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Calling it a ceremonial Ground doesn't make it so

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This next discussion came out of several conversations from some of my different friends over the past few weeks, and I felt a need to share it. But when I started writing, it became way too involved and complicated, so I had to shorten it down to the bare minimum.

I hate to go back to this lesson again. I guess people want to find what their family lost over the last 175 years. They want to re-establish their culture that they lost. Their intentions were good, but their lack of experience and knowledge allowed things that should have never happened.

This time of year is when the southeastern people hold their Green Corn Dance ceremonies. The dates are different depending on the Grounds and geographical locations.

In Florida there are about four or five legitimate Grounds. There are a couple dozen in Oklahoma. I have heard of other grounds that people put together in south Georgia, north Florida, or Alabama, but those are not legitimate grounds.

Some of these new ceremonial Grounds in Oklahoma started up as a practice ground. People of a community would get together for stomp dances or community activities. After so many years, they can get assistance from an old legitimate ceremonial Ground to become a Square Ground. Anyone can create a practice ground, but it cannot just automatically become a Square Ground. But if you knew what it took to become a ceremonial Ground, it might totally change the way you understand the Creek and Seminole people.

Someone who does not have the genealogy and does not follow the traditional ways should never be allowed to become a leader in the community or Ground. I have seen bad people get control this way, who had no Muskogee-Hitchiti ancestry or knowledge of the old ways. One evil person present can destroy the whole harmony of the group.

The best example is Panther Bend. It was started about 20 years ago by people seeking to get back to their traditional ways. A non-Creek person came into the group, became a leader, and eventually a cult leader who did some terrible things. From what I heard, he finally ended up in jail. But along the way it really messed up the lives for many well-intentioned people who would have liked to have a community to belong too. There were some really strange things that went on and it was bad all around.

If only some people could have learned from that lesson, because I have seen it happen all over again on more than one occasion.
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