Category: Native American

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

THE AMERICAN INDIAN SCOUT

Howdy!  And welcome to another Tuesday blog.  Before I go into the most interesting part of the blog and tell you about the awesome abilities of the American Indian scouts of old, I wanted to mention that I’ll be giving away an ebook copy of THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF and also my most recent release, SENECA SURRENDER to two lucky bloggers.  Just leave a comment and you are automatically entered into the drawing for the book — remember to look over the Giveaway Guidelines at the right side of this page.

One other important point:  we all rely on you to come to the blog tomorrow (Wednesday — usually at night) or Thursday to see if you have won.  Unlike some other sites, we don’t contact you if you are the winner.  So please do check back.

apachescout4The reason why I’m giving away the ebook, THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF is because it is a book about a hero who is, among other things, a scout.  In researching this profession, I ran across some extremely interesting abilities that these men of old had.  Now, I find it interesting, indeed, that these men could tell from a mere trail the thoughts, health, etc. of the man/woman/animal who had left that trail.  This information, some of which I’ll quote, comes from the book, THE WAY OF THE SCOUT, by Tom Brown, Jr., a man, who as a young boy was taken under the wing of an old Apache scout, and who was trained by that man as a scout.  Grandfather is what Mr. Brown called this old Apache scout.  So this passage is from this book.

“(Grandfather) defined the tracking that we had done as typical or novice tracking, but the tracking of the scout was defined as master tracking.  Even at the onset, the difference became obvious.  Grandfather told us that the earth was like an open book, filled with stories.  These stories were written not only in the softest ground but also on every other type of soil even on rock…”

arikarascoutMr. Brown goes on to say, “To this day, the greatest tracking thrill of my life was when Grandfather first showed me how to read track “compressions” in impossible soils and on solid rock…”

And here is where one really begins to learn about the old American Indian Scouts (those scouts who worked for the United States army were not the scouts of old).  Anyway, again, another quote from THE WAY OF THE SCOUT, “You must stop looking at the tracks as lifeless depressions in the ground. Instead, and you have noticed inside of the track is a tiny landscape.  There are hills, valleys, peaks, ridges, domes, pocks, and countless other little features.  These features the scouts developed into a science, that which they call the ‘pressure releases.’  It is through these pressure releases that the scout can know everything about the animal or man that he is tracking.  The scouts of my clan could identify and define over four thousand of these pressure releases, and I know of no peoples of the earth that have been able to do the same.”

curlycrowscoutMr. Brown goes on to explain in his book how these pressure releases can be read and identified, and he goes on to say that because man or animals are stabilized by their feet on the ground, they are always in motion and always having to keep balance — even to the tiniest of moves.  It’s because of this constant need to keep balance and shift that produces the “pressure releases.”

IndianScouts2Mr. Brown goes on to say that he and his friend, Rick, who was learning about tracking also, would start to identify their own moods and look at the pressure releases and note the difference between that mood and some other emotion — and study their own tracks — he says that everyone became a source of study.

He even goes on to say that “Grandfather taught us to expand our awareness and tracking beyond even that level.  He would stand beside a tree, point to a missing limb and ask, “How long ago was this done?  What did it and how?  What direction did the cutter come from?  Was his axe or saw dull or sharp, was he right- or left-handed, what degree of strength did he have?  Grandfather told us that we should always hold one question in our minds at all times:  What is this telling me?”

Charles EastmanIndian&boyscoutsBy the way, the picture to the left is a picture of a young Charles Eastman, a Sioux Indian, who became a lawyer for his people.  I believe (please correct me if I am wrong) that it was Charles Eastman who established the Boy Scouts long, long ago.  If he didn’t establish it, he certainly helped to create it.  Charles Eastman also wrote several books with the help of his wife, whom he met in collage.  She was white.  I believe some time ago, there was a television story concerning Charles Eastman and his wife, and I believe that Adam Beach played the part of Charles Eastman.  This was an interesting fact to learn for me, because I have never really known that the Boy Scouts came to us from the American Indian — I had never stopped to consider it until I read about it from either one of Charles Eastman’s books or another book.

adambeachascharleseastmanAt the left here is a picture of Adam Beach playing Charles Eastman.  : )

Well, that’s all for today.  Next blog I’d like to tell you a little about the water dance of the scout.  Did you know there was such a thing?  I can’t help but think sometimes that it is a shame that one culture coming in will often destroy the culture that is there already.  There is so much we could have learned from the American Indian of old.  I always look forward to these blogs so that I can tell you a little about what I’ve learned because I think it so vital to keep these things alive.

SpiritoftheWolf-The-R -- first draftAnd so today, I’m giving away a free e-book of THE SPIRIT OF THE WOLF, one of my stories that delves deeply into the scout and how this influences the heroine of the story.

I’m also giving away another book, SENECA SURRENDER, in e-book format because this is my latest book to be released.

So come on in, leave a comment, and let me know what you think of this very vital role of the American Indian culture, the Scout.

 

Updated: January 23, 2017 — 10:39 pm

SENECA SURRENDER — An Excerpt, a Couple of Reviews & Give-Away

 

Howdy!

Welcome to another Tuesday at P & P.  Am so glad you decided to visit today.  You’re in luck cause I’ll be giving away a free e-book of SENECA SURRENDER today — over to the side here are the Giveaway Guidelines, so please have a look, come on in, put your feet up and leave a comment.  So thought I’d start out with an excerpt from my most recent release, SENECA SURRENDER.  Here you go!

 

SENECA SURRENDER

By

KAREN KAY

An Excerpt

 

It was only a few days later when, with the aid of the cane White Thunder had fashioned for her, she struggled onto her feet and slowly, with one foot placed carefully after another, began to walk. Soon, within a matter of days, she was walking without aid. And though her muscles still spasmed with pain now and again, neither she nor White Thunder had dared to repeat the deep massage.

It was liberating to be able to amble about again, and she realized a limited truth. Lack of movement created, to a greater or lesser degree, a sort of enslavement. Certainly it made one dependent on the goodwill of another.

Within days, she could leave the cave on her own, and although at first she was reluctant to venture too far, eventually she conquered her fear and strolled out farther and farther into the woods. As she became stronger, she realized that for all practical purposes she would be able to leave this place soon. Not yet, because her legs wouldn’t always obey her every command. But soon.

Where would she go? What would she do? The worry hung over her like a dark cloud, since, to date, her past life remained a mystery to her.

It happened late one afternoon, suddenly and without warning. One moment she had been safe and warm in the cave, the next she had ventured out of it to come face-to-face with a bear—a big, fully grown black bear.

She froze.

The bear growled, stood onto its hind legs and pawed at the air. She was dwarfed by it. It howled, the sound terrorizing. Adrenaline and fear washed through her.

She remained frozen to the spot. Though the bear made no forward movement, it was close enough that the air around her became scented with the animal.

Without warning something changed, and the bear came down on all fours and started toward her.

She screamed.

Stunned at the noise, the bear stopped, and looking right and left, it pawed at the ground. Bringing its attention back to her, the bear slowly, carefully, closed the distance between them.

“Put your arms up over your head and growl!” It was White Thunder. “Do it. Now!”

She did as White Thunder ordered. Raising her hands over her head, she opened her mouth and snarled at the bear.

As before, the bear stopped, sniffed at the air and gave her a cautious look, but plodded forward.

“Keep growling. Louder! Make your voice more savage,” ordered White Thunder, who was crouched atop high ground next to the cave. “He’s tired and looking for a place to sleep. He may decide you’re too much for him. Keep growling.”

Adrenaline pumped through her as, following White Thunder’s orders, she mustered up her loudest voice, as well as what she hoped was her most ferocious-looking face.

Again the bear hesitated, but hearing White Thunder, the bear finally took notice of him. Sensing he was the greater danger of the two, it came up onto his hind legs and growled at White Thunder, as though warning him away from his find.

When White Thunder did nothing but stare back and snarl at it, the bear came down to all fours, and ignoring White Thunder for the moment, turned back to continue its path toward her, as though it had decided she was the least likely to give him problems.

Step by step, the bear progressed dangerously close. All at once it rose to its hind legs and roared at her, this time extending its sharp paws outward. Only one thought surfaced: She was dead. She was dinner. Never had the desire to own and have a gun in her hand been more prevalent than it was at this moment.

Then it happened so quickly, she could hardly credit it. White Thunder shot straight in front of her, placing himself directly between her and the bear. The noise was deafening, for White Thunder was roaring and kicking up as much commotion as the bear.

It was either the most courageous act or the most reckless, for what White Thunder did next startled her. He bent forward, sticking his face into the bear’s, which was only a few feet away, and he snarled and snapped as though he were the more dangerous creature of the two.

The animal yowled right back at White Thunder, and so shrill was it, she thought her eardrums might never mend. Then it changed, and White Thunder was yelling directions at her. “Make noise!”

Without delay, she screamed and clapped her hands.

“Now we back up,” he shouted at her, “so as to tell him we give him the cave. We are no threat. Slowly, we back up, all the while we make as much noise as possible.”

Although White Thunder was holding his gun pointed directly at the bear, she knew it wouldn’t be protection enough against a head-on attack. After all, the musket had only one shot, the next attempt requiring priming and reloading.

He took a step back. She followed suit.

The bear came down onto all fours. It roared so vehemently, she wanted to run for cover. But it was impossible.

“If he starts toward us,” yelled White Thunder, “and paws at me, you are to turn and run—do you understand? Run downhill. A bear cannot easily follow if you go downhill. You are to run as fast as you can and don’t look back.”

“I won’t leave you!”

“You have no choice. I give you no choice. If I say run, you are to run. If I am to fight him, I cannot worry about you.”

Another step back followed these instructions, another and another.

Abruptly, the bear chose to take a leap toward them.

“Run!”

She turned to do exactly as told, but her legs refused to move. What was she to do? Even taking painfully slow steps was impossible. It was as if she were inadvertently crippled.

That was when she spotted it. Fire! Weren’t all animals afraid of fire?

The bear was already attacking White Thunder. She could hear their struggle, though because of the fear gripping her, she didn’t dare look back. But her legs responded at once, and rushing back into the cave, she picked up several of the sticks that were burning red-hot at their tips.

Without thinking of what she was about to do, she rushed out of the cave. Later in life, she would wonder where her courage and strength had come from. Until this moment, she’d never been aware of being particularly brave. She could only thank the good Lord that when valor was necessary, it was lying dormant within her.

White Thunder was on the ground, the bear over him. She rushed at the bear with the fire.

“Shoo! Get out of here!” Her voice was piercing and loud. She waved the weapon at the bear and tried to get close enough to light its fur on fire.

Her attempts did almost nothing to the beast. Its fur was too matted. Startled, the bear jumped back, allowing White Thunder a moment to bring up his musket and take careful aim.

Boom!

White Thunder shot off a ball aimed straight into the eyeball of the bear.

It hit.

Still animated, the bear struggled forward. Had the shot served no purpose? White Thunder was reloading as fast as was humanly possible, and as she watched him struggle against time to prime and reload his weapon. She wondered, was this it? Was life suddenly over? This easily?

Memories instantaneously rushed through her mind. They came with no fanfare, no bells. Rather, they swamped her. Moments from her past flickered before her so quickly, she could barely take hold of them.

So overwhelming was it, she rocked back on her feet.

Meanwhile, the battle with the bear was coming to a close. The animal took one final step forward and fell over, dead.

She watched in horror, almost afraid to turn away from it, fearful it might only be catching its breath. Even as she looked at it, she wondered, what damage had it done to White Thunder?

No sooner had the thought formed within her mind than she was struck with another truth. She cared for White Thunder. Sexual tension aside, she honestly cared for this man.

She was breathing hard and fast, and she could hear White Thunder behind her, doing the same. At least he was still alive.

Though out of breath, he called out to her. “I told you to leave!”

“I could not do it, sir,” she cried. “You forget that my legs do not always obey me.”

At last she turned toward him. He was on the ground, his shirt torn with claw marks. There were several gashes on his chest and arms where the bear’s claws had found their mark. As she caught her breath, she could only thank the Lord in Heaven that because of the cool weather, White Thunder had worn a shirt this day. But his clothing was blood-soaked and was becoming more so by the minute.

“Look at what he’s done to you,” she said as she took several steps toward White Thunder, and came down on the ground beside him.

“They are scratches.” White Thunder did the unthinkable. He opened his arms to her, and she went into them willingly, both of them uncaring that he was bleeding all over her.

“You saved my life,” she whispered.

“As you did mine.”

“You came to my defense. You jumped in front of me and confronted the beast head-on.”

“Of course I did. Did you expect me to leave you to fight a bear on your own?”

“I didn’t expect anything, sir. I…I thank you.” Then a little shyly, she added, “I think also that my mistress will thank you as soon as I manage to find her again.”

He pushed her back from him and stared at her.

Tears were streaming down Sarah’s cheeks. “It’s true. I have remembered my past life and who I am. It happened suddenly. I remembered everything.”

“This is good.” He was smiling.

“Yes, it is very good. I will tell you more about it later. But come, you are hurt, and first I must do something about that.”

“I think I will need little attention. They are only scrapes,” he reiterated.

Sarah drew back to look at him. “I will be the judge of that. Come.”

Placing her arms about him, she helped him to his feet, taking a great deal of his weight upon her. Together they limped into the cave…

 

REVIEW by Rhapsody on SENECA SURRENDER

“SENECA SURRENDER is a thrilling voyage into the hearts of two people fighting for love against all odds.  Bringing to mind THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS, it’s a book for all fans of romance and adventure.  Lock the doors, turn off the phone, and enjoy.”

RhapsodeBookClub.com

A Prairie Rose Publications Historical Romance
ASIN: B01M3QAE67
October, 2016
Historical Romance

Sarah Strong is an indentured servant who has endured many struggles while traveling to New Hampshire. When she meets White Thunder, it may be her greatest yet.

White Thunder vowed to find his wife’s killer no matter how long it took. When he finds an English woman washed up on shore, he has no idea the impact she will make on his heart.

White Thunder knew that with the war surrounding them, he needed to keep Sarah hidden in a safe place. He had no idea why he was helping an English woman, but he could not leave her to die. He was trying to go on with his life and not worry about the French and Indian War. The war only wanted to take control of Indian land. For the past fifteen years, he has been searching for the man who murdered his wife. With five years left to serve her master, stumbling upon White Thunder proves a greater undertaking for Sarah during her journey. Can the two find a common bond among such struggling conflict?

Seneca Surrender is a tale with true-fold characters that open up their heart, emitting real emotions. Sarah and White Thunder live up to the happenings around them and try to accept things while enduring hardships. I enjoyed their conversation, their cultures, even though separate, and how they reached out to each other. With tormented souls, they do everything to find a way to become one. The secondary characters enhance the story making it even more realistic. Karen Kay writes a story enabling the reader to feel the pain, agony, anguish, peril, and racism that goes much deeper, within the characters, of some of the people, in the story, to make this read remarkably good. She pens an outstanding extraordinary story beyond words. ~ Cherokee, Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More

“(A) great read…Completely mesmerizing.” ~ Publishers Weekly WW Ladies’ Book Club

“Heated passion” ~ Romance Readers Connection 

Updated: January 9, 2017 — 9:33 pm

Two Days After Christmas

Howdy!

Here’s hoping you all had a wonderful Christmas, filled with beauty and all  things good.

Of course, during the Christmas season, there’s the rush to get everything done — all the food shopping done, gifts bought and wrapped, rush…rush…rush…

But once the rush was done, gifts were bought, everything wrapped and only awaiting that special someone to open the presents, I began to think about how different it was in the American Indian’s way of life.  The ideas of gift giving were so different from today’s, that I thought I might take a moment to share my reflections with you.

In the days of old, before the white man came to this country and influenced the American Indian into other traditions, giving gifts to others was a point of survival.  No chief could become chief who did not give to the needy and the less well to do.  Often the chief of the tribe was the poorest person in the tribe because he gave away almost all that he had.  However, contrary to a more socialist point of view, this was not pure socialism, because the giving was never regulated and never mandatory.  (Compare that to our income tax system.)  Only the strong, the wise and the kindhearted could be counted on to give, and it was considered one of the most aspired-to attributes.

Actually, it requires a bit of mind change to grasp the American Indian idea of giving.  If a man attained a higher state or did some great deed, he was not given something by the tribe, but rather, he gave gifts to others.  If a woman attained some desired state (a young girl attaining puberty for instance — or an older woman being praised for her handicraft) she and her relatives worked night and day to give gifts to others.  An example of this might be this:  Say it is your birthday, but instead of you getting gifts on your birthday, you and your relatives would work for months and months in order to have a feast, where one would give to the community in celebration of something one attained.  This was considered the highest honor one might place upon a family member.

This tradition is still carried on in Native America today.  When a family wishes to distinguish one of its own, members of the family will work for many months (sometimes years) to produce goods, not for oneself, but to give away to others — in honor of the family member.  In this manner, we have an example of giving something that cannot be measured in terms of finance.  The gift of caring, the gift of giving of oneself and one’s time.

These presents in Native America weren’t wrapped.  Sometimes the offerings were simply in the form of food or clothing or blankets.  Sometimes, in the case of a marriage or some other big event, items such as a tepee were donated to the cause (remember in the movie, Dances With Wolves and the tepee the star of the movie was given?)  When one couldn’t give because one didn’t have the wherewithal to do so, that person might give away all that he had.  In this way such articles were kept afloat in the society.  Sometimes one bestowed the very best possession that he treasured most, especially so if there were a sickness in the family and one wanted to ensure their beloved one’s  recovery.  Sometimes the donation was in the form of gifting a service to one’s people.  Certain societies had stringent rules about bundles or other sacred items and most people didn’t want the responsibility of taking care of these items (such as becoming a bundle holder.)  In this case the bequest would be in the form of the entire family taking on the responsibility, in order to preserve the spiritual traditions of the people.

This picture was taken at a give-away celebration that my friend, Patricia gave many years ago.  Another aspect to the American Indian’s way of thinking, was that it was considered a great honor if one gave in such a way that the other person didn’t feel they had to return the favor.  This happened to George Catlin in the 1830’s when a young warrior bestowed him with the diary that Catlin had lost.  The giving was done in such a way that Catlin was unable to give-back, since he was embarking upon a ship.

  There is yet another example of giving by the American Indian comes to us from the Iroquois.  The Iroquois (which was composed of originally 5 tribes and eventually 6) had a system of government that was truly Of the people, For the people, and By the people.  Men served and were never permitted to draw any kind of pay for serving — it was simply considered their duty and their way of helping the tribe.  Such service is still in operation today.

I’d like to disagree with corporate America for a moment if I might.  I think the most potent gifts are those that one cannot measure by physical means.  When my kids were growing up, they used to give me coupons for Christmas — I still have them to this day — little chores they would do for me upon presentation of the coupon.  I guess the point is that one can always give something of themselves to another.

And here’s the most beautiful gift of all — something that those who crave material wealth over all else will never understand nor will they ever receive this gift (though some might pretend an affection) — the gift of love — true love.   No gold, no silver, can ever replace these gifts, since they have their roots in one’s heart and one’s nature.

And so, I would like to make this wish during this New Year’s season:  That the reasons for war — and the profit received from war — will perish from this earth.

And with this thought in mind, I leave you with a YouTube video of a song performed by Keith Whitley (who I believe is one of the best country singers to every grace the stage).

https://youtu.be/BgKYm1ssb9o

And speaking of gifts, I will be giving away a free copy of my newest release, SENECA SURRENDER — just look over to the side here for the Giveaway Guidelines.

Updated: December 26, 2016 — 9:16 pm

An Old, Old American Indian Legend — My Christmas Gift to You

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It’s Christmas Time!  Please let me remind you — because I’ll be doing a free give-away today — to be sure to check back here at the blog on Wednesday or Thursday to see who is the winner.   Remember, we here at the Junction don’t contact you.  So please check back either tomorrow or the next day to see if you are the winner.  The books I’ll be giving away are Soaring Eagle’s Embrace, the mass market paperback version of the book, and Seneca Surrender, e-book.

Well, I’ve been thinking and thinking of what I could possibly blog today, since Christmas was not a celebrated holiday for Native Americans before the arrival of priests into this land called Turtle Island.  One of my most favorite Christmas memories is being told a story the night before Christmas in an attempt to get me to go to sleep.  It didn’t work very well (getting me to go to sleep).  But it is a wonderful memory.

And so I thought I’d regale you with a story.  Hopefully I won’t put you to sleep with this story.

This is the story of the girl who married a star.  It’s origin is Sioux — I don’t know if that’s Lakota or Dakota or Nakota.  All three are Sioux, just different dialects.  By the way this story comes to us from the book, Favorite North American Indian Legends, printed by Dover.  Before I start, I wanted to say that this legend reminds me of a similar one I used in Soaring Eagle’s Embrace, which is the book I’ll be giving away today.

Okay that said, imagine yourself in the long, long ago, all warm and cozy, curled up in front of a fire with your relatives sitting around you.  The Old Story Teller has arrived, and all is quiet as the story teller begins:

Long ago, there were two sisters, one whose name was Earth and the others name was Water.  This was at a time when all people and animals were in close communication with each other and so the animals supplied the sisters with all their needs.

 One night the sky was clear and beautiful and both sisters looked up to the sky through their wigwam — comment, now we know that this was most likely the Dakota since they were living in Wigwams — anyway, they looked up through the hole in their wigwam and admired the beautiful stars.

Earth said to her sister that she’d had a dream about a handsome young man and that she thought he might be a star.  Water responded saying that she, too, had seen a man in her dreams who was a brave man.

The sisters chose stars that they thought might be these men that they had dreamed of.  Water chose the brightest star for her husband.  Earth chose a little star that twinkled.

Then they slept.  When they awoke, they were in the land of the Sky.  The stars were, indeed, people.  Now it happened that the man that water chose was an older warrior and that the man that Earth chose was a young, handsome man.  Both sisters married these men and they were very happy.

One day the sisters went out to dig turnips (a much favored food at this time in history).  Both of their husbands warned them not to strike the ground too hard.  But Earth, in her haste to dig the turnips, struck the ground so hard that she fell through the sky to the ground.

Earth was found and cared for by two older people who tried to help her.  But she was so upset about losing her husband that all she did is cry.  She could not even see her husband in the sky because he had blackened his face because he was now a widower.  Earth waited and waited for him to come to her, but he could not.  However, he did give her a most precious gift.

That night when she went to sleep, she dreamed of a beautiful red star.  It had never been in the sky before.  She knew at once that it was her son.

When she awoke, she found a handsome boy by her side — her son.  Although Earth’s husband could not come to get her again, and though he loved his son deeply, he gave to his wife the only thing that he could — their son, Star Boy.  It was a gift from his heart.

‘Tis the season of giving.  I hope you have enjoyed this story.  I thought it was quite beautiful.

Now one more thing before I end.

Seneca Surrender was just recently released in October in ebook and Tradepaper — from Prairie Rose Publications.  Below is the cover.   I’ll be giving away a free copy of Seneca Surrender in ebook format today to some lucky blogger.   So that’s two chances you have to win a free book.  All you have to do to enter into the drawing is to leave a comment.  But please, over to right here is our Giveaway Guidelines.  Please do have a look at them.  The rules are few, but are important — so give them a read.

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The picture to the right is of my husband and myself with Chief Mountain in the background, the setting for Soaring Eagle’s Embrace — this is on the Blackfeet reservation.

And so from my heart to yours, I wish you a very Merry Christmas!

 

Updated: December 5, 2016 — 10:23 pm
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