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SUSAN JOHNSTON OWEN-JAZZ  /  SITE OWNER/MUSICIAN, WRITER,ARTIST, ELEMENTARY AND SPECIAL EDUCATION TEACHER (RETIRED)

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 SEARCH IN THE BLUE BOXES BELOW OR LOOK AT THE TABLE OF CONTENTS IN THE 2ND BOX

NATIVE AMERICANS

NATIVE AMERICAN CONTRIBUTIONS TO SOCIETY

 

NATIVE AMERICAN POETRY


ALL IS FINISHED

I WANTED TO GIVE SOMETHING OF MY PAST
TO MY GRANDSON.
I TOLD HIM THAT I WOULD SING
THE SACRED WOLF SONG OVER HIM.
IN MY SONG, I APPLEALED TO THE WOLF
TO COME AND PRESIDE OVER US,
WHILE I WOULD PERFORM THE WOLF CEREMONY.
SO THAT THE BONDAGE BETWEEN MY GRANDSON
AND THE WOLF WOULD BE LIFE LONG.

I SANG.

IN MY VOICE WAS THE HOPE
THAT CLINGS TO EVERY HEARTBEAT.

I SANG.

IN MY WORDS WERE THE POWERS
I INHERITED FROM MY FOREFATHERS.

I SANG.

IN MY CUPPED HANDS LAY A SPRUCE SEED..
THE LINK TO CREATION.

I SANG.

IN MY EYES, SPARKLED LOVE.

AND THE SONG FLOATED
ON THE SUN'S RAYS FROM TREE TO TREE.
WHEN I HAD ENDED,
IT WAS AS IF THE WHOLE WORLD
LISTENED WITH US
TO HEAR THE WOLF'S REPLY.
WE WAITED A LONG TIME
BUT NONE CAME.
AGAIN I SANG,
HUMBLY
BUT AS INVITINGLY AS I COULD,
UNTIL MY THROAT ACHED
AND MY VOICE GAVE OUT.

ALL OF A SUDDEN
I REALIZED WHY NO WOLVES HAD HEARD
MY SACRED SONG.
THERE WERE NONE LEFT!

MY HEART FILLED WITH TEARS.
I COULD NO LONGER
GIVE MY GRANDSON
FAITH IN THE PAST, OUR PAST.
I...WEPT IN SILENCE.
ALL IS FINISHED!

 

CHIEF DAN GEORGE
SALISH
(1899-1981)

A NATIVE AMERICAN CHRISTMAS

A Native Christmas

by Looks for Buffalo and SandieLee

European Christmas for Native Americans actually started when the Europeans came over to America. They taught the Indian about Christianity, gift-giving , and St. Nicholas. There are actually two religious types of Indian people in existence. One of these is the Traditionalist, usually full-blooded Indians that grew up on the reservations. The second type is the Contemporary Indian that grew up in an urban area, usually of mixed blood, and brought up with Christian philosophy.

Traditionalists are raised to respect the Christian Star and the birth of the first Indian Spiritual Leader. He was a Star Person and Avatar. His name was Jesus. He was a Hebrew, a Red Man. He received his education from the wilderness. John the Baptist, Moses, and other excellent teachers that came before Jesus provided an educational foundation with the Holistic Method.

Everyday is our Christmas. Every meal is our Christmas. At every meal we take a little portion of the food we are eating, and we offer it to the spirit world on behalf of the four legged, and the winged, and the two legged. We pray--not the way most Christians pray-- but we thank the Grandfathers, the Spirit, and the Guardian Angel.

The Indian Culture is actually grounded in the traditions of a Roving Angel. The life-ways of Roving Angels are actually the way Indian People live. They hold out their hands and help the sick and the needy. They feed and clothe the poor. We have high respect for the avatar because we believe that it is in giving that we receive.

We are taught as Traditional children that we have abundance. The Creator has given us everything: the water, the air we breathe, the earth as our flesh, and our energy force: our heart. We are thankful every day. We pray early in the morning, before sunrise, the morning star, and the evening star. We pray for our relatives who are in the universe that someday they will come. We also pray that the Great Spirit's son will live again.

To the Indian People Christmas is everyday and the don't believe in taking without asking. Herbs are prayed over before being gathered by asking the plant for permission to take some cuttings. An offer of tobacco is made to the plant in gratitude. We do not pull the herb out by its roots, but cut the plant even with the surface of the earth, so that another generation will be born its place.

It is really important that these ways never be lost. And to this day we feed the elders, we feed the family on Christmas day, we honor Saint Nicholas. We explain to the little children that to receive a gift is to enjoy it, and when the enjoyment is gone, they are pass it on to the another child, so that they, too, can enjoy it. If a child gets a doll, that doll will change hands about eight times in a year, from one child to another.

Everyday is Christmas in Indian Country. Daily living is centered around the spirit of giving and walking the Red Road. Walking the Red Road means making everything you do a spiritual act. If your neighbor, John Running Deer, needs a potato masher; and you have one that you are not using, you offer him yours in the spirit of giving. It doesn't matter if it is Christmas or not.

If neighbors or strangers stop over to visit at your house, we offer them dinner We bring out the T-Bone steak, not the cabbage. If we don't have enough, we send someone in the family out to get some more and mention nothing of the inconvenience to our guests. The more one gives, the more spiritual we become. The Christ Consciousness, the same spirit of giving that is present at Christmas, is present everyday in Indian Country.

http://www.ewebtribe.com/Christmas/NAChristmas.htm

INTERESTING LINK-NATIVE AMERICAN CHRISTMAS

http://www.aaanativearts.com/mailbag-archive/

1367-how-do-native-americans-celebrate-christmas.html#axzz2CYISAIVL

 









birthcenter/nativs.seambabynamehtml

http://www.bronsonbattlecreek.com/services/


  

 

 



Native American Contributions

 


Did you know that Native Americans have contributed many things to the American way of life today? Things that you use or do now, many Native Americans have been using and doing for many, many years.
Many times, the only thing people remember about Native Americans are the negative things-but they contribute many positive things and should be remembered for them. A lot of time, we only think about things we can readily identify as representing Native Americans, such as their fine art work. Yes-the people of the Southwest are
known for their beautiful silver and turquoise jewelry. The people of the NorthwestCoast are known for their fantastic woodcarvings. The Plains Indians are well known fortheir beautiful beadwork.
But other than art, the Native Americans have influenced many areas ofAmerican living. Some of these things were begun long before the arrival of the European settlers on North American land.


DID YOU KNOW THAT ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF
NATIVE AMERICAN LIFE IS ECOLOGY? People of today have just begun to think about this. The Native Americans have always had a deep respect for the land. There was a love of every form of life. The Native Americans did not kill anything they could not use. They never killed an animal or a fish for the sport of it. Fishing and hunting were a way to survive. The Native Americans lived in harmony with nature and did notabuse the natural world. Native Americans were ecologists long before they were ever used. The Anishinaabe people do not have a word for “Conservation”, because it is an assumed way of life, it did not have to have a special word.


DID YOU KNOW THAT MANY OF THE FOODS WE EAT TODAY WERE FIRST
GROWN BY NATIVE AMERICANS?
Native Americans learned to grow and use many different kinds of food that many people eat today, never considering that they first came from Native Americans: potatoes, beans, corn, peanuts, pumpkins, tomatoes, squash, peppers, nuts, melons, and sunflower seeds. They also helped the European
settlers survive in the New World by sharing their farming methods with them.
DID YOU KNOW THAT MANY OF THE GAMES YOU PLAY TODAY CAME
FROM NATIVE AMERICANS?
Canoeing, snowshoeing, tobogganing, lacrosse, relay races, tug-of-wars, and ball games are just a few of the games early Native Americans played and still enjoy today. Many youth groups such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Campfire and YMCA Guides have programs based largely on Native American crafts
and lore.
DID YOU KNOW THAT THE IDEA FOR THE U.S. GOVERNMENT WAS
ADOPTED FROM THE NATIVE AMERICANS?

Benjamin Franklin said that the idea of the federal government, in which certain powers are given to a central government and
all other powers are reserved for the states, was borrowed from the system of government used by the Iroquoian League of Nations.
DID YOU KNOW THAT MANY WORDS WE USE EVERY DAY CAME FROM
NATIVE AMERICANS?

Countless Native American words and inventions have become
an everyday part of our language and use. Some of these include: barbecue, caribou,chipmunk, woodchuck, hammock, toboggan, skunk, mahogany, hurricane, and moccasin. Many towns, cities and rivers have names of Native American origin. Just a few of these include: Seattle, Spokane, Yakima, Pocatello, Chinook, Flathead Lake,
Milwaukee, Ottawa, Miami, Wichita, and Kalispell.
DID YOU KNOW THAT NATIVE AMERICANS DEVELOPED AND
COMMUNICATED WITH SIGN LANGUAGE?

A system of hand signals was developed to facilitate trade and communicate between different tribal groups and later between
Native Americas and trappers and traders. The same idea is used today for communicating with those who are deaf and unable to speak. The signs are different, but the idea is the same.
DID YOU KNOW THAT MANY NATIVE AMERICANS SERVED DURING
WORLD WAR I, WORLD WAR II AND OTHER CAMPAIGNS?

Even though many of them were not even citizens, more than 8,000 Native Americans volunteered and served during World War I. Well over 24,000 served during World War II. One of themost notable contributions during World War II was the service of the Navajo Code
Talkers, a special group of volunteers who did top-secret work using a secret code in Navajo that could not be broken.
DID YOU KNOW THAT INDIANS AS INDIVIDUALS HAVE EXCELLED IN MANY FIELDS?

Jim Thorpe (athlete), Billy Mills (athlete), Johnny Bench (athlete), Charles
Curtis (vice president of U.S.), Maria Tallchief (ballerina), Johnny Cash (entertainer), Buffy St. Marie (musician) and Will Rogers (entertainer)… these are just a few. With some research, the list could be extended to include someone in every area and walk of
life.                               

ftp://ftpfc.sc.egov.usda.gov/MI/AI/ContributionsByAmericanIndians.pdf


GEORGE CATLIN 1831


GENUINE AMERICAN ART

Native Central American Art. Love Doves Kuna Indians Mola art. 100% hand stitched using 6 different colors of fabric : Red, Blue, Orange, Yellow, Green, Black .This is a genuine Mola panel that was part of a Kuna woman blouse. It measures 14 inches X 9.5 inches and it dates from the 1980's.
It represents a Pair of kissing love wild doves which are very common in the Kuna Yala region.

 


NATIVE AMERICAN WEDDING CEREMONIES AND COURTSHIP

Native American Wedding Traditions From Apache to Cheyenne and Hopi to Sioux, Native American wedding customs are beautiful and vary according to tribe. One custom in particular requires the bride and groom to wash their hands to cleanse away evil and previous lovers. This is one of many significant Native American wedding rituals. A common theme among American Indian tribes involves Mother Earth and the Great Spirit. This is beautifully demonstrated throughout a Native American wedding. Ceremonies can be held in chapels, historical landmarks, Indian monuments, or reservations. Pow Wow drums provide lively music for the wedding reception festivities.

http://www.worldlyweddings.com/articles.asp?id=148

Native American culture is composed of many tribes, each with distinct traditions and customs. It is difficult to characterize any aspect of a wedding as being "Native American". Some traditions are common to many tribes, while others are unique.

Most Native Americans believe that in the universe there exists the Great Spirit - a spiritual force that is the source of all life. The Great Spirit is not pictured as a man in the sky but it is believed to be formless and to exist throughout the universe. The sun is viewed as a manifestation of the power of the Great Spirit.

Some Native American wedding ceremonies are informal, while others are quite formal. When they were not small and informal, they were solemnized with feasts and merrymaking. Evening is the traditional time for the ceremony to occur.

Water is used as a symbol of purification and cleansing. The bride and groom have a ceremonial washing of hands to wash away past evils and memories of past loves.



From Native American Courtship & Marriage:

"Native American legends and myths have existed for thousands of years and are still relevant today. Many stories are moral tales about humankind's relationship with the natural world, as well as several inspiring and poetic tales about love and the ritual of courtship. Indian poems had their roots in the songs and chants of tribal life. The Indians wrote songs and poetry for practical purposes as well as to deal with the invisible forces in their lives. They helped the people to conduct their lives honorably and assisted them through times of great emotion and need". There are many moving stories in this book about marriage, courtship and puberty rites and celebrations, including even some suggested recipes!

http://www.weddingdetails.com/lore/native.cfm

What will be present at a tradition ceremony

 

The Wedding BasketsBasically, the baskets will contain whatever is symbolically important to you.

Bride's Basket: Groom's Basket:(both lined with cedar & covered with a red cloth)2 ears of cornBeef Jerky1 Squash or gourd HideBeansTobaccoPeachesGrapesStrawberries(Optional)

Marriage Branch: Cedar branch with a fork, to be hung over the bed.

Circle:North: EldersSouth: Young married couples & childrenEast: Young menWest:

Veterans & warriorsThere should be chairs for the elders who cannot stand.

http://www.pueblopotteryme.com/A%20Native%20American%20Style%2

0Wedding%20Ceremony.pdfhttp://www.pueblopotteryme.com/

A%20Native%20American%20Style%20Wedding%20Ceremony.pdf

THE WEDDING CREED

The Wedding Creed

 

Comfort Each Other Provide a refuge and sanctuary for each other from the chill winds of the world. Your marriage is a hearth, from whence comes the peace, harmony, and warmth of soul and spirit.
Caress As You Would Be Caressed Warm your loved one's body with your healing touch. Remember that as babies can die with lack of touching, so can marriages wither from lack of closeness.
Be A Friend and Partner Friendship can be a peaceful island, separate and apart, in a world of turmoil and strife. Reflect upon the tranquility of the many future years you can share with a true friend, and beware of becoming battling enemies under the same roof.
Be Open With Each Other Bind not yourselves in the secretness that causes suspicion and doubt. Trust and reveal yourselves to each other, even as the budding rose opens to reveal its fragrance and beauty.
Listen To Each Other And hear not only words, but also the non-language of tone, mood, and expression.arn to listen to understand rather than listening to argue.
Respect Each Other's Rights Remember that each is a person of flesh and blood, entitled to his or her own choices and mistakes. Each owns himself, and has the right to equality.
Allow The Other to Be an Individual Seek not to create for each other a new mold that can only fit with much discomfort and pain. Accept the other as they are, as you would have yourself accepted.
Give Each Other Approval Remember criticism divides, while compliments encourage confidence in the other. Hasten not to point out the other's mistakes, for each will soon discover his own.
Cherish Your Union Let no one come between your togetherness, not child, not friend, nor worldly goods. Yet maintain enough separateness to allow each other his or her own uniqueness.
Love One Another Love is your river of life, your eternal source of recreating yourselves. Above all else love one anoth

SPIRITUALITY

Cherokee Prayer


God in heaven above please protect the ones we love.
We honor all you created as we pledge
our hearts and lives together.
We honor mother-earth - and ask for our marriage to
be abundant and grow stronger through the seasons;
We honor fire - and ask that our union
be warm and glowing with love in our hearts;
We honor wind - and ask we sail though life
safe and calm as in our father's arms;
We honor water - to clean and soothe our relationship -
that it may never thirsts for love;
With all the forces of the universe you created,
we pray for harmony and true happiness as
we forever grow young together. Amen.

 

 


 

Native American Ten Commandments

Treat the Earth and all that dwell thereon with respect.
Remain close to the Great Spirit.
Show great respect for your fellow beings.
Work together for the benefit of all Mankind.
Give assistance and kindness wherever needed.
Do what you know to be right.
Look after the well being of mind and body.
Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good.
Be truthful and honest at all times.
Take full responsibility for your actions

 

 


 

Giving Thanks

Great Spirit, Creator of all that we
see, hear, smell, taste, and all that we touch.
Mother Earth, Make Ina, Womb of all beings,
Provider of all our needs.

Keeper of the West, Home of the Thunder People,
place where Grandfather Sun sleeps at night.

Keeper of the North, Home of the Great White Giant,
from where fresh breezes blow.

Keeper of the East, Land of the Rising Sun,
Home to the Big Red Mountain.

Keeper of the South, Land that we always face,
from where the Growing Warmth comes.

I pray to the Stone Peoples, the Green Peoples, the Winged Peoples,


I pray to the Four-legged Peoples, the Swimming Peoples,
the Crawling Peoples, and to the Star Peoples.
I pray to ALL who give us food, clothing, medicine, dwellings, and designs

To the Ancestors of All The Peoples,
I pray for their Help in Keeping Us in Balance and
Teaching us the ways of the Creator and Mother Earth.

To the Star Peoples, Grandfather Sun, Grandmother Moon
I give thanks for their lighting our way in times of darkness.

To All these Peoples, I give Thanks for all the Gifts and Help
I get in My Life Each and Every Day.

For ALL These Reasons and for LIFE Itself, I GIVE MY THANKS !
 

 

 


 

Great Spirit Ancient Prayer

"Oh, Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the wind,
Whose breath gives life to all the world.
Hear me; I need your strength and wisdom.

Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes ever
behold the red and purple sunset.

Make my hands respect the things you have made
and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand
the things you have taught my people.
Help me to remain calm and strong in the
face of all that comes towards me.

Let me learn the lessons you have hidden
in every leaf and rock.
Help me seek pure thoughts and act with the
intention of helping others.
Help me find compassion without empathy
overwhelming me.
I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy - Myself.
Make me always ready to come to you with clean hands
and straight eyes.
So when life fades, as the fading sunset,
my spirit may come to you without shame.

"May you always walk in Beauty."

 


 

An Indian Prayer

My Grandfather is the Fire

My Grandmother is the Wind

The Earth is my Mother

The Great Spirit is my Father

The World stopped at my birth and laid itself at my feet

And I shall swallow the Earth whole when I die,
and the Earth and I will be one.

Hail The Great Spirit, my Father, without him no one
could exist because there would be no will to live.

Hail The Earth, my Mother, without which no food
could be grown and so cause the will to live to starve.
Hail the wind, my Grandmother, for she brings loving,
life-giving rain nourishing us as she nourishes our crops.
Hail the fire, my Grandfather, for the light, the warmth,
the comfort he brings without which we be animals, not men.

Hail my parent and grandparents without which,
not I, nor you, nor anyone else could have existed.

Life gives life which gives unto itself a promise of new life.

Hail the Great Spirit, The Earth, the Wind, the Fire
praise my parents loudly for they are your parents, too.

Oh, Great Spirit, giver of my life please accept this
humble offering of prayer, this offering of praise,
this honest reverence of my love for you.

 

 

 


BEING CAREFUL WHEN BUYING NATIVE AMERICAN ART- LEE BOGLE IS NOT NATIVE AMERICAN, BUT THESE PAINTINGS ARE POPULAR- BE WELL AWARE WHAT IS REAL AND WHAT ISN'T.

If it weren't obvious, Lee Bogle isn't Native. He's a white guy from the Pacific Northwest. His official website says this about his use of Native imagery:

Collectors know him for his images of Native Americans, often solitary figures of women. "I try to convey a spirituality in my art that the viewer must interpret for himself," Bogle says, "I want my paintings to show a peaceful contemplation and express a depth of serenity that comes only with quiet inner peace"

Since all Natives are innately spiritual and have a "quiet inner peace," right? But this by all means is not an isolated artist or isolated incident. There are hundreds of non-Native artists that make their livings off perpetuating stereotypes about Native people and preying on mainstream romanticized and idealized notions of Natives. Contemporary Native peoples don't look like something out of a crappy romance novel, and images like Lee Bogle's perpetuate stereotypes and erase our current existence and diverse and real people.


IF YOU BUY THEM BECAUSE THEY'RE BEAUTIFUL, FINE,

JUST DON'T BELIEVE THIS IS TRUE Native AMERICAN ART

.http://nativeappropriations.blogspot.com/2011/02/lee-bogle-and-native-american-love.html

 

 


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Music is not available for sale or download.

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Cherokee Morning Song
Robbie Robertson Music For The Native Americans