The Native American Pipe Ceremony
The pipe ceremony is a sacred ritual for connecting physical and spiritual worlds. "The pipe is a link between the earth and the sky," explains White Deer of Autumn. "Nothing is more sacred. The pipe is our prayers in physical form. Smoke becomes our words; it goes out, touches everything, and becomes a part of all there is. The fire in the pipe is the same fire in the sun, which is the source of life." The reason why tobacco is used to connect the worlds is that the plants roots go deep into the earth, and its smoke rises high into the heavens.
Ed McGaa (Eagle Man), an Ogalala Sioux, and author of Mother Earth Spirituality: Native American Paths to Healing Ourselves and Our World, says that most pipe ceremonies have the same intention: to call upon and thank the six energies: "All of our Sioux ceremonies beseech to the four directions, the earth and sky, and ultimately the Great Spirit. We see our Creator through nature, and we try to emulate what the Creator has made. This has worked out well, as you can see from the track record of Native American people. The old time Indians were honest, ethical people, and they had an unblemished environmental record. When the Pilgrims first landed, they kept them alive, and they took in black slaves. They were extremely humanistic. Thats one of the main reasons that I believe in the natural way."
Eagle Man begins a pipe ceremony by beseeching the West power, while thinking about the life giving rains and the ever present spirit world. Next, he beseeches the north power, the source of endurance, strength, truthfulness, and honesty, which are qualities needed to walk down a good path in life. Then, he will look to the east power. The east is where the sun rises, and the sun brings us knowledge, the essence of spirituality. Without knowledge, we become ignorant and cause harm to ourselves and others. The fourth energy is the south power, which brings us bounty, medicine, and growth. Next to be acknowledged is the earth spirit. Eagle Man touches the pipe to the ground, and says, "Mother Earth, I seek to protect you." Since Mother Earth depends on the suns life giving energy, the pipe is then held up towards the sky. Lastly, the pipe is held straight up to the Great Spirit, the Great Mystery, the unexplainable source of all life. These words are then spoken: "Oh Great Spirit, I thank you for the six powers of the universe." Unlike many westerners, Eagle Man explains that the person reaching out to the spirit world has no fear: "Most of us are not afraid of the Great Spirit. We dont fear something that has given us our life."
It is unimaginable for a Native American to break his word after smoking the sacred pipe in the pipe ceremony. In the past, the signing of treaties was always accompanied by pipe ceremonies because its presence. He said that by carrying the pipe you could pass from one end of this land to the other, without being harmed. A great holy man, named Lame Deer, said that as long as one Indian holds the pipe and prays to the Great Mystery, we will live. Thats how powerful it is."
YES, THESE RITUAL OF THE SCARED PIPE IN SO MANY WAYS REFLECT OTHER BELIEFS OF PRAYER, THE CAREFUL HANDLING, WOMEN WHO ARE ON MENSES CANNOT PARTICPATE, THE DIRECTIONS ONE FACES, SO SIMILAR IN WAYS TO MY DEEN-MY GOODNESS HOW WE ARE ALL INTERTWINED..EVERYTHING SEEMS TO BE COMING TOGETHER SPIRITUAL FOR ME IN WAYS I NEVER IMAGINED..FROM THE NATIVE INDIAN HERITAGE RUNNING THRU MY VEINS,, HEART, SOUL, AND SPIRIT, TO THE DEEN I NOW PRACTICE...IT IS ALL INTERCONNECTED!!!
MUCH LOVE AISHA
The Sacred Pipe
Many people think that the sacred pipe is a symbol of the sacred. It is much
more than that; the pipe IS the sacred, made real. When the bowl and stem of the
pipe are connected, the pipe is awake.
CONSECRATING THE SACRED PIPE
The sacred pipe (called chanunpa, or kanunnawu) may be consecrated in a medicine
wheel, at an altar, or any place that to the pipe bearer feels is holy. You need
to have a smudging mixture (I use sage, juniper, sweetgrass, and cedar, along
with some charcoal briquettes to keep the smudging mixture lit), some old and
some new smoking mixture, your smudging bowl, and either a lighter or matches.
Face west and light your smudge mixture in the bowl. Offer it to the spirit
keepers of the four directions, beginning to the west, to the heavens and the
earth. Move the smoke over yourself, using a feather fan or wing, to cleanse
Pass the bowl of the pipe over the smoke, fanning the smoke over and around it.
Do the same with the stem of the pipe. Pass your hands through the smoke. Lift
the bowl in your left hand and the stem in the right and connect them. This
symbolizes the joining of the male and female energies, heaven and earth, the
material and the spiritual. When they are joined, the pipe is awake.
Pass the pipe through the smoke, fanning it well. Hold the pipe over the
smudging bowl and let it fill with smoke. This sllows the Great Spirit to smoke
the pipe first.
If you are not going to smoke the pipe at this time, offer it to the spirit
keeprs, the earth, sky, the ancestors, and the spirits, before you disassemble
it and put it away. You should never put the pipe away with the stem and bowl
SMOKING THE SACRED PIPE
Take out an equal mixture of old and new tobacco or smoking mixture from your
bags and a mixing bowl or mortar. The first time you do this, you may have to
guess how much your pipe will hold, and take that much out of the bags. Just as
you did with the smudging herbs, make an offering with the smoking mixture. Put
half of it back in the pouch that contains the sacred tobacco so that it may
never be empty.
Hold the pipe in the left hand, with the stem resting on your left shoulder. I
fill my pipe one pinch at a time. Dedicate each pinch to the spirit keepers, the
moons and/or the totems.
Once you have packed the bowl, face the west, holding the bowl in your left
hand, and the lighter or match in your right hand. Place the end of the pipe
stem between your lips and light the pipe, puffing to ignite the tobacco. If you
are not used to smoking, do NOT inhale the smoke. How hard you have to draw on
the pipe depends on the length of the stem. The longer the stem, the harder
youwill have to draw on it. Extend the stem to the west, holding the bowl in
your left hand and the stem in the right, and invite Yanu the bear, spirit
keeper of the west, the Thunder-beings; Asgaya Galvlati, the Great Spirit to
smoke with you, and share the blessings of the sacred pipe.Take a puff and blow
the smoke to the west. (You may have to relight the pipe several times
throughout the ceremony.)
Turn to the north, extending the stem, and invite Yunsu the buffalo,
spiritkeeper of the north, Waziuh, the great white giant to smoke with you, and
share the blessings of the sacred pipe. Take a puff and blow the smoke to the
Turning east, extend the pipe, and invite Awahili the Eagle, spirit keeper of
the east, to smoke with you, and share the blessings of the sacred pipe. Take a
puff and blow the smoke to the east.
Face south, extend the pipe stem, and invite Tsistu the rabbit, spirit keeper of
the south, to smoke with you, and share the blessing of the sacred pipe. Take a
puff and blow the smoke to the south.
Turn west again, and lift the stem to the sky. Offer the pipe to Asgaya
Galvlati. After puffing the pipe and blowing the smoke to the sky, extend the
stem to the ground and oofer the pipe to Earth Mother, Agisegwa. Blow the smoke
towards the earth.
Now, extend the pipe over the left and right shoulders, and offer the pipe to
the ancestors, that they may come and share the blessings of the sacred pipe.
Lastly, revolve the stem in a circle before you and say, "Nunahe (spirits of
all), spirit guardians and allies, totems, come smoke with me, and share the
blessings of the sacred pipe." Take a puff and blow the smoke into the air.
After the offerings, the pipe should be smoked until it goes out. When it has
gone out, seperate the bowl from the stem. Careful, it may be hot. You may want
to place the ashes in your smudge bowl and light them until they are all burned
away. You may also bury the ashes after the ceremony. Remember that the ashes
are sacred, and must be treated in a reverent manner.
CLEANING THE SACRED PIPE
Clean the pipe before putting it away. You can use a straightened clothes
hanger, and run it through the length of the stem. The pipe should also be
cleaned thoroughly, both shank and bowl. You can use pipe cleaners to do this.
Remember that the pipe is sacred, and the cleaning must be done in a reverent
The Sacred Pipe
The Sacred Pipe is used most often for ceremonial purposes. It is the common source from which so many ceremonies derive their sacredness. In ceremonies we see the Sacred Pipe in its beauty and power. One time it is the center of the ceremony; at another it simply makes an important contribution. The basic ceremony of the Sacred Pipe, which is included in all ceremonies, is the offering of the pipe to the four directions, the East, the South, the West, and the North. It is then offered to Mother Earth and lastly to the Creator. Symbolic colors are also connected with the Four Directions. Because of the sacredness of the ceremonial pipe, the care given such a pipe includes strict rules for proper handling. To speak lightly of such a pipe, refer to it directly in conversation, step over it, or store it incorrectly is considered blasphemous. Touching and smoking a consecrated pipe is a sacred act which should only be done by persons of unquestioned integrity. Strict rules also keep the pipe from a menstruating woman’s presence or handling, since a woman’s menses signifies a powerful monthly cleansing which would contaminate or weaken the pipe’s power. That is why it is asked that women on their moon time step back from the circle during the pipe ceremony. Also anyone who has used alcohol or drugs within the previous four days steps back outside the circle.
The nature of the Sacred Pipe can be seen in many other ceremonies. And while it is impossible in this introduction to cover the pipe’s sacred function among all Native tribes, hopefully, appreciation for its use and spiritual place will deepen among all Native People. This is the legacy of the Sacred Pipe, a heritage that extends to all Native People. And yet it is a heritage that most non-Natives either through ignorance or prejudice fail to understand. Still, a closer understanding remains possible, if we remember the pipe and recognize in it the relationship we all share, a living, spiritual relationship with all Creation and our Creator.
*chuckles softly* "Us womens".
My very inborn instincts prevent my hands from touching a sacred object unless specifically encouraged to do so by my teacher. I am a 'womens', and we are different.
Until I am given leave to participate I hang back.
Devon I am of Seminole descent. I treat my heritage with the deference it deserves. Never fear. There is no pitty-pattying of tradition with me.
Creator sees and know all. I am here to learn what my father could not live to teach me in the flesh. Our Chiefs here are helping s tremendously. My son too, is slowly being brought into the fold. His natural spiritual hunger is helping in this as I send him daily meditations by our Chiefs. It soothes me to see this, and pleases my mother-heart no end. I know it will heal him.
for Sister Singingbird & Walelu
Your messages and lessons too help so very much.
Know I love you.
Chief Runningfox dont fear. I will return late Wednesday. Ryan requires my presence and I have to go to him tonight. He has been treated badly where he is. for my Chief Full-Pint and much much love to him.
Interesting indeed.........my teacher teaches me Unity between all people and that the greatest disservice you can do to any person is to keep them in ignorance when they thirst for knowledge. My teacher also teaches me that when it is time to learn a teacher will be proveded for you by the Creator. If you trust in your Creator you will be taught what you need to know as you need to know it. That being said I'd like to post this Legend passed on to me on another site by one of my Brothers. I was going to post it under Stories of the Redman, but I believe here would be ideal at the moment. Chief Runningfox or Wolf Spirit do you have the legend of the red, white, black and yellow men as caretakers of earth, water, air and fire and unification at your fingertips? I will put my hands on it, but thought you might get to it sooner.
Love to you and yours,
From the Kiowa Grandmothers in Mexico
Children of Earth in any of the four preceding worlds
and will not do so in this one. The girth of Earth has
expanded at the end of each world creating new land
masses and eliminating others. Each time those of her
true children who were able to read the omens were
shown safe places to live. Some went into subterranean
tunnels below the surface. The race that went below
the surface is called the Subterraniums by the Seneca
The Cradleboard prophecy speaks of the coming alive of
thousands of Rainbow Warriors of both sexes who will
suddenly see manifested the dream of the Fifth World
of Peace. We are now in this process during this age
the Grandmothers called the Time of the White Buffalo.
It is during this time that the teachings are to be
released to those with ears to hear and eyes to see.
The prophecy says that these warriors of the Rainbow
will remember their legacy and use it for the good of
all the Children of Earth. Chief Two Trees of the
Cherokee says that these people may be white on the
outside but are red on the inside. This is due to the
fact that the Warriors of the Rainbow are Guardians of
our Mother Earth, and they are our Red Ancestors
returning to assist All Our Relations.
The prophecy of the Cradleboard of Creation also says
that the Fire will come from the sky and hit the Earth
Mother in the Water Nursery of Creation, or oceans.
This cometlike object will fertilize the ovum of Earth
and recreate purity in all four Earth Clans. The
Chiefs of Air, Earth, Water, and Fire will be whole
once again. The condensation from this interaction of
Fire and Water will give us back our ozone. These
prophecies will be fulfilled sometime between now and
the year 2015.
Many persons who have disconnected from the Earth
Mother and do not know how to grow food will need to
learn. Many who have no knowledge of healing plants
will need to rely on others who do. The ability to
respond to the ensuing changes is carried in the
understanding of the Cradleboard and each person's
duty to share and be of service. It is time now to
start the teaching process that will allow us to
relearn Mother Earth's abundant lessons so that future
generations will have the Knowing Systems needed for
Many ancient plants and animals will reappear in our
new world as they have need to interact with us again.
Some plants will be used for healing and others for
food. We will understand the Language of the
Creature-Beings again and allow their istinct and
wisdom to teach us how to take care of our needs. The
Cradleboard will become a symbol of our first
life-support system and we will become a world
community. Communication in unity will prevail over
one thousand years of peace when the Earth Mother will
become a second sun or star in our solar system. We
will not burn, living on her surface for we will have
immortal bodies of Fire. The races from the stars will
come to assist the Children of Earth in recultivating
ecological balance and some will go with them to learn
these new, yet ancient, Knowing Systems. Those who
cannot accept the new Cradleboard of Creation will be
removed to the body-double of the Earth Mother, which
will house the memory of the devastation of her
scarred and abused body. Many wonders will appear in
the Time of the White Buffalo as governments will no
longer control the actions of the Earth's Children and
the people-to-people connections will be made strong
you womens are having a lot of postings of hard hearted facts of different tribes, and not always being clear the tribal connections. the ojibwa recital up near the begginging and the others while some posts mention not recognizing the way they know(being lakota)
It is interesting seeing the variety of universal truths in the pipe and talk of the different 'tools' such as drum and beater, bow and arrow , pipe and bowl, being represent of man and woman. all being sent as spiritual representation of what we need as two legged to live in a good way. that seems to be the good that is shared here, it is close to our hearts and is very touching to expose so much to anyone who looks, very unlike the modesty implied in the traditions and ceremonies, so it is very risky to be involved in this posting as some pointed out. this knowledge is like playing with guns, it can hurt others easily without much thought if you do not know what you are talking and if you do know, it is more opening to others than is traditional. So how you learn is locally from those who follow the old ways, if you can approach them in that respectfulness that is helpful, not needy, for the spirits need to have us open to be able to come through these old ways and tools and answer the needs of the people. there is no power in humanity inthese days, only in the tools we use, whether technology or working with the natural tools from the old ways of spirit.
...Your lessons came at the right time for me ~ Thank You...
~ I do not know of your ways...and I have a deep deserve to learn, so anything you post; is most definitely a new lesson for me ~
Yes, it looks as though the Chief teaches a 'World of Wisdom' to all, not just one village, but around the world...
Thank you, Smiles, Love, & Blessings!
Cindy and Kathleen,
You're very welcome. I was asked by Chief Runningfox why I was not posting. I told him all I knew is what he, Elders, Brothers and Sisters had taught me and he told me "to post". Sooo, when my teacher tells me to post I post and when he tells me to be still and learn I do that as well!
Love to you and yours,
"This that I have laid before you is the Sacred Pipe of The Creator." He then told her to pick up the pipe. "The bowl is of the same red clay The Creator used to make your kind. The red clay is Woman kind and is from the Earth. Just as a woman bears the children and brings forth life, the bowl bears the sacred tobacco (tsula) and brings forth smoke. The stem is Man. Rigid and strong the stem is from the plant kingdom and like a man it supports the bowl just as man supports his family." Uktena then showed Arrow Woman how to join the bowl to the stem saying, " Just as a man and a woman remain separate until joined in marriage so too are the bowl and stem separate. Never to be joined unless the pipe is used." Uktena then showed her how place the sacred tsula into the pipe and with an ember from the fire lit the tsula so it burned slightly. He told her this, "The smoke is the breath of The Creator, When you draw the smoke into your body, you will be cleansed and made whole. When the smoke leaves your mouth, it will rise to The Creator. Your prayers, your dreams, your hopes and desires will be taken to Him in the smoke. Also the truth in your soul will be shown to Him when you smoke the pipe. If you are not true, do not smoke the pipe. If your spirit is bad and you seek to deceive, do not smoke the pipe."
Uktena continued his lesson well into the night teaching Arrow Woman all of the prayers used with the pipe and all of the reasons for using the pipe. He finished just as the moon was beginning her nightly journey across the sky in search of her true love. He told Arrow Woman to wrap the pipe in cloth, keeping the parts separate. With this done He told her that she would never again be able to find this place but to remember all that she had learned. Uktena then returned to depths of the lake. Arrow Woman saw the water shimmer and become again the field of grass. She left, taking with her the pipe and her lessons and a wondrous tale.
Ever since that time, The Ani Yun Wiya have used the sacred pipe and never again has any man seen the sacred lake of Uktena.
The pipe is not a symbol of things that are sacred. The pipe itself is sacred. Not everyone is called upon to be a pipe bearer. The person who carries the pipe and practices the pipe ceremonies and traditions has a great responsibility to his brothers and sisters, his land and country and even to the Earth Mother.
The pipe bearer does not 'own' the pipe he carries. He simply carries the pipe until the time comes for him to pass it to the next bearer. The pipe bearer is given certain powers of sight from the pipe as well as an ability to heal and purify. Should the bearer fall from grace and become a liar or thief or become deceitful, the pipe would repossess these gifts and then the possibility of misfortune for the former bearer may exist.
One should be ready to accept the responsibility of the pipe for it may make demands upon you. It will become your teacher and guide. It can also be your worst enemy if used wrongly.
Another legend passed down by the Elders....Love to you and yours, SingingBird
The Legend of The Sacred Pipe
Many stories have been told about the 'Sacred Pipe'. The Whites refer to it as The Peace Pipe, but persons of Indian descent know it as a sacred item having a special place in Indian cultures. The pipe, in one form or another, has come to most cultures around the world. Every society has used the pipe in one way or another. Our Lakota brothers tell the story of the White Buffalo woman and how she first brought the pipe to the Red man. What is important is not how the pipe first arrived or who it came to first. What is important is that the pipe is revered as a sacred item and also important is that it did come from The Creator. What is most important is that pipe was brought to all men of this world, for we all must share this world.
This is the story of how the pipe first came to the Southern Cherokee. If you know any differences in this story that is because it was told to me this way:
Long ago, but not long after the world was new, a tribe of red skinned people came to live on the lands which are around The Blue Smoke Mountains.
At this time, the animals of the world still talked to men and taught them how to live on and care for the land. These people were called " Ani Yun Wiya " or the One True People. In this tribe lived a brave warrior woman. She was called 'Arrow Woman'. Arrow Woman was taught to use the bow, the spear and the knife. Even though it was a man's job to hunt and fight, Arrow Woman could shoot straighter with the bow than any man, she could throw the knife so as split a branch no bigger than your thumb and she could throw the spear into eye of a hawk in flight. Because of all this, no man would tell her to be like a woman.
One day while on a hunt, Arrow Woman came upon the tracks of Yona the bear. She saw blood on the ground and knew him to be wounded so she followed his tracks. High into the mountains she followed. Soon she came to a place that she did not know. It was in this place, a place known only to the animals that she finally saw Yona the bear. He had a deep cut in his side and she saw him bowing down in prayer. She saw him bowing toward a large field of tall grass and speaking words that she had not heard before. Suddenly, the grass shimmered and became a lake. Arrow Woman saw Yona dive into the water. After a time he emerged from the water, his side was completely healed. Yona then saw Arrow Woman and walked to her. Yona told her, "this is the sacred lake of the animals. It is called, 'Atagahi' and it's location is known only to the animals. It is where we come for healing and strength. You are the first man creature to see the sacred lake. You must never tell your kind of it's location for it is the home of 'The Great Uktena'. With these words Yona the Bear turned and walked into the woods and disappeared.
Arrow Woman was tired after following Yona all day so she decided to rest a while by this lake. She built a small fire and sat down to eat a meal that she had brought with her. She took a drink of the water from the lake and felt instantly refreshed. She was amazed, she felt strong as Yan'si the Buffalo. She felt as if she run faster than Coga the Raven could fly.
The woods were quiet, Unole the wind was sleeping, Nvda the sun was shinning bright but was not hot, the surface of the lake was completely calm, Arrow Woman began to get sleepy.
It was at this time that she saw 'Uktena', she had been told of him when she was a child but no one in her tribe ever claimed to have seen him. High above the water he raised his great serpent's head, the jewel in his forehead glistening. He began to move toward her. Arrow Woman grabbed up her spear and stood up to face the great creature coming to her, standing proud, showing no fear, the way any warrior should. She raised her spear and prepared to strike the huge beast.
Uktena stopped a short distance from her. He smiled, his mouth was larger than a man was tall and full of teeth longer than man's forearm. He spoke to the brave woman on the bank of his lake. To her he said, "Put down your weapons for I mean you no harm. I come only to teach." Arrow Woman laid down her spear and began to relax, somehow knowing Uktena spoke truly.
Uktena told her to sit and to listen. Uktena dipped his head below the surface and came back up a moment later. In his mouth he had a strangely crooked stick and a leather pouch. These things he laid on the ground in front of Arrow Woman. Then the Great Uktena began to teach. He said,
SingingBird, mvto, dear sister, for sharing this. It is soothing and comforting to feel these lessons sink in even further.
I am spending much ore time in Red Road among kindred spirits. This is the kind of ting that settles my knowledge and soul that Creator has not forgotten, nor will He ever.
...Thank you so very, very much for taking the time to share all that knowledge with me ~ I appreciate it more than you can imagine... I did not know that about the drums either...I have always especially loved the sounds of drums...
I rarely ever comment as I do not possess the knowledge of any of these discussions; however, I do read, study and keep notes ~ and most of all...Appreciate all that you all so openly share...
Smiles & Blessings!
A lesson I received from Chief Runningfox several years ago......hope it helps in your understanding.
Love to you and yours,
Pine Point, Minn. — Ceremonies are the most visible part of American Indian spirituality. But there's much more to walking the Red Road than the occasional ceremony. Anishinaabe people say their spiritual beliefs influence everything they do, every decision they make.
Some sacred objects are central to Indian spirituality. Tobacco is offered each time prayers are sent to the Creator or helper spirits.
The ceremonial pipe is perhaps the most often used, and most misunderstood, instrument in American Indian spirituality. It's been mispresented in American culture as the peace pipe,smoked to signify friendship.
For American Indians the pipe is a tool. It connects them with the power of the spirits. It's smoke carries their prayers to the Creator. White Earth pipe carrier Joe Bush says the pipe is symbolically as important to Indians as the cross is to Christians.
Joe Bush offers an Ojibwe prayer at a recent American Indian event on the campus of Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Bush was given his pipe by an elderly medicine man. He's carried the pipe for more than 20 years.
"There's a lot of power in that pipe," says Bush. "I just really can't explain what the pipe means to me, down here in my heart. It means a lot to me."
Joe Bush has unquestioning faith that prayers offered with the pipe will be answered by the Creator. He says people are physically and emotionally healed by the power of the pipe.
Bush lives in a small two-story home near the White Earth community of Pine Point in northwestern Minnesota. Pictures of grandchildren and great-grandchildren cover the walls, along with traditional spiritual symbols.
People knock on his door at any hour of the day or night, seeking his help.
"They'll offer me tobacco. Can you say a prayer for me. I'm having family problems. I'm having a drinking problem. I want to get out of drugs. Can you help me."
Joe Bush will climb the stairs to his bedroom, and bring down his pipe. He'll smoke and pray with the person who wants help. Then he sends them away, confident the Creator is listening.
"And I won't see 'em for awhile, and then they'll come back and shake my hand. 'You helped me a lot. We're back together. I haven't touched a drop in three weeks and it doesn't bother me. I've left the drugs, I left that weed, that grass, that crack, whatever.' See, that's the power you get from that pipe."
Joe Bush says he will carry the pipe until just before he dies. He says the Creator will let him know in a dream who should carry the pipe after his death. He'll teach that person the ceremonies. The power of the pipe will be passed to the next generation.
The drum is another object that is central to American Indian spiritual life. Drums are used for social and ceremonial purposes. Ceremonial drums are carefully protected and rarely photographed or recorded. The drum is the heartbeat of the earth -- Indian people believe its beat gives them strength.
In a 1963 recording, Leech lake tribal elder Paul Buffalo talked about the spiritual importance of the drum in everyday life.
"The Great Spirit is the one, the only one who will help you. Without a Spirit which cannot be seen, you will forget him and you'll be lost. When you hit that drum the Spirit comes. You know it's here," Buffalo said.
Indians believe drums, like pipes and all other things, have a spirit. But they don't worship the objects -- those spirits help communicate with the Creator.
your all very welcome. I am glad that you found something that helped you in some way.
...Thank you very much for sharing that ~ I really appreciate it.
For explaining the pipe and how and why it is used and I believe like you that nothing like that sould be in a museum if it is for rituals then no one but those who are meant to have it should touch them they should be given back to the tribe that they belong to.
It is wonderful to keep reading and learning more here ,Thank you for sharing your story so we can understand more.
A long time ago when another was teaching me the ways, he sent me this:
American Indian traditions say, Pipestone is the blood of the Creator, of
Mother Earth, of the People. So Pipestone should be handled only with true
knowledge and great respect. Nowadays through trade and travel, Pipestone
is available to non-Indians, yet the knowledge of Its sacredness remains
There is a saying, "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing." Many people
today have seen many desecrations. Because of what they have seen, they
now know enough to be dangerous. I hope to give such people enough added
knowledge to be safe. I have been asked to write this article. I hope that
non-Indians, and assimilated ones who have lost their ways, may understand
and respect the sacredness of Pipestone should they come across It.
Pipestone is a sacred red clay Stone that American Indians use for making
prayer Pipes. Pipestone comes from only a few places in the world, all
sacred places in North America. The best and most famous Pipestone comes
from Pipestone Mountain, a sacred place in southwest Minnesota, USA. It
ranges in color from pale pink to brick or blood red. It takes a high
polish. Pipestone is rather soft as stones go. It can be easily cut or
carved with hand tools. Electric tools should -never- be used on
Nowadays non-Indian stone artists can get Pipestone and try their hands at
carving It. Often such artists do not understand the care that must be
given to this sacred Stone. Indian Pipemakers must live a very good life.
They must purify themselves and their tools every time they sit at work on
the Stone. While at work on the Stone they must pray and stay focused on
the good. Every bit of the Stone is very sacred, even the tiny flakes and
dust. After a work session the Pipemaker must be very careful with any
dust that remains on him. These fragments and dust must be removed and
disposed of with great respect.
Many traditional people believe that Pipestone should never be bought or
sold. This writer heartily agrees, and is frightened at the sight of
Pipestone made into Pipes and other items sold to the public. Carrying a
Pipe is in many cases something like being a clergy person in a mainstream
religion. A tribal person is trained in the sacred ways, endures certain
tests of his sincerity and virtue, and then finally is given a Pipe by
elders of his tribe or family. Such a person then uses the Pipe to make
very powerful prayers for the people. The Pipe is not the "property" of
the one who carries It; he carries It for the people.
The Pipe is filled with Tobacco. Tobacco is a very sacred plant that
should be used only for prayer. Sometimes the Tobacco is mixed with other
traditional plants such as mullein, coltsfoot, and bearberry, also known
as "kinnikinnik". The Pipecarrier prays while loading the Pipe. Some
people believe that certain strong mind-altering plants or drugs are used
but this is not true. Such error borders on sacrilege.
To carry a Pipe is a great responsibility. A Pipecarrier must be very
truthful, courageous, generous, and enduring. He must refrain from all
vices. Depending on the type of Pipe, there may be other things as well,
that he may have to do or refrain from doing. Most Pipecarriers are men.
This is mainly because it is not good for a woman on her monthly time to
touch or be near Pipestone, especially if made into a Pipe. Her energy at
that time may come into imbalance with the Stone.
There are certain powerful Spirit Beings known as Thunders, who watch over
Pipestone and especially the Pipe. The Thunders study the heart and
actions of anyone who has Pipestone, especially if made into a Pipe. Very
few people of any race can stand up to such scrutiny, and only American
Indian traditions teach the right ways that a Pipecarrier should be. If
anyone has Pipestone, especially if made into a Pipe, and fails in virtue,
the Thunders may punish him. He may feel intense sadness and fear. He may
feel acute pangs of conscience over any wrong that he may do, however
unavoidable or small. These may lead to
insanity. He may fall into certain kinds of misfortune that may also
affect his friends and family. This is one of the reasons why many
traditional people feel that Pipestone should never be bought or sold.
Many old Pipes are in museums and private collections. These should go
back to the tribes from which they came, if possible, or else to any
reputable Indian elder who can see to their care. There are many types of
Pipes, depending on the purpose and the tribe, but all Pipes are very
Nowadays Pipes and other Pipestone items, as well as raw Pipestone, are
sold at powwows, gift shops, and craft shops. Some modern people work
their minds and find ways to say that this is ok. But most traditional
people say that this is dangerous and sacrilege.
A personal note: I once had several Pipestone items that had been bought
and sold. I had to return these items to the Earth in order to appease the
Thunders. I wrapped the items in red cotton cloth along with sage and
I too found them to be a bit off as one of my teachers is Lakota and gave me the directions in that language to say each day. And this is kinda sorta on that line but now what I was taught.
About the being saced and not to say here....... I guess that the Chief could share with us if that is not a practice we should be talking about. Chief?
If we are to keep the wisdom of the ancestors alive how can we if we dont share them with each other to keep them going on and passing them on to others. My view on this is if we are to do so that we make sure that they are correct and as they are to be. That way we are not passing on mis-information.
I do so appreciate you're telling me this...I apologize, I didn't know, but again ~ thank you!
What tradition is this information from? The directions sound almost...but not quite...Lakota. The language of the prayers I don't recognize.
Cindy, I honor your seeking heart and desire to know, but (in my opinion, anyway) this falls into the category of sacred things that should not be discussed in an open forum. Better that the seeker should speak one-on-one to someone within a certain tradition.
I have always wondered about this. Thank you for sharing. I appreciate when you take the time to 'show sounds', as I try to say the words, but I'm sure I'm off.
Have a nice day, Blessings!
Gaye ni-taawaagan chinoodamaan gi-gondaagan.
Bagidishin chi-gikadamaan ashi gikinoo'amaawiidaa
Ga'izhigaadowin o'maa aniibiishing gaye asining.
Ni-gagwezoogadam gaawiin chi-gagwa'odaawag nisayenh,
Onjida betoo niin chi-miigaanoodizoyan,
Ozhi-ayaa'ishin apane chi-ozhitaayaan,
Gibe ayaa'an %#&!*%-gibininjiyaan,
Gaye izhigwayak chi'inaabiyan.
Ga-ani'izhi-agonaagwad gi-bangishimood giizis
Gawiin awiya chi-wiinaanimaad,
O' Great Spirit
Whose voice I hear in the winds,
And whose breath gives life to all the world, hear me!
I am small and weak, I need your strength and wisdom.
Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes
ever behold the red and purple sunset.
Make my hands respect the things you have made
and my ears sharp to hear your voice.
Make me wise so that I may understand the things you have taught my people.
Let me learn the lessons you have hidden
in every leaf and rock.
I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy -- myself.
Make me always ready to come to you with
clean hands and straight eyes.
So when life fades, as the fading sunset,
my spirit may come to you without shame.
O'o ogondaamaan noodinong,
Gaye o'o gamiigiwaad bimaadiziwin o'omaa akiing,
Noodawishin! Ni-dagaashinyi niniinamiz,
Ni-noodi gagwezoongadam gaye jinibwakaadiziyan
Gaye ni-nishkiinzhig-oon chi-ganawaabadamaan,
Ga'ozhaawshkwaa miskaa ga'ini-bangishimood giizis.
Ozhi-ayaan ni-nijiin chi-gichi'enendamaan
The Maidens sing the PRAYER OF THE WARRIORS BEFORE SMOKING THE PIPE (Song No. 39), hands held low forward, palms up, then raised high, palms facing in, for the first line; hands slowly lowered, then crossed on breast for second line; hands forward in beseeching attitude for third line; raised high, then arms folded, for the fourth line. The head is thrown back until the end of the last line as the arms are folded, when the eyes are cast upon the ground.
The Chief takes the Pipe from the Bearer. The Maidens sit down, cross legged and cross armed, in the places where they stood, and the Chief proceeds.
Kneeling at the Fire, he lights the Pipe. As soon as it is going, he lifts it, grasped in both hands, with the stem toward the sky, saying:
"To Wakonda, the one Great Spirit; that his wisdom be with us. Hay-oon-kee-ya. Noon-way."
All answer, in a long intonation, and slightly raising the flat right hand: "Noon way." (Amen, or this is our prayer.)
Chief (pointing stem to earth) : "To Maka-Ina, Mother Earth, that she send us food. Hay-oon-kee-ya. Noon-way."
All (as before): "Noon-way."
Chief (blowing smoke and pointing stem to West): "To Weeyopeeata, the Sunset Wind, that he come not in his strength upon us."
Chief (blowing smoke and pointing stem to North): "To Wazi-yata, the Winter Wind, that he harm us not with his cold."
Chief (blowing smoke and pointing stem to East) : "To Weeyohinyan-pata, the Sunrise Wind, that lie trouble us not with his rain."
Chief (blowing smoke and pointing stem to South) "To Okaga, the Hot Wind, that he strike us not with his fierce heat. Hay-oon-kee-oon-ee-ya-snee. Noon-way."
All (as before): "Noon-way."
Then the Chief holds the Pipe high, level in two hands, and proclaims: "Wakan-tanka Wakan neekay-chin, chandee eeya pay-ya-wo." (That is, Great Spirit, by this Pipe, the symbol of Peace, Brotherhood, we ask thee to be with us, and take part in our Council.
All intone a long "Noon-way."
The Maidens stand, the Chief hands the Pipe to the Bearer, who carries it high and marches off, followed by the others, singing the DANCING SONG (Song No. 40). The Herald leaves last of all.