Tuesday, May 26, 2009

WW/ Ceremony Has Been Cancelled for June

I've been gone for quite awhile from blogging. Tonight, I decided to just throw out what I'm feeling. I am sad.

Puberty ceremony has been canceled for June.
That is related to the salmon which does not come upstream anymore stopped by the dam.
That is related to the sacred spring drying up each year.
That is related to the bees, birds and other beings of nature now endangered because their lives, their ceremonies have also run into interference.
All of it is related.

Nowadays, none of us really need the Book of Revelations or prophecies to realize that the Great Change has begun. We are eye witnesses.

And what I'm saying here is the Puberty Ceremony has been canceled for June. A way of life has been cancelled, June.
An oppositional way of life -- the dam builders who forget the fish and do not allow them a way Home, the corporate harvesters of water, the cloud seeders, those who spread their loved ones cremated remains on the Sacred Mountain tromp around wherever their bill of right allows them to tromp even if it desecrates someone's Home, the speedboaters, concessionaire, the houseboat partygoers who feel shortchanged if they don't have every single solitary weekend for their recreation -- this way of life and their bill of rights is supreme on this land. Because of the Right to Party, Tromp and Take, the Winnemem girls who are to become women with ceremony on the river cannot learn from elder women about becoming a good Winnemem woman. The animals cannot greet them. The celebrants cannot dance and sing them into womanhood at Home on the Winnemem River.

Our Home Mother Earth has been overtaken by a way of life which would suck every bit from her for profit, recreation and passing fancy.

I'm sad. I'm tired. I was in the middle of putting strands of pine nuts, abolone beads and shells together, cleaning my moccasins, making the dangling strands to attach to the head gear to help our future chief, her sister and cousin come into Womanhood. My hands were busy while I was singing along with my CD learning the puberty songs, my feet tapping out the dance steps under the beading table. I was feeling peaceful and good after a hard day taking care of my mom, relaxing, enjoying my work. Will was in the front room reading his email. Then he called out to me, "Mark just sent us email about ceremony. "

My heart sank with the words. Puberty ceremony had been cancelled "due to the stress and uncertainty of federal cooperation to hold the 'batlas chonas winyupnas' for our three young ladies in safety and in the manner it should be conducted, we have decided to postpone the Puberty Ceremony, scheduled for June 4-7, 2009, until next year.

When ceremonies are called for, they should be held in reverence and with a good heart so that nothing negative is brought to the celebrants and guests. We have been unable to work through the miasma of government issues and indifference to tribal rights and still carry a good heart forward. We hope that we will eventually come to a resolve to the problems that plague or ability to freely exercise our religion and lifeway.

For the sake of these three young girls, I hope that one day they will be able to go through this transformational ceremony free from worry, stress and fear that someone will cause a harm that they can not recover from.

I just kept sewing. Will forwarded the email to our friends who were planning to go from here because I didn't have the heart to at the moment. I sewed and sewed and sewed. It's past midnight and I've put everything away now. We're leaving for Dekkas ceremony in a few days for the weekend. We were going to build the structures needed for the Puberty Ceremony there. But now, we'll be doing something else around the Fire, praying, singing, being with all our relations.

Being Winnemem means a lot of ceremonies, whether it to gather around the fire at the ranch or great gatherings at one of the several active Winnemem sacred places. There are ceremonies each year for each of the sacred places to let them know we're still here. We're still singing the songs, doing what we're supposed to do from the beginning of time. Ceremony is the way of life for Winnemem. Before the ceremonies, there is the preparation for them and after ceremony, remembering, dreaming, being led by them -- all of this fills up the rest of the time. I believe that is what life is to all the other beings. Ceremony.

But in these times, the times of Great Change, the End of Things, there are interferences to the ceremony of life, interferences to taking care of responsibilities -- and so ceremony has had to be cancelled for the safety of our young women. And, of course, one can see how all of this is related to the fish and the bees, the mountain spring. The world will be affected that Ceremony was canceled this June just as it is affected by off-schedule migration patterns, and drying springs and rivers.

I will pray hard at ceremony this weekend that the three young women can be brought into womanhood in ceremony next summer. It is important for the survival of the people. I will pray that the sacred spring will come back bubbling all year long. I will pray for the return of the Big Fish to the Winnemem River and to all the Rivers. I will pray for the bees, and all that depends on them. I will pray long prayers for all the ceremonies of life -- because for me there is no option being someone living during the time of great change, of the end of things except to continue to live and to live in ceremony.

I feel fortified now, reminding myself that what is important is one's stand in this. I pray for our Chief and Head Man. They hold the example for the rest of us, to carry on no matter what. Carry on.

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"from Outside the Belly" was also known as "TBAsian" from 2008-2010. Thank you for reading.

from Outside the Monster's Belly

from Outside the Monster's Belly
. . . following Earth instead (Rakaia River, site of Salmon Ceremony, photo credit Ruth Koenig)

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Eugene, Oregon
I am a citizen of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe. I am a Nikkei descendant sansei (third generation);retired teacher, involved in the Winnemem tribal responsibility to Water, Salmon, and our belief that the Sacred is our Teacher. Working locally for human rights and supporting youth leadership.