Barbara Roberts features segment two of the Monacan nation, including the 18th Century Monacan village being reconstructed at The Natural Bridge in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Chief Branham and two elders discuss how they still gather from the abundance of wild foods their ancestors relied upon as well as from their apple orchards at home on Bear Mountain.
Health and Healing:
Judy Bluehorse Skelton tells how she follows the plants through the seasons, focusing upon the summer season. She discusses gathering St. John’s Wort, “a beautiful little yellow flower which blooms in June. You gather the fresh flowers before they’re pollinated which means you’ve got to beat the bees to it.”
Nico Wind shares harvesting songs from several cultures and special background on how the people traditionally give thanks to Creator for the abundance of their harvests.
Judy Trejo shares four traditional Pine Nut Blessing songs and tells of the Pine Nut Blessing Ceremonies. In the springtime, the people would go to the mountains to pray and sing for a bountiful harvest in the fall for this traditional food which they are still dependent upon to this day.
Turtle Island Storytellers:
Jack Dalton tells the traditional story, “The Gathering Song,” relating how an Alaskan Yup’ik village survived conflict and starvation by listening to an “old man” who taught them to sing and dance an ancient Yup’ik song. This restored the harmony and successful caribou hunting, and saved the people from starvation.
Host Arlie Neskahi concludes today’s program discussing how the theme of harvest and gatherings brings to mind our Dine (Navajo) Holy Person, the Harvester, called Initune. “We always call upon the Harvester’s spirit at the culmination of our ceremonial prayer songs. Initune’s voice can be heard, the sweet voice of completeness, that all that was meant to be is now ready, that what we have cultivated, fertilized, watched over, our prayers and dreams are now at hand. May Initune’s sacred voice be heard in the gardens of your thoughts, plans and doings.”
* This program featuring the Monacan nation also promotes the public radio series planned by Wisdom of the Elders featuring native nations along the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Trail between 2004-2006 during the national’s commemoration.