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 Native American Wisdom Sayings and Discussion

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lightsun
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PostSubject: native   Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:02 pm

XIX. TURTLE ISLAND :
Northern America has been called Turtle Island by many Native tribes for generations. The reference stems from
a belief that the continent was placed upon the Great Turtle's back. Drawings of North America often depict the
land as a turtle, and some use the tortoise as a representation of their tribes.
"Indians love their friends and kindred, and treat them with kindness."
Cornplanter (1736-1836)
Seneca
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PostSubject: native   Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:22 pm

XX. CHILDREN ARE THE FUTURE :
Children are gifts of the Creator and ourselves. By raising them to the best of our
ability, we are reciprocating that gift and showing our thankfulness for life and for
the blessings of the Great Spirit. This requires much time, love, forgiveness, and
understanding on the part of the parents and grandparents-but the rewards for
the child (and for the community as a whole) are immeasurable.
Also, it is nit enough to raise your own children and grandchildren. You should
bestow what you can to all children of the Earth.




"It is strictly believed and understood by the Sioux that a child is the greatest gift
from Wakan Tanka in response to many devout prayers, sacrifices, and promises.
Therefore the child is considered "sent by Wakan Tanka" through some element-
namely the element of human nature."
Robert Higheagle
Teton Sioux early 20th century
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PostSubject: native   Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:39 pm

XXI. THE IMPORTANCE OF DANCE :
For generations upon generations, dance has played a significant role in the
spiritual and cultural life of Native peoples from all over the American continent.
It may represent an event such as the end of a harvest, or it may symbolize a
spiritual legend or teaching
Dancers are taught not only the meaning of the dance, but the meaning of every
element within the dance-such as the custom, the steps, the cultural history, and
the decoration of the community event. Examples of such events include the Corn
Dance, the Butterfly Dance, the Hoop Dance, and the Sunrise Dance.


"It is a strict law that bids us dance. It is a strict law that bids us distribute our
property among our friends and neighbors."
Anonymous. Kwakiutl c. 1886
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PostSubject: native   Sat Oct 10, 2009 12:49 am

XXII. HOW TO SAY I LOVE YOU :
Cheyenne : Nemehotatse
Chickasaw : Chiholloli
Hawaiian : Aloha I'a Au Oe
Hopi : Nu umi unangwa'ta
Mohawk : Konoronhkwa
Navaho : Ayor anosh'ni
Ojibway : Gi zah gin
Zuni : Tom ho' ichema
"Love is something you and I must have. We must have it
because our spirit feeds upon it.
Chief Dan George (1899-1981)
Coast Salish
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PostSubject: Re: Native American Wisdom Sayings and Discussion   Sat Oct 10, 2009 4:50 pm

lightsun,
you make us read: dancers are taught the meaning ....

i gather: the teaching methods may have been a far cry from "western" education and teaching methods.

diagnosing diaspora living. Arrow
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PostSubject: native   Sat Oct 10, 2009 4:58 pm

Yes, this is true. I do not know the truth of this, but, yet, ancient cultures, matriarchal
societies, the dance and its wisdom, use the right and creative brain versus the "logical"
brain, on the left.
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PostSubject: Re: Native American Wisdom Sayings and Discussion   Sat Oct 10, 2009 5:13 pm

lightsun wrote:
Yes, this is true. I do not know the truth of this, but, yet, ancient cultures, matriarchal societies, the dance and its wisdom, use the right and creative brain versus the "logical"
brain, on the left.

neither has the ancestral certitude and trust remained unbroken in any of our cultures, imho.
i41 often become - quite unnecessarily - confused.. which is unwholesome and unbecoming to any individual left alone with the experience.
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PostSubject: native   Sat Oct 10, 2009 5:26 pm

I am confused in this world and society. I think it goes back to child rearing, as well
as education. I think we are getting it wrong. I think not enough time, resources,
and money, time, tribulation, or worry is put into the subject. As such, we lag
behind other countries and communities in the world. We not only lag behind
educationally but culturally, and thus our future generations have a much harder,
more confused and neurotic society to deal with.
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PostSubject: Re: Native American Wisdom Sayings and Discussion   Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:02 pm

lightsun wrote:
I am confused in this world and society. I think it goes back to child rearing, as well
as education. I think we are getting it wrong. I think not enough time, resources, and money, time, tribulation, or worry is put into the subject. As such, we lag
behind other countries and communities in the world. We not only lag behind
educationally but culturally, and thus our future generations have a much harder,
more confused and neurotic society to deal with.

does a common language cover this perception as being sufficient for hope?
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PostSubject: native   Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:13 pm

No. We speak different languages, even if on the surface, the language is same. We use different
dialects, with different meanings and values. It is apparently schizophrenic, with chaos. Confusion
and misery abound in our difficulty in communicating with each other. Simple precepts can not
be digested and acted on accordingly. We can only follow our individual path. Hopefully finding
like minds and spirits & souls, as well as hearts.
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PostSubject: Re: Native American Wisdom Sayings and Discussion   Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:33 pm

lightsun wrote:
No. We speak different languages, even if on the surface, the language is same. We use different dialects, with different meanings and values. It is apparently schizophrenic, with chaos. Confusion
and misery abound in our difficulty in communicating with each other. Simple precepts can not
be digested and acted on accordingly. We can only follow our individual path. Hopefully finding like minds and spirits & souls, as well as hearts.

there is this ring of awkwardness in the middle of the awesome truth.
when everything is a circle, what is an individual path like?

there seems to be a confusion between mystery and secrecy. the latter translates to: search mandatory, findings taboo.
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PostSubject: native   Sat Oct 10, 2009 6:45 pm

The path is in all dimensions. It can be circular around the mountain of truth. It can be
parallel with a person, for a while. But, ultimately each person's path is unique, special
and independent. We can help each other when we are on the same plateau, or same piece
of driftwood, or crossing the same stream, desert, mountain path.
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PostSubject: Re: Native American Wisdom Sayings and Discussion   Sat Oct 10, 2009 8:22 pm

lavender orchid wrote:
there is this ring of awkwardness in the middle of the awesome truth.
when everything is a circle, what is an individual path like?

there seems to be a confusion between mystery and secrecy. the latter translates to: search mandatory, findings taboo.
Mystery: something inherently unknowable (you will not know until you die)
Secret: something artificially unknowable (I could tell you, but then I would have to kill you)

A very tiny segment of a circle is approximately linear. A line, infinite through the curvature of space, eventually connects to its origin.
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PostSubject: Re: Native American Wisdom Sayings and Discussion   Sat Oct 10, 2009 8:42 pm

Romana wrote:
lavender orchid wrote:
there is this ring of awkwardness in the middle of the awesome truth.
when everything is a circle, what is an individual path like?

there seems to be a confusion between mystery and secrecy. the latter translates to: search mandatory, findings taboo.
Mystery: something inherently unknowable (you will not know until you die)
Secret: something artificially unknowable (I could tell you, but then I would have to kill you)

A very tiny segment of a circle is approximately linear. A line, infinite through the curvature of space, eventually connects to its origin.

yes. explainable today in mathematical terms and demonstrable by physics.

my intuition, however, opens the circle to an infinite spiral ... which is no secret and will not give away the mystery, but grants me a belonging otherwise denied. and that's a grouse i have with communications and relationships, with being and having.
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PostSubject: native   Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:43 am

The TEN Native American Commandments :
1. Treat the Earth and all that dwell theron with respect.
2. Remain close to the Great Spirit, in all that you do.
3. Show great respect for your fellow beings (especially respect yourself).
4. Work together for the benefit of all mankind.
5. Give assistance and kindness wherever needed.
6. Do what you know to be right (but be careful not to fall into self righteousness).
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 (especially be truthful and honest with yourself).
10. Take full responsibility for your actions.
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PostSubject: native   Sun Oct 25, 2009 7:07 pm

XXIII. The Dreamcatcher
The dreamcatcher is an easily recognizable piece of Native Americana. There are two kinds of
dreamcatchers. The first, for children, will include feathers and is made from willow so that it
will eventually fall apart (representing the child growing out of childhood). The adult dreamcatcher
is usually made with a center feather and beads. It is made of woven fiber and will last longer.
All dreamcatchers have some type of representation of the four directions as well as a spider's
web, and will be made from all natural material. The dreamcatcher is only to be placed on the
wall above the bed of the person the dreamcatcher was made for. It must be made from hand.
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PostSubject: CHIEF SEATTLE   Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:11 pm


Chief Seattle Prayer : art by Pam McCabe
Part I. Chief Seattle Great Speech :
No speech ever given by an Indian leader has been so widely quoted, or so widely
revered, as the speech given by Chief Seattle of the Suquamish people in 1853.
Suqwamish and Duwamish born in 1786, and died in 1866
Seattle was a Christian and an ally of the white man. He agreed to settle the
Washington tribes on reservations in 1855. He gave a speech to the governor of
Washington Territory in 1853.
Its setting was a cold December day on the shores of the area the Indians called
"the Whulge," and the white people called Puget Sound in what is now the state
of Washington. Over a thousand Indians had gathered to await the arrival of a ship
carrying Isaac Stevens, who had recently been appointed by President Pierce to
serve as the governor of the newly created Washington Territory. The Indians knew
little about Stevens, but they knew that he carried their fate in his hands. Their
vigil on the wintry shores was as much an act of curiosity as a gesture of respect.
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PostSubject: CHIEF SEATTLE   Thu Oct 29, 2009 11:32 pm

Part II. Chief Seattle's Great Speech :
When the ship carrying Stevens arrived, the new governor stepped on shore without ceremony.
He was a diminutive man, brusque in his manner and direct in his approach to people and problems.
He had been appointed to facilitate the settling of the area, and to do so he had to remove the
native inhabitants so they would not impede the progress of the white settlers. He was anxious
to get on with the matter.
He began speaking in rapid-fire sentences that even the interpreters were hard pressed to understand.
Little was clear to the Indian people, except that this man intended to remove them from their
ancestral lands and place them on prison plots of earth he called "reservations."
When Stevens was done speaking, the Indians turned toward Chief Seattle. He had long been
recognized as the leader of the allied tribes of the Whulge. It was only natural that he should
speak for them all.
Seattle was a thoughtful man. Though he had achieved his early reputation by his military prowess,
it had always bee his conviction that talk toward peace was preferable to actions toward war.
When the whites had begun arriving in the 1830's, he had welcomed them, and even converted
to their Christian religion. While other tribes had banded together to resist this foreign encroachment,
Seattle had kept his people of the Whulge as far from battle as he could.
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PostSubject: CHIEF SEATTLE   Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:00 am

Part III. Chief Seattle's Great Speech :

Even after 1851, when the emigration across the Oregon Trail had brought legions of settlers
Into the Northwest, Seattle ha continued to believe that the bounty of the land would provide
for all, and he had continued to help the settlers establish a life on his beloved Whulge.
But as the years had progressed, and white settlement had increased, Seattle had come to realize
that the two cultures could not easily coexist. Indian willingness to share the land had been
interpreted by the settlers as an offer of permanent ownership. The Indian tradition of gift-giving
was being exploited by the more commerce minded whites who were intent moon advantage,
not fairness and honor. E en the white justice system was encroaching on the Indian ways.
Disagreements between Indians were being adjudicated by the white government, even though
the Indians had given them no authority to do so.
Seattle knew that the haughty little man who had emerged from the ship represented the end of
the Indians dreams and visions as a free people.
So it was with a sense of sadness, mixed with no little contempt and scorn, that Seattle, the friend
and benefactor of the white immigrants, rose to speak in response to the new governor.
He chose his words carefully, and, as was the Indian way, he spoke clearly and from the heart. When
he had finished, he had uttered one of the most moving eulogizes, and prescient admonitions, ever
spoken.
His words have been preserved in many documents. This version here is the version transcribed by
Dr. Henry Smith as he sat on the shores of the Whulge, listening to Seattle Speak.
Here is Chief Seattle's speech :
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PostSubject: CHIEF SEATTL   Fri Oct 30, 2009 12:30 am

Part IV. Chief Seattle's Great Speech :
Yonder sky that has wept tears of compassion upon my people for centuries untold, and which to us appears
changeless and eternal, mau change. Today is fair. Tomorrow it may be overcast with clouds.
My words are like the stars that never change. Whatever Seattle says, the Great Chief at Washington can rely
upon with as much certainty as he can upon the return of the sun or the seasons.
The White Chief (Governor Stevens) says that the Big Chief in Washington sends us greetings of friendship and
goodwill. This is kind of him, for we know he has little need of our friendship in return.
His people are many. They are like the grass that covers vast prairies.
My people are few. They resemble the scared trees of a storm swept plain.
The Great Chief sends us word that he wishes to buy our lands, but is willing to allow us enough to live comfortably.
This indeed appears just, even generous, for the red man no longer has rights that he need to respect. And the
offer may be wise also, as we are no longer in need of extensive country.
There was a time when our people covered the land as the waves of a wind ruffled sea cover its shell paved
floor. But that time long since has passed away with the greatness of tribes now but a mournful memory.
I will not dwell upon, nor mourn over, our untimely decay, nor reproach my white
brothers with hastening it, as we too may have been somewhat to blame.
Youth is impulsive. When our young men grow angry at some real or imaginary
wrong, and disfigure their faces with black paint, it denotes that their hearts are
black, and that they are often cruel and relentless, and our old men and old women
are unable to restrain them.
Thus it has ever been. Thus it was when the white man first began to push our
forefathers westward.
But let us hope that the hostilities between us may never return. We have everything
to lose and nothing to gain.
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PostSubject: CHIEF SEATTLE   Fri Oct 30, 2009 1:41 am

Part V. Chief Seattle's Great Speech :

Revenge by young men is considered gain, even at the cost of their own lives. But the old men
who stay at home in times of war, and mothers who have sons to lose, know better.
Our good father at Washington, for I presume he is now our father as well as yours, since King
George has moved his boundaries further north. Our great and good father, I say sends us word
that if we do as he desires, he will protect us. His brave warriors will be to us a bristling wall of
strength, and is wonderful ships of war will fill our harbor so that ancient enemies far to the
northward-the Haidas and the Tshimshian, will cease to frighten our women, children, and old men.
Then in reality will be our father and we his children.
But can that ever be?
Your God is not our God. Your God loves your people and hates mine. He folds his strong protecting
arms lovingly about the white man and leads him by the hand as a father leads his infant son. But
he has forsaken his red children, if the are really his.
Our God the Great Spirit, seems to have forsaken us. Your God makes your people wax strong
every day. Soon they will fill all the land. Our people are ebbing away like a rapidly receding tide
that will never return.
The white man's God cannot love our people or he would protect them. They seem to be orphans
who can look nowhere for help.
How then can we be brothers? How can your God become our God and renew our prosperity and
awaken in us dreams of returning greatness?
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PostSubject: CHIEF SEATTLE   Fri Oct 30, 2009 2:11 am

Part VI. Chief Seattle Great Speech :
If we have a common heavenly father he must be partial. Or he came to his white children. We
never saw him. He gave you laws but had no word for his red children whose teeming multitudes
once filled this vast continent as stars fill the firmament.
No, we are two distinct races with separate origins and separate destinies. There is little in
common between us.
To us, the ashes of our ancestors are sacred, and their resting place is hallowed ground. You
wander far from the graves of your ancestors, and seemingly without regret.
Your religion was written upon tablets of stone by the iron finger of your God s that you could not
forget. The red man could never comprehend nor remember it.
Our religion is the traditions of our ancestors : the dreams of our old men, given them in the solemn
hours of night by the Great Spirit, and the visions of our sachems, and it is written in the hearts of
our people.
Your dead cease to love you and the land of their nativity as soon as they pass the portals of the tomb
and wander way beyond the stars. They are soon forgotten and never return.
Our dead never forget the beautiful world that gave them being. They still love its verdant valleys,
its murmuring rivers, its magnificent mountains, sequestered vales and verdant lined lakes and bays,
and ever yearn in tender, fond forgotten over the lonely hearted living, and often return from the Great
Beyond to visit, guide, console, and comfort them.
Day and night cannot dwell together. The red man has ever fled the approach of the white man, as the
morning mist flees before the mourning sun.
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PostSubject: CHIEF SEATTLE   Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:26 am

Part VII. Chief Seattle's Great Speech :
However, your proposition seems fair and I think that my people will accept it and will retire to
the reservation you offer them. Then we will dwell in peace, for the words of the Great White
Chief seem to be the words of nature speaking to my people out of dense darkness.
It matters little where we may pass the remnant of our days. They will not be many. The Indians'
night promises to be dark. Not a single star of hope hovers above his horizon.
Sad voiced winds moan in the distance. Grim fate seems to be on the red man's trail, and wherever
he goes he will hear the approaching footsteps of his fell destroyer and prepare stolidly to meet
his doom, as does the wounded doe that hears the approaching footsteps of the hunter.
A few more moons, a few more winters-and not one of the descendants of the mighty hosts that
once moved over this broad land or lived in happy homes, protected by the Great Spirit, will remain
to mourn over the graves of a people once more powerful and hopeful than yours.
But why should I mourn at the untimely fate of my people? Tribe follows tribe, and nation follows
nation, like the waves of the sea. It is the order of nature, and regret is useless.
Your tome of decay may be distant, but it surely will come. For even the white man, whose God
talked with him as a friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny.
We may all be brothers after all. We shall see.
We will ponder your proposition and when we decide, we will let you know. But should we accept
it, I here and now make this condition, that we will not denied the privilege without molestation of
visiting at any time the tombs of our ancestors, friends, and children.
Every part of this soil is sacred in the estimation of my people. Every hillside, every valley, every
plain and grove, has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished.
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PostSubject: CHIEF SEATTLE   Fri Oct 30, 2009 3:56 am

Part VIII. Chief Seattle's Great Speech :
Even the rocks, which seem to be dumb and dead as they swelter in the sun along the silent shore,
thrill with memories of stirring events connected with the lives of my people. And the very dust
upon which you now stand responds more lovingly to their footsteps than to yours, because it is
rich with the blood of our ancestors and our bare feet are conscious of the sympathetic touch.
Our departed braves, fond mothers, glad, happy hearted maidens, and even our little children
who lived here and rejoiced here for a brief season, will love these somber solitudes, and at eventide
they greet shadowy returning spirits.
And when the last red man shall have perished, and the memory of my tribe shall become a myth
among the white men, these shores will swarm with the invisible dead of my dead.
And when your children's children think themselves alone in the field, the store, the shop, upon
the highway, or in the silence of the pathless woods, they will not be alone.
In all the earth there is no place dedicated to solitude. At night, when the streets of your cities and
villages are silent, and you think them deserted, they will throng with the returning hosts that
once filled them and still love this beautiful land. The white man shall never be alone.
Let him be just and deal kindly with my people. For the dead are not powerlessness.
Dead, did I say? There is no death. Only a change of worlds.
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