Lore for July

"Traditional Sneak-Up" by L. David Eveningthunder

This piece can be viewed in its full form at the ArtNatAm Gallery along with more of David's work

All Art work is copyrighted © by the Artist and may not be used without permission

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 upon our Mother Earth, and Id like to share these with you. This month I will tell you of a bit of Cherokee Lore about the Great horned snakes



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Hero with the Horned Snakes

(Cherokee)

In ancient times, there lived some very large snakes that glittered nearly as bright as the sun. They had two horns on their heads, and they possessed a magic power of attraction. To see one of these snakes was always a bad omen. Whoever tried to escape from one instead ran directly toward the snake and was devoured.

Only a highly skilled medicine man or hunter could kill a two- horned snake. It required a very special medicine or power. The hunter had to shoot his arrow into the seventh stripe of the snake's skin.

One day a Shawnee Indian youth was held captive by the Cherokees. He was promised his freedom if he could find and kill a horned snake. He hunted for many, many days in caves, over wild mountains, and at last found one high in the Tennessee Mountains.

The Shawnee youth made a large circle of fire by burning pine cones. Then he walked toward the two-horned snake. When it saw the hunter, the snake slowly raised its head. The Shawnee youth shouted, "Freedom or death!"

He then aimed carefully and shot his arrow through the seventh stripe of the horned snake's skin. Turning quickly, he jumped into the centre of the ring of fire, where he felt safe from the snake.

A stream of poison flowed from the snake, but was stopped by the fire. Because of the Shawnee youth's bravery, the grateful Cherokees granted him his freedom as they had promised.

Four days later, some of the Cherokees went to the spot where the youth had killed the horned snake. They gathered fragments of snake bones and skin, tying them into a sacred bundle. These they kept carefully for their children and grandchildren, because they believed the sacred bundle would bring good fortune to their tribe.

Also on the same spot, a small lake formed containing black water. Into this water the Cherokee women dipped their twigs used in their basket making. This is how they learned to dye their baskets black, along with other colours.

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For this Year 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 updates on the Leonard Peltier case....click here for details!!!

Monthly Lores For 1996

December ++ How Buzzard Got His Clothing (Seneca)

November ++ The Seven Star Brothers (Seneca)

October ++ How Turtle's Back was Cracked (Cherokee)

September ++ Blue Corn Maiden and the Coming of Winter (Pueblo)

August ++ The Ballgame Between the Animals and the Birds (Cherokee)

July ++ Hero with the Horned Snakes (Cherokee)

June ++ The Hunting of the Great Bear (origin unknown)

May ++ The Boy Who Lived With the Bears (origin unknown)

April ++ The Morning Star (Sioux)

March ++ Daughter of the Sun (Cherokee)

Febuary ++ 1. Legend of the Flute (Brule Sioux) 2. Why Mole Lives Underground (Cherokee) 3.The Legend of Multnomah Falls (Multnoinah)

January ++ Earth Making (Cherokee)

Quotes from a Native Past
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