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Indigenous Peoples' Literature

Indigenous Peoples Literature


"So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.
Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and
Demand that they respect yours. Love your life, perfect your life,
Beautify all things in your life. Seek to make your life long and
Its puspose in the service of your people.

Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend,
Even a stranger, when in a lonely place. Show respect to all people and
Bow to none. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the food and
For the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks,
The fault lies only in yourself. Abuse no one and nothing,
For abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts
Are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes
They weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again
In a different way. Sing your death song and die like a hero going home."

Tecumseh, Shawnee

Great Spirit, Great Spirit, My Grandfather,
All over the earth the faces of living things are all alike. . .
Look upon these faces of children without number
And with children in their arms,
That they may face the winds and
Walk the good road to the day of quiet. . .

Black Elk, Lakota

Prayer with Music

There is no death. . .
Only a change of worlds. . .
Only a change of worlds.

Chief Seattle, Duwamish