Before the first European consciousness of a New World existed, the Americas thrived with diverse tribes, each with their own customs, cultures and belief systems. From the far North to the tip of the far South of the Americas peoples lived a life in tune with their natural surroundings as the Europeans dealt with the Dark Ages, serfdom, poverty, bloody wars and religious upheavals. Of course, life in the Americas had its share of challenges as well.
November has been designated as Native American Heritage Month. Recognition of Native Americans and their contributions to the Americas should not be limited to just one month a year.
Music, poetry, and the other trademarks of a great people should be enjoyed and appreciated year around. The present generations of Americans (both North and South) have lost too much of the rich heritage which existed here before the first European set foot upon these wonderful lands—lands rich in natural resources and the precious metals which drove many of them insane to possess.
Unless you have Native American blood running through your arteries, your progenitors crossed the oceans to come to this bountiful land. Many came of their own accord while a significant number came as bondservants. Slaves were taken from their native lands and families in the vast African continent to serve their European masters and mistresses in these strange lands across the seas.
Life on this planet traversing the cosmos has not always been a square deal for many people. What happened to the Native Americans is a sad commentary on a civilization claiming to be based on Christian tenets, which showed no mercy or compassion such as their founder, the Nazarene Teacher, taught centuries before in a land dominated by an advanced civilization with defined religious and legal systems.
The manifest destiny syndrome still persists on this earth. Those who stand in its way like the indigenous people of the mighty Amazon region are regarded as irrelevant and useless relics to be tossed into the landfills of forgotten dreams and promises. The advance of progress is always built on the bones of the ancients who were in symbiotic relationship with the land.
For a people to lose their heritage is a tragedy which rips the soul. Once lost heritage is difficult to reclaim.
Listed below are some songs and references. There are many other resources open to the curious mind if time is taken to explore the heritage of Native Americans. For their heritage is as the winds, the streams, the valleys and the mountains which once existed pure and untouched. These ancient winds and memories of a time long ago still can teach us the wisdom of the land and the songs of the Great Spirit.
G. D. Williams © 2011
Spiritual Flute: The Beauty of Nature
Cherokee Morning Song
RUMINAHUI: Andean Traditional Music
Native American Heritage Month
Maps of the US States & Indian Tribes
Native American Nations and Indigenous Peoples in South America
First People: Poems and Prayers
Native Americans Oral Poetry and Songs
Native American poets Marianne Broyles and Erika Wurth
American Experience: We Shall Remain
Amazon & Its Indigenous People
THE COMANCHE Nation
“The Comanche Indians were once part of the northern Shoshone tribe of Wyoming, but split off from them and migrated to their modern location in the Southern Plains during the 1700’s. By the time Europeans encountered them, the Comanches were primarily living in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. Most Comanche people today live in Oklahoma.”