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  • Death, mourning and powwows

    ____________

    Death is a part of life.

    Each tribe has protocol to deal with death and a time period of mourning.

    In the olden days, strict periods of mourning were adhered to and supported by the entire tribe, village or community.

    Today these strict rules of death and mourning are not followed as closely even by some of our most revered traditionalists!

    Now, granted there are many who do stick by their teachings of death and mourning and I commend them.

    Too often, Indian people are immediately back in the powwow arena enjoying themselves like nothing ever happened to their immediate relatives.


    What do you think?
    Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

  • #2
    I'm glad you brought this up. I've seen some people cut their hair, wait a year and such. Others do what they can. You know I consider myself extended family to the Zotighs because the boys adopted my kids. Still, I really didn't want to dance during the first year. It was hard even watching the Fancy contest. So I began to understand why some tribes hold true to those mourning rules. Neither of my tribes are powwow peoples so I wasn't really bound to waiting a year. Still I waited because it didn't feel right. But I know others took the standpoint of dancing for those who aren't here.
    Poetry is life in print.


    https://poetryislifeinprint.wordpress.com/

    https://www.facebook.com/KarlieCharlesSoftball/

    Comment


    • #3
      Mourning protocol

      :Angel2

      This is a good subject, I noticed that after a death some family members cut their hair, some didn't. Some do exhibitions to earn extra money, so they didn't want to cut their hair, cause whites want to see "real Ndns with long hair''

      I guess it's something each person has to reconcile for themselves as our Father, the Creator deals with each person individually. Since I didn't breath life into any ones spirit, I judge not lest I be judged.

      CC

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      • #4
        OK MY FATHER JUS PASSED AWAY NOT 2 LONG AGO BUT I DONT UNDERSTAND Y WE HAVE TO CUT R HAIR I DIDNT BECAUSE MY DAD NEVER WANTED ME TO CUT MY HAIR THATS Y I DIDNT
        AND THE DANCING PART U DONT HAVE TO STOP 4 A YEAR ITS UP TO THE PERSON IF DANCING MAKES U FEEL GOOD THEN DO IT IF IT DOESNT THEN DONT

        Comment


        • #5
          Very sorry to hear about your father's passing, prayers for you.
          Every tribe has their own rules and protocol for grief and mourning. Every tribe does not cut their hair, (mine doesn't) and every tribe does not wait for a whole year. It is up to your family, elders and community to teach you about your people's ways regarding death and it is up to you to decide whether you will follow it.

          Comment


          • #6
            When my granddaughter passed away, I never danced for a year and I had a joining in ceremony and giveaway to come back into the powwow circle. I loved her a lot (and still do) but I couldn't dance if there was still a "cry" in my heart. I didn't actually start powwow dancing again for a couple of years later after I rejoined.

            Comment


            • #7
              A good friend of mine and my family's and a close friend to many here on pwz passed away at a pow wow. It was what he loved to do the most. The pow wow stopped to regroup thoughts and prayers were said. It was decided to keep the pow wow going the next day because of course, that is what he would have truly wanted.

              Yes, as Kakeeya said......every tribe has their own traditional way to deal with death and burial of their beloved ones. We have had ours since like forever, but absolutely will not get into them here. I would suggest each go back to your elders of your tribe and learn your ways with this issue.
              "Gaa wiin daa-aangoshkigaazo ahaw enaabiyaan gaa-inaabid"

              Comment


              • #8
                Mourning

                :Angel2 So sorry for your Dad, Jusme.

                Kakeeya, what's a joining in ceremony, is that like some bringing you out again?


                CC

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Mourning

                  Originally posted by comchocldy
                  :Angel2 So sorry for your Dad, Jusme.

                  Kakeeya, what's a joining in ceremony, is that like some bringing you out again?


                  CC
                  Yes, it's rejoining. This is also just a small part of our ways of mourning, theres a lot more to it than this but as Ojibway Sweetie said, shouldn't go into detail here on the internet. :)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Thanks, I kinda get the jest of it, and you are soooooo right,
                    It would end up in a book on " Native Spirituality and Customs'"



                    CC

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ojibwaysweetie
                      A good friend of mine and my family's and a close friend to many here on pwz passed away at a pow wow. It was what he loved to do the most. The pow wow stopped to regroup thoughts and prayers were said. It was decided to keep the pow wow going the next day because of course, that is what he would have truly wanted.
                      One time I was at a powwow at the Manitoulin Islands, and a man passed away in the arbor. I was feeling really bad for the man (even though I didn't know him), I thought it was sad for his family that he left so suddenly. Then one of my sister friends told me that I shouldn't feel sad cuz that was probably something that he loved doing and that he went happy. The powwow also continued but they roped off the area where he passed on.
                      Last edited by Kakeeya; 12-31-2003, 02:07 AM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kakeeya
                        One time I was at a powwow at the Manitoulin Islands, and a man passed away in the arbor. I was feeling really bad for the man (even though I didn't know him), I thought it was sad for his family that he left so suddenly. Then one of my sister friends told me that I shouldn't feel sad cuz that was probably something that he loved doing and that he went happy. The powwow also continued but they roped off the area where he passed on.
                        I remember when that happened Kakeeya. Pretty much the same scenario at that one I mentioned. We danced for him and you know was a sad time, but yet, kind of a happy one because they went home from where they were the happiest and they were at what they loved the most and were around people they loved. Just hard sometimes.
                        "Gaa wiin daa-aangoshkigaazo ahaw enaabiyaan gaa-inaabid"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          my father passed away in 96 from cancer he was 47 but each nation has their own ways of mourning...it took my ma 5 years until she went back into dancing again...i finally got done with mourning not that long ago because my ma put a burden on me by saying i cant go through mourning yet i have to be strong to keep the family together......iguess that paid off cuz nobody fights with anybudy anymore ...it jest got really bad at first...but since i been done im going back into powow but since its been while i have to go through another giveaway as so im told by my grandpa...so its gonna take me while to get stuff done...i really dont remember my first giveaway i was too young..i know yar suppose to give relaly nice gifts to head man and head lady...the thing i was wondering is with the invited drum...are ya suppose to give gifts to everyone on the invited drum or just the drum keeper himself?...also im suppose to give small gifts to like ladies of the host drum too like what would be appropriate?...-becca

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Good subject.

                            I guess it depends on the persons. I knew someone that lost a loved one that danced the same weekend they laid their brother to rest. He said his brother would rather he live his life as if he were still there. Not do the whole mourning thing.

                            Then I good friend had lost her sister and he went in to his mourning period but after the year he just wasn't feeling it any longer and has not danced since. He was a really awesome dancer that it's a shame he doesn't dance anymore.

                            So maybe it depends now a days how the person is and how there family ties are and if they are into their traditional ways more than the pow wow way?

                            :Thinking
                            If there ain't soccer in heaven ~ I ain't going!!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              ______

                              How Indian people handle the situation of death depends on the tribe.

                              My grandmother died recently and she was buried the old way wrapped in a blanket - the day after she passed away.

                              I was at another funeral last week where people laid water and favorite foods on the burial mound for their trip to the next world.

                              So.

                              Some tribes mourn for only four days, some until they are released from mourning, others for a year and still others until they are ready.

                              Some tribes cut their hair, others refrain from enjoying themselves in public (active participation at powwows, etc.), others prepare daily food offerings to their loved one - as tokens of mourning.

                              Then.

                              Some tribes have different ceremonies (ie. wiping away the tears, hair washings and combings, cedaring, sweet grass, NAC and paying their way back in the dance arena.)

                              Death is a part of life.
                              Powwows will continue to evolve in many directions. It is inevitable.

                              Comment

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