Some time ago, I attended an inter-tribal social dance in Miami, Oklahoma. There are eight tribes in the Miami area. Most of them participate in whatever the event might be such as competition, social, or stomp dance. My memories while growing up near there is that most were social gatherings. Then, as well as now, they were spiritual events honoring the Creator. At this gathering, the announcer, whom I believe was of the Peoria Tribe, made a statement that made a lasting impression on me. He said, "we do not know all that we would like to know of the ways of our ancestors, but we do the best that we can with what we do know." This drew my attention to the fact that no matter how much or how little native blood that we might have, we are all going through the process of learning as we seek knowledge of the old ways and being aware of our spirit guides in the world around us that provides us with the means to live and thrive spiritually on the path we choose as individuals. We must recognize the fact that if we do not teach our young people "the ways as we know them" we are falling short in giving them the opportunity to learn, so that when the time comes for them to step into leadership or ceremonial positions, they are prepared with the knowledge and spirituality to do so. Creating activities of interest at our band meetings, and letting them know how important they are to us and to the future of our tribe. ~~ Jack White Eagle Shryock
This is a brief description of the major festivals and suggestions for observing each one. All ceremonies are spiritual events and are done in a way that is, to the best of our knowledge, asking for guidance from our creator on all things.
A video is being prepared by Council providing more information on each Festival. Stay posted for these enlightening explanations.
The first new moon of spring was celebrated about the time the new grass began to show. It was a time for planting and the making of new council fires; a rebirth.
A time to honor Mother Earth.
NOTE: due to the Covid pandemic, the 2021 Spring festival will not be held in person.
The Green Corn Festival was observed at the first signs of the corn tassel showing and the emerging of the various plants in the fields The Anigadugi Society (a volunteer group) would see to the needs of the elderly and infirmed.
Prayers for a bounty of food to be provided by Mother Earth and for those in need.
Forty to fifty days after Green Corn, the ripe corn feast begins and continues for four days, acknowledging Selu, the Spirit of the Corn. Selu is thought of as the first woman. Thanks was given to Mother Earth for providing all of the food in the growing season.
Prayers giving thanks for the food provided to us and for those in need.
The Great New Moon Festival is held when the leaves begin to turn yellow and drift from the tree. The Cherokee believed the world was created during this moon. Preparations were made for a feast. For that night only, the infants were allowed to sleep and the women performed a religious dance.
A day or two after this festival ended, the propitiation and cementation festival was held. Two men would exchange garments to cement their everlasting relationship in symbolism of the renewed relationship between the above beings and the people.
Perhaps a time to give thanks for the beauty of creation and prayers for our well being in the approaching winter months.
The Trading Moon Festival was traditionally a time for trading and barter among different towns. Also, the customary time of the Friendship Festival, or adahuna (new friends made), this was a time when all transgressions were forgiven. This was also when the needy among towns were given whatever they needed to help them through the winter.
A time for prayers for forgiveness and apologies for past bad feelings.
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