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Native American Winter Solstice:

In John Bierhorst's book titled, Mythology of the Lenape (1995), A NJ. Native American tribe had an interesting legend that one of the origins of winter was due to the quarrels of a married couple. In the tundra lived a husband and wife who would constantly argue about the weather. One day, the wife had enough fighting and left her husband to live in a warmer climate. Lonely, the man traveled southward along with his cold and snow weather, as he adored winter, to apologize. Now every year around this time, the husband travels south to visit his wife along with his winter elements.

Each Tribe celebrates the Winter Solstice differently, and we present to you some web sites containing information on them. You may wish to do a full search for even more information presented out there for you to find. There are also many books you can find on Amazon and others which tell of the Native American Winter Solstice Celebrations.

*Winter Solstice/ Indian Bear Dance
A ghost story.

*WINTER SOLSTICE CELEBRATIONS; NATIVE AMERICAN SPIRITUALITY

*Care2: How to Make a Native American Solstice Prayer Stick

*Native American Astronomy - The Chumash Tribe

*Soyal and Setting the Mood

*Dancing Our Dreams Alive

*A Correlation Between Taino Petroglyphs and the Solstice

*Earth Renewal

Summer Solstice:
*The Strong Sun Moon
*Season of Shawnodese

*Fall Equinox

*Spring Equinox - Celebration with Ceremony


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What is Sacred?

Sacred items ( Traditional, Spiritual and Ceremonial ):

If you have frequented other Native sites, you may have seen a list of sacred Items that are told should not be sold. This list can vary, but mostly stays the same. If you have wondered why these items shouldn't be sold, as a few have asked, it is because these ceremonial and traditional items are believed should be gifted to another person - but not sold to them - or not sold at all.

As stated before, this varies from Tribe to Tribe and Native to Native. As it was explained to us, "Depends on just how Traditional they are." Some may buy a certain herb or object but not a different one, as some may not buy or agree with those who sell them at all. Some will sell certain objects and not others, so it really all depends on seller, buyer, and those who wish to follow in their, ( or another ), Tribes traditional ways.

The items listed below are examples of some of these sacred, traditional and ceremonial items:

- Pipes
- Pipestone
- Drums
- Quillwork
- Some baskets
- Sand Paintings
- Kachinas
- Buffalo parts
- Federally regulated or endangered species
- Sage
- Cedar
- Sweetgrass
- Tobacco
- Smoking mixes

To continue, here is a list of other words, matters, objects and ways that can be misleading, and/or viewed as incorrect by The Elders and Natives:

- Charging for sacred spiritual journeys or matters is frowned upon, for no moneys should be exchanged for vision quests, spiritual or ceremonial purposes.

- Sometimes groups will charge a fee for you to become a member of their 'Tribe.' This can be misleading and not looked upon as correct. They can also refer to themselves as a 'Tribe' or 'Nation' without really being true. So always research and ask questions.

- Maybe you have seen, ( or lack there of ), the word 'Shaman' on a Native site. This is not a true Native word and many find it's use offensive. 'Medicine people' or 'Healers' are often referred to as Medicine Men, Women, or People - not a Shaman.

Shamanism:

1. The animistic religion of certain peoples of northern Asia in which mediation between the visible and spirit worlds is effected by shamans.
2. A similar religion or set of beliefs, especially among certain Native American peoples.

There is a difference, and although some may not say anything, most will find the mixture of the two to be quite offensive.

It's easy to see how this can be a confusing subject, as through our own research, the dictionary will mix the two, both Asian/Siberian Shaman with the Medicine Man, and may even refer to them both as similar or the same. They are in fact, quite different.

- Even Tarot Cards can be misleading. Though spiritual visions, or foretelling the future can be a part of many Native Cultures, and these cards can have a Native American theme, in no way connects one thing with the other.

- Native American vs. American Indian vs. First Nation People; Depending on the person, their belief's, etc., either would be correct on which way they should be referred to.

Collected from The Free Dictionary:

Native American - any member of the peoples living in North or South America before the Europeans arrived.

Many Americans have come to prefer Native American over Indian both as a term of respect and as a corrective to the famous misnomer bestowed on the peoples of the Americas by a geographically befuddled Columbus. There are solid arguments for this preference. Native American eliminates any confusion between indigenous American peoples and the inhabitants of India, making it the clear choice in many official contexts. It is also historically accurate, despite the insistence by some that Indians are no more native to America than anyone else since their ancestors are assumed to have migrated here from Asia. But one sense of native is "being a member of the original inhabitants of a particular place," and Native Americans' claim to being the original inhabitants of the Americas is unchallenged.Accuracy and precision aside, however, the choice between these two terms is often made as a matter of principle. For many, Native American is the only choice for expressing respect toward America's indigenous peoples; Indian is seen as wrong and offensive. For others, the former smacks of bureaucracy and the manipulation of language for political purposes while the latter is the natural English term, its inaptness made irrelevant by long use. Fortunately, this controversy appears to have subsided somewhat in recent years, and it is now common to find the two terms used interchangeably in the same piece of writing. Furthermore, the issue has never been particularly divisive between Indians and non-Indians. While generally welcoming the respectful tone of Native American, most Indian writers have continued to use the older name at least as often as the newer one.Native American and Indian are not exact equivalents when referring to the aboriginal peoples of Canada and Alaska. Native American, the broader term, is properly used of all such peoples, whereas Indian is customarily used of the northern Athabaskan and Algonquian peoples in contrast to the Eskimos, Inuits, and Aleuts. Alaska Native (or less commonly Native Alaskan) is also properly used of all indigenous peoples residing in Alaska.

Never the less, it is always better to be respectful, be it to a Native American, or American Indian.

See: Politically Incorrect: Solving the Debate on Correct Terminology for Native American People, By: Natasha Joseph for more information on this subject.

- And as a reminder:

1. Use of the words "Native American" with regard to a product is restricted by U.S. Federal Laws to members of Federally recognized tribes or their authorized representatives.

2. Federal law prohibits the possession of eagle feathers except by members of federally recognized Indian tribes.

Sources:

*The Free Dictionary

*With Special Thanks and credit to Deseroka, owner of Redwebz for helping clarify the selling of traditional items to us. ( List of sacred items was obtained from Redwebz as well ).



If you have, or know of a story, legend, or Native Celebrations, please share it with us! Submit it to us here!


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