Category: Native American

THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR, Excerpt and Free Give-Away

Howdy!  And welcome to the Tuesday blog.  Well, today I’ll be giving away THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR in either e-book format or mass market paperback, winner’s choice.   There is a restriction.  It is limited to the United States only.  There are also the rules for free give-away — over to the right here — that govern our give-aways, so please do give that a read.

AngelAndTheWarrior-The-CoverSometimes there’s a problem because some sites out there contact you to ensure you know you’ve won.  But we don’t do that here.  We rely on you to come back in a day or two to see if you are the winner.  If you have won, instructions will be given on how to contact me so that the book can be sent to you.  But you must contact me in order to claim your prize.

Off to the left here is the e-book cover of the give-away book and at the very end of this blog is the mass market cover of the book.

All right.  So with that said, let’s have a look at what I consider to be one of the most fascinating parts of this book, and of this series. This is the first book in THE LOST CLAN series.  Now, this series is set not only within historical times, but within the framework  of American Indian Mythology.  There are a couple of characters in this series of four books which are caught in all four books, and one of those characters is the Thunderer.

The Thunder Being (or sometimes referred to as the Thunder Bird or Thunder God or Thunderer) is central to these stories.   His anger has been stirred up by acts of violence against himself and his children by a clan that is part of the Blackfoot Indians – The Lost Clan.  Interestingly, the Thunder thCACKC4HUBeing plays a dominant role in most Native American tribes — perhaps because when one is living so closely to nature, the Thunderer, who can produce so much damage, would be a subject of much legend.  In this series of books, the Lost Clan has been  relegated into the “mist” by the Creator, who intervened on the people’s behalf when the Thunderer became bent on destroying every single member of the clan.  Imprisoned within that mist, each band of the Clan is given a chance within every new generation to choose a boy to go out into the real world.  That boy is charged with the task of undoing the curse, thus freeing his people from what would be an everlasting punishment (they are neither real, nor dead).  But, not only must the boy be brave and intelligent (there are puzzles to solve within every book), he must also show kindness to an enemy.

th[2]Let’s have a look at the Thunderer and some of the different tales about this being.  In Blackfeet lore, the Thunderer often steals women.  He can take the image of a very large bird — his wings creating the thunder and his eyes shooting out the lightning.  In Lakota lore, if one dreams about the Thunder god, he becomes a backwards person.   He must do everything backwards.  He washes in sand, become dirty in water, walks backwards, says exactly what he doesn’t mean, etc., etc.  The dream is so powerful that it is thought that if one fails to do these things, he courts certain death.  In THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR, the hero is one of these boys who is charged with the task of freeing his people.  He is desperate because he only has until his 30th birthday to undo the curse, and the hero of the story is 29, with only a few months left to accomplish this task.  Relying on visions and dreams, he is drawn toward a woman with hair the color of starlight.  But he regards her and his growing feelings toward her, as little more than a distraction, and great suspicion.

thumbnail[5]There is also a legend of the Thunder Being in the Iroquois Nation.  In this legend, a young woman becomes the bride of the Thunderer and through him saves her village from a huge snake that burrows under her village, thus endangering the lives of everyone in her village.  There is still another legend about the Thunderer which you can watch on the Movie called Dream Makers — well, I think that’s the name of the movie (if I am wrong about that name, please do correct me).   In this legend, which is also an Eastern Indian tribe, a young woman marries the Thunderer and goes to live with him in the above world.  But she is returned to her own world when she becomes pregnant with his child.

stortell[1]What is very, very interesting to me is how many and how vast are the stories and legends that abounded in Native America.  Though we often hear or even study the ancient lore of the Greeks, seldom do we read much our own myths — the mythology that belongs intimately with this land we call America — which by the way, to the Native Americans on the East Coast, America is known as Turtle Island.   Fascinatingly, there is a story for almost every creature on this continent, from the crow to the sparrow to the coyote (the trickster), the wolf and bear.  There are legends about the stars, the Big Dipper hosts legends about the Great Bear (Iroquois) and the Seven Brothers and their sister (Cheyenne and Blackfeet).  There are still other tales about the Morning Star and the Evening Star and marriages between the Gods and mortals.

Do you, like me, love these kinds of stories?

In closing, I thought I’d post a short excerpt from the book.

THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR, by Karen Kay

AngelAndTheWarrior-The-CoverEXCERPT

He stared at her, and in his eyes, Angelia thought she saw a spark of…laughter?

“After all, what trouble could there be, since a man and his wife are often seen alone together?”

Angelia wasn’t certain she had heard Swift Hawk correctly. “What was that again?”

He shrugged. “What?”

“What you just said.”

He gave her a perfectly innocent look and repeated, “Your brother is over by that ridge, trying to discover who trails him.”

“No, not that—that other thing.”

“You mean about my wife and I being alone?”

“That’s it. That’s the one. Your wife? You have a wife?” she asked, feeling more than a little confused.

He said, “Certainly I have a wife.”

She sent him a sideways scowl. “I don’t believe you. Where is this person?”

He grinned. “Right here beside me.”

“Wait a minute. How can I be your wife?”

“Very easily, I think.”

Angelia sat for a moment, dazed. How could this be? On one hand, she was cheered that Swift Hawk was, indeed, very much interested in her. On the other hand, she realized she should have been worrying less and practicing more of exactly what she should say to this man.

Was this what he’d meant when he’d said they belonged to one another? Marriage?

Aloud, she said, “Swift Hawk, have I missed something? I don’t remember a marriage ceremony between us.”

Swift Hawk frowned. “You do not remember? And yet recalling those moments we spent together is forever here.” He pointed to his head, and then to his heart.

“Moments? What are you talking about?”

“You do not remember.” He tsk-tsked.

Angelia grimaced, placing a hand on her forehead, as if to ease the spinning sensation. “There must be something here I don’t understand, because I don’t recall a thing.”

“Ah, then I should refresh your memory. But…surely you do not wish me to do this…” he made a mock glance around him, “…where others might overhear us, or see us.”

“Swift Hawk, please. Be serious.”

“I am.”

She shook her head. “Have you gone crazy?”

“Perhaps, for my wife treats me as though I am nothing more to her than a…” he drew his brows together, looking for all the world as if he were in deep thought, “…friend.”

“You are a friend.”

Haa’he, that I am…plus more. Now, I have something else to tell you, and for a moment, I would ask that we forget all this, switch our duties and I will be a teacher and you will be my pupil.”

“Why?” she asked, still feeling bewildered and having difficulty following his line of thought.

“Because I have a problem in mathematics for you.”

“Swift Hawk, please, we are not doing our lessons now. We are having a discussion about…about…”

Swift Hawk shrugged. “All right. If you do not wish to hear this problem, I will not bore you with it.”

Angelia blew out her breath. “Very well. Tell me.”

“No, I do not wish to disturb you with it…at least not now.”

She sighed heavily. “I’m sorry, all right? I… It’s only that you’ve said some things that have…surprised me, things I don’t understand, and frankly, you’re speaking about a subject that must be discussed by us in greater detail. But by all means, let me hear this problem that you have with mathematics first.”

He ignored the sarcasm in her voice and gave her a look that could have been innocent, but it wasn’t. Before she could decide what he was up to, he said, “Tell me, what is the result when you add a man, a woman, and a morning spent together in each other’s arms?”

“Shh. Swift Hawk. What are you doing? Say that quietly.”

“Very well.” Lowering his voice, he whispered, “What do you get when you add—”

“I heard you the first time. Swift Hawk, really, it…it…wasn’t like that… It was…” She stopped, for she seemed incapable of uttering another word.

Now was the time. Now she should tell him.

Angelia opened her mouth to speak, took a deep breath, then held it. How in the name of good heaven could she begin?

She shut her mouth, thinking, summoning her nerve to say what must be said.

Swift Hawk leaned in toward her. “Ah, I can see that you understand. Now you must observe that all of these things, added together, equals a marriage, does it not?”

“No, it—” Angelia shook her head, exhaling sharply. “It does not equal marriage. There was no ceremony.” She said every word distinctively. “But let’s not quibble. Not now. Not here, where we might be overhead. Besides, we forget that Julian might be in trouble. Now, if you would be so kind as to lead me to my brother, I would be much beholden.”

“How beholden?”

Angelia rolled her eyes. “Please, will you take me to him?”

“Yes, my wife,” said Swift Hawk seriously, though she could have sworn that a corner of his mouth lifted upward in a smile. “Truly, my wife, I will do anything you say.”

“Please, if you must say that, say it softly.”

“Very well.” Leaning up onto his elbows, Swift Hawk spoke quietly, for her ears alone, “Yes, my wife. I am yours to command, my wife.”

Angelia raised an eyebrow. “You are mine to command?”

“It is so.”

“Good. Then I command you not to speak to me of this again.”

Smiling, Swift Hawk inclined his head. “Very well. I will show you instead how eager I am to please you.” He held out a hand toward her.

Angelia rolled away. “Swift Hawk!” she uttered sharply, under her breath. “Stop this at once. Just…just take me to my brother.”

“Yes, my wife. Anything you say, my wife…”

THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR by Karen Kay

 

Updated: May 22, 2017 — 9:33 pm

American Indian Music — Melody of the Soul

Good Morning!

Music.  I’ve had a love affair with music most of my life.  When I was four, I taught myself to play piano on my 3 octave toy piano (the black notes all played).  My mother demanded to know who had taught me and could hardly believe that I had taught myself with the little music book that had been sent with the toy.

For me, I would hate to think of what life would be like without music.  Music — it lifts our spirits, it lightens our load, it becomes our friend in rough or terrible times and a celebration when times are great.  Those with evil intentions use music to promote their propaganda — knowing that music can capture the spirit of a people and cause people to think certain ways about things that they might not otherwise believe.

And so today, I thought we might talk a little about music with a little twist — music Native American style.  Specifically the Native American Song.  I’ll be giving away a free paperback copy of SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE — the novel I’ve always said was my “musical.”  Yes, some lucky blogger will be the winner of this novel today so please come in and leave a comment.

  For those of you who haven’t heard many Indian songs, you might wonder what’s so different about a song in Native America.  In truth, though many Native American songs are like any other song, there are different considerations that attach themselves to Indian songs.  And it’s those considerations that I find fascinating.

Here’s a good place to start, where you can listen to some pow-wow music — the drum (this is a group — called the drum — it’s usually several men who sit around a drum and drum and sing — it is called simply a drum). Here’s the link:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12RPjPSklxA

Above is a picture of a drum.  Some people might say “drum group,” but the usual language is simply “drum.”  Off to the right here are a couple of  pictures of a couple of young men dancing.

These pictures were gotten,by the way, from the 26th Annual Gathering of Nations in Albuquerque, NM.  The photographer is Derek Mathews.

Here’s some incredible pictures of some of the singers in different drums.

Many of these songs are passed down from generation to generation.  Some, however, are new.  Here’s some more pictures of these incredible singers.09_drumrollcall13109_drumrollcall31109_drumrollcall21  All of these pictures,by the way were taken by Le Andra Peters and are from the website http://www.gatheringofnations.com

Here’s some more pow-wow music: http://www.powwows.com/main/pow-wow-radio/

Now, just a little bit of info about Indian songs.  This is from the book, The Indian How Book by Author C. Parker, who lived amongst the Indians.  Every song has a purpose and no one sings outright for fear of awakening spirits that are attracted to the song you’re singing.  The scales don’t necessarily follow what we know of as the chromatic scale, which follow our string instruments, more or less.  But songs were owned and no one may sing another’s song without permission.

Many of the songs make you want to get up and dance — and dance and dance.  Once again, referring to Arthur C. Parker and his book, The Indian How Book, he says, “It may be that these old Indians were pagans, whatever that word may mean, but certainly they knew how to make men feel that there was a Great Spirit in whom we lived and moved and had our being.  Oddly enough, I have known white men and women, who felt the same way about the songs of the red people, and they have returned again and again to the councils of the Indians to drink in this feeling of mystery, this sense of unseen powers.”

Whatever the reason, I know that I love to dance at pow-wows.   Something about the music gets into your soul and before you know it, you’re out there with the other dancers, 21dancing your cares away.

Hope you’ve enjoyed my blog and I’d love to hear your take on many of these things.   Did you listen to any of the pow-wow music?  And if you did, tell me your thoughts.

SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE is a book about song and about the power of song.  Also THE LAST WARRIOR is about a particular song that’s so compelling, it frees the spirit.   If you’ve enjoyed this blog, consider having a look at Amazon, where, if you are a part of KindleUnlimited, you can read LAKOTA SURRENDER, PROUD WOLF’S WOMAN, LAKOTA PRINCESS, BLACK EAGLE and SENECA SURRENDER free.  So, c’mon, join the fun and have a look at them today.

Updated: May 9, 2017 — 1:46 pm

CROP CIRCLES & LEGENDS OF THE AMERICAN INDIAN (Plus free give-away)

Howdy!

Strange title, eh?  Or maybe not.   THE ANGEL AND THE WARRIOR from the Lost Clan Series is based on a myth that is common throughout the American Indian myths — tribe to tribe.  The story of the Thunderer.

But there’s another legend that caught my interest early on — and it is the one I thought I’d discuss with you today.  At the time I came upon this myth, I knew nothing about crop circles — had never heard of them — but this legend, and my knowledge of crop circles has left some questions in my mind — and I thought I’d tell you about them.

SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE, from the Legendary Warriors Series, is based in no small degree upon the myth of a hunter and the daughters of the Star People.  The book, SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE actually starts with the hero and heroine and the legend as it is told in Native American lore.  Interestingly, I found this myth not in just one tribe — but several — and the thing is, it was told almost (but not quite) identically, tribe to tribe.  The legend I’m about to tell you is from the Shawnee.stortell[1]

I believe that the name of the hero (it’s from a children’s book that I’m quoting) is Red Hawk, and the name of the book is RED HAWK AND THE SKY SISTERS by Gloria Dominic and Charles Reasoner.  Again, this legend is repeated in several different tribes — although the hero’s name is often different.

Red Hawk is a great hunter.  But he is puzzled because he sees the same thing in the prairie each time he goes to hunt.  It is a circle — a perfect circle — but there are no paths leading up to it — or going away from it.  There is evidence that something was there and made the circle — but how?  Red Hawk decides to spend the night, hiding himself from view.

51GoIbPuXOL._SL110_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-sm,TopRight,10,-13_OU01_[1]And so he does.  He discovers by hiding himself, that a basket gently falls to the earth and that there is singing from feminine voices.  As the basket comes to land softly on the earth, the sisters alight from the basket and dance around it in a circle.  Red Hawk watches this for many nights until one night he falls in love with one of the sisters — the youngest I believe.  And so, once again hiding himself, he waits until the sisters are about to get into the basket and go back into the sky — but suddenly he jumps out from his hiding place and captures the woman of his heart.

They marry and are happy, but she misses her home in the sky (she is a star).  They have a  child and she wishes to take the child and return to visit her home in the sky.  Our hero lets her go, but keeps the child with him, hoping that the child will be enough to cause her to return.  When she doesn’t return, our hero again captures her, and she falls in love with him all over and they live happily ever after.

th[1]I did find that the ending varies a bit from tribe to tribe, and I’m uncertain of how this book ends the story — I have this book, but of course, needing to find it for this post, the book eludes me.  : )

So what does this have to do with crop circles and aliens.  Well, I found it very interesting that crop circles seem similar and are also tied to aliens — here’s a link, if you’ve never heard of crop circles:  https://www.lhup.edu/~dsimanek/cutting/cropcirc.htm

Here is a picture of an actual crop circle — where the crops have been bent back without any footprints to or from the circle.   They are usually made at night — and made within one night.

Although attributed to more modern times, it’s interesting to me that our legend goes back centuries — to come to us today — to perhaps make the crop circle even more mysterious.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the post today.  And I hope I’ve created some interest in the American Indian legend.   Oh, and by the way, what do you think of the legend and the crop circles in general?

I’ll be giving away an e-book copy of SOARING EAGLE’S EMBRACE today to some lucky blogger — please see the Giveaway Guidelines over to the right here for our rules that govern giveaways.  Oh, also I wanted you all to know that LAKOTA SURRENDER, PROUD WOLF’S WOMAN, BLACK EAGLE and SENECA SURRENDER are now on KindleUnlimited.  If you are a part of that, you can now read those books for free.  Nice, huh?…

 

Updated: April 24, 2017 — 10:56 am

Robert Yellowtail, A Crow Indian and an American Hero

Good Morning, Afternoon or Evening (depending on when you’re joining us today)!   I will be giving away the book, LONE ARROW’S PRIDE, to some lucky blogger.  So come on in and leave a comment.  Also, remember that if I pick your name, you must contain me personally (email) to claim your prize.

Today I thought we’d journey into the past, but the more recent past.  Usually I blog about the early or mid 1800’s, but today I hope you’ll come along with me as I tell you the story of an incredible man, Robert Yellowtail, a Crow Indian hero.

The picture to the left is not of Robert, but of a handsome youth taken about this same time in history.  He is definitely Crow — easily identified by the style of his hair and accessories.  Robert may have looked similar in his youth.  Robert Yellowtail was born on August 4, 1889, but was boarded at a government school, away from any his parents and any influence from his tribe at an early age.  He was only four years old.  The 1890’s were an extremely difficult time for the American Indian in general.  Not only was it forbidden by “do-gooders” and government agents for the American Indian to practice their traditional way of life, but Indian land was being looked upon as desirable by powerful corporations who had influence over the government and Indian agents.  Land was needed.  Land was important.  And here were the Indians with “lots” of land, or so it was said.

It was also a tough life at government schools.  No youngster was allowed to speak his own language, or to practice any skill that might be similar to that of the old ways.  The idea was to “kill” the Indian and “give birth” to a “red-white-man.”  Yellowtail was both intelligent and stubborn and gave his teachers much trouble (so would I have done, I like to think).  So much was this the case that Robert was sent to the Sherman Institute in Riverside, California.  California was more tolerant in those days, and here he did very well and graduated in 1907.  He studied law at the Extension Law School in Los Angeles, where he would go on to earn a law degree via correspondence courses.  His main interest was to use the law to help his people.  He also learned to play the clarinet. ?

In 1910, senator Thomas Walsh introduced a bill to open up the Crow reservation to homesteaders. Crow Chief Plenty Coups (one of the most famous chiefs of the Crow) knew he needed someone with knowledge of the law, someone with knowledge of the white man’s ways, and someone stubborn and intelligent enough to fight for the Crow.  He called upon Yellowtail, and Yellowtail rose to the occasion.

It was a seven year struggle, a battle that was fought in courts and in Congress, with Walsh attacking the Crow and Yellowtail in particular ferociously.  However, finally, the Crow won this battle much because Yellowtail was an experienced orator and he went on to speak for hours at the Senate — much like a filibuster.  He simply refused to give up.  At last he won, and the reservation lands were kept under the control of the Crow.  Yellowtail was only twenty-eight years old.

In the following years, Yellowtail’s accomplishments grew even more incredible:

  • In 1919, Yellowtail was needed again in Washington D.C. to help write and fight for (if need be) the 1920 “Crow Act.”  Here he shined.  Using his experience in law for the good of his people, he went on to ensure that Crow Lands would never be able to be taken away from the Crow again.

It’s also important to note that because of Yellowtail’s work, the American Indians were at last “given”  the right to vote in 1924.

In 1934, Yellowtail went on to become the Superintendent of the Crow Indian Reservation.  This might not sound like the accomplishment that it was because he was the first Indian superintendent of his own tribe.  Working under the duty to improve his people’s lot in life, the culture of the Crow flourished under his leadership.

Yellowtail was also a prosperous rancher.  And sometime in the mid-30’s he managed to get the ranchers (whites in the area) to return 40,000 acres of land.  Under his leadership buffalo were brought back to the reservation, as well as some breeds of horses and cattle.

This photo to the left, by the way, is one of my most favorite photos of the Crow.  It has served me well as images of handsome Indian warriors.

The only controversy that shadowed Robert Yellowtail’s life was what happened at Bighorn River.  Commissioners and unelected officials wanted to damn up the Bighorn River.  Yellowtail was completely against it.  In fact fighting that damn consumed him.  The Bighorn Canyon (which the damn would cause to be flooded) was considered sacred. The tribal council sided with Yellowtail, but as we know, those with unscrupulous morals often take underhanded roles to accomplish what they want.

Unity of the Crow began to crumble under the onslaught of rumor campaigns.  Yellowtail, himself, was said to be willing to sell out the tribe.  It was all a lie, but even to this day, this haunts his image.  In the end, Yellowtail was forced to negotiate or lose everything.  He rose to the challenge and demanded the government pay the Crow tribe $1 million a year for 50 years.  And when those 50 years were finished, the Crow would get their land back.

More rumor campaigns ensued.  In the end, Yellowtail lost and the government got everything and paid an equivalent of only $600 per tribal member.  Yellowtail was downtrodden, and the funny thing about it is that the damn is named after him.

But there was another battle ahead, which came much later, in the 1970’s. This time it was over mineral rights (coal) and this time, despite rumor campaigns and attempts to blacken his name, he won.

Yellowtail lived to a ripe old age of 98, but he lives on in the legacy that he left.  Because of him, the reservation retained most of their land, they were able to govern themselves and they hadn’t sold away their mineral rights (and by the way, the offer was a pittance).  It was a different sort of war that he fought, he was a different sort of warrior, but he will never be forgotten so long as the Crow people live.

LoneArrowsPride72sm[1]

Off to the left here, is the cover of a book that I wrote about the Crow, LONE ARROW’S PRIDE.  I’ll be giving away a copy of that e-book today.  And off to the right here is a picture of the cover for SENECA SURRENDER, on sale now.

Now, here’s my question for you today:  In an age where criminality becomes more and more the “norm” for a society, do you think a hero, similar to Robert Yellowtail, with honest concern for his people, has a chance to exist?

All I can say is I certainly hope so.  Come on in, leave a comment

Updated: April 10, 2017 — 10:26 pm

Iroquois Prayer for Peace

Good Morning!

For all of you who follow my blogs, you’ll know that I’ve been talking about the incredible Iroquois Confederacy. With the release of BLACK EAGLE and SENECA SURRENDER (both of them deal with the Iroquois Indians), I thought I’d post a little bit about what the Iroquois thought of peace — the way they set about achieving it, and how beautiful was the society they had gained because of it.  I’ll also be giving away a free copy of the e-book, BLACK EAGLE to some lucky blogger.

...............................................................The eagle here is the symbol of the Iroquois Confederation, and is supposed to be on watch for any who would try to bring the Confederacy down.

Long ago, and it appears that it was as long ago as August 31st, 1142 AD, the Iroquois Confederacy came into being. It is dated by an eclipse. Some historians date it later — around 1451 and others dated later — depending on the eclipse. But for me, I believe that it was founded August 31st, 1142 AD. The reason I say this is because when the white man first met representatives of the Iroquois Confederation, notation was made (and this was in 1600’s) that the Confederation was centuries old.  And most of the Iroquois sites that I’ve visited date its foundation at 1142 AD.

300px-hiawatha_departure1 This picture to the right is an artist’s rendition of Hiawatha, one of the founders of the Iroquois Confederation. So…back in 1142 AD, there was trouble in the land they called Turtle Island (America).   Killing was the standard of the day, not the exception and worse, the fighting was often between brother vs brother, clan vs clan, tribe vs tribe. Wars were usually fought to avenge a dead relative — the dead themselves were known to urge their loved ones on to avenge them. But imagine –someone is killed through evil doing or through a mistake. A clan member then kills a member of the offending clan — this is then repeated by the “offending clan,” which is then repeated over and over and over.  It’s a never ending scheme.

Well, two men, the Peacemaker and Hiawatha (the real one, not the one of Longfellow’s poem) thought to end this “game” that had become such a problem.  These two — With the Peacemaker’s urging — came together to ease the suffering not only of he or she who had lost a loved one, but to ease the suffering felt by the dead, as well — and they sought to end war forever by doing this.

rhk01480The Peacemaker and Hiawatha introduced a beautiful ceremony called the Condolence ceremony.  Using strings of wampum, they could wipe away the grief of the deceased and his relatives and bring about a good frame of mind for everyone.  They would say the Three Bare Words that would relieve one of his grief and would open up his eyes and his heart to the beauty of the sky. Thus, by wiping away the insanity of grief (this is what the Peacemaker and Hiawatha called grief — an insanity — for it makes a person do deeds that he normally wouldn’t do) — and by healing this grief, one would wipe away war from the face of their land, Turtle Island, (America).

beltmast11Here is an example of wampum (white and purple beads) that I got from the website http://www.wampumchronicles.com .

So here’s the question of the day: How many governments can you name that were started not by war or revolution, but by making peace in order to end war forever?  I can name no other.  Can you?

So let’s have a look at how successful they were. The Peacemaker and Hiawatha set up a government that was made By the People, Of the People, and For the People, long before (1142 AD)  our own American government was set into place.   There are certain laws within the Iroquois Confederation that were set down by the Peacemaker at this time.  Laws for the men.  Laws for the women. And from all observations, it appears that this Confederation lived in relative peace for over 500 years before it began to crumble.  Five hundred. Wow!  Compare our Republic — only a little over two hundred years old…and with many, many wars.  For my part, I think the Iroquois Confederation set  a very good record.

img_4311This picture by the way is of Grandfather George Randall, who lives with us. He is a Native American actor and elder. Okay, so not until the incoming Europeans came to America did the Iroquois Confederation begin to crumble. The cause? There were many. Propaganda from the incoming culture, pitting brother against brother as each took sides in the European wars.  Not only the English, but the French and the Dutch went from town to town, village to village, to recruit Indians to fight for them in their causes. Also, incoming priests began to divide brother against brother, and the French and Indian war — particularly the battle at St. George — pitted Mohawk against Mohawk — a condition that the Peacemaker and Hiawatha had warned against.

trips-079There were also problems with trade. The Iroquois became dependent on the trinkets and things from England and Holland and France. While this might have gained them a little ease (maybe), it had the effect of pitting tribe against tribe as each contended with the other for the friendship and trade of the English and French.  But before the European came to the Americas, the Indians, themselves, had made peace amongst themselves as well as with many of their neighboring tribes.  This peace and well-being brought about a strong and firm inclination toward independence and liberty.  And so it was that a free people (the Iroquois) met the English and French.  But these newcomers had a long history of oppression and taxation.  Was it any wonder, then, that the two had a difficult time understanding the other?

It wasn’t long, however, before the Iroquois left their mark on the newcomers   And soon the Americas became filled with the voices of freedom and liberty.  It was even commented upon abroad.

180px-declaration_independence1America has a long tradition of freedom, independence and liberty. It was here, established by postulate, by the inhabitants of this beautiful land long, long ago; it was put here by two men who wished to wipe away grief from the world at large and thus bring about an end to war. It’s a beautiful start; it’s a beautiful thought. May that postulate (decision/wish) go on and on and on and may no tyranny ever come to roost here on what the Iroquois called then, and still call today, Turtle Island.

 

I hope you have enjoyed this little bit of history. I find it utterly beautiful and very inspiring. Please come on in and tell me your thoughts.  I’ll be giving away the e-book, BLACK EAGLE to some lucky blogger.  So come on in.

I look forward to your comments.

Updated: March 21, 2017 — 1:14 pm

Welcome Guest Author Tracie Peterson!

Hello all of you wonderful readers,

This month I’m debuting a new series titled Heart of the Frontier. Book one is titled Treasured Grace and is the story of three sisters in 1847. The focal setting of the story is the Whitman Mission in the area of present day Walla Walla, Washington.Whitman Mission, Walla Walla, Washington

Whitman Mission aerial of grounds layout

This is a model of the mission layout with the main mission house to the right, the blacksmith shop in the center and the Emigrant’s House on the left. The mill pond (upper left) was where they also had a grist mill.

Treasured Grace by Tracie PetersonThis location was the site of the Whitman Mission Massacre that took place November 29, 1847. It was this massacre that truly changed the course of westward expansion and brought on the setting up of military forts along the Oregon Trail.

Marcus and Narcissa Whitman (she was one of the first two white women who crossed the Rocky Mountains) had tried for over ten years to win the hearts and minds of the Cayuse Indians in their area. However, a measles epidemic struck and killed a great many Cayuse, as well as whites. The Cayuse were convinced that Whitman (who was a doctor as well as a preacher) was trying to kill them and so on November 29th, they attacked and killed the doctor and Narcissa, along with most of the other men who were living at the mission. The remaining fifty-four women and children were taken hostage and held for nearly a month by the Cayuse.

The mission site is part of the National Parks system and open to visitors.

On my many visits there to glean information for my series, I found the park rangers to be some of the best I’ve encountered while doing research.  It was fascinating to learn about the Cayuse people. They were a nomadic people who were known for their horses and horsemanship. They were also considered to have some of the fiercest warriors.

They lived in tulle mat lodges and traveled with the seasons to harvest various roots and vegetation, as well as take advantage of the salmon fishing.

In the 1840’s this area of America was called Oregon Country. It was mostly inhabited by Native Americans and the British. The latter ran a string of Hudson’s Bay Company forts and traded with both the Native Americas and whites who came west. I mention this because another fascinating aspect of this massacre and the aftermath was the part the Hudson’s Bay Company played.

When it was learned that 54 white women and children were being held captive, Peter Skene Ogden (one of the factors at Fort Vancouver – now present day Vancouver, Washington) went to work to secure their release.  He and Chief Factor James Douglas put together a ransom hoping they could convinced the Cayuse to let the women and children go without harm. The ransom included 62 blankets, 63 cotton shirts, 12 Hudson Bay rifles, 600 loads of ammunition, 7 pounds of tobacco and 12 flints.  Eventually the Cayuse did agree to this and the women and children were set free. I thought it quite interesting, if not touching that The Hudson’s Bay Company never billed the American settlers for the ransom. I thought it equally interesting that reimbursement by the American government was never offered.

If you’d like to read a brief summary of the actual attack, this website should help.

I had a lot of fun researching this series and hope you enjoy it.  Book 2 Beloved Hope will come out in June and Book 3 Cherished Mercy is due out in September.Tracie Peterson

 

Tracie will send one of today’s commenters a lovely gift basket containing Treasured Grace and five more of her latest book, plus some other goodies. Take our word for it: You’ll love the prize!

 

Find Tracie online at her website, TraciePeterson.com.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Society of the Wolf & The Water Dance

Howdy!

And welcome to another wonderful Tuesday.

Lately I’ve been furiously engaged in writing my next book, which has the working title of BRAVE WOLF’S LADY.  The hero is a member of the Society of the Wolf.  Society of the Wolf?  What’s that?

Well, in America’s past, the American Indian tribes had many different societies that a man might belong to.  The Society of the Wolf was a very secretive society.  In fact, outside of its own members, no one else in the tribe knew who belonged to this society.  Why?  Because this was the society of those special individuals who were the eyes, the ears and the life blood of the tribe — the scout.

apachescout4And so, because my hero is a scout, my nose has been poked into books about the scout.  Now, one of the fascinating abilities of the scout of old was the particular way he moved in water.  So graceful was it, it has often been called the Scout’s Water Dance.

Let me tell you a bit about it.  We all know that if one drops a rock into the water — or any object — it makes concentric circles in the water.  Any movement, it would seem, would cause water to move and to announce the presence of man or animal in the water.  So, how did the scout of yesteryear manage to move in the water without being seen, without making those telltale concentric circles, and so be able to  stalk his prey, or obtain information on the enemy?

I’m going to rely heavily upon the book by Tom Brown, Jr., THE WAY OF THE SCOUT to tell you a little bit more about this.  As I said in my last post, Mr. Brown was taken under the wing of an old Apache Indian, whom Mr. Brown and his friend, Rick, called Grandfather.  Grandfather had been trained as a young man into the ageless ways of the Society of the Wolf — the scout — and Grandfather wished to pass along some his knowledge so that these things didn’t pass out of existence.

cheyennescoutI’m going to quote from the book now.  Grandfather is speaking:

“You must first understand that it (water) is the blood of our earth Mother, the same blood that courses through your veins.  Once entering the water you must blend your mind with that of the water, thus becoming part of the water and ultimately becoming invisible while wrapped in its mind…  …You must learn to move with the water, for to disobey its laws and move against its power is to perish.”  THE WAY OF THE SCOUT by Tom Brown, Jr.

And so started the lesson, which is at first a little humorous to read.  As Mr. Brown and his friend, Rick, were learning to become part of the water, they were having a tough time of it — trying to keep clear of brushes and fallen logs in the water.  However, he goes on with the lesson and says in his book, “After nearly two full hours of being impaled, battered, and tangled in sharp brush, Rick and I gave in to the stream’s energy and began to move freely, silently, and quickly.”  He goes on to say, “The stream and Grandfather had somehow taught us a great lesson without uttering a word…”  THE WAY OF THE SCOUT by Tom Brown, Jr.

siouxscoutHowever, they had been going downstream and had reached their destination.  Now they had to somehow go upstream.  Says Mr. Brown that he and his friend Rick were struggling even more now and really fighting the currents of the water.  He says that both he and Rick were being beat up by the struggle to fight upstream.  Imagine then, these two boys, who upon emerging from the water being battered and tired, with no energy left, then found Grandfather waiting for them — for he had gotten far ahead of them in the water.  Says Mr. Brown, “He had that smile on his face, unruffled and relaxed, depicting an air of not having struggled at all.  Rick and I, on the other hand, were cold, exhausted, bruised, and cut…”

Grandfather then told the boys that they had chosen to fight the water, instead of moving with it.  But how can one move with the water upstream?  Grandfather answered their questions by signaling them to follow him back into the water.  And here’s what Mr. Brown writes:

“We began to follow Grandfather closely.  His motions were like those of a well-choreographed water dance, a flowing ballet, where he moved effortlessly.  He weaved back and forth, riding whirlpools, slipping through backwaters on the inside parts of bends in the stream, and dancing across submerged logs without a struggle.  He used the power of the waters to move him.”  THE WAY OF THE SCOUT by Tom Brown, Jr.

Isn’t that a beautiful description?0[5]  There is more, of course, as Mr. Brown and his friend, Rick, learn how to move in the water by watching herons and egrets who were in the shallows.  They learn how to raise up out of the water without leaving any of the telltale concentric circles, and they learn to stalk the more aware animals — a fox for example — from the water.  Mr. Brown says that he and his friend, Rick, went on to stalk all kinds of animals from the water, and he says, “We laughed at the antics of our local wildlife population around the waters of camp.  They had become a bit neurotic when approaching the water, but nonetheless seemed happy to join in the game.”

This is an incredible book and an even more incredible journey that Mr. Brown takes you on in this book.  It’s an older book, copyrighted in 1995.  But in the book, Mr. Brown makes mention of a school, a Wilderness Survival School.  If you’re interested, you might pick up the book and see if the school still exists.

I hope you’ve enjoyed the blog today and I hope you’ll leave a message.  Remember that SENECA SURRENDER is on sale at Amazon and Books-A-Million.  Pick up your copy today!

Links:  Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Seneca-Surrender-Warriors-Karen-Kay/dp/1539695786/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1488852364&sr=1-1&keywords=seneca+surrender+by+karen+kay&tag=pettpist-20

Books-A-Million:  http://www.booksamillion.com/search?id=6888525182718&query=Seneca%20Surrender:%20%20Warriors%20of%20the%20Iroquois&where=rare_search&search=Search&work_id=35762341&qty_avail=2

Updated: March 6, 2017 — 9:13 pm

We Have Many Winners for Karen Kay’s Free Give-Away E-books

Howdy!

Well, since I believe that these e-books will be disappearing off the internet come March 1st — I’m giving all of you who came to the blog and left a comment a free e-book of your choice (except for the two e-books that are still carried by AVON/HaperCollins, WOLF SHADOW’S PROMISE and THE PRINCESS AND THE WOLF.

And if there is anyone else who didn’t get a chance to blog, just drop me an email and I’ll give you a free e-book also.  I figure if the Publishing House is closing, it should go out with some free-bees.  So all of you who came to the blog today or who are viewing this message, go to my website at:  http://www.novels-by-KarenKay.com and let me know which e-book you’d like, as well as the email address to send it to.  You can email me here:  karenkay(dot)author(at)earthlink(dot)net.

CONGRATULATIONS to you all.

Updated: February 22, 2017 — 11:50 am

The Scout and The American Indian

Howdy!

Welcome to another Tuesday blog here at Petticoats and Pistols.  Sadly, one of my publishers, SAMHAIN PUBLISHING, is closing its doors, and although I’m not exactly certain what that mean in terms of e-books and such, I thought that I would like to give away a few e-books today…just in case those e-books are turned off when I post again (March).  So come on in and leave a message.  Over here to the right are the Giveaway Guidelines that rule our free give-aways.  So take a look, and then come on into the blog and let’s talk.

The Scout.  I’m fascinated by the philosophy and the skills of the old scout of the American Indian tribes.  Over to the left here is a picture of “Curly,” who was probably one of the most famous “scouts.”  He was a handsome man, and many of the pictures depicting scouts show the image of Curly.  But was he really a scout?

Well, he worked for the military.  He was Crow, a traditional enemy of the Sioux, and he used his skills to help Custer track down the Sioux and kill them.

Hmm…  Yes, he could track.  Yes, he knew many things about tracking and about the environment that the white man didn’t know.  But did he adhere to the philosophy of the true scout?

No, he did not.

The Picture to the right here says that this is a Sioux scout, another handsome man.  However, though I’m sure he did some scouting for the military, the fact that he hired himself out to scout and had his picture taken as a scout, would pretty much show that he was not a true scout.  Why?

Reason number one:  Okay — this I find so very, very interesting.  The society of the scout — the true scout — was extremely secretive.  In fact, no one in the tribe, outside of the actual society, knew who were their scouts.  These men led dual lives, because to announce themselves as a “scout” would be as to deliver themselves up to a possible enemy.  It would defeat the very philosophy of the scout.

Reason number two:  A scout was a peacemaker.  Although the scout trained physically every day of his life, learning to endure and flourish in all kinds of weather and all kinds of conditions, he used those skills to improve body control, not to hurt others.  Rather he used these skills to control his body so well, that he could translate that control over into his thoughts.  This, then could open up the world of the spiritual nature of life to him.  A scout learned to fight and he could win most every battle — utilizing the wolverine style of fighting.  But he was taught never to start a fight and to also walk away from a fight, even if it meant his own humiliation.  Only if pressed, only if it were a matter of life or death for himself, a loved one or a member of a tribe, would a scout fight to kill.  Indeed, a true scout would be shamed to carry a grudge against a whole people, and he would never submit himself to aid any cause that would murder an entire tribe.

Reason number three:  In the book, THE WAY OF THE SCOUT, by Tom Brown, Jr., he points out that “Grandfather,” the man who taught Tom and his friend the scouting techniques of the Apache, was very adamant about the fact that these “scouts” who the US Army hired to track down other tribes were not the true scout.  The duties of the scout were to be “the eyes and ears of the clan.” Quote from Tom Brown, Jr., THE WAY OF THE SCOUT.  Their duty was to guide and protect the tribe from all enemies;  to find game and to lead the way to the game.  Always uppermost in their mind was to keep the tribe safe.  Upon their trusted word, depended the lives of every member in that tribe.

Boys were trained for as long as ten years to become a scout.  During that time, they learned the classical methods of tracking, of erecting shelters, of water safety.  But once learned, they were then taught the same skills again, this time with the aspect of secrecy that was the very life breath of the scout.  They learned how to erect shelters that would fade into the environment; they were taught how to read the emotions, mind set and even to tell different injuries to the body of the man or animal they were tracking.  They learned how to endure pain, hunger, cold, heat and yet flourish, but most of all, they learned to respect the right of all life to live, to enjoy life and most of all, how to love all life.

At present I’m engaged in writing my next book, whose working title is BRAVE WOLF’S LADY.  The hero is a scout, a true hero.

Because other men hired themselves out to the army to hunt down other tribes, I think that a great wrong has occurred.  Perhaps it was simply a mistake.  But those men who aided the army were incorrectly called, “scouts.”  They weren’t.  Perhaps many of those men didn’t speak English and so they didn’t set the record straight.  But for whatever reason, I believe that a stigma of viciousness has attached itself in a greater or lesser degree to the name of the scout.  And it is undeserved.  By the way, the picture to the left is Quanah Parker, Commache.

It is one of the privileges of writing, I think, that one is able to put some of these false impressions to rest by telling the real story.  And i also believe that this might well be one of the reasons why I write.

What do you think?  Do you believe that there are some historical lies that perhaps need to be set straight?

Come on in, leave a comment, and by doing so, you will automatically be entered into the drawing.

SENECA SURRENDER is currently on sale at:  https://www.amazon.com/Seneca-Surrender-Warriors-Karen-Kay-ebook/dp/B01M3QAE67/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1487645087&sr=8-1&keywords=Karen+Kay+SENECA+SURRENDER&tag=pettpist-20

 

 

 

 

 

Updated: February 20, 2017 — 9:48 pm

The Iroquois and the Sugar Maple Festival

Howdy!

And welcome to another Tuesday and the Petticoats and Pistols blog.

February, chocolate and romance —  seem to just go together, don’t they?  And how better to enjoy the sweets than with a give-away of the Tradepaper copy of SENECA SURRENDER.  Just click on the Giveaway Guidelines button on the right here and leave a comment.  That’s all you have to do to be entered into the drawing.

By the way, there is an interview up regarding SENECA SURRENDER at https://gottawritenetwork.wordpress.com/2017/02/07/blog-tour-spot-an-interview-with-romance-author-karen-kay/ — if you get a chance, go on over and take a peek.

Okay, onward…  I thought for a long time about what I might post this close to Valentine’s Day and decided I might talk about something sugary…something yummy…that’s also directly traceable to the American Indian.  What could be better than to tell you a little about the Iroquois Maple Sugar Festival.  The Iroquois had 8 different festivals throughout the year.  It was in spring, when the nights were cold and the days were warm that the sap from the maple trees began to flow.   This particular celebration was only a one day festival, but it was perhaps one of the sweetest (gee, I wonder why).  Marking this festival there were dances, singing and the making of sweet soups and other sweets as well as a tribute given to the maple tree.

It was much prized by the children…hmmm…  I’m reminded how much my grandchildren love sugary treats (their grandmother, too).

Maple syrup, maple sugar, by the way is a completely American Indian product.  Interestingly, as I have become more and more educated on nutrition, I have learned that maple sugar, although definitely a sugar, reacts differently in the body than regular sugar — or any other kind of sweetener.  It has even been found of late to aid in the recovery of Diabetics (I’m no doctor so please don’t take this as medical advice — I’m just passing along information that I’ve read recently from the farm where I buy my maple sugar, and also this particular YouTube video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oH2v7MgWbkk

Unlike the Harvest Festival (our Thanksgiving Festival in the Autumn), it’s the Maple Festival  that pays tribute to the maple tree and it’s sap.  But this festival wasn’t given the same sort of publicity like the Harvest Festival, and so it has tended to fade into history, except in the Northeast where the tradition of gathering the sap from the maple trees still exits (thank goodness because I love real maple syrup).

Now here’s a little something that I didn’t know about maple sugar and maple sugaring.

Conditions have to be just right for that maple sap to flow.  Apparently, maple trees or seeds were brought overseas and into the West, hoping to “tap” into this delicious treat.

But it didn’t work.  One feature of maple sugaring is that the nights must be cold and the days warm, otherwise the sap does not run.  It’s only in this part of the world, in the Northeastern region of the Americas that the conditions are exactly right so that one can take advantage of this wonderful gift.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the blog today, and if so, please come on in and leave a comment.  By the way, what are your plans for Valentine’s Day this year?  Whatever they are, I hope they will be sweet.

SENECA SURRENDER:  https://www.amazon.com/Seneca-Surrender-Warriors-Karen-Kay-ebook/dp/B01M3QAE67/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1486440286&sr=8-1&keywords=Karen+Kay+SENECA+SURRENDER&tag=pettpist-20

Pick up your copy today.

Updated: February 7, 2017 — 10:10 am
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