Who We are. Who We Can be. Who We Will be.

From the Lakota Nation…

The full legend is here:

http://www.ya-native.com/Culture_GreatPlains/legends/TheLegendoftheChanunpa.html

The White Buffalo Calf Woman then spoke to the women, telling them that it was the work of their hands and the fruit of their bodies which kept the people alive. “You are from Mother Earth,” she told them. “What you are doing is as great as what the warriors do.”

And therefore the sacred pipe is also something that binds men and women together in a circle of love. It is the one holy object in the making of which both men and women have a hand.

The men carve the bowl and make the stem; the women decorate it with bands of colored porcupine quills. When a man takes a wife, they both hold the pipe at the same time and red trade cloth is wound around their hands, thus tying them together for life.

The White Buffalo Calf Woman also talked to the children, because they have an understanding beyond their years. She told them that what their fathers and mothers did was for them, that their parents could remember being little once, and that they, the children, would grow up to have little ones of their own.

She told them: “You are the coming generation, that’s why you are the most important and precious ones. Some day you will hold this pipe and smoke it. Some day you will pray with it.”

She spoke once more to all the people: “The pipe is alive; it is a red being showing you a red life and a red road. And this is the first ceremony for which you will use the pipe. You will use it to keep the soul of a dead person, because through it you can talk to Wakan Tanka, the Great Mysterious. The day a human dies is always a sacred day. The day when the soul is released to the Great Spirit is another.”

She spoke one last time to Standing Hollow Horn, the chief, saying, “Remember: this pipe is very sacred. Respect it and it will take you to the end of the road. The four ages of creation are in me. I will come to see you in every generation cycle. I shall come back to you.”

The sacred woman then took leave of the people, saying: “Toksha ake wacinyanktin ktelo — I shall see you again.”

The people saw her walking off in the same direction from which she had come, outlined against the red ball of the setting sun. As she went, she stopped and rolled over four times. The first time, she turned into a black buffalo; the second into a brown one; the third into a red one; and finally, the fourth time she rolled over, she turned into a white buffalo calf. A white buffalo is the most sacred living thing you could ever encounter.

The White Buffalo Calf Woman disappeared over the horizon. As soon as she had vanished, buffalo in great herds appeared, allowing themselves to be killed so that the people might survive. And from that day on, our relations, the buffalo, furnished the people with everything they need — meat for their food, skins for their clothes and tipi1s, and bones for their many tools.

 

 The following is a small portion I have transcribed from a recording of a Talk given by Thomas Two Crows Redhand the other night. He is one of two still-living Founders of The First Native Nations and like the others of The Original Thirteen a WW2 Veteran.

Once, we were Many Bands. Many Nations. Many Tribes. We were like fires in the night, apart, but same. Then came the Invasion of our lands. I do not speak of this but as fact, and denounce those who whine like ill-raised children who do not know how to behave.

I speak now of the past to illustrate our history Past and our Looking-Ahead.

When you take a club to a fire, to try to beat it out, what happens? You eventually put out the fire in a clumsy manner…so you think.

Sparks, cinders, embers get scattered…smoldering away from the fire. Small, but alive, carrying the essence of the fire they came from. They can kindle themselves, grow larger, spread and become small fires that join to their cousins…

Then, you have a fire too large to beat out.

This is who we we were. This is what happened to us. This is what we are becoming. The Time of Tears is closing, and this is The Time of Changes. This is a new dawn for the Peoples of The First Native Nations. But we must be strong, honest, mindful of past, present, and future all at once. Our children we must treat and raise as strong ones, to stand tall and straight so they will keep our people and our ways alive after we are gone from this life, as will their children and on into our new future.

Women, you are the carriers of life and it is you who shape the future the most, we look to you in shared hope of the future for us all that you will find the strength and ways of your ancestors and Woman-Wisdom that has been the support of all people of the First Native Nations from time long before remembering and will be again into the future.

More will come as I have time and Permissions from Thomas.

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