Monday, March 26, 2012

Three Sisters Festival

A long time ago there were three sisters who lived together in a field. These sisters were quite different from one another in their size and way of dressing. The little sister was so young that she could only crawl at first, and she was dressed in green.

The second sister wore a bright yellow dress, and she had a way of running off by herself when the sun shone and the soft wind blew in her face.

The third was the eldest sister, standing always very straight and tall above the other sisters and trying to protect them. She wore a pale green shawl, and she had long, yellow hair that tossed about her head in the breeze.

There was one way the sisters were all alike, though. They loved each other dearly, and they always stayed together. This made them very strong.

One day a stranger came to the field of the Three Sisters - a Mohawk boy. He talked to the birds and other animals - this caught the attention of the three sisters.

Late that summer, the youngest and smallest sister disappeared. Her sisters were sad.

Again the Mohawk boy came to the field to gather reeds at the water's edge. The two sisters who were left watched his moccasin trail, and that night the second sister - the one in the yellow dress - disappeared as well.

Now the Elder Sister was the only one left.

She continued to stand tall in her field. When the Mohawk boy saw that she missed her sisters, he brought them all back together and they became stronger together, again.

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The Chickasaw people (like many other tribes) share this story of The Three Sisters and we were lucky enough to get to visit the Chickasaw Cultural Center for their Three Sisters Festival.  It is important to me that the girls gain an understanding of their ancestry and this was a perfect time to introduce them a bit more to the Chickasaw culture and their heritage.

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It was a terrific day and I was very impressed by everything the cultural center had to offer. We took part in all the various activities set up for the day, visited the museum and the girls even got to plant their own Three Sisters garden. Everything was extremely kid friendly, even the museum was designed for interaction. 

This week we'll be transplanting their Three Sisters garden into our actual garden.  The garden consists of corn, beans, and squash which are all staples of the Native American diet and grow very well together.  Like the story says, they live in harmony supporting each other. 

If you want to plant your own Three Sisters garden here is a great webpage with information on why these three grow so well together and how to plant them as well.

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