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War Eagle

Native American Culture.

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War Eagle

Thanks Brave New World! :D

All art work ^^above^^ was done by David C. Behrens. The man is a 'master artist'. :tu: - Rebel.


Artist - David C. BehrensDavid C. Behrens

Upon viewing a painting by David C. Behrens, one is immediately moved by the intense imagery and emotion found in his work. As humans we are all moved by stories, David says ,and my greatest hope is that my paintings achieve what a good story does, only not with words but with brushstrokes.

As an Illustration major at East Carolina University, David made his first connection with Native Americans and their history. I remember going to the library to do some research on a painting and stumbling across some old photographs of Native people. The profound sense of pride mixed with sadness and longing in their faces spoke so sharply to me that I just could not put my paintbrush to canvas without painting one of these remarkable faces.

With his bloodline being from *''Sicilian and German''* descent many wonder how he can so accurately portray a people not his own. I believe that God has put it in my heart to paint these images and it is my prayer that He would somehow use my art to bring forth a sense of healing.

At first glance it is difficult to distinguish the method and media that David enjoys to work in. These dream-like montages are the result of an oil glazing technique that dates back to the early ''Italian Renaissance'' period. To achieve this David builds up many different layers of translucent oil washes thus creating a very pleasing effect of images fading in and out of their surroundings. To create a sense of organic texture that has become his hallmark, David paints on a surface of gesso mixed with powdered marble.

It is accurate to say that one does not merely view one of David paintings but journeys into it. It is easy to lose oneself in the candid realism, the flowing movement, and the heartbeat found in each of his works. Art is my purest form of communication and it would be dishonoring if I did not acknowledge Jesus Christ, my Creator and Savior who has blessed me with the ability to paint, for truly He is the greatest artist of all.

David's artwork can be seen at galleries throughout the country. He currently travels coast to coast and exhibits at many prestigious Indian Art Markets. When he is back at his studio David works diligently on new works of art that continue to challenge his audience with stirring concepts that are both thoughtfully rendered and fearlessly honest, giving a voice to a silent past.

David C. Behrens lives in *Charlotte, North Carolina with wife Marybel and his son Tomas. David and his wife are expecting another child in late August of this year.

http://www.webwest.com/behrens/ linked-image


Edited by REBEL

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War Eagle


I. Profile

The diversity of American Indian tribes precludes a comprehensive examination of their religions and their belief systems. Anthropologists have compiled a huge trove of information detailing practices and beliefs of many different groups; this information remains isolated from popular culture. While there is a proliferation of popularized versions of Native American spirituality, these are often not the products of the tribes or their members. The beliefs and practices of many groups are sectarian derivatives of other native groups, and there is also a significant infusion of Christianity, and more recently, New Age beliefs and practices permeating these traditional beliefs.

The origins of contemporary Native American religion, and that of their recent ancestors, can be traced back 30,000 to 60,000 years with the arrival of the first groups of people from northeast Asia. The religion of Native Americans has developed from the hunting taboos, animal ceremonialism, beliefs in spirits, and shamanism embraced by those early ancestors (Hultkrantz, 3, 12). Since these peoples settled in America slowly and in small groups over several thousand years, we still lack precise immigration knowledge.

Beyond the directly inherited traditional Native American religions, a wide body of modified sects abounds. The Native American Church claims a membership of 250,000, which would constitute the largest of the Native American religious organizations. Though the church traces the sacramental use of the peyote cactus back ten thousand years, the Native American Church was only founded in 1918. Well into the reservation era, this organization was achieved with the help of a Smithsonian Institute anthropologist. The church incorporates generic Native American religious rites, Christianity, and the use of the peyote plant. The modern peyote ritual is comprised of four parts: praying, singing, eating peyote, and quietly contemplating (Smith, 167-173; Anderson, 41).

The Native American Church, or Peyote Church, illustrates a trend of modifying and manipulating traditional Native American spirituality. The Native American Church incorporates Christianity, as well as moving away from tribal specific religion. Christianity has routinely penetrated Native American spirituality in the last century. And in the last few decades, New Age spirituality has continued the trend.

Native Americans, New Agers, and charlatans alike have radically augmented and revised the tenets of traditional Native American religions. "Crystal skull caretakers" sit beside Native American shamans and priests, and "Star Beings," rather than buffalo, are pondered. Outraged Native Americans have entered this fray, castigating those they see exploiting traditional Native American spirituality. And they are answered in return.


II. Beliefs

The general characteristics and origins of Native American religion shed light upon the more contemporary sects. But the development of the numerous individual traditions, passed down orally, remains unclear. The sheer number of groups and the diversity of the nuances of belief complicates matters further.

The religions do share some common tendencies. Religion tends to be closely related to the natural world. The local terrain is elevated with supernatural meaning, and natural objects are imbued with sacred presences. Ceremonial rituals involving these supernatural-natural objects are meant to ensure communal and individual prosperity (Lamphere, 339). These common underlying features unite a diversity of contemporary Native American sects.

The original hunting knowledge brought with the first North American immigrants became influenced or usurped altogether by new horticultural religious influences. Animal ceremonialism, the quest for spiritual power, Male Supreme Being, annual ceremony of cosmic rejuvenation, few stationary cult places, shamanism, and life after death beyond the horizon or in the sky were tenets of hunting pattern religions. Rain and fertility ceremonies, priestly ritual, goddesses and gods, yearly round of fertility rites, permanent shrines and temples, medicine society ritualism, and life after death in the underworld or among the clouds characterized the new horticultural pattern religions (Hultkrantz, 14).

Ceremony plays a vital, essential role in Native American religions. Whereas western religions typically consider ceremony the servant of theology, Native American religions barely recognize the distinction between myth and ritual. Often the ritual proves to be established and secure while the myth is vague and unclear. Indian ceremonies grew up within local groups; some elements of Indian ceremonials have been traced back to the Old World. The ceremonies were adapted locally, using both traditional and borrowed elements, to suit local needs (Underhill, 4). These ceremonies often began as practical actions. Indians were eager to embrace ceremonies or portions of ceremonies that provided power to conquer the difficulties of life. As these practices developed, they were modified and imbued with additional meanings and purposes (Underhill, 7).

The medicine men and priests among the Indians were usually merely those men who thought more deeply and strenuously than the average men in the tribe. These thinkers tended to live among the more successful tribes. To think, one needed at least some time free from the chore of procuring food. These medicine men or shamans were in a different class than the other men of their tribe. This special status was not dependent on their hunting and fishing. Contact with other tribes enabled thinkers to build and expand their belief frameworks, so shamans were more prevalent in tribes that were accessible to outsiders.

As contemporary Native American religious flowerings are best understood by first examining the origins of Native American Spirituality, all of the contemporary sects are best comprehended in light of the traditional religions. As these differ from their New Age and Christian versions, each group is also unique compared to other traditional sects. These traditional sects are best understood as a conglomerate by investigating a few individual traditional Native American religions.


III. Some Native American Groups


The Lakota were the "typical" nomadic, equestrian Plains Indians who lived in tipis and hunted buffalo. They were notable, historically, for destroying Custer's forces at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876. One hundred thousand Lakota populated reservations as of 1984. Their religious system is dominated by cosmology and the appeasement of supernaturals to ensure successful buffalo hunts. The "Seven Sacred Rites" forms the basis of Lakota religion. These seven rites incude: The Sweat Lodge, The Vision Quest, Ghost Keeping, The Sun Dance , Making Relatives, Puberty Ceremony, and Throwing the Ball. The seven rites have endured in contemporary worship, excepting Throwing the Ball. A practice known as Yuwibi has become prominent in this century. Yuwipi unites concepts of buffalo hunting culture and contemporary reservation life (Powers, 434-436).


Six separate Apache tribes ranged over the American southwest. Their religion centered on the conception of a supernatural power that manifested itself in almost every facet of the Apache world. They believe that they can develop a healthy and cooperative relationship with this power. The power is believed to offer its services to the Apache through visionary experiences. In shamanistic ceremonies, the practitioner interacts with his particular power alone. But other rituals require a priest to officiate. Both shamanistic and priestly rituals are patterned. Four is the sacred number; songs and prayers occurred in quartets. The ceremonial circuit moves clockwise. And rites last four successive nights. The Apache perform life-cycle rites, including the rite for a child who takes his first steps and a girl's puberty rite (Opler, 331 333).


The Navajo live primarily on the Navajo Nation, a reservation in northern Arizona and New Mexico. As of the 1980s, their population was approximately 175,000. The Navajo origin myth explains their emergence onto the Earth from a series of underworlds. In the myth, the natural and supernatural intertwine. The Navajo believe in powerful Holy People, with whom the Navajo aim to live harmoniously. Anthropologists have identified twenty-four Navajo chant complexes, including the Blessingway . This chant, one of the central ceremonies of the faith, recounts the Navajo creation myth after the Emergence. Enemyway counteracts contact with non-Navajos and exorcises their ghosts (Lamphere, 337-339).


The Iroquois were comprised of five nations: the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, and Mohawk. They inhabited central New York State and claimed the Ohio Valley. Their federation of five tribes was the most complex of any Indian group. Their origin myth begins similarly to that of the Southeast with the Sky People who inhabit a disk world above the earth. One pregnant woman made the descent from the Sky People, propagating the earth. Women owned the homes and held ceremonial precedence. In their ceremonies, the Iroquois rid themselves of woman-fear. Honors to food spirits were paid regularly throughout the season, interspersed by other rites and dances (Underhill, 173-182).


IV. Native American Spirituality and Christianity

The subject of Christianity has long been a touchy topic. To many Native Americans, as well as millions of Americans who came from all over the world, Christianity is associated with great tragedy and injustice to the indigenous peoples of North America. The Europeans saw the indigenous peoples as barbaric and savage, their spiritual practices as pagan. Those who came to "Christianize the Indians" also sought to supress indigenous spirituality. Today, the arrival of Europeans to the Americas with the sword and the cross has become an indelible symbol of shame.

An important casuality results from focusing on our collective shame. In focusing on this master image, we have ignored the details. We lack fundamental understanding of how Christianity impacted Native American spirituality and vice versa. As Gill notes,

"[w]e have been far too narrow-minded in appreciating the important influence of Christianity on Native American cultures and religions, preferring to set the acceptance of Christianity as synonymous with the loss of native tradition (1988:149)."

To be sure, some Christian missionaries and many ethnographers have had enormous insights into the nature of Native American spirituality, but this knowledge base has largely escaped our collective consciousness. In truth, just as with every culture that has conquered a people and imposed its religion on the conquered, the indigenous religions of the Americas have made their mark on the faith of the conquers. We need to better understand this phenomenon.

The failure of the typical white American to understand how profoundly our cultural values have been influenced by indigenous belief in the harmony of all life on Mother Earth has resulted in a diminution of understanding of ourselves. Our receptiveness today to the necessity of creating technology that is in harmony with the natural environment is possible because of the nourishing these values have achieved through the influence of Native Americans. On the other hand, Native Americans who view Christianity as synonymous with "religion" have similarly experienced at least some diminution of their own spirituality.

Perhaps the most overlooked dimension of Native American spirituality is the fact that many Native Americans did become Christians. Further, there is considerable evidence to indicate that Christianity preached by Native Americans for Native Americans is a vibrant development today in indigenous communities.

Understandably, this development is troubling to many Native Americans. Students and scholars alike should recognize that this response is not very different from reactions to other new religions on the spiritual landscape. Our goal should be to understand how this phenomenon may impact the communities of Native Americans.

Several Native American Christian groups now have a presence on the Internet. This presence helps us identify and begin to know something about these groups. We have included a set of links at the end of the links section of this page. Annotations and additional groups will be added later.




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War Eagle


American Heritage Magazine (July-August 1998)

linked-image"New Indian Country."

This editorial was published in "Indian Country Today"

To the editor:

Recently I read the American Heritage Magazine (July-August 1998) article on the "New Indian Country." The article mentions our revolts various nations have made over the many white men - and Native caused issues. Without saying so, it makes us out to be an Indian raiding party mindlessly killing homesteaders from a John Ford movie.

And that made me wonder...

"What does being Native American mean?"

To me it isn't just going to pow wows, watching the dancers, wearing buckskin dresses and letting the steady drum beat restart my heart, my soul. It's more.

My great-grandfather, Chief Bear Hunter, chief of his own Shoshoni Band, was Bear Clan, as was my grandmother. I, too, am Bear. It's not just wearing my bear claw necklace and choker every day to honor my grandmother, my clan. It's more. The eagle and hawk feathers I have were given to my grandmother by Nez Perce Chief Joseph in 1876 for her acts of bravery against the Blackfeet. It's not just wearing these same eagle or hawk feathers every day, going to the grocery store, in honor of my grandmother, my people the Eastern Shoshoni.

It's more.

Most Indians today wear the white clothing of JC Penny and not our Native ribbon shirts and calico dresses.

"Being Indian is not just what clothes are being worn or not worn."

It's more.

I speak to my blood Shoshoni grandmother Annie Yellow Hawk every day even though we burned her body atop an ancient burial scaffold 36 years ago. Then, in 1960, she was 100 years old.

Still, being Indian is more.

Daily my prayers are made before a 150-year-old buffalo medicine skull, and my words are by the Creator.

"I know the Creator is in my heart, my spirit."

But it's more.

Although I am Shoshoni, I was raised on the Nez Perce rez. Besides my real grandmother, five Nez Perce grandmothers also raised me. Their teachings are with me now.

And yet, it's more.

Today, totally disabled, I live in the Megalopolis of Denver and not on the reservation. I walk between the white and red worlds as we all do.

Being Indian is more!

The white culture sees us with a bit of awe, sheathed in leather and eagle feathers, as something from the not so recent past. We see ourselves in limbo not knowing where to stand:

by the graves of our ancestors or wearing suit and tie in some corporate meeting.

And, if at the meeting, are we red, or are we white?

To me being Native American is more than feathers, reservations, buffalo skulls, bear claws, belief in the spirit world of the sky walkers, red or white, being raised by grandmothers, clans, old beliefs and pow wows.

I am a living being raised from the red clay of Mother Earth.

"Her spirit is in my breast.

Her breath, in my lungs."

My heart beats as her heart beats to the ceremonial drum. As a people we are more complicated than whites. Our heritage made us that way. And we are more complicated than blacks who were brought to America.

We were the first footprints on this continent.

That is our heritage.

A thousand boarding school nuns can't beat that out of us or cut it out as our braided hair hit the school floor.

We are as different from the white race as Oriental is from African.

Being different doesn't make us less. We are equal as anyone. Yet we are Indian.

"We are Native American."

No clothing or schooling or place of residence will ever take that away.

My people's blood seeped back into Mother Earth in 1863 at the Battle of Bear River.

My grandmother's eyes saw the death of her father, the chief, on that day --

"a good day to be reborn."

That is what makes me who I am today. Nothing will ever take it away!


JoAnn White Eagle

Thornton, Colorado

Posted on Indigenous Peoples Literature: October 22, 1998




Edited by REBEL

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Gone away


Grandfather Great Spirit

All over the world the faces

of living ones are alike.

With tenderness they have

come up out of the ground.

Look upon your children

that they may face the winds

And walk the good road to the Day of Quiet.

Grandfather Great Spirit

Fill us with the Light.

Give us the strength to understand,

And the eyes to see.

Teach us to walk the soft Earth

as relatives to all that live.

Edited by dixiepixie

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War Eagle

Nice one dp.

The first quotation below blew me away the first time i read it.


A man told his grandson: "A terrible fight is going on inside me -- a fight between two wolves. One is evil, and represents hate, anger, arrogance, intolerance, and superiority . The other is good, and represents joy, peace, love, tolerance, understanding, humility, kindness, empathy, generosity, and compassion. This same fight is going on inside you, inside every other person too."

The grandson then asked: "Which wolf will win?" The old man replied simply: "The one you feed." - Anon.


Spirituality is not religion to American Indians.

Religion is not an Indian concept, it is a non Indian word,linked-image

with implications of things that often end badly,

like Holy wars in the name of individuals God's and so on.linked-image

Native people do not ask what religion another Indian is,

because they already know the answer.

To Native people, spirituality is about the Creator, period~


A quote from Native American Religions by Arlene Hirschfelder and Paulette Molin (Facts on File, New York, 1992, ISBN 0-8160-2017-5) is instructive:

".....the North American public remains ignorant about Native American religions. And this, despite the fact that hundreds of books and articles have been published by anthropologists, religionists and others about native beliefs......Little of this scholarly literature has found its way into popular books about Native American religion..."


Yet Natives culture and religion should be valued. They have made many contributions to North American society:

bullet an awareness of concern for the environment

bullet food staples such as corn, beans, squash, potatoes and sweet potatoes

bullet the design of the kayak, toboggan and snowshoe

bullet the original oral contraceptive

bullet cotton

bullet over 200 drugs, derived from native remedies

It is ironic that the wine that is the Christians' most sacred substance, used in the Mass to represent the blood of their God, has caused such a trail of devastation within Native populations. And the Natives' most sacred substance, tobacco, has caused major health problems for so many Christians.

According to the Canadian 1991 census, there were 1,002,945 Canadians with North American Indian, Métis and/or Inuit ancestry. 10,840 are recorded as following an aboriginal spiritual path. The latter is believed to be greatly under-reported.


From where did Native Americans originate?

There are at least four conflicting beliefs about the origin of Native Americans:

bullet There has been, until recently, a consensus among scientists that prior to perhaps 11,200 years ago, the Western Hemisphere was completely devoid of humans. They believed that:

bullet Much of the world's water was frozen in gigantic ice sheets.

bullet The floor of the Bering Strait between Siberia and Alaska was exposed.

bullet Big-game hunters were able to walk to Alaska. They turned south, spreading out through the Great Plains and into what is now the American Southwest. Within a few thousand years, they had made it all the way to the tip of South America.

bullet Recent archaeological discoveries have convinced some scientists that people may have arrived far earlier than about 9200 BCE "in many waves of migration and by a number of routes" -- perhaps even from Australia, South Asia and/or Europe. 13,9

bullet Many native tribes contest these theories. Their oral traditions teach that their ancestors have always been in the Americas. 16

bullet Some Natives believe that their ancestors emerged from beneath the earth into the present world through a hole in the earth's surface, .

Some Natives find the suggestion that their ancestors migrated to North America only a few tens of thousands of years ago to be quite offensive.



Overview of some biblical genocides:

Biblical scholar Raymond Schwager:

"... has found 600 passages of explicit violence in the Hebrew Bible [a.k.a. Old Testament], 1000 verses where God's own violent actions of punishment are described, 100 passages where God expressly commands others to kill people, and several stories where God irrationally kills or tries to kill for no apparent reason. Violence ... is easily the most often mentioned activity in the Hebrew Bible." 6

Of the many passages in the Hebrew Scriptures that describe major loss of life, most were conventional wars. Four of these events would probably qualify as genocides under most current definitions of the term. They were:

bullet The worldwide flood at the time of Noah as described in Genesis, chapters 6 to 8. From the description, it almost completely wiped out the human race, with the exception of Noah, his wife and sons and their wives.

bullet The Passover incident described in Exodus chapters 11 and 12, in which all of the firstborn of all Egypt were slaughtered.

bullet The conquest of Canaan, in which God ordered the Hebrews to completely exterminate the Canaanite people -- from the elderly to newborns and fetuses. This is described throughout the book of Joshua.

bullet The near extermination of the entire tribe of Benjamin by the remaining 11 tribes, triggered by the serial rape and murder of a priest's concubine by a few Benjamites. See Judges, chapter 20.

The first three of the above genocides have at least three factors in common:

bullet The Bible explains that God was primarily responsible.

bullet Many liberal Christians, liberal Jews, historians and biblical archaeologists believe that all three are religious myths -- stories of great spiritual significance about events that never actually happened.

bullet Jewish and Christian conservatives generally believe in that the authors of the Bible were inspired by God and thus their writings are inerrant. They believe that the genocides happened exactly as described in the Bible.

In addition, the book of Revelation, interpreted literally, predicts that a massive genocide will occur at some time in our future, in association with the war of Armageddon and the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI). If it were to happen in the near future, on the order of two billion people will die.

In modern times, genocide is generally regarded as the most serious, reprehensible, horrifying and disgusting crime of which humans are capable. Those responsible are considered to be sub-human pariahs. At first glance, there seems to be a conflict between concept of God as a loving, caring, beneficent deity, and his responsibility in causing or ordering these genocides. Theologians have attempted to resolve this apparent conflict.

bullet "When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you may nations...then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them and show them no mercy." Deuteronomy 7:1-2, NIV. 1

bullet "...do not leave alive anything that breaths. Completely destroy them...as the Lord your God has commanded you..." Deuteronomy 20:16, NIV. 1



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Gone away


Final Vision

Life is the flash of a firefly in the night.

It is the breath of the buffalo in the winter.

It is the little shadow which runs across the grass

and loses itself in the sunset.

-Crowfoot (Blackfoot)



Edited by dixiepixie

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linked-imageThe Invitation

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living.

I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of

meeting your heart's longing.

It doesn't interest me how old you are.

I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream,

for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon.

I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow, if you have

been opened by life's betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear

of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without

moving to hide it or fade it, or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy,

mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you

to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful,

to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me is true.

I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can

bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be

faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even when it's not pretty, every day, and

if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on

the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, "Yes!"

It doesn't interest me to know where you live or how much money you have.

I want to know if you can get up, after the night of grief and despair, weary and

bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn't interest me who you know or how you came to be here.

I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me

and not shrink back.

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom you have studied.

I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like

the company you keep in the empty moments.

by Oriah Mountain Dreamer


This really touched me. Thank you so much for sharing that. Once the Nyquil wears off I will go back and read the posts again.

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War Eagle

Yea Will that is inspiring stuff...but then most stuff on NA culture is. :D




By Nation:




Absarokee (Crow)



Akwesasne Mohawk





Apache (Inde)

Apache (Jicarilla)

Apache (Lipan)



(Arikara) Sahnish












Bella Coola


Blackfeet / Piegan















(Cherokee) Tsalagi <----------------Sunni's :D

(Cheyenne) Tse-tsehese-staestse





(Chipewyan) Dene Suline/Soline

Chippewa/Ojibway/Anishinabe Chitimacha






Coeur d'Alene


Colorado River










(Creek) Muskokee

Notowega Band of Chickamauga Creeks




(Delaware) Lenape





















Hawaiian Natives











Inuu Nation



(Ioway) Baxoje Ukiche

Iroquois Nations

Isleta Pueblo


Jemez Pueblo



















Laguna Pueblo















Mashantucket Pequot





Mee-Wuk (Miwok)













Miwok (Yosemite)
















(Navajo) Dine


Nez Perce
























Pamunkey Indians

(Papago)Tohono O'odham






Pequot (Mashantucket)


Pit River

Poarch Creek
















Salish & Kootenai


San Juan Pueblo


Santa Clara Pueblo


Santo Domingo Pueblo
















(Sioux) Lakota/Dakota/Nakota





Smith River




Squaxin Island


Stockbridge Munsee



















Tsimshian First Nations













(Wampanoag) Mashpee

Warm Springs





(Winnebago) Hochunk

















Zuni Pueblo




Edited by REBEL

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Rebel, I love this thread, thanks to all for putting all the great information, pictures and wisdom up here. I was thinking about who my ancestors may have been and I decided to write this poem tonight . I needed to calm down, I was running around in other threads being a nuisance. I hope it's ok to add this poem.

what did you see

A dash of gray

Floating across the sea

Of never ending prairie

the never ending life

The beauty pierces me

I am small... we are small

Ahhhh..... breathe it in

Smoke parts the sky

I fall on the sea

Wait for the rumble

of a million breathing as one

I am humbled at them all

for I am one

Edited by uhmanduh

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War Eagle

Thanks uhmanduh.

Òn that previous post above, i'm curious as to how many of those original nations were wiped out & how many are still remain today?




"I believe there is another world beyond this one. We tend to imagine an impregnable wall separating these worlds, but I think of my role as an artist as being a clouded window in that wall. I seek to be the open door." Marcus Amerman


Yaqui / Zuni / Mescalero Apache.

"art is one of the ways that native people celebrate and relate to their culture, their religion and to nature - it is a gift. Art teaches us beauty, humility and

humour. You cannot be a healthy human being without art and music in your life." Michael Horse


San Carlos Apache / Akimel-O'odham

"I like giving the kids a sense of who they are and what they can do. I tell them their possibilities are endless, if they have the desire to learn, the talent will come." Douglas Miles



FIRST NATION LAW - Aboriginal Law

The term "Aboriginal Law," which indicates commonality, is not a proper term to use to describe the combined diverse laws of First Nations. The worst fallout from the use of the term is that it fortifies in the minds of the vast majority of non-First Nation people a belief that there was, and are, no cultural differences between First Nations. In other words, we are like peas in a pod. Therefore, the use of it undermines the reality that we try to get across to them: before European invasion, our homelands were independent, viable, culturally different, self governing Nations. It is not in our long range interest to permit the use of the word "aboriginal" in this regard.

That there was, and is, a multiplicity of distinct First Nation civilizations in the Americas, with drastically different cultures, languages, laws, etc., is easily proven. For instance, the difference between the Aztec and the Mi’kmaq civilizations is so pronounced that it’s like the difference between night and day. The same applies on the other side of the Atlantic in Europe. The term European law is not a proper term to use to describe the laws of European Nations collectively. The reason being that each European Nation has developed its own culture, with a multitude of intrusive laws, structured to control and regiment its population, which in many cases are radically different from those of neighboring European Nations. Even the laws of the European Union, before becoming applicable in a member Nation, must be adopted by that country.

However, because civilizations evolved differently in the Americas and Europe, the laws of European and First Nations are radically different. Thus, when Europeans invaded the Americas they did not find encoded in most of the civilizations they found, particularly in North America, the controlling intrusive laws that their countries were burdened with. The reason for this is quite simple, they weren’t necessary. To demonstrate why they weren’t necessary, I’ll use seven of the most important principles that were followed by the Mi’kmaq and many other North American First Nations:

1 - Great Spirit:

The people had a firm belief in the Great Spirit. They believed Him to be the epitome of all things’ good. Thus, they lived under His guidance and thanked Him profusely for blessing them with good health, good harvests, and so on.

The Great Spirit was the People’s guiding light. He was responsible for all existence, and was personified in all things, rivers, trees, spouses, children, friends etc. No initiatives were undertaken without first requesting His guidance. His creations, Mother Earth and the Universe, were accorded the highest respect. Religion was blended into daily life-it was lived. Nature, as was the case with most American civilizations, was the base that religious beliefs were built from.

2 - Honour:

Personal honour was a person’s most cherished possession. In fact, the People held it so precious that they would willingly give up their lives before seeing their honour besmirched. Thus, dishonourable conduct was almost unheard of.

This is how one young man responded when accidently struck with a broom being used by a servant, who, he believed, was evicting him.

"Ah, I prefer to die! What shall I look like, in the future, when I find myself in the public assemblies of my nation? And what esteem will there be for my courage when there is a question of going to war, after having been beaten and chased in confusion by a maidservant from the establishment of the Captain of the French? It were much better ... that I die."

3 - Sharing:

There was no such thing as greed. Everybody shared equally. The citizens of most Turtle Island civilizations put community first. This was in direct contrast to European civilizations, where personal wealth and welfare came first. This is how a missionary described it:

“They are in no wise ungrateful to each other, and share everything. No one would dare to refuse the request of another, nor to eat without giving him a part of what he has.”

4 - Tolerance for differences:

Racial discrimination and other forms of intolerance were unheard of. There are records which show that many First Nations, after the invasion brought foreigners to our shores, adopted black, white and any other colours of people into their Tribes as brothers and sisters. One did not have to born a First Nation person to be one.

Religious tolerance. This is how Seneca Chief Red Jacket responded to a white preacher’s attempts to convert his people to Christianity:

“Brother, we do not understand these things. We are told that your religion was given to your forefathers, and has been handed down from father to son. We also have a religion, which was given to our forefathers, and has been handed down to us, their children. We worship in that way. It teaches us to be thankful for all the favours we receive; to love each other, and to be united. We never quarrel about religion.

“Brother, the Great Spirit has made us all, but he has made a great difference between his white and red children. He has given us different complexions and different customs.... Since he has made so great a difference between us in other things, why may we not conclude that he has given us a different religion?...

“Brother, we do not wish to destroy your religion, or take it from you. We only want to enjoy our own.”

5 - Leadership:

Sieur de DiPreville wrote about leadership within Mi'kmaq society: “The cherished hope of leadership inspires resolve to be adept in the chase. For it is by such aptitude a man obtains the highest place; here there is no inherited position due to birth or lineage, merit alone uplifts. He who has won exalted rank, which each himself hopes to attain, will never be deposed, except for some abhorrent crime. No wise noteworthy are the honours paid his high estate, for he is merely first among a hundred..., more, or less, according to the size of his domain.” In plain English, leaders were equals among equals.

6 - Competition:

The urge to compete was a trait instilled in children at an early age and reinforced throughout adulthood. The competition to be the best hunter, the best leader, the best fisherman and so on kept the larders full and assured that the most qualified graduated to leadership. For most of their lives women also competed intensively to produce the finest clothing, designs and other things needed and valued by the Nation. However, the motivation for competing in First Nation societies was quite different from the motivation in European societies. In most First Nation cultures one competed to provide the best service and most wealth to his/her community. In European societies the competition was to see how much wealth one could accumulate for oneself.

7 - Civility and generosity:

Civility and generosity were so ingrained in Mi'kmaq society that to be rude or mean was unthinkable. In this regard Calvin Martin found that it was sometimes difficult to distinguish between genuine conversion and a tolerant assent to strange views:

“Such generosity even extended to the abstract realm of ideas, theories, stories, news and teachings. The Native host prided himself on his ability to entertain and give assent to a variety of views, even if they were contrary to his better judgement. In this institutionalized hospitality lies the key to understanding the frustration of the Priest, whose sweet converts one day were the relapsed heathens of the next. Conversion was often more a superficial courtesy, rather than an eternal commitment, something the Jesuits could not fathom.”

Most North American Indigenous societies were socially liberal. Instilled in them were ways for people to adopt children, get divorces, care for the incapacitated, and so on. When one prospered all prospered, when one suffered hardship, all suffered hardship. Respect and justice for all were the cardinal rules.

In conclusion, it is said by some - I haven’t followed it up - that Karl Marx’s Communist manifesto was modeled after the sharing civilizations found in North America. But, the imposition of such on Russia was doomed to fail from the start because civilizations of social excellence need to evolve over a long period of time, they cannot be invented and imposed.

The following is a good example of why it cannot be imposed with complete success. Although the provisions of the Constitution and Bill of Rights of the United States of America were copied to a large degree from the Iroquois Great Law of Peace, the ideals contained therein never succeeded for the Americans as they did for the Iroquois. This happened because the population of the country was tainted from birth by the presence of the worst of European traits - greed, intolerance, treachery, and so on - which are the evils that make strictly enforced intrusive laws necessary.

Related to the before mentioned, the Supreme Court of the United States is constantly fielding cases where groups of citizens, or individuals, are trying to circumvent, or subvert for their own advantage, the ideals of the country’s Constitution and Bill of Rights. Even the Court itself has been involved in twisting the Constitution’s ideals. For instance, until relatively recent times, equality provisions were interpreted in such a way that it produced rules that allowed for equal but separate status for people of color, which were used to degrade and segregate them.

During a 2001 visit to Kazakhstan Pope John Paul II advocated tolerance for differences among civilizations. Nursultan Nazarbayev, the country's Muslim President, was so impressed that he observed of the Pope: "probably one of the first leaders of the Roman Catholic Church who preaches conciliation between civilizations and between religious confessions." Perhaps one day humanity will reject Nationalist superiority claims and adopt the views of the Pope, and the civility and tolerance found in many of the civilizations of the Americas in 1492. Then, and only then, will the world's diverse cultures be able to accept one another as equals and live in peaceful coexistence. Although individual First Nation laws were diverse, they were not designed to belittle those of other First Nations, they were designed to promote tolerance among people.

Canada, its news media and many of its other institutions, are guilty of undermining the individuality of First Nation civilizations by lumping them into a thing they invented called "Aboriginal." Pick up a newspaper on any given day and you are likely to read a story about a First Nation that the paper identifies only as an aboriginal community, it rarely identifies which First Nation they report about - Cree, Mi'kmaq, Mohawk, etc. I think it is time that we insist that the individual identities of our First Nations be acknowledged in such stories, and that Canadian society stop using such terms as "aboriginal law," a thing that doesn’t exist.

Daniel N. Paul

April 21, 2006



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Last summer’s forest fire in the Sequoia National Forest in California has uncovered hundreds of American Indian relics, causing anthropologists to change their minds about the Indians who lived here thousands of years ago. As archaeologist Ken Wilson said, "This is about refining history, and there is still so much to learn."

Although road building is normally forbidden in this protected wilderness area, bulldozers had to construct emergency roads during the fire in order to get equipment to burning areas. Also, the flames were so fierce that they incinerated trees as well as underbrush, leaving a scorched, open plain. This created a rare opportunity for anthropologists to gain access to these unexplored wilderness areas.

The hills remain black with soot, dotted with splinters of dark wood that used to be tall trees. No living plants are visible, and even the roots of the trees were destroyed by the heat. Officials estimate that the forest will not be able to regenerate for 300 years.

So far, archaeologists have found more than 400 sites containing American Indian relics, some of them more than 3,000 years old. They discovered elaborate pictographs depicting swirling suns and stars that could have been used as calendars. In the last few years, Indians have revealed that they have always been in touch with the "Star People," so perhaps these images relate to this kind of contact.

The scientists came upon a large kitchen carved out of granite and found rocks that were used to extract fibers from fern stalks, which were then used to weave baskets. Also found were tools made of obsidian, that were used to clean animal hides. "We weren’t expecting to find anything of this magnitude," said Loreen J. Lomax, a U.S. Forest Service archaeologist.

The archaeologists think there were about 1,700 members of the Tubatulabal and Kawaiisu tribes in the area before they were driven out by miners and ranchers in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Historical writings from that time depict the Indians as unsophisticated hunters and gatherers who lived meager lives. But now a complex culture emerged from the mists of the past, one in which people cooperated by doing specific tasks that benefited the whole society. "This was a large, established community," Lomax said. "They were not isolated and they were not very territorial. As a whole, they worked as a group. And there was a connection, a spirituality."

Many descendents of American Indians who live in the region feel that discovering these relics has stirred up spirits from the past. It’s been reported that some of the arrowheads that were dug up were too hot to touch, despite being buried in soil for hundreds of years. Lomax was skeptical of these claims, until she found herself in the woods alone one day and believed she heard chanting. "It’s been an experience," she said.

The finds are putting local Indians back in touch with a culture they thought had been lost forever. The U.S. government moved their ancestors onto reservations in the 19th century where many were taught at Catholic schools and forbidden to speak their language or celebrate their rituals. With no written language, their history was lost. Leonard Manueo Jr., a member of the Bakalachi tribe, said, "It was like we were gone. But here we are."



Edited by REBEL

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Native American arts and crafts are more than paint, clay, minerals and carved wood. They are tablets that continue to record beliefs and traditions. They express history and spirituality. They communicate appreciation for life and reverence for the gifts and blessings many of us take for granted or feel are our due.

Perhaps most significant is that by recreating these ancestral mementos, tribal peoples show respect to their elders, who for thousands of years continued to teach the sacred knowledge to countless generations with painstaking accuracy.

European settlers challenged this knowledge time and again with an influx of social and technological influences and Christian beliefs, yet this knowledge has remained as pure as the truth on which it is based.


The hidden treasure locked within the creative patterns and decorative materials chosen by Native Americans reveals a long history based on secret teachings.

These teachings, while often shrouded in mystery, were fables similar to those depicted in the Bible as told by Christ. :mellow:

Often regarded as myth, the messages shared in these Aadizookaan, or traditional stories, relayed teachings based on tribal beliefs and spiritual laws.

Similar to the commandments followed by Christians, these teachings are guidelines for a life of morality based on truth.

Today, Native American tribes continue to share these ancient teachings through word and art, depicted particularly in ceremonial pieces and dress.


Hidden text and symbols are intrinsically interwoven in Native American design.

The extensive study of Native American geometry has shown it to be one of proportion and balance.

Anthropological evidence shows that this has been the case for thousands of years. It is no surprise, giving the intense spiritual nature of Native Americans, that all geometry starts with a simple circle, a symbol of completeness, that which makes one whole.

It is also of worthy note that this geometry has remained in tact through the generations and has never really been elaborated on or changed by creative whims. This is another indication of the depth of tradition and traditional values that Native Americans cherish as part of their heritage.

From these simple geometric symbols came staples of spirituality. More than just aesthetically pleasing decorations, the symbols and jewels used to embellish the utilitarian and ceremonial items have the following meanings:

* 4 Ages – Infancy, Youth, Middle age, Old Age

* Arrow – Protection

* Arrowhead – Alertness

* Bear Track – Good Omen

* Big Mountain – Abundance

* Bird – Carefree

* Butterfly – Everlasting life

* Cactus – Sign of the desert

* Cactus Flower – Courtship

* Cross – Paths crossing

* Crossed Arrows – Friendship

* Days and Nights – Time

* Dear Track – Plenty game

* Eagle Feathers – Chief

* Fence – Guarding Good Luck

* Gila Monster - Sign of the Desert

* Headdress – Ceremonial dance

* Hogan – Permanent Home

* Horse – Journey

* Lasso – Captivity

* Lightning and Lightning Arrow – Swiftness

* Man – Human Life

* Medicine Man’s Eye – Wise, Watchful

* Morning Stars – Guidance

* Rain Clouds – Good Prospects

* Rain Drop – Plentiful Crops

* Rattlesnake Jaw – Strength

* Running Water – Constant Life

* Saddlebags – Journey

* Sky Band – Leading to Happiness

* Snake – Defiance, Wisdom

* Sun Rays – Constancy

* Sun Symbol- Happiness

* Tee Pee – Temporary Home

* Thunderbird – Sacred bearer of happiness unlimited

* Thunderbird Track – Bright prospects


Native American arts and crafts are more than paint, clay, minerals and carved wood. They are tablets that continue to record beliefs and traditions. They express history and spirituality. They communicate appreciation for life and reverence for the gifts and blessings many of us take for granted or feel are our due.

Perhaps most significant is that by recreating these ancestral mementos, tribal peoples show respect to their elders, who for thousands of years continued to teach the sacred knowledge to countless generations with painstaking accuracy.

European settlers challenged this knowledge time and again with an influx of social and technological influences and Christian beliefs, yet this knowledge has remained as pure as the truth on which it is based.




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As settlers traveled across the plains and began homesteading in the West, Native Americans taught them how to treat illnesses with plants - Nature's medicine. Their rich heritage of herbal remedies has not been well-published although at least 200 of our modern prescription drugs were derived from herbs used by Native Americans. Now, Dr. Cichoke has remedied this lack with a very good overview of the more than 100 American herbs used by the early Americans.

Native American medicine shares many of the same principles as other herbal systems such as Traditional Chinese Medicine or Ayurveda. As is the case in most of the older traditions, the spiritural element is a primary component of healing. There are special procedures and ceremonies that are followed when gathering the plants, including prayer offerings. Herbs were used in many other ways besides treating illness - to ward off evil spirits, purifying herbs were used in smudging and in sweat lodges, to clear the mind and detoxify the body.


I particularly liked the layout of this book. Before getting to the individual herbs, Cichoke lists more than 25 phytochemicals found in the herbs used by the Native Americans, specific constituents that have since been proven to have medical benefits.

The herbs themselves are described fully in the next chapter; their many uses, and how to prepare a tea from plant constituents. Many of the herbs are familiar names: chamomile, echinacea, goldenseal, and St. John's wort, to name just a few. Parsley, which most folks don't recognize as an herb, is a good example:

"Parsley (Petroselinum crispum) is a biennial herb that grows almost everywhere. Most of us know parsley only as a garnish, but it is an effective diuretic. In fact, the Cherokee have used parsley to treat kidney and bladder problems. Parsley contains high levels of chlorophyll, so it works as an effective breath freshener when chewed. Parsley also contains very high levels of potassium and vitamin A and high levels of calcium, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, riboflavin, and vitamin C.

It is gratifying to see the many excellent authoratative books coming out on herbal medicine. The World Health Organization (WHO) is encouraging all countries to promote and adopt the use of traditional medicines.

Native Americans' spiritual beliefs made them respect all forms of life, particularly those plants used in healing, and there was an accompanying ceremony in the use of herbs, which was much more than certain words or phrases - it was a way of getting oneself in touch with the spirit world, where the true power of healing lies.

Extract from the book Secrets of Native American Herbal Remedies

by Anthony J. Cichoke, DC, PhD.


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Rebel, I love this thread, thanks to all for putting all the great information, pictures and wisdom up here. I was thinking about who my ancestors may have been and I decided to write this poem tonight . I needed to calm down, I was running around in other threads being a nuisance. I hope it's ok to add this poem.

what did you see

A dash of gray

Floating across the sea

Of never ending prairie

the never ending life

The beauty pierces me

I am small... we are small

Ahhhh..... breathe it in

Smoke parts the sky

I fall on the sea

Wait for the rumble of a million breathing as one

I am humbled at them all

for I am one

I hope this helps ya out some uhmunduh & for anyone else to at least try to trace/locate their NA heritage/lineage.

I havn't checked or try'd the 'Online Ancestory & DNA Projects' myself(i'm only of humble Italian heritage :D )so i don't know the detailed results but i'm assuming you only need basic medical records eg blood type, surnames-parents & grand parents blood types etc handy.

I'l try to look out for other sites that may also help.

Links just below.

Good Luck! :tu:



Extracts only:

Native American Genetics:

Because many people are of mixed origin, some are interested in 'genetics testing' to learn their roots. Native American genetics testing is one of the most popular tests. The Native Americans were the First Nation. However, once settlers from other countries moved to North America, the Native American race gradually diminished. Today, millions of people have Indian American roots. Yet, they are unaware of their lineage. Fortunately, there are many ways to learn about ones past and ancestors. By means of a genetics tests, you can discover your complete heritage. For example, perhaps your heritage includes Asian, African American, or Hispanic. If so, a full genetics tests will reveal this information.

The DNA Ancestry Project



Native American Ancestry:

Genealogy is a popular growing study amongst all ancestries, but tracing Native American ancestry for fundamental and personal purposes is more difficult than many people realize. Many people may choose to research their Native American ancestry for the purposes of joining a federally recognized tribe or they may just wish to verify family history. Sadly, tracing Native American ancestry is a daunting task.

There are several reasons why it may be more difficult to trace Native American ancestry than other races. Primarily, at the point in time when written records began to be kept, many Native Americans feared persecution and thus avoided putting anything relating to their heritage in writing. Further, some states such as Virginia, passed legislation many years ago that essentially destroyed all records of Native American ancestry by requiring all persons not of Caucasian descent to be classified as. The lack of adequate records makes it difficult for some individuals to trace their Native American ancestry beyond a certain point.

Though the Dawes Rolls may be of use to people trying to trace their Native American ancestry, remember that many did not record their information there whether out of fear or rebellion and the rolls were closed in 1907. Though many federal and tribal government officials still refer to the Dawes Rolls today, the absence of a name on the rolls is not necessarily proof that a person’s ancestry is not Native American. Still, many tribes require proof of direct ancestry from a name listed on the rolls as a requirement for membership in the tribe.

One of the best places to begin tracing Native American ancestry is within family heirlooms. You might be surprised how much information is recorded and saved in family bibles, photo albums, baby books, and other keepsakes. You might be able to obtain names from recorded family trees, newspaper clippings, birth announcements, death certificates and marriage licenses that have been saved over the years. Communicating with the eldest members of your family is the best way to garner this information.

Another possible source for tracing Native American ancestry is the Bureau of Indian Affairs. While the BIA cannot help individuals trace their ancestry and they do not maintain a central database of records, if you have enough information about an ancestor, they may be able to provide you with additional information. The National Archives is another place to conduct research. Both entities may charge for copies of specific records or publications.

If your purpose in determining your Native American ancestry is for admittance into a tribe, you should contact tribe officials to determine what their requirements are as they vary from tribe to tribe. In order for an individual tribe to be federally recognized, they must prove their continuous existence since at least 1900. Thus, each tribe may require varying degrees of proof of ancestry for admittance.

If you are truly insistent, you may be able to gather enough information in written records to verify your Native American ancestry, however, it may prove to be extremely difficult and time consuming. It is also possible to hire a professional researcher for a fee. Contact names and numbers can also be provided by the National Archives.

-Joseph Paige






Edited by REBEL

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Native American healing encompasses a very broad spectrum of practices and beliefs. These practices and beliefs vary throughout the different tribes of Native American, yet they all are generally based on spirituality, herbs, religion or a combination of all three. Native American healing practices and rituals were used to treat not only medical conditions but emotional and spiritual conditions, too.

here are many different Native American tribes. It would be impossible to list all of them in this article. It should be noted that some Native American healing practices are not even known by the general public. Many healing practices and rituals are kept as closely guarded secret among the tribes. They are only passed down from healers to the next generation of healers. What is known about Native American healing and rituals is very general and remains part of the mystery which continues to surround Native Americans.

The concept behind Native American healing is much different than Western medicine. Native Americans looked at the person as a whole and treated the

individual’s entire person, instead of focusing on just the illness or ailment. As many of you know, Native Americans believe that everything is interconnected – nature, plants, animals, the Earth, sky and so on. Many Native Americans believe that everything has a spirit. If a person had an illness it was thought to be due in part to a spiritual problem.

An important part of Native American healing involved cleansing and purifying the body. Sweat lodges, special drinks and herbs were often used by tribes for the purpose of cleansing the body. Another ritual was called smudging. This is when they would “smoke” a person or a place with the smoke from a sacred herb or plant. Sometimes the entire tribe was involved in ceremonies that were supposed to promote healing for an individual or the tribe as a whole. These ceremonies sometimes included painting their bodies, singing, praying, dancing, chanting, or taking substances that were reported to alter the mind.

Native American healing is very old. It is said to have roots in ancient East Indian and Chinese traditions. When the United States was settled many of the ancient healing practices became lost or were hidden from the whites. It was until the United States passed the American Indian Religious Freedom Act in 1978 did many of these rituals and practices become “legal.”

To put it plainly, because many of the Native American healing practices are shrouded in mystery and spirituality there are few scientific studies to prove whether it is a valid form of medicine that actually heals the body. However, many people swear by Native American healing. They say it not only heals, but it calms and relieves stress. Many people who have disease or illness will incorporate it in with their Western medicine plans.



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Let him be just and deal kindly with my people, for the dead are not powerless. Dead, did I say? There is no death, only change of worlds. -Chief Seattle

It does not require many words to speak the truth. -Chief Joseph

I have seen that in any great undertaking it is not enough for a man to depend simply upon himself. Lone Man (Isna-la-wica) Teton Sioux

To us, the ashes of our ancestors are sacred. -Chief Seattle (now where have i heard that before? :tu: )

Those that lie down with dogs, get up with fleas. -Blackfoot

Each person is his own judge. - Shawnee

Tribe follows tribe, nations follow nations like the tides of the sea. It is the order of nature, and regret is useless. -Chief Seattle

It is less of a problem to be poor, than to be dishonest. -Anishinabe

Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect. - Chief Seattle

Life is not separate from death. It only looks that way. -Blackfoot

Do right and fear no man. -Pima

Everything on the earth has a purpose, every disease an herb to cure it, and every person a mission. This is the Indian theory of existence. -Mourning Dove Salish

Man has responsibility, not power. -Native American Proverb (Tuscarora).

Force, no matter how concealed, begets resistance. -Lakota

When a man moves away from nature his heart becomes hard. -Lakota

Everything 'the power' does, it does in a circle. - Lakota (and suddenly the say'n ''what goes around comes around'' springs to mind :D )

Seek wisdom, not knowledge. Knowledge is of the past, Wisdom is of the future. -Lumbee

White men have too many chiefs. - Nez Perce

One does not go to the top of a mountain for water or to a white man for the truth. -Lakota

"Peace comes within the souls of men, when they realize their oneness with the Universe, when they realize it is really everywhere...it is within each one of us." -Black Elk.

"Lose your temper and you lose a friend; lie and you lose yourself." -Hopi

Brother, you say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit. If there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about it? Why not all agreed, as you can all read the Book? -"Red Jacket" - Senaca

"How smooth must be the language of the whites, when they can make right look like wrong, and wrong like right." -Black Hawk

My sun is set. My day is done. Darkness is stealing over me. Before I lie down to rise no more, I will speak to my people. -Red Cloud

And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell, and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being. -Black Elk

“Earth does not belong to us; we belong to earth.” -Chief Seattle

Man does not weave this web of life. He is merely a strand of it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. -Chief Seattle

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All interesting stuff Rebel.

I have to admit that I know next to nothing about the Native American Culture.

However it is good to see an opportunity to learn about it.

If I find any information I think is relevant I will have to post it here, but until then I shall watch your thread with baited breath...

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I'm only an amatuer @ this too AR...but, yea i agree it is awesomely interesting. :tu:



Extracts only:


Rank Death Toll Cause Centuries

1) 55 million Second World War 20C

2) 40 million Mao Zedong (mostly famine) 20C

3) 40 million Mongol Conquests 13C

4) 36 million An Lushan Revolt 8C

5) 25 million Fall of the Ming Dynasty 17C

6) 20 million Taiping Rebellion 19C

7) 20 million Annihilation of the American Indians 15C-19C linked-image

8) 20 million Iosif Stalin 20C

9) 19 million Mideast Slave Trade 7C-19C

10) 18 million Atlantic Slave Trade 15C-19C

11) 17 million Timur Lenk 14C-15C

12) 17 million British India (mostly famine) 19C

13) 15 million First World War 20C

14) 9 million Russian Civil War 20C

15) 8 million Fall of Rome 3C-5C

16) 8 million Congo Free State 19C-20C

17) 7 million Thirty Years War 17C

18) 5 million Russia's Time of Troubles 16C-17C

19) 4 million Napoleonic Wars 19C

20) 3 million Chinese Civil War 20C

21) 3 million French Wars of Religion 16C


What other people say:

* "The destruction of the Indians of the Americas was, far and away, the most massive act of genocide in the history of the world." David E. Stannard, American Holocaust: the Conquest of the New World (1992) page x

* "The Mohammedan Conquest of India is probably the bloodiest story in history." Will Durant, The Story of Civilization: I - Our Oriental Heritage (1935) page 459

* "Little did we guess that what has been called the century of the common man would witness as its outstanding feature more common men killing each other with greater facilities than any other five centuries together in the history of the world." Winston Churchill



The number of Indians who died at the hands of the European invaders is highly debatable, and it basically centers on two questions:

1. How many people lived in America before the population plummeted?

2. How many of the deaths during the plummeting can be blamed on human cruelty?

Pre-Columbian Population:

Pick a number, any number.

Sometimes it seems that this is the way historians decide how many Indians lived in the Americas before the European Contact. As The New York Public Library American History Desk Reference puts it, "Estimates of the Native American population of the Americas, all completely unscientific, range from 15 to 60 million." And even this cynical assessment is wrong. The estimates range from 8 to 145 million.

If you want to study the question of pre-Columbian population and its subsequent decline in detail, two good books to start with are David Henige, Numbers From Nowhere (1998) and Russell Thornton, American Indian Holocaust and Survival (1987).

Population of the Western Hemisphere in 1492 according to various experts:


The problem, of course, is that by the time that the Europeans got around to counting the Indians, there were a lot fewer to count

I've graphed the estimates chronlogically to show that the passage of time and the gathering of more information is still not leading toward a consensus. Over the past 75 years, estimates have bounced around wildly and ended up right back where they started -- *''around 40 million''*.




Edited by REBEL

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<333 Native Americans. I wish my mother let me grow up around Native Americans, considering I am mostly one, but alas. Great post :3

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Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Peleliu, Iwo Jima: the Navajo code talkers took part in every assault the U.S. Marines conducted in the Pacific from 1942 to 1945. They served in all six Marine divisions, Marine Raider battalions and Marine parachute units, transmitting messages by telephone and radio in their native language -- a code that the Japanese never broke.

The idea to use Navajo for secure communications came from Philip Johnston, the son of a missionary to the Navajos and one of the few non-Navajos who spoke their language fluently. Johnston, reared on the Navajo reservation, was a World War I veteran who knew of the military's search for a code that would withstand all attempts to decipher it. He also knew that Native American languages--notably Choctaw--had been used in World War I to encode messages.

Johnston believed Navajo answered the military requirement for an undecipherable code because Navajo is an unwritten language of extreme complexity. Its syntax and tonal qualities, not to mention dialects, make it unintelligible to anyone without extensive exposure and training. It has no alphabet or symbols, and is spoken only on the Navajo lands of the American Southwest. One estimate indicates that less than 30 non-Navajos, none of them Japanese, could understand the language at the outbreak of World War II.

Early in 1942, Johnston met with Major General Clayton B. Vogel, the commanding general of Amphibious Corps, Pacific Fleet, and his staff to convince them of the Navajo language's value as code. Johnston staged tests under simulated combat conditions, demonstrating that Navajos could encode, transmit, and decode a three-line English message in 20 seconds. Machines of the time required 30 minutes to perform the same job. Convinced, Vogel recommended to the Commandant of the Marine Corps that the Marines recruit 200 Navajos.

In May 1942, the first 29 Navajo recruits attended boot camp. Then, at Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, California, this first group created the Navajo code. They developed a dictionary and numerous words for military terms. The dictionary and all code words had to be memorized during training.

Once a Navajo code talker completed his training, he was sent to a Marine unit deployed in the Pacific theater. The code talkers' primary job was to talk, transmitting information on tactics and troop movements, orders and other vital battlefield communications over telephones and radios. They also acted as messengers, and performed general Marine duties.

Praise for their skill, speed and accuracy accrued throughout the war. At Iwo Jima, Major Howard Connor, 5th Marine Division signal officer, declared, "Were it not for the Navajos, the Marines would never have taken Iwo Jima." Connor had six Navajo code talkers working around the clock during the first two days of the battle. Those six sent and received over 800 messages, all without error.

The Japanese, who were skilled code breakers, remained baffled by the Navajo language. The Japanese chief of intelligence, Lieutenant General Seizo Arisue, said that while they were able to decipher the codes used by the U.S. Army and Army Air Corps, they never cracked the code used by the Marines. The Navajo code talkers even stymied a Navajo soldier taken prisoner at Bataan. (About 20 Navajos served in the U.S. Army in the Philippines.) The Navajo soldier, forced to listen to the jumbled words of talker transmissions, said to a code talker after the war, "I never figured out what you guys who got me into all that trouble were saying."

In 1942, there were about 50,000 Navajo tribe members. As of 1945, about 540 Navajos served as Marines. From 375 to 420 of those trained as code talkers; the rest served in other capacities.

Navajo remained potentially valuable as code even after the war. For that reason, the code talkers, whose skill and courage saved both American lives and military engagements, only recently earned recognition from the Government and the public.

The Navajo Code Talker's Dictionary

When a Navajo code talker received a message, what he heard was a string of seemingly unrelated Navajo words. The code talker first had to translate each Navajo word into its English equivalent. Then he used only the first letter of the English equivalent in spelling an English word. Thus, the Navajo words "wol-la-chee" (ant), "be-la-sana" (apple) and "tse-nill" (axe) all stood for the letter "a." One way to say the word "Navy" in Navajo code would be "tsah (needle) wol-la-chee (ant) ah-keh-di- glini (victor) tsah-ah-dzoh (yucca)."

Most letters had more than one Navajo word representing them. Not all words had to be spelled out letter by letter. The developers of the original code assigned Navajo words to represent about 450 frequently used military terms that did not exist in the Navajo language. Several examples: "besh- lo" (iron fish) meant "submarine," "dah-he- tih-hi" (hummingbird) meant "fighter plane" and "debeh-li-zine" (black street) meant "squad."

Department of Defense Honors Navajo Veterans

Long unrecognized because of the continued value of their language as a security classified code, the Navajo code talkers of World War II were honored for their contributions to defense on Sept. 17, 1992, at the Pentagon, Washington, D.C.

Thirty-five code talkers, all veterans of the U.S. Marine Corps, attended the dedication of the Navajo code talker exhibit. The exhibit includes a display of photographs, equipment and the original code, along with an explanation of how the code worked.

Dedication ceremonies included speeches by the then-Deputy Secretary of Defense Donald Atwood, U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona and Navajo President Peterson Zah. The Navajo veterans and their families traveled to the ceremony from their homes on the Navajo Reservation, which includes parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

The Navajo code talker exhibit is a regular stop on the Pentagon tour.

12 August 1997

Research by Alexander Molnar Jr., U.S. Marine Corps/U.S. Army (Ret.)

Prepared by the Navy & Marine Corps WWII Commemorative Committee


Navajo Code Talkers


W/T Sgt. Murrey Marder

Marine Corps Combat Correspondent

Reprinted by permission of The Marine Corps Gazette

Through the Solomons, in the Marianas, at Peleliu, Iwo Jima, and almost every island where Marines have stormed ashore in this war, the Japanese have heard a strange language gurgling through the earphones of their radio listening sets--a voice code which defies decoding.

To the linguistically keen ear it shows a trace of Asiatic origin, and a lot of what sounds like American double-talk. This strange tongue, one of the most select in the world, is Navajo, embellished with improvised words and phrases for military use. For three years it has served the Marine Corps well for transmitting secret radio and telephone messages in combat.

The dark-skinned, black-haired Navajo code talker, huddled over a portable radio or field phone in a regimental, divisional or corps command post, translating a message into Navajo as he reads it to his counterpart on the receiving end miles away, has been a familiar sight in the Pacific battle zone. Permission to disclose the work of these American Indians in marine uniform has just been granted by the Marine Corps.

Transmitting messages which the enemy cannot decode is a vital military factor in any engagement, especially where combat units are operating over a wide area in which communications must be maintained by radio. Throughout the history of warfare, military leaders have sought the perfect code--a code which the enemy could not break down, no matter how able his intelligence staff.

Most codes are based on the codist's native language. If the language is a widely-used one, it also will be familiar to the enemy and no matter how good your code may be the enemy eventually can master it. Navajo, however, is one of the world's "hidden" languages; it is termed "hidden," along with other Indian languages, as no alphabet or other symbols of it exist in the original form. There are only about 55,000 Navajos, all concentrated in one region, living on Government reservations and intensely clannish by nature, which has confined the tongue to its native area.

Except for the Navajos themselves, only a handful of Americans speak the language. At the time the Marine Corps adopted Navajo as a voice code it was estimated that not more than 28 other persons, American scientists or missionaries who lived among the Navajos and studied the language for years, could speak Navajo fluently. In recent years, missionaries and the Interior Department's Bureau of Indian Affairs have worked on the compilation of dictionaries and grammars of the language, based on its phonetics, to reduce it to writing. Even with these available it is said that a fluency can be acquired from prepared texts only by persons who are highly educated in English and who have made a lengthy study of spoken and written Navajo.

One of the reasons which prompted the Marine Corps to adopt Navajo, in preference to a variety of Indian tongues as used by the AEF in the last war, was a report that Navajos were the only Indian group in the United States not infested with German students during the 20 years prior to 1941, when the Germans had been studying tribal dialects under the guise of art students, anthropologists, etc. It was learned that German and other foreign diplomats were among the chief customers of the Bureau of Indian Affairs for the purchase of publications dealing with Indian tribes, but it was decided that even if Navajo books were in enemy hands it would be virtually impossible for the enemy to gain a working knowledge of the language from that meager information. In addition, even ability to speak Navajo fluently would not necessarily enable the enemy to decode a military message, for the Navajo dictionary does not list military terms, and words.





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I collect pictures


Edited by Kaylee

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I have a lot, you have all probably seen these though. I also have a link somewhere with Native American models in bikini's ;) lol..




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Those pics are awesome Kaylee!! :tsu:

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War Eagle

Agreed! Those photos are priceless.

Old photos like that capture them as they were for thousands of years before they were slowly & unjustly converted/transformed.

err...anytime you want to post those *cough bikini cough* pics feel free to do so.



Traveling The Spiritual Path:

The Struggle For Native American

Religious Freedom

I've been beaten, chained, humiliated and shipped from facility to facility by prison officials as payment for my persistence. These are the dues I've paid for the right to pray in my tribal ways . . ."


inmate was "charged, hit, thrown to the floor, limbs wrenched, handcuffed, and shackled, carried out of his cell to the middle of the quad where his head [was] forcibly shaved while guards [held] him and [laughed] and onlookers [watched]"


"About 9 or 10 other guards handcuffed me behind my back real hard and put leg shackles on me and made me go in a room with all of them. Then they shoved a table in front of the door so nobody could get out. Then . . . the Asst. Supt. said that I am going to get a hair cut one way or the other and that they didn't care if I was Geronimo . . . . [T]he guards all took my leg shackles and handcuffs real hard and held me down and this barber . . . came over and cut my hair into a raggedy mess. That is when they all started laughing and [the major] said that now I could get some white religion."

Native American Spirituality

Since the arrival of the "white man" to the lands of what is now known as the United States, Native Americans have been fighting to keep their spiritual practices alive.Right from the beginning, Native American religious practices were misunderstood and forbidden. Christian missionaries believed that Native Spirituality was a "worthless superstition inspired by the Christian devil, Satan."(4) The United States government tried to force Christianity upon the Indians in a desperate attempt to destroy their traditions and to assimilate them into white Christian society; but it soon became "apparent to United States political and Christian leaders that the political and religious forms of tribal life were so closely intertwined as to be inseparable, and that in order to successfully suppress tribal political activity, it was imperative that tribal religious activity be suppressed as well."(5)

As the United States government realized early on, Native American spirituality differs from Christian religious doctrine. For Christians, there is a distinct separation between religious practice and everyday activity.(6) For Native Americans, however, no such clear-cut distinction exists because religion cannot be separated from everyday life.(7) Even using the word "religion" to describe Native American spirituality is misguided, because it fails to take into consideration the inseparable connection between spirituality and culture. One cannot exist without the other. Native American spiritual observances are "guided by cycles, seasons and other natural related occurrences,"(8) and these spiritual aspects are inextricably woven into the culture itself.

by Laura Brooks

Extract only.

Full story: http://www.dickshovel.com/nar.html



Edited by REBEL

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