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********
"Merry Christmas"

I didn't know where to put this, but I felt it deserved a place on our page.  Thanks Sumer.
~Laura~

From: SumerWCree@aol.com
From Indian news
MERRY  CHRISTMAS

Below are the ways to express "Merry Christmas" in a number of languages of
the Americas.  These are found on a website (see end of piece).  If your
language is missing or incorrect drop me a line and I'll pass it on to that
website.

LANGUAGE    COUNTRY    -    MERRY CHRISTMAS

ALEUT ALASKA  -   Ruudzdistvachxizax^ama ama slum tagadagan inix^sinaa imchix
anuxtakus
ALUTIIQ ALASKA  -   Spraasnikam! [Happy Holidays]
APACHE, WESTERN USA  -   Gozhqq Kshmish
APALACHICOLA CREEK USA  -   Nettv-Cako-Rakko
AYMARA PERU,BOLIVIA  -  Sooma Nawira-ra
BLACKFOOT USA/CANADA  -   I'TAAMOMAHKATOYIIKSISTSIKOMI [Merry big holy day]
CARRIER,CENTRAL CANADA  -   Zoo dungwel
CENTRAL AHTNA ALASKA  -   C'ehwggelnen Dzaen [Holy Day, Holiday]
CHEROKEE USA  -   Danistayohihv
CHEYENNE USA  -   Hoesenestotse
CHOCTAW USA  -   Yukpa nitak hollo chito.
CREE USA  -   Mitho Makosi Kesikansi
CREEK USA  -   Afvcke Nettv Cako Rakko
DIN (NAVAJO) SW USA  -   Y't'h Kshmish
GITKSAN W. CANADA  -    Hisgusgitxwsim Ha'niisgats Christ ganhl Ama Sii
K'uuhl!
GUAHIBO COLOMBIA,VEN.  -   Pexania Navidadmatacabi pijinia pexaniapejanawai
paxainaename
GUAMBIANO COLOMBIA   -  Navidadwan Tabig tugagunrrigay
GUARAN ANDEVA PARAGUAY  -  Avyaitete ah ko Tupa ray rape qyra Yy
Kapyryin rira
GUARAYU BOLIVIA  -  Imboeteipri tasecoi Tupa i vave!
GWICH'IN W CANADA  -   Drin tsal zhit shoh ohlii
HN CANADA  -   Drin tsul zht sh ahlay
HAWAIIAN USA  -   Mele Kalikimaka me ka Hauloi Makahiki hou
INUPIAQ ALASKA  -   Annaurri Aniruq
IUPIATAM CANADA  -   Quvianaq Agaayuniqpak
IROQUOIS USA  -   Ojenyunyat Sungwiyadeson homungradon nagwutut
KAQCHIKEL GUATEMALA  -  Dios tik'ujie' avik'in [God be with you]
KOYUKON ALASKA  -   Denaahto' Hoolaanh Dedzaanh Sodeelts'eeyh
KUTCHIN ALASKA  -   Drin Tsal Neenjit Goozu'
LAKOTA N. CENTRAL US   -  Wanikiya tonpi wowiyuskin
LENAPE (DELAWARE) USA  -  Mli Klshmsh
LOWER TANANA ALASKA  -   Bet'oxdilt'ayi bedena' ch'exulanhde dranh
ninoxudedhet MATACO ARGENTINA  -  Lesilatyaj ihi Dios ta i pule ye, Letamsek
ihi wichi ta Dios ikojejthi ta i honat e
MAYA, YUCATEC MEXICO  -  Utzul mank'inal [Happy Holidays]
NASKAPI CANADA  -   miywaaitaakun mikusaanor
NAVAJO SOUTHEAST US  -  Kasmish Bihozhi
OJIBWE (CHIPPEWA) N USA/S CANADA  -   Niibaa' anami'egiizhigad
ONEIDA USA  -   Wanto'wan
PAPIAMENTO ARUBA  -  Bon Pasko
PAPIAMENTO CURAAO  -  Bon Pasku
Q'ANJOB'AL MEXICO  -  chi woche swatx'ilal hak'ul yet jun yalji Komami'
QUECHUA PERU  -  Sumaj kausay kachun Navidad ch'sisipi.
QUICHE GUATEMALA   -  Dios kkje' awuk' [God be with you]
RETVARA COLOMBIA  -  Mamaka wejejerka
SALCHA ALASKA  -   Dzeen chox teedle 'aay nayilkaa
SECOYA ECUADOR  -  Sihuau'u Ejarepa aide'ose'ere.
SRANEN SURINAME  -  Bun kresneti
TANAINA ALASKA  -   Natukda Qizdlan Na'el Qanahdghalen
TEWA USA  -   Hihchandi Nuphaa
TLINGIT ALASKA  -  , CANADA  -   Xristos kuwusteey kx sh kaxtoolxtl
TUTCHONE, NORTHERN W CANADA  -   Ut'hudinch'i Hlin Dzen.
TUTCHONE, SOUTHERN W CANADA  -   Ut'kwdch'e dzn nkwtth't
YANESHA'-AMUESHA PERU   -  Yomporcha' ya' nataya YUPIK,
CENTRAL ALASKA  -   Alussistuaqegtaar
YUPIK, ALASKA  -   Quyanalghii Kuusma

These greetings are found at website
<http://users.aol.com/WSCaswell/x-amer.htm>

*************

Ghost Dance

I want to go where the blind can see
I want to go where the lame will walk
I want to see the sick ones clean
Where the deaf can hear and the silent talk

  Where are you going?
  To a ghost dance in the snow
  I am a mighty warrior
  And I'm finally coming home

I want to go where the dead are raised
Where the mountain lion lays down with the lamb
I want to stand where God is praised
I want to ride across the plains to the promised land

  Where are we going?
  To a ghost dance in the snow
  I am a mighty warrior
  And I'm finally coming home

Where I'm going don't need to raise your voice
No starvation, there'll be plenty to eat
No guns, no wars, no hateful noise
Just a victory dance, we'll never taste defeat

Where nothing done or said can't be forgiven
Where every step you take is on sacred ground
Walk away from death to the land of the living
Where all the lost tribes are finally found

  Where are you going?
  To a ghost dance in the snow
  I am a mighty warrior
  And I'm finally coming home

  Where are you going?
  To a ghost dance in the snow
  I am a mighty warrior
  And I'm finally coming home


-Bill Miller, 1999 Nammy Award Winner
"Song of the Year"

**************

Wise Words
November 22, 1999

Standing for what you believe in,
 regardless of the odds against you,
 and the pressure that tears at your
 resistance, means
Courage

 Keeping a smile on your face,
 when inside you feel like dying,
 for the sake of supporting others,
 means
Strength

 Stopping at nothing,
 and doing what's in your heart
 you know is right, means
Determination

 Doing more than is expected,
 To make another's life a little more bearable,
 Without uttering a single complaint,
 means
Compassion

 Helping a friend in need,
 No matter the time or effort,
 to the best of your ability, means
Loyalty

 Giving more than you have,and
 expecting nothing but nothing in return,
 means
Selflessness

 Holding your head high,
 and being the best you know you can be
 when life seems to fall apart at your feet.
 Facing each difficulty with the confidence
 that time will bring you better tomorrows,
 and never giving up,
 means
Confidence.

Author Unknown-

*****************

Thursday, November 11, 1999
A dream

Now I am going to do something I haven't done since that time I made the
mistake a couple years ago. It was a mistake then because it was done in
innocence (some people mistake innocence for ignorance). This time it is
with conscious intent, and no mistake. Here is last night's dream:

I dreamed of a circle, self-contained. Around the circle was a darkness.  It
was a nothingness, but it was also vast. It had depth, dimension, and was
not visible because it was nothing. Inside the circle, which is surrounded
by darkness, is a well of light. The light is like sand, containing
particles. But it is also one thing. It is both many and one at the same
time. This appears as an image in my dream, viewed from space, from inside
the nothing place which is really something. The circle has a consciousness.
It has a thought, which is a single thought, and in my dream I think to
myself, "It is a group thought." From this point in my dream I move to
another place. It is over the earth. I see a center point on the earth and
four rivers are coming out of it, moving in four directions. And the rivers
are streams of people. They go forward. They turn. A swastika appears on the
face of the earth, made out of people who are coming out of the center.
They are continually coming out of the center. I move closer in my dream to the
earth, and I can see this land stretching from the north pole to the south
pole, the Americas and especially where they join hands. Now out of this
center, where two hands are joined, there are four roads. I see the wind
moving all around the surface of the land, like an animated Vincent Van Gogh
painting. It moves over these two lands, and loud noises come out of it and
bright steaks of light. At first it is like a storm, and the winds move in
chaos. Suddenly it finds form, and the winds divide in four directions,
aligning itself to the four roads, and all becomes clear. There is a
peaceful silence and the movement of the wind along the road is soft and
flowing. Waters along the edges of the land begin to ebb. The wind becomes
people. I see them moving like spirits along the roads, and they are
traveling with the others who walk on land rather than on air. Guiding them
according to the pattern of the Ancient World. I see that the hands of the
north and south are joined, but the hands of the east and west have come
apart. Now one hand disappears. And the four hands are brothers. In the
dream, this knowledge comes to mind. The hand goes straight. It does not
turn. It follows another pattern. It keeps going and even leaves the land
and crosses the water. The roads begins to have colors. The road to the
north turns into mother-of-pearl. The road to the south turns blackish. The
road to the west turns red, but the road to the east has no certain color.
It seems to change from one color to another as if it either contains all
colors or else does not know which color it is. The road is in
forgetfulness. And the road is forgotten. I am high over the earth and I see
a circle where the two hands join. Even the hands of the north and south
have come apart. Now the circle is empty. Because the hands have come apart
and because there are not four. Something strange begins to happen. There is
a call. The circle is empty! There is a loud call. THE CIRCLE IS EMPTY!
There is no light in the circle. My heart plunges. War is being prepared.
WHERE THERE IS NO LIGHT, DARKNESS MAY ENTER. (Whose voice is that?)  Three
roads return to the circle, but they cannot re-enter. Something is missing,
but the fourth road is forgotten, so what is missing is now a mystery. I
want to speak down to earth but I am too far away and no one will hear me.
I want to say, "Where is your brother?" The road to the east hears the call,
and returns, but no road will recognize it. It's route is strange. It's
color changes. It could be mother-of-pearl, but it isn't. It could be red,
but it isn't. It could be black, but it isn't. It could be yellow, but who
can know? No one will take the hand of the brother. No one is willing to
bring him into the sacred circle. The hands of the north and south join
again. But the hands of the east and west are not joined. No light can
enter. The circle is empty. It is all too much. I wake up.

A white woman dreaming.

***************

GUIDE TO LIFE
With Humor, but true...


Crisis management principle: Good judgment comes from experience, and alot
of that comes from bad judgment.

Lettin' the cat outta the bag is a whole lot easier 'n puttin' it back.

Negotiation principle: Never drop yer gun to hug a grizzly.

If you're ridin' ahead of the herd, take a look back every now and then
to make sure it's still there.

If you get to thinkin' you're a person of some influence, try orderin'
somebody else's dog around.

A good horse never comes in a bad color.

After eating an entire bull, a mountain lion felt so good he started
roaring.  He kept it up until a hunter came along and shot him.  The
moral: When you're full of bull, keep your mouth shut.

Never kick a cow chip on a hot day.

There's two theories to arguin' with a woman.
Neither one works.

Don't worry about bitin' off more than you can chew.
Your mouth is probably a whole lot bigger'n you think.

If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin'.

Never slap a man who's chewin' tobacco.

It don't take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep.

Always drink upstream from the herd.

When you give a lesson in meanness to a critter or a woman, don't be
surprised when they learns their lesson.

When you're throwin' your weight around, be ready to have it thrown
around by somebody else.

Always take a good look at what you're about to eat.  It's not so
important to know what it is, but you might need to know what it was.

The quickest way to double your money is to fold it over and put it backin
your pocket.

Never miss a good chance to shut up.

There are three kinds of men: those that learn by reading; the few who
learn by observation; and the rest of them that have to pee on the
electric fence for themselves.

*********

Resolutions For Avoiding Misery    
  
   Choose to love...    
   rather than hate.    
  
   Choose to smile...    
   rather than frown.    
  
   Choose to build...    
   rather than destroy.    
  
   Choose to persevere...    
   rather than quit.    
  
   Choose to praise...    
   rather than gossip    
  
   Choose to heal...    
   rather than wound.    
  
   Choose to give...    
   rather than grasp.    
  
   Choose to act...    
   rather than delay.    
  
   Choose to forgive...    
   rather than curse.    
  
   Choose to Pray...    
   rather than despair.

**********

Miracles happen

From one of our fans, I just thought this would bring a little light into the day today.

ellis

SONSHINE
 
Like any good mother, when Karen found out that another
baby was on the way, she did what she could to help her
3-year old son, Michael, prepare for a new sibling.
They found out that the new baby was going to be a girl,
and day after day, night after night, Michael sang to
his little sister in Mommy's tummy. He was building a
bond of love with his little sister before he even met
her.

The pregnancy progressed normally for Karen, an active
member of the Panther Creek United Methodist Church in
Morristown, Tennessee.  In time, the labor pains came.
Soon it was every five minutes, every three, every
minute. But serious complications arose during delivery
and Karen found herself in hours of labor.  Would a
C-section be required?

Finally, after a long struggle, Michael's little sister
was born.  But she was in very serious condition.  With a
siren howling in the night, the ambulance rushed the infant
to the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Mary's Hospital,
Knoxville, Tennessee.
 
The days inched by.  The little girl got worse.  The
pediatric specialist regretfully had to tell the parents,
"There is very little hope.  Be prepared for the worst." 
Karen and her husband contacted a local cemetery about a
burial plot.  They had fixed up a special room in their home
for the new baby-but now they found themselves having to
 plan for a funeral.

Michael, however, kept begging his parents to let him see
his sister.  "I want to sing to her," he kept saying.

Week two in intensive care looked as if a funeral would come
before the week was over.  Michael kept nagging about singing
to his sister, but kids are never allowed in the Intensive
Care.  Karen made up  her mind, though. She would take
Michael whether they liked it or not If he didn't see his
sister right then, he may never see her alive.  She dressed
him in an oversized scrub suit and marched him into ICU. He
looked like a walking laundry basket, but the head nurse
recognized him as a child and bellowed "Get that kid out of
here now!  NO children are  allowed!"

The mother rose up strong in Karen, and the usually
mild-mannered lady glared steel-eyed right into the head
nurse's face, her lips a firm line.  "He is not leaving
until he sings to his sister!"  Karen towed Michael to
his sister's bedside.  He gazed at the tiny infant losing
the battle to live.  After a moment, he began to sing.
 
In the pure hearted voice of a 3-year-old Michael sang: 
"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy
when skies are gray."  Instantly the baby girl seemed to
respond.  Her pulse rate began to calm down and become
steady. 

"Keep on singing, Michael," encouraged Karen with tears in
her eyes.

"You never know, dear, how much I love you. Please don't
take my sunshine away."
 
As Michael sang to his sister, the baby's ragged, strained
breathing  became as smooth as a kitten's purr.  "Keep on
singing, sweetheart!!"

"The other night, dear, as I lay sleeping, I dreamed I
held you in my  hands..."  Michael's little sister began
to relax as rest, healing rest, seemed to sweep over her. 

"Keep on singing, Michael."  Tears had now conquered the
face of the bossy head nurse.  Karen glowed.

"You are my sunshine, my only sunshine. Please don't take
my sunshine away..."

The next day ... the very next day ... the little girl
was well enough to go home!  "Women's Day Magazine" called
it "The Miracle of a Brother's Song."  The medical staff
just called it a  miracle.  Karen called it a miracle of
God's love!

Never give up on the people you love.  Love is so Incredibly
powerful.

Please send this to all the people that have touched  your
life in some way.  To the world you may be one person, but
to one  person you may be the world!

**********

October 17, 1999 8:13 PM
Seven Philosophies For A Native American Man 
  Copyright: "Winds of Change" Autumn 1996
 
  
SEVEN PHILOSOPHIES FOR A NATIVE AMERICAN MAN:
 
   First Philosophy to the Women:
   =============================
   The cycle of life for the woman is the baby, girl,
   woman and grandmother. These are the four directions
   of life. She has been given by natural laws the
   ability to reproduce life. The most scared of all
   things is life. Therefore, all men should treat her
   with dignity and respect. Never was it our way to
   harm her mentally or physically. Indian men were
   never abusers. We always treated our women with
   respect and understanding. So from now on:
 
   -- I will treat women in a sacred manner. The
      Creator gave women the responsibility for
      bringing new life into the world. Life is
      sacred, so I will look upon the women in a
      sacred manner.
 
   -- In our traditional ways, the woman is the
      foundation of the family. I will work with
      her to create a home atmosphere of respect,
      security and harmony.
 
   -- I will refrain from any form of emotional or
      physical abuse. If I have these feelings, I
      will talk to the Creator for Guidance.
 
   -- I will treat all women as if they were my
      own female relatives.
  
   This is my Vow.
 
 
  
Second Philosophy to the Children:
   =================================
 
   As an eagle prepares its young to leave the nest
   with all the skills and knowledge it needs to
   participate in life, in the same manner so will
   I guide my children. I will use the culture to
   prepare them for life.
 
   The most important thing I can give to my
   children is my time. I spend time with them in
   order to learn from them and to listen to them.
 
   I will teach my children to pray, as well as the
   importance of respect. We are the caretakers of
   the children for the Creator. They are His children,
   not ours.
 
   I am proud of our own Native languages. I will
   learn mine if I can and help my children to learn it.
 
   In today's world it is easy for the children to
   go astray, so I will work to provide positive
   alternatives for them. I will teach them the culture.
   I will encourage education. I will encourage sports.
   I will encourage them to talk with the Elders for
   guidance; but mostly, I will seek to be a role
   model myself. I make this commitment to my children
   so they will have courage and find guidance through
   traditional ways.
 
 
   Third Philosophy to the Family:
   ==============================
 
   The Creator gave us the family, which is the place
   where all teachings are handed down from grandparent,
   to the parent, and to the child. The children's
   behavior is a mirror of the parent's behavior. Know-
   ing this, I realize the importance for each man to be
   responsible to the family in order to fulfill the need
   to build a strong and balanced family. By doing this,
   I will breach the cycle of hurt and ensure the posi-
   tive mental health of the children, even the children
   yet to be born. So, from now on:
 
   -- I will dedicate my priorities to rebuilding my
      family.
 
   -- I must never give up and leave my family only to
      the mother.
 
   -- I am accountable to restore the strength of my
      family. To do this, I will nuture our family's
      spiritual, cultural and social health. I will
      demonstrate trust, respect, honor and discipline;
      but mostly, I will be consistent in whatever I
      do with them.
 
   -- I will see that the grandparents and community
      Elders play a significant role in the education
      of my children.
 
   -- I realize that the male and female together are
      fundamental to our family life. I will listen to
      my mate's counsel for our family's benefit, as
      well as for the benefit of my Indian Nation.
 
 
  
Fourth Philosophy to the Community:
   ==================================
 
   The Indian community provides many things for the
   family. The most important is the sense of belonging;
   that is, to belong to "the people", and to have a
   place to go. Our Indian communities need to be restor-
   ed to health so the future generations will be guar-
   anteed a place to go for culture, language and
   Indian socializing. In the community, the honor of
   one is the honor of all...and the pain of one is
   the pain of all. I will work to strengthen recovery
   in all parts of my community. As an Indian man:
 
   -- I will give back to my community by donating
      my time and talents when I am able.
 
   -- I will cultivate friendships with other Indian
      men for mutual support and strength.
 
   -- I will consider the effects of our decisions on
      behalf of the next seven generations; in this way,
      our  children and grandchildren will inherit
      healthy communities.
 
   -- I will care about those in my community so that
      the mind changers, alcohol and drugs, will vanish,
      and our communities will forever be free of violence.
 
   If each of us can do all these things, then others
   will follow. Ours will be a proud community.
 
 
  Fifth Philosophy to the Earth:
   =============================
 
   Our Mother Earth is the source of all life, whether
   it be the plants, the two-legged, four-legged, winged
   ones or human beings. The Mother Earth is the great-
   est Teacher, if we listen, observe and respect her.
   When we live in harmony with the Mother Earth, she
   will recycle the things we consume and make them
   available to our children and to their children. As
   an Indian man, I must teach my children how to care
   for the Earth so it is there for the future genera-
   tions.  So from now on:
 
   -- I realize the Earth is our Mother. I will treat
      her with honor and respect.
 
   -- I will honor the interconnectedness of all things
      and all forms of life.
  
   -- I will realize the Earth does not belong to us,
      but that we belong to the Earth.
 
   -- The natural law is the ultimate authority upon
      the lands and water. I will learn the knowledge
      and wisdom of the natural laws. I will pass this
      knowledge on to my children.
 
   -- The Mother Earth is a living entity that maintains
      life. I will speak out in a good way whenever I
      see someone abusing the Earth. Just as I would
      protect my own mother, so will I protect the Earth.
 
   -- I will ensure that the land, water, and air will
      be intact for my children's children -- the unborn.
 
 
  
Sixth Philosophy to the Creator:
   ===============================
 
   As an Indian man, I realize we make no gains without
   the Great Spirit being in our lives. Neither I, nor
   anything I attempt to do, will work without our
   Creator. Being Indian and being Spiritual have the
   same meaning. Spirituality is our gift from the
   Great One. This day I vow to walk the Red Road.
 
   As an Indian man, I will return to the traditional
   and spiritual values which have guided my ancestors
   for the past generations.
 
   I will look with new eyes on the power of our
   ceremonies and religious ways, for they are important 
   to the very survival of our people.
 
   We have survived and are going to grow and flourish
   spiritually. We will fulfill our teachings and the
   purpose that the Creator has given us with dignity.
 
   Each day, I will pray and ask for guidance. I will
   commit to walk the Red Road, or whatever the
  spiritual way is called in my own culture.
 
   If I am Christian, I will be a good one. If I am
   traditional, I will walk this road with dedication.
 
   If each of us can do these things, then others will
   follow. From this day forward, I will reserve time
   and energy for spirituality, seeking to know the
   Creator's will.
 
 
 
  
Seventh Philosophy to Myself:
   ============================
 
   I will think about what kind of person I want to be
   when I am an Elder. I will start developing myself
   now to be this person.
 
   I will walk with the Great Spirit and the grand-
   fathers at my side. I will develop myself to remain
   positive. I will develop a good mind.
 
   I will examine myself daily to see what I did good
   and what I need to improve. I will examine my strengths
   and weaknesses, then I will ask the Creator to guide
   me. I will develope a good mind.
 
   Each day, I will listen for the Creator's voice in
   the wind. I will watch nature and ask to be shown a
   lesson which will occur on my path.
 
   I will seek out the guiding principles which guided
   my ancestors. I will walk in dignity, honor and
   humility, conducting myself as a warrior.
 
   I will seek the guidance of the Elders so that I may
   maintain the knowledge of culture, ceremonies and
   songs, and so that I may pass these on to the future
   generations.
 
   I choose to do all these things myself, because no
   one else can do them for me.
 
   I know I CANNOT GIVE AWAY WHAT I DON'T HAVE, so I
   will need to learn to walk the talk.
 
  ------------------------------------------------------ 
  "We will be known forever by the tracks we leave."
  Dakota Proverb
 
  "The greatest strength is gentleness.' Iroquois Proverb

**********

A Message from the Hopi Elders
  Activist Mailing List - http://get.to/activist
 
  From the Hopi Elders:
  "There is a river flowing now very fast.  It is so great and swift, that
  there are those who will be afraid.  They will try to hold on to the shore.
  They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly.  Know the
  river has its destination.  The elders say we must let go of the shore,
  push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open, and our heads
  above the water.  And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate.
 
  "At this time in history, we are to take nothing personal. Least of all,
  ourselves.  For the moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey
  comes to a halt.
 
  "The time of the lone wolf is over. Gather  yourselves!
 
  "Banish the word "struggle" from your attitude and  your vocabulary.  All
  that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.
 
  WE ARE THE ONES WE'VE BEEN WAITING FOR."
 
  Oraibi, Arizona
  Hopi Nation

************

Insight into the trail of tears!   Wonderful read!
Tue, 12 Oct 1999
 
 
John G. Burnett's Story of the Removal of the Cherokees
 
  Birthday Story of Private John G. Burnett, Captain Abraham
  McClellan's Company, 2nd Regiment, 2nd Brigade, Mounted
  Infantry, Cherokee Indian Removal, 1838-39.
 
  Children:
  This is my birthday, December 11, 1890, I am eighty years
  old today. I was born at Kings Iron Works in Sulllivan
  County, Tennessee, December the 11th, 1810. I grew into
  manhood fishing in Beaver Creek and roaming through the
  forest hunting the deer and the wild boar and the timber
  wolf. Often spending weeks at a time in the solitary 
  wilderness with no companions but my rifle, hunting knife,
  and a small hatchet that I carried in my belt in all of my
  wilderness wanderings.
 
  On these long hunting trips I met and became acquainted with
  many of the Cherokee Indians, hunting with them by day and
  sleeping around their camp fires by night. I learned to
  speak their language, and they taught me the arts of 
  trailing and building traps and snares. On one of my long
  hunts in the fall of 1829, I found a young Cherokee who had
  been shot by a roving band of hunters and who had eluded his
  pursuers and concealed himself under a shelving rock. Weak
  from loss of blood, the poor creature was unable to walk and
  almost famished for water. I carried him to a spring, bathed
  and bandaged the bullet wound, and built a shelter out of
  bark peeled from a dead chestnut tree. I nursed and
  protected him feeding him on chestnuts and toasted deer
  meat. When he was able to travel I accompanied him to the
  home of his people and remained so long that I was given up
  for lost. By this time I had become an expert rifleman and
  fairly good archer and a good trapper and spent most of my
  time in the forest in quest of game.
 
  The removal of Cherokee Indians from their life long homes
  in the year of 1838 found me a young man in the prime of
  life and a Private soldier in the American Army. Being
  acquainted with many of the Indians and able to fluently
  speak their language, I was sent as interpreter into the
  Smoky Mountain Country in May, 1838, and witnessed the
  execution of the most brutal order in the History of
 
  American Warfare. I saw the helpless Cherokees arrested and
  dragged from their homes, and driven at the bayonet point
  into the stockades. And in the chill of a drizzling rain on
  an October morning I saw them loaded like cattle or sheep
  into six hundred and forty-five wagons and started toward
  the west.
 
  One can never forget the sadness and solemnity of that
  morning. Chief John Ross led in prayer and when the bugle
  sounded and the wagons started rolling many of the children
  rose to their feet and waved their little hands good-by to
  their mountain homes, knowing they were leaving them 
  forever. Many of these helpless people did not have blankets
  and many of them had been driven from home barefooted.
 
  On the morning of November the 17th we encountered a 
  terrific sleet and snow storm with freezing temperatures and
  from that day until we reached the end of the fateful
  journey on March the 26th, 1839, the sufferings of the
  Cherokees were awful. The trail of the exiles was a trail of
  death. They had to sleep in the wagons and on the ground
  without fire. And I have known as many as twenty-two of them
  to die in one night of pneumonia due to ill treatment, cold,
  and exposure. Among this number was the beautiful Christian
  wife of Chief John Ross. This noble hearted woman died a
  martyr to childhood, giving her only blanket for the 
  protection of a sick child. She rode thinly clad through a
  blinding sleet and snow storm, developed pneumonia and died
  in the still hours of a bleak winter night, with her head
  resting on Lieutenant Greggs saddle blanket.
 
  I made the long journey to the west with the Cherokees and
  did all that a Private soldier could do to alleviate their
  sufferings. When on guard duty at night I have many times
  walked my beat in my blouse in order that some sick child
  might have the warmth of my overcoat. I was on guard duty
  the night Mrs. Ross died. When relieved at midnight I did
  not retire, but remained around the wagon out of sympathy
  for Chief Ross, and at daylight was detailed by Captain
  McClellan to assist in the burial like the other
  unfortunates who died on the way. Her unconfined body was
  buried in a shallow grave by the roadside far from her
  native home, and the sorrowing Cavalcade moved on.
 
  Being a young man, I mingled freely with the young women and
  girls. I have spent many pleasant hours with them when I was
  supposed to be under my blanket, and they have many times
  sung their mountain songs for me, this being all that they
  could do to repay my kindness. And with all my association
  with Indian girls from October 1829 to March 26th 1839, I
  did not meet one who was a moral prostitute. They are kind
  and tender hearted and many of them are beautiful.
 
  The only trouble that I had with anybody on the entire
  journey to the west was a brutal teamster by the name of Ben
  McDonal, who was using his whip on an old feeble Cherokee to
  hasten him into the wagon. The sight of that old and nearly
  blind creature quivering under the lashes of a bull whip was
  too much for me. I attempted to stop McDonal and it ended in
  a personal encounter. He lashed me across the face, the wire
  tip on his whip cutting a bad gash in my cheek. The little
  hatchet that I had carried in my hunting days was in my belt
  and McDonal was carried unconscious from the scene.
 
  I was placed under guard but Ensign Henry Bullock and
  Private Elkanah Millard had both witnessed the encounter.
  They gave Captain McClellan the facts and I was never
  brought to trial. Years later I met 2nd Lieutenant Riley and
  Ensign Bullock at Bristol at John Roberson's show, and
  Bullock jokingly reminded me that there was a case still
  pending against me before a court martial and wanted to know
  how much longer I was going to have the trial put off?
 
  McDonal finally recovered, and in the year 1851, was running
  a boat out of Memphis, Tennessee.

  The long painful journey to the west ended March 26th, 1839,
  with four-thousand silent graves reaching from the foothills
  of the Smoky Mountains to what is known as Indian territory
  in the West. And covetousness on the part of the white race
  was the cause of all that the Cherokees had to suffer. Ever
  since Ferdinand DeSoto made his journey through the Indian
  country in the year 1540, there had been a tradition of a
  rich gold mine somewhere in the Smoky Mountain Country, and
  I think the tradition was true. At a festival at Echota on
  Christmas night 1829, I danced and played with Indian girls
  who were wearing ornaments around their neck that looked
  like gold.
 
  In the year 1828, a little Indian boy living on Ward creek
  had sold a gold nugget to a white trader, and that nugget
  sealed the doom of the Cherokees. In a short time the
  country was overrun with armed brigands claiming to be
  government agents, who paid no attention to the rights of
  the Indians who were the legal possessors of the country.
  Crimes were committed that were a disgrace to civilization.
  Men were shot in cold blood, lands were confiscated. Homes
  were burned and the inhabitants driven out by the
  gold-hungry brigands.
 
  Chief Junaluska was personally acquainted with President
  Andrew Jackson. Junaluska had taken 500 of the flower of his
  Cherokee scouts and helped Jackson to win the battle of the
  Horse Shoe, leaving 33 of them dead on the field. And in
  that battle Junaluska had drove his tomahawk through the
  skull of a Creek warrior, when the Creek had Jackson at his
  mercy.
 
  Chief John Ross sent Junaluska as an envoy to plead with
  President Jackson for protection for his people, but 
  Jackson's manner was cold and indifferent toward the rugged
  son of the forest who had saved his life. He met Junaluska,
  heard his plea but curtly said, "Sir, your audience is
  ended. There is nothing I can do for you." The doom of the
  Cherokee was sealed. Washington, D.C., had decreed that they
  must be driven West and their lands given to the white man,
  and in May 1838, an army of 4000 regulars, and 3000
  volunteer soldiers under command of General Winfield Scott,
  marched into the Indian country and wrote the blackest
  chapter on the pages of American history.
 
  Men working in the fields were arrested and driven to the
  stockades. Women were dragged from their homes by soldiers
  whose language they could not understand. Children were
  often separated from their parents and driven into the
  stockades with the sky for a blanket and the earth for a
  pillow. And often the old and infirm were prodded with
  bayonets to hasten them to the stockades.
 
  In one home death had come during the night. A little
  sad-faced child had died and was lying on a bear skin couch
  and some women were preparing the little body for burial.
  All were arrested and driven out leaving the child in the
  cabin. I don't know who buried the body.
 
  In another home was a frail mother, apparently a widow and
  three small children, one just a baby. When told that she
  must go, the mother gathered the children at her feet,
  prayed a humble prayer in her native tongue, patted the old
  family dog on the head, told the faithful creature good-by,
  with a baby strapped on her back and leading a child with
  each hand started on her exile. But the task was too great
  for that frail mother. A stroke of heart failure relieved
  her sufferings. She sunk and died with her baby on her back,
  and her other two children clinging to her hands.
 
  Chief Junaluska who had saved President Jackson's life at
  the battle of Horse Shoe witnessed this scene, the tears
  gushing down his cheeks and lifting his cap he turned his
  face toward the heavens and said, "Oh my God, if I had known
  at the battle of the Horse Shoe what I know now, American
  history would have been differently written."
 
  At this time, 1890, we are too near the removal of the
  Cherokees for our young people to fully understand the
  enormity of the crime that was committed against a
  helpless race. Truth is, the facts are being concealed from
  the young people of today. School children of today do not
  know that we are living on lands that were taken from a
  helpless race at the bayonet point to satisfy the white
  man's greed.
 
  Future generations will read and condemn the act and I do
  hope posterity will remember that private soldiers like
  myself, and like the four Cherokees who were forced by
  General Scott to shoot an Indian Chief and his children, had
  to execute the orders of our superiors. We had no choice in
  the matter.
 
  Twenty-five years after the removal it was my privilege to
  meet a large company of the Cherokees in uniform of the
  Confederate Army under command of Colonel Thomas.
  They  were encamped at Zollicoffer and I went to see them.
  Most of  them were just boys at the time of the removal but
  they instantly recognized me as "the soldier that was
  good to  us". Being able to talk to them in their native
  language I  had an enjoyable day with them. From them I learned
  that Chief John Ross was still ruler in the nation in 1863. And I
  wonder if he is still living? He was a noble-hearted fellow
  and suffered a lot for his race.
 
  At one time, he was arrested and thrown into a dirty jail in
  an effort to break his spirit, but he remained true to his
  people and led them in prayer when they started on their
  exile. And his Christian wife sacrificed her life for a
  little girl who had pneumonia. The Anglo-Saxon race would
  build a towering monument to perpetuate her noble act in
  giving her only blanket for comfort of a sick child.
 
  Incidentally the child recovered, but Mrs. Ross is sleeping
  in a unmarked grave far from her native Smoky Mountain home.
 
  When Scott invaded the Indian country some of the Cherokees
  fled to caves and dens in the mountains and were never
  captured and they are there today. I have long intended
  going there and trying to find them but I have put off going
  from year to year and now I am too feeble to ride that far.
  The fleeing years have come and gone and old age has 
  overtaken me. I can truthfully say that neither my rifle nor
  my knife were stained with Cherokee blood. I can truthfully
  say that I did my best for them when they  certainly did
  need a friend. Twenty-five years after the removal I still
  lived in their memory as "the soldier that was good to us".
 
  However, murder is murder whether committed by the villain
  skulking in the dark or by uniformed men stepping to the
  strains of martial music.
 
  Murder is murder, and somebody must answer. Somebody must
  explain the streams of blood that flowed in the Indian
  country in the summer of 1838. Somebody must explain the
  4000 silent graves that mark the trail of the Cherokees to
  their exile. I wish I could forget it all, but the picture
  of 645 wagons lumbering over the frozen ground with
  their  cargo of suffering humanity still lingers in my
  memory.
 
  Let the historian of a future day tell the sad story with
  its sighs, its tears and dying groans. Let the great Judge
  of all the earth weigh our actions and reward us according
  to our work.
 
  Children - Thus ends my promised birthday story.
  This  December the 11th 1890.
  ---
 
               Wakantanka Nici Un
                Mitakuye Oyasin!
            CanskaWi   (SunHawk)
 
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                      ~///|\\\~
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                   ~//////|\\\\\\~
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                     ~/|\~~/|\~
         "Remember Wounded Knee"
  If you haven't seen our web site lately please check  it out!
  http://www.users.ohiolinks.com/~hokshi/

***************

FOR PAUL AND CORAL
       MY FAVORITE UNCLE AND AUNT   

    BE THE LAST TO SEE THE SUNRISE
    BE THE FIRST TO SEE IT SET
    LAY IN THE FIELD OF DREAMS
    EXPLORE THE ENCHANTED FOREST
    SWIM THE SEA OF WONDER
    COME CLIMB THE MOUNTAIN OF LOVE
    JOURNEY IN THE YELLOW SUBMARINE
    SEARCH FOR LITTLE GREEN MEN
    TRAVEL TO THE LAND OF AVALON
    EXPLORE THE MANY WONDERS
    AND FIND TRUTH
    IN THE WORLD
                              - MICHAEL ANTHONY  KEENAN-
                                    -1999-

*********************

The River and the Clouds
  By Thich Nhat Hanh
 
  Once upon a time there was a beautiful river finding
  her way among the hills,
  forests, and meadows. She began by being a joyful
  stream of water, a spring
  always dancing and singing as she ran down from the
  top of the mountain. She
  was very young at the time, and as she came to the
  lowland she slowed down.
  She was thinking about going to the ocean. As she
  grew up, she learned to
  look beautiful, winding gracefully among the hills
  and meadows.
 
  One day she noticed the clouds within herself.
  Clouds of all sorts of colors
  and forms. She did nothing during these days but
  chase after clouds. She
  wanted to possess a cloud, to have one for herself.
  But clouds float and
  travel in the sky, and they are always changing
  their form. Sometimes they
  look like an overcoat, sometimes like a horse.
  Because of the nature of
  impermanence within the clouds, the river suffered
  very much. Her pleasure,
  her joy had become just chasing after clouds, one
  after another, but despair,
  anger, and hatred became her life.
 
  Then one day a strong wind came and blew away all
  the  clouds in the sky. The sky became completely empty.
  Our river thought that life was not worth
  living, for there were no longer any clouds to chase
  after. She wanted to die. "If there are no clouds, why should I be
  alive?"
  But how can a river take her own life?
 
  That night the river had the opportunity to go back
  to  herself for the first
  time. She had been running for so long after
  something outside of herself
  that she had never seen herself. That night was the
  first opportunity for her
  to hear her own crying, the sounds of water crashing
  against the banks of the
  river. Because she was able to listen to her own
  voice, she discovered something quite important.
 
  She realized that what she had been looking for was
  already in herself. She
  found out that clouds are nothing but water. Clouds
  are born from water and
  will return to water. And she found out she herself
  was also water...........

**********************

From: "Dreamwalker" buffalowoman@lamere.net
 
  With Respect.....
 
  The Grandfathers Hold Me
 
  When the dark of night
  surrounds me
  and calls it's loneliness
  the Grandfathers hold me
 
  When my Heart
  cries out
  and wants me to let go
  the Grandfathers hold me
 
  When all around
  is lost and gone
  and I falter in my step
  the Grandfathers hold me
 
  Their voices ring
  more loudly
  than the pain
  and the Grandfathers hold me
 
  Their truth
  stands tall before me
  unmoved at all
  and The Grandfathers hold me
 
  In their eyes
  I stand before them
  and accept
  that the Grandfathers hold me
 
  In the stillness
  they fill me
  guide me
  the Grandfathers hold me
 
  In the dark of night
  they teach me
  they show me
  the Grandfathers hold me
 
  Their words ring true
  mending the Circle
  is what we must do
  the Grandfathers told me
 
  As one
  not separate
  we walk
  the Grandfathers told me
 
  Letting go
  of Sacred Ego
  is all we need
  the Grandfathers told me
 
  As one
  walking the path
  one Heart
  the grandfathers told me
 
  So I walk with you
  one Heart
  one path
  and the Grandfathers hold me.
 
  Dreamwalker
  copyright 1999


More of Dreamwalkers Poems...click here

********************


Hopi prophesy
 
  "I wish this message to travel to all corners of
  this land and
  across the great waters, where people of
  understanding may consider these
  words of wisdom and knowledge. This I want."
 
  This is what Dan Katchongva sais later on in this
  story.
  I felt it my duty to oblige.
 
  Fred.
 
  FROM THE BEGINNING OF LIFE
  TO THE DAY OF PURIFICATION
 
An excerpt from "The Hopi Story"
  Teachings, History, and Prophecies of the Hopi
  People

  by Dan Katchongva, Sun Clan (1865-1972)
  translated by Danagyumptewa
 
  Introduction
 
  In a talk recorded on January 29, 1970, Dan told the story of the People of 
  Peace, from the dawn of time to the attacks which  led to the founding of
  Hotevilla in 1906, the school, money, and police systems which threaten to
  end the Hopi Way within this generation; and the consequences for America
  and the world.
 
  The thought of publishing his talk grew from the recognition that those
  causing this tragedy, and the millions who support  them, could not persist,
  had they but a glimpse of the purpose behind Hopi resistance to foreign
  control. Dan agreed to the publication of this booklet on condition that it
  never be sold, insisting that to sell Hopi teachings would be like selling
  his own mother.
 
  In addition to the prophecies fulfilled during his lifetime, Dan was told by
  his father that he would live to see the beginning of the final event of
  this era, the Great Day of Purification. Dan Katchongva died in 1972.
 
  [Editor's Note: This story tells of the beginning of life, the creation of
  people by the Great Spirit and the giving of the Great Spirit's laws to live
  by. It tells of the Hopi people's emergence into the present world, and the
  first meeting with the Great Spirit in this world, and the people's
  migration to the four corners area in the Southwest, and the settling of the
  village of Oraibi and the peace and happiness that surrounded their way of
  life. The story then continues...]
 
 
  Arrival of Another Race Foretold
 
  Time passed on, people passed on, and the prophecies of things to come were
  passed from mouth to mouth. The stone tablets and the rock writing of the
  life plan were often reviewed by the elders. Fearfully they waited as they
  retold the prophecy that one day another race of people would appear in
  their midst and claim our land as his own. He would try to change our
  pattern of life. He would have "a sweet tongue" or a "fork tongue" and many
  good things by which we would be tempted. He would use force in an attempt
  to trap us into using weapons, but we must not fall for this trick, for them
  we ourselves would be brought to our knees, from which we might not be able
  to rise. Nor must we ever raise our hand against any nation. We now call
  these people Bahanna.
 
 
  The Forces of Purification
 
  We have teachings and prophecies informing us that we must be alert for the
  signs and omens which will come about to give us courage and strength to
  stand on our beliefs. Blood will flow. Our hair and our clothing will be
  scattered upon the earth. Nature will speak to us with its mighty breath of
  wind. There will be earthquakes and floods causing great disasters, changes
  in the seasons and in the weather, disappearance of wildlife, and famine in
  different forms. There will be gradual corruption and confusion among the
  leaders and the people all over the world, and wars will come about like
  powerful winds. All of this has been planned from the beginning of creation.
 
  We will have three people standing behind us, ready to fulfill our
  prophecies when we get into hopeless difficulties:
  the Meha Symbol (which refers to a plant that has a long root, milky sap,
  grows back when cut off, and has a flower shaped like a swastika, symbolizing
  the four great forces of nature in motion), the Sun Symbol, and the Red
  Symbol. Bahanna's intrusion into the Hopi way of life will set the
  Meha symbol in motion, so that the four great forces of nature (the four
  directions, the controlling forces, the original force) which will rock the
  world into war. When this happens we will know that our prophecies are coming
  true. We will gather strength and stand firm.
 
  This great movement will fall, but because its subsistence is milk, and
  because it is controlled by the four forces of nature, it will rise again to
  put the world in motion, creating another war, in which both the Meha and
  the Sun Symbol will be at work. Then it will rest in order to rise a third
  time. Our prophecy foretells that the third event will be the decisive one.
  Our road plan foretells the outcome.
 
  This sacred writing speaks the word of the Great Spirit. It could mean the
  mysterious life seed with two principles of tomorrow, indicating one, inside
  of which is two. The third and last, which will it bring forth, purification
  or destruction?
 
  The third event will depend upon the Red Symbol, which will take command,
  setting the four forces of nature (Meha) in motion for the benefit of the
  Sun. When he sets these forces in motion the whole world will shake and turn
  red and turn against the people who are hindering the Hopi cultural life. To
  all these people Purification Day will come. Humble people will run to him
  in search of a new world, and the equality that has been denied them. He
  will come unmercifully. His people will cover the Earth like red ants. We
  must not go outside to watch. We must stay in our houses. He will come and
  gather the wicked people who are hindering the red people who were here
  first. He will be looking for someone whom he will recognize by his way of
  life, or by his head (the special Hopi haircut) or by the shape of his
  village and his dwellings. He is the only one who will purify us. The
  Purifier, commanded by the Red Symbol, with the help of the Sun and the
  Meha, will weed out the wicked who have disturbed the way of life of the
  Hopi, the true way of life on Earth. The wicked will be beheaded and will
  speak no more. This will be the Purification for all righteous people, the
  Earth, and all living things on Earth. The ills of the earth will be cured.
  Mother Earth will bloom again and all people will unite into peace and
  harmony for a long time to come.
 
  But if this does not materialize, the Hopi traditional identity will vanish
  due to pressure from Bahanna. Through the whiteman's influence, his
  religions, and the disappearance of our sacred land, the Hopi will be
  doomed. This is the Universal Plan, speaking through the Great Spirit since
  the dawn of time.
 
  The Hopi have been placed on this side of the Earth to take care of the land
  through their ceremonial duties, just as other races of people have been
  placed elsewhere around the Earth to take care of her in their own ways.
  Together, we hold the world in balance, revolving properly. If the Hopi
  nation vanishes, the motion of the Earth will become eccentric, the water
  will swallow the land, and the people will perish. Only a brother and a
  sister may be left to start a new life.
 
  [Editor's Note: there is more history here about the faithful Hopi meeting
  their test, encounters with the U.S. government and the consequences of
  that, the eviction of Hopi from Oraibi, the founding of Hotevilla village
  and further persecution by the U.S. government, and the continuation of
  troubles -- as of 1970, the date of this talk.]
 
 
  Continuing the narrative from the pamphlet...
 
  We know certain people are commissioned to bring about the Purification. It
  is the Universal Plan from the beginning of creation, and we are looking up
  to them to bring purification to us. It is in the rock writings throughout
  the world, on different continents. We will come together if people all over
  the world know about it. So we urge you to spread this word around so people
  will know about it, and the appointed ones will hurry up with their task, to
  purify the Hopi and get rid of those who are hindering our way of life.
 
  I have spoken. I wish this message to travel to all corners of this land and
  across the great waters, where people of understanding may consider these
  words of wisdom and knowledge. This I want. For people may have different
  opinions about some things, but because of the nature of the beliefs upon
  which this Hopi life is based, I expect that at least one will agree, maybe
  even two. If three agree it will be worth manyfold.
 
  I am forever looking and praying eastward to the rising sun for my true
  white brother to come and purify the Hopi. My father, Yukiuma, used to tell
  me that I would be the one to take over as leader at this time, because I
  belong to the Sun Clan, the father of all the people on the Earth. I was
  told that I must not give in, because I am the first. The Sun is the father
  of all living things from the first creation. And if I am done, the Sun
  Clan, then there will be no living thing left on the Earth. So I have stood
  fast. I hope you will understand what I am trying to tell you.
 
  I am the Sun, the father. With my warmth all things are created. You are my
  children and I am very concerned about you. I hold you to protect you from
  harm, but my heart is sad to see you leaving my protecting arms and
  destroying yourselves. From the breast of you mother, the Earth, you receive
  your nourishment, but she is too dangerously ill to give you pure food. What
  will it be? Will you lift your father's heart? Will you cure your mother's
  ills? Or will you forsake us and leave us with sadness to be weathered away?
  I don't want this world to be destroyed. If this world is saved, you all
  will be saved and whoever has stood fast will complete this plan with us, so
  that we will all be happy in the Peaceful Way.

  People everywhere must give Hopi their most serious consideration, our
  prophecies, our teachings, and our ceremonial duties, for if Hopi fails, it
  will trigger the destruction of the world and all mankind. I have spoken
  through the mouth of the Creator. May the Great Spirit guide you on the  right path.

 
Top of Page

********************

From: SumerWCree@aol.com
Sent: Monday, September 13, 1999 7:10 AM
From
"From the Dreamtime", Australian Aboriginal Legends, by Jean A  Ellis
For Paul...

The Dreamtime is the name given to that mystical period of time, back
beyond human reckoning, when the land was first created and the  Aboriginal
people of what is now Australia began establishing their independence
and their individuality.

Legends form the Dreamtime tell of this creation. They give reasons for
the distinctive geographic formations of the different areas, the peculiar
habits of some Australian animals and the changing climatic conditions.
Dreamtime lore explains the mysterious sky world and the age-old
complexities of human nature, as well as the joys and the problems of
people living together.  Each Aboriginal group had its own set of legends,
which linked those people to their individual totems and their own area.

However, there are many obvious links and similarities from one group to
another.  Overall it is a vast, fascinating and complex collection.

The story offered is only a very small part of the whole and it belongs
to the Aboriginal people.


 
The Drought-Maker Koala

Throughout Australia the Traditional Aboriginal people treated the koala
with respect, and in some areas it was completely taboo, so was never
hunted or harmed.  The Aboriginal people of South Eastern Australia have
a legend to explain this.

Once there was a little orphan boy called Koobor.  Aboriginal people
have traditionally been very loving and protective to all the children in
their group, but the relatives of poor little Koobor did not respect this
tradition.  He was badly neglected and often did not have enough to eat
or drink.

There was a time of very serious drought, and the law of the group
decreed that the little water available must be shared equally.  But little
Koobor was made to give up his share to his relatives.

One day there was a ritual hunting ceremony and everyone in the group
was supposed to leave camp and take part in it.  Koobor was too weak to go,
and anyway his relatives did not think he mattered, so he was left alone.
They thought he was too weak to get up from where he was lying, so they
didn't bother to hide the water container.  They expected that he would be dead
by the time they got back, and they did not care.

But Koobor was a very determined boy, and he did not intend to die.  As
soon as everyone was out of sight he struggled up, crawled to the water
container and had a long cool drink.  Immediately he felt a little stronger.

As his strength returned he devised a plan, a way to make sure he would
never be thirsty again.  He gathered up all the bark water containers,
first those belonging to his relatives and then those belonging to the
rest of the group as well.  Some he placed in the forks of a nearby
gum tree and the rest he hung on the lower branches.
Then he climbed into the tree himself.

There he sat calmly, chanting a mysterious magic song which he had once
learnt.  His song had strong mystical power, and the tree slowly began
to grow taller.

As he chanted it grew taller and taller, until it stood higher than any other tree.

When Koobor's relatives and the rest of the group returned that evening
they were amazed at the sudden height of the tree.  Then they became
annoyed as they realized that Koobor was up there way out of reach, and
with him, all their precious water.

"Come down!  Come down!"  they shouted.  "We need to drink.   Bring our
water back down!"  But Koobor pretended not to hear.  Several of the men
tried to climb the tree, but it was much too high.

The people were tired after their hard day.  They were also very hot and
very thirsty, and as time passed they grew more thirsty and more angry.
At last they called on one of the old men who knew magic.  He was very
clever, and after a time, with the help of his magic, he was able to climb the tree.

Koobor watched, and as the man climbed towards him he became very
frightened.  And indeed, when the man reached the boy, he began to beat
and shake him savagely.

"Please don't beat me any more," Koobor cried.  "Let me explain why I
did this!"  But the angry old man would not listen.  He raised Koobor above
his head and threw him hard, all that long way to the ground.   The people
watched in silence as Koobor crashed in a crumpled heat at the foot of the tree.

For a moment the shattered little body lay motionless, but before they
had time to blink he was changed from a boy into a koala.  His ancestor
spirits had been watching and had decided to help him.  The people who saw this
miracle cried out in amazement as, quick as thought, Koobor the koala scampered
back up the tree.

Now indeed he was safe, because even the man who knew magic was afraid
after what had happened.  He knew that his magic could not match this,
andh e very quickly climbed down from the tree.  Then he and all the rest of
the group stood for a long while looking up at Koala Koobor.

All those who had seen this miracle continued to be very much afraid of
Koobor.  They realized that with the spirits helping him he no longer
needed water himself, and might cause further drought as a punishment
for them if they were ever to harm him again, especially if anyone were to
break his bones.

Koalas have lived high in the treetops ever since, and unlike most other
animals they do not need water to keep them alive.

Each generation of Aboriginal people has been told this story.  They have
listened and understood, and have decided it is wiser to leave the koalas
to themselves, safe and undisturbed in their leafy tree-top world.

  *****
  ISBN 0 86371 016 7


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