11.27.2008

A Seneca Thanksgiving Prayer

Thanksgiving Prayer from the Seneca (Iroquois), translated by Chuck Larsen, Seneca


You said that we should always be thankful
For our earth and for each other
So it is that we are gathered here
We are your children, Lord of the Sky.
Now again the smoke rises
And again we offer prayers

You said that food should be placed beside us
And it should be ours in exchange for our labor.
You thought that ours should be a world
where green grass of many kinds should grow

You said that some should be medicines
And that one should be Ona'o the sacred food, our sister corn
You gave to her two clinging sisters
beautiful Oa'geta, our sister beans
and bountiful Nyo'sowane, our sister squash
The three sacred sisters; they who sustain us.
This is what you thought, Lord of the Sky.

Thus did you think to provide for us
And you ordered that when the warm season comes,
That we should see the return of life
And remember you, and be thankful,
and gather here by the sacred fire.

So now again the smoke arises
We the people offer our prayers
We speak to you through the rising smoke
We are thankful, Lord of the Sky.

Source: Native Village