As I chew on some home-grown Native American tobacco I was given by my new friends, I reflect on the adventure I just had to a local ancient sacred site. I met with Cherokee and Lumbee Indians who showed me an un-excavated paleolithic stone site. To respect their privacy, I will not go into details of their names or how to get there; but it was a most exciting time! We spoke about how the Age of Aquarius is indeed transitioning out of the Age of Pisces (yes the ages go backwards), and things are changing. We talked about how languages do not have to be barriers, but are important tools for ‘coming to terms’ for sharing between cultures. We found out that we agree ‘agri-culture’ is for everyone (see article in Observer May 2015), and we want to preserve nature and farm land. We recognized the problems of ethnic-biased education, and the perpetual war machine of the MIC. Then they showed me the ancient stones in the gully below their beautiful house. The stones had significant orientation to each-other, according to solar orientation. There were clearly piles, circles, a spiral, and a serpentine line of stones. The rocks were of various composition, not the typical limestone of the area. It seems very possible that in the past (I will leave the dating to the archeologists) people used the stones for rituals involving the springs and the creek. Perhaps in this ‘New Age’ people of various cultural back-grounds will continue to come together for similar reasons. My indian friends have started a regional ‘Gathering’ for agri-culture, so yes the pattern shift has begun, and we are actively making it happen.
Archive for native
CAHOKIA MOUNDS PARK
Cahokia Mounds is currently a State Historic Site. Cahokia is the area of an ancient city built around 600–1400 CE. It is near present day Collinsville, Illinois across the Mississippi River from St. Louis, Missouri.
The Cahokia Mounds were named after a clan of historic Illiniwek people living in the area when the first French explorers arrived in the 17th century. As this was centuries after Cahokia was abandoned by its original inhabitants, the Cahokia were not necessarily descendants of the original Mississippian people. The city’s original name is unknown.
The 2,200 acre site originally included 120 man-made earthwork mounds over an area of six square miles, although only 80 survive. Cahokia Mounds is the largest archaeological site related to the Mississippian Late Woodland culture, which developed advanced societies in North America, centuries before the arrival of Europeans.
It is a National Historic Landmark and designated site for state protection. In addition, it is one of only twenty UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the territory of the United States. It is the largest American Indian earthen construction in the Americas north of Mexico.
They used woven baskets to move most of the earth to build the mounds and plazas. In every culture there are usual social, political, spiritual, and defense reasons to place buildings on raised bases. In the case of Cahokia, there is an added reason: the site is on a flood plain near the Mississippi River.
Monks Mound is the largest structure and central focus of the city. It is a massive mound with four terraces, 10 stories tall, and the largest man-made earthen mound north of Mexico. Facing south, it is 92 feet high, 951 feet long and 836 feet wide.
Excavation on the top of Monks Mound has revealed evidence of a large building, likely a temple used by the Chief and shaman for residence and public functions. This building was about 105 feet long and 48 feet wide, and could have been as much as 50 feet high. It was about 5,000 square feet.
This woodhenge, like others found in Europe, was a circle of posts used for cosmic alignments relevant to agriculture. It stood to the west of Monk’s Mound. Archaeologists discovered Woodhenge during excavation, and noted that the placement of posts marked solstices and equinoxes. Woodhenge was rebuilt several times during the urban center’s roughly 300-year history. There were probably other woodhenges in America over the centuries, as one was discovered near Mound 72, south of Monks Mound.
A beaker found in a pit near the winter solstice post bore a circle and cross symbol that for many Native Americans symbolizes the Earth and the four cardinal directions. Radiating lines probably symbolized the sun, as they have in countless other civilizations. During excavation of Mound 72, archaeologists found a birdman burial for a leader, and 250 other skeletons from around 1000 CE. Other mounds had workshops for copper smiting and trading.
The First Part of
The Constitution of the Iroquois Nations
The Great Binding Law
1. I am Dekanawidah and with the Five Nations' Confederate Lords I plant the Tree of Great Peace. I plant it in your territory, Adodarhoh, and the Onondaga Nation, in the territory of you who are Firekeepers. I name the tree the Tree of the Great Long Leaves. Under the shade of this Tree of the Great Peace we spread the soft white feathery down of the globe thistle as seats for you, Adodarhoh, and your cousin Lords. We place you upon those seats, spread soft with the feathery down of the globe thistle, there beneath the shade of the spreading branches of the Tree of Peace. There shall you sit and watch the Council Fire of the Confederacy of the Five Nations, and all the affairs of the Five Nations shall be transacted at this place before you, Adodarhoh, and your cousin Lords, by the Confederate Lords of the Five Nations. 2. Roots have spread out from the Tree of the Great Peace, one to the north, one to the east, one to the south and one to the west. The name of these roots is The Great White Roots and their nature is Peace and Strength. If any man or any nation outside the Five Nations shall obey the laws of the Great Peace and make known their disposition to the Lords of the Confederacy, they may trace the Roots to the Tree and if their minds are clean and they are obedient and promise to obey the wishes of the Confederate Council, they shall be welcomed to take shelter beneath the Tree of the Long Leaves. We place at the top of the Tree of the Long Leaves an Eagle who is able to see afar. If he sees in the distance any evil approaching or any danger threatening he will at once warn the people of the Confederacy. 3. To you Adodarhoh, the Onondaga cousin Lords, I and the other Confederate Lords have entrusted the caretaking and the watching of the Five Nations Council Fire. When there is any business to be transacted and the Confederate Council is not in session, a messenger shall be dispatched either to Adodarhoh, Hononwirehtonh or Skanawatih, Fire Keepers, or to their War Chiefs with a full statement of the case desired to be considered. Then shall Adodarhoh call his cousin (associate) Lords together and consider whether or not the case is of sufficient importance to demand the attention of the Confederate Council. If so, Adodarhoh shall dispatch messengers to summon all the Confederate Lords to assemble beneath the Tree of the Long Leaves. When the Lords are assembled the Council Fire shall be kindled, but not with chestnut wood, and Adodarhoh shall formally open the Council. [ ed note: chestnut wood throws out sparks in burning, thereby creating a disturbance in the council ] Then shall Adodarhoh and his cousin Lords, the Fire Keepers, announce the subject for discussion. The Smoke of the Confederate Council Fire shall ever ascend and pierce the sky so that other nations who may be allies may see the Council Fire of the Great Peace. Adodarhoh and his cousin Lords are entrusted with the Keeping of the Council Fire. 4. You, Adodarhoh, and your thirteen cousin Lords, shall faithfully keep the space about the Council Fire clean and you shall allow neither dust nor dirt to accumulate. I lay a Long Wing before you as a broom. As a weapon against a crawling creature I lay a staff with you so that you may thrust it away from the Council Fire. If you fail to cast it out then call the rest of the United Lords to your aid. 5. The Council of the Mohawk shall be divided into three parties as follows: Tekarihoken, Ayonhwhathah and Shadekariwade are the first party; Sharenhowaneh, Deyoenhegwenh and Oghrenghrehgowah are the second party, and Dehennakrineh, Aghstawenserenthah and Shoskoharowaneh are the third party. The third party is to listen only to the discussion of the first and second parties and if an error is made or the proceeding is irregular they are to call attention to it, and when the case is right and properly decided by the two parties they shall confirm the decision of the two parties and refer the case to the Seneca Lords for their decision. When the Seneca Lords have decided in accord with the Mohawk Lords, the case or question shall be referred to the Cayuga and Oneida Lords on the opposite side of the house. 6. I, Dekanawidah, appoint the Mohawk Lords the heads and the leaders of the Five Nations Confederacy. The Mohawk Lords are the foundation of the Great Peace and it shall, therefore, be against the Great Binding Law to pass measures in the Confederate Council after the Mohawk Lords have protested against them. No council of the Confederate Lords shall be legal unless all the Mohawk Lords are present. 7. Whenever the Confederate Lords shall assemble for the purpose of holding a council, the Onondaga Lords shall open it by expressing their gratitude to their cousin Lords and greeting them, and they shall make an address and offer thanks to the earth where men dwell, to the streams of water, the pools, the springs and the lakes, to the maize and the fruits, to the medicinal herbs and trees, to the forest trees for their usefulness, to the animals that serve as food and give their pelts for clothing, to the great winds and the lesser winds, to the Thunderers, to the Sun, the mighty warrior, to the moon, to the messengers of the Creator who reveal his wishes and to the Great Creator who dwells in the heavens above, who gives all the things useful to men, and who is the source and the ruler of health and life. Then shall the Onondaga Lords declare the council open. The council shall not sit after darkness has set in. 8. The Firekeepers shall formally open and close all councils of the Confederate Lords, and they shall pass upon all matters deliberated upon by the two sides and render their decision. Every Onondaga Lord (or his deputy) must be present at every Confederate Council and must agree with the majority without unwarrantable dissent, so that a unanimous decision may be rendered. If Adodarhoh or any of his cousin Lords are absent from a Confederate Council, any other Firekeeper may open and close the Council, but the Firekeepers present may not give any decisions, unless the matter is of small importance. 9. All the business of the Five Nations Confederate Council shall be conducted by the two combined bodies of Confederate Lords. First the question shall be passed upon by the Mohawk and Seneca Lords, then it shall be discussed and passed by the Oneida and Cayuga Lords. Their decisions shall then be referred to the Onondaga Lords, (Fire Keepers) for final judgement. The same process shall obtain when a question is brought before the council by an individual or a War Chief. 10. In all cases the procedure must be as follows: when the Mohawk and Seneca Lords have unanimously agreed upon a question, they shall report their decision to the Cayuga and Oneida Lords who shall deliberate upon the question and report a unanimous decision to the Mohawk Lords. The Mohawk Lords will then report the standing of the case to the Firekeepers, who shall render a decision as they see fit in case of a disagreement by the two bodies, or confirm the decisions of the two bodies if they are identical. The Fire Keepers shall then report their decision to the Mohawk Lords who shall announce it to the open council. End of Constitution110. At the funeral of a Warrior, say: "Now we become reconciled as you start away. Once you were a devoted provider and protector of your family and you were ever ready to take part in battles for the Five Nations' Confederacy. The United People trusted you." (The remainder is the same as the address at the funeral of a Lord). 111. At the funeral of a young man, say: "Now we become reconciled as you start away. In the beginning of your career you are taken away and the flower of your life is withered away." (The remainder is the same as the address at the funeral of a Lord). 112. At the funeral of a chief woman, say: "Now we become reconciled as you start away. You were once a chief woman in the Five Nations' Confederacy. You once were a mother of the nations. Now we release you for it is true that it is no longer possible for us to walk about together on the earth. Now, therefore, we lay it (the body) here. Here we lay it away. Now then we say to you, 'Persevere onward to the place where the Creator dwells in peace. Let not the things of the earth hinder you. Let nothing that transpired while you lived hinder you. Looking after your family was a sacred duty and you were faithful. You were one of the many joint heirs of the Lordship titles. Feastings were yours and you had pleasant occasions. . ." (The remainder is the same as the address at the funeral of a Lord). 113. At the funeral of a woman of the people, say: "Now we become reconciled as you start away. You were once a woman in the flower of life and the bloom is now withered away. You once held a sacred position as a mother of the nation. (Etc.) Looking after your family was a sacred duty and you were faithful. Feastings . . . (etc.)" (The remainder is the same as the address at the funeral of a Lord). 114. At the funeral of an infant or young woman, say: "Now we become reconciled as you start away. You were a tender bud and gladdened our hearts for only a few days. Now the bloom has withered away . . . (etc.) Let none of the things that transpired on earth hinder you. Let nothing that happened while you lived hinder you." (The remainder is the same as the address at the funeral of a Lord). [ Editors note: the above ellipses and 'etc.' remarks are transcribed directly from the text I copied. ] 115. When an infant dies within three days, mourning shall continue only five days. Then shall you gather the little boys and girls at the house of mourning and at the funeral feast a speaker shall address the children and bid them be happy once more, though by a death, gloom has been cast over them. Then shall the black clouds roll away and the sky shall show blue once more. Then shall the children be again in sunshine. 116. When a dead person is brought to the burial place, the speaker on the opposite side of the Council Fire shall bid the bereaved family cheer their minds once again and rekindle their hearth fires in peace, to put their house in order and once again be in brightness for darkness has covered them. He shall say that the black clouds shall roll away and that the bright blue sky is visible once more. Therefore shall they be in peace in the sunshine again. 117. Three strings of shell one span in length shall be employed in addressing the assemblage at the burial of the dead. The speaker shall say: "Hearken you who are here, this body is to be covered. Assemble in this place again ten days hence for it is the decree of the Creator that mourning shall cease when ten days have expired. Then shall a feast be made." Then at the expiration of ten days the speaker shall say: "Continue to listen you who are here. The ten days of mourning have expired and your minds must now be freed of sorrow as before the loss of a relative. The relatives have decided to make a little compensation to those who have assisted at the funeral. It is a mere expression of thanks. This is to the one who did the cooking while the body was lying in the house. Let her come forward and receive this gift and be dismissed from the task." In substance this shall be repeated for every one who assisted in any way until all have been remembered.
Primitive Harpers Ferry, From Above
Camp Hill Carriage House Collection
2010 Tony Catanese and Walton Stowell II
This is the natural landscape of Harpers Ferry, as the Native American Indians would have known it. Before man-made architecture such as bridges, stucco buildings, and roads. In a time when it did not even have the name we know it by yet.
This view of the abstract painting is oriented to the cardinal directions of a map; North, South, East, & West. We did not include the architectural features we had outlined on the Plexiglass, instead leaving it “el naturale” like it was during the time of the Native American Indians, and before…