Tuesday, September 28, 2010

In Anticipation of the Real Thanksgiving

An abridged Ganyonhon:yonk -- The Thanksgiving address:

Teyethinonhwerá:ton ne Onkwe’shón:’a
We give thanks to the people.

Teyethinonhwerá:ton ne Yethi’nisténha Ohwéntsya
We give thanks to our mother the earth.

Teyethinonhwerá:ton ne Kahnekarónnyon
We give thanks to the waters.

Teyethinonhwerá:ton ne Kentsyonkshón:’a
We give thanks to the fish.

Teyethinonhwerá:ton ne Ohonte’shón:’a
We give thanks to the grass and vegetation.

Teyethinonhwerá:ton ne Ononhkwa’shón:’a táhnon Ohtehra’shón:’a
We give thanks to the medicines and the roots.

Teyethinonhwerá:ton ne Kahikshón:’a
We give thanks to the fruits.

Teyethinonhwerá:ton ne Tyonnhéhkwen
We give thanks to the foods.

Teyethinonhwerá:ton ne Otsi’nonwa’shón:’a
We give thanks to the insects.

Teyethinonhwerá:ton ne Okwire’shón:’a táhnon Karonta’shón:’a
We give thanks to the bushes and the trees.

Teyethinonhwerá:ton ne Otsi’ten’okón:’a
We give thanks to the birds.

Teyethinonhwerá:ton ne Teyowerawénrye
We give thanks to the winds.

Teyethinonhwerá:ton ne Yethihsothó:kon Ratiwé:ras
We give thanks to our grandfathers the thunderers.

Tetshitewanonhwerá:ton ne Etshitewahtsí:’a Entye’kehnékha Karáhkwa
We give thanks to our elder brother during the day time celestial light.

Teyethinonhwerá:ton ne Yethihsótha Ahsonthenhnékha Karáhkwa
We give thanks to our grandmother the night time celestial light.

Teyethinonhwerá:ton ne Yotsistohkwarónnyon
We give thanks to all the stars scattered about.

Tetshitewanonhwerá:ton ne Shonkwaya’tíhson
We give him thanks the one who finished our bodies (the creator).

I have been thinking a lot about the idea behind Thanksgiving -- and not the glitzy American version or the kinder, gentler Canadian one -- but the idea that we thank everything in this marvelous creation for sustaining our lives. Not prayed for -- but thanked. A lovely Iroquoian concept that I particularly like.

I often wonder if the settlers saw us do this -- the Ganyonhon:yonk is recited at the beginning of every gathering -- and thought it was a good idea. Because it is.

Happy Thanksgiving, if I don't post here between now and then.