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Tipis 2: The Blessing

By Cheri Brasseale

Photo by Randy Harris

On August 25th,  I had the honor of inviting my “Uncle” Jake Singer, a well respected Navajo Sundance Chief, and traditional healer in the blessing of the tipis at the Homestead.

Before assisting him, by smudging the tipi’s with sage and sweet grass, while he prayed in his native tongue and offered corn pollen, he explained to us what he would be praying about.

He taught us about the medicine wheel, or sphere as calls it, and the spiritual guardians that protect the 4 directions, a young woman who stands in the East, an elder woman standing in the South, a young man standing in the West, and an older man standing in the North. He prayed to those guardians, and he mentioned praying to the winds to keep Covid away from our school.

In his prayers to the Creator, not only did he mention and ask for the protection of the children who will be learning in the tipi’s, but for all the teachers, administration and parents who make up the Homestead Community.

After making the rounds to each tipi, he sang a powerful Buffalo song. The drumming had this amazing echoing effect through the barn, and I felt a subtle shift in the wind. Of course, we all have to remain diligent in our health protocols this year, but we can rest assured that prayers have been offered in a traditional manner, with the protection of each or our spirits at heart.

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