Thursday, November 22, 2012

An Iroquois Prayer in Honor of Thanksgiving


Happy Thanksgiving friends. 
In honor of the holiday, I thought it would be fitting to post this beautiful Iroquois prayer, written down before the turn of the 20th century. 
Translated from the Iroquois language by Harriet Maxwell Converse 
b. 1836
(Elmira, New York) 


"We who are here present thank the Great Spirit that we
   are here to praise Him.
We thank Him that He has created men and women, 
   and ordered that these beings shall always be 
   living to multiply the earth.
We thank Him for making the earth and giving these 
   beings its products to live on.
We thank Him for the water that comes out of the earth 
   and runs for our lands.
We thank Him for all the animals on the earth.
We thank Him for certain timbers that grow and have 
   fluids coming from them for us all.
We thank Him for the branches of the trees that grow 
   shadows for our shelter.
We thank Him for the beings that come from the west, 
   the thunder and lightning that water the earth.
We thank Him for the light which we call our oldest 
   brother, the sun that works for our good.
We thank Him for all the fruits that grow on the trees 
   and vines.
We thank Him for his goodness in making the forests, 
   and thank all its trees.
We thank Him for the darkness that gives us rest, and 
   for the kind Being of the darkness that gives us light, 
   the moon.
We thank Him for the bright spots in the skies that give 
   us signs, the stars.
We give Him thanks for our supporters, who had charge 
   of our harvests.
We give thanks that the voice of the Great Spirit can 
   still be heard through the words of Ga-ne-o-di-o.
We thank the Great Spirit that we have the privilege of 
   this pleasant occasion.
We give thanks for the persons who can sing the Great Spirit's music, and hope they will be privileged to 
   continue in his faith.
We thank the Great Spirit for all the persons who 
   perform the ceremonies on this occasion."

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