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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


February 7, 2004 - Issue 106


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The Eagle and the Snake – Redman Speaks – Part 3

by Geoff Hampton

Throughout the remainder of their first winter, life was extremely difficult, but the tribe seemed to be coming together in a more harmonious manner. Several inter-tribal romances even began to develop, which inevitably led to some tensions between warriors. The tensions began to relax some throughout the latter stages of that first winter and spring brought a renewed spirit of purpose and even a couple of expectant women!

While the spiritually driven mission seemed to be overwhelming, the spiritual leaders under Half Moon's direction began to build some strong feelings of commitment to the purpose that they had been fortunate enough to be chosen for. A vision was being created that all began to clearly see. The future of all Native Americans lay squarely in their hands.

The rest of the Native American nations were experiencing horrible, deadly, degrading experiences. The white men were putting the Native Americans onto worthless parcels of land called reservations. Conditions were terrible, morale was poor and the indomitable Native American spirit was in jeopardy. Even though the great spiritual leaders of each tribe continued to try reassure everyone on the new reservations and in the field about Redman’s message, the memory of the actual Tribe of the Eagle and the original story about the Legend of the Eagle and the Snake (link to The Eagle and the Snake) began to fade and simply be viewed as some old legend, or fantasy created by medicine men in order to bring a sense of false hope.

The spiritual leaders who had been present the night that Thunder delivered the message from Redman to the Native American people slowly died off through the years. Even though they tried to rekindle the message of hope that The Tribe of the Eagle represented, ultimately, their efforts were in vain.

Eagle Feather tried in vain to keep hope alive for his beloved Cheyenne nation, but he was ultimately killed by the newly formed tribal police who were willing to kill their own people in hopes of rewards from the white man. Sky Dancer died after a short illness the following year and Running Bear lived to an old age, but his message of hope began to be viewed as the rambling illusions of some old crazy man.

The Native American tribes that remained behind experienced many different emotions through the years. Some became violently opposed to the white mans laws and death seemed to haunt them as many of their own had turned away from the true spirit of Native American life. Too many adopted the white mans ways and essentially became red skinned white men. Some of the red skinned white men even worked for the white man and served as the hated tribal police.

The tribal police were brutal. They were actually worse than the white men themselves. The powers of the tribal police were extensive and there was no real accountability for their actions. They killed Native American men, women and even children with no possible recourse available to the other Native Americans on the reservations.

This disturbed the great Native American spiritual leaders who had left the physical world and were trapped in the spirit world. From their place in the spirit world, they worked hard to try to help many Native Americans remember the truth. They also made certain that these tribesmen would never forget the reality of what the white men and the tribal police had done to them. The stolen land had been rightfully theirs, yet the white men still took it from them. The white man claimed to have "laws" that governed decisions, yet the laws were simply fancy words that resulted in the same thing...stealing from the Native Americans and giving nothing in return, except for an occasional shameful offering of token settlements to appease them.

The Native Americans who maintained the true spirit would never let the past go. All of them knew of the legend of the Tribe of the Eagle, but it was difficult for them, with any sense of rationality to believe that the legend could be true. However, the hope of an appearance of Redman was still held as the sign for a return to the way it used to be.

While the Native Americans suffered under the white mans rule, the tribal police's brutality and the "laws" that were used against the good Native Americans back at home, the Tribe of the Eagle began to gel as a tribe and their sense of purpose became the focal point of their lives. Every day they spent time individually and as a group seeking strength and guidance from the spirit world for personal and collective strength and courage to successfully accomplish their mission. They feared for their loved ones back home, knowing that the white men were winning the military campaign and that the inevitable victory of the white man meant extreme hardships and even death for their loved ones so far away.

They longed for information about how things were going, but knew that they could never allow themselves to be discovered. Half Moon knew that their spiritual mission must be a success. He knew not when Redman would return one day. No one else was really sure of that, but he worked diligently to prepare them all for what he felt was inevitable.

Half Moon's spiritual leadership and Raven Spirit's tribal leadership became powerful and they were able to keep everyone focused on their mission. As the tribe seemed to be doing well and Half Moon and Raven Spirit were developing a great relationship, Half Moon decided that it was time to reveal the secret art of shape shifting to Raven Spirit.

It was in the early spring of the second year of the Tribe of the Eagle when Half Moon asked the great chief to meet him at the first light of the next day. Raven Spirit did as Half Moon had requested and the meeting took place at first light the following morning.

Half Moon explained to Raven Spirit that he held an ancient spiritual treasure and he needed the great chief's wisdom as to how to properly utilize it for the benefit of the tribe and their spiritually oriented mission. Raven Spirit was receptive to helping Half Moon make the decision, but was very curious as to what the spiritual treasure actually was.

Half Moon asked Raven Spirit to sit with him and Half Moon began a soft chant accompanied by a distinct series of arm movements. Suddenly, Half Moon turned into an eagle right before Raven Spirit's eyes. At first Raven Spirit was alarmed. He didn't know exactly how to respond, nor did he understand what had just happened. He simply looked on in astonishment with a tinge of nervousness as the huge eagle simply looked at him. First with one eye, then by turning his head, the beautiful bird peered at him with his other eye.

After a few anxious, silent moments, the eagle suddenly turned back into Half Moon. Raven Spirit's eyes were enormous. He was filled with questions and didn't know where to begin. Half Moon started the conversation. He said "Raven Spirit, this is the secret, ancient spiritual art called shape shifting. It is obvious that the art can be abused and should only be knowledge available to a very limited number of warriors. It was originally intended only for spiritual leaders, but the enormity of our mission leads me to believe that through our collective wisdom, we may find a pure purpose that will benefit this mission. This is the wisdom that I seek from you."

Raven Spirit was silent for a moment. He let Half Moon know that he also felt that the art had a place in the Tribe of the Eagle. He went on to ask Half Moon if the eagle was the only thing that he could transform himself into. Half Moon told him that he could transform himself into any creature on mother earth. Raven Spirit then asked if the transformation could be done more swiftly, which would make it valuable in a battle or dangerous situation. Half Moon told him that through diligent practice, it could be done virtually in an instant.

The great chief was pleased and they agreed to meet again after careful thought to decide how to proceed next. Raven Spirit and Half Moon decided to take their most trusted braves and teach them the art. They both felt that the art would prove very valuable as time passed.

End – Part 3 – To Be Continued

© 2003 Geoff Hampton

Geoff Hampton is an internationally known author, speaker, motivator and business consultant. Hampton is the Executive Director for St. Mary's Health & Fitness Center in Powell, TN and is also a regular columnist for the wellness/fitness Website as well as Canku Ota. He can be reached by E-mail at His national anti-obesity/diabetes campaign, The Wellness Wakeup Challenge can be reviewed at

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