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|09-12-2010, 11:51 PM||#1|
Pow Wow Visitor
I am Ada, Wolfchild of The Piegan Tribe. We are the peaceable of the three Blackfoot tribes. The Blackfoot are the Nizitapi, "The Real People". My father is Walks With Wolves; he is the civil chief of our tribe. "He was chosen for his eloquent words in council", says my mother. My mother is called Gentle Heart; her father is Whitecloud, he is also a chief, but of war. Grandfather tells stories, as story telling is very important to our people. My favorite tale is about a man who tried to steal the sun's pants. He also tells about a time when the Blackfoot hunted on foot; that was before the whites brought the "elk horse". Even then my people were great hunters. When I sit and listen at Grandfather's knee I can see the fierce warrior in his spirit. Then I look closer in his eyes. These eyes, he says, instills fear into the enemy. All I can see in those eyes is all the love he has for me .Mother calls so I must go help her to pack up our tipi, we follow the iinii (buffalo)
The annual Okun (Sun dance) is coming soon and all in my tribe are excited .There will be much food as well as fasting , dancing and exhibitions. We will move our camp for four days. On the fifth day we will build a medicine lodge. After, gifts will be given by children and adults with illness to the medicine woman. On the sixth day we will dance towards the sun; some will be blowing eagle-bone whistles. Then four days shall remain and the men's societies will perform various ceremonies. For now however Diary, this day the sun shines brightly upon me. I have started my menses and am off to the woman's lodge.
Dear Diary ,
When I was only a baby my mother arranged for me to marry one who was already a young boy at that time. This fact never bothered me, as that is the way of my people. I can say I also never thought upon it much as I was busy learning the ways of a good woman. My mother showed me how to build a tipi and to erect a tipi, for it is the woman who holds ownership of the home. She has been a good mother and is considered a value as she has tanned many hides. My mother is wise and is also a healer in our band. So why Diary do I all of a sudden feel fear when I think about this marriage which my mother has pre-arranged? As it is the end of summer we will separate into 10-20 lodges for the winter and I will get to spend more time getting to know Two Bears ( that is his name). I will smudge and pray; maybe then I will lose some of my fear.
Napiw (the creator) is truly gracious! Not only has my fear vanished but I am happier than happy. Mother and I were bringing water from the river and we saw Two Bears (who by the way is amazing) speaking with father. He has proven himself as a powerful warrior, a distinguished hunter and to be economically stable. This means he is only waiting for father to agree that he is deserving of me. Oh diary, my heart beat so loudly I waited for mother to call to me to quiet it. She just smiled at me with mischief in her eyes and said "so Two Bears will ask your father to take you as his woman?" ( as if she didn't know!) I played along and told her yes and I was pleased (understatement). Then I was right back to being afraid again, just this time fearful of father being unreasonable! He does have a stubborn nature Diary. Mother sensed the change in me (as usual), patted my hand and assured me father is wise and he will do what is right for me, but when? So I slowed my pace and closed my eyes then I listened with my heart; mother speaks the truth.
Dear Diary ,
It has been many moons since I have written to you. Married life has proven to be wonderful, yet busy. The air has changed and as always we follow the iini. I've just finished erecting our tipi. I have started some porcupine quill work on Two Bears regalia while he is gone hunting. I can close my eyes and fill my senses with so much. Laughter from the children playing the hoop game and the pups nipping at their heels. All the while the smell of fragrant sweet grass melds with the tipi's smoke dancing on the wind. I touch my protruding stomach, it is round as the moon and full of life. I have had a vision Diary, my child will be a girl. She will be named Dream Walker. She will hold power, for I have seen it in her eyes. She had wise eyes in my vision. Even now she knows my thoughts...smile...my swollen middle jiggles as I write. Well there will be much tanning to do when Two bears returns. For now I will rest.
Today the Wa`piski-wiya (white man) came to our camp. We have heard of these men and have even traded with them before. This time is different somehow and in truth Diary, I am fearful. They come to us with smiling faces that have no happiness. Dream Walker, who loves all, shies away from these men. I am uneasy. Mother feels it too. Father will go to council, all must agree before any decisions are made. I have decided to speak with She Who Talks With Spirits. I will also smudge and meditate. At least with the burning of the sage and sweet grass there will be purification; the meditation. Well Diary that is for me.
My little DreamWalker and I, along with mother and some other woman of our band, picked many wild service berries, choke cherries and even some bull berries today. I have also promised my daughter we would gather the bark from a cottonwood. Oh how she favors the sweet interior. The buffalo are less than usual. The white man kill without thought. For example: Suyitapis (underwater people) are a power source for medicine bundles and other sacred items and the Nizitapi avoid eating fish at all cost. Yes Diary, I have heard tell of the Wa` piski-wiya eating fish. One of the old women is ill, she has bad demons. Mother will go to her. I will gather some herbs now. Until next time.
Myself, mother and DreamWalker shared a sleep vision. It is the wa`piski-wiya who bring the sickness! They call it the small pox in their tongue. Now they are bringing illness and are poaching on our land. A few bands have decided to take a more hostile approach. Two Bears speaks of leaving the plains and traveling north. It is not our way to leave our band, but we truly fear for ours and our loved ones. Napiw please hear our cries!
We have traveled north as I mentioned. Mother and father as well as some of our band have decided to come along. We are few but a courageous lot. Father, with all his eloquence, could not reach all. It is a sad thing. You should know that our way is about harmony. All council members must agree or a decision can't be made. Yes it is a sad day. My father and we who leave have turned our backs on the tribe. It is most sad because we feel we must do this to survive.
We have made it to a winter camp of sorts. We have hoarded pemmican, and other foods to make it through the winter. May Napiw shine down on us and keep us safe.
We buried a friend and member of our small band today. I still have tears in my eyes, for the loss of any is great.
His family, wife, sons and daughters have painted their faces with white clay. They have cut their hair and wear old clothes to show grief. He was dressed traditionally and his face was pianted. He then was wrapped in a ceremonial cloth as well as a buffalo robe. We brought him to the top of the hill. We look upon it each morning when the sun awakens. His possessions will be given out as he stated in his verbal will. All is ready and he will be welcomed into the spirit world.
Two Bears came home with news today that shook our very foundation. Although we were expecting it, it is still awful to hear. You must realize that The Blackfoot Nation has held their own against the white man. Now, we are finally faltering; not because we aren't a fierce and courageous people, but because we are starving. The buffalo are next to gone. It is rumored that a white war chief will raid the Akainawa tribe. They are calling these warriors "Hostile". I throw my fist in the air and rage at this! These white face demons come to our land poaching and pillaging that which is not theirs! Should we remain passive? I say no to this. A`SSA (hey) to the warriors who choose to defend the people, the land, the honor and the way of life. This I will say as I pack my husbands things to go with these warriors and fight!
Two Bears has returned. First I will give thanks for his safe return. Now I will cut my hair and paint my face. The news is unbearable. The stench of blood arrived before my husband. It was a slaughter. My eyes burn with tears as never before and my heart breaks with the pain of this tragedy. The white war chief raided not warriors of the Blood Band, but that of my peaceful Piegan Tribe. I cry for vengeance . Mostly woman and children were sliced down like sweet grass. The blood of 200 of my people made a river of crimson on the plains .If that is not enough my sisters and brothers, my people have been stricken with this disease ... small pox. Blankets were given out to the tribes; a wa'piski-wiya who harbours hate for my people while taking a Blackfoot woman to his bed. These blankets were infected with the disease. Vengeance I cry, mercy I pray. What will become of the Blackfoot Nation? I see in visions that we will be herded like animals, placed on land that is not ours, told we are not to go elsewhere. This can not be a vision of truth, but of fear. I have been afraid many times in my life, but never has a fear consumed me like this. Napiw ...give your people strength.
Ada Wolfchild / SheWhoWeavesDreams
"To rob our children of their ancestry is to fill their future with ignorance" Shea DreamWeaver
|03-10-2012, 06:27 PM||#2|
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