events and news of the Inali Dancers, an intertribal native dancing, singing, and culture group in western illinois

Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Here is a good legend I know many of you will be interested in. First, though, don't forget the practice this friday at Ellen's. John and Ellen have suggested we become a seperate religious group for the prison visits, which will allow us more badged people.
we need to talk about this. Also, don't forget the Marigold nursing home march 7th at 7:00.

This is a great legend, however before anyone says anything,I know there are other versions. Still, I like this.

Origin of the Lakota Peace Pipe


Native American Lore

Long, long ago, two young and handsome Lakota were chosen by their band to find out where the buffalo were. While the men were riding in the buffalo country, they saw someone in the distance walking toward them.

As always they were on the watch for any enemy. So they hid in some bushes and waited. At last the figure came up the slope. To their surprise, the figure walking toward them was a woman.

When she came closer, she stopped and looked at them. They knew that she could see them, even in their hiding place. On her left arm she carried what looked like a stick in a bundle of sagebrush. Her face was beautiful.

One of the men said, "She is more beautiful than anyone I have ever seen. I want her for my wife."

But the other man replied, "How dare you have such a thought? She is wondrously beautiful and holy--far above ordinary people."

Though still at a distance, the woman heard them talking. She laid down her bundle and spoke to them. "Come. What is it you wish?"

The man who had spoken first went up to her and laid his hands on her as if to claim her. At once, from somewhere above, there came a whirlwind. Then there came a mist, which hid the man and the woman. When the mist cleared, the other man saw the woman with the bundle again on her arm. But his friend was a pile of bones at her feet.

The man stood silent in wonder and awe. Then the beautiful woman spoke to him. "I am on a journey to your people. Among them is a good man whose name is Bull Walking Upright. I am coming to see him especially.

"Go on ahead of me and tell your people that I am on my way. Ask them to move camp and to pitch their tents in a circle. Ask them to leave an opening in the circle, facing the north. In the centre of the circle, make a large tepee, also facing the north. There I will meet Bull Walking Upright and his people."

The man saw to it that all her directions were followed. When she reached the camp, she removed the sagebrush from the gift she was carrying. The gift was a small pipe made of red stone. On it was carved the tiny outline of a buffalo calf.

The pipe she gave to Bull Walking Upright, and then she taught him the prayers he should pray to the Strong One Above. "When you pray to the Strong One Above, you must use this pipe in the ceremony. When you are hungry, unwrap the pipe and lay it bare in the air. Then the buffalo will come where the men can easily hunt and kill them. So the children, the men, and the women will have food and be happy."

The beautiful woman also told him how the people should behave in order to live peacefully together. She taught them the prayers they should say when praying to their Mother Earth. She told him how they should decorate themselves for ceremonies.

"The earth," she said, "is your mother. So, for special ceremonies, you will decorate yourselves as your mother does--in black and red, in brown and white. These are the colours of the buffalo also.

"Above all else, remember that this is a peace pipe that I have given you. You will smoke it before all ceremonies. You will smoke it before making treaties. It will bring peaceful thoughts into your minds. If you will use it when you pray to the Strong One above and to Mother Earth you will be sure to receive the blessings that you ask."

When the woman had completed her message, she turned and slowly walked away. All the people watched her in awe. Outside the opening of the circle, she stopped for an instant and then lay down on the ground. She rose again in the form of a black buffalo cow. Again she lay down and then arose in the form of a red buffalo cow. A third time she lay down, and arose as a brown buffalo cow. The fourth and last time she had the form of a spotlessly white buffalo cow. Then she walked toward the north into the distance and finally disappeared over a far-off hill.

Bull Walking Upright kept the peace pipe carefully wrapped most of the time. Every little while he called all his people together, untied the bundle, and repeated the lessons he had been taught by the beautiful woman. And he used it in prayers and other ceremonies until he was more than one hundred years old.

When he became feeble, he held a great feast. There he gave the pipe and the lessons to Sunrise, a worthy man. In a similar way the pipe was passed down from generation to generation. "As long as the pipe is used," the beautiful woman had said, "Your people will live and will be happy. As soon as it is forgotten, the people will perish."

I'll see you friday

Thursday, February 23, 2006


Most of you know that I was gone all last week in Colorado. I had a great time, but I got sick after I came back(I always seem to get sick after a trip), and I have been miserable for a couple of days.
I missed the women's prison powwow, but I'm told it went great, and several of them joined the drum for a few songs. Don't forget the men's side on March 18.
We have a few things coming up. I was surprised to learn that we are performing for a cub scout pack this saturday, the 25th, at the methodist church in Lafayette. Dinner is at 5:30, and we perform after that. Also we are going to the marigold nursing home on tuesday, march 7th, at 7:00 pm. This will take the place of our regular tuesday practice, but we will have practice friday,march 3rd like usual.
Ask Jerry to show you the porky roach he just finished. It's beautiful! That reminds me that spring is just around the corner, and it's time to start getting all your regalia ready for powwow season. Remember, when we wear our dance clothes in the circle, they reflect back on all of us.
I hope you enjoyed the story last post, if so I can start putting a lot of that kind of thing in. Also, I have been requested to start putting in some links to good sites. Finally, I want to tell everyone that if you want to put something in here, just email it to me, and I will paste it in. Otherwise, if you want to post, you have to register at, set up an account, then I make you a team member.
That's all for now, I'm not feeling great again.

Monday, February 06, 2006

A Good Story

Not much to talk about today. We had a good practice friday, although a low turnout. We worked on round dance songs for a while, and we are starting to get more than just a couple. I'm told that a little Turtle had a birthday party sunday, with cake and ice cream. Also, Katie's birthday is thursday ( I think). Don't forget the prison visits feb. 18 and march 18. I don't have much more, but I would like to pass on this old cherokee story. I think you might like it.


A man was in love with a woman who disliked him and would have nothing to do with him. He tried every way to win her favor, but to no purpose, until at last he grew discouraged and made himself sick thinking over it. The Mole came along, and finding him in such low condition asked what was the trouble. The man told him the whole story, and when he had finished the Mole said: "I can help you, so that she will not only like you, but will come to you of her own will." So that night the Mole burrowed his way underground to where the girl was in bed asleep and took out her heart. He came back by the same way and gave the heart to the man, who could not see it even when it was put into his hand. "There," said the Mole, "swallow it, and she will be drawn to come to you and can not keep away." The man swallowed the heart, and when the girl woke up she somehow thought at once of him, and felt a strange desire to be with him, as though she must go to him at once. She wondered and could not understand it, because she had always disliked him before, but at last the feeling grew so strong that she was compelled to go herself to the man and tell him she loved him and wanted to be his wife. And so they were married, but all the magicians who had known them both were surprised and wondered how it had come about. When they found that it was the work of the Mole, whom they had always before thought too insignificant for their notice, they were very jealous and threatened to kill him so that he hid himself under the ground and has never since dared to come up to the surface.

I hope you liked it.