As my boys are growing older, it seems like I’m doing more and more wondering if they’ll want to continue our little yearly traditions or if this will be the year that they (one or all) decide that they’re too big for such silliness.
There were goods – acorns, pottery and flowers- offered to “Woman Who Flashes Like Stars” (that would be ME with camera in hand), in trade for muffins and apple slices.
There was buffalo hunting.
Poor Jasper played the part of the buffalo. He took it in stride. After all, he DOES love a good game of chase.
We decided against the one big tipi of years past in favor of three small ones – “a whole village!” After many days of pouring over Indian Sign Language (which includes a pictograph dictionary), each boy went to town painting his own carefully selected, and oh so fraught with meaning, designs.
Their dwellings bear tales of their great hunts, prowess and skill.
To me though, all those sweet designs, the traded treasures, the climbing trees and scanning the horizon, hand over brow, for “approaching enemies”, the whooping wild runs after the dog buffalo, the elaborate dances performed to the beat of a cardboard drum…. they all tell one beautiful tale.
It’s the story of a grateful mama who received the gift of one more autumn to celebrate with her native sons.
In case you’re of a mind to celebrate with us, here are some of the books that are keeping company in our tipis:
If You Lived With the … (We’ve read Sioux, Cherokee and Hopi so far…. all good!)
The Real Book About Indians (unfortunately out of print, but a really great book. It is clear that the author respected our native heritage. He writes with great affection.
Blood River – a riveting tale told through the eyes of Captain John Smith’s servant boy.
The Indian Book – the 1980 Childcraft Annual. Also out of print but one of my boys’ favorites.
Tree In the Trail – a well loved, favorite.
Paddle to the Sea – another very well loved favorite.
North American Indian – a neat look at real artifacts.