Thursday, December 15, 2011
You Want Me to What?
Women were charged with repopulating the tribe so as I mentioned in yesterday's blog, it was uncommon for a brave to take more than one wife. Girls married at young age, and aspired to become mothers, most giving birth in what was known as the 'women's hut, specifically a home to all things women, including monthly periods. During birth, a woman squatted next to a stick driven into the ground, and holding tight, she delivered her baby into a special trough in the dirt that held a clean piece of hide with which to swaddle the newborn. OMG! I thought having to go through labor without pain meds was the height of torture. Squatting next to a stick and pushing the kid out into a little ditch? Give me a break. Natural childbirth was popular long before we ever imagined.
The very place that some young women were born, also served as a place they spent their menstruating time. Women having their monthly time were considered to possess spirits dangerous to the virility and strength of the braves in the tribe. For that reason, during those days of the month, menstruating women were isolated from the rest of the tribe. Yeah, right. Like God didn't make us suffer enough with cramps and bleeding, now we have to go spend seven days in a little hut, away from everyone else. I don't think so. Men should fear us. I guess maybe PMS was around, just not named back then.
The end of the first period for a Sioux maiden was a time for celebration. Her friends were treated to a feast, given gifts, and listened to chants recited by the tribal Shaman as he paid homage to the Buffalo Woman deity. The American Indians were big on rituals and celebrations. Tomorrow, I'll talk about some of them, like visions questions and honoring the four directions. BTW, I celebrated the end of my LAST period. No more buying pads, no more cranky moods, no more monthly agony. No feasts or parties, but a cause for celebration nonetheless. See ya later!