Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Three Sisters Festival

One of our favorite ways to usher in Spring is by participating in the annual Three Sisters Festival at the Chickasaw Cultural Center.  This year the girls were exceptionally excited since we have started to learn to speak Chickasaw.  They were more than ready to immerse themselves in our heritage and hopefully discover some new things along the way.   

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I always feel so at peace surrounded by all the history and beauty of this culture.  Immersing ourselves in the music and language of our ancestors is such an amazing experience, no matter how often it occurs.  Sharing the story of the Three Sisters and planting the garden is such an important part of Spring for us.  

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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This year the girls still remained on the sidelines and watched the dancing, but surprised us all by joining in on several other activities including spear throwing and a rather aggressive game of stick ball.   I think we may have found a new favorite outdoor game for our entire family.

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