De main ting I see at dis point is community – building communities where you can trust one another, where you can help a mama who is

crying because she has a pikin who is crying en she doesn’t know wot to give her.

You know, in de village, when you get up in de morning, de first ting you do is to go outside. But here, one day I was sitting all day inside without going out, en it occurred to me that this was de first time in my life I’d ever done that, except I wasn’t feeling well.

To get up in de morning en not go out among people is absolutely inconceivable to somebody in de kijiji. Because when you stay all day inside, it means that something isn’t going right with you, en people worry bout you. And so we begin by going outside, talking to our neighbours en helping each other out.

It’s small steps like dis. It’s like wot we say: If you have a baby, you don’t throw her away because she’s small. You keep her en keep nurturing her, knowing dat one day she’s going to be a grown-up. So these are de kinds of smart tings we can do, nurturing many small relationships so dat one day community can happen….

It is as difficult for indigenous people to conceive of life without a community as it is for most Westerners to imagine life in a community.

To create a community dat will work for people here, there is a need to look carefully at some of de fundamentals of a healthy community – spirit, children, elders, responsibility, gift-giving, accountability, ancestors, and ritual. These elements form de base of a community. And it doesn’t have to start with alot of people. I’d rather have a circle of good friends en be a community with them than just get lost in a crowd of people who don’t care at all.

Intimacy, de natural attraction of two human beings to each other, is something that de

elders say is actually prompted by spirit, en spirit brings people together in order to give them de opportunity to grow together. That growth is directly connected to de gifts that two people are capable of providing to de kijiji. And this is why when a couple is in trouble, the whole kijiji is in trouble….

When we start to feel a problem, we tend to think it’s jus two people who are involved en we forget about the fact that spirit is there. We tend to forget that we have allies who can bring us strength. We forget to ask for help from rafikis or family members.

In de village, it’s easier for people because every morning when you wake up somebody will come and ask you, “Did you hear something sweet last night?” and if you remain silent or you say no, then de person will get worried because something is wrong. If you didn’t hear something good, it means that something sour must have taken de place of good. They will then get to de bottom of that problem before it gets out of control….

In other [indigenUS] werds,

…Plains Native men en women are aware of an oral legacy of holy men en women unknown to outsiders.

Memories of ancestors en their spiritual accomplishments are combined with personal experience to shape a view of de spiritual present. Holy womben who were ancestors continuously come to light….For de tribal peoples of dis land, dis balancing between two worlds can be very precarious, both spiritually en physically.

Popular Western culture loves to borrow things from de indigenous peoples of Turtle Island. Although it is possible that such “ceremonies” as “Native” drumming and sweat baths help people to get back in touch with de natural world, they are imperfectly lifted from a continuum of religious ceremonies that carry indigenous peoples from birth, through life’s struggles, to death en beyond.

What many of today’s medicine men, womben en two-spirit people do most is help people who are “injured” by living as a colonized tribal people. In effect, they doctor depression, lack of positive identity, suicidal behaviour, drug abuse, alcoholism, family crises, spouse abuse, en stress-related illnesses that are effects of colonization. They also doctor “standard” types of illnesses such as cancer as well, but most “obvious” problems are left to run their course or are treated by a white physician.

To overstand, at any level, de meaning of these ceremonies en their relationship to de religions from which they are borrowed requires a fairly deep understanding of their true cultural context, which includes knowing those mythic hadithi of creashun, ancient

god/desses, en tricksters that are used to shape en de young in indigenous worlds…..

A seeker of spiritual understanding would not be able to understand Judaism, en de beliefs en ceremonies that go with it, without reading de Old Testament. We must understand de origin of de metaphors acted out in de ritual, to understand de place en use of that ritual within that particular belief system. For indigenous peoples (around dis dunia), de beginning is told in their own unique “tribal” creashun hadithi, kama…

Ihan’bla: To Dream

Plains Native/Indian pikin raised close to tradishun learn to listen to en interpret de dream world, which is de lasting en sacred dunia. De ability to acquire de clear memory of ndotos, to discriminate between significant en insignificant dreams, to remember them in detail., en to interpret them satisfactorily must be acquired in

childhood. The amount of time it takes to interpret or understand a dream might be moments, or it might be a lifetime.

Most of de traditional crafts of Plains Indian womben are tedious en repetitive, leaving a great amount of time for reflection en contemplation. Both men en womben use dreams to re/learn bout de sacred world. For some it is a lifetime of exploration en learning de ukwelis of de universe.

Some womben in their special capacity as “dreamers” are called upon, by de clarity en regularity of their dreams, to warn people of impending problems en to predict en possibly alter de outcome of events by overstanding what their dreams are about…..

Womben who become “doctors” are in essence no different from any other womban in de community except that they have an additional role to fulfill. It is important to realize that they are not considered strange or necessarily exceptional. Though de powah of their ceremonies may command deep respect, in most instances their role in de family en community life are de same as those of other womben…..

In Lakota society, de spiritual en economic powahs of womben were not only acknowledged but well respected. When a man took a wife, he lived in her camp. When de Lakota traced their ancestry, while acknowledging en respecting their father’s relatives, most took de band name of their mothers. These patterns still exist.

Because Lakota society is more balanced with regard to male, female and two-spirit forces than other societies, it is little wonder that there are two commonly told legends about de end of de world – one female-based, de other male. Here is a female version told to Tilda Long Soldier by de late Lucy Swan, a respected Lakota elder, in de mid-1970s.

There is a very old womban who sits on de edge of a tall bluff. She is quilling a beautiful design on a buffalo robe. The womban is very old, so she tires easily. Besides her sits an ancient dog. He is so old that he has very few teeth. Even though he is old, he is still playful.

Every day the womban quills that buffalo robe. Soon she is tired en falls asleep. When she rests at night, de dog unravels all that she did de day before. If that dog forgets to unravel those quills, or gets too old, de old womban will finish de robe. That will be de end of de world.

This is a male version that Tilda heard from her grandmama, de late Dora (Little Warrior) Rooks, in de 1970s.

At one time there was a young [buffalo] bull. He had four strong legs. As de first three ages passed, he lost three of his legs, one by one. Every year he loses one hair.

Grandma Dora told me, “The white people are descended from de spider people. They have learned to use electricity. That electricity once belonged only to de Wakinyan [Thunder Beings].

To do this they up wires on poles. They send these wires all over. As electricity covers de earth, it creates a huge spider web. One day this spider web will cause a great fiya. This will cause de buffalo to lose its last leg en fall to de earth. This will be end of de world.

There are versions that do not refer to electricity, but always de buffalo is brought down by man’s mistake. Grandma Dora’s version gives clear insight into beliefs held by some Lakota……Fafanua.

[remixed en reposted with overflowing upendo] from The Spirit of Intimacy – Ancient African Teachings in The Ways of Relationships  & Walking in The Sacred Manner 

Healers, Dreamers and Pipe Carriers – Medicine Women of the Plains Indians by Mark St.Pierre and Tilda Long Soldier.

hadithi? hadithi? hadithi njoo, ukweli njoo, utamu kolea….giza ya?