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Native American Legends

Cannupa - The Sacred Pipe

An American Indian Legend - Nation Unknown

The Earth was red with the blood of the dead, rocks were stained crimson, and shouts of hate echoed on the wind. For all the nations of the earth were at war, and the law of Great Spirit was forgotten.

Great Spirit was saddened by the never-ending din of battle and the cries of pain and agony from His Red Children. He wished all Indians to live in peace, for His land was large and there was room for all.

Great Spirit called all the nations together, and they met on the battle-ground stained with warriors' blood. From a red rock Great Spirit broke a piece away and made it into a pipe. And in the bowl He placed the bark of red trees, and lit it with eternal fire. The Smoke wandered up to the sky, and spirit of mankind embraced the Great Mystery.

Great Spirit presented the pipe to the Indians and said, "Touch this pipe only as a pledge of peace, and smoke it only to seal your promise. For he who smokes the pipe, yet treads the path of war, shall never be welcomed in the Land of Great Spirit."

Lances were laid down and arrows returned to their quivers, and all nations of the earth smoked together in brotherhood. And as nations grew, the pipe of peace was smoked among them.

At the last council that ever was, the sacred pipe was passed around the circle of chiefs three times. Yet no warrior would touch it, for tempers were still bitter among the braves. The pipe was met with downcast eyes, and the tribes people grew sad with thoughts of continued war.

On the fourth pass, a child broke from the arms of his mother and ran into the sacred council. He snatched the pipe from Medicine Man's grasp. White Horn, elder and chief of council was startled, and quickly took the pipe from the child. He gazed at it, then looked up - and all the chiefs were smiling, for the peace pact had been made. Anger was banished from the land, and all the nations of the earth were brothers once again.

Great Spirit left this sacred ground as it had been, stained red with the blood of the dead. It remains forever, a reminder to all the nations of the earth that war does not please Great Spirit, and never will.

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