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RITUAL The anthropology professor said Iroquois ways were a fading reflection, a cultural trace of a poetic narrative of indigenous wisdom, tribal traditions that marry the spirit of a primitive people to enduring kinship with the earth and the sky The anthropology professor called the delicate touch the definitive expression of intimate knowledge, giving meaning and myth to mystical caprice in the cardinal winds, to sustaining abundance in the deep gray lakes of a primeval forest beneath the cyclical rhythms of a lunar calendar that is daily affirmed by the rising sun The anthropology professor said the bloated ambitions of mercantile man, the rapacious imperatives of voracious desire, the arrogant corrective technology of guilt which acknowledges nature as interchangeable scenery for the story of our lives, should become like the methods and modes of harmony, that the way of Six Nations be the simple foundation for symbiotic behavior in the millennium to come And the anthropology student was twenty and tough, a perpetual hunter, a perennial warrior, attuned to the season of bounty and challenge, alert to nuance of movement and sound, knew the intricate ways of the Haudenosaunee and the signature rites that prepared them for war To honor the creator he came through the mists of a cold spring morning like wind in the trees without source or destination, embodied the essence of some terrible presence – an unexplained whisper in an isolated place, the feather of a wing beyond peripheral vision, perhaps the shadow of a serpent beyond the edge of the nerves, something too close, something suddenly striking in the ghostly memories of ritual violence of “the danse lacrosse”, “dehuntshigawa’es”, baaga’adowe, a game called begadwe, little brother of war!

Copyright © | Year Posted 2021

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