Hau kola na mitakuyepi (Hello all my friends and relatives)!
Isn't this new site cool?!! We have been exploring and researching and designing and building for many months behind the scenes, preparing and readying this new, modernized, mobile/laptop/PC responsive website.... all for you! The new day has finally come, and I welcome you all to 2015 and my brand-new website, and my new blog 'Tipi Talks'! We are running a 'Giveaway Drawing' starting today, so I wanted to elaborate a bit on the deeper meaning of the giveaway from a Lakota / Native American perspective....
The custom of the giveaway goes way back in our culture. Many American Indian nations have...
...this tradition in various forms. In the pacific northwest, there is the 'Potlatch', a huge ceremony in which a family literally gives away everything they own to the tribal community. In return, the community gives back to the family, thus ensuring that they have what they need. The lesson being that, when you give, you receive, and the circle of life is as it should be. I have experienced a giveaway ceremony with Anishinabe people in Michigan as well. In that giveaway, a blanket is laid out and people place items on it. Once all the gifts have been placed, there are prayers and words spoken, and then it is time for all to come and take an item from the blanket. In our Lakota way, there were (and are) giveaways as well. In some ways, our old giveaways resembled the Potlatch, in that many times, the person doing the giveaway would give away almost everything, and in turn, the community would give back. I have also seen giveaways done by a Sioux Elder with a blanket, similar to the Anishinabe way.
Regardless of how it's done, there are really two centrally important reasons for doing a giveaway. One, is to give thanks or pay an honor to someone or something. And the other is deeply ingrained in our cultures - possessions are not what life is about, and giving is far more powerful and sacred than receiving. We know this to be true: a society formed around giving will never rape the earth, will never steal from another, will never take more than is needed, and will never choose 'me' over 'we'. Indigenous cultures the world over have known this truth and lived by it. We still live by it, even when the modern capitalistic societies we are surrounded by discourage it.
So give! Find ways to implement the heart of the giveaway into your life. Seek those in need, and give. Give a possession, give your time, give your love. Give more than you think you can, and Spirit will open the circle of giving and you will be given to. For such is the way of the sacred hoop, the circle of life. May 2015 be the beginning of a great world-wide giveaway, and may this ancient indigenous wisdom show the way to better, kinder, healthier and more peaceful future....
John Two-Hawks - Grammy nominated Native American Flute Music Recording Artist, author, activist and speaker. FULL BIO