SMUDGING

by Elaine Lunham Virginia Graverette Pigeon, Tribal Elder of the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe, member of the Cedar Women’s Society, Elder of the Mide Lodge. With these credentials, I realized that Virginia holds a lot of wisdom, guidance, and teachings. For as long as I can remember, I had heard of the Anishinabe people smudging with sacred herbs such as tobacco, sweetgrass, sage, and cedar. I always wondered the meaning behind it (though I had my own ideas). One day I went to Virginia, seeking answers to my questions, trying to gain insight and knowledge so that one day I could pass this on to my children and their children. Virginia began by saying that some people follow the Traditional Way and some follow the Christian Way and that one way respects the aspects of both ways. Both know one God. Virginia said that there are a lot of stories and […] Read More

Origin of the Lakota Peace Pipe

Lakota Native American Lore Long, long ago, two young and handsome Lakota were chosen by their band to find out where the buffalo were. While the men were riding in the buffalo country, they saw someone in the distance walking toward them. As always they were on the watch for any enemy. So they hid in some bushes and waited. At last the figure came up the slope. To their surprise, the figure walking toward them was a woman. When she came closer, she stopped and looked at them. They knew that she could see them, even in their hiding place. On her left arm she carried what looked like a stick in a bundle of sagebrush. Her face was beautiful. One of the men said, “She is more beautiful than anyone I have ever seen. I want her for my wife.” But the other man replied, “How dare […] Read More

The story of Starboy and Earthboy

“A wise Crow storyteller my grandfather once told me when I was young and full of youth the story of Earth boy and Star boy. This happened long ago many ancestors before my grandfather, when the people of the plains were like the buffalo many and free to roam where ever they wanted. This is before the white man came and killed the buffalo and the first people of the plains. It was before we became different tribes we were all one no Crow, no Arapaho, no Cheyenne, no Sioux, we were one tribe the people of the plains. It was in a large plains village a woman who was very beautiful became with child and she gave life to two boys and they were twins, she was very sad because she did not know who the father of the twin boys were. But she did the best she […] Read More

A story of the Pipe of Peace

A story of the Pipe of Peace – Cherokee This story was related by a Chickamauga elder. It is a telling. As they say… Nothing is etched in stone… Way back before recorded history, the Aniyuwiya (Cherokee) lived in their country of lakes and rivers, beautiful valleys and rolling mist-covered mountains. They had lived well there for more winters than could be remembered. They had lived with their neighbors in that land with a minimum of disagreement or strife. As time went on, men of the Aniyuwiya started to become at odds with their neighbors over many things. This prompted fights to break out that even escalated into wars. The Aniyuwiya had great warriors and were not afraid to go to war. They had known peace throughout their history, but also their share of great and terrible battles. It seemed that anger was coming far easier than peace. The […] Read More

Grandfather Coyote Visits With His Friends

Many seasons ago.. a long time .. Coyote say to his woman, “I tired of sit around the lodge all day. I go to visit my friend Beaver.” So Coyote goes visit Beaver and Beaver say, “Grandfather Coyote, welcome lodge. What will you have to eat?” Coyote says, “Whatever you have to offer.” Beaver says, “Hard winter. Not much offer.” And Little Beaver jumps up and say, “Grandfather… You may eat me. But do not gnaw my bones.” So .. they cook Little Beaver over fire and Grandfather eat Beaver. But as he eats, he gnaws on little bone. After eat .. Beaver takes bones and skin of Little Beaver .. bundle together… Soon Little Beaver comes back, live. Grandfather Coyote says, “Ohh.. this is good.” Beaver says to Little Beaver, “Are you all right my boy?” Little Beaver says, “I am a fine father. I am fine Grandfather, […] Read More