place known as Turtle Island. This is the way that the old Ojibwe storytellers say how Asibikaashi (Spider Woman) helped Wanabozhoo bring giizis (sun) back to the people. To this day, Asibikaashi will build her special lodge before dawn. If you are awake at dawn, as you should be, look for her lodge and you will see this miracle of how she

captured the sunrise as the light sparkles on the dew which is gathered there.

Asibikaasi took care of her children, the people of the land, and she continues to do so to this day. When the Ojibwe Nation dispersed to the four corners of North America, to fill a prophecy, Asibikaashi had a difficult time making her journey to all those cradle boards, so the mothers, sisters, & Nokomis (grandmothers) took up the practice of weaving the magical webs for the new babies using willow hoops and sinew or cordage made from plants. It is in the shape of a circle to represent how giizis travels each day across the sky. The dream catcher will filter out all the bad bawedjigewin (dreams) & allow only good thoughts to enter into our minds when we are just abinooji.

You will see a small hole in the center of each dream catcher where those good

bawadjige may come through. With the first rays of sunlight, the bad dreams would perish. When we see little asibikaashi, we should not fear her, but instead respect and protect her. In honor of their origin, the number of points where the web connected to the hoop numbered 8 for Spider Woman's eight legs or 7 for the Seven Prophecies.

It was traditional to put a feather in the center of the dream catcher; it means breath, or air. It is essential for life. A baby watching the air playing with the feather on her cradleboard was entertained while also being given a lesson on the importance of good air. This lesson comes forward in the way that the feather of the owl is kept for wisdom (a woman's feather) & the eagle feather is kept for courage (a man's feather). This is not to say that the use of each is restricted by gender, but that to use the feather each is aware of the gender properties she/he is invoking. (Indian people, in general, are very specific about gender roles and identity.) The use of gem stones, as we do in the ones we make for sale, is not something that was done by the old ones. Government laws have forbidden the sale of feathers from our sacred birds, so using four gem stones, to represent the four directions, and the

stones used by western nations were substituted by us. The woven dream catchers of adults do not use feathers.

Dream catchers made of willow and sinew are for children, and they are not meant to last. Eventually the willow dries out and the tension of the sinew collapses the dream catcher. That's supposed to happen. It belies the temporary-ness of youth. Adults should use dream catchers of woven fiber which is made up to reflect their adult "dreams." It is also customary in many parts of Canada and the Northeastern U.S. to have the dream catchers be a tear- drop/snow shoe shape.

LOVE

REDROADXNG

Soul

Edited by REBEL

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Gone away

Thanks for sharing Rebel. It's always good to see threads on Native American Culture! :tu:

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BlueMoods

My fiance` is Salish, one of the Northwest tribes. This is her tribe's telling of the great flood.

In ancient times, there were so many people in the land that they lived everywhere.

Soon hunting became bad and food scarce, so that the people quarreled over hunting territories.

Even in those days, the people were skilled in making fine canoes and paddles from cedars, and clothing and baskets from their bark.

In dreams their wise old men could see the future, and there came a time when they all had similar bad dreams that kept coming to them over and over again. The dreams warned of a great flood.

This troubled the wise men who told each other about their dreams. They found that they all had dreamed that rain fell for such a long time, or that the river rose, causing a great flood so that all of the people were drowned.

They were much afraid and called a council to hear their dreams and decide what should be done.

One said that they should build a great raft by tying many canoes together. Some of the people agreed, but others laughed at the old men and their dreams.

The people who believed in the dreams worked hard building the raft. It took many moons of hard work, lashing huge cedar log canoes together with strong ropes of cedar bark.

When it was completed, they tied the raft with a great rope of cedar bark to the top of Mount Cowichan by passing one end of the rope through the center of a huge stone which can still be seen there.

During the time the people were working on the raft, those who did not believe in the dreams were idle and still laughed, but they did admire the fine, solid raft when it was at last finished and floated in Cowichan Bay.

Soon after the raft was ready, huge raindrops started falling, rivers overflowed, and the valleys were flooded.

Although people climbed Mount Cowichan to avoid the great flood, it too was soon under water.

But those who had believed the dreams took food to the raft and they and their families climbed into it as the waters rose.

They lived on the raft many days and could see nothing but water. Even the mountain tops had disappeared beneath the flood.

The people became much afraid when their canoes began to flood and they prayed for help. Nothing happened for a long time; then the rain stopped.

The waters began to go down after a time, and finally the raft was grounded on top of Mount Cowichan. The huge stone anchor and heavy rope had held it safe.

As the water gradually sank lower and lower, the people could see their lands, but their homes had all been swept away. The valleys and forests had been destroyed.

The people went back to their old land and started to rebuild their homes.

After a long time the number of people increased, until once again the land was filled and the people started to quarrel again.

This time they separated into tribes and clans, all going to different places.

The storytellers say this is how people spread all over the earth.

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jrree57

[quote name='REBEL' date='Feb 14 2007, 10:46 AM' just as the moon was beginning her nightly journey across the sky in search of her true love. He told Arrow Woman to wrap the pipe in cloth, keeping the parts separate. With this done He told her that she would never again be able to find this place but to remember all that she had learned. Uktena then returned to depths of the lake. Arrow Woman saw the water shimmer and become again the field of grass.

She left, taking with her the pipe and her lessons and a wondrous tale.

Thanks for the story,

For many years I have wanted to hear the leagons that are the foundation and back bone of America , The real america. For whom are fore fathers and pilgrams were inspired,unfortunately their children and imagrants from Eureope used them for thier own selfish ends and tried to exploit the native americans for money.

When that failed they tried to exterminate them and to take thier land. When that failed they killed thier food supply for money of coarse, smile and forced them into signing treaties , to get their land .

The mistrust for the white man is not unfounded but your culture is or has changed.

I hope you keep telling you stories for others like myself ,can enjoy the ritch cultural hartage that you enjoy and tell our kids and grand kids " Thier once was a nation of American who were proud to be American"

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Radian
Enjoy.

The Sacred Pipe of the T'salagi (The People)

As told by a Cherokee Elder.

Thanks Owl & Sunny...you know why :D

SULUTES!!! hey, you the best, REB!

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Cherokee Bear Legend

In the long ago time, there was a Cherokee Clan call the Ani-Tsa-gu-hi (Ahnee-Jah-goo-hee), and in one family of this clan was a boy who used to leave home and be gone all day in the mountains. After a while he went oftener and stayed longer, until at last he would not eat in the house at all, but started off at daybreak and did not come back until night. His parents scolded, but that did no good, and the boy still went every day until they noticed that long brown hair was beginning to grow out all over his body. Then they wondered and asked him why it was that he wanted to be so much in the woods that he would not even eat at home. Said the boy, "I find plenty to eat there, and it is better than the corn and beans we have in the settlements, and pretty soon I am going into the woods to say all the time." His parents were worried and begged him not leave them, but he said, "It is better there than here, and you see I am beginning to be different already, so that I can not live here any longer. If you will come with me, there is plenty for all of us and you will never have to work for it; but if you want to come, you must first fast seven days."

The father and mother talked it over and then told the headmen of the clan. They held a council about the matter and after everything had been said they decided: "Here we must work hard and have not always enough. There he says is always plenty without work. We will go with him." So they fasted seven days, and on the seventh morning al the Ani-Tsa-gu-hi left the settlement and started for the mountains as the boy led the way.

When the people of the other towns heard of it they were very sorry and sent their headmen to persuade the Ani Tsaguhi to stay at home and not go into the woods to live. The messengers found them already on the way, and were surprised to notice that their bodies were beginning to be covered with hair like that of animals, because for seven days they had not taken human food and their nature was changing. The Ani Tsaguhi would not come back, but said, "We are going where there is always plenty to eat. Hereafter we shall be called Yonv(a) (bears), and when you yourselves are hungry come into the woods and call us and we shall shall come to give you our own flesh. You need not be afraid to kill us, for we shall live always." Then they taught the messengers the songs with which to call them and bear hunters have these songs still. When they had finished the songs, the Ani Tsaguhi started on again and the messengers turned back to the settlements, but after going a little way they looked back and saw a drove of bears going into the woods.

Aho! We are all Related!

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Edited by Sunny98

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Radian

Hero with the Horned Snakes

In ancient times, there lived some very large snakes that glittered nearly as bright as the sun. They had two horns on their heads, and they possessed a magic power of attraction. To see one of these snakes was always a bad omen. Whoever tried to escape from one instead ran directly toward the snake and was devoured.

Only a highly skilled medicine man or hunter could kill a two- horned snake. It required a very special medicine or power. The hunter had to shoot his arrow into the seventh stripe of the snake's skin.

One day a Shawnee Indian youth was held captive by the Cherokees. He was promised his freedom if he could find and kill a horned snake. He hunted for many, many days in caves, over wild mountains, and at last found one high in the Tennessee Mountains.

The Shawnee youth made a large circle of fire by burning pine cones. Then he walked toward the two-horned snake. When it saw the hunter, the snake slowly raised its head. The Shawnee youth shouted, "Freedom or death!"

He then aimed carefully and shot his arrow through the seventh stripe of the horned snake's skin. Turning quickly, he jumped into the centre of the ring of fire, where he felt safe from the snake.

A stream of poison flowed from the snake, but was stopped by the fire. Because of the Shawnee youth's bravery, the grateful Cherokees granted him his freedom as they had promised.

Four days later, some of the Cherokees went to the spot where the youth had killed the horned snake. They gathered fragments of snake bones and skin, tying them into a sacred bundle. These they kept carefully for their children and grandchildren, because they believed the sacred bundle would bring good fortune to their tribe.

Also on the same spot, a small lake formed containing black water. Into this water the Cherokee women dipped their twigs used in their basket making. This is how they learned to dye their baskets black, along with other colours.

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Radian

The Bear Man

One springtime morning a Cherokee named Whirlwind told his wife goodbye and left his village to go up in the Smoky Mountains to hunt for wild game. In the forest he saw a black bear and wounded it with an arrow. The bear turned and started to run away, but the hunter followed, shooting one arrow after another into the animal without bringing it down. Whirlwind did not know that this bear possessed secret powers, and could talk and read the thoughts of people.

At last the black bear stopped and pulled the arrows out of his body and gave them to Whirlwind. "It is of no use for you to shoot at me," he said. "You can't kill me. Come with me and I will show you how bears live."

"This bear may kill me," Whirlwind said to himself, but the bear read his thoughts and said: "No, I will not hurt you.

"How can I get anything to eat if I go with this bear?" Whirlwind thought, and again the bear knew what the hunter was thinking, and said: "I have plenty of food."

Whirlwind decided to go with the bear. They walked until they came to a cave in the side of a mountain, and the bear said: "This is not where I live, but we are holding a council here and you can see what we do." They entered the cave, which widened as they went farther in until it was as large as a Cherokee town- house. It was filled with bears, old and young, brown and black, and one large white bear who was the chief. Whirlwind sat down in a corner beside the black bear who had brought him inside, but soon the other bears scented his presence.

"What is that bad smell of a man?" one asked, but the bear chief answered: "Don't talk so. It is only a stranger come to see us. Let him alone."

The bears began to talk among themselves, and Whirlwind was astonished that he could understand what they were saying. They were discussing the scarcity of food of all kinds in the mountains, and were trying to decide what to do about it. They had sent messengers in all directions, and two of them had returned to report on what they had found. In a valley to the south, they said, was a large stand of chestnuts and oaks, and the ground beneath them was covered with mast. Pleased at this news, a huge black bear named Long Hams announced that he would lead them in a dance.

While they were dancing, the bears noticed Whirlwind's bow and arrows, and Long Hams stopped and said: "This is what men use to kill us. Let us see if we can use them. Maybe we can fight them with their own weapons."

Long Hams took the bow and arrows from Whirlwind. He fitted an arrow and drew back the sinew string, but when he let go, the string caught in his long claws and the arrow fell to the ground. He saw that he could not use the bow and arrows and gave them back to Whirlwind. By this time, the bears had finished their dance, and were leaving the cave to go to their separate homes.

Whirlwind went out with the black bear who had brought him there, and after a long walk they came to a smaller cave in the side of the mountain. "This is where I live," the bear said, and led the way inside. Whirlwind could see no food anywhere in the cave, and wondered how he was going to get something to satisfy his hunger. Reading his thoughts, the bear sat up on his hind legs and made a movement with his forepaws. When he held his paws out to Whirlwind they were filled with chestnuts. He repeated this magic and his paws were filled with huckleberries which he gave to Whirlwind. He then presented him with blackberries, and finally some acorns.

"I cannot eat acorns," Whirlwind said. "Besides you have given me enough to eat already."

For many moons, through the summer and winter, Whirlwind lived in the cave with the bear. After a while he noticed that his hair was growing all over his body like that of a bear. He learned to eat acorns and act like a bear, but he still walked upright like a man.

On the first warm day of spring the bear told Whirlwind that he had dreamed of the Cherokee village down in the valley. In the dream he heard the Cherokees talking of a big hunt in the mountains.

"Is my wife still there waiting for me?" Whirlwind asked.

"She awaits your return," the bear replied. "But you have become a bear man. If you return you must shut yourself out of sight of your people for seven days without food or drink. At the end of that time you will become like a man again."

A few days later a party of Cherokee hunters came up into the mountains. The black bear and Whirlwind hid themselves in the cave, but the hunters' dogs found the entrance and began to bark furiously.

"I have lost my power against arrows," the bear said. "Your people will kill me and take my skin from me, but they will not harm you. They will take you home with them. Remember what I told you, if you wish to lose your bear nature and become a man again.

The Cherokee hunters began throwing lighted pine knots inside the cave.

"They will kill me and drag me outside and cut me in pieces," the bear said. "Afterwards you must cover my blood with leaves. When they are taking you away, if you look back you will see something."

As the bear had foretold, the hunters killed him with arrows and dragged his body outside and took the skin from it and cut the meat into quarters to carry back to their village. Fearing that they might mistake him for another bear, Whirlwind remained in the cave, but the dogs continued barking at him. When the hunters looked inside they saw a hairy man standing upright, and one of them recognized Whirlwind.

Believing that he had been a prisoner of the bear, they asked him if he would like to go home with them and try to rid himself of his bear nature. Whirlwind replied that he would go with them, but explained that he would have to stay alone in a house for seven days without food or water in order to become as a man again.

While the hunters were loading the meat on their backs, Whirlwind piled leaves over the place where they had killed the bear, carefully covering the drops of blood. After they had walked a short distance down the mountain, Whirlwind looked behind him. He saw a bear rise up out of the leaves, shake himself, and go back into the cave.

When the hunters reached their village, they took Whirlwind to an empty house, and obeying his wishes barred the entrance door. Although he asked them to say nothing to anyone of his hairiness and his bear nature, one of the hunters must have told of his presence in the village because the very next morning Whirlwind's wife heard that he was there.

She hurried to see the hunters and begged them to let her see her long missing husband.

"You must wait for seven days," the hunters told her. "Come back after seven days, and Whirlwind will return to you as he was when he left the village twelve moons ago."

Bitterly disappointed, the woman went away, but she returned to the hunters each day, pleading with them to let her see her husband. She begged so hard that on the fifth day they took her to the house, unfastened the door, and told Whirlwind to come outside and let his wife see him.

Although he was still hairy and walked like a bear on hind legs, Whirlwind's wife was so pleased to see him again that she insisted he come home with her. Whirlwind went with her, but a few days later he died, and the Cherokees knew that the bears had claimed him because he still had a bear's nature and could not live like a man. If they had kept him shut up in the house without food until the end of the seven days he would have become like a man again. And that is why in that village on the first warm and misty nights of springtime, the ghosts of two bears--one walking on all fours, the other walking upright--are still seen to this day.

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Radian

(sharing some info. on the Cherokee). :tu:

The Tsalagi (Cherokee)

{chair'-uh-kee}

The Tsalagi (Cherokee) are a nation of North American Indians that formerly inhabited the mountainous region of the western Carolinas, northern Georgia, and eastern Tennessee. An Iroquoian-speaking people, they originally lived near the Great Lakes they migrated to the Southeast, eventually becoming the largest and most powerful group in that region. Their traditional culture included maize agriculture, settled villages, and well-developed ceremonialism. In 1827 the Tsalagi (Cherokee) established a constitutional form of government.

The first explorers of the Southeast discovered the most talented Indians north of Mexico. Builders, agriculturists, artisans, fishermen, and hunters epitomized especially the Tsalagi (Cherokees)' varied skills. Knowledgeable in herb culture, they developed useful medicines from them that are still used today. They also developed environmental concepts about ecological thought and survival. We are blessed by the legacies of Tsalagi (Cherokee) oral traditions, providing ethnologists with opportunities for cultural interpretations: legends about man, animals, supernatural deities, witches, and other evil influences. Their most famous leader, Sequoya, believing literacy provided power to the white man, alone developed the Tsalagi (Cherokee) alphabet (c.1820), and became immortalized when his name was given to Sequoia National Park in California.

A series of fraudulent, land-acquiring treaties were imposed on the Tsalagi (Cherokee) in the 1830s. The Treaty of New Echota (1835), in which a small tribal faction sold 2.83 million ha (7 million acres) of Tsalagi (Cherokee) land, required their removal westward within 3 years. The vast majority of the Tsalagi (Cherokee) Nation repudiated this document, but under Gen. Winfield SCOTT, most remaining Tsalagi (Cherokee) were driven from their land and forcibly marched to Arkansas and Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) in 1838-39. About 4,000 of the more than 15,000 Tsalagi (Cherokee) who made the journey died of disease and exposure.

In Indian Territory, they joined the CHICKASAW, CHOCTAW, CREEK, and SEMINOLE to form the so-called FIVE CIVILIZED TRIBES. Tribal lands were lost in the 1860s, after the Five Tribes sided with the South during the Civil War, and again in the early 1880s, when the federal government abolished tribal ownership of lands. When Indian Territory became the state of Oklahoma in 1907, all tribal lands were opened for white settlement.

In the 1980s, 43,000 persons of Tsalagi (Cherokee) descent lived in eastern Oklahoma; about 15,000 of these are considered full-blooded. The Tsalagi (Cherokee) who avoided the forced removal of 1838 escaped into the Great Smoky Mountains and resettled in North Carolina, where they formed a tribal corporation in 1889. Tsalagi (Cherokee) on or near the reservation in North Carolina numbered 6,110 in 1987.

http://www.cherokee.org/

http://home.earthlink.net/%7Edeanna1jc/moo...es_spiral_8.htm

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Radian

Their myths and legends--

From 1887 to 1890 James Mooney, working with the Smithsonian Museum, lived among the Eastern Band of Cherokee. He came to know, love and respect them, and was in return, known, loved and respected by the Cherokee, especially by an old medicine man by the name of Swimmer. Mooney collected a remarkable large body of material about Cherokee culture, history, myths and sacred formulas. His book, Myths of the Cherokee and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokee is the best source book for Cherokee myths, ceremonies and sacred formulas. Reading from Mooney’s work, one will occasionally notice some similarities to myths and stories from western civilization. Some of these similarities are due to the fact that the sustained contact between the whites and Cherokees since the mid 1700’s allowed many western ideas to filter into the Cherokee stories. But most Cherokee stories seem to have well developed long before any contact with European whites.

The Cherokee, like other native Americans, did not worship spirits and icons, but believed in one Supreme Being. They lived in harmony with their natural environment. It was their myths and sacred formulas, developed over thousands of years and passed orally from generation to generation, which helped them to do this. Myths may or may not have any bases in fact. But they become institutionalized as "truth" and have a great influence in the cultural behavior of individuals, groups and communities. They are used to teach the young many of the important lessons of life. The Cherokee chose special persons in special linages to pass on their oral traditions. Great care was taken to maintain the purity of such traditions.

Virtually every aspect of the Cherokee life and the Cherokee environment had a story to explain it. A Water Spider with black downy hair and red stripes on her body brought fire to the Cherokee, after much frustrating effort. The story of the origin of core (Selu) and game (Kana’ti) includes a reference to a tribe of cannibals (Roasters or Anada’ duntaski). Kana’ti, the father, was the Lucky Hunter and Selu was his wife. Every disease was created and put on the Cherokee man by the animals. This was a revenge for man killing the animals. However, the plants, which were friendly to man, decided to furnish a remedy to counteract the evil wrought by the vengeful animals.

The hummingbird frequently draws nectar from tobacco blooms. In Cherokee mythology, it brought tobacco to the Cherokee. Unlike our modern age, the Cherokee believed that tobacco had powerful medicinal qualities. The Cherokee gave it credit for easing suffering by smoking it. It was smoked at councils, which democratically debated the beginning of war, as well at the councils which brought an end to war. It was smoked at the welcoming of any distinguished visitor to the tribe; it was used to place on fires to divine the future, according to the direction in which the wind blew the smoke.

The Cherokee believed that the sun was a young woman who lived in the East. The moon was her brother and lived in the west. One story related how the Redbird was the daughter of the sun. Eclipses were believed to be caused by a giant frog that lived in the sky and tried to swallow them. The lightning and the rainbow were the dress of the sons of Thunder, who lived far in the west above the sky vault. Several different Cherokee stories exist to explain the stars. One was about a dog that stole corn meal, and once discovered, was whipped. As the dog ran howling to his home in the north, the meal scattered across the sky and made the Milky Way. The Buzzard played an important role in Cherokee mythology. He made the mountains and valleys with his wings. He was also important as a "doctor."

The eagle was the great sacred bird to most Native American tribes, as it was to the Cherokee. It played a prominent role in their ceremonies, especially to those relating to war. The killing of an eagle to obtain the prized feathers could only be done by a designated eagle killer, who like other "professions" within the tribe, was specifically chosen and trained for that purpose. The eagle killer was taught not only how to kill an eagle, but also the "prescribed forms and the prayers to be said afterwards in order to obtain pardon for the necessary sacrilege, and thus ward off vengeance from the tribe." (Mooney, p.28l) Killing an eagle out of season, late fall or winter, could cause a front to destroy the corn and snakes to become doubly dangerous. Eagle songs were only sung after the snakes had "gone to sleep for the winter." Only great warriors or medicine men could wear the feathers.

The Uktena played an important role in Cherokee mythology. Mooney wrote:

"Those who know say that the Uktena is a great snake, as large around as a tree trunk, with horns on its head, and a bright, blazing crest like a diamond upon its forehead, and scales glittering like sparks of fire. It has rings or spots of color along its whole length, and can not be wounded except by shooting in the seventh spot from the head, because under this spot are its heart and its life. The blazing diamond is called Ulunsu’ti, ‘Transparent,’ and he who can win it may become the greatest wonder worker of the tribe, but it is worth a man’s life to attempt it, for whoever is seen by the Uktena is so dazed by the bright light that he runs toward the snake instead of trying to escape." (Mooney, p.297)

Another important element in Cherokee mythology was the Nunne’hi, or immortals, who lived throughout the highlands of the Cherokee nation. A race of spirit people, they were invisible except when they wanted to be seen, at which times they appeared to physically resemble the Cherokee. Generally, they were friendly and frequently helped those who were in need. Like the Cherokee, they were extremely fond of music and dancing. Many of their townhouses were said to be on the high mountain balds, although many stories associate them with the ancient mound of Nikwasi, near present day Franklin North Carolina.

Perhaps no Cherokee legend has been more enduring than the belief in the Yunwi Tsunsdi’, the Little People.. About knee high to an adult, they were well shaped and handsome, with long hair, which reaches the ground. Considered to be wonder workers, like the Nunne’hi, they spent half their time drumming and dancing. Helpful and kind hearted; they were especially helpful to children, and frequently helped adults, unseen at night, at such things as gathering corn. Usually associated with a certain place or community, if they were offended, they would leave the place, never to be seen again!

The rabbit played a prominent role in the Cherokee myths. It was always a trickster and deceiver, usually malicious and often beaten at his own game, and by those he intended to victimize. Cherokee legends are full of rabbit stories. "The Rabbit goes Duck Hunting," "How the Rabbit Stole the Otter’s Coat," "Why the Possum’s Tail is Bare," "How the Wildcat Caught the Gobbler," (which includes the Rabbit begging for his life by saying, "I’m so small, I would make only a mouthful for you, but if you let me go I’ll show you where you can get a whole drove of Turkeys." (Mooney p. 270) This is the same story that was used in the Uncle Remus story of the Rabbit begging not to be thrown into the briar patch. The Cherokee story of "The Rabbit and the Tar Wolf" is the origin of the Uncle Remus story of the Tar Baby. In the Cherokee story of "The Rabbit Dines the Bear," we have the origin of the love-hate relationship between Brer Rabbit and Brer Bear. Cherokee stories were a treasure house for Native Americans, Negro slaves, and eventually for Joel Chandler Harris who wrote the "Uncle Remus" stories. The Cherokee story, "How the Terrapin Beat the Rabbit," taught a very basic lesson of life. That lesson was repeated by the Cherokee Chief, John Ross, in a letter to his son in l865. Ross wrote that in the long run, it is the slow and steady pull that accomplishes the most in life.

http://www.telliquah.com/cherokee.htm

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War Eagle

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Thanks Sunny.

Pleasure is mine in giving some well deserved recognition to these wonderful proud & ancient people.

The Eagle Feather

by Randy Macey, Mohawk

When the world was new, the Creator made all the birds. He colored their feathers like a bouquet of flowers. The Creator then gave each a distinct song to sing. The Creator instructed the birds to greet each new day with a chorus of their songs. Of all the birds, our Creator chose the Eagle to be the leader. The Eagle flies the highest and sees the furthest of all creatures. The Eagle is a messenger to the Creator. During the Four Sacred Riguals we will wear an Eagle Feather in our hair. To wear or to hold the Eagle Feather causes our Creator to take immediate notice. With the Eagle Feather the Creator is honored in the highest.

When one recieves an Eagle Feather that person is being acknowledged with gratitude, with love, and with ultimate respect. That feather must have sacred tobacco burnt for it. In this way the Eagle and the Creator are notified of the name of the new Eagle Feather Holder. The holder of the Eagle Feather must ensure that anything that changes the natural state of ones mind (Alcohol and Drugs) must never come in contact with the sacred Eagle Feather. The keeper of the feather will make a little home where the feather will be kept. The Eagle feather must be fed. You feed the Eagle Feather by holding or wearing the feather at sacred ceremonies. By doing this the Eagle Feather is recharged with sacred energy. Never abuse, never disrespect, and never contaminate your Eagle Feather. The Mohawk man will have three Eagle Feathers standing straight up on his Kahstowa (feather hat).

by Erik Phelps

When the earth was created, a great thundercloud appeared on the horizon. Flashing lightning and thundering it's call, it descended toward the treetops. As the mists cleared, there was an eagle perched on the highest branches. He took flight and flew slowly down to the ground. As he approached the earth, he put forward his foot, and as he stepped upon the ground, he became a man.

For this reason we recognize the eagle as a messenger of the creator, and rely upon him to carry word of our actions to God. When the eagle comes to where we are working, we know that God cares about us and is watching over us.

by D'Arcy Rheault

Elder Michael Thrasher once told me that the eagle feather has two sides. If the feather had only one side then Eagle could not fly. On one side we find mind/intellect, body/movement and spirit/emotion. Once these are balanced a person is balanced. On the other side there is institution/education (and not just Western style education), process (the movement on one's path) and ceremony. Once these are balanced then a person's life is balanced. When the two sides of the feather are balanced then we have proper behaviour.

Funny thing is.......Eagle doesn't care if its feathers have two sides....It just opens its wings and flies up to Creator.

Miigwech

EagleDream.jpg

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Edited by REBEL

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Native American Lore

Death of an Eagle

by Brookie Craig

Recently, I went to the Warm Springs reservation in Oregon and then to the Federal Eagle Repository in Ashland Oregon.

You probably never heard of Nathan Jim, Jr. He was a Yakima Indian who was arrested for illegal possession of Eagle Feathers and parts, by the Feds a couple years ago. He languished in fed jail for l4 months awaiting trial and was finally put on probation for this heinous crime. His lawyer appealed it under the new Religious Freedom act which guarantees Native Americans the right to eagle feathers to practice their religious ceremonies and again lost the appeal..He killed himself fearing that (in his mind) it would mean that the feds would rearrest him and sentence him to jail again.

This so moved his prosecuting US Attorney that he grabbed a bundle of eagle feathers at the Fed Eagle Repository (yes..our tax dollars at work) and drove to the reservation so they can use them for Nathan's spirit sending ceremony (burial) but arrived too late so Nathan didn't even get a feather in death.

I decided to continue the challenge to the Feds and drove to Ashland Oregon where they keep dead Eagles (yes..its true they have a Eagle repository there) and with much dread and fear (we NA do not TRUST the feds, having felt their wrath many times in the past) and trembled my way through the door fully expecting the worst. I was met at the counter by a little old lady who is a volunteer there. While holding my Bureau of Indian Affairs ID card in one hand and my Cherokee Tribal Registration card in the other, I tried to remember my Ancestors who would want my voice to be strong and proud. I stood a little taller and I said, "I want a Eagle Feather which is my right under the Religious Freedom Act." I expected a lightning bolt to come down but instead saw a gentle smile as she softly said, "Of course," walked over and handed me a a packet of federal forms to fill out with instructions to send in to the Portland office of the US department of Wildlife management.

I smiled as I read that I will have to have signed references from another Elder and Verification from the Bureau of Indian Affairs AND my Tribe to prove that I am, indeed a REAL Indian. References even for a Eagle Feather.

She asks..."Do you want a Bald or a Golden Eagle?" CHOICES!?!? I'm not prepared..."Do you want just a wing..or talons..or the head...or the whole eagle?" WHAT?!?!?! I come in expecting to be arrested for asking for ONE feather and they're offering me the WHOLE bird!?! I am confused by the offer and She sees that I'm unprepared for them offering me choices of parts of this sacred bird and smiles her suggestion that perhaps I might want to look at the drawings of the parts of the bird, circle what I want and include it with the forms...I am defeated instantly by her gentleness.

I ask her how they send an Eagle to me and she replies through the U.S. Mail..THE MAIL!?! I cannot envision receiving a dead Eagle through the mail and smile at the thought that I might owe postage due upon receipt.

Walking out the door I turn my head and see a stuffed Eagle, sitting silently perched proudly, in a glass cage, on display in the main lobby and overwhelming sadness fills my heart as I realize that another Eagle fell from the sky...a man, also fearful but who stood up for his beliefs, who will never be remembered by anyone for a cause that no one really cares about I guess...and the thought of his falling in vain fills me with a sense of profound grief, for our People believe that the Eagle is the sacred Messenger who brings the messages from our Creator...The thought hits me that no one will hear that message for the Eagle plunged to Mother Earth and perhaps mankind might have had a chance to have heard something sacred, but now...will never know.

There is something terribly tragic in that. I hope someone hears this message and cares about Nathan Jim, Jr. and the Eagle who fell from the sky.

There is something inherently evil in the system of a country, that was founded by people escaping religious persecution, that fills it's citizens with such fear that they kill themselves over what they consider to be a basic right of religious freedom.

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Edited by REBEL

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Creation of the First Indians

Chelan

Native American Lore

This story is told by the Chelan Indians, who live beside a long lake in the central part of the state of Washington. The lake is called Lake Chelan (pronounced sha- lan), meaning "Beautiful Water".

Long, long ago, the Creator, the Great Chief Above, made the world. Then he made the animals and the birds and gave them their names--Coyote, Grizzly Bear, Deer, Fox, Eagle, the four Wolf Brothers, Magpie, Bluejay, Hummingbird, and all the others.

When he had finished his work, the Creator called the animal people to him. "I am going to leave you," he said. "But I will come back. When I come again, I will make human beings. They will be in charge of you."

The Great Chief returned to his home in the sky, and the animal people scattered to all parts of the world.

After twelve moons, the animal people gathered to meet the Creator as he had directed. Some of them had complaints. Bluejay, Meadowlark, and Coyote did not like their names. Each of them asked to be some other creature.

"No," said the Creator. "I have given you your names. There is no change. My word is law.

"Because you have tried to change my law, I will not make the human being this time. Because you have disobeyed me, you have soiled what I brought with me. I planned to change it into a human being. Instead, I will put it in water to be washed for many moons and many snows, until it is clean again."

Then he took something from his right side and put it in the river. It swam, and the Creator named it Beaver.

"Now I will give you another law," said the Great Chief Above. "The one of you who keeps strong and good will take Beaver from the water some day and make it into a human being. I will tell you now what to do. Divide Beaver into twelve parts. Take each part to a different place and breathe into it your own breath. Wake it up. It will be a human being with your breath. Give it half of your power and tell it what to do. Today I am giving my power to one of you. He will have it as long as he is good."

When the Creator had finished speaking, all the creatures started for their homes--all except Coyote. The Great Chief had a special word for Coyote.

"You are to be head of all the creatures, Coyote. You are a power just like me now, and I will help you do your work. Soon the creatures and all the other things I have made will become bad. They will fight and will eat each other. It is your duty to keep them as peaceful as you can.

"When you have finished your work, we will meet again, in this land toward the east. If you have been good, if you tell the truth and obey me, you can make the human being from Beaver. If you have done wrong, someone else will make him."

Then the Creator went away.

It happened as the Creator had foretold. Everywhere the things he had created did wrong. The mountains swallowed the creatures. The winds blew them away. Coyote stopped the mountains, stopped the winds, and rescued the creatures. One winter, after North Wind had killed many people, Coyote made a law for him: "Hereafter you can kill only those who make fun of you."

Everywhere Coyote went, he made the world better for the animal people and better for the human beings yet to be created. When he had finished his work, he knew that it was time to meet the Creator again. Coyote thought that he had been good, that he would be the one to make the first human being.

But he was mistaken. He thought that he had as much power as the Creator. So he tried, a second time, to change the laws of the Great Chief Above.

"Some other creature will make the human being," the Creator told Coyote. "I shall take you out into the ocean and give you a place to stay for all time."

So Coyote walked far out across the water to an island. There the Creator stood waiting for him, beside the house he had made. Inside the house on the west side stood a black suit of clothes. On the other side hung a white suit.

"Coyote, you are to wear this black suit for six months," said the Creator. "Then the weather will be cold and dreary. Take off the black suit and wear the white suit. Then there will be summer, and everything will grow.

"I will give you my power not to grow old. You will live here forever and forever."

Coyote stayed there, out in the ocean, and the four Wolf brothers took his place as the head of all the animal people. Youngest Wolf Brother was strong and good and clever. Oldest Wolf Brother was worthless. So the Creator gave Youngest Brother the power to take Beaver from the water.

One morning Oldest Wolf Brother said to Youngest Brother, "I want you to kill Beaver. I want his tooth for a knife."

"Oh, no!" exclaimed Second and Third Brothers. "Beaver is too strong for Youngest Brother."

But Youngest Wolf said to his brothers, "Make four spears. For Oldest Brother, make a spear with four forks. For me, make a spear with one fork. Make a two-forked spear and a three-forked spear for yourselves. I will try my best to get Beaver, so that we can kill him."

All the animal persons had seen Beaver and his home. They knew where he lived. They knew what a big creature he was. His family of young beavers lived with him.

The animal persons were afraid that Youngest Wolf Brother would fail to capture Beaver and would fail to make the human being. Second and Third Wolf Brothers also were afraid. "I fear we will lose Youngest Brother," they said to each other.

But they made the four spears he had asked for.

At dusk, the Wolf brothers tore down the dam at the beavers' home, and all the little beavers ran out. About midnight, the larger beavers ran out. They were so many, and they made so much noise, that they sounded like thunder. Then Big Beaver ran out, the one the Creator had put into the water to become clean.

"Let's quit!" said Oldest Wolf Brother, for he was afraid. "Let's not try to kill him."

"No!" said Youngest Brother. "I will not stop."

Oldest Wolf Brother fell down. Third Brother fell down. Second Brother fell down. Lightning flashed. The beavers still sounded like thunder. Youngest Brother took the four-forked spear and tried to strike Big Beaver with it. It broke. He used the three- forked spear. It broke. He used the two-forked spear. It broke. Then he took his own one--forked spear. It did not break.

It pierced the skin of Big Beaver and stayed there. Out of the lake, down the creek, and down Big River, Beaver swam, dragging Youngest Brother after it.

Youngest Wolf called to his brothers, "You stay here. If I do not return with Beaver in three days, you will know that I am dead."

Three days later, all the animal persons gathered on a level place at the foot of the mountain. Soon they saw Youngest Brother coming. He had killed Beaver and was carrying it. "You remember that the Creator told us to cut it into twelve pieces," said Youngest Brother to the animal people.

But he could divide it into only eleven pieces.

Then he gave directions. "Fox, you are a good runner. Hummingbird and Horsefly, you can fly fast. Take this piece of Beaver flesh over to that place and wake it up. Give it your breath."

Youngest Brother gave other pieces to other animal people and told them where to go. They took the liver to Clearwater River, and it became the Nez Perce Indians. They took the heart across the mountains, and it became the Methow Indians. Other parts became the Spokane people, the Lake people, the Flathead people. Each of the eleven pieces became a different tribe.

"There have to be twelve tribes," said Youngest Brother. "Maybe the Creator thinks that we should use the blood for the last one. Take the blood across the Shining Mountains and wake it up over there. It will become the Blackfeet. They will always look for blood."

When an animal person woke the piece of Beaver flesh and breathed into it, he told the new human being what to do and what to eat.

"Here are roots," and the animal people pointed to camas and kouse and to bitterroot, "You will dig them, cook them, and save them to eat in the winter.

"Here are the berries that will ripen in the summer. You will eat them and you will dry them for use in winter."

The animal people pointed to chokecherry trees, to serviceberry bushes, and to huckleberry bushes.

"There are salmon in all the rivers. You will cook them and eat them when they come up the streams. And you will dry them to eat in the winter."

When all the tribes had been created, the animal people said to them "Some of you new people should go up Lake Chelan. Go up to the middle of the lake and look at the cliff beside the water. There you will see pictures on the rock. From the pictures you will learn how to make the things you will need."

The Creator had painted the pictures there, with red paint. From the beginning until long after the white people came, the Indians went to Lake Chelan and looked at the paintings. They saw pictures of bows and arrows and of salmon traps. From the paintings of the Creator they knew how to make the things they needed for getting their food.

Note: The paintings (or pictographs) on the lower rocks have been covered by water since a dam was built at the foot of the lake. Surprisingly high on the rocks that are almost perpendicular walls at the north end of the lake, the paintings remained for a long, long time. Then white people with guns and little respect for the past ruined them--for fun.

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Native American Lore

Death of an Eagle

by Brookie Craig

Recently, I went to the Warm Springs reservation in Oregon and then to the Federal Eagle Repository in Ashland Oregon.

You probably never heard of Nathan Jim, Jr. He was a Yakima Indian who was arrested for illegal possession of Eagle Feathers and parts, by the Feds a couple years ago. He languished in fed jail for l4 months awaiting trial and was finally put on probation for this heinous crime. His lawyer appealed it under the new Religious Freedom act which guarantees Native Americans the right to eagle feathers to practice their religious ceremonies and again lost the appeal..He killed himself fearing that (in his mind) it would mean that the feds would rearrest him and sentence him to jail again.

This so moved his prosecuting US Attorney that he grabbed a bundle of eagle feathers at the Fed Eagle Repository (yes..our tax dollars at work) and drove to the reservation so they can use them for Nathan's spirit sending ceremony (burial) but arrived too late so Nathan didn't even get a feather in death.

I decided to continue the challenge to the Feds and drove to Ashland Oregon where they keep dead Eagles (yes..its true they have a Eagle repository there) and with much dread and fear (we NA do not TRUST the feds, having felt their wrath many times in the past) and trembled my way through the door fully expecting the worst. I was met at the counter by a little old lady who is a volunteer there. While holding my Bureau of Indian Affairs ID card in one hand and my Cherokee Tribal Registration card in the other, I tried to remember my Ancestors who would want my voice to be strong and proud. I stood a little taller and I said, "I want a Eagle Feather which is my right under the Religious Freedom Act." I expected a lightning bolt to come down but instead saw a gentle smile as she softly said, "Of course," walked over and handed me a a packet of federal forms to fill out with instructions to send in to the Portland office of the US department of Wildlife management.

I smiled as I read that I will have to have signed references from another Elder and Verification from the Bureau of Indian Affairs AND my Tribe to prove that I am, indeed a REAL Indian. References even for a Eagle Feather.

She asks..."Do you want a Bald or a Golden Eagle?" CHOICES!?!? I'm not prepared..."Do you want just a wing..or talons..or the head...or the whole eagle?" WHAT?!?!?! I come in expecting to be arrested for asking for ONE feather and they're offering me the WHOLE bird!?! I am confused by the offer and She sees that I'm unprepared for them offering me choices of parts of this sacred bird and smiles her suggestion that perhaps I might want to look at the drawings of the parts of the bird, circle what I want and include it with the forms...I am defeated instantly by her gentleness.

I ask her how they send an Eagle to me and she replies through the U.S. Mail..THE MAIL!?! I cannot envision receiving a dead Eagle through the mail and smile at the thought that I might owe postage due upon receipt.

Walking out the door I turn my head and see a stuffed Eagle, sitting silently perched proudly, in a glass cage, on display in the main lobby and overwhelming sadness fills my heart as I realize that another Eagle fell from the sky...a man, also fearful but who stood up for his beliefs, who will never be remembered by anyone for a cause that no one really cares about I guess...and the thought of his falling in vain fills me with a sense of profound grief, for our People believe that the Eagle is the sacred Messenger who brings the messages from our Creator...The thought hits me that no one will hear that message for the Eagle plunged to Mother Earth and perhaps mankind might have had a chance to have heard something sacred, but now...will never know.

There is something terribly tragic in that. I hope someone hears this message and cares about Nathan Jim, Jr. and the Eagle who fell from the sky.

There is something inherently evil in the system of a country, that was founded by people escaping religious persecution, that fills it's citizens with such fear that they kill themselves over what they consider to be a basic right of religious freedom.

linked-image

This story is so sad and tragic I couldn't cut it to shorten it down some (I couldn't decide what to leave out), so I left it as is! It's worth repeating.

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Brief History of The Trail of Tears-

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In 1838 and 1839, as part of Andrew Jackson's Indian removal policy, the Cherokee nation was forced to give up its lands east of the Mississippi River and to migrate to an area in present-day Oklahoma. The Cherokee people called this journey the "Trail of Tears," because of its devastating effects. The migrants faced hunger, disease, and exhaustion on the forced march. Over 4,000 out of 15,000 of the Cherokees died.

This picture, The Trail of Tears, was painted by Robert Lindneux in 1942. It commemorates the suffering of the Cherokee people under forced removal. If any depictions of the "Trail of Tears" were created at the time of the march, they have not survived.

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(source) http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part4/4h1567.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trail_of_Tears

Edited by Sunny98

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Wolf MacCanine

Arrgh...I'll have to wait until my weekend to read all of these stories. :(

I'll also have to dig around for a bunch of stories that a friend of mine printed up for me a long time ago so I can post some of them.

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brave_new_world
You must not hurt or do harm to anyone. You must not fight. Do right always. ---Wovoka, the Paiute messiah

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War Eagle

No sweat anytime your ready, thanks Wolf.

These are the 'official' Ten Commandments/Two versions of the Native Nth American Indians. They are as sacred to these ancient people as the Christian's version is to them.

The Ten Commandments version 1linked-image

version 1 linked-image

1. The Earth is our Mother; care for Her

2. Honor all your relations.

3. Open your heart and soul to the Great Spirit.

4. All life is sacred; treat all beings with respect.

5. Take from the Earth what is needed and nothing more.

6. Do what needs to be done for the good of all.

7. Give constant thanks to the Great Spirit for each day.

8. Speak the truth but only for the good in others.

9. Follow the rythms of Nature.

10. Enjoy life's journey; but leave no tracks.

========================linked-image

version 2

1. Treat the earth an all that dwell theron with respect

2. Remain close to the Great Spirit

3. Show great respect for your fellow beings

4. Work together for the benefit of all humankind

5. Give assistance and kindness wherever needed

6. Do what you know to be right

7. Look after the well-being of mind and body

8. Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good

9. Be truthful and honest at all times

10. Take full responsibility for your actions

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Edited by REBEL

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Fairy bye bye

I am truly impressed by this thread, i have never really taken the time to properly look through the history surrounding this culture...and I'm truly kicking myself as to why i have taken so long.

I'm inspired by the teachings and their methods for dealing with life and on a personal note i much prefer their version of the commandments, it for me outlines everything i feel about being a spiritual person, being thankful for what we have in life and embracing it.

The persecution they faced was totally wrong, i know that's an understatement, but i'm just at a loss as i usually am when trying to comprehend why some people/governments/organisations act this way towards others because its not their way. We as individuals should have the right to express our views without criticism and judgement, but as history shows us that's not the case.

Many cultures and civilisations throughout time have been destroyed and nearly forgotten, ignorance plays a huge part and some people have this mindset that if something is not in accordance to their lives it must be got rid of.

Thank you REBEL this has been a very interesting read, these people should not be forgotten, to know how to live your life you need to look back and learn the simple pleasures of what life can give you if you honour it and be thankful every day.

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War Eagle

Native American Indian Traditional Code of Ethics

1. Each morning upon rising, and each evening before sleeping, give thanks for the life within you and for all life, for the good things the Creator has given you and for the opportunity to grow a little more each day. Consider your thoughts and actions of the past day and seek for the courage and strengthto be a better person. Seek for the things that will benefit others (everyone).

2. Respect. Respect means "To feel or show honor or esteem for someone or something; to consider the well being of, or to treat someone or somethin with deference or courtesy". Showing respect is a basic law of life.

a. Treat every person from the tiniest child to the oldest elder with respect at all times.

b. Special respect should be given to Elders, Parents, Teachers, and Community Leaders.

c. No person should be made to feel "put down" by you; avoid hurting other hearts as you would avoid a deadly poison.

d. Touch nothing that belongs to someone else (especially Sacred Objects) without permission, or an understanding between you.

e. Respect the privacy of every person, never intrude on a person's quiet moment or personal space.

f. Never walk between people that are conversing.

g. Never interrupt people who are conversing.

h. Speak in a soft voice, especially when you are in the presence of Elders, strangers or others to whom special respect is due.

i. Do not speak unless invited to do so at gatherings where Elders are present (except to ask what is expected of you, should you be in doubt).

j. Never speak about others in a negative way, whether they are present or not.

k. Treat the earth and all of her aspects as your mother. Show deep respect for the mineral world, the plant world, and the animal world. Do nothing to pollute our Mother, rise up with wisdom to defend her.

l. Show deep respect for the beliefs and religion of others.

m. Listen with courtesy to what others say, even if you feel that what they are saying is worthless. Listen with your heart.

n. Respect the wisdom of the people in council. Once you give an idea to a council meeting it no longer belongs to you. It belongs to the people. Respect demands that you listen intently to the ideas of others in council and that you do not insist that your idea prevail. Indeed you should freely support the ideas of others if they are true and good, even if those ideas ideas are quite different from the ones you have contributed. The clash of ideas brings forth the Spark of Truth.

3. Once a council has decided something in unity, respect demands that no one speak secretly against what has been decided. If the council has made an error, that error will become apparent to everyone in its own time.

4. Be truthful at all times, and under all conditions.

5. Always treat your guests with honor and consideration. Give of your best food, your best blankets, the best part of your house, and your best service to your guests.

6. The hurt of one is the hurt of all, the honor of one is the honor of all.

7. Receive strangers and outsiders with a loving heart and as members of the human family.

8. All the races and tribes in the world are like the different colored flowers of one meadow. All are beautiful. As children of the Creator they must all be respected.

9. To serve others, to be of some use to family, community, nation, and the world is one of the main purposes for which human beings have been created. Do not fill yourself with your own affairs and forget your most important talks. True happiness comes only to those who dedicate their lives to the service of others.

10. Observe moderation and balance in all things.

11. Know those things that lead to your well-being, and those things that lead to your destruction.

12. Listen to and follow the guidance given to your heart. Expect guidance to come in many forms; in prayer, in dreams, in times of quiet solitude, and in the words and deeds of wise Elders and friends.

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KGS3333
Native American Indian Traditional Code of Ethics

1. Each morning upon rising, and each evening before sleeping, give thanks for the life within you and for all life, for the good things the Creator has given you and for the opportunity to grow a little more each day. Consider your thoughts and actions of the past day and seek for the courage and strengthto be a better person. Seek for the things that will benefit others (everyone).

2. Respect. Respect means "To feel or show honor or esteem for someone or something; to consider the well being of, or to treat someone or somethin with deference or courtesy". Showing respect is a basic law of life.

a. Treat every person from the tiniest child to the oldest elder with respect at all times.

b. Special respect should be given to Elders, Parents, Teachers, and Community Leaders.

c. No person should be made to feel "put down" by you; avoid hurting other hearts as you would avoid a deadly poison.

d. Touch nothing that belongs to someone else (especially Sacred Objects) without permission, or an understanding between you.

e. Respect the privacy of every person, never intrude on a person's quiet moment or personal space.

f. Never walk between people that are conversing.

g. Never interrupt people who are conversing.

h. Speak in a soft voice, especially when you are in the presence of Elders, strangers or others to whom special respect is due.

i. Do not speak unless invited to do so at gatherings where Elders are present (except to ask what is expected of you, should you be in doubt).

j. Never speak about others in a negative way, whether they are present or not.

k. Treat the earth and all of her aspects as your mother. Show deep respect for the mineral world, the plant world, and the animal world. Do nothing to pollute our Mother, rise up with wisdom to defend her.

l. Show deep respect for the beliefs and religion of others.

m. Listen with courtesy to what others say, even if you feel that what they are saying is worthless. Listen with your heart.

n. Respect the wisdom of the people in council. Once you give an idea to a council meeting it no longer belongs to you. It belongs to the people. Respect demands that you listen intently to the ideas of others in council and that you do not insist that your idea prevail. Indeed you should freely support the ideas of others if they are true and good, even if those ideas ideas are quite different from the ones you have contributed. The clash of ideas brings forth the Spark of Truth.

3. Once a council has decided something in unity, respect demands that no one speak secretly against what has been decided. If the council has made an error, that error will become apparent to everyone in its own time.

4. Be truthful at all times, and under all conditions.

5. Always treat your guests with honor and consideration. Give of your best food, your best blankets, the best part of your house, and your best service to your guests.

6. The hurt of one is the hurt of all, the honor of one is the honor of all.

7. Receive strangers and outsiders with a loving heart and as members of the human family.

8. All the races and tribes in the world are like the different colored flowers of one meadow. All are beautiful. As children of the Creator they must all be respected.

9. To serve others, to be of some use to family, community, nation, and the world is one of the main purposes for which human beings have been created. Do not fill yourself with your own affairs and forget your most important talks. True happiness comes only to those who dedicate their lives to the service of others.

10. Observe moderation and balance in all things.

11. Know those things that lead to your well-being, and those things that lead to your destruction.

12. Listen to and follow the guidance given to your heart. Expect guidance to come in many forms; in prayer, in dreams, in times of quiet solitude, and in the words and deeds of wise Elders and friends.

You left one out:

13. Don't plagerize or pass off other people's work as your own.

Try providing references to people can track down where you're getting this stuff from. As it stands, it appears that this "traditional" code of ethics was created about 1994. If you have a source and date earlier than that, feel free to post it.

KGS

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