Hold to God's Unchanging Hand
The Twenty Third Psalms
Tsi sa a gi ge yu hi
a di go we li tsu a ge di
di ni yo li tsu tse li
i ga da ni la, u la ni ga di
a gi ge yu tsi sa
a gi ge yu tsi sa
a gi ge yu tsi sa
a di go we li tsu a ge di.
Jesus loves me.
The Bible tells me so.
The children belong to him.
We are weak, He is strong.
Jesus loves me.
Jesus loves me.
Jesus loves me.
The Bible tells me so.
It has been said that we had 14 clans at onetime. There are now 14 Iroquoian speaking tribes:
Neutrals, Petun, Erie, Wenro, Huron, Susquehannock, Mohawk, Oneida,
Onondaga,Cayuga, Seneca, Tuscarora, Meherrin, Tsalagi.
THE CLANS ARE FORMED
The Cherokee nation grew in numbers. The problems of teaching the people the laws and customs given them by the Anidawehi grew more difficult. The Anidawehi decided the best way to control such large numbers of people was to form them into clans, each clan being controlled bt elected women,and by elders of both men and women. Women were given such high responsibilites because it was they who remained at home with their babies and saw to the continunity of the family and clan.
Because of this special relationship of women with the family and the town,all property belonged to the women and her children belonged to her clan.for only a mother is known for sure. It was the women who inherited field rights as handed down from mother to daughter.
Each Clan was responsible for judging and execution of punishment of any social wrong done against a clan members,whether that wrong was done by a clan member or a member of another clan. But the clan did not and could not make the laws or social customs.
All laws and customs were either made by the Anidawehi,the people,or envolved out of ancient acceptance. All laws of a religious nature were handled by the Anidawehi, and Cherokee's believed religion was part of every day living. All men and women of adult age voted on how to run their town.
In the beginning,it was said that there were fourteen clans. But some clans would not obey the laws and customs of the people. These clans were considered heathens and were driven out of the nation. The expelled clans formed the tribes now called the Erie,Mohawk,Onodaga,Cayuga,Seneca and Oneida. These people were cousins of the Cherokee,who as a group are called Iroquios spoke a language kin to the Cherokee's,called Irquvian. One of the clans did not form into one of the tribes,but vanished completely. This was the Ani-Tsaguh (People who-disappeared), which many believe became the bears. Two other lost tribes,the Susquehanna and Tuscarora,became members of the Iroquois. The Iroquois moved north into the cold country and to the great lakes of the north.
The seven clans that remained became known as Ugaya (Seven clan Society.)
When Chief Wahunsunacock
- or Powhatan - took his last Tsalagi wife, Amopotoiske, who later became
the mother of Matoaka (or Pocahontas), as his wife, this put an end
to Powhatan fighting with the Cherokee, as this brought unity with
the two great nations. Amopotoiske was of the village of Amonute on Bear
Creek, where it flows into the Appomattox River. She was leader of the
Wild Potatoes Clan, also known as the Bear Clan. The Amonsoquath Tribe
of Cherokee was from this village, which means "Village on Bear Creek"
or "The Bear Clan."
The Bear Clan," originally known as Ani-Tsa-gu-hi is the oldest of the Cherokee Clans, was thought to have disappeared, so a myth was created to explain the disappearance. The United Keetoowah Band has its Bear Clan, which had been changed to "Blue Holly Clan" about 1803. It is also variously known as the Wild Potatoes Clan, Comes from the North, and has been associated with "Blind Savannah Clan."
How important is it to let go of our resentments and make ourselves right with those whom have wronged.
Yet, how often we leave out the next stop of forgiving ourselves and making everything right, and to restore the harmony and balance into our lives. Bringing the sun back into our lives making everything right with our selves.
Amends to others are very important. Amends to our selves are essential!
SOME POINTS ABOUT TSALAGI RELIGION
There was no special day of the week set aside for religious observance. Every day to the Tsalagi wsa contolled by religious beliefs ans observance. A new day was started by "going to water" and facing the rising sun,thanking Asgaya Galvlati for another new day and for the gift of a new sun. They preformed "going to water" when they had to break ice in the winter as well as the summer. To the Tsalagi,religion was not simply one of animism and pluralism,withas unknown universe made of spirits and unexplained mysticism. It was not a simple belief in supernatural spirits controlled throught shmanism. A Tsalagi did not worship Nature,althought he did revere it.He believed in a Creator, who was known under many names. He was called Asgaya Galvlati(Man Above),Ganodugwaludusik (Master of life),Yohewa(Great Spirit), Unequa(Great Being), and Adanehilahusgi(Creative Being, to name a few.
The Tsalagi believed that Asgaya Galvlati had many helpers and messengers. These helpers spirits and messenger spirits could be called upon by an Adawehi, or by any individual himself to give aid. These spirits may live in plant, the soil, water,fire, or any part of nature. A plant or an animal had its own spirit or being, some helpful to man, some not. The spirit that lived within these being of nature were not necessarily the spirit that lived within these beings of nature were not necessarily the spirit of its inhabiter, but were an extension of the Great Creator. The rest of the elments of nature might not have had their own being or had one of the Creative Being's residing with it, but it wsa worthy of repect and was not to be destroyed with malice.
These spirits were prayed to, not as God, but to ask them for thier assistance. The messenger spirits were asked to take messages to the Creative Being for of His helpers. Spirit helpers worked independently from the Greator Creator, and used the powers given to Him. There were many spirits living in the world of man. The most powerful and most revered was Gigagegagu(Ancient Red), the spirit of success, of life, the fighter spirit, who was called upon when a man was in need of help to solve a difficult problem.
Ancient Red had brother spirits called Black,White,Blue. These four spirits were so close to being one that they were Degataga(So closely united as to form ine spirit), one spirit), and when they were called "As One," they were called Hikayulige(Ancient One). When an Adawehi prayed on behalf of a man, Red Woman was called upon,and when the prayer was in behalf of a women, Red Man was called upon.
Other lesser helpers were within animal spirits. The animal was not sacred to the Tsalagi, no more than man himslef, except for a few animals of religion signifiacance. But their sacredness could be nulified through sacred prayers.
There were times when an Adawehi would call upon the spirits from the four cardinal points of East, South, West and North, using their color symbols of Red, White, Black, Blue to designate the spirit they were praying to.
An Adawehi would also call upon Kananiski(Spider), Gili(dog), Kalona(Raven), Giuagiya(A Hawk from the coast), among the most powerful and most called upon spirit helpers. Only an Adawehi knew which ones should be used at a certain time. The most sacred of the animal spirit was Utsenati(He has a bell), the "Rattlesnake." All spirits of plants were to give aid in curing diseases, Tsolv(Tobacco) being the most important and sacred.
There were spirits in all phenomenons of nature, such as the wind, the storm, the clouds, and all were called upon for aid. Nuda Unelanuhi(Man Apportioner), "Sun" and Nuda Ageyaguga(Woman Measurer), "Moon" were both messanger and helper spirits.
Atsila(Fire) was the most sacred of all messenger spirits. Ama(water)
was called upon for aid in involking the aid of Yuwi Gunahita(Long Person).
Other important messenger spirit were Nvgitsuhulai(Four Winds) from the
four cardinal points of Digalvgunyi(it comes from the East), Ugalayai(Warm
there, or South), Udiligvyi (It goes down there, or West) and
Ayastaluyi (Ice there, or North). Teigs and barkof Atsina(cedar) were thrown into the fire and its aroma drove off evil spirits so they could not hear what was going on.
The Anidawehi were the only ones who knew all the sacred prayers to call upon all the spirits to aid man. Some of the general prayers were taught to members of this tribenso they could call upon the aid of the Creative Being and His spirit helpers whenever they were far from an Adawehi. But the most sacred prayers were in the secret language of the Anidawehi and never known to the common man.
Religion was always esstenial to the Tsalagi and it guided his every act. His religion was not meaningless form of secret rites and formulas. It was a long studied and thought out sacred belief,not a superstition. A Tsalagi prayer was temporal, asking for good health, long life,success in endeavors, for protection against his enemies, and revenge whe he is violated. The Ani-Tsalagi thanked God for all He did for them.
The Ani-Tsalgi believed in a Creative Being and that there were supernatural spirits to call upon to either aid him or carry his message to God.
They did not know where a man's spirit went after death, but they did believe that,when a man died, his spirit traveled West to join Black Man who would guide his spirit to the After Life.
For Tsalagi, there was no punishment after death for wrongs done here in this life.
The only wonrgs a man did in his lifetime were against his fellow man, his brother animals and plants, and to anger the Spirits. No man could wrong God,for asa small,insignificant mortal, he did not have the power. He did his best while living not to violate the rights of his fellow tribesmen and not to insult or hurt others'feelings. He tried not to anger the Bad Spirits which would bring trouble to his people. He tried to obey the religious laws as decreed by the Anidawehi,but not all things are possible to mere mortal man...
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