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Tribes Hope for Renewal in Eclipse, Not all will Watch

AP News  In Navajo culture, the passing of the moon over the sun is an intimate moment in which the sun is reborn and tribal members take time out for themselves. No talking. No eating or drinking. No lying down. No fussing. “It’s a time of renewal,” said BobbieAnne Baldwin, a Navajo woman from Fort Defiance, Arizona. “Kind of like pressing the alt, control, delete button on your computer, resetting everything.”

Across the country, American Indian tribes are observing the eclipse in similar and not-so-similar ways. Some tribal members will ignore it, others might watch while praying for an anticipated renewal, and those in prime viewing spots are welcoming visitors with storytelling, food and celebration. For the Crow Tribe in Montana, the eclipse coincides with the Parade Dance at the annual Crow fair, marking the new year.

Many American Indian tribes revere the sun and moon as cultural deities, great sources of power and giver of life. The Crow’s cultural director, William Big Day, said the sun is believed to die and come back to life during an eclipse.

Bobbie Anne Baldwin will call her children into the living room Monday, share traditional Navajo stories and ask them to meditate and reflect on what they want out of school, athletics and life, she said. Baldwin will ask the children to concentrate and wish for happiness and health for their family, friends and all of humanity. “There’s a little conversation, but there’s that constant reminder that we need to be quiet,” she said.

 

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