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  How to approach an understanding of the American Indian Back to the List of Slideshows

Rolling Thunder
(Chief Joseph), Nez Perce

    

slide 7 of 10

"The Nez Perce began his preparation for spiritual attainment almost in infancy. The child, either boy or girl, when less than ten years of age was told by the father or the mother that it was time to have tiwatitmas—spiritual power. 'This afternoon you must go to yonder mountain and fast. When you reach the place of fasting, build a fire and do not let it die. As the Sun goes down, sit on the rocks facing him, watch while he goes from sight, and look in that direction all night. When the dawn comes, go to the east and watch the Sun return to his people. When he comes to noon, go to the south and sit there, and when he has travelled low again, go to the west where you sat first and watch until he is gone. Then start for your home.' After some sacred object, such as a feather, had been tied to the child’s clothing, and a few parting words of instruction and encouragement had been given, the little suppliant was sent on its journey."

Rolling Thunder, Nez Perce



"Do not wrong or hate your neighbor, for it is not him that you wrong, you wrong yourself."

Thomas Wildcat Alford, Shawnee

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