Saturday, May 29, 2010

"A Part of Nature"

To marrow I'll venture up north, to Flagstaff Arizona. The Zuni craftsmen will be showing there art work. At The Museum of Northern Arizona. It's located on the old Route 66, east of town. Hopefully with my new digital camera. I'll be able to share the Zuni craftsmen art. With the rest of the World and maybe, even the local universe. The Zuni are considered the Hopi first cousins. Or as I believe, there artistic side. There silver, pottery, weaving skills, are renowned around the World. To where the Hopi are known mainly for there beautiful Kachinas.

Before the arrival of the Whites to North and South America. The Native Peoples, lived as one with Nature. The Native Peoples believed, there was a fine line between themselves. And the animals who shared the Planet with them. They worshiped the mountains, the streams, the rare beauty of Mother Earth herself. Mountains were like guild post. So you could never get lost. A place were the Great Spirits lived. Rivers were a place of cleansing and refreshment. Shamans could point to the places. Where the Native People ascended from the underworld. Point out a place in the Sky. Where there creator first arrived. So "He" could create mankind him self.

In Arizona the Navajo Universe. Was bound by four Sacred Peaks. The Native Peoples would leave offering at scared sites. Food, art work, prayer sticks, were left for the un-seen Spirits. To the Native People, Earth was a alter. Many believed there was a 'Golden age'. When the animals and the humans walked hand in hand. The tribes lived off the fruits of the Earth. And not the flesh of the animals. There was a trust between the animals and mankind. That was the 'First World'. As the old Hopi tale goes. Then mankind forgot how to say there prayers. Forgot how to plant there spring crops and got lazy. Then turned to eating the flesh of there brothers, the animals. "God" destroyed all of them, except for a few. Who were the seeds of the next generation of mankind on Earth. As you can plainly see. Mankind has arrived at that point again.

To the Sioux, soil of the Earth. Was to be worshiped. The soil felt good to the soles of there feet. It was soothing, healing, cleansing, strengthening. They would set on the ground. Take there moccasins off. Rube there feet in the soil. As a way of reconnecting to Mother Earth.

When the Whites arrived. They could not understand. The Native Peoples impersonating the animals spirits. As they danced with skins of the animals around there bodies. How they would worship rocks, rainbows. When in reality, it was a deep religious experience. The Whites looked upon the Native Peoples as. Lesser forms of humanity, that needed to be rescued.

The Native People were courteous to there new neighbours. Because of there own believes of magical powers. They listened to the words about this new 'Son of God' spirit. At the same "Time", they were also fearful. For the Whites were aggressive. The Native People thought the Whites. Might have a powerful Spirit behind them. The Whites had no powerful spirit behind them. As the native People would soon find out.

First the Whites took the children from the Native Peoples. And turned them against the parents old traditions. (Sound familiar, TV, movies, etc..) To combat this, the Native People would incorporate. Some of new Christians ways. Into to there ancient rituals. (You can see this at Hopi dances.) In hopes of saving the traditional Native Peoples ways.

The first missionaries were from Spain (Catholic). Working with the conquistadors, to settle the new found lands. In Florida and California, they created self-sufficient missions. Using Native People as slaves. To tend there fruit orchard, crops, sheep and cattle. They taught them skills such as, leather work, blacksmiths and manufacturing of olive oil. They keep the Native People away from there traditional rituals. By punishing those who got caught, trying to use there old ways.

The Catholics were stern with the children. Each night the Native women and men. Were locked into separate dormitories. The Spanish soldiers would flog runaways and those caught practicing tribal rites. They quelled rebellions, with strict punishment.

Some Catholic priest felt a conscience toward the Native People. Father Bartolome de Las Casas, proposed new laws pertaining to the Native Peoples. Some priest protected the Native People from the ruthless silver mine bosses and ranchers. Who would use them as cheep labor.

By 1635 there were forty Spanish missions. In Florida alone. They lasted another one hundred years. Until the British soldiers along with Creek and Catawba Indians. Destroyed the missions. and sold the Native People into slavery.

In the southwest the Christians. Eventually had to accommodate the traditional Native Peoples way. By 1633 sixty thousand Hopi, Zuni and other Pueblo Indians, had been baptised. Ninety chapels were scattered through out the southwest. Mass was compulsory. Anyone caught practicing there native traditions, was beaten or executed. Finally in 1680 the famous Pueblo Rebellion (last weeks blog). Destroyed all the missions and freed the Native Peoples. 12 years later the Spanish reconquered the Pueblo people. Only this "Time", the worship was a combination of indigenous rituals and imported worship.

In California the first Spanish mission was built near San Diego (1769). Over fifty years, Native Peoples built twenty more missions. All the way up to San Francisco. In 1826 Mexico won it's Independence from Spain. And ordered the Spanish missions closed. The Native People had become dependent on the missions for food. Ill prepared for this sudden change. Thousands of Native People died. As they were unprepared to return to there native ways.

Here over three hundred years later. North and South America Native People stand. Reverting back to there old ways. With a combination of old ways, and Christianity mixed in.

The Chinook lived near the Columbia River in Washington state. They were meet by Lewis and Clark in 1805. For me, Chinook was a military helicopter.

"God" bless bye

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