Nuked
Welcome, Guest
July 23, 2014, 04:54:56 AM
News: Visit our Store for Pagan Books, Wiccan Jewelry and Magical Supplies! http://wicca.com/stores/entrance.html
Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Down

Author Topic: Chanupa Wakan: the Sacred Pipe  (Read 6024 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Firesong

  • Council Elder
  • Walnut
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4077
  • Laughin' at the Angels, laughin' at you;
Chanupa Wakan: the Sacred Pipe
« on: June 20, 2012, 12:54:06 PM »

The chanupa wakan, Lakota for sacred pipe, is an important part of American tribal culture.  It’s a means of showing respect for the natural order of things, and in offering prayers to the creator, which are carried to Wakan Tanka on the smoke, by the spirit of the tobacco plant, one of the four sacred herbs. 

Sometimes tobacco only is smoked, and at other times, knick-knick (from the Algonquian word for “mixture”), traditionally a mixture of red willow bark, tobacco and other herbs.  Some are personal pipes, and others are used for large ceremonies.  A pipe is not owned, but carried.  It is too sacred for ownership.

About Pipestone

One of the most sacred and spiritual areas in North America is located near the town of Pipestone, MN, at the Pipestone National Monument, where the pipestone, or catlinite, a form of fossilized clay, is quarried.  It has always been a place of peace, where all people, regardless of tribal affiliations, put down their weapons of war.  It is considered hallowed ground, and only those who were purified in ceremony could set foot there.  It was limited to men only, because they were the ones who quarried the stone. 

Here, small quarries are worked by individuals, and families, often for generations, to obtain the sacred pipestone for making the chanupa wakan.  By federal law, it can only be quarried by Native Americans, using hand implements and the process is exceedingly arduous, and time-consuming.  In a new quarry, it can often take two months or more simply to reach the pipestone.  The sacred stone is covered with eight to ten feet of quartzite, the second hardest mineral on earth, and its removal, as well as the final extraction of the pipestone is an art which has been perfected over time by those who quarry the sacred stone. 

While Catlinite is found in other locations, only that which is quarried in the sacred quarries at Pipestone is considered suitable for making the chanupa wakan.  One reason is the stone’s working characteristics.  Pipestone is from the sacred quarries is soft enough to be worked with files, pocket knives and hack saws.  Catlinite from other regions, and even that obtained in other quarries in close proximity to Pipestone tends to be too hard or brittle, and lack consistent workability.

The quarry area is also the place where the thunderbird lays her eggs, and approaching  the nest of the thunderbird is a very dangerous thing, and many have been swept away by ferocious storms and lightning.  There are many ancient petro glyphs in the area, and hundreds of years ago, the tribal people would gather there to wait for the thunderstorms, before quarrying the stone.  If no storms came, the stone would not be quarried.

The Sacred Pipe

The sacred pipe has two parts; the bowl, traditionally made of Catlinite, and the stem, made of wood (usually sumac or ash, but may be almost any wood).  There are many different shapes for pipes but the most prevalent are the calumet, which is shaped like an upside down “T”, and the elbow pipe which is, as its name suggests, as simple “L” shape. While the bowl and stem are kept together, they are never joined except for ceremonial use, because when they are put together, they become a living altar; the union of male and female; the joining of the earth, our mother, and the sky, our father. 

While there are degrees of commonality in almost all pipe ceremonies, there are also many differences which make them unique, and any two ceremonies, even by members of the same tribe, will rarely if ever be exactly the same because the rote memorization of prayer is very uncommon among the People, and different traditions may use different colors for the cardinal compass points, and/or begin with a different direction. 

The common theme is the filling of the bowl while addressing of each of the cardinal points in turn, rotating in a clockwise direction. At each point, a pinch of tobacco taken from the pouch is held in one hand, and the pipe, its stem pointed outward in the direction being addressed, in the other.  A small amount of tobacco is dropped to the ground, to remind us of our connection to Mother Earth, and the rest loaded into the bowl, as a prayer is offered.  After the four cardinal directions have been addressed, the bowl is pointed at the ground, and again, tobacco is sprinkled, and a prayer is offered to Mother Earth while the rest of the pinch is loaded into the pipe, and the stem is pointed at about a forty-five degree angle and the action is again repeated, this time addressing Father Sky.  Finally, the stem is pointed straight up, tobacco sprinkled, and prayers offered to Wakan Tanka, the Creator, as the last bit of tobacco is loaded into the bowl. 

If the pipe has been filled for use in an inippi, or sweat lodge, the bowl will typically be covered with a sage leaf, and the pipe will be placed on a mound of earth, or if it is a calumet, often the tip is pushed into the ground, with the stem pointing up at an angle, in front of the opening to the sweat lodge, and smoked when the inippi is concluded. 

If it is to be smoked immediately, it would then be lit, and passed in a counterclockwise direction as each person in turn takes a puff or two, and passes the pipe to their left.  When the pipe had made one complete trip around the circle, the last person in the circle may finish the last few bits of tobacco in the pipe, or they may elect to hand it to another person in the circle who possibly smokes tobacco other than in ritual.  When the tobacco is gone and the pipe goes out, it is cleaned carefully, with the ashes being returned to the earth, taken apart, and stored very carefully.
Logged
"If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace."
~Thomas Paine

Bri

  • Member
  • Fir
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 45
Re: Chanupa Wakan: the Sacred Pipe
« Reply #1 on: June 20, 2012, 08:34:55 PM »

That was interesting I enjoyed reading that, do they still do that to this day?
Logged
Bri

Firesong

  • Council Elder
  • Walnut
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4077
  • Laughin' at the Angels, laughin' at you;
Re: Chanupa Wakan: the Sacred Pipe
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2012, 08:31:47 AM »

That was interesting I enjoyed reading that, do they still do that to this day?

Yep... it's a very important of Indian spiritual practices.  I've participated in several pipe ceremonies, and each one was a very personal and enriching experience.
Logged
"If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace."
~Thomas Paine

Serpentium

  • Member
  • Walnut
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4226
  • Are the machines ready yet, Mr Tesla?
Re: Chanupa Wakan: the Sacred Pipe
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2012, 09:29:31 AM »

Excellent piece FS. I can see how the pipe commands such respect as a tool, and thinking about it, so it should. Underestimating the power of such pipes has now resulted in worldwide tobacco addiction, and brings a whole new dimension to drugs like Opium, Cocaine, or Meth.

Even without any spiritual element involved, turning a powerful plant or substance into smoke and inhaling it. exerts a severely underestimated influence upon people's consciousness and in the Western World, this influence manifests as addiction every time. Humans seem to have a propensity for inhaling smoke. Maybe a genetic imperative for consciousness expansion. Very thought provoking piece.         
Logged
Do you feel blame? Are you mad? Uh, do you feel like wolf kabob Roth vantage? Gefrannis booj pooch boo jujube; bear-ramage. Jigiji geeji geeja geeble Google. Begep flagaggle vaggle veditch-waggle bagga?

My next victim . . .  http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?=743264506

Firesong

  • Council Elder
  • Walnut
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4077
  • Laughin' at the Angels, laughin' at you;
Re: Chanupa Wakan: the Sacred Pipe
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2012, 01:47:36 PM »

Excellent piece FS. I can see how the pipe commands such respect as a tool, and thinking about it, so it should. Underestimating the power of such pipes has now resulted in worldwide tobacco addiction, and brings a whole new dimension to drugs like Opium, Cocaine, or Meth.

Even without any spiritual element involved, turning a powerful plant or substance into smoke and inhaling it. exerts a severely underestimated influence upon people's consciousness and in the Western World, this influence manifests as addiction every time. Humans seem to have a propensity for inhaling smoke. Maybe a genetic imperative for consciousness expansion. Very thought provoking piece.       

Thanks Serp!
Logged
"If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace."
~Thomas Paine

Scorched Eartha

  • Member
  • Birch
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2416
  • Don't worry; it only seems kinky the first time.
Re: Chanupa Wakan: the Sacred Pipe
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2012, 04:59:31 PM »

The formality of the ritual has great dignity to it. And a sense of continuance. From an indigenous perspective, I admire NA societies greatly for the ways in which they've preserved and passed down the sacred aspects of their cultures. I noted it too when I was in New Zealand. How much more connected to culture and ritual the indigenous peoples there are. How much more of it has been included in the national psyche for all.

So  much of ours has been lost to time. The Uncles and Aunties who do know are so often not in contact with the younger generations. Our languages are all fragmented. There is not one complete or near complete indigenous language left. Dozens of them have disappeared to such an extent that only place names remain and meanings for many of those are disputed or simply listed "unknown". Even the true etymology of the word Billabong is lost, though it is used daily by Murri, Koori and gubba alike to describe one of our most unique and important geographical features.

Australians proved to be quite adept at genocide. Not a national achievement to inspire much pride, is it?
Logged
If you're going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you're going to be locked up.

You better take care of me Lord, if you don't you're gonna have me on your hands.

The Edge there's no honest way to explain it as the only people who really know where it is have gone over.

Earthbound Spirit

  • Council Elder
  • Maple
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 10365
Re: Chanupa Wakan: the Sacred Pipe
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2012, 05:35:53 PM »

My country's treatment of its Native Americans is as shameful.

Personally, I'm glad Custer got wiped out.   Arrogant bastard.......
Logged
"Oh Well...Whatever...Nevermind"  Kurt Cobain

"Just because you're paranoid, don't mean they're not after you" - Kurt Cobain

"The best weapon against an enemy is another enemy"  Friedrich Nietzsche

Firesong

  • Council Elder
  • Walnut
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4077
  • Laughin' at the Angels, laughin' at you;
Re: Chanupa Wakan: the Sacred Pipe
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2012, 08:03:00 AM »

My country's treatment of its Native Americans is as shameful.

Personally, I'm glad Custer got wiped out.   Arrogant bastard.......

Agreed... at the time of the invasion of the Americas by European barbarians, the native culture was considerably more evolved... one of the reasons the Indians believed that white man would honor their treaties was because they were sealed with a sacred pipe... but to the whites, it was no more significant than a cigar after dinner... very sad.
Logged
"If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace."
~Thomas Paine

Arnemetia

  • Council Elder
  • Redwood
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5514
  • Crone
Re: Chanupa Wakan: the Sacred Pipe
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2012, 10:44:57 AM »

I just returned from a trip to Alaska.  One of our purposes for going was so hubby could participate in Celebration, which is a gathering of the clans to share knowledge.  Between the Russians and the U.S., they have lost a lot of their culture and are deperately trying to rebuild it.  So many traditions have been lost and many of the Elders cannot remember.  Those who can are doing their best to pass on their knowledge.  Language is being written for the first time and even being taught in classroom settings.  Hubby's mother only speaks a fraction of her own language because they were not allowed to speak it at the school they were forced to live at and attend.  Mom is 83 now and tries to pass on what she remembers of the family tree and traditions. 
Logged
We touch each others lives, for the time we are meant to.

Sometimes the best advice is silence.

Never let your Memories be greater than your Dreams.  Unknown

Scorched Eartha

  • Member
  • Birch
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2416
  • Don't worry; it only seems kinky the first time.
Re: Chanupa Wakan: the Sacred Pipe
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2012, 02:12:50 PM »

Here right up until the 1970's Aboriginal kids who had been "stolen" - taken by the authorities into what was laughingly referred to as care, were beaten for speaking their own languages. They took thousands of children. It was a deliberate ploy - to break cultural ties. I know the same things happened in Canada. I expect it was a similar story in the US.
Logged
If you're going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you're going to be locked up.

You better take care of me Lord, if you don't you're gonna have me on your hands.

The Edge there's no honest way to explain it as the only people who really know where it is have gone over.

Bri

  • Member
  • Fir
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 45
Re: Chanupa Wakan: the Sacred Pipe
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2012, 07:43:22 AM »

 Indians deserve more than just a little piece of land
Logged
Bri

dark magus

  • Member
  • Apple
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3147
Re: Chanupa Wakan: the Sacred Pipe
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2012, 08:55:52 AM »

Indians deserve more than just a little piece of land

Do they? First let me qualify this by saying I too have native heritage. But what is being demanded today, many times, is just not reasonable.
 
Here in British Columbia, our provincial government has already given large tracks of land to the Native Nations. And cash settlements as well with money we really don't have to spend, increasing our provincial debt, pulling tax dollars away from Health care, education, care for seniors and the disabled.
Similar stories can be seen across Canada.
 
It goes to the addage, give an inch, they take a mile........
The city of Vancouver (as an example) is under dispute. There are native bands making claims that the land the city sits on is historically native land and they want title and rent from the current occupants. Every now and then, during a  construction excavation, some bone turn up dating back 4,000 years or more and the Indians come down and make a big ta do claiming it's a burial site from their people, when really there is n way to tell who's people these bones belonged to.
Truth is, the tribes along the BC coast were at one time very territorial and always at war with the next tribe up the beach. It could have just as easily been an old battle ground with those bone being the invaderes / losers left for the crows.
 
One band South of the city has been very successful as they have actually found artifacts that link their tribe to specific areas. They have claimed their sacred lands and the governments has bought out the existing farms and homes and "returned" these lands to the tribe a few years ago. Those sacred lands are now being developed for commercial use including an industrial park and a casino.....so much for being sacred. Not to over look the fact these lands were some of the best farm lands in the province now going under concreate.
 
I think we are going in the wrong direction. The Native peoples of Canada were defeated in a European expansion. Sometimes with guns sometimes just with superior numbers. Yes the Government needs to help them regain aspects of their past. Language, art, etc. Help them intigrate into society better. But the land is gone. Unless the "whiteman" is prepared to pack up and return to Europe, we need to stop trying to find ways to give them land and further the isolation of these people from the 21st century.
I know, people are going to say the government isn't doing a very good job as is and point to that band in Ontario last winter. But lets look at what's really happening. A band makes a claim for lands in central BC. The government gives it to them. They establish a community in the middle of nowhere, with no infrastructure, no jobs, limited access. Next thing they demand is government support. The chief and his people are sitting on free land , in a free home, and getting money to live in a place they wanted to be, then bitch and complain that they don't have schools or hospitals or any of the comforts that might be available in the city! This has been going on for a long time and really pisses me off. I wish the government were more like the Borg in matters of this type, you will be assimilated.....resistance is futile!
Logged

Arnemetia

  • Council Elder
  • Redwood
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5514
  • Crone
Re: Chanupa Wakan: the Sacred Pipe
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2012, 08:38:04 AM »

Here right up until the 1970's Aboriginal kids who had been "stolen" - taken by the authorities into what was laughingly referred to as care, were beaten for speaking their own languages. They took thousands of children. It was a deliberate ploy - to break cultural ties. I know the same things happened in Canada. I expect it was a similar story in the US.

You are correct.  Mom is still very passive and avoids any confrontation at all.
Logged
We touch each others lives, for the time we are meant to.

Sometimes the best advice is silence.

Never let your Memories be greater than your Dreams.  Unknown

marisol

  • Member
  • Redwood
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 5118
  • Blessed be all in the Goddess
Re: Chanupa Wakan: the Sacred Pipe
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2012, 09:20:06 AM »

I think there is very little that can be done to replace what was taken from my ancestors. We can't replace their way of life, or the lives lost. We can give them land, money, etc. but that does
not replace what was taken.
Logged
Protect your 2nd amendment rights.
It's so easy to laugh, It's so easy to hate. It takes guts to be gentle and kind. Morrissey

Wanting to be someone else is a waste of the person you are.   Kurt Cobain

Doom Monkey

  • Member
  • Birch
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2355
Re: Chanupa Wakan: the Sacred Pipe
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2012, 07:33:32 AM »

I don't consider it a fair defeat (as in a battle) when you torture and murder people in their beds or with blankets infested with disease that you gave under the umbrella of friendship. 

It may be different in Cananda, but in the US, the land was stolen and there really isn't an argument to be made that will ever justify the treatment of the native americans.  The US brought a gun to a knife fight and slaughtered the native americans like so many sheep.  Leaving their bodies to rot in the sun.  Entire tribal groups were massacred.  Under the explanation that they refused to move from the land they and their ancestors generations back had lived on was up for grabs to whoever had the most ammunition.
Logged
"Tis a human trait to hate one you have wronged" - Seneca
I am responsible for what I write and say. I am not responsible for what you read or understand.
Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Up