Some Native American Traditions and t...

Some Native American Traditions and tidbits

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Since: Aug 11

Location hidden

#1 Jan 10, 2013
Another poster said they wanted to chat a bit about my ancestral roots (Lenape tribe) so I started this thread for him, and others.

My tribe is the Lenape, which in our language simply means, "THe people." The arriving white man chose to call us "The Delaware" due to our residence along the banks of that river.

Mine is the tribe that sold Manhattan to the Dutch and gave a portion of PA to William Penn.

Mostly we were agrarian with our main cops being called "The three sisters," corn, soybeans and squash. Corn would be planted and when they were about a foot height, soybeans would be planted right with it, so hat the beans could climb the corn stalks. Then Squash was planted since its broad leaves reduced weed growth.

The Lenape were the peacemakers of the Algonquin Nation. Other tribes in the Nation (including Powhatan, Mohican, and Nanticoke among many others) that had disputes would come to the grandfathers, the Lenape to mediate the dispute and the word of the Lenape was law.

One of the hardest things for Europeans to understand was he prevalent role of women in the Lenape tribe. Lenape women served as elders, healers, grandmothers (Shaman) and were considered equal to men in every way. When a couple married, their children bore the last name of the mother, so ancestry must be traced by matrilineal decent.

I will post more another time

Many blessings
Fascinating

United States

#2 Jan 10, 2013
This is really interesting. Thanks for posting it. I wish more threads were informative and interesting like this.

Peace.
Dana

Murray, KY

#3 Jan 10, 2013
Interesting, please post more!
wtf

Murray, KY

#4 Jan 11, 2013
This is amazing, I am drooling right now. Please continue, i have a box of tissues, my toothbrush, and a wolf howling at the moon t-shirt on. The shirt is a bit big but its tie dyed.
FYI

Murray, KY

#5 Jan 11, 2013
wtf wrote:
This is amazing, I am drooling right now. Please continue, i have a box of tissues, my toothbrush, and a wolf howling at the moon t-shirt on. The shirt is a bit big but its tie dyed.
It's people like you who give Western Ky a bad name. If you don't like the thread, don't read it. Some of us enjoy history. Pull up your pants, put the crack pipe down and go look for a job!
Fascinating

United States

#6 Jan 11, 2013
FYI wrote:
<quoted text>
It's people like you who give Western Ky a bad name. If you don't like the thread, don't read it. Some of us enjoy history. Pull up your pants, put the crack pipe down and go look for a job!
Agreed.

Since: Aug 11

Location hidden

#7 Jan 11, 2013
Within their own groups the Indians were kind to one another. They felt a sense of responsibility towards everyone in their community. They did not steal from anyone in their own village, for there was no reason to do so. The land belonged to the whole community, shelters were shared, and no one hoarded valuable possessions.

From a very young age youth were taught the importance of sharing. The first time a young girl was taken to pick berries, she was instructed to share some with the oldest matron of the village. The matron would then praise the child for her gifts. In this way the Lenape youth were shown that sharing with your community was just as important as having the fruits of your labor.

If someone was sick and in need, the community made sure they had what they needed, for in their health the sick person had done the same. It is important to note that this was nor forced nor coerced, it was done out of the realization that all of the village, the forest, the land were all connected as one. What helped your brother helped you in the long run.

Our spirituality was the largest reason for living like this, fostering that sense of the "one-ness" of all Creation.

There is a myth that when a person became old and infirmed they were banished from the community and cast out. That may be true for some other peoples, but not the Lenape. To the Lenape all life was precious, the death of one caused part of ourselves to die a bit. So we did all we could to make sure everyone and everything around us thrived.

This is why the Lenape gladly shared the land with William Penn and the Quakers. Their skin was different, but they, like us, were a part of Creation, and therefore needed to thrive.

This may all sound very much like the life of the hippie commune, but where do you think the Hippies got their ideas?

Since: Aug 11

Location hidden

#8 Jan 11, 2013
Every family knew the medicinal value of certain plants and herbs to cure ordinary sicknesses, injuries, and hurts, but for serious physical problems the Lenape consulted two kinds of medical practitioners. The nentpikes, or herbalists, cured diseases and healed wounds and infections by applying natural remedies. The meteinu or medew, in addition to being familiar with the properties of herbs, plants, barks and roots also claimed to know how to deal with witchcraft and other occult practices. It was belied that meteinu could cure illnesses of supernatural origin and could chase away evil spirits. Both types of medical practitioners usually started their professions as a result of dreams or visions. Experienced older professionals would then teach them the special rituals associated with the selection and use of medicinal plants, their powers for diagnosing of healing illnesses, and the prayers and proper preparations associated with the use of each plant.

In selecting the required medicinal plants in field or forest, an herbalist would stop by the first specimen, leaving it untouched. A ceremony would then be performed to appease the spirit of the plant. Following this the herbalist would dig a small hole on the east side of the plants roots and place a pinch of native tobacco into the hole as an offering to the manetuwak or spirits who cared for the plants. After addressing the plant and its spirit, the meteinu would then pick other plants of the same sort.

Since: Aug 11

Location hidden

#9 Jan 11, 2013
The Lenape enjoyed common milkweed,(Asclepias syriaca) as an asparagus-like vegetable in the early spring. They knew that the fragrant blossoms and tiny young pods are delicious when cooked, but that the plants become quite toxic with maturity. The milky latex that exudes from broken plant parts was used as a skin treatment for ringworm and warts. Some native peoples chewed it as a gum.

The Lenape had a multitude of uses for the common cattail (Typha latifolia). This plant produces dense foliage that was used by the Indians to make cordage, insulation, baskets and mats, and as insulation and/or caulking for their structures. Cattail pollen was used for food and medicine. If left to mature, edible young flowerheads form into cottony down that could be used for disposable diapers, bedding, and insulation. During winter, the tuberous roots of the cattail would be dug up for food and also were saved for treatment of diarrhea, gonorrhea, and worms. The Lenape also applied the roots to the skin for relief of minor burns and wounds.

The branches of the willow tree are long and pliable and the Lenape likely wove them into cradleboards, house mats, sleeping platforms, and baskets. They also used parts of the willow to build sweat lodges. The twigs and bark of most willows were highly valued medicine and the Lenape used it to relieve headaches, fever, arthritis, rheumatism, internal body aches, and external swellings. We know today that this material contained a primal form of aspirin.

Since: Aug 11

Location hidden

#10 Jan 11, 2013
The Lenape had three clans (or phratries) Wolf, Turtle and Turkey which traced their descent through the female line. For example, if a mother belonged to the Turtle Clan, then each of her children also belonged to the same clan. The sons had to marry women from other clans, and their children belonged to their mothers clan.

Within their own groups the Indians were kind to one another. They felt a sense of responsibility towards everyone in their community. They did not steal from anyone in their own village, for there was no reason to do so. The land belonged to the whole community, shelters were shared, and no one hoarded valuable possessions.

Much of the Lenape way of life stepped from a very deep spirituality. To us, there was a one-ness to all of creation. From the lowest shrub, to the greatest person, all were connected, what helped our brother helped us. What was good for the land was good for us.

From the first time a youth was taken to collect berries, they were taught the concept of sharing. The youth would take some berries to the oldest matron of the village, who would praise the youth for their gift. In this way, a child was taught that sharing was just as sweet as the berry itself.

To our tribe all life was precious. This is why we so readily shared the land with the Quakers. Their skin may have been different, but still we did what we could to help them thrive.

This all may sound like the hippie lifestyle, but where do you think the hippie got his ideas?

Many Blessings

Since: Aug 11

Location hidden

#11 Jan 11, 2013
ok, i posted two similar posts because for a bit Topix seemed to eat my one post about community and sharing, I apologize for the redundance.

Since: Sep 08

Neon City Oh.

#12 Jan 11, 2013
SpiritoftheHawk wrote:
The Lenape had three clans (or phratries) Wolf, Turtle and Turkey which traced their descent through the female line. For example, if a mother belonged to the Turtle Clan, then each of her children also belonged to the same clan. The sons had to marry women from other clans, and their children belonged to their mothers clan.
Within their own groups the Indians were kind to one another. They felt a sense of responsibility towards everyone in their community. They did not steal from anyone in their own village, for there was no reason to do so. The land belonged to the whole community, shelters were shared, and no one hoarded valuable possessions.
Much of the Lenape way of life stepped from a very deep spirituality. To us, there was a one-ness to all of creation. From the lowest shrub, to the greatest person, all were connected, what helped our brother helped us. What was good for the land was good for us.
From the first time a youth was taken to collect berries, they were taught the concept of sharing. The youth would take some berries to the oldest matron of the village, who would praise the youth for their gift. In this way, a child was taught that sharing was just as sweet as the berry itself.
To our tribe all life was precious. This is why we so readily shared the land with the Quakers. Their skin may have been different, but still we did what we could to help them thrive.
This all may sound like the hippie lifestyle, but where do you think the hippie got his ideas?
Many Blessings
Thanks, those were interesting posts.

Since: Aug 11

Location hidden

#13 Jan 11, 2013
back then, and myself now, we tried to walk a certain life path. I will share the ideas here.

To walk the Red Road
is to know sacrifice, suffering.
It is to understand humility.

It is the ability to stand naked before God
in all things for your wrong doings,
for your lack of strength,
for your uncompassionate way,
for your arrogance - because to walk
the Red Road, you always know
you can do better. And you know,
when you do good things,
it is through the Creator, and you are grateful.

To walk the Red Road
is to know you stand on equal ground
with all living things. It is to know that
because you were born human,
it gives you superiority over nothing.

It is to know that every creation carries a Spirit,
and the river knows more than you do,
the mountains know more than you do,
the stone people know more than you do,
the trees know more than you do,
the wind is wiser than you are,
and animal people carry wisdom.
You can learn from every one of them,
because they have something you don't:
They are void of evil thoughts.
They wish vengeance on no one, they seek Justice.

To Walk the Red Road,
you have God given rights,
you have the right to pray,
you have the right to dance,
you have the right to think,
you have the right to protect,
you have the right to know Mother,
you have the right to dream,
you have the right to vision,
you have the right to teach,
you have the right to learn,
you have a right to grieve,
you have a right to happiness,
you have the right to fix the wrongs,
you have the right to truth,
you have a right to the Spirit World.

To Walk the Red Road
is to know your Ancestors,
to call to them for assistance!

It is to know that there is good medicine,
and there is bad medicine!
It is to know that Evil exists,
but is cowardly as it is often in disguise.
It is to know there are evil spirits
who are in constant watch
for a way to gain strength for themselves
at the expense of you.
To Walk the Red Road,
you have less fear of being wrong,
because you know that life is a journey,
a continuous circle, a sacred hoop.

Mistakes will be made,
and mistakes can be corrected -
if you will be humble,
for if you cannot be humble,
you will never know
when you have made a mistake.

If you walk the Red Road,
you know that every sorrow
leads to a better understanding,
every horror cannot be explained,
but can offer growth.

To Walk the Red Road
is to look for beauty in all things.


To Walk the Red Road
is to know you will one day
cross to the Spirit World, and you will not be afraid!

Since: Aug 11

Location hidden

#14 Jan 11, 2013
The Lenape lived in bark homes called wigwams.

Here is a decent video...



I am hoping this year to be healthy enough to teach my son how to build one, since they last about ten years it could make a nice outbuilding.
Fascinating

Murray, KY

#15 Jan 11, 2013
I am still enjoying your posts. Thanks!

Since: Aug 11

Location hidden

#16 Jan 11, 2013
a bit of trivia.

THe Lenape were very quick to adopt Christian beliefs. The idea of universal love for all taught by Jesus of Nazareth was very much aligned with their own beliefs
Justmythoughts

Benton, KY

#17 Jan 11, 2013
SpiritoftheHawk wrote:
a bit of trivia.

THe Lenape were very quick to adopt Christian beliefs. The idea of universal love for all taught by Jesus of Nazareth was very much aligned with their own beliefs
Wow!! Very informative! I have enjoyed reading this! Thank you so much for sharing!! I look forward to any other information you may share!:)

Since: Aug 11

Location hidden

#18 Jan 12, 2013
The Lenape believed that certain rituals, such as fasting, gave them special power to influence spirits. It was the custom for boys and sometimes girls to mark the time when they became adults by going away alone for many days to fast and dream. The special power they received at this time might enable them to have visions, and some of them might find a guardian spirit. This special guardian could take the form of a fox, a hawk, a small ant or even a rock and could protect the individual for life or tell them what their future would be.

one could have several different spirit guides over their lifetime, the Creator provided us with one based upon our need and the gifts that each spirit bestowed. The one spirit hat stayed for lifetime is if the hawk chose to be your guide.

The hawk is my own personal spirit guide, and our beliefs teach us that the hawk is the messenger between this, the seen world, and the unseen world. Hawk spirits were often called upon to be he shamans, to interpret prophecy and to be religious leaders.

Characteristics of the Hawk spirits include Messenger, Discernment, Intuition, Observation, Wisdom, Courage, Truth.

The wolf spirit guide was also called "the teacher." Often wolf spirits became the elders and chiefs of the tribe. Another great gift of the wolf is the sense of community, loyalty and family values.

Deer's medicine includes gentleness in word, thought and touch. The ability to listen, grace and appreciation for the beauty of balance. Understanding of what's necessary for survival, power of gratitude and giving, ability to sacrifice for the higher good, connection to the woodland goddess, alternative paths to a goal.

I wan to close this post by saying that the vision quest and spirit animals are NOT some strange power of the Indian. It is a gift the Creator gave to all of us, the vision, but the red man, in his simple and primitive way clung to its practice.

If you relax, focus, fast, sacrifice, you just may have a spirit animal choose you. Do not turn your back on the wonderful gifts that our Creator gave us to help us live in this world.

Another gift that we all have, but most have forgotten is that sense of direction. I can take my children outside at night, blindfold them spin them around and they will know north, south, east, and west. As long as they listen to their instincts rather than think. I am quite certain that each of you has this gift too, just sometimes you just need to let go and trust your guts. I am sure you all know someone that has that innate sense of direction. Guess what, so do you.

My Brothers and Sisters,
I wish you all Xli nkntwakna which means "Many Blessings".
Mantu Mxkalaniat --(Spirit of the Hawk)
Dana

Murray, KY

#19 Jan 12, 2013
This is fascinating, please post more.

Since: Aug 11

Location hidden

#20 Jan 14, 2013
1. Treat the Earth and all that dwell thereon with respect.
2. Remain close to the Great Spirit, in all that you do.
3. Show great respect for your fellow beings.
(Especially Respect yourself)
4. Work together for the benefit of all Mankind.
5. Give assistance and kindness wherever needed.
6. Do what you know to be right.
(But be careful not to fall into self-righteousness)
7. Look after the well being of mind and body.
8. Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good.
9. Be truthful and honest at all times.
(Especially be truthful and honest with your self)
10. Take full responsibility for your actions

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