“They say when an unborn child is developing, the first thing they hear is the heartbeat of the mother — so when babies go to powwows and hear the music, it is just natural.
The drumbeat symbolizes the heartbeat of Mother Earth.”
~ Bill Runsabove, Northern Cheyenne composer and singer of traditional songs.
A wide luminous halo encircled the moon.
Under softly grey cloud cover a solstice ceremony
transpired in a large empty field near town’s edge.
Chairs circularly arranged around the central roaring fire.
The cool evening provided no breeze,
sparks flying straight up into the dark.
People brought drums – lots of drums.
Someone kindly lent me a drum.
Man in back sounded a didgeridoo,
its eerie haunting resonance surrounded deliciously.
A small, low altar with lit candles flickered,
waited to receive offerings
of sage and cedar, sweet grass and Indian tobacco.
The leader of the gathering spoke of the time of year,
of the rights of the Earth petition started by the Thirteen Grandmothers,
of the need for community-mindedness
and for our shared responsibility for our world and for the Earth.
Everyone each in turn took a pinch of sage, cedar or sweet grass,
walked up to the fire and prayed
as they threw in the aromatic herbage.
Then drumming began.
clouds of sage smoke,
and the atmosphere
morphs to 20 000 years ago
complete with undulating dancers circling the fire,
shouts and wild ejaculations.
and on the way home
I did not speak three words.
What a blessing to experience a quiet mind imparts !
Rhythmic drumming is an ancient technology
for clearing the mind, amongst many other beneficial effects.
Visit a Native American ceremony
and immerse every sense into our common heritage,
our common ancient, primal nature.
What a rich experience
and an enrichment of my view
of what it is and means
to be human.
In gratitude to all that lives,
and on which this one life utterly depends.
! All my relations ! Aho !
Opening quote from here: http://art.mt.gov/folklife/folklife_drum.asp
Photo of moon halo from EarthSky : http://earthsky.org/space/what-makes-a-halo-around-the-moon
Photo of drumming comes from here: http://www.concierge.com/cntraveler/contests/?g2_view=core.DownloadItem&g2_itemId=1135962
The Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers Home Page is here: http://www.grandmotherscouncil.org/
The Petition for the Universal Rights of the Earth is here: http://www.rightsofmotherearth.com/
Drumming therapeutic effects links:
All my relations : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitakuye_Oyasin
Aho comes from Ahoo ( thank you) in the Crow American Indian language.