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SmartSection > Culture > Tales, Myths and Wisdoms
Tales, Myths and Wisdoms
Published by Cfnebutterfly on 2011/4/20 (3941 reads)
Native American story-telling
by Dominic Beaulieu



While Native American culture has struggled to survive through centuries of displacement and assimilation, the stories and legends passed on from generation to generation refuse to die; this is perhaps due to their common, timeless message of peace and harmony with nature, which is now more relevant with each passing year.

Long ago, before the conquistadors, colonists, missionaries, and settlers came to North-America from Europe, there were thousands of tribes, clans, and peoples of various beliefs and customs living in longhouses, teepees, aps, and other dwellings; hunting, fishing, farming and gathering, only taking what was needed, and making the most of every animal killed in the hunt, or plant which had been harvested.

While cultures and customs varied, all Native American Indian beliefs were rooted in Animism, meaning that they believed the universe was bound together by the spirits within all natural life, from plants, animals, humans, water, and even the Earth itself

By keeping Native American culture alive through storytelling, we may learn a thing or two about the world we live in.


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True Path Walkers,
by Dominic Beaulieu



True Path Walkers

Obligations of the True Path Walkers



To bring back the natural harmony that humans once enjoyed.

To save the planet from present practices of destruction.

To find and re-employ real truth.

To promote true balance between both genders.

To share and be less materialistic.

To become rid of prejudice.

To learn to be related.



To be kind to animals and take no more than we need.

To play with one's children and love each equally and fairly.

To be brave and courageous, enough so,

to take a stand and make a commitment.

To understand what Generations Unborn really means.

To accept the Great Mystery

in order to end foolish argument over religion.




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"Your words circle like soaring birds which never land. I will try to catch them and take them back for my people to hear."
~~ Blue Jacket (Weyapiersenwah), Shawnee, 1791

‎‎Shared by: Raven Skye WinterHawk
( Isn't this a beautiful quote to remember as we catch the words of others and share with our people )


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Mudjikiwis (The Complete Version)
Shared by Gary Dean Jeffryes

http://www.cfne.org/modules/news/article.php?storyid=6505


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Dene - The Woman of Metals



http://www.cfne.org/modules/news/article.php?storyid=6162


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U’tlun’ta – The Spear-Finger
Shared by: Gary Dean Jeffryes



The Cherokee legend of U’tlun’ta originates from East Tennessee and Western North Carolina. U’tlun’ta literally translates as “he (or she) has it sharp,” and refers to the extremely sharp, long, pointed index finger U’tlun’ta had on her right hand. Ut’lun’ta, or “Spear-finger,” was described as having the appearance of a old woman, but possessing stone-covered skin and her namesake stony finger that resembled an awl or spearhead.

She was said to have great powers over stone, and had the power to easily lift heavy stones, “cement them together by merely striking one against another,” and even used her powers to build a bridge through the air from Tree Rock on Hiwassee to Whiteside Mountain on Blue Ridge.

U’tlun’ta was best known for her ravenous appetite for livers, which she would take from any person unfortunate enough to cross her. She would often change her appearance to resemble a family member, or coax children to come near then use her finger, which was as sharp as an obsidian knife, to slice out their livers.

A great council was called and resolved to destroy Spear-Finger before she could cause further harm. A hunting party dug a pitfall across a path, covering it with grass and dirt. An old woman approached, hiding her right hand in her blanket. When she reached the pitfall she fell into the deep into the trap, at once revealing her true nature and unleashing her spear-finger, “reaching out in every direction for someone to stab.”

The hunters leapt into action and began to shower her with arrows, but none could pierce her stony skin. A titmouse landed nearby and began to sing, “un, un, un” which the men believed meant “u’nahu,” or “heart” and all aimed for her heart, but to no avail as the arrows still bounced off her stone skin. They continued to fight her hopelessly until a Chickadee, Tsi-kilili, landed on her right hand; the warriors took this as an omen that U’tlun’ta’s heart must be in her right hand, “which she kept doubled into a fist.” All the warriors took their aim and a lucky arrow struck her where her hand joined her wrist, severing her heart and killing her instantly, finally ending the curse of U’tlun’ta.

In the late 19th Century, the Cherokee stated the remains of the structures she built out of stone were still visible, and they referred to a site in Blount County as, “U’tluntun’yi,” or the “Spear-Finger Place,” because it was a place she was known to frequent.


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Bones "Wisdom"
Author: Unknown



The Creator gathered all of Creation and said, "I want to hide something from the humans until they are ready for it. It is the realization that they create their own reality."
The eagle said, "Give it to me, I will take it to the moon."
The Creator said, "No. One day they will go there and find it."
The salmon said, "I will bury it on the bottom of the ocean."
"No. They will go there, too."
The buffalo said, "I will bury it on the Great Plains."
The Creator said, "They will cut into the skin of the Earth and find it even there."
Grandmother Mole, who lives in the breast of Mother Earth, and who has no physical eyes but sees with spiritual eyes, said, "Put it inside of them."
And the Creator said, "It is done."


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The First Strawberries
Retold by Barbara Shining Woman Warren
Shared by: Gary Dean Jeffryes



In the beginning of the world, ga lv la di e hi created First Man and First Woman. Together they built a lodge at the edge of a dense forest. They were very happy together; but like all humans do at times, they began to argue.

Finally First Woman became so angry she said she was leaving and never coming back. At that moment First Man really didn't care. First Woman started walking westward down the path through the forest. She never looked back.

As the day grew later, First Man began to worry. At last he started down the same path in search of his wife. The Sun looked down on First Man and took pity on him. The Sun asked First Man if he was still angry with First Woman. First Man said he was not angry any more. The Sun asked if he would like to have First Woman back. Fist Man readily agreed he did.

The Sun found First Woman still walking down the path toward the West. So to entice her to stop, the Sun caused to grow beneath her feet lovely blueberries. The blueberries were large and ripe. First Woman paid no attention but kept walking down the path toward the West.

Further down the path the Sun caused to grow some luscious blackberries. The berries were very black and plump. First Woman looked neither left nor right but kept walking down the path toward the West.

At last the Sun caused to grow a plant that had never grown on the earth before. The plant covered the ground in front of First Woman. Suddenly she became aware of a fragrance she had never known. Stopping she looked down at her feet. Growing in the path was a plant with shiny green leaves, lovely white flowers with the largest most luscious red berries she had ever seen. First Woman stopped to pick one. Hmmm…she had never tasted anything quite like it! It was so sweet.

As First Woman ate the berry, the anger she felt began to fade away. She thought again of her husband and how they had parted in anger. She missed him and wanted to return home.

First Woman began to gather some of the berries. When she had all she could carry, she turned toward the East and started back down the path. Soon she met First Man. Together they shared the berries, and then hand in hand, they walked back to their lodge.

The Cherokee word for strawberry is ani. The rich bottomlands of the old Cherokee country were noted for their abundance of strawberries and other wild fruits. Even today, strawberries are often kept in Cherokee homes. They remind us not to argue and are a symbol of good luck.


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“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Mahatma Gandhi


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The Algonquin “No-Face Doll”
shared by Dominic Beaulieu




Elders say that we were a nomadic people, often moving from
place to place and splitting ourselves into different groups,
going in different ways to follow game. Since this meant
traveling light, toys for our children were limited. Most were
made from materials at hand, such as wood or stone, and
usually all were left behind at the next move. All, that is,
except our No-Face Doll.
There were three main reasons why our dolls had no face.
First, any face that we drew on our dolls might resemble one
of our Elders, and stealing their face would be disrespectful.
Second, our doll might be the only playmate that we could
keep with us for any length of time, with all the moving that
we did. Sometimes we could pretend that our doll was one of
our friends who went west,
or another who went south.
But, most importantly, our
doll had no face because it
had no Spirit — that would
only come when we gave it
a name and asked Creator to
bring us a special friend. If
this request was granted,
then we had a little bit of
the Great Spirit with us each
and every day.



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Chief Little Wolf
shared by Dominic Beaulieu


http://www.cfne.org/modules/news/article.php?storyid=5973



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THE CROW AND THE HAWK
shared by Dominic Beaulieu



Alíksai! At Macáhtoika the Crow was living. She had three children. South of Muñáovi lived the Hawk. He had four children. They were always hunting some food for their children, the Hawk hunting rabbits, little squirrels, etc., while the Crow hunted lizards, snakes, mice, etc. One time as they both were hunting some food for their children, they met in the valley east of Oraíbi. "Come here," the Crow said. "Very well," the Hawk replied. "What do you want with me?" "What do you think?" the Crow said, "We want to be friends, and that is the reason I have called you." "Very well," the Hawk replied. "You come and visit me to-morrow", the Crow said, and I shall prepare something good to eat for you."

Hereupon they parted and continued their hunt. In the evening they both arrived at their homes. The Hawk brought for his children a rabbit, which he cut up for them and fed them. They enjoyed the prey and then slept well all night. The Hawk was thinking about the visit that he was to make at his friend's house the next day, and he was thinking about the good food that the Crow had promised to prepare. Early in the morning, before he had eaten, the Hawk went over to his friend. The latter was cooking some food already, and when it was done he placed it before the Hawk. It was a lölö'okong, cut up into pieces. The lölö'okong had been very fat so that it was very fatty food, but the Hawk did not relish it. It smelled very strong. So, he only pretended to eat, reaching his hand towards the vessel and back to his mouth without taking any food. After he had done that for a while he said to his friend that he was satisfied, as he had eaten much, but he spoke a falsehood.

After they had eaten they conversed together a long time, talking especially about their hunting. The Crow had a great many lizards, snakes, grasshoppers, and beetles in her house, which filled the house with odor. The Hawk, not being used to this odor, did not enjoy his stay there at all, because it smelled so strongly. Towards evening he returned to his house, first inviting his friend, the Crow, to come and visit him the next day, and promising that he would also prepare some good food for her. In the evening, when the rabbits are out, he hunted some rabbits and brought them to his children, who were very happy over them. After they had eaten them, they slept. The Crow was thinking during the night about her visit at her friend's house, and about the good food that she was promised. Early in the morning, without having partaken of any food, she proceeded to her friend's house.

The Hawk, remembering the food that he had received at the Crow's house, and which he had not relished, only cooked the skins and intestines of the rabbits, preparing a food of these for his friend. When the latter arrived she asked: "Is somebody at home?" "Yes," the Hawk replied, "come in. Sit down." Hereupon he set the food which he had prepared before the Crow, and as the Crow likes almost anything, she relished the food very much. The Hawk had thought she would not eat any of the food, but she ate heartily of it. They talked all day together, and then in the evening the Crow returned to her house and she is still living there, hatching her young, while the Hawk is still living at the same place, where he also hatches his broods.




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Warrior
By: Patrick Bollinger


Warrior of the heart,
seeking to be pure.
Fluid and free,
in thought and deed.

Unencumbered by chains
that would bind him
to a life filled with
emptiness and despair
.
Armed only with his spirit,
prepared to do battle,
on the plains of the abyss
that exists within.

His task, to defeat
an enemy born out
of a distant past,
one he cannot escape.

He can only embrace
his fate with all he is.
and abandon himself
to the task at hand.

Severing the cords
that keeps him earthbound.
Seizing the awareness,
so that he may soar.



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SHOOTING THE RED EAGLE
shared by Dominic Beaulieu


http://www.cfne.org/modules/news/article.php?storyid=5942


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BY DAVID GREYWOLF, MÉTIS OJIBWAY DE L'ONTARIO



« Nous ne devons jamais oublier qu'autrefois, toute L'Île-de-la-Tortue (l'Amérique du Nord) était unie. Lorsque le Créateur regarde l'Île-de-la-Tortue, il ne voit pas de tracés ni de frontières - mais de la terre et de l'eau. »

"We must never forget that at one time all of Turtle Island (North America) was united. When Creator looks down on Turtle Island, he does not see lines and borders - He only sees land and water."



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True Path Walkers
by Dominic Beaulieu



True Path Walkers

Obligations of the True Path Walkers



To bring back the natural harmony that humans once enjoyed.

To save the planet from present practices of destruction.

To find and re-employ real truth.

To promote true balance between both genders.

To share and be less materialistic.

To become rid of prejudice.

To learn to be related.



To be kind to animals and take no more than we need.

To play with one's children and love each equally and fairly.

To be brave and courageous, enough so,

to take a stand and make a commitment.

To understand what Generations Unborn really means.

To accept the Great Mystery

in order to end foolish argument over religion.



=======================



“I am only one, but still I am
one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something;
and because
I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can
...do.”
Mike Hudema, Greenpeace Canada


======================

Shared by: Gary Dean Jeffryes

Creation Myth
An Algonquin Story

The great Earth Mother had two sons, Glooskap and Malsum. Glooskap was good, wise, and creative; Malsum was evil, selfish, and destructive.

When their mother died, Glooskap went to work creating plants, animals, and humans from her body. Malsum, in contrast, made poisonous plants and snakes.

As Glooskap continued to create wonderful things, Malsum grew tired of his good brother and plotted to kill him.

In jest, Malsum bragged that he was invincible, although there was one thing that could kill him: the roots of the fern plant.

He badgered Glooskap for days to find the good brother's vulnerability. Finally, as Glooskap could tell no lies, he confided that he could be killed only by an owl feather. Knowing this, Malsum made a dart from an owl feather and killed Glooskap.

The power of good is so strong, however; that Glooskap rose from the dead, ready to avenge himself. Alive again, Glooskap also knew that Malsum would continue to plot against him.

Glooskap realized that he had no choice but to destroy Malsum in order that good would survive and his creatures would continue to live. So he went to a stream and attracted his evil brother by loudly saying that a certain flowering reed could also kill him.

Glooskap then pulled a fern plant out by the roots and flung it at Malsum, who fell to the ground dead. Malsum's spirit went underground and be-came a wicked wolf-spirit that still occasionally torments humans and animals, but fears the light of day.

Our thanks to Blue Panther, Keeper of Stories blue_panther@mindspring.com



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THE STORY OF THE PEACE PIPE


shared by Dominic Beaulieu


Two young men were out strolling one night talking of love affairs. They passed around a hill and came to a little ravine or coulee. Suddenly they saw coming up from the ravine a beautiful woman. She was painted and her dress was of the very finest material.

"What a beautiful girl!" said one of the young men. "Already I love her. I will steal her and make her my wife."

"No," said the other. "Don't harm her. She may be holy."

The young woman approached and held out a pipe which she first offered to the sky, then to the earth and then advanced, holding it out in her extended hands.

"I know what you young men have been saying; one of you is good; the other is wicked," she said.

She laid down the pipe on the ground and at once became a buffalo cow. The cow pawed the ground, stuck her tail straight out behind her and then lifted the pipe from the ground again in her hoofs; immediately she became a young woman again.

"I am come to give you this gift," she said. "It is the peace pipe. Hereafter all treaties and ceremonies shall be performed after smoking it. It shall bring peaceful thoughts into your minds. You shall offer it to the Great Mystery and to mother earth."

The two young men ran to the village and told what they had seen and heard. All the village came out where the young woman was.

She repeated to them what she had already told the young men and added:

"When you set free the ghost (the spirit of deceased persons) you must have a white buffalo cow skin."

She gave the pipe to the medicine men of the village, turned again to a buffalo cow and fled away to the land of buffaloes.



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by: Raven Sweet
“They can't chain my spirit! My spirit runs free! Walls can't contain it! Laws can't restrain it! Authority has no power over it!”
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THE HUNTER AND THE OWL

Shared by: Dominic Beaulieu


Once a Delaware man and his wife went on a long hunt quite a way from the village. They had been out several days without having any luck when one night as they were sitting around their camp fire an owl hooted from a tree near by and after hooting laughed. This was considered a good omen, but to make sure of this the hunter took a chunk of fire and retired a little way from the camp under the tree where the owl was perched, and laid the chunk of fire on the ground, and sitting by it began to sprinkle tobacco on the live coal and talk to the owl. He said: "Mo-hoo-mus (or Grandfather), I have heard you whoop and laugh. I know by this that you see good luck coming to me after these few days of discouragement. I know that you are very fond of the fat of the deer and that you can exercise influence over the game if you will. I want you to bring much game in my way, not only deer, but fur-bearing animals, so that I may return home with a bountiful supply of furs as well as much dried meat, and I will promise you that from the largest deer that I kill, I will give you the fat and heart, of which you are very fond. I will hang them in a tree so that you can get them." The owl laughed again and the hunter knew that he would get much game after that.

The next morning he arose early, just before day, and started out with his bow and arrow, leaving his wife to take care of the camp. He had not gone far before he killed a very large buck. In his haste to take the deer back to camp so that he could go out and kill another before it got too late, he forgot his promise to the owl and did not take out the fat and heart and hang it in the tree as he said he would do, but flung the deer across his shoulder and started for camp. The deer was very heavy and he could not carry it all the way to camp without stopping to rest. He had only gone a few steps when he heard the owl hoot. This time it did not laugh as it had the night before.

The owl flew low down, right in front of the man, and said to him: "Is this the way you keep your promise to me? For this falsehood I will curse you. When you lay down this deer, you will fall dead." The hunter was quick to reply: "Grandfather, it is true I did not hang the fat up for you where I killed the deer, but I did not intend to keep it from you as you accuse me. I too have power and I say to you that when you alight, you too will fall dead. We will see who is the stronger and who first will die." The owl made a circle or two and began to get very tired, for owls can only fly a short distance. When it came back again, it said: "My good hunter, I will recall my curse and help you all I can, if you will recall yours, and we will be friends after this." The hunter was glad enough to agree, as he was getting very tired too. So the hunter lay the deer down and took out the fat and the heart and hung them up. When he picked up the deer again it was much lighter and he carried it to his camp with perfect ease. His wife was very glad to see him bringing in game. She soon dressed the deer and cut up strips of the best meat and hung them up to dry, and the hunter went out again and soon returned with other game.

In a few days they had all the furs and dried meat they could both carry to their home, and the hunter learned a lesson on this trip that he never afterwards forgot, that whenever a promise is made it should always be fulfilled.




THE MONSTER BEAR (MOHAWK)
shared by Dominic Beaulieu



A long time ago there was a Mohawk village of bark houses along the Oswego River. One day Mohawk hunters discovered the tracks of a Giant Bear. After that, they saw the tracks many times. Sometimes, the tracks would circle the Mohawk village. The animals began to disappear from the forests, and the Mohawks knew that the Giant Bear was killing and carrying off all the animals.

Because of the scarcity of food, famine came to the Mohawks. The meat racks were empty. The people were hungry. Starvation tempted them. One of the chiefs said, "We must kill this Giant Bear who is causing all our trouble." At once a party of warriors set out in search of the bear. They soon came across his tracks in the snow. They followed the bear tracks for many days. They finally came upon the huge beast. At once the air was filled with the arrows of the warriors. To the surprise and dismay of the Mohawks, the arrows failed to pierce the thick hide of the bear. Many broken arrows fell from his tough skin....

At last the angry bear turned and charged the hunters who fled but were soon overtaken. Most of them were killed. Only two hunters escaped and they returned to the village to tell the sad tale. The two hunters told the council of the Great Bear. They told what happened to the war party.

Party after party of warriors set out to destroy the Great Bear but they always failed. There were many battles fought between the bear and the warriors. Many warriors were slain.

As time went on, more and more deer vanished from the forest. The smoking racks were empty. The people became very thin because of the lack of food. Starvation caused many to become sick. The people were filled with fear and their hungry bodies crept close to the fire at night. They feared the Great Bear, whose giant tracks circled their town each night. They feared to leave their village because they could hear, coming from the darkness of the forest, the loud cough of the Great Bear.

One night three brothers each had a strange dream. On three successive nights, they had the same vision. They dreamed they tracked and killed the Great Bear. They said, "The dream must be true."

So, getting their weapons and scanty supply of food, they set out after the bear. In a little while, they came upon the tracks of the great beast. Quickly, they followed the trail, their arrows ready.

For many moons they followed the tracks of the bear across the Earth. The tracks led them to the end of the world. Looking ahead, they saw the giant beast leap from the earth into the heavens. The three hunters soon came to the jumping-off place. Without hesitation, the three of them followed the bear into the sky. There in the skis, you can see them chasing the bear during the long winter nights.

In the fall of the year, when the bear gets ready to sleep for the winter, the three hunters get near enough to shoot their arrows into his body. His dripping blood caused by the wounds from the arrows turn the autumn leaves red and yellow. But he always manages to escape from the hunters. For a time, after being wounded, he is invisible. He afterwards reappears.

When the Iroquois see the Great Dipper in the sky, they say, "See, the three hunters are still chasing the Great Bear!"
 

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