Category Archives: Holidays

The Wiyot Tribe Finally Receive Their Dead from California Museum

“The most vulnerable citizens of the Wiyot Tribe were asleep the morning of Feb. 26, 1860, when a band of White men slipped into their Northern California villages under darkness and slaughtered them…After nearly 70 years of separation from their tribe, the remains of at least 20 of those believed to have been killed have been returned home.”B.Melley, AP, ICT, Feb. 2, 2022

This Dec. 21, 2010 photo provided by Aldaron Laird shows Tulawat, the site of the Indian Island Massacre, where members of the Wiyot Tribe were killed in 1860. Aldaron Laird via AP

 

Excerpt:California museum returns massacre remains to Wiyot Tribe, by Brian Melley, AP, ICT

“Many of the children, women and elderly slain in what became known as the Indian Island Massacre had their eternal rest disturbed when their graves were later dug up and their skeletons and the artifacts buried with them were placed in a museum.

‘They’re going to be at peace and at rest with our other ancestors,’ Ted Hernandez, the Wiyot Tribe’s historic preservation officer, said after the repatriation was announced. ‘They’ll be able to reunite with their families.’

The return is part of an effort by some institutions to do a better job complying with federal law that requires giving tribes back items looted from sacred burial sites.

Grave robbing was yet another indignity suffered by Native Americans and their descendants long after they were driven from their lands or killed. Hobbyists, collectors and even prominent researchers took part in the desecration of burial sites. Skulls, bones and antiquities were sold, traded, studied and displayed in museums.

Cutcha Risling Baldy, a professor of Native American studies at Humboldt State University, said returning the sacred items provides healing to tribes…A team from University of California, Berkeley collected the remains and put them in storage with 136 artifacts buried with them — mainly beads and ornaments made from shells, an arrowhead from a broken bottle fragment, a sinker for a fishing net, bone tools and an elk tooth.

The gravesites were where the Wiyot buried some of their dead following a devastating series of mass slayings at a dozen of their villages over the course of a week in 1860.

The unprovoked killings occurred in the midst of the tribe’s World Renewal Ceremony, a 10-day peaceful celebration with food, dance and prayer to return balance to the Earth, Hernandez said.

After the ceremony, the tribe’s men left for the night, paddling from the island to the mainland to hunt and fish for food and gather firewood for the next day’s feast.

In the early morning, raiders arrived by canoe across the bay and stabbed, beat or hacked the victims with knives, clubs and hatchets. Several other attacks were carried out that night, and more killings occurred over the next five days, said Jerry Rohde, a Humboldt County historian…For the Wiyot Tribe, the repatriation last fall came two years after the island known now as Tulawat, was returned to the tribe by the city of Eureka. It’s now up to tribal elders to determine what to do with the remains, Hernandez said.”

Natives Make Christmas Their Own

With the spread of Christianity among some Native Americans in the early 20th century came certain Christmas rituals — trees and presents and jolly old Santa Claus — that were folded into traditional wintertime celebrations…. Some Native Americans put a special spin on Christmas, incorporating traditions and tales that date back ages.” L. Weeks, NPR-12/13/2015

Native American Dances of Pojoaque Pueblo are beautiful and spiritual to watch. They are ceremonial in nature, expressing ancient traditions and connections to the earth. Santa Fe Pueblo

Native American Dances of Pojoaque Pueblo are beautiful and spiritual to watch. They are ceremonial in nature, expressing ancient traditions and connections to the earth. Santa Fe Pueblo

Excerpt: A Very Native American Christmas, Linton Weeks, NPR (12/20150

“The Yale Expositor of St. Clair County, Mich., reported on December 18, 1913 that for certain Sioux dwelling in South Dakota, Christmas and its accoutrements came through government-run schools. In each village, the Sioux collected funds for a feast. One member dressed up as Kris Kringle and made speeches and handed out presents. Native American children, the newspaper noted, were quick to show interest in the Christmas tree.

A Native American family gathers around a Christmas tree in Montana, ca. 1900-1920. Library of Congress

A Native American family gathers around a Christmas tree in Montana, ca. 1900-1920. Library of Congress

The Salish passed down a Christmas story of a great and good man who came among their forefathers and performed miracles of all kinds, and on leaving them said he would return in the form of a large white coyote, They say he has appeared at different times, but has not been seen now for more than 150 years.

Traditional dancing at Christmas NM Pueblos

Traditional dancing at Christmas NM Pueblos

In San Felipe Pueblo, N.M., the 1913 Expositor account pointed out, the holiday celebration among Native Americans living there was a curious mixture of Christian and [Native] customs. Members went to the old mission church in the morning, held a feast at midday and then began a fantastic and ceremonial dance that continues for half a week.

Today, explains Deborah A. Jojola, Curator of Exhibitions at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque – which represents the 19 Pueblos of New Mexico — most of the Pueblo Nations within New Mexico have seasonal cycles for ceremonies and celebrations…On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, many of the Pueblos host special masses and dances. The Jemez Pueblo, for example, celebrates with Buffalo Dances on Christmas Eve and early morning on Christmas Day.

A buffalo dancer

A buffalo dancer

The Buffalo Dancers – make their way down from the nearby mesas into the Pueblo bringing the Spirit of Prayer, Song and Dance… In Isleta Pueblo, there is a winter dance held in the St. Augustine Church after the Christmas Eve mass. Many of the festivities are for all ages.

Luminarias @ Jemez Pueblo Mission

Luminarias @ Jemez Pueblo Mission

In virtually all ceremonies, Pueblo children are integral participants. Indian parents rarely, if ever, need a babysitter for traditional ceremonial preparations or actual events.”

Learn more about the Native Pueblos Here

WISHING EVERYONE A VERY NATIVE HOLIDAY! STAY SAFE!

~TALKING-FEATHER~

card used for 2015American Indian Artwork

Category: Holidays

Native Veterans Honor Their Culture and Fallen Comrades

“There are few things more pride inspiring than our native brothers and sisters reclaiming our love of country. These veterans danced their way around the circle in uniform at the Lame Deer Powwow in 2018.” C. Oestreich, Pow Wows

 Click Here to see the Warriors Dance

 

 

Manataka American Indian Council

Category: Culture, Holidays, Military

Native Humor: Native Christmas Memes

“We all love the internet cannon fodder known as memes. Those sarcastic, funny, one-panel comic photos that people make and share on social media. Some are pretty famous even…here are a few Native-style, we found some, we made some.” V. Schilling, ICT

V. Schilling-ICT

Excerpt: Native Christmas memes and comics to get you into the holiday mood By Vincent Schilling, ICT

“In order to get you into the holiday spirit, albeit a bit spiced with a bit of sarcasm, here a a collection pf Native-themed Christmas memes or one panel comics we found or were made.

Meme V. Schilling: J. Anderson

If we have the photographer’s name we will include it, otherwise we found the meme in the annals of the internet. Enjoy! And happy holidays!”

V. Schilling ICT

 

Category: Holidays

Native New Year Wishes for 2018

From  Talking Feather To All of Our Readers:

Wishing Everyone A Very Happy and Blessed New Year!

Category: Holidays | Tags:

Natives Celebrate the Winter Solstice for the New Year

“The start of the New Year is honored by many Native Americans, although many tribes have selected different dates as the last day of the year. In North American Indigenous cultures, the New Year is at the end of January or first part of February, based on constellations and moon phases. The timing of the New Year is usually in conjunction with Winter Solstice commemorations.” 12/30/16

Winter Soltice celebration-Lakota Sioux. image warpaths2peacepipes

 

Excerpt: Native American New Year Commemorations

“Native Americans of the North, Central, and South Americas have a fire ceremony to bring in the New Year. Some of the Native American traditional New Year observances include annual planting festivals, like that of the Hopi and Iroquois. In the Northwest, some Native American tribes celebrate New Year earlier than the rest of the western world.

For instance, the Umatilla tribes of eastern Oregon hold their ceremony just before the Winter Solstice on December 20. The people of the Hopi pueblos observe nine major religious ceremonies throughout the year that symbolize the changing of the seasons and the nature of the Hopi sacred universe. The Hopi believed that on the Summer Solstice, when the days are the longest, that the Sun God is closest to Earth.

The Iroquois Midwinter Ceremony, called the “Haudeshaune,” is in either January or February depending on the moon cycle.  When the new moon appears the spiritual year begins.

Image of Iroquois Midwinter Ceremony.

Again, many Indian tribes celebrate the New Year as part of their great Winter Solstice ceremonies. According to one First Nation spiritual leader from Canada, Blue Eagle, this is also the time of the Winter Solstice and for those who do not celebrate Christmas.

Aztec calendar.

Today, many Native American tribes celebrate the New Year with Pow Wows. In Mexico last year, Aztecas, Mayans and Huichols, on behalf of the United Nations, celebrated the New Year dawn by dancing humanity back into the ancient earth-honoring way of being.”

FROM TALKING-FEATHER: STAY SAFE!

Category: Holidays