Manataka American Indian Council

 

 

 

Grandmother Makah Nupah L. Cota Speaks

 

 

 

The Keeper of the Ears

 

From the Star Nation came a young man called Stone Boy or Star Boy, this person was known by many names in many Nations. Some of our brothers and sisters called him The Peace Maker. The legends reach far and into many lands in both the Little Brother land and in the Big Brother land. Across Turtle Island the stories are still told of this young man who traveled and spoke to the people. He brought gifts of knowledge in the ways to live in peace and harmony. He shared the teachings of the plant nation and the animals, and taught of the heavens the stars and the wind and rain. As he walked this land all things were made clear by his teachings.

 

When Stone Boy first came to this land we lived in fear and separation. Small band of people wandered and hunted, gathered and survived. There was no common language no ceremony, or sacred songs. We did not know the story of creation; these things were brought later to us by Corn Woman and White Buffalo Calf Woman.

 

Upon his first visit to this land Stone Boy found that the people were isolated. He decided to speak to the people but he could find none to talk too, finally after a long walk he came upon a small earth lodge. A very old woman lived in this lodge and she invited him in, and gave him food and water and rest. Stone Boy asked of her many questions about the people, he knew as a Grandmother she had lived long and would know the answers.

 

The Grandmother told him about the people and how they had left the village and the Elders fire and now lived in fear of the Monster. This Monster she said lived in the great valley that lay between her and the river. The Stone Boy said then I must go and talk to the people and the Monster and tell them to make peace. The Grandmother begged him to stay and not go in the Valley, she told him it was the Monster’s land and he would be killed and eaten. The Grandmother told him he could stay and she would feed him and give him one of her beautiful Grand Daughters for his wife. After much though on this, Stone Boy decided to go into the Valley.

 

When he entered the Valley he found many things had died. The medicine plants, trees and other plants were all dead or sick. Stone Boy looked into the water and saw that the medicine was weak in the Earth Mother. All the water was black and not good to drink; the river was polluted with much bad Toka. (bad spirits).


After he had traveled several days seeing all the sickness he came upon the Great Valley. As he watched from the hill he saw a fire burning and beside it sat a very big Monster. He watched from behind a large cedar tree, and noticed that the Monster had something around his neck. After looking he saw the things on the Monsters neck were necklaces made of human ears. This made Stone Boy sit down and think. Why was the Monster wearing the ears and where were the people that they belonged to? He thought about this and what the medicine of such a powerful Monster could be. After much thought and prayer he decided to talk to the Monster.

 

He had to be able to get close and speak to him to know his medicine and to find the answer to his question about the people. He had an idea: what better way to go among the enemy but dressed as one of them. So he took some moss from the North side of the cedar tree and made some shapes to look like ears. With some long Sweet Grass he strung them into a necklace and boldly walked into the valley.


The Monster was watching him walk toward and said, "Stop!!!! Who are you, and what do you want here in my land?” Stone Boy said, “Hello! Don’t you know me, I am a monster too; see I have many ears.

 

I have long heard of your powers and have come to learn from you."

 

The Monster said, " hummm you are but a boy what could you possible do to help me?"

 

Stone Boy said, “I will do as you wish and help you to gather many more ears; but you must show me how you do it most honorable one."

 

The Monster thought for a while and his ego was so big that he said, "Yes you can stay and help me."

 

Stone Boy sat down beside the fire and waited for the Monster to speak.


As the Monster was so full of himself and boastful it was not long before he started to tell of the people and how he got the ears. The story he told Stone Boy was of a people who now lived in fear because he had their ears. They could no longer hear the truth and so had given away there ears to the Monster. He then was able to control them with his way and they had to serve him and take care of him, feed him, make his clothes and hunt for him. They lived in fear and no one could help them as they had no ears to hear with. The Monster said he had all the ears except for a few of the people who lived along the Great River.

 

This River was a threat to the Monster as it protected the people and kept them from falling into his ways. The river was said to contain wisdom and truth and the Monster could not go near it in the day light. The Monster told Stone Boy he was waiting for a certain time when the night would be long and the people by the river would be less alert to the voice of the river. He had decided at this time when they slept and were easy to capture he would go down in the night and cut off there ears Stone Boy ask the Monster if he was so powerful why then did he fear the river.

 

Stone Boy said I do not fear the river; my medicine is good and strong. Stone Boy then said that he had one fear that would destroy him and he had never told it to anyone. Stone Boy asked the Monster if he too had such a fear. The Monster though for a moment and said yes he did. Stone Boy said if you tell me your fear I will tell you mine.

 

The Monster was curious and thought he was so strong and big he had nothing to fear from this little Monster so he said, “I will be destroyed if the people ever become strong and learn to be in harmony again."

 

He told Stone boy he had kept them in fear for so long they had forgotten the medicine songs and the rhythm to make the spirits come to help them. Stone Boy listened in what seemed to be respect and then he said why don't you get some sleep and I will keep the fire going.


The Monster said he had waited a long time, and was getting sleepy so he asks Stone Boy to go and watch the people while he slept. Stone Boy was to tell the Monster when the people were asleep and when it was time to capture them, after that the Monster lay down and slept. When the Monster was asleep, Stone Boy ran to the Valley by the river and soon came to a lodge. He took off the moss necklace of ears and asked to speak to the Chief of the people. They were very careful of who they let in the village but finally after much talk he was able to speak to the Chiefs. He sat in the Lodge and told them of why he had come to the land of the Turtle Island, he told of the Monster and how he had tricked him. He then told them of a plan to kill the Monster, and he shared the plan with the people.

 

They were to pretend to be asleep, all were to sleep in the big Lodge that night and not in there lodges alone. Only leave blankets rolled up in your Lodge to look like you were are asleep. They were to take lots of buffalo fat with them into the: Lodge, also many rattles and drums. When he brought the Monster inside and told them, they were to jump up and throw the buffalo fat on the fire to make it very bright. Then rattle and drum and sing the medicine song he taught them.


After he had warned the people and they were ready Stone Boy returned to the fire and waited for the Monster to wake up. When the Monster was awake Stone Boy told him all was ready and the people slept in there Lodges. The Monster stood up to his huge and powerful height and said I am ready and rested lets go to the village. It was a beautiful night and the stars were bright in the sky, as they set out to find the Village. When they came to the Village, Stone Boy asks if the Monster wanted him to go into the Lodge first. The Monster said no that he would go in now and Stone Boy was to remain outside, after all he was the important one and leader here. Stone Boy let the Monster go into the lodge first then quietly followed him. When the Monster was well inside and standing tall Stone Boy gave the signal to the people and they made the fire bright and rattled and sang the song.


The Monster tried to duck down to get out of the Lodge; but Stone Boy became a stone and sealed the entrance to the Lodge, and the Monster was destroyed by fire and went up the Lodge smoke hole into the night sky.


Stone Boy stayed a long time with the people and took them into the river, putting the water all over them to regain the wisdom of the medicine. Stone Boy then built an Inipi, (stone lodge) he took the people inside and taught them the old songs to sing and drum for the spirits to enter the lodge. Stone Boy brought all the ears the Monster had taken in to the lodge and had the people place them on there heads and they again could hear. After the Inipi they returned to the river where they again went into the water and drank until the wisdom was restored. They prayed until and the spirit of the river and stone, fire and air was in their bodies and they were strong. From this time on the people lived in community and harmony they respected each other and never again let anyone take their ability to here their own hearts.

 

Many came in the years after this that brought great sadness and diseases on the people. Many of the people let the new Monsters steal their ears and once again they lost the wisdom and medicine of the ways. Now many are coming of all colors to seek wisdom and to find a better way to live on this our Mother Earth.

 

The Lodge still stands by the river and is open to those who wish to walk in a good way on this Earth Mother.

 

Mitakuye Oyasin so the stories may live.

 

Blessings Waynonaha

Copywrite © 2011 by Makah Nupah L. Cota.  All publication Rights Reserved.
 

 

 


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