Manataka American Indian Council Volume XII Issue 11 NOVEMBER 2008
SMOKE SIGNAL NEWS
Manataka - Preserving The Past Today For Tomorrow
Page 2 of 3
|Legends of Old:||Corn Mother - A Penobscot Legend|
Letters to the Editor:
|Animal Spirit Guides, DNA, Making A Sacred Bundle, Sweat Lodge|
|Organic Consumers:||Organic Labeling, Chicken Farming|
|Elder's Meditations:||Joe Coyhis, Stockbridge-Munsee|
|Animal Rights and Wrongs:||A||Ocean Ecosystem and Seabirds|
|Endangered Sacred Sites:||Desecration of Hawaiian Gravesite|
LEGENDS OF OLD:
A Penobscot Legend
What the buffalo represented to the nomadic tribes of the plains, corn was to the planting people of the East and the Southwest - the all-nourishing sacred food, the subject of innumerable legends and the central theme of many rituals.
Derived from a wild grass called "Teosintl", corn was planted in Mexico's Tehuacan valley as early as 8,000 years ago. The oldest corn found north of the border was discovered in New Mexico's Bat Cave. It is about 5,500 years old.
The Hopis say: "Moing''iima makes
corn. Everything grows on his body. He is short, about the height of a boy. He
has a female partner. Every summer he becomes heavy, his body is full of
vegetables: watermelon, corn, squash. They grow in his body. When the Hopi
plant, they invariably ask him to make the crop flourish; then their things come
up, whether vegetables or fruit. When he shaves his body, the seeds come out,
and afterward his body is thin. He used to live on this earth and go with the
Hopi. When things grow ripe, he becomes thin and is unhappy. He stays in the
west." Corn had equal significance for tribes in the East, as we see in this
tale from a New England tribe.
For Classroom use
|Thanksgiving Fact #1: No one knows when the "first" thanksgiving occurred. People have been giving thanks for as long as people have existed. Indigenous nations all over the world have celebrations of the harvest that come from very old traditions; for Native peoples, thanksgiving comes not once a year, but every day, for all the gifts of life. To refer to the harvest feast of 1621 as "The First Thanksgiving" disappears Indian peoples in the eyes of non-Native children.|
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR...
Manataka receives dozens of letters each week. Space does not allow us to publish all letters but we make a concerted effort to print letters that are representative of a majority. Let us know if there is a topic you feel needs to be addressed.
The Great Rock - Bulahdelah - Alum' Mountain
Animal Spirit Guides
Normally I would keep to myself on matters of my spirituality. But sometimes you need all the help you can get. Especially when it comes to Raven.
Raven was my original life guide but stepped aside about 8 years ago, leaving Fox in his place. He's occasionally come to my aid since. Recently He's dropped hints about a different aspect/sibling spirit in the White Raven. I have a friend whose a bit older than I and still very much follows Raven as her core life guide. She's recently been receiving the impression of some significance to this but not in the same way as I have. Her impression is that she should keep her eyes open for White Raven. Mine is that I should seek it.
What I've been getting is an impression of a primordial being that sort of eases the transitions in life and between lives. A being of judgment but in the sense that it teaches one to reflect upon their own self-judgments.
I know that this fits with much of the European aspect of Raven as a shadowy greater being of death but it feels different to me. It almost seems like the opposite in some ways. It doesn't feel like any other face of Raven that I've been shown yet. I know that there's much more to learn about this. ~Aubry Krough
We believe you answered your own question in the opening line of your message. Matters of spirituality are individualized intentionally by the Creator. As with all other things of creation, our soul is unique, exclusive and distinctive to our nature, inimitable and absolutely irreplaceable except by Devine Will.
Yes, we can tell you about the nature of Raven - her habits and behavior, etc., but we cannot tell you what Raven may wish to share with you. We can tell you our interpretation, but like your friend's, it will have little value because it is not your interpretation. Your interpretation is all that matters. Your interpretation, borne in the depths of your experience, personality, and destiny are all linked to your own spirituality, your soul. No other person may enter into that realm.
Yes, we are aware that it is human's way to assign specific meanings to messengers of the Spirit (we are guilty of this in our article about Spirit Messengers on our website). It is man's way to create dogma and doctrine around such things and by doing so, discourages people to seek their own path, their own connection with the Creator of All Things. ~Manataka
Puerto Rico Sacred Sites
"Some 75 boxes of skeletons, ceramics,
small petroglyphs and rocks were sent via Federal Express in two
double-boxed shipments for analysis." Again, that's 75 boxes!
(see related story - page 3)
Making A Sacred Bundle
Greetings in Peace,
I am an elder at the American Indian Christian Gathering.
We mixed & full-bloods worship our Creator and his son Jesus Christ in the Indian way. We have the Sacred Drum and we call the Spirits from the four directions after our smudging ceremony to start our worship. In our sacred circle we pass the prayer feather, listen to Indian flute music and have a message delivered with context from the Holy Bible. The service is concluded with everyone dancing around the sacred circle & singing with our drummers songs honoring our Creator & Jesus (the Indian Way)
We hold dear to us All Inter-Tribal Ceremonies and Traditions that honor our Creator and do our very best to perform them with respect & according to proper protocol.
I have been charged with creating the Sacred Bundle for our church as we offer tobacco when we worship. Out of Respect for White Buffalo Calf Women and the Sioux Nation's traditions I want to fashion this pipe as close as possible to the original, protected by Chief Arvol Looking Horse of Green Grass.
I wish to have photographs of the Sacred Pipe. If that is not possible due to it's sacred status I completely understand. If possible, could I get a drawing or illustration of the Sacred pipe noting size and dimensions. I have tried to research this treasure & have found nothing so far. I have questions regarding the seven circles of various sizes and the white buffalo calf engravings. Their size, location and appearance. If you could assist us we would be eternally grateful. ~Tommy Spotted-Owl Barlow
Hello Tommy Spotted Owl,
Yes, we have an exact description and pictures of the Sacred Chanupa. And, we have the address for Looking Horse. However, we are unable to share either with you. We are prevented from sharing pictures because of its sacredness and we are prevented from sharing his email due to specific protocols.
We suggest that you do not attempt to create a bundle in the image of others. You are not Sioux so therefore, we do not recommend that you use anything that is not related your background and experience.
A sacred bundle is not created in the same way as a painting or craftwork. A bundle is a holy object delivered into the midst of a people by the Devine. We cannot use our will to manifest a bundle into existence, neither can we craft one. Only by a manifestation of the Creator can a true bundle become reality.
Yes, we are aware that many people today make an object and place a red cloth over it and call it a sacred bundle. We do not fault this practice because we do not know the true intent in every case. However, it is possible the intent is based on ego, misinformation, or a misguided desire to experience the Sacred, regardless of how mechanical or human-motivated it may be.
We can see from your message that you intent is honorable. Thus, we would expect that your search will continue in a good way. Many blessings to you and the people of your church. ~Manataka
Maggie's Soap Nuts are Good!
Seems Creator answered my question this evening about my cleanser problem and all the chemical smells. In fact, I will send my friends the link to the page and let them read for themselves. Maybe they'll try it also. I put Manataka on my toolbar and saw "Maggie's Soap Nuts" - I had to try it. I used Maggie's Soap Nuts and it did great. My family of four with the laundry, and I go through cleaners and detergents like water in this family. I felt that 'nudge' earlier to check Manataka's site FIRST before 'asking around' ... will try to remember that next time. ~Kim Wilson
DNA and Tribal Enrollment
I just read the story by Kim Tallbear refuting the DNA testing
for Native Americans. I just have a question. If a family filed
over 200 applications for enrollment in the 1890's and were
denied for political
We have nothing to do with enrollment requirements for any
tribe. All are regulated by the federal government and the
tribes and your questions are best directed to the Department of
the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs and your congressional
representatives. Do not be frustrated over things you
cannot change. It is sorta like arguing with a storm.
Sweat Lodge for Hire?
I am on staff for an organization working on a reservation in SD. We have people from all over the world come out and volunteer (build houses, bunk beds, etc). We are not missionaries and we emphasize that. We have had people request the opportunity to sweat. Upon that request, we are considering making that an option in upcoming years. However, we would like to know what the Native people think of white people sweating. Also, do you think there should be a selection process or should anyone be able to sweat - Gina
We prefer to call it a Purification Lodge, rather than a sweat lodge -- there is a big difference between a sauna (even a primitive one) and a holy place where a person has spiritual experiences. Purification Lodges have been around for thousands of years and are found among every culture on earth -- American Indians do not have an exclusive license on places of Purification. Saunas have also been around for thousands of years -- but the two should never be confused.
There should be no problem with the local populous if your agency sponsors a sauna-type experience and nothing more. However, there could be serious problems if those who participate expect to have an authentic spiritual experience in a Purification Lodge and you do not have an experienced, recognized lodge leader who conducts ceremony according to local traditions.
That is, no Lakota songs or prayers may be used unless there is a lodge leader who knows the language and is qualified. If you attempt to pass off a sauna-type experience as traditional ceremony, there could be serious consequences. People do not take well to disrespect of the sacred.
Your visitors are not looking for a sauna -- they desire an authentic indigenous spirit experience, true? Therefore, if your agency is absolutely focused on providing this "service", we advise your agency to locate a locally recognized spiritual leader who will consider allowing your guests to enter his/her lodge.
And, for heavens sake, never allow the lodge leader or anyone else to charge money for the privilege of entering the lodge. That single thing could bring down serious wrath. Money can never be a part of spiritual ceremony. Those who do charge money for the Purification Lodge are shams, pure and simple.
A selection process?
We do know some lodge leaders who "select" those who may enter. We do not judge these individuals, but that practice is not our way. We feel that the Purification lodge does not belong to the lodge leader, the sponsors or any one else, but instead the lodge belongs to the Creator of All Things. The Creator does not "select" who may enter the sacred circle of spiritual experience, so who are we to play God over the feelings and paths of others? We are confident in opening our lodge to strangers because we have learned ways to handle the extreme negativity as it enters the lodge.
It is true some lodges are intended for use only by family, clan and friends, and therefore the participants can feel extremely uncomfortable opening the lodge to strangers who may be nothing more than tourists or idle gawkers. That is their right and they have an obligation to uphold local traditions.
It is our opinion that your agency is not in the business of providing spiritual guidance and support and therefore should leave this area alone. ~Manataka
A Great NEW Gift IDEA for the Holidays
THE SOAP THAT GROWS ON TREESTM
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Brought to you by ORGANIC BYTES, from Organic Consumers Assoc.
"Listen to all the teachers in the woods. Watch the trees, the animals and all living things - you'll learn more from them than from books." --Joe Coyhis, Stockbridge-Munsee
Nature is a living example of how communities live in harmony. If you go into the forest or mountain and sit still and watch, ask yourself, what lessons are being taught? Then watch how the animals conduct themselves. The trees could represent diversity. The flowers could represent people. Notice how everything in nature assists one another. See how balance works. See how conflict is handled. Can you see acts of forgiveness? Can you spot respect? Nature is full of wisdom if wee will only consider her to be our teacher.
today let me learn from nature.
By Don Coyhis
By Don Coyhis
Chemotherapy treatments are not only a medical fraud; they're also bankrupting families across America and around the world. As today's feature article clearly shows
(http://www.naturalnews.com/024544.html), chemotherapy has but one purpose: To extract the life savings of cancer victims before they die. Don't believe us? Read my special report: The Breast Cancer Deception: http://www.naturalnews.com/Report_Breast_Cancer_Deception_0.html
Women everywhere are waking up to the reality of the pink ribbon fraud, and they're learning how to prevent and CURE cancer on their own! The cancer industry, of course, is terrified that women might be informed, educated and free of cancer. That's why they're doing their best now to keep women ignorant, nutritionally illiterate, barefoot and diseased.
An astonishing 100% of women have nonstick cookware chemicals in their breastmilk, according to recent research. It's a sobering reminder of just how much we're poisoning our children with toxic chemicals in foods and cookware. Read the full details on this disturbing discovery at: http://www.naturalnews.com/024148.html
(So what kind of cookware should you use? Don't use any! Feed those babies RAW, living foods and they're grow up healthy!) - [On the practical side: Use stainless steel or iron cookware -- least amount of metal leaching.
HEALTH BOMB #1:
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has become a modern-day plague. Not only does it contribute to our obesity epidemic, but it has also been linked to:
Pancreas dysfunction, diabetes and insulin resistance
High cholesterol and heart disease
High blood pressure
Sadly, the average consumption of fructose has doubled between 1980 and 1994. Soft drinks and some fruit drinks are a major source of HFCS, but it is also found in many other products, from crackers to salad dressing. Fructose contains zero enzymes, vitamins or minerals — and it leeches micronutrients from your body.
Why is it found in so many products? Because, after air, water, and salt, it’s the cheapest ingredient in the American food chain (and we know how the food industry likes to save money…) I’d also urge you to be on the lookout for HFCS in its many “disguises” — conveniently (for the food industry) labeled as chicory, inulin, iso glucose, glucose-fructose syrup, fruit fructose, and others.
Another major “health torpedo” you want to watch out for is…
HEALTH BOMB #2:
Gluten — Wheat (and other grains containing gluten) is NOT your friend. My experience has shown that you could well be one of the estimated 1 in 10 people who have at least a subclinical intolerance to gluten protein. This is actually a food allergy. I recommend avoiding gluten, even the organic whole-grain types. Gluten intolerance has been linked to miscarriage, autism, intestinal disease (including irritable bowel syndrome), malnutrition, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease, and developmental delay in children, just to name a few. Oftentimes, your gluten sensitivity may present with various unexplained symptoms.
Getting rid of these two health bombs will go a long way toward improving your health.
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I probably know Calamus more deeply than any other plant I’ve worked with, yet in spite of that (or perhaps because of it…) I find it most difficult to capture what I know of it in a way that adequately conveys its essential nature; its medicine. Perhaps this is because Calamus is not a plant that facilitates “capturing” on any level, but rather teaches us to yield to the flow of things and let go of our needs for stark outlines and delineations. Still, this plant has clearly offered itself to me not only to learn from, but to share, and so that I’ll try to do…
Acorus calamus is a semi-aquatic plant that likes to grow with “wet feet”, often alongside Irises, Cattails, and other waterweeds. It likes the edges of ponds, lakes, and rivers, but I've seen it growing in drier soil as well. The leaves are similar to Cattail or Iris leaves, being sword shaped, and from 2 1/2 to 3 feet in length. Calamus leaves, though, are a yellow-green in color, not blue-green, and have a slightly wavy margin (edge) and a midrib. Easily, the most effective way to identify the plant is to break off and smell the leaves. Ahhhh… nothing else smells like Sweet Flag. The root is a rhizome, which is a horizontal tuber that runs across the ground. It is marked by leaf scars above, and produces abundant rootlets, which for the most part go straight down, below. There are no stems; the leaves rise directly from the rhizome. The plant can easily be cultivated from a root cutting, and will grow quickly once established. I have a few different varieties growing in a non-draining planter that I keep wet, and it thrives, producing flowers every year. I used wild soil in the planter, and the seeds and roots that came along with have all happily sprouted, offering a little wetland ecosystem that, when I was living on the third floor of an apartment building, the birds and insects delighted in.
Crystal Harvey, MAIC Correspondent
Fluoride Action Network
Tea Drinkers Beware!
New York - Fluoride added to
tap water (fluoridation) puts tea drinkers at risk of damaged bones,
discolored teeth and soft tissue harm, studies show.
Tea has naturally high fluoride levels. Excess fluoride can weaken bones and discolor children’s un-erupted teeth. When fluoridated water is used to make tea, fluoride levels consumed can be health damaging.
Four cups, of 20 teas sampled, delivered 0.8 to 1.8 mg of fluoride, when non-fluoridated water was used, reports Cao et al. in Food Chemistry.
“Among populations habitually consuming black tea, water fluoridation is not only unnecessary but also possibly harmful…The target organs of chronic fluoride intoxication are not only the teeth and skeleton, but also the liver, kidney, nervous and reproductive systems,” they write.
No offense intended for any individuals or tribes.
Three Indian commandos were out in the Iraqi desert. "I understand that you
Indians have brought your own indigenous survival equipment" ventured their
"Sir, I have brought an entire barrel cactus" said the Pima guy proudly. "When I
get too hot, I just cut off the top and take a drink." The captain looked
Not to be outdone, the Pueblo guy said " Sir, I have brought the sacred corn pollen. When I get too hot, I pray with it, and then it rains". The captain looked even more impressed.
Not to be outdone the Pawnee guy said "I brought a car door off a 1959 Chevy Impala". "Why would you do that?" the captain asked.
"Well," said the Pawnee guy "when I get too hot, I just roll down the window".
ANIMAL RIGHTS... AND WRONGS
SAVE OCEAN ECOSYSTEMS AND THEIR SEABIRDS!
The White House has recently proposed a new rule for oversight of marine fisheries. The new rule would gut the protections that the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) has long provided ocean ecosystems and the seabirds and other wildlife that depend on them. Under the new rule, the ability of the public to have input into the future of our oceans would be severely limited and oversight of marine fisheries would be largely given over to regional fishery management councils — the equivalent of having the fox guard the hen house.
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires government agencies to analyze the likely environmental effects of their actions and to seek public input into their decisions. The proposed rule would exempt certain categories of fisheries from environmental review altogether and weaken the requirements for environmental reviews of fisheries across the board. The proposed new rule would also severely limit the ability of the public to give input into any decisions made.
NEPA's review process has successfully protected ocean ecosystems in the past. By mandating that impacts to birds and other ocean wildlife be considered when fishing regulations are made, NEPA can help birds and other wildlife while creating a more sustainable ocean system. Nineteen of the twenty-two species of albatross are already threatened with extinction due to long-line fishing techniques that accidentally catch and drown the birds. On the East Coast of the United States, the rufa Red Knot is threatened by over fishing of its main food source, horseshoe crabs. It is vital for our seabirds that we do not weaken environmental oversight of the fishing industry.
ENDANGERED SACRED SITES:
Desecration of Hawaiian Gravesite
A state historic preservation agency
recommends that $210,000 in fines be
HUNDREDS OF Great NEW Gift IDEAs for the Holidays
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