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Thread: Star Nation Teachings - Wisdomkeepers

  1. #11
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    Maya Creation Story and the Milky Way


    "How should it be sown, how should it dawn?" . . . And then the Earth arose because of them, it was simply their word that brought it forth. For the forming of the Earth they said "Earth." It arose suddenly, just like a cloud, like a mist, now forming, unfolding. . . . Such was the formation of the Earth when it was brought forth by the Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth, as they are called. . . The Sky was set apart, and the Earth was set apart in the midst of the waters. (Popol Vuh)

    Creation of the Earth-Sky is the central motif of Maya myth and religion.

    The creation of the present world, the world of humankind, was only one act in an eternal cycle of birth, death, and renewal. The cycles of the seasons and the stars in their courses are reflections of this cosmic dance. The events of Creation are writ in the sky.

    The World Tree and the Milky Way..
    [When the world was created] a pillar of the sky was set up . . . that was the white tree of abundance in the north. Then the black tree of abundance was set up [in the west]. . . . Then the yellow tree of abundance was set up [in the south]. Then the [great] green [ceiba] tree of abundance was set up in the center [of the world]. (Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel)

    I realized that every major image from Maya cosmic symbolism was probably a map of the sky. . . . [The] patterns in the Milky Way and the constellations were directly related to the Maya vision of Creation. (Linda Schele in Freidel, Schele and Parker, Maya Cosmos)

    The World Tree is the most pervasive Mesoamerican symbol of the creation and ordering of the world. It is the axis of the Earth-Sky. Its roots lie in Xibalba, the Underworld; Its top reaches into the heavens. In the Book of Chilam Balam of Chumayel, it is the Yax Imix Che, (first/green ceiba tree), "raised in the middle of the world." In the Temple of the Cross at Palenque, it is the Wakah Chan, the "raised up sky." Through the centre of the "cross" runs a serpent bar, representing the ecliptic. At its top is a great bird, Itzam-Yeh, high in the heavens. At its foot is a water monster, his mouth the entrance to the Underworld.

    Temple of the Cross

    Linda Schele discovered that the World Tree is a literal depiction of the heavens as well as an abstract symbol. Her investigations, vividly recounted in Maya Cosmos, led her to the conclusion that the Milky Way is the World Tree. The Maya long count was initiated on or about August 13 in 3114 BC, the date of Creation. At dawn in mid-August, the Milky Way stands erect, running through the zenith from north to south. It becomes the axis of the heavens, the raised up sky.

    But the connection between Creation and the Milky Way does not end here. Schele discovered that the changing aspect of the Milky Way on the night of August 13 every year reflects the events recorded in Maya accounts of Creation.

    Maya Creation mythology: The sources. The fullest surviving account of Creation is found in the post-Conquest Popol Vuh of the Quiche people of Guatemala. The oldest evidence is from monuments at Izapa and other pre-Classical sites (400 BC- 200 AD). Many of the incidents recounted in the Popol Vuh parallel scenes on painted ceramics of the Classical period (200-900 AD). The Temple of the Cross at Palenque and other Classical inscriptions report the events of Creation, though in a condensed, sometimes cryptic manner.

    These sources do not always agree in detail. Nevertheless, they show a remarkable continuity in the Maya conception of the cosmos over two millennia of history.

    Izapa World Tree (Stela 25). The crocodile represents the Earth, its hills symbolized by the rough skin of the reptile, a characteristic shared with the bark of the ceiba tree.

  2. #12
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    gwiingwa'aage - An Ojibwe Legend

    This story was originally told by Tobasanokwut Kinew, but I [Meshekigiizhig] translated it into Anishinaabemowin.

    Chizhaazhe igo, niio manidowag gii gizhiibizowaad dawaamagading. Bezhigo eta manido gii nandawendad ji-mbizod besho-aki zaam gii nandawendad ji-zegi’ad kina bimaadizijig gii endawaad akiing. Aanawi, mii sa wa manido gii mbizod zaam niibina besho-akiing miinwaa gii baashkabooniid akiing. Pii mii maanda gaa ezhiwebag, gii ni-naagwad basadinaa. Shkwaa bangii boonigag, mii sa wi basadinaa gii mooshkinebazhamagad miinwaash miishkonsag miinwaa mtigwag gii maajiigiwaad giiwitaaoshkizaagaa’iganing. Miidash ingo-giizhig, bezhigo eta wesiinh gii mookibiid miinwaa gii mashkwizid miinwaa gii aakwaadizid. Anishinaabeg gaa’iin wiika gii waabmsii’awad jibwaa wa wesiinh. Aanawi, kina goya gii gikendawaad gii onjibad wa wesiinh…zaam gii dibishkoo wa manido ge gii baashkabooniid chizhaazhe igo. Zaam maanda, gii wiinzh’awad wa oshki-wesiinh “gwiingwa’aage.” “Gwiingwa” edaaman “shooting star” miinwaa “–aage” edaaman “where something originated from”…miidash “gwiingwa’aage” edaaman “The one that originates from a shooting star.”

    Long ago, four spirits were flying fast in the heavens. One spirit wanted to fly close to Earth because he wanted to scare them all the people who lived on earth. But, that spirit he did fly too close to Earth and crash-landed on Earth. When this happened, a valley appeared. After a few years, that valley did fill-up with water and then grass and trees started to grow around the new lake. So then one day, just one wild animal he did emerge from the water. and he was strong and he was fierce. The Anishinaabe never had they seen him before that wild animal. But, everybody they knew where he did come from that wild animal...because he was just like that spirit that crash-landed long ago. Because of this, they did name him that new wild animal "gwiingwa'aage." "Gwiingwa" means "shooting star" and "-aage" means "where something originated from"...so then "gwiingwa'aage" means "the one that came from a shooting star" or better known as the "wolverine."

    retold by Meshekigiizhig

    I found this beautiful story at Powwow.com Gathering
    Ojibway stories? - PowWows.com Gathering - Forums for Native American Pow Wows
    Last edited by day; November 8th, 2009 at 10:56 PM.

  3. #13
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    7 Laws of the Great Spirit from Rolling Thunder

    Rolling Thunder Speaks a Message for Turtle Island
    The Seven Laws of the Great Spirit

    We have seven laws to guide us and advise us in our daily lives. The whites have ten called "commandments," another example of English as military language, and it doesn't sound good in song. Our languages are soft and musical, but we do the best we can to make things clear and to educate people in English.

    We were given the code, the seven laws, by the Great Spirit himself a long time ago. An old Indian man who's been gone for many years gave it to me a long time ago. I'd almost forgotten it, but then as I thought about it, it came back to me slowly but surely.

    Number one is respect for proper authority. Our Native way of life teaches us respect for grandparents, chiefs, medicine people, and for Grandmother Moon, Mother Earth, and everything that has life. We are a law abiding people; I've sat on a few of our courts, In a small case there would be one judge reaching agreement with both parties in the contest. In a big case like murder or rape, three judges would reach agreement with both parties in contest. There was no appeal except going to the chief's council, but because everything started out with an agreement for justice, the appeal didn't usually do any good because the intent was to avoid having to put up with somebody wanting to overrule or destroy their own.

    Number two is to preserve and promote the beauties of nature. I don't believe there is anything like this in the books of Christians, Buddhists, or Muslims, but there should be.

    Number three is to judge with kindness and wisdom. The white man's bible tells you not to judge. Our law is to judge but with kindness and wisdom. Even a little baby starts to judge when it's born about whether it's hungry or wants a diaper change, and it will let you know. Great Spirit gave us a brain to use to exercise good judgment, whether it's about a job or a relationship. We should use judgment in our daily lives so that we are not gullible or taken advantage of.

    Number four is moderation in all things. We say that if it helps, it is good. We're not told don't do this or don't do that, but rather to exercise moderation, and that covers a lot. We don't want to be extremists, and this takes us out of the category of being fanatics.

    Number five is to play fair in the game of life. It is not fair to take advantage of old people, women, or children. It is not fair to invade someone else's land or home and demand that they fight you for it. Beating up your neighbors is not fair. Filling food with preservatives and drinking water with chemicals is not fair.

    Number six is that a person's word of honor is sacred. The United States government doesn't make treaties with counties or states, only with sovereign nations. There were three hundred and ninety-seven treaties in the United States with Indians. All were broken by the government. We are asking these people to be honorable, to stop lying and stealing and breaking treaties. We have to be honorable ourselves if we wish for others to be honest. We have always kept our word, kept our treaties, because it was in our teachings.

    Number seven is respect for difference, the basis of Indian teachings. Everything we do in our way of life has to be based on respect for other people and all living things. The Great Spirit made people of different colors like flowers. There are red flowers, white flowers, black flowers, and yellow flowers. These flowers all make us feel good when we look at them, and this is the way it is supposed to be when we walk among other people—we should walk with courtesy and respect, and never with aggression or lies because of their color or nationality. We should only think of beautiful things when we look at other people.

    People are not all the same. maybe someday we will be, but in any event that's the white man's propaganda. don't believe it. The Creator made us in different colors, different nationalities, and that is the way he intended us to be. The same force put all of us here; all of us are supposed to live and bloom just like the flowers. We know that we all belong here in all our difference, and that we must get along with each other. It would be mighty boring if everyone looked alike.

    Rolling Thunder

    source 7 Laws of the Great Spirit
    Last edited by day; November 9th, 2009 at 01:34 AM.

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    coyote and white beetle - Dine'h legend

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    Big Turtle- A Wyandot (Huron) Legend

    Native American Legends
    Big Turtle- A Wyandot (Huron) Legend

    Many years ago the world had two parts. Animals lived in
    the lower part, which was completely covered in water and
    had no land or soil. Above was the Sky World, where the sky
    people lived. The Sky World had lots of soil, with beautiful
    mountains and valleys. One day a girl from the Sky World
    went for a long walk and became very tired.

    "I'm so tired, I need to rest," she said. She sat down under
    the spreading branches of an apple tree and quickly fell
    asleep. Suddenly, there was a rumbling sound like thunder
    and the ground began to crack. A big hole opened up next
    to the apple tree.

    "What's happening?" screamed the frightened girl. She tried
    to move but it was too late. She and the tree slid through
    the hole and tumbled over and over towards the watery
    world below.

    "Help me! Help me!" screamed the girl. Luckily two swans
    were swimming below and saw the girl tumbling down from
    the sky. "Come on!" yelled one swan. "Let's catch her before
    she hits the water." "Okay!" yelled the other. The swans
    spread their wings together and caught the girl on their soft
    feather backs. "Whew! That was lucky," said the girl. "But
    what do I do now? I can't get back up to the Sky World and
    I can't stay on your backs forever."

    "We'll take you to Big Turtle," said the swans. "He knows
    everything." After hearing what happened, the Big Turtle
    called all the animals in the water world to a meeting. He
    told them an old story about soil being found deep under
    the water. "If we can get some of that soil, we can build
    an island on my back for you to live on," said the Big Turtle.

    "Sounds good to me," said the young girl.

    The Otter, Beaver and Muskrat started arguing over whom
    would dive for the soil. "I'll go," said the sleek Otter, brushing
    his glossy fur. "No! I'll go," said Beaver, slapping the water
    with his big flat tail. "I'm the best swimmer," said Muskrat "I'll go."

    "Aaaachooo!" sneezed the young girl." Guys, guys, would just
    one of you go. These swan feathers are getting up my nose
    and making me sneeze."

    "Sorry" said the swans.

    "That's alright," said the young Sky girl.

    Then Toskwaye the little Toad popped up out of the water.
    "I'll go. I can dive very deep," she said. The other animals
    started laughing and pointing at Toskwaye. "You! You're
    too small and ugly to help." Cried the others, laughing.

    "Be quiet!" said Big Turtle in a loud, stern voice. "Everyone is
    equal and everyone will have a chance to try". The sleek Otter
    smoothed his glossy fur, took a deep breath and slid into the
    water. He was gone for a long time before he came up gasping
    for air. "It was too deep," he said. "I couldn't dive that far."

    "Now it's my turn," said Beaver. He slapped the water with his
    tail as he disappeared. After a long time he came to the surface
    again. "It's too far" he gasped. "No one can dive that deep.
    " Muskrat tried next and failed.

    "Aaaachoo!" sneezed the young girl. "This is not looking good."

    "Now it's my turn," said little Toskwaye the Toad. She took a
    deep breath and jumped into the water. She was gone a very
    long time and everyone thought they wouldn't see her again.

    Suddenly Otter pointed at the water, shouting, and "Look,
    look bubbles!" Toskwaye's small, ugly face appeared through
    the water. She spat a few grains of soil onto the Big Turtle's
    back, then fell back into the water - dead.

    The Turtle ordered the others to rub the soil grains and spread
    them around on his shell. The grains grew and grew, until a
    large island was formed - big enough for the girl to live on. It
    grew into our world, as we know it today. And the descendants
    of the Sky girl became the Earth's people.

    Today, some people say the whole world still rests on Big Turtles
    back. When he gets tired and changes his position,
    we have earthquakes.

    Toad has not been forgotten either.
    American native Indians call her "Mashutaha",
    which means 'Our Grandmother'.

    No one is allowed to harm her.

    First People of America and Canada - Native American Indians. Turtle Island. Legends, Treaties, Clipart.

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    An Abenaki Legend

    An Abenaki Legend

    Note: The character Kloskurbeh is identified with Glooscap of the
    Algonquin myths. The Abenaki, or Wabanaki, are an Algonquin people
    of Maine and New Brunswick.

    First Manitou, the Great Spirit, made Kloskurbeh, the great teacher.
    One day when the sun was directly overhead, a young boy appeared
    to Kloskurbeh. He explained that he had been born when the sea
    had churned up a great foam, which was then heated by the sun,
    congealed, and came alive as a human boy.

    The next day, again at noon, the teacher and the boy greeted a girl.
    She explained that she had come from the earth, which had produced
    a green plant which bore her as fruit. And so Kloskurbeh, the wise
    teacher, knew that human beings came forth from the union of sea
    and land. The teacher gave thanks to Manitou and instructed the boy
    and girl in everything they needed to know. Then Kloskurbeh went north
    into the forest to meditate.

    The man and the woman had many, many children. Unfortunately,
    they had so many children that they were unable to feed them all by
    hunting and picking wild foods. The mother was filled with grief to see
    her children hungry, and the father despaired. One day the mother
    went down to a stream, entering it sadly. As she reached the middle
    of the stream, her mood changed completely and she was filled with
    joy. A long green shoot had come out of her body, between her legs.
    As the mother left the stream, she once again looked unhappy.

    Later, the father asked her what had happened during the day while
    he was out trying to gather food. The mother told the whole story.
    She then instructed the father to kill her and plant her bones in two
    piles. The father, understandably, was upset by this command and
    he questioned the mother many times about it. Naturally, it was
    shocking and disturbing to think that he had to kill his wife in order
    to save his children: But she was insistent. The father immediately
    went to Kloskurbeh for advice. Kloskurbeh thought the story very
    strange, but then he prayed to Manitou for guidance. Kloskurbeh
    then told the father that the mother was right; this was the will
    of Manitou. So, the father killed his wife and buried her bones in
    two piles as he was commanded to do.

    For seven moons, the father stood over the piles of bones and
    wept. Then one morning, he noticed that from one pile had sprouted
    tobacco and, from the other, maize. Kloskurbeh explained to the
    man that his wife had really never died, but that she would live
    forever in these two crops.

    To this day, a mother would rather die than see her children starve,
    and all children are still fed today by that original mother. Men like
    to plant in the cornfields extra fish they catch as a gift of thanks
    to the first mother and a remembrance that we are all children of
    the union of sea and land.

    First People of America and Canada - Native American Indians. Turtle Island. Legends, Treaties, Clipart.

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    Iroquois Masks and the 'False Face Society' of the Iroquois Nation

    Iroquois Masks and The "False Face Society" of the Iroquois Nation

    I have no photos of Iroquois masks out of respect for the Iroquois Nation and their position in regards to public display and/or selling "False Face" masks.
    Of the many medicinal societies of the Iroquois, the "False Face Society" is the best know. These dramatic wooden Iroquois masks were used to invoke spirits and a dream world and were worn during healing rituals.

    In the Beginning - The Legend....

    The Spirit Medicine Man, a man blessed with healing powers in response to his love of living things, met a stranger and they had a contest...who could move a mountain. The stranger made the mountain quake. The Medicine Man said that the stranger did indeed have skills, but not enough to move a mountain. The Spirit Medicine Man moved the mountain, but so suddenly, it hit the stranger and left him disfigured. The Spirit Medicine Man healed him and taught him the ways of medicine. The stranger became a very famous healer knows as "Old Broken Nose". The False Face healing rituals honor Old Broken Nose and the Iroquois masks represent his smashed face.

    The Ritual...

    The ceremony begins with the telling of the myth about Old Broken Nose, then an invocation to the spirits, the ritural, ending with a feast. During the ritual, the False Face members, wearing Iroquois masks, go through every house in the town looking for those who are diseased and ill. If a sick person is found, a healing ritual is performed using turtle shell rattles and blown ashes from tobacco. The community gathers in the longhouse where the False Faces enter, and healings may be requested. It continues with dancing and ends with a ceremonial ash blowing and a feast. It's performed during the spring, fall, midwinter, and smaller versionof the ceremony are performed whenever a sick individual requires it.

    The Masks...

    These Iroquois Masks are considered to be "living" and are "fed" with tobacco. The design of the masks may vary, but most share certain features. They have long black or white horse hair. The eyes are deep-set and accented by metal. The noses are bent and crooked. They are painted red and black.

    Basswood is usually used for the masks, although not exclusively. An Iroquois walks through the woods until he is moved by a spirit to carve a mask. The spirit inspires the unique elements of the design and the resulting product represents the spirit itself. Carved directly on the tree, it is removed when it's finished. They are painted red if they were begun in the morning and black if they were begun in the afternoon. The red masks were considered more powerful. There are masks with both colors and they represent spirits with "divided bodies".


    Many Iroquois masks have produced and sold to collectors and tourists. The Iroquois leadership responded with a statement against the sale of these sacred masks and called for their return. Traditional Iroquois object to labeling these as masks since they are not "things" but the living representations of spirits. It is considered sacrilegious to sell, publicly display or mimic sacred False Face Iroquois masks.

    Some Iroquois carvers carve "non-live" masks made especially for sale, but traditionalists disapprove of this as well. All are in agreement that it is profaning the Iroquois religion to buy or view living masks, including antiques, or non-native forgeries.

    I do not have a picture because public exhibition of all Iroquois Masks is forbidden.
    Nor do I discuss tips on collecting/buying.

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    Anishinebe Story - The Man and the Ravens

    The Man and the Ravens


    Native American Lore

    There once was a man that enjoyed watching the black Raven's fly around, play, squawk, and chatter. He enjoyed them so much he would climb trees just to be closer to them. For many months the Ravens ignored the man, but after awhile, one of the Ravens flew from a nearby tree and landed directly next to the man.

    In utter amazement, the bird spoke to the man and asked, "You have been watching us for a long time. You have tried to get close to us. Why do you do this?"

    The man replied, "I mean no harm. I have become enchanted with you and all your relatives. I enjoy the play, the squawking, and I wish I could learn your language so I could understand more about you."

    Then the Raven responded, "We are honored that you want to know us, as long as you do not cause harm, we will teach you our language."

    For many months the Ravens taught the man all about the language and how the Ravens lived from day to day. The man became so educated that he knew everything there was to know about the Ravens. Many of the Ravens saw the man and accepted him as a friend.

    One day, an older Raven was flying far over the man, dropped a walnut perfectly on the man's head. It was done on purpose and all the Ravens almost fell off their branches laughing so hard the way they do. One Raven was flying and was laughing so hard he had to crash land right in front of the man.

    The man was feeling bad and was hurt by being made fun of, so he asked the Raven in front of him, "Why are you all picking on me."

    The Raven stopped laughing and became very serious. "We thought you understood us, but apparently you don't. If you did you would know that we are not mocking you... well maybe a bit, but it is done in our way of having fun. We are 'playing' with you and that is all. It is not to be taken seriously. You should know us better."

    The man took sometime to understand this and over time a few more practical jokes were played on the man and he in turn pulled a few "good ones" on the birds. A good time was had by all and the man became even closer to the Ravens.

    Then another event occurred. A young Raven swooped out of the sky and pecked the man on the head. Then another young Raven swooped down and did the same thing. The man ran across the field and into the woods but the Ravens kept chasing him and very skillfully they flew at high speeds through the woods tormenting the man. Finally the two stopped and started to yell mean words, fighting words at the man.

    Again the man did not understand, but he knew the two Ravens were very mad at him, so he decided to leave and let the Ravens be. The man went away for many months.

    As he did his duties in the his tribal village, he told all the people about his adventures and what he learned about the Ravens. Some listened with intent, others just thought the man was a fool to study the Ravens so. The villagers gave the man a new name of "Black Feather" because of his close relationship to the birds, but the man objected and said, "I am no longer close to the Raven people."

    From above there was a squawking sound of a single Raven. Some of the people looked up and were surprised that they could understand the Raven, others just looked around because they could hear nothing but squawking. The Raven was speaking to the man and said, "It is true, you are closer to us than any Anishinabe (Human) has ever come. You are close, but you still don't understand us fully. I invite you to return to us, many miss you."

    Black Feather started to follow the Raven but then stopped at the edge of the village. He looked around to make sure no other Anishinabe could hear then asked the Raven, "why do you ask me back when the two Ravens where fighting with me and were mean."

    "The Raven landed at Black Feathers feet and said, "See how little you understand us. The two young Ravens did not fight with you because you are Anishinabe, it is because they accepted you as a member of the Raven people. You should know that we fight among ourselves too. It is a part of our way of life. Instead of sulking and leaving you should have fought back."

    Black Feather stood in silence and said, "There is much about Ravens I don't understand. Maybe we are too different people to ever understand each other. I should stop and return to my people in the village."

    The Raven again shook his head and told Black Feather, "That is your choice, but again I tell you that you have come closer to us Raven people than any other Anishinabe. Would you throw this all away just because you can't understand us yet?"

    Black Feather responded, "It's useless, how can I ever understand you, I can't even fly!"

    A thousand bursts of laughter was heard from all the surrounding trees and Black Feather knew that all the Raven People were there, hiding and listening.

    "Of course you can't fly. You are Anishinabe and we are Ravens. But we accept you as one of us. We play with you. We fight with you. We love you and want you back. We also recommend you don't try to fly in order to be like us, because then, you would not be Anishinabe nor a Raven but something else. We like you as an Anishinabe that understands us as Ravens. Join us or not the decision is yours."

    Black Feather returned to the Anishinabe village and bid everyone farewell because he had decided to live with the Raven people. After all the farewells and such he started to leave the village. All the Anishinabe people were there to see him off, and high over head was a thousand Raven's.

    Then from high above one of the older Ravens dropped a walnut shell and again with remarkable aim, plunked Black Feather right on the head. All the Ravens started laughing hard and all the Anishinabe were laughing too.

    Black Feather laughed and looked up at the old Raven and said, "Good one."

    Charles Phillip Whitedog

    Last edited by day; November 12th, 2009 at 02:30 AM.

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    Shasta Nation Legend: Why Mt. Shasta Erupted

    Native American Legends Why Mt. Shasta Erupted A Shasta Legend

    Coyote, a universal and mischievous spirit, lived near Mount Shasta in what is now California. Coyote's village had little fish and no salmon. His neighboring village of Shasta Indians always had more than they could use.

    Shasta Indians had built a dam that served as a trap for fish, especially the wonderful salmon. They ate it raw, baked it over hot coals, and dried large quantities for their winter food supply. Other tribes came to Shasta Village to trade for salmon, which created wealth and respect for the Shasta tribe.

    One day Coyote was dreaming of a delicious meal of salmon. His mouth watered at the thought of a nice freshly cooked, juicy salmon.

    "I am so terribly hungry," he said to himself upon waking. "If I visit the Shasteans, maybe I can have a salmon dinner."

    Coyote washed and brushed himself to look neat and clean, then started for Shasta Village with visions of fresh salmon swimming behind his eyes. He found the Shasteans at the dam hauling in big catches of salmon. They welcomed him and said that he could have all the fish he could catch and carry.

    Hunger and greed caused Coyote to take more fish than was good for him. Finally, he lifted his big load onto his back and began his homeward journey, after thanking the Shasta Indians for their generosity.

    Because his load was extra heavy and he still had a long way to go Coyote soon tired.

    "I think I had better rest for a while," he thought. "A short nap will do me good."

    He stretched himself full length upon the ground, lying on his stomach, with his pack still on his back. While Coyote slept, swarms and swarms of Yellow Jackets dived down and scooped up his salmon. What was left were bare salmon bones.

    Coyote waked very hungry. His first thought was how good a bite of salmon would taste at that moment. Still half-asleep, he turned his head and took a large bite. To his great surprise and anger, his mouth was full of fish bones! His salmon meat was gone. Coyote jumped up and down in a rage shouting, "Who has stolen my salmon? Who has stolen my salmon?"

    Coyote searched the ground around him but could not locate any visible tracks. He decided to return to Shasta Village and ask his good friends there if he could have more salmon.

    "Whatever happened to you?" they asked when they saw his pack of bare salmon bones.

    "I was tired and decided to take a nap," replied Coyote. "While I slept, someone slightly stole all of the good salmon meat that you gave me. I feel very foolish to ask, but may I catch more fish at your dam?"

    All of the friendly Shasteans invited him to spend the night and to fish with them in the morning. Again, Coyote caught salmon and made a second pack for his back and started homeward.

    Strangely, Coyote tired at about the same place as he had on the day before. Again he stopped to rest, but he decided that he would not sleep today. With his eyes wide open, he saw swarms of hornets approaching. Because he never imagined they were the culprits who stole his salmon, he did nothing.

    Quicker than he could blink his eyes, the Yellow Jackets again stripped the salmon meat from the bones and in a flash they disappeared!

    Furious with himself, Coyote raged at the Yellow Jackets. Helpless, he ran back to Shasta Village, relating to his friends what he had seen with his own eyes. They listened to his story and they felt sorry for Coyote, losing his second batch of salmon.

    "Please take a third pack of fish and go to the same place and rest. We will follow and hide in the bushes beside you and keep the Yellow Jackets from stealing your fish," responded the Shasta Indians.

    Coyote departed carrying this third pack of salmon. The Shasteans followed and hid according to plan. While all were waiting, who should come along but Grandfather Turtle.

    "Whoever asked you to come here?" said Coyote, annoyed at Grandfather Turtle's intrusion.

    Turtle said nothing but just sat there by himself.

    "Why did you come here to bother us," taunted Coyote. "We are waiting for the robber Yellow Jackets who stole two packs of salmon. We'll scare them away this time with all my Shasta friends surrounding this place. Why don't you go on your way?"

    But Turtle was not bothered by Coyote; he continued to sit there and rest himself. Coyote again mocked Grandfather Turtle and became so involved with him that he was completely unaware when the Yellow Jackets returned. In a flash, they stripped the salmon bones of the delicious meat and flew away!

    Coyote and the Shasta Indians were stunned for a moment. But in the next instant, they took off in hot pursuit of the Yellow Jackets. They ran and ran as fast as they could, soon exhausting themselves and dropping out of the race. Not Grandfather Turtle, who plodded steadily along, seeming to know exactly how and where to trail them.

    Yellow Jackets, too, knew where they were going, as they flew in a straight line for the top of Mount Shasta. There they took the salmon into the center of the mountain through a hole in the top. Turtle saw where they went, and waited patiently for Coyote and the other stragglers to catch up to him. Finally, they all reached the top, where turtle showed them the hole through which the Yellow Jackets had disappeared.

    Coyote directed all the good people to start a big fire on the top of Mount Shasta. They fanned the smoke into the top hole, thinking to smoke out the yellow jackets. But the culprits did not come out, because the smoke found other holes in the side of the mountain.

    Frantically, Coyote and the Shasta Indians ran here, there, and everywhere, closing up the smaller smoke holes. They hoped to suffocate the Yellow Jackets within the mountain.

    Furiously, they worked at their task while Grandfather Turtle crawled up to the very top of Mount Shasta. Gradually, he lifted himself onto the top hole and sat down, covering it completely with his massive shell, like a Mother Turtle sits on her nest. He succeeded in completely closing the top hole, so that no more smoke escaped.

    Coyote and his friends closed all of the smaller holes.

    "Surely the Yellow Jackets will soon be dead," said Coyote as he sat down to rest.

    What is that rumbling noise, everyone questioned? Louder and louder the noise rumbled from deep within Mount Shasta. Closer and closer to the top came the rumble. Grandfather Turtle decided it was time for him to move from his hot seat.

    Suddenly, a terrific explosion occurred within the mountain, spewing smoke, fire, and gravel everywhere!

    Then to Coyote's delight, he saw his salmon miraculously pop out from the top hole of Mount Shasta--cooked and smoked, ready to eat!

    Coyote, the Shasta Indians, and Grandfather Turtle sat down to a well- deserved meal of delicious salmon.

    To this day, the Shasta Indian tribe likes to conclude this tale saying, "This is how volcanic eruptions began long, long ago on Mount Shasta."

    Native American Indian Legends - Why Mt. Shasta Erupted - Shasta
    Last edited by day; November 13th, 2009 at 02:44 PM.

  10. #20
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    Native American Dream Catchers - Good Dream or Bad?

    Native American Dream Catchers - Good Dream or Bad?

    Dream catchers have inundated the marketplace.
    BUT, if you want to buy or collect, you have to know the history, the primary tribe crafting these and what to look for.

    What Dream Catchers Do...

    It's dark. The night air is filled with dreams...good and bad! A dream catcher is hanging close to the cradle or bed, swaying in the night breezes. Dreams must pass through it to get to the sleeper. Bad ones get tangled in the web, but the good ones know how to pass through the center hole and glide down the feathers. The morning sun shines on it and the bad dreams caught in its web "expire".

    Info snippet: Did you know... The dream catcher originated
    with the Ojibway (Chippewa) tribe.

    These "charms" of twigs, sinew, and feathers have been woven since ancient times by Ojibwe (Chippewa) people. They were woven by the parents or grandparents for newborn children and hung above the cradleboard to allow the infants peaceful, beautiful dreams. The Ojibway would tie either sinew or nettle-stalk cord dyed red in a web around a small, red willow round frame, decorated with feathers and beads, then hang it protect their sleeping children. There are eight (8) connections from the center to the hoop - a spider has 8 legs. There are also examples of catchers having seven (7) for the Seven Prophecies. The slightest movement of the feathers would indicate the passage of another beautiful dream.

    It was traditional to put a feather in the center; it means breath or air - essential for life. The baby would be entertained watching the feather, but he/she would also learn that air is essential for life. The feathers used are different between boys and girls - the woman's feather is from the owl, signifying widsom. The eagle feather is for courage - a man's feather. Native Americans are very specific about gender roles and identity.

    Info snippet: Did you know... Dream catchers for infants generally dry out - they are not meant to last, just like youth is temporary.

    Dreams catchers crafted today may have 4 stones/gems rather than the feathers - some species are protected. The four gem stones represent the four directions. Finally, adult dream catchers do not use feathers.

    The earliest dream catchers were called Sacred Hoops. The circle is sacred to the Native Americans - it is the shape of the earth, the sun, the moon and life. It is a symbol of strength and unity. To carry that spiritual theme forward, the dream catcher's basic shape is a circle or hoop the web is woven around.

    Starting in the 1960's and 1970's, dream catchers became popular with other Native American tribes. They came to be seen by some as a symbol of unity and as a general symbol of identification with Native American or First Nations (Canadian) cultures.

    Info snippet: Did you know... Recently, Native Americans have come to see dream catchers as "tacky" and over-commercialized?

    The following is another view of how dreams interact with dream catchers. This legend is from the Lakota tribe.

    Legend of the Dream Catcher, Lakota Legend - From the Wounded Knee School, Manderson, South Dakota

    Long ago when the world was young, an old Lakota spiritual leader was on a high mountain and had a vision. In his vision, Iktomi, the great trickster and teacher of wisdom, appeared in the form of a spider. Iktomi spoke to him in a sacred language that only the spiritual leaders of the Lakota could understand. As he spoke Iktomi, the spider, took the elder's willow hoop which had feathers, horse hair, beads and offerings on it and began to spin a web.

    He spoke to the elder about the cycles of life . . . and how we begin our lives as infants and we move on to childhood, and then to adulthood. Finally, we go to old age where we must be taken care of as infants, completing the cycle. "But," Iktomi said as he continued to spin his web, "in each time of life there are many forces -- some good and some bad. If you listen to the good forces, they will steer you in the right direction. But if you listen to the bad forces, they will hurt you and steer you in the wrong direction." He continued, "There are many forces and different directions that can help or interfere with the harmony of nature, and also with the Great Spirit and all of his wonderful teachings."

    All the while the spider spoke, he continued to weave his web starting from the outside and working towards the center.

    When Iktomi finished speaking, he gave the Lakota elder the web and said . . . "See, the web is a perfect circle but there is a hole in the center of the circle. Use the web to help yourself and your people to reach your goals and make good use of your people's ideas, dreams and visions. If you believe in the Great Spirit, the web will catch your good ideas -- and the bad ones will go through the hole."

    The Lakota elder passed on his vision to his people and now the Sioux Indians use the dream catcher as the web of their life. It is hung above their beds or in their home to sift their dreams and visions. The good in their dreams is captured in the web of life and carried with them . . . but the evil in their dreams escapes through the hole in the center of the web and is no longer a part of them. They believe that the dream catcher holds the destiny of their future. (From Sunrise magazine, October/November 1996. Copyright © 1996 by Theosophical University Press.)

    This page from NativeTech.org gives instructions on how to make your own dream catcher.

    Dream-Catchers.org is all about dream catchers, the history, the legends from tribe to tribe, etc.

    If Native American Indian items are are of interest for either buying or collecting, become familiar with them. Visit museums to study the various forms, materials, tribal affiliations and designs. Go to art shows that showcase Native American artisans. Antique shows are also a good venue - go through the booths of vendors selling these items. If they are passionate about what they have, they will answer your questions. And, of course, inter-tribal powwows are excellent venues to look and ask.

    You can also go the The Indian Arts and Crafts Association for a listing of registered and certified Native American Artisans.

    Above all, any art form being marketed as a genuine Native American handcrafted item must legally be just that. The spirit of the law is that any artwork or craft fashioned by a Native American, the artisan must be a member of an Indian Tribe, and their membership has been verified and certified.

    These Native American artisans are practicing their art perhaps as a livelihood. And, through their art, they are keeping their culture, history and spirituality alive.

    Native American Arts has free e-books covering the subjects of Collecting and Fraudulence that are excellent!


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