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Before White Man

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Time "before" The White Man Came?

Many things have occurred over the last couple of hundred years as it effects and concerns the Native American Indian and their Traditions and Culture.


The time before the White Man?

by Wha-O Chee (Bear Standing )

In the generations around a sole fire within the camps of the First People

is told the tales from the Elders of the "Time before the White Man".

Before the White Man appeared the Medicine People told tales of the arrival

of a new human being that would rip the grounds of Mother Earth and shed the

animals around us, and that would be the sign of the end of the First people?

From tribe to tribe the tales told: Spoke of the "Walkers of Metal" and their sticks

of fire that sounded as the storm of thunders. And they were upon great beasts

that moved as the wind moves and carried the "Walkers of Metal" from many places

to many places. They were not men as our Warriors were men, for they had no honor

but that of their sticks of fire that sounded as the storm of thunders. Many brave Warriors ended time and went to the Four Winds and their Spirits guide us even today.

But, Mother Earth protected her people and these "Walkers of Metal" went away but leaving things upon the earth which in time the people learned to form into new arrows

that brought down Katonka in one blow. Arrows heads of metal had arrived.

In the generations around a sole fire within the camps of the First People

is told the tales from the Elders of the "Time before the White Man".

It was told, the tales of the Warriors and battles with the bear and even with self?

Great stories of the Maiden and the Gentle Warrior who taught the people of the Nation how to find peace inside and to share all they had with all others.Thousands of years ago was told this tale and it is still shared today.

Before the White Man arrived the clans lived in ways of sharing as one, and to the Tribes they also shared the Spirit of the Earth and the animals. Even those great creatures that one day were left behind by the "Walkers of Metal" and we know them today as horses. But, before that time the people walked and ran freely from place to place and water to waters following the Katonka for his food, hide, and bones to make things from. Many things were crafted from the buffalo before the arrival of the White Man upon the Nations.

In the generations around a sole fire within the camps of the First People

is told the tales from the Elders of the "Time before the White Man". About the beginning of creation upon the lands. Stories told before they arrived?

Stories were always told in go-la (wintertime). That's when the harvesting is done, and it's not yet time to begin planting. Everything is very very quiet, it's usually snowing outside, and except for the hunters, everyone has to stay inside next to the fire ( a-tsi-la ), where it is warm and comfortable.

Wintertime is also the best time to tell stories because that's when the snakes are asleep, and they can't hear what we are saying because snakes hold no secrets?

The time before the White Man?

In the generations around a sole fire within the camps of the First People

is told the tales from the Elders of the "Time before the White Man".

The Native American Indians Traditions and Culture had to struggle and barely survived after the white man invaded their lands and tries wiping out their culture. They survived forced moves, diseases brought on blankets, war, starvation and finally being assimilated via Reservations into the white man culture.

Clearly, history has taught us that the Native American Indians were strong and spiritual people that through it all held strong to their Traditions and Culture and especially keeping their legends and stories from the camp fires alive even up to today. Tales, legends and stories handed down for thousands of years and generations one word at a time which speak of calm and peace, even death and living life with all things that live upon Mother Earth. For they did believe everything had it's own Spirit and these were real and part of all Creation.

They believed in the Great Spirit ( Grand Father ), but they also believed in many deities in companionship with the Earth and all things around them. They saw the Spirit in the winds, the rains and in the snow of Winters. The First People did not practice religion in a box or a building, but in every aspect of living they followed the Spirits of all things. On the reservations many were forced to accept Christianity as taught by various known religions and one was the Catholic Church and many were Baptist. Many had their hair locks chopped off and were punished if they spoke their native tongue rather than the white man English. Clearly, this was forced religion pounded upon a people. Nevertheless, today many Native Americans are Christians and some few follow the Traditions and Culture of the Generations. The point of pondering upon is should they have been forced? Should they have been beaten? Should they have been almost annihilated? Yet! They have survived and overcome all the white man brought upon them. Many today are seeking to know the sharings of the Generations once more, but the traditional storytellers are few and far between.

In the generations around a sole fire within the camps of the First People

is told the tales from the Elders of the "Time before the White Man".

And the stories told remain the only foundation to rely upon for the Traditionalist.

For thousands of years Warriors wore bone chokers which were Spiritual and also might deflect an arrow in battle?

Bone chokers are also believed to provide spiritual protection of the voice which was a gift from the story of the Bears Berry. By wearing a bone choker, the spirits of the animal they come from were believed to provide spiritual protection from all kinds of troubles and even disease.

It was said that the Spirit shall also provide a great speaking ability when wearing a properly made bone choker that always speaks the truth and guides the warrior to speak from the heart. Warriors that had been to battle always wore a bone choker which showed they were in battle with enemies of the tribe.

In many tribes the Medicine Man would create powerfully made types of bone chokers to protect the Spirit of the warrior. And some Native Americans even had vision dreams about a certain type of bone choker and then asked their tribe's Medicine Man to make it for them. Rarely would a Native American make his or her own bone choker as it required the spiritual power of the Medicine People so the bone choker would have the great spiritual powers and protections while being worn. Most were crafted from buffalo bones and a few from deer bones and very special vision dream ones could be from any animal even birds. Some bones were dyed and colored by using plants like the blueberry and raspberry or wild strawberries and even cranberries. They experimented in dying bones and sometimes even hides.

Even today in the Great Celebrations called Pow Wows beautiful bone chokers are worn in the dancing within the Great Circle. Most are made from commercial end products and yet a few are created in as close a Traditional Method as possible.

By the fires we have been told the number of strands meaning when created?

Examples: Creator was One Line: Creator and Mother Earth was two lines:

Creator

Mother Earth

Spirit Walking

The Four Wind Spirits Protection

A Great Warrior

Tribal Leaders and Medicine People

Spiritual Unity

Peace and Totality of Spirit: Silent Walking! (An eight line Bone Choker)

Bone Chokers To-Day are made commercially and in great numbers and yet there still are some traditional Medicine People who do hand-craft and create cultural styled bone chokers which are not commercially mass produced but are copied for mass production. And some are those actually handed down from father to son for generations. We are a proud people!

Bone Chokers To-Day are made commercially and in great numbers and yet there still are some traditional Medicine People who do hand-craft and create cultural styled bone chokers which are not commercially mass produced but are copied for mass production.

You can find them at Pow Wows by simply asking if they can craft YOU a Special Order item with the bones and decorations YOU PICK. If they can, you discovered a real traditional crafter and not a mass produced seller. It is like a REAL SEED ARTIST who can create a Special Order design of YOUR CHOICE of colored seed beads to use in the finished pattern item. Mass produced people whom are simply sellers cannot do this simple test? Hand-crafting is a learned skill and it is an art of Culture and Traditions. And, please remember just as you go to work expecting a living wage in these days: So does a genuine traditional crafter deserve the same concept and respect of their Mother Earth gifted abilities as Medicine People.

By Wha-O-Chee (( Bear Standing ))

In 1882 the United States Government passed laws banning and making it a crime for the Native Americans to practice their belief rights handed down for thousands of years.

U.S. Interior Secretary Henry M. Teller signed an order to end to all "heathenish dances and ceremonies on every Reservation. Supported in 1883 by Hiram Price, Commissioner of Indian Affairs in his 1883 report that stated:

"There is no good reason why an Indian should be permitted to indulge in practices which are alike repugnant to common decency and morality; and the preservation of good order on the reservations demands that some active measures should be taken to discourage and, if possible, put a stop to the demoralizing influence of heathenish rites."

This order led to the deaths (Massacre) at Wounded Knee December 29th 1890. The US Calvary was used as the arm to force this order upon the Native Americans and led to the out right killing of many Native Americans simply because they desired their own rights of religion? Ever hear of the First Amendment?

Of course, "back then" it still remained the only good Indian was the dead Indian", and the Native Americans had no rights under the White Man Constitution at that time.

Imagine for thousands of years you practiced Ceremonies and rituals that were part and partial of your Culture and Traditions not as a defined "religion" but a way of living in concert with all things around you? Then your told you shall die because of them if you do them?

Ponder upon that as you read and gain deeper understanding into the Traditions and Cultures of the entire Nation.

Many thousands and thousands of moons ago one Tribe of the First People Nation were called the Ojibway and lived in the cold country along Thunder Bay and in Minnesota and among the people was a great Chief who had wisdom and knowledge because he traveled long ways in his hunting years and while he learned to Walk Silent among the trees and upon Mother Earth following his vision to collect only certain seeds that spoke to him. He was from a great birth that many whom were there still remember to this day.

He was a respected Warrior and a Great Hunter. When his time to be named arrived: He was named Thunder Hawk from the area he was born and the Hawk which flew and sat then watching his birth upon the World.

Many moons passed and Thunder Hawk aged as all people do in the passage of time upon Mother Earth. Thunder Hawks once jet black hair was now white as the snows of winter that appears each year upon the people. His bow hung upon his teepee and the arrows appeared well worn. In the corner stood his Great Staff and that is one more story of a tale?

He had aged into the years of about 99 as counted by the moons of passing and his eyes watched the coming of the Owl which would for tell his time of passing had come.

Knowing time was closing Thunder Hawk called his son Night Hawk to his teepee and asked him to sit and listen to that which Thunder Hawk had to say.

With hands a bit shaky and lacking the strength of a young Warrior the very wise old man reached under his ground bed and brought out a well worn and very old deerskin medicine bag which he had carried from his 12th year to To-Day.

Thunder Hawk placed the well worn bag with frayed edges and signs of wear into the right hand of his son Night Hawk and spoke Ti-Baki-Enane which means my days are few. My son take my medicine bag and when you are out of my site and beyond my teepee sitting in the woods of the land: Open it!

Thunder Hawk continued speaking to his son and stated,

In this medicine bag my son you shall discover special seeds which through my vision Mother Earth brought me to find when they spoke to me. From distances beyond the eyes and farther than the crow flies I have fulfilled my Vision Quest as required by Creator. Now I need you my son to take care of them and do now that which I tell you to do in Honor of my Memory within your heart.

From this day every time a new child is born upon the People you shall plant one of my vision seeds into Mother Earth. Then great gift trees will come to pass and The People shall build their abode from the great trees and wood from these in moons further shall become vessels that flow upon waters as I have seen in my Vision and The People shall prosper in this great gift if you do as your Father requests?

My Father, I shall follow what you ask and I shall honor thy word. And, I shall plant the seeds you have gathered to complete your Vision Quest granted by the Creator and guided by Mother Earth.

Night Hawk watched as his Fathers eyes closed for the last time, and Night Hawk wept as only a warrior can weep.

Night Hawk left his fathers teepee and went out into the world going camp to camp of the tribe to see when a child was born. For each child born he planted a Vision Seed in Honor and Respect of his Fathers Word.

Soon giant and wonderful Great White Pines filled the landscape as far as eyes could see. Night Hawk watched them grow and when they reached the sky each formed new pine cones and he now gathered them and kept renewing the vision seeds in Honor of his Father and this went on for many many moons beyond count ability for the numbers soared as new babies were born upon the Nation.

Many moons passed and Night Hawk aged as all people do in the passage of time upon Mother Earth. Night Hawks once jet black hair was now white as the snows of winter that appears each year upon the people.

Night Hawk was sleeping one night in his teepee when he was shaken and awakened by the sound of many thunders rumbling in his ears. Opening his eyes he saw a glow and bright light shining down upon his face of 500 years upon Mother Earth. And then he saw them!

Standing next to his bow he saw the Spirit of his Father and next to him were two other Spirits of Warrior Chiefs.

Night Hawk listened as he heard a soft voice from his Fathers Spirit speak words spoken unto him.

My faithful son Night Hawk has kept his promise upon the Honor and Respect requested by me, and we are all well pleased in your Silent Walk planting the seeds of the Great White Pine. We are aware you gave all to accomplish this task and have not known the joy of sons or daughters or even a single place to hang your bow.

Hear me now my son! We three have come to give you a great work to do and ask you to once more Honor and Respect the words of your Father.

Tonight upon Mother Earth the Greatest Child ever born will be born in a far away land where only the wood vessels shall one day travel that I saw in my vision and shared with you 500 years ago.

Now pick the finest seed that you have and travel in speed to the highest hill you can discover and plant it immediately in Mother Earth so that all men of the Nation and all women of the Nation may see the tree that grows from that seed and then the world itself shall wonder. The words of Thunder Hawk are ended!

Night Hawk watched as all Three Spirits walked out of his teepee and it became dark and silent inside the teepee.

Then he arose and started walking to Thunder Hill which was the tallest hill he knew of in all of his years Walking Silent. And, upon this hill he planted the finest seed he had!

The seed started to grow immediately when covered with some soft earth, and it grew 20 times faster than any tree can grow and in days had become taller than any Great White Pine upon all of Mother Earth. In fact, it was so tall that even the night stars hung upon its boughs and the moon seemed to always make it glow as waters and wind tendered it the things of life.

Night Hawk watched this thing, and when the tree was as tall as it could grow: Night Hawk closed his eyes for the last time while sitting his back upon the tree.

Our story does not end here?

Many moons passed and people cut down the tree into wood beams for vessels to sail the great salt waters to far away lands. The vessels arrived and sold the wood to the traders. The traders sold the wood beams to the Romans who then one day made a cross for a Child that had become a man!

This story was told long before any Bible was ever written. And is what it is, and what it was told around the Winter Fires. Believe it or not?

Native American Indians were very Spiritual!

In the generations around a sole fire within the camps of the First People.

is told the tales from the Elders of the "Time before the White Man". Tales of braves in battle and for hunting. It was the time of calm and sharing before the White Man appeared in his shiny suits with sticks of fire that sounded as the storm of thunders and sent many of the people to the Great Spirit, where they remain even today!

Tales told like the War between Bear and Beaver, Small Bear and Fox or Bear that gave a gift. Or Buffalo and the Mouse, Ravens Adventure, The Bear Family and thousands more for discovery. Elders always tell old stories as truth which they now then speak to all that will hear as they sit around the Winter Fires and the elders tales were simply accepted for there was no reason to lie before the White Man appeared.

The time before the White Man?

Was a way of life and of living that is not easy to fully explain?

As the sun arose the camp would begin to stir, mothers started handing food and drink to the little ones who then went out to explore and play in the world around them. Then they fed their elders and husband and last they fed self. Life was simple and life was good when the hunting was good. Times did become ruff when hunting was low and the ice winds blew or the thunders roared for days moving the buffalo herds farther away from the camps. Men had honor between men before the arrival of the White Man.

Grand Father watched over his people and gave them many gifts like the Dance Circle and songs to sing and the buffalo. He gave the winds and the fire and the Earth for us to live upon and see the wisdom of One Heart. These all are things the coming of the White Man tried to destroy and almost did. Extinction of the Native American Indians as a people, tribes, clans and Nations was upon the lips and actions of the White Man and the only thing missing was the cremation plants we all know from World War II and I surmise if they had existed back then, that they also would have been used to destroy an entire people. Remember always, "The Trail of Tears" as one undeniable event in American History. Or the "Long Walk".

The time before the White Man?

In the generations around a sole fire within the camps of the First People

is told the tales from the Elders of the "Time before the White Man".

Before the White Man appeared the Medicine People told tales of the arrival

of a new human being that would rip the grounds of Mother Earth and shed the

animals around us, and that would be the sign of the end of the First people?

The Native American people learned from Mother Earth. Each animal and plant fit together as they understood it, and everyone and everything had a spirit and the Spirit was the most vital aspect of living.

As I heard: So have I shared.

I am Wha-O Chee (Bear Standing )

[ of the Mide manido ("Grand Medicine spirit") ] {Eternal Medicine Lodge]

And I share to the Nations that which I have received:

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