Natives Honor the New Year with Traditional Foods

“In the Northwest, some Native Americans celebrate New Year earlier than the rest of the western world. In fact, tribal New Year is December 20 . The Umatilla tribes of eastern Oregon hold their ceremony just before the winter solstice. ..Indian New Year is the time to celebrate the return of the sacred foods.”A.King, NPR

Tradional Native salmon cooking. Photo- ictmntiff

Tradional Native salmon cooking. Photo- ictmntiff

Excerpt: … New Year Is Time To Honor Traditions By Anna King NPR

“Armand Minthorn is the spiritual leader of the tribes that live on the Umatilla Reservation, on the dry side of Oregon. The celebration is called kimtee inmewit . This goes back to when the world was new, Minthorn explains. The first food that was created was the salmon.

For many Natives traditonal foods are a big part of cultural celebrations. Photo- pbs.org

Traditonal foods are a big part of cultural celebrations. Photo- pbs.org

We call nusux. The second food was the deer. We call the deer nukt. The third was the bitter root we call sliiton. To honor these sacred foods the tribe sings, drums, dances, prays and shares a meal together at the longhouse. Tribal elder Linda Jones teaches younger women and girls how to gather the traditional foods for the tribes. Every year she goes out to the mountains and bluffs to harvest the wild celery, bitterroots and huckleberries.

Traditonal foods are a big part of cultural celebrations. Photo- pbs.org

Traditonal foods are a big part of cultural celebrations. Photo- pbs.org

In the community kitchen some elder women prepare meat stew and Indian fry bread. Lynn Sue Jones is 62…She kneads a mass of tacky bread dough to a loose rhythm. She is taking on new responsibilities this year -– raising two granddaughters –- three and five. Jones says the foods are sacred because they nourish the people, but also, When our elders pass on and go back to the ground; this is how they come back to take care of us, in these foods.”

“Everything is passed by word of mouth and that’s how we were brought up and that is how we do things…Whoever will listen. It ends up coming down to that — who’s going to listen.”  ~ Lynn Sue Jones~

Wishing Everyone A “Free-Spirit” 2016!

New Year Horse

Category: Holidays