Anthologies

American Indian poetry by Helen Addison Howard

By Helen Addison Howard

The fashion of Indian poetry --
Alice Cunningham Fletcher --
Frances Densmore --
Mary Hunter Austin --
Natalie Curtis (Burlin) --
Alice Corbin Henderson --
Constance Lindsay Skinner --
Lew Sarett --
Eda Lou Walton.

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American Indian poetry

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Suddenly from the midst of the water up rose a great rock [the primal rock]. It burst into flames and the waters floated into the air in clouds. Dry land appeared; the grasses and the trees grew. The hosts of spirits descended and became flesh and blood. They fed on the seeds of the grasses and the fruits of the trees, and the land vibrated with their expressions of joy and gratitude to Wakonda, the maker of all things. . 29 These rituals reveal h o w completely man is identified n a t u r e in t h e mind of t h e Indian.

IX Help us, Keharu, wall of defense! ) Keharu apparently corresponds to the male element represented in the first part by the Sun, the father, the giver of strength. Throughout this ceremony, the position of t h e feathered stem, representing the male, is upon the outside, where it acts as guard and protector, a wall of defense to t h e interior of t h e lodge which with its fireplace represents t h e nest. X Help us, Kataharu, center within! ) XI Help us, Kekaru, promise of fire! ) Alice Cunningham Fletcher (1838-1923) 49 XII Help us, Koritu, word of the fire!

In both anthologies C h i p p e w a verse predominates, with sixty-seven C h i p p e w a poems cited in the former volume (1934 edition) and sixty from other tribes; in The Sky Clears there are twenty-six Chippewa poems q u o t e d and a lesser n u m b e r from each of six culture areas of North America and Mexico. II Grand Medicine Society Densmore's Bulletin 45 (1910) contains a collection of the music and the poems of the Midewiwin, Grand Medicine Society. Both men and women who belonged to the Midewiwin held secret initiation rites.

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