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Thomas Yellowtail
    
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In his essay "Loss of Our Traditional Values" (1), the late Crow Sun Dance Chief and Medicine Man Thomas Yellowtail shows how a sense of the sacred within a traditional setting used to pervade daily life, which strengthened those 'branches that bear fruit' :

It is important that the young people understand the difference between the traditional ways and the modern world we live in today. I have spoken before about the sacred support that was always present for the traditional Indians. With this support everywhere, from the moment you arose and said your first prayer, until the moment you went to sleep, you could at least see what was necessary in order to lead a proper life. Even the dress that you wore every day had sacred meanings, such as the bead work designs on the clothing, and wherever you went or whatever you did, whether you were hunting, making weapons, or whatever you were doing, you were participating in a sacred life and you knew who you were and carried a sense of the sacred with you. All of the forms had meaning, even the tipi and the sacred circle of the entire camp. Of course the life was hard and difficult and not all Indians followed the rules. But the support of the traditional life and the presence of Nature everywhere brought great blessings on all the people.


(1) Taken from page 32 of Every Branch in Me, this chapter is also found in the book Yellowtail, Crow Medicine Man and Sun Dance Chief: An Autobiography, (Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 1994).
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