Ancient Proverbs: 5 – Shawnee Wisdom.

“All who have died were created equal.”

~The Shawnee

shawnee folk depiction 1850s

The Shawnee are another one of the oldest and most well established Native tribes in the US; it is also my own tribe. The Shawnee have rooted themselves deeply, along with other tribes (such as the Iroquois) all along the ranges of our continent, all the way up to Inuit territory near Alaska. They were widely forced to assimilate with the Cherokee Nation during the colonial days of settlement and widespread disease out of a sheer desperation to survive as a tribe. Tecumseh was a historically recognized Shawnee Native leader of the tribes during times of severe unrest and civil war.

tecumseh2

Ancient Proverbs: 3 – Navajo Wisdom.

You can’t wake a person who is pretending to be asleep.” –Navajo Proverb

The Navajo, or Naabeehó

This tribal population likely makes up the most diverse tribe in modern day US; they originally hail from the Southwestern United States, and are the largest federally recognized tribe of the United States of America (with over 300,000 enrolled members).

Notable Ancient Proverbs: 2 – The Crow.

“Man’s law changes with his understanding of man.
Only the laws of the spirit remain always the same.”

The name of the tribe, Apsáalooke [ə̀ˈpsáːɾòːɡè], meaning “children of the large-beaked bird”, was given to them by the Hidatsa, a neighboring Siouan tribe; they became known in English as ‘the Crow’.
Other tribes also refer to the Apsáalooke as “crow” or “raven” in their own languages as well.
One thing that has always stuck with me about the Crow is something I saw when I was very small and could barely read: an account by a Crow Warrior about his home and homeland. He wrote something along the lines of:

“The Creator put my people right where it is most perfect for us to be…protected by mountains and hidden by valleys. When someone is here, all is well; but if you travel out of my home in any direction, trouble will find you.”

Notable Ancient Proverbs: 1 – Puebloan Wisdom.

Hold on to what is good,
even if it’s a handful of earth.

Hold on to what you believe,
even if it’s a tree that stands by itself.

Hold on to what you must do,
even if it’s a long way from here.

Hold on to your life,
even if it’s easier to let go.

Hold on to my hand,
even if someday I’ll be gone away from you.

(Excerpted from a Pueblo Prayer)

MesaVerde

The Ancestral Puebloans are said to be the oldest Native Americans known to date; their technologically advanced civilization (i.e. canals, rivers and roadways) were able to miraculously thrive in the deserts of Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado during the “Early Basketmaker II Era”. They are also historically referred to as the Anasazi (a derogatory Navajo Term meaning ‘ancient enemy’) .