Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Smoke from the Central Fire

Early this afternoon I was saddened to hear of the death of Wilma Pearl Mankiller, former Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation.

In her book "Everyday is a Good Day," Wilma wrote of attending a "Stomp Dance."

"In the past there was a ceremony in which the medicine man prepared a central fire" around which the people danced all night. "In the morning, every person in the village took a new fire home from this specially prepared central fire. Putting out home fires, then relighting them from the central fire was an important symbol of community and shared relationships." She spoke then of the people "attending Sunday morning church services smelling of smoke from the central fire."

Wouldn't it be a great thing if we all, regardless of our various faiths and genealogies took home a new fire and came away smelling of smoke from the central fire?

(Photo by Yodit Gidey/Durango Herald)


momA said...

Lovely symbolism there!

Sir James E. Watkins said...

It would be great indeed.

Hello. I am James, poet and part Cherokee.

I enjoyed your post and the way you live your life: smiling.