Women

Native America

It has been said that the position of the woman is the test of civilization, and that of our women was secure. In them was vested our standards of morals and the purity of our blood. The wife did not take the name of her husband, nor enter his clan, and the children belonged to the clan of the mother. All the family property was held by her, descent was traced in the maternal line, and the honor of the house was in her hands..

 

“Woman is the centre of the wheel of life. She is the heartbeat of the people. She is not just in the home, but she is the community, she is the Nation.

 

One of our Grandmothers.

The woman is the foundation on which Nations are built. She is the heart of her Nation. If that heart is weak the people are weak. If her heart is strong and her mind is clear then the Nation is strong and knows its purpose. The woman is the centre of everything.” Art Solomon (Ojibwe), “Kesheyanakwan” (Fast Moving Cloud), Anishinaabe Elder.

 

 

“It is time for women to pick up their medicine and help heal a troubled world.” Art Solomon (Ojibwe), “Kesheyanakwan” (Fast Moving Cloud), Anishinaabe Elder.

 

The Elders say the men should look at women in a sacred way. The men should never put women down or shame them in any way. When we have problems, we should seek their counsel. We should share with them openly. A woman has intuitive thought. She has access to another system of knowledge that few men develop. She can help us understand. We must treat her in a good way...

 

 

See the Woman
(a Poem by John Trudell)

 

She has a young face
An old face
She carries herself well
In all ages
She survives all man has done

In some tribes she is free
In some religions
She is under man
In some societies
She’s worth what she consumes

In some nations
She is delicate strength
In some states
She is told she is weak
In some classes
She is property owned

In all instances
She is sister to earth
In all conditions
She is life bringer
In all life she is our necessity

See the woman eyes
Flowers swaying
On scattered hills
Sundancing calling in the bees

See the woman heart
Lavender butterflies
Fronting blue sky
Misty rain falling
On soft wild roses

See the woman beauty
Lightning streaking
Dark summer nights
Forests of pines mating
With new winter snow

See the woman spirit
Daily serving courage
With laughter
Her breath a dream
And a prayer

 

 

 

A Nation is not conquered
until the hearts of its women
are on the ground.
Then it is done,
no matter how brave its warriors
nor how strong its weapons.

- Traditional Cheyenne saying

 

 

In olden times, crones were the wise women, the village herbalists, and the storytellers. They might have been shamans or healers. Their wisdom was valued because the society often depended upon this knowledge to survive. They were the elders of the tribe and were treated with respect.

 

 

The Apache Sunrise Ceremony celebrates a girl becoming a woman. Girls prepare for the ritual for six months or more. During the ceremony, which can last four days, the girls sing, pray, run, and dance, often for hours without stopping. Here, a girl from the White Mountain Apache tribe in Arizona is blessed with pollen, symbolizing fertility.

 

 

 

It is well to be good to women in the strength of our manhood because we must sit under their hands at both ends of our lives. He Dog Oglala Lakota

 

Cherokee Indians value their family, however different from most situations, the women is under absolute control of everything. She holds her clans name, all the children belong to her, and the man must settle in her village after the marriage ceremony. The man is there to make children and provide meat for the family. As the husband’s ability to hunt exceeded the needs of his family, it is common that he is then allowed to have more than 1 wife.

 

The connection between owls and women is old and deep. It has to so with women living often at the edge of life and death, knowing how to navigate the unknown, historically having little outer power and having to turn inward into the place where real power connects us all in the invisible.

 

 

 

Our often unrecognized, but most powerful teachers are our women. In order for men to learn a balanced way, we need to learn from our men Elders and our women Elders. Learning from the women Elders will teach us a whole different set of values and insights to life. When we have life problems, we need to go to the grandmothers to get their advice.

Grandmothers, teach me the values of the Great Mystery.

 


"When it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home."

- Chief Aupumut in 1725, Mohican.


Ya-Native

about

Social Media

Amazon Online Store

Supporters