Four is the big number in Mvskoke lore, and usually most things come in sets of four. It just happens that I want to talk about one of the most important subjects for this 4th blog on Nenne Mvskoke.
Green Corn is the annual celebration / ceremony / dance / community get-together that the southeastern people celebrate. It is a remnant of ancient history that we know were celebrated by the people who built the great mound places. Native tribes all over the continent have some type of annual ceremony, which may involve corn, fish, or whatever. Watching the movie, "Crooked Arrow" about the Native American community in New York state bringing back the game of lacrosse, there is one part where the kids are singing a stomp dance song on the bus. Any traditional Creek, Seminole, Choctaw, or Cherokee will recognize that song and are able to join in. So the beliefs & practices are spread far and wide.
Green Corn means many things to different people. Yes, it is a time of spiritual recharge and renewal, but in the Native community, things are done more for the whole people and town, and the individual needs come after that. I do not know how much of the ancient ways and beliefs are retained among different tribal Grounds and towns; some other anthropologists have been studying those things for decades. But the explanation that I have liked for Green Corn, is that it will make the world get back on balance. It is viewed as an important thing that is vital to our survival, and that of the whole world. They world will collapse and be destroyed without it.
I was surprised to read that people in California view their ceremony in the same way. I am reading, "To the American Indian, Reminiscences of a Yurok Woman" by Lucy Thompson, Che-Na-Wah Weitch-Ah-Wah. Originally written in 1916 and forgotten for 75 years, the book by Lucy was more for her Yurok people than anyone else. She wanted to set the record straight, when she was seeing her people's culture vanish at an alarming rate due to the changes happening around her, during her lifetime.
The books says in the forward, that the Yurok tribe's language is from the Algonquian language group of the northeast woodlands, far from where they ended up in northern California. That was a very interesting observation, but not without precedence, because we know that the language spoken by the Dineh or Navaho is also spoken in northwest Canada. Native people sure moved around.
But what really got my attention was that in the book forward, written by a modern tribal member, said that they do their annual dance and ceremony to save the world. That, "Fixing the world has become once again the cultural imperative." That is the same reason why I was told that the Green Corn is cerebrated at the ceremonial Ground. (At least my favorite reason, from what I have heard.) Native people all over this continent cerebrate and perform some type of Green Corn ceremony to fix the world. They are saving all of us, and without the least bit of thanks from anyone.
So I look forward coming into our time of the year for the Green Corn fast, ceremony, dance, and get-together. It is vital, because it is "fixing the world."