Native American Legends
A Cherokee Legend by Lee Brown, Cherokee
There was the cycle of the mineral, the rock. There was the cycle
of the plant. And now we are in the cycle of the animal coming to
the end of that and beginning the cycle of the human being. When
we get into the cycle of the human being, the highest and greatest
powers that we have will be released to us.
At the beginning of this cycle of time, long ago, the Great Spirit
made an appearance and gathered the peoples of this earth together,
and said to the human beings, "I'm going to send you to four
directions, and over time I'm going to change you to four colors,
but I'm going to give you some teachings, and you will call these
the Original Teachings; when you come back together with each other,
you will share these so that you can live and have peace on earth,
and a great civilization will come about. During the cycle of time,
I'm going to give each of you two stone tablets. When I give you
those stone tablets, don't cast them upon the ground. If any of
the sisters and brothers cast their tablets on the ground, not only
will human beings have a hard time, but almost the earth itself
And so He gave each of us a responsibility, and we call that the
Guardianship. To the Indian people, the red people, He gave the
Guardianship of the Earth. We were to learn during this cycle of
time the teachings of the earth, the plants that grow from the earth,
the foods that you can eat, and the herbs that heal so that, when
we came back together with the other sisters and brothers, we could
share this knowledge with them. Something good was to happen on
To the South He gave the yellow race of people the Guardianship
of the Wind. They were to learn about the sky and breathing and
how to take that within ourselves for spiritual advancement. They
were to share that with us at this time.
To the West He gave the black race of people the Guardianship of
the Water. They were to learn the teachings of the water, which
is the chief of the elements, being the most humble and the most
powerful. The elders have told me that the black people would bring
the teachings of the water.
To the North He gave the white race of people the Guardianship
of the Fire. If you look at the center of many of the things they
do, you will find the fire. They say a light bulb is the white man's
fire. If you look at the center of a car you will find a spark.
If you look at the center of the airplane and the train you will
find the fire. The fire consumes, and also moves. This is why it
was the white sisters and brothers who began to move upon the face
of the earth and reunite us as a human family.
And so a long time passed, and the Great Spirit gave each of the
four races two stone tablets. Ours are kept at the Hopi Reservation
in Arizona at Four Corners Area on Third Mesa. I talked to people
from the black race, and their stone tablets are at the foot of
Mount Kenya. They are kept by the Kukuyu Tribe. I was at an Indian
spiritual gathering about 15 years ago. A medicine man from South
Dakota put a beaded medicine wheel in the middle of the gathering.
It had the four colors from the four directions; he asked the people,
"Where is this from?" They said, "Probably Montana,
or South Dakota, maybe Saskatchewan." He said, "This is
from Kenya." It was beaded just like ours, with the same colors.
The stone tablets of the yellow race of people are kept by the
Tibetans. If you went straight through the Hopi Reservation to the
other side of the world, you would come out in Tibet. The Tibetan
word for sun is the Hopi word for moon, and the Hopi word for sun
is the Tibetan word for moon.
The guardians of the traditions of the people of Europe are the
Swiss. In Switzerland, they still have a day when each family brings
out its mask. They still know the colors of the families, and they
still know the symbols, some of them. Each of these four peoples
happen to live in the mountains.
Each of the four races went to their directions and learned their
teachings. It was in Newsweek not long ago that eight out of ten
foods that people eat on the earth are developed here in the western
hemisphere because that was our Guardianship -- to learn the teachings
of the earth and the things that grow from the earth. We were given
a sacred handshake to show, when we came back together as sisters
and brothers, that we still remembered the teachings.
It was indicated on the stone tablets that the Hopis had that the
first sisters and brothers who would come back to them would come
as turtles across the land. They would be human beings, but they
would come as turtles. So when the time came close, the Hopis were
at a special village to welcome the turtles that would come across
the land. They got up in the morning and looked out at the sunrise.
They looked out across the desert, and they saw the Spanish conquistadors
coming, covered in armor, like turtles across the land. So this
was them. So they went out to the Spanish man, and they extended
their hand, hoping for the handshake. But into the hand the Spanish
man dropped a trinket. And so word spread throughout North America
that there was going to be a hard time, that maybe some of the brothers
and sisters had forgotten the sacredness of all things and all the
human beings were going to suffer for this on the earth.
So tribes began to send people to the mountains to have visions
to try to figure out how they could survive. At that time there
were 100,000 cities in the Mississippi Valley alone, called the
mound civilization: cities built on great mounds. Those mounds are
still there. They began to try to learn to live off the land because
they knew a hard time was going to come. They began to send people
to have visions to see how we could survive this time. They were
told in the prophecies that we should try to remind all the people
that would come here of the sacredness of all things. If we could
do that, then there would be peace on earth. But if we did not do
that, if we had not come together as a human family, the Great Spirit
would grab the earth with His hand and shake it.
The elders on the west coast prophesied that they would then begin
to build a black ribbon. And on this black ribbon there would move
a bug. And when you begin to see this bug moving on the land, that
was the sign for the First Shaking of the Earth. The First Shaking
of the Earth would be so violent that this bug would be shaken off
the earth into the air and it would begin to move and fly in the
air. And by the end of this shaking this bug will be in the air
around the world. Behind it would be a trail of dirt and eventually
the whole sky of the entire earth would become dirty from these
trails of dirt, and this would cause many diseases that would get
more and more complicated. So the bug moving on the land, of course
it's easy to see now. In 1908 the Model-T Ford was mass produced
for the first time. So the elders knew the First Shaking of the
Earth was about to come about -- that was the First World War.
In the First World War the airplane came into wide usage for the
first time. That was that bug moving into the sky. And so they knew
something very important would happen. There would be an attempt
to make peace on earth on the west coast of this land, and so the
elders began to watch for this. They began to hear that there was
going to be a League of Nations in San Francisco, so the elders
gathered in Arizona around 1920 or so, and they wrote a letter to
Woodrow Wilson. They asked if the Indian people could be included
in the League of Nations.
The United States Supreme Court had held that a reservation is
a separate and semi-sovereign nation, not a part of the United States
but protected by it. This became a concern because people didn't
want the reservations to become more and more separate. They didn't
want them to be considered nations. So they did not write back,
and the Native people were left out of the League of Nations so
that circle was incomplete. In the League of Nations circle there
was a southern door, the yellow people; there was a western door,
the black people; there was a northern door, the white people; but
the eastern door was not attended. The elders knew that peace would
not come on the earth until the circle of humanity is complete,
until all the four colors sat in the circle and shared their teachings,
then peace would come on earth.
So they knew things would happen. Things would speed up a little
it. There would be a cobweb built around the earth, and people would
talk across this cobweb. When this talking cobweb, the telephone,
was built around the earth, a sign of life would appear in the east,
but it would tilt and bring death (the swastika of the Nazis). It
would come with the sun. But the sun itself would rise one day,
not in the east but in the west (the rising sun of the Japanese
Empire). So the elders said when you see the sun rising in the east,
and you see the sign of life reversed and tilted in the east, you
know that the Great Death is to come upon the earth, and now the
Great Spirit will grab the earth again in His hand and shake it,
and this shaking will be worse than the first. So the sign of life
reversed and tilted, we call that the Swastika, and the rising sun
in the east was the Rising Sun of Japan. These two symbols are carved
in stone in Arizona. When the elders saw these two flags, they knew
that these were the signs that the earth was to be shaken again.
The worse misuse of the Guardianship of the fire is called the
gourd of ashes. They said the gourd of ashes will fall from the
air. It will make the people like blades of grass in the prairie
fire, and things will not grow for many seasons. The atomic bomb,
the gourd of ashes, it was the best-kept secret in the history of
the US. The elders wanted to speak about it in 1920.
They would have spoken of it and foretold its coming if they could
have entered into the League of Nations. The elders tried to contact
President Roosevelt to ask him not to use the gourd of ashes because
it would have a great effect on the earth and eventually cause even
greater destruction and a the Third Shaking of the Earth, the Third
So they knew after the Second Shaking of the Earth when they saw
the gourd of ashes fall from the sky, there would be an attempt
to make peace on the other side of this land. And because the peace
attempt on the west coast had failed, they would build a special
house on the east coast of this Turtle Island, and all the nations
and peoples of the earth would come to this house, and it would
be called the House of Mica, and it would shine like the mica on
the desert shines. So the elders began to see they were building
the United Nations made out of glass that reflects like the mica
on the desert so they knew this was the House of Mica, and all the
peoples of the earth should go to it. So they met and talked about
this. They said that in the 1920's they had written and they had
not been responded to, so they said this time we'd better go to
the front door of the House of Mica because things might get a lot
So elders representing a number of tribes drove to New York City.
When the United Nations opened, they went to the front door of the
house of Mica and they said these words, 'We represent the indigenous
people of North America, and we wish to address the nations of the
Earth. We're going to give you four days to consider whether or
not we will be allowed to speak.'
They retreated to one of the Six Nations Reserves in New York State.
Four days later they came back, and I believe the nations of the
earth heard that the Indians had come to the door. And they voted
to let the Indians in. They wanted to hear what they had to say.
But the United States is one of five nations of the United Nations
with a veto power, and still they were concerned because this time
the Native sovereignty was even stronger. And I believe they vetoed
the entrance of the Native people.
So then they knew other things would happen on the Earth. So they
retreated to the Six Nations Reserve, and they talked about this,
and they said the time is really getting close now -- 1949. They
said, "We're going to divide the United States into four sections,
and each year we're going to have a gathering. We're going to call
these the White Roots of Peace Gatherings." They began to have
these around 1950. And they authorized certain people to speak in
English for the first time about these prophecies.
One that I used to listen to many times, over and over, was Thomas
Banyaca. He was authorized to speak in English about what was on
the stone tablets, and he has dedicated his life to doing this.
And they began to tell us at these gatherings, "You're going
to see a time in your lifetime when the human beings are going to
find the blueprint that makes us." They call that now DNA,
deoxyribonucleic acid. They said, "They're going to cut this
blueprint." They call that now genetic splicing. And they said,
"They're going to make new animals upon the earth, and they're
going to think these are going to help us. And it's going to seem
like they do help us. But maybe the grandchildren and great-grandchildren
are going to suffer." The elders said long ago, "They
will release these things, and they will use them." This is
going to be released not too long from now. They are making new
animals. The elders talked about this. They said, "You will
see new animals, and even the old animals will come back, animals
that people thought had disappeared. They will find them here and
there. They'll begin to reappear."
They said, "You're going to see a time when the eagle will
fly its highest in the night, and it will land upon the moon. And
at that time, many of the Native people will be sleeping,"
which symbolically means they have lost their teachings. We're at
that time now. The Eagle has landed on the moon, 1969. When that
spaceship landed, they sent back the message, "The Eagle has
landed." Traditionally, Native people from clear up in the
Inuit region have shared with us this prophecy, clear down to the
Quechuas in South America.
At this time you're going to see that things will speed up, that
people on the earth will move faster and faster. Grandchildren will
not have time for grandparents. Parents will not have time for children.
It will seem like time is going faster and faster. The elders advised
us that, as things speed up, you yourself should slow down. The
faster things go, the slower you go. Because there's going to come
a time when the earth is going to be shaken a third time. The Great
Spirit has shaken the earth two times: the First and Second World
Wars to remind us that we are a human family, to remind us that
we should have greeted each other as brothers and sisters. We had
a chance after each shaking to come together in a circle that would
have brought peace on earth, but we missed that.
Tonight they were talking on the news about the sign for the Third
Shaking of the Earth. They said they're going to build what the
elders called the house in the sky. In the 1950's they talked about
his: they will build a house and throw it in the sky. When you see
people living in the sky on a permanent basis, you will know the
Great Spirit is about to grab the earth, this time not with one
hand, but with both hands. When this house is in the sky, the Great
Spirit is going to shake the Earth a third time, and whoever dropped
that gourd of ashes, upon them it is going to drop. They say at
that time there will be villages in this land so great that when
you stand in the villages you will not be able to see out, and in
the prophecies these are called villages of stone, or prairies of
stone. And they said the stone will grow up from the ground, and
you will not be able to see beyond the village.
At the center of each and every one of these villages will be Native
people, and they will walk as hollow shells upon a prairie of stone.
They said hollow shells, which means they will have lost any of
their traditional understandings; they will be empty within. They
said that, after the Eagle lands on the moon, some of these people
will begin to leave these prairies of stone and come home and take
up some of the old ways and begin to make themselves reborn, because
it's a new day. But many will not. And they said there's going to
come a time when in the morning the sun is going to rise, and this
village of stone will be there, and in the evening there would just
be steam coming from the ground. They will be as steam. And in the
center of many of those villages of stone, when they turn to steam,
the Native people will turn to steam also because they never woke
up and left the village.
They say there's going to be the Third Shaking of the Earth. It's
not going to be a good thing to see, but we will survive it. We
will survive it. And when we survive it, there's going to be another
attempt to make a circle of the human beings on the earth. And this
time the Native people will not have to petition to join but will
be invited to enter the circle because they say the attitude toward
us will have changed by then, and people will let us into the circle,
and all the four colors of the four directions will share their
wisdom, and there will be a peace on earth. This is coming close.
The prophecies are always either/or. We could have come together
way back there in 1565, and we could have had a great civilization,
but we didn't. Always along the path of these prophecies, we could
have come together. We still could.
If we could stop the racial and religious disharmony, we would
not have to go through this third shaking. The elders say the chance
of that is pretty slim. It seems to me like it's pretty slim, too.
But they say what we can do is we can cushion it so it won't be
quite as bad. How do we do this? We do this by sharing the teaching
that will reunite us.
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