Aug 012016
 

By the time of the Fruit Moon, Galoni [August], the green corn has started to ripen.  No corn is eaten until after the Green Corn Festival.  “The Green Corn Ceremony was traditionally celebrated during late June or early July for about four days. The dates scheduled for the celebration depended upon the time the first corn ripened. The ceremony was held in the middle of the ceremonial grounds. Included in the rituals were the stomp dance, feather dance and buffalo dances.

At certain points of the ceremonies the people fasted, played stickball, had corn sacrificing and took medicine. Then after the ceremonial fasting they would feast. Another ritual observed was rinsing themselves in water and having prayer.   It is believed when you receive a cleansing it washes away impurities or bad deeds and starts a new life. The cleansing ceremony was performed by a priest which was followed with fasting and praying and other sacred practices.” [from the official Cherokee website: “Cherokee Nation”]

Art logoThroughout the southwest, Native Americans have left images pecked or painted on canyon walls, caves and large stones.  Like so many others, I wonder whether these images represent stories or just graffiti.  Were the artists just doodling in their idle time, or were they leaving a message for their friends and posterity?

I am convinced that most of the petroglyphs and pictographs were, in fact, messages and stories.  I say this because although there are many recognizable depictions of animals, people, reptiles, etc., that could be just random doodling by bored children or adults to pass the time,  there are also many abstract symbols that, like our alphabet, have no likeness in nature and therefore must represent a common concept.

 

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