Sovereign Nation

Anishinaabemowin (Ojibwe Language )
Anishinaabe Nanaawdchigewin (traditional medicine)
Chiahyaog ( elders )
bakwezhigan ( fry bread )
Ishkonigan (reservation )
Geebawug ( spirits )

“Sovereign Nation”

After the women cooked the bakwezhigan
the children gather round the chiahyaog
tell us tales before the ishkonigan
when our ancestors walked with the geebawug
we will tell you only in Anishinaabemowin
it is necessary as anishinaabe
nanaawdchigewin.

before the people had anishinaabe nanaawdchigewin
they ate grains but not bakwezhign
then they were given speech in Anishinaabemowin
and stories were told to the first chiahyaog
one by one revealed the geebawug
this was long before the ishkonigan.

although today we live on the ishkonigan
we still heal with anishinaabe nanaawdchigewin
our shaman are guided by the geebawug
similar to the wafting smell of bakwezhign
we tell you this as your chiahyaog
be proud to speak in Anishinaabemowin.

when you speak and sing in Anishinaabemowin
it lifts you beyond the ishkonigan
someday when you become the chiahyaog
and you teach the ways of anishinaabe nanaawdchigewin
as a lesson when cooking bakwezhign
then you can commune with the geebawug.

behind the veil is the world of geebawug
they speak to our souls in Anishinaabemowin
feeding a hunger unlike bakwezhign
in a vision of hope for the ishkonigan
show the way to anishinaabe nanaawdchigewin
they give prestige to the chiahyaog.

listen well children to us chiahyaog
for our heritage is from the geebawug
they gave a gift of anishinaabe nanaawdchigewin
to preserve our life as Anishinaabemowin
if we keep our faith on the ishkonigan
we will be comforted like bakwezhign.

a group of chiahyaog speaking in Anishinaabemowin
discuss the geebawug on the ishkonigan
as a tonic of anishinaabe nanaawdchigewin they consume bakwezhigan.
By Brian

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9 Comments

Filed under MeMeMe

9 responses to “Sovereign Nation

  1. Aninn BG,

    Thanks,Hear My Voice was a tough one, I had to go back and read her entire blog for the last year in order to understand why the words were important to her.

    As you can see, two of my bloggers are MIA. Well, maybe later they will check in.

    So, what’s on the agenda today?

  2. Oh, did you want to put the translation of the words up here also? And the first stanza sixth line runs on after the fifth.

  3. bri-I bet the MIA are sleeping in! no fair. omg, you read the entire thing, you are dedicated. Id have made us a rose are red, violets are…well you get the idea.

  4. Well, Monika’s got no excuse, it’s afternoon in Iceland. Although she did say her mother was hogging the computer. I’ll let you know when her post is up. It’s a great sestina.

    BTW-Thanks you so much for talking to Diane, she really needs to vent and find her voice also.

    Also, would you mind terribly leaving a comment for Steph on her blog?

  5. Never mind, Monika just posted her sestina and I just saw your comment for Steph. Thanks.

  6. When Monika psoted hers it was only noon in Iceland and Monika had a night shift before that…so she does in fatc have an excuse 🙂
    I love dthis poem as well, especially sinc eit shows a culture I know almost nothing about.
    I betif I´d give you 6 icelandic words, you´d be able to make a wonderful poem of it!
    barngoddess, you were right: Sovereign Nation is a wonderful piece 🙂

  7. minka-yes it is a lovely piece. Especially since the dances are going on right now at the res.

  8. G

    barngoddess: better late than never. And to brian yet again, you amaze me with your abilities. I enjoy reading about other cultures – yours no exception. But I would like to read more and come visit when time permits – give your place the attention it deserves. thanks for the education and brian thanks for helping it to be understood even more.

  9. G-I understand! there are so many great blogs that I am going to visit, it just takes time, which there is so little of. Brian has a great talent, we are lucky he shares it with us!

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