Pan Flute ©2000 elan michaels and MusicWorx Publishing
To receive true spiritual guidance,
one must deal with the past,

have faith in the future, but live in the present...

 

 

Earth Teach Me to Remember
by John Yellow Lark

 

Earth teach me stillness
as the grasses are stilled with light.

Earth teach me suffering
as old stones suffer with memory.

Earth teach me humility
as blossoms are humble with beginning.

Earth Teach me caring
as the mother who secures her young.

Earth teach me courage
as the tree which stands alone.

Earth teach me limitation
as the ant which crawls on the ground.

Earth teach me freedom
as the eagle which soars in the sky.

Earth teach me resignation
as the leaves which die in the fall.

Earth teach me regeneration
as the seed which rises in the spring.

Earth teach me to forget myself
as melted snow forgets its life.

Earth teach me to remember kindness
as dry fields weep in the rain.

 

 

 

Words That Speak

The American Indian is of the soil, whether it be the region of forests, plains, pueblos, or mesas. He fits into the landscape, for the hand that fashioned the continent also fashioned the man for his surroundings. He once grew as naturally as the wild sunflowers, he belongs just as the buffalo belonged....

 Out of the Indian approach to life there came a great freedom, an intense and absorbing respect for life, enriching faith in a Supreme Power, and principles of truth, honesty, generosity, equity, and brotherhood as a guide to mundane relations.

 You have noticed that everything an Indian does is in a circle, and that is because the Power of the World always works in circles, and everything tries to be round..... The Sky is round, and I have heard that the earth is round like a ball, and so are all the stars. The wind, in its greatest power, whirls. Birds make their nest in circles, for theirs is the same religion as ours....

 Even the seasons form a great circle in their changing, and always come back again to where they were. The life of a man is a circle from childhood to childhood, and so it is in everything where power moves.

 Plains Indian (also called North American Plains or Buffalo Indian) is any member of various tribes of American Indians that formerly inhabited the Great Plains of what is now the central United States and south-central Canada, between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains.

The Plains Indians included groups speaking Algonquian, Siouan, Caddoan, Uto-Aztecan, Athabascan, and Kiowa-Tanoan languages.

Most of the Plains Indians were nomadic big-game hunters, and their primary game was the American bison, or buffalo, which supplied them with food, shelter, clothing, and bone tools. Other game included antelope, deer, and elk. Hunting, usually a tribal activity, involved driving the game down a cliff or into a corral or encircling it by fire.

Until the late 16th century the Great Plains were occupied only sparsely or intermittently. Toward the year 1600, however, Spanish horses were introduced and spread northward from the region of New Mexico, reaching almost the entire Plains area by 1750.

Horses and firearms revolutionized the buffalo hunt. The horse made it possible to approach the herd quickly and without disguises. It also seems to have drawn peoples from surrounding areas into the plains to develop a new way of life. Thus, most tribes thought by Europeans to be typical nomadic horse Indians--such as the Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Dakota (Sioux)--were actually newcomers to the area and had been farmers and village dwellers not many generations before their first European contacts.

The nomadic tribes were made up of smaller local units called bands, which came together only for the summer communal hunt or for major religious ceremonies. The Teton Sioux, Cheyenne, Comanche, and Crow were typical nomadic tribes. A few tribes, though mainly nomadic, practiced horticulture, produced pottery, and resided in fixed villages for part of the year. These semisedentary tribes spent part of the time planting and harvesting crops, which consisted of corn (maize), beans, squash, and sunflowers. The Pawnee, Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara were typical semisedentary tribes.

There were no hereditary social classes among the Plains Indians, although wealth and standing could be won through prowess at war, generosity to the poor, sharing goods with relatives, and lavish hospitality. Because individualism and fighting were highly valued by almost every tribe, military organizations and clubs were often established in order to channel intratribal aggressiveness.

Local bands and villages were composed of families and kinship groups, which could be patrilineal (as among the Iowa, Kansa, Omaha, Osage, and Ponca), matrilineal (as among the Hidatsa, Mandan, and Crow), or both. Marriages were generally monogamous and were ordinarily arranged between the families of the bride and groom. Children were trained for adult pursuits as part of their play, and relatives often played important roles in their upbringing. Boys were given bows and arrows at a very early age, while girls were taught domestic skills by their mothers.

Before the appearance of European explorers, the Plains Indians made tools of bone, horn, antler, and stone. Animal skins were used for clothing, receptacles of various kinds, and tepees, which were portable, cone-shaped tents. Basketry and pottery were known among the semi-sedentary tribes. Until horses were introduced by the Spaniards, dogs were probably the only domesticated animals. The introduction of the horse had a profound impact on Plains life, revolutionizing the hunt and warfare and providing a valuable commodity for both trade and theft, the latter stimulating warfare.

Although some tribes, such as the Atsina*, believed in a supreme deity, other tribes, such as the Crow, did not. However, rituals ranging from simple rites to ceremonies lasting weeks were common to almost all of the Plains Indians. All of the Plains tribes had medicine men, or shamans, who were responsible for such activities as curing illness and locating enemies, game, or lost objects. Much importance was attached to spiritual visions, and success in life was attributed to the intervention of friendly spirits.

The culture of the Plains Indians changed radically as white settlers moved into the region. The nomadic Indians' hunting economy collapsed when the buffalo was virtually exterminated in the late 19th century, and native crafts declined as manufactured articles, such as metal utensils and cloth, were introduced. Introduced diseases and warfare with whites reduced Indian populations, and even greater disturbances resulted when the Indians were placed on reservations. Nomadic Indians found cattle a poor replacement for buffalo, and semi-sedentary groups, who considered cultivation to be women's work, resisted the change in the division of labor brought on by the introduction of the plow. Deprived of their traditional culture, many Indians became demoralized and came to depend on government aid for their subsistence.

 

*Atsina: also called Gros Ventres Of The Prairie, an offshoot of the Algonquian-speaking Arapaho tribe of North American Indians, from which they may have separated as early as 1700; they were living in what is now northern Montana and adjacent regions of Canada in late historic times and were culturally similar to other Plains tribes. Together with the Assiniboin, they were settled on Fort Belknap Reservation, Montana, where the combined population totaled fewer than 2,000 in the late 20th Century.

 

 

 

 

Secret Hidden Within You

 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."

 ~ Author Unknown ~

Give Us Hearts to Understand

 Give us hearts to understand;  

Never to take from creation's beauty more than we give;

never to destroy wantonly for the furtherance of greed;

Never to deny to give our hands for the building of earth's beauty;

never to take from her what we cannot use.

Give us hearts to understand

That to destroy earth's music is to create confusion;

that to wreck her appearance is to blind us to beauty;

That to callously pollute her fragrance is to make a house of stench;

that as we care for her she will care for us.

We have forgotten who we are.

We have sought only our own security.

We have exploited simply for our own ends.

We have distorted our knowledge.

We have abused our power.

Great Spirit, whose dry lands thirst,

Help us to find the way to refresh your lands.

Great Spirit, whose waters are choked with debris and pollution,

help us to find the way to cleanse your waters.

Great Spirit, whose beautiful earth grows ugly with misuse,

help us to find the way to restore beauty to your handiwork.

Great Spirit, whose creatures are being destroyed,

help us to find a way to replenish them.

Great Spirit, whose gifts to us are being lost in selfishness and corruption,

help us to find the way to restore our humanity.

Oh, Great Spirit, whose voice I hear in the wind,

whose breath gives life to the world, hear me;

I need your strength and wisdom.

May I walk in Beauty
   

Thanksgiving Prayer
We return thanks to our mother, the earth, 
which sustains us. We return thanks to the rivers and streams, 
which supply us with water. We return thanks to all herbs, which furnish 
medicines for the cure of our diseases. We return thanks to the moon and stars,
 which have given to us their light when the sun was gone. We return thanks to the sun, that
 has looked upon the earth with a beneficent eye. Lastly, we return thanks to the Great Spirit, in Whom
 is embodied all goodness, and Who directs all things for the good of Her children. 

 

Great Spirit, God, Creator of All

Iroquois Prayer, adapted

Great Spirit, God, Creator of All

I welcome You into my heart, mind, body and soul

There is always room for You here.

Grant me the wisdom to heed my inner voice

And the strength to stay grounded while I sing my sacred song.

Guide me down my chosen path and give me the courage to pursue

what is available to me.

I am thankful for the lessons and grateful for my struggles;

I have not forgotten what has brought me to where I am today.

Open my heart to the healing wholeness of nature;

We are all related, and through this I will find serenity.

Great Spirit, God, Creator of All

Cleanse my spirit and wash my soul.

There is always room for You here.

       

May God bless you and guide you on your journey.

 


©Copyright Typowriters Design 2003
Art by Josephine Hall and Elan Michaels
Music by Elan Michaels

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