Did Ancient Hopi Elders see Our Day?

Not everyone believes in prophecy. Of course, the test of a true prophet versus someone with a vivid imagination is whether or not their predictions come true. In many cases, the speaker does not live long enough to see whether it does or not, but if others recorded what they said, in due time the truth will be known.

Native Americans have run the gamut of emotions from outrage to grief toward the white man’s life style and attitude toward Mother Earth. According to the Holy Bible, man was given “dominion” over the Earth. A word that suggests he could do as he pleased with all it contains and justifies exploiting it for his own gain.

However, in view of the current state of the planet, was that an accurate translation of the Creator’s intent?

Much was edited out of that sacred tome because it didn’t fit the understanding of the day. Ancient Roman emperors twisted Christ’s teachings to suit their own designs. One translation of the Bible that is often quoted, and even considered among the best, was commissioned by King James of England and published in 1611.

The front plates states, “Translated out of the original tongues: and with the former translations diligently compared and revised by His Majesty’s special command.”

I don’t know about you, but it’s pretty hard to believe British attitudes didn’t creep in, intentionally or otherwise, to reflect his royal view of the world, which, incidentally, included worldwide colonization. Some books of the original Bible were deleted, such as The Book of Enoch, because so much of its content was either offensive, fried their brains, or didn’t make sense.

What if the word translated as “dominion” actually meant “responsibility?” The implications are huge. Do you have dominion over your children or responsibility for them? Does man have dominion over Earth’s resources or responsibility for them? If you’re a parent, how did you feel when you gave your child an expensive gift that they subsequently trashed?

The consensus among Native Americans is that we are responsible for the planet and everything on it, including each other. “All my relations” refers beyond immediate and extended human family to all “two-leggeds” as well as every plant, animal, and mineral.

We all came from Mother Earth. We are all related.

Hopi religious elders Thomas Banyacya and Grandfather David Monongye have interpreted ancient prophesies in the following video. Bear in mind the first part was recorded in the 1970s, the latter portion in 1993. More details are available on YouTube. Some predictions you’ll recognize as being fulfilled in the years following when this was recorded. Sometimes the language is quaint as they try to explain things for which there were no words in their native language.

To quote the video, “We are at a crossroads. One path leads to destruction. The other is living together in harmony with nature.”

It appears we took a wrong turn somewhere.

P.S. If you don’t know what the “cobwebs” refer to, research “geo-engineering” and/or “chemtrails,” the ultimate violation of the Earth Mother.

The Power of Words

The purpose of words is to convey meaning. How they’re spelled, how they sound differs tremendously. Sometimes they convey the same meaning, such as for a cat or dog. Others are unique and can’t be translated into another language, especially if they’re based on cultural context.

When immigrants come to a country, they assimilate better if they learn the host language. This is not simply a matter of getting along better in society. It integrates them into the culture. America became a “melting pot” as immigrants came from a multitude of foreign nations, then were united in a common language, i.e. English, even if they maintained their ethnic traditions.

When Europeans came to the American continent they encountered indigenous peoples whose languages were entirely foreign. While there’s a similarity in etymology and syntax among Latin-based languages (English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, etc.), those spoken by Native Americans (which were several) had no similarities to European languages. Their culture and society were so different, many words common to Europeans didn’t even exist in theirs and vice versa.

Most of our thoughts comprise words. A person’s vocabulary determines their ability to think and comprehend the world around them. Without applicable words, unfamiliar concepts cannot exist. Emotions, however, exist beyond words. If you see someone laughing or crying, you know they’re feeling something.

Europeans took possession of this country in a less than friendly manner. Eventually, indigenous people became the “Indian Problem.” They refused to cooperate by giving up the land gifted to them by the Creator, a.k.a. Great Spirit. After numerous wars, massacres, and ugly confrontations, those that remained were herded off to reservations. As if that wasn’t bad enough, their children were taken and sent to government boarding schools where they were “reprogrammed.” This comprised cutting their hair, dressing them in “civilized” clothing, and forbidding them from speaking their native tongue. Being caught doing so resulted in their mouth being washing out with soap.

This was not a benevolent gesture to help Native Americans assimilate into European/American society. The intent was to annihilate their culture, identity, and beliefs, an insidious form of virtual genocide. A slight improvement, I suppose, over edicts from the Vatican that gave early explorers and colonists permission to kill them or make them their slaves.

Imagine forcing new immigrants to give up their language and customs. As “guests” in this country, it could almost be justified, a condition of habitation that promotes unity. Instead, just about any document they may need to read is available in their own language at taxpayer expense. Yet, quite the opposite was done to indigenous peoples who were here first.

If you have a difficult time relating to this, consider hoards of Chinese soldiers swarming our borders and forcing us to abandon our way of life, including our language, and adapt to theirs or die.

As intended, indigenous languages began to disappear. Fortunately, some survived. Ironically, helping the current younger generations to learn their native tongue is now a function of the very schools who originally forbade them from speaking it.

Why should they care? Because that is who they are. Culture, ceremonies, and their collective philosophy of life is embedded in their language. They have words with no English analog. Even in English, certain things have different meaning. For example, “All my relations” to a Native American includes all living things as well as the Earth herself. “Turtle Island” is not only this continent, but embodies their creation story.

Why should we care if their culture is lost? Because it’s in the world’s best interest for it to be revitalized. Assimilating it may be the only thing that can save us from ourselves in this war-torn, polluted, technology-dependent world.

This short video (less that 3 minutes) contains the 10 Commandments of Native Americans. As you listen, consider they initially welcomed Europeans to their land. They only became aggressive when the Founding Fathers and those who followed didn’t want to share this country with its original inhabitants.

They wanted them out of their way.

The Words That Come Before All Else

I am reading “Braiding Sweetgrass” by Robin Wall Kimmerer, a citizen of the Potawatomi tribe. The author is not only a Native American–in addition, she has a PhD in botany and is a decorated professor at SUNY. The book’s subtitle is “Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants.” Those nine words don’t even come close to describing the insightful treasures it contains.

In one section she compared the Pledge of Allegiance (noting how Native Americans tend to choke on the phrase “liberty and justice for all”) to the Thanksgiving Address, known as the “Words That Come Before All Else.” The author describes it as the “ancient order of protocol [that] sets gratitude as the highest priority. The gratitude is directed straight to the ones who share their gifts with the world.”

The origin is with the Onondaga, a member of the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy, whose constitution was a model for our own. It’s a shame we didn’t adopt their other values as well. Consider how it begins:

Today we have gathered and when we look upon the faces around us we see that the cycles of life continue. We have been given the duty to live in balance and harmony with each other and all living things. So now let us bring our minds together as one as we give greetings and thanks to each other as People. Now our minds are one.

Consider, if you will, how the USA might be a different country today if every session of Congress opened with that phrase. Would toxic partisanism be tearing this country to shreds? It continues:

We are thankful to our Mother the Earth, for she gives us everything that we need for life. She supports our feet as we walk about upon her. It gives us joy that she still continues to care for us, just as she has from the beginning of time. To our Mother, we send thanksgiving, love and respect. Now our minds are one.

Would we treat our planet with more respect if everyone began each day thanking the Earth? Would we drench our Earth Mother in pollution? Would we strip-mine her resources?

We give thanks to all of the waters of the world for quenching our thirst, for providing strength and nurturing life for all beings. We know its power in many forms–waterfalls and rain, mists and streams, rivers and oceans, snow and ice. We are grateful that the waters are still here and meeting their responsibility to the rest of Creation. Can we agree that water is important to our lives and bring our minds together as one to send greetings and thanks to the Water? Now our minds are one.

Native American prophecy declared a century or more ago that the day would come when people would have to buy water. The possibility seemed ludicrous. Yet here we are. Who would dare drink directly from even the remotest mountain stream?

The Thanksgiving Address continues to include all of nature: The Fish life in the water…the Food Plants…Medicine Herbs…the trees…animal life…the birds…the Four Winds…the Thunder Beings…our oldest Grandmother, the Moon…the enlightened teachers…the Creator.

I invite you to read this beautiful testament in its entirety at the end of this post.

Then consider that the people who created this literary work of love and respect were referred to as savages, simply because they fought to keep their ancestral lands. Thousands of women and children were massacred by the military. Treaties were broken by the U.S. Government as a matter of course, “the Indian problem” ultimately solved by forcing them to remote reservations on uninhabitable land. Their languages and customs were outlawed, their children stolen, and “re-educated” in boarding schools where their hair was cut off and their mouths washed with soap for speaking their own tongue. Even today the poorest counties in this supposed “great” country are found on reservations.

Where would we be today if the white man had assimilated their way of life, if our minds had become one? Modern peace chiefs have gone before Congress and the United Nations, warning them where the world is heading to no avail.

Meanwhile, indigenous prophecies relative to the fate of this nation are being fulfilled before our eyes. Their accuracy is startling.

How different it could have been if our minds had been one.


Harmony or Death?

Chief Arvol Looking Horse provided this message to the world back in August 2016. To think when he made these statements he referred to the Earth’s condition as horrible! So much has happened since it’s hard to comprehend. It appears that the consequences have begun since nothing has improved in the past five and a half years.

This video is a little over 16 minutes long. The music is haunting as are many of the images. Pay close attention to the words. The script is written so you can pause the video as needed to read them. Ponder their meaning and implications.

Prophecies declared we were at the crossroads back then. Bear in mind that was before the COVID-19 pandemic of body and spirit. As a result, people worldwide have lost many freedoms they took for granted.

Now we’re on the brink of war.

We were admonished to unite spiritually or be faced with chaos.

We are there.

“200 years of prophecy and they’re here”

The world is upside down. This is not a surprise to Native Americans. As Chief Oren Lyons said, “Two hundred years of prophecies and they’re here.” He explains it so much better than I can in this short six-minute video.

Future blogs on this site will include other videos from various chiefs who will explain what those prophecies are.

Maybe it’s time to listen.

The Little-known Origin of the US Constitution

The Founding Fathers believed they created the perfect structure for government when they wrote the Constitution. But did you know that it was inspired by the Iroquois Federation, an agreement between indigenous nations hundreds of years before the white man arrived?

As the USA approaches its 246th birthday, things are not looking very good. Where have we gone wrong?

What better source of answers than a Native American? The video below narrated by Lakota, Russel Means, explains it perfectly.

“They took away EVERYONE’S rights–Time to Wake up”
Image by M C from Pixabay

History Books Are Written by the Victors

This is the first book I read as research when I started the Dead Horse Canyon series. That was three years ago in January and I have learned so much since then. It opened my eyes to the fact that history books truly are written by the victors, often to justify horrific deeds, vilify the conquered, or pretend they never happened. Every American History book in print should have this one as an appendix, albeit “the rest of the story.” What follows is the review I wrote in January 2019. –MF

Great Speeches by Native Americans

Edited by Bob Blaisdell

Anyone who thinks they know American history needs to read this book. Those who don’t understand why the white men are hated also need to read it. In a nutshell, it’s a testimonial of exploitation, lies, and aggression, which has been the norm on the part of supposed “civilized” nations for millennia. Seeing indigenous people as inferior, savages, and uncivilized based on their lifestyle and thus treating them no better than animals has a sordid and long history.

This book chronicles the treatment of the Indigenous Americans from the first contact by the Pilgrims in the 1600s through the 20th century. The lies and aggression are nothing short of shameful and an embarrassment to any honest person. Those of us who grew up playing “cowboys and Indians” and watching similar TV shows were not seeing things as they really are.

In most cases, the Indigenous Americans only wanted peace. Some had the foresight to see the problems that were coming. They saw the land as sacred, given to them by The Great Spirit, and they treated Mother Earth with respect and gratitude. They may not have had the white man’s technology, but their societal norms were often far more advanced than “civilized” nations. The wholesale slaughter and exploitation of these people in the name of Christianity is a national disgrace.

Besides the actual slaughters, their children were often taken away, essentially kidnapped, and sent to boarding schools where their native culture was derided while they were indoctrinated with supposedly white civilization’s values. Their women were often sterilized without their knowledge. There is no doubt the intent was genocide.

If you think things have changed today, think again. Power and control by those with selfish and evil intent still prevails. Corporate power subdues the rights of individuals. Nothing has changed.

I cried more reading this book than any novel. It’s a very sad commentary on the foundation of the United States. These Native Americans were highly intelligent, moral individuals. In the vast majority of cases, they were only aggressive when they’d had enough of being lied to and could see the intent was their annihilation.

Read it. More people need their eyes opened to the truth that is our history and how it relates to what’s going on today.

You can pick up a copy on Amazon here.

A Quizzical Glimpse of Native American History

Most people are familiar with the saying “To the victor go the spoils,” which includes writing (or rewriting) history books to justify defeating the enemy.

With that in mind, see how many of the following questions you can answer correctly.


1. True/False King Ferdinand was given permission to kill indigenous people or make them their slaves by the pope.


2. How many tribal nations have a formal nation-to-nation relationship with the U.S. Government?

a. 14

b. 567

c. 173


3. How many federal and state-recognized American Indian reservations are there?

a. 492

b. 39

c. 334


4. How many states have a recognized American Indian reservation?

a. 35

b. 9

c. 17


5. True/False The Founding Fathers were sympathetic toward Native Americans and recognized their rights under the Declaration of Independence.


6. True/False The Declaration of Independence’s statement that “all men are created equal” included Native Americans.


7. What was the reason for the majority of U.S. Government – Indian wars?

a. White settlers occupying Indian land in violation of treaties

b. U.S. Government ignoring existing treaties due to westward expansion.

c. Loss of livelihood and hunting grounds to encroachment by white settlers.

d. All of the above


8. Indian people are categorized by culture and geography. Which of the following are NOT considered culture areas?

a. Arctic, subarctic, Northwest Coast, Plateau

b. Great Basin, California, Southwest, Mesoamerica

c. Great Plains, Northeast, Southeast, Caribbean

d. None of the above


9. In the early 19th Century, Sequoyah, a Cherokee polymath from the Little Tennessee Valley created:

a. A list of treaty violations to present to the U.S. Congress

b. The allotment system to assign land to individuals

c. A syllabary of 86 ornate characters


10. Which of the following places are based on Native American names?

a. Allegheny, Alaska, Adirondack

b. Biloxi, Caddo, Chattanooga

c. Hatteras, Erie, Huron

d. Wyoming, Winnebago, Wichita

e. All of the above


ANSWERS

1. True. The first papal bull issued for King Ferdinand in Spain after Columbus returned from the Caribbean stated: “All people of North America are no better than feral animals and may be slaughtered at will.” 

And that bull was followed by another that accompanied the North American land grants: “All land grants will be governed by the same rules as the land grants in Spain, to which you have been accustomed. Thus, as usual, any people populating your land defined by the land grant here issued are your slaves.”

2. b. 567 tribal nations

3. c. 334 reservations

4. a. 35 states with reservations

5. False. George Washington was known as Town Destroyer in the Seneca language based on the decimated cornfields and razed villages he promoted. Thomas Jefferson as Governor of Virginia, ordered a war of extermination against the Shawnee.

6. Following that “created equal” statement it states “except the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes, and conditions.

Yes, it really says that. The Natives were accused of being savages for defending their homeland while as one example, at Sand Creek the U.S. Army slaughtered innocent Native Americans who were literally flying the U.S. Flag with a white banner of surrender.

Custer did, indeed, have it coming.

I find it ironic that following WWII the U.S. was more than generous helping to rebuild war zones of former enemies in Germany and Japan, yet few promises made to this country’s original residents have been kept.

7. d. All of the above are reasons for the U.S. – Indian Wars.

The “Manifest Destiny” attitude of America’s early European explorers and subsequent settlers toward the country’s native population was overtly hostile. Land that was virtually stolen, deceptive treaties of which the Indigenous signers were not advised of their true content, and treaties to which both signatories agreed but Congress never ratified are but a part of the sordid tale.

Too many members of the Native population live in substandard conditions with many reservations comparable to a Third World Country and comprise some of the poorest counties in the United States. Yet now the government proposes giving hundreds of thousands of dollars to illegal aliens for being “inconvenienced.”

What’s wrong with this picture?

8. d. None of the above. All represent designated cultural areas.

9. c. A syllabary of 86 characters based on the sound of syllables in the Cherokee language

10. e. All of the above. Hundreds, more likely thousands, of places in the U.S. and Canada retain their Native American names.


SCORES BASED ON NUMBER CORRECT

9 – 10 Cheated or has a college degree in Native American History.

7 – 8 Assumed this was an open-book quiz.

5 – 6 Fan of Longmire series on Netflix.

3 – 4 A few lucky guesses.

0 – 2 Don’t waste your money on lotto tickets.


Swallow your pride and leave your scores below.

World Indigenous Peoples Day

The wisdom of indigenous people is something the world is in sorry need of today. There is nothing I can say that would have greater meaning on this day set aside to honor indigenous peoples throughout the world than what is said in the following video. Note that the speaker, Floyd “Red Crow” Westerman (Kangi Duta) crossed over to the next life in 2007. His words are truer now than ever before.

What we have done to our planet is shameful. The consequences will not be pretty.

Navajo Weaving

Navajo rugs are a rare art form that often sell for thousands of dollars.

Navajo (Diné) blankets and rugs are world-famous for their beauty and technique. Here are two videos that tell about them. The first one is a lovely montage with no narration, just restful Native American music in the background and the other is Wally Brown, a Diné elder, talking about his mother who was a weaver.  Following that is an excerpt from Chapter 24 of “The Curse of Dead Horse Canyon: Cheyenne Spirits” where the main character, Charlie Littlewolf, reminisces on when he helped his amasani  (Diné for grandmother) weave a very special blanket.

Enjoy.

CHARLIE’S CABIN

RURAL FALCON RIDGE

June 9, Saturday

9:32 p.m.

Charlie sat cross-legged in front of the fireplace, wool blanket draped around his shoulders. In two days he’d start work with Lone Star Operations.

Was there any other way he could make that kind of money?

No. Absolutely not.

The prospect, however, shadowed his mind like a storm front. In response a random thought tickled his psyche.

This is something you must do.

The justification, however, remained buried beneath any conscious awareness.

Besides the industry itself, what concerned him most was the thought of living with those people. Like when he left for college.

Harassment stories along with the racist views that characterized the industry constituted modern tales of cowboys and Indians. Working with them all day would be bad enough. But bunking with them as well? He didn’t want to think about the pranks he’d be subjected to.

He pulled the wrap closer, fingers entwined in its soft texture. June or not, nights were brisk at seven thousand feet. Its earthy scent, including a hint of lanolin, unfurled memories of three decades past, when he was living on the Diné reservation in New Mexico.

His very first job.

An assignment he resented.

He could still see Littlebear leaning against the horse corral, arms folded across his chest.

“No, son,” he’d said. “You have only six winters. You are too young for the javelina hunt. You must stay and help your mother and amasani.”

Charlie hung his head, thinking he’d sneak away somewhere for the remainder of the day.

“Look at me,” his father commanded. When he obeyed, his intent collided with the probing eyes of a knowing parent. “When I return you will tell me what you did and they will tell me if you did it well.”

He pouted, looking back at the ground. Not hunting with his father was disappointing enough. That edict made it even worse. The teasing he’d suffer from his cousins and friends for doing the work of squaws would be merciless.

Moccasins shuffling in the dirt, he trudged back home to find his mother. As soon as he stepped inside their hogan she took one look at his sour face and shooed him away.

Outside again, he stifled a smile, vindicated to pursue his original plan. Then he remembered. His work was subject to review. His grandmother, one of the tribe’s weavers, was his other option. He’d watched her work a few times, but progress was slow and tedious—far too boring to hold his interest for any length of time. With luck, she wouldn’t be busy and would tell him one of her wonderful stories. He especially liked those about mischievous coyote.

But when he got to her little house, she wasn’t there.

It sounded like a big commotion over by the training corral. Sheep bleating along with people talking and a variety of other unfamiliar sounds. Curiosity tickled, he headed that way.

The characteristic smell of sheep was strong with so many confined to a small area. That, along with all the dust, evoked a giant sneeze. He wiped his nose on his sleeve, then climbed up on the fence to watch the antics of one of the lambs. That held his attention until he spotted his grandmother a short distance away.

What was she doing, poking around what looked like dozens of flat, dead sheep?

Then it a registered: Shearing time.

He watched one of the men use clippers to peel away a year’s worth of wool from one of the ewes. It came off in what looked like a solid piece. His grandmother spotted him and waved him over.

Maybe this wouldn’t be so bad after all.

“I’m supposed to help you today, amasani,” he said.

Her weathered face, round like the moon and likewise bearing the grooves and craters of life, broke into a broad smile. “I’m so glad, grandson. What think you of all this wool?”

“I think it smells funny.”

“I like it,” she replied. “Sheep are almost as important now as buffalo were long ago. They give us meat and they give us wool. This is one of my favorite days, when I pick the fleeces I want before the rest go to market.”

“Aren’t they all the same?”

“No. Each is very different. Certain parts are better than others, too.” She took his little hand and led him over to those she’d set aside. “Let me show you.”

She pointed out the different parts of the animal from which the fleece was removed. Some areas were much cleaner and the fiber longer.

“I have a very special project I must do. I need you to separate the shoulder section from the ones I’ve chosen. Do you know why?”

He looked closer. “Because it is cleaner?”

“Yes. It is also the longest, which makes it easier to spin.”

That task finished, he thought he was done. Little did he realize his work had only begun. The raw wool needed to be prepared for spinning. She showed him how to tease each lock by pulling it apart.

His reverie paused as he rubbed his thumb and forefinger together, remembering how they squeaked when coated with lanolin. To his surprise back then, it also softened the callouses he’d earned practicing with his bow.

Next came combing the teased wool with a pair of carders that looked like giant-sized dog brushes. The resulting bats went into a reed basket, miniature clouds of fluff awaiting his grandmother’s skilled hand.

As the day wore on, his arms ached and he couldn’t card quickly enough to keep up with her spinning. She prodded him to work faster, her hand moving the spindle relentlessly as she twisted the prepared fiber into yarn.

As it turned out, the project lasted into summer. By then he earned her name for him, Naalnish. Once enough yarn was spun, the fun began. Now he could do some exploring while he gathered the dye materials needed to produce a variety of warm colors. Best of all, the collection process for some required a knife or ax, a worthy task for a young brave.

Cottonwood leaves, yarrow, and oak bark were some of the things she requested. Among the most challenging were cochineal beetles which, when dried and ground into powder, yielded shades of red. It took an entire day or more to collect enough from their cactus homes for a single batch. To both him and his amasani, however, it was time well-spent.

When shewas ready to start the dyeing process, he hauled water from either the iron-rich spring north of their village for reds, or the alum-rich one to the east for yellows. The resident minerals affected the final hue and were necessary for the fiber to retain its color—the ‘”why” of which planted the seed for his interest in chemistry.

When she had sufficient dyed yarn, he helped warp the loom constructed from tree trunks, tie the warp rods that helped create the pattern, then wind the different colors on smooth sticks that served as shuttles.

Then, at last, weaving began.

He marveled day by day as she lifted the warp rods and alternated shuttles, colorful geometric patterns emerging with each row, until their collective labors produced a finished blanket that was not only functional, but a work of art.

His heart swelled as he remembered the day it came off the loom. She folded it carefully, hugged it a moment, then handed it to him with a sparkle in her eyes.

“Where should I put it for you, amasani?”

“In your hogan, Naalnish. By where you sleep.”

 “Why?”

“Because it is yours.”

Only now, as a grown man, did he appreciate the love and wisdom of that experience. Especially when he discovered that most blankets, at least those offered for sale by members of the tribe, were not made the old way, but with commercial dye and machine-spun yarn.

This was one like none other, made expressly for him with his amasani’s love and his reluctant assistance.

It was far more than the work itself. It was what it taught him. Not only about the old ways, but of cycles. Of going full circle from the vegetation the sheep ate to grow wool to dyeing the yarn with some of those same plants. The process was tedious and long, yet the result was priceless.

From that first bat of carded wool to its liberation from the loom, it instructed him in the ways of life. It taught him patience, perseverance, and appreciation—for hard work and simple things.

The Diné believed part of their soul went into such creations and always hid a loop somewhere in the tight weave for their soul to escape. So far, it was so cleverly hidden he’d never found it. His fingers caressed the soft fiber, wondering if he ever would. It felt softer each year, improving with use, unlike so many things that didn’t last. Analogous to the earth itself and his connection to it.

All thanks to the wisdom of an old woman, who at the time was not much older than he was now. Whose kind heart would forever live in a cherished wrap that kept him warm for what would soon be thirty haigos, including many spent in the frigid Colorado Rockies.

How many white men had such a treasured possession?