O'siyo, Welcome to my Lodge, come, come in and have a seat and we will pass the pipe as friends and then I will tell you a story of our Ancestors and thru this story you may learn of our ways and our culture. These Legends are of our life and tell us how to live with all life in this our world, and Id like to share these with you. This month I will tell you how the Cherokee began to hunt.
Kanati the Hunter and the Cave of Animals
In ancient times, there was only one Cherokee village.The most prominent family in this village was that of Kanati the Hunter and his wife Selu Cornwoman. Selu first gave the Cherokee People the gift of corn, which is their principal crop. Kanati did all the hunting for the entire village in those days. They had two sons, one born to Selu and another who grew from a clot of deer blood.
It happened like this: one day Kanati brought home a deer to skin and cook, and Selu, who was about to give birth to their first child, took the deer to the creek and washed the blood out of the meat. From a clot of that deer blood grew a wild boy, who was 'born- out of the creek at the same time Selu gave birth to her son.
Wild Boy and Younger Brother grew up quickly, and while Younger Brother was strong and brave, Wild Boy had magical powers. When Kanati came home one day with a deer to butcher, the twin brothers decided to go and find out where their father found so much wild game to hunt. Wild Boy wanted to know where he had come from-he wanted to know about his deer blood ancestors.
Every day the boys tried to follow their father, but every time he saw them. On the first day, he saw Younger Brother and told the boys to go home. On the second day, Wild Boy followed alone, but Kanati saw him and sent him home. On the third day, Wild Boy disguised himself as a bird, but Kanati saw through the disguise and told him to go home. On the fourth day, Wild boy turned into a fluff of down from a bird feather and floated down to land on Kanati's shoulder. In that form he rode along without his father knowing.
Kanati went up to the sacred mountains and followed a trail to a cave blocked by a stone. He pulled the stone aside, and out ran a deer. He put the stone back, hunted the deer, shot it with his arrow, and went home carrying the deer on his shoulders. Wild Boy saw it all and ran home to tell Younger Brother.
The next day, when Kanati had others things to do and was not going hunting, the two boys went along the path to the cave. They listened at the crack around the stone over the cave mouth. They could hear every kind of growl and grunt and bark inside. They could hear the sounds of all the animals there are. The two boys decided to move the stone aside and let out one animal to hunt. They pushed and pulled and grunted and groaned, and they finally moved the rock aside.
Out of the cave ran deer after deer, and as the boys tried to push the rock back over the cave mouth, other animals came out. Bears came out. Panthers came out. Rabbits came out. Badgers came out. Wolves came out. Raccoons came out. As the boys struggled to close the cave off, all the animals that there are came out with the mice last of all.
At home Kanati, who had been the keeper of the animals in the cave, heard the sound like thunder of all the animals running out of the cave, their paws and hooves and feet pounding the earth as they ran. Kanati got up and ran up along the trail to the cave mouth. There stood Wild Boy and Younger Brother beside the opening. They hung their heads in shame.
Kanati said nothing to them at first. He went inside the cave and kicked over the baskets and clay pots full of insects. The bees and wasps and fleas and ants poured out and swarmed on the boys, stinging and biting them.
When the insects had gone their way, free as birds, Kanati spoke to his sons.
"Never before has our life been harsh. When we needed meat, I came to this cave and got meat for us to eat. Now all the animals are as free as birds, and we will have to hunt for the rest of our lives. With our spears, our blow guns and our bows and arrows we will work hard all our lives. We will have to wander the forest hunting. Some days we will come up empty handed. Some nights we will go hungry. All because yo were careless and thoughtless. You must always be careful when you are dealing with nature. You must always think before you act in the forest of nature."
And so it is that hunting has been hard work and a labor of great skill among the Cherokee ever since.
As always, I ask everyone to make prayers for World Peace and Kindness for all Living things on our Mother, The Earth. I ask all Pipe Carriers to make smoke with me in prayer also for Leonard Pletier and others like him who have been imprisoned unjustly. And here is the story of how I got my Pipe
News about Leonard Peltier case and to view his art work....click here for details!!!
Monthly Lore For 1997
December ++ The Deluge (Cherokee)
November ++ How The Rabbit Stole The Otter's Coat (Cherokee)
October ++ The Rabbit Goes Duck Hunting (Cherokee)
September ++ What The Stars Are Like (Cherokee)
August ++ The Moon And The Thunders (Cherokee)
July ++ The Journey To The Sunrise (Cherokee)
June ++ How They Brought Back The Tobacco + a second version (Cherokee)
May ++ The Origin Of The Pleiades And The Pine (Cherokee)
April ++ A NEW BOW FOR TANI (Cherokee)
March ++ ATAGAHI-THE SECRET LAKE (Cherokee)
Febuary ++ Kanati the Hunter and the Cave of Animals (Cherokee)
January ++ BEAR'S RACE WITH TURTLE (Seneca)
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