Saturday, October 6, 2018

The People

The Two-Leggeds, the People, lived in family groups, bands and villages across the Great Island, the Earth. They spoke variations of the Language. Those that lived closest to each other, spoke the closest variations, while those very far away varied more, maybe a harder g became a k, or an ah became an oh, but the Language was still the Language.

There were the People Of This Place and the People Over There. Sometimes, the People We Like and the People Who Annoy Us, But all were The People, all relatives. Their lands stretched over the wide world, and they moved about woodlands, rivers, lakes and prairies.

Occasionally the People encountered other Two Leggeds, whose speech was unintelligible, and maybe their customs were different, but they could be traded with, married, and sometimes squabbled or feuded with. They were those Other Ones. When one of the People went to live with them, their children and grandchildren learned those languages and ways, and in a few generations were those Other People. And when one of the Other Ones came and lived with the People, then their children and grandchildren learned the People’s Ways and they became the People too.

Things were traded far and wide, both by neighbors and kin swapping goods and stories, and by traveling traders from way far off, who had even more strange stories and goods, some almost unbelievable, yet there the goods showed the truth of what they said. Pelts and claws of animals and colorful feathers of birds the People of This Place had never seen before. Stones like the Sky. Black glossy stones dark as night, but at the same time one could hold them up to the sky and one could see the Light right through them. And they could be shaped into the most unbelievably sharp tools; but they could also break so easily. Other small stones the color of light, of fire, that was soft and could be shaped into just about anything, like the fiery glance of a Thunderer.

Things came and went through hands very quickly, because to hoard and hide things showed an evil heart, and one was measured as a Person by what one did and what one gave, not what one had.

When People lived in a Place for a long time, they knew it and became it, they merged with a location as Home. They were the People of this Place, they made marks on that Place as Home: scratches, carving into or painting at  special places on cliffs and bluffs and entrances into the Mother, and making heaps of earth in shapes simple and complex. They had special relationships with Places and the Other Persons who lived in those places, Four Leggeds and Wingeds, and those relationships with All Our Relatives shaped those heaps of earth too.

Sometimes new ideas arrived, new ideas, some were tried, some were too strange; some worked and some didn’t. Planting new things, corn, beans and squash, with their own requirements and ceremonies, but which grew less successfully the farther into the Cold North, so the people there kept with the older Wild Rice ways, and the Corn People and Rice People traded to taste different things, which was enjoyable and kept friendships going.
Occasionally people had visions and experiences which brought new insights and relationships with the Mysteries of the world. New Ceremonies and new shapes and directions of very Old Ceremonies.

People far away had been far away so long, when they traveled, they began to find Those Ones’ ways of talking hard to understand anymore, though they knew they were related.
Thinking from far away drifted north up the Great River at times. Some People accepted these new ideas, and some did not care for them. The People drifted apart in their dialects of the Language, and began to think of each other as different in their ways too. Which was a little suspect, a little annoying.

Winters became colder and longer, and people looked more inwards, and friendships sometimes began to fray. New alliances and boundaries of Us and Them. Sometimes it was hard to remember we were all The People.