Tuesday, October 27, 2009

beautiful sunday

I was going to post this yesterday but here's the deal: my photos were all on my cell phone and I now know that I am indeed one of those cell phone addicts...I had the shakes, I was sweating, I was PACING and then finally last night I found it under the seat of the car...yes, it's true...my name is Shawna and I have an addiction to my cell phone...

Have you ever heard the song "Beautiful Sunday"? It's from the 70's and is very cheery and fun. If I could link it to this post I would...

Sunday morning when we're home is longhouse day...we get up and get our L-house gear on and head out...I'm a cook so I head straight for the kitchen where we all gather to prepare delicious food to be served after the service. Here I am in MY longhouse gear...


We have traditional foods to serve, salmon, deer meat, roots, chokecherries and best of all, huckleberries. The picture's blurry but to the left is one of the young cooks in training working on the frybread which is also a traditional food. She didn't really want her picture taken anyway...

One of the most endearing qualities of longhouse day is the broad range of community represented there...from grandmas to great grand-daughters and all in a new stage of learning/teaching.

Pictured here is Grandma Lonnie showing young Judith about separating dessert:-)


This is a picture of Axatinse (her Indian name) and she is the second lead cook. She's beautiful and full of historical stories, her mother taught her from infancy to present about longhouse traditions. She's one of the main women who taught me about the way we do things from when I first came home (2004).


Anna takes something out of the oven. She's a cook who's always happy and full of life. One of our teachings is that we don't cook with "bad feelings" if we are sad over the loss of a loved one or sick or even just having a bad day we will usually wash dishes and help in other ways, we don't want the way we are feeling to make it's way to the food...

Grandma Lonnie is a wonderful teacher, she's patient and kind and always has time to answer a question about how to sew our wingdresses or what beadwork stitch would work best for our belt bag or just the right amount of sugar to can the huckleberries...

The songs boom into the kitchen from the longhouse and fills the day with rich prayers for strength, healing and safety of our loved ones overseas. From time to time a lull in the songs will be heard as this one of that one speaks from their heart to the full group.

On the last three songs, the cooks line up by age and go out into the longhouse to "dance" this is our way of giving thanks for the food and for our lives. We're ready to serve lunch! We serve our foods in an order...


Laughter, stories, birthday songs and a community feeling of warmth and comraderie came along with this meal...above is the line up of foods prepared. Directly left is one of our roots, the bitterroots...they're yummy...

But not as yummy as the huckleberries which end our meal...

So after longhouse I went home and although I was still in my wingdress I went out and stacked wood with the two dogs accompanying me...this was a bit of a chore since they both assumed that having me outside meant it was "dog time" and they thought I was playing with them by trying to get past them to work...silly dogs! Evening came along and a "house service" which was for Uncle Andy who had just recovered from surgery and wanted to share in giving thanks for his health...more food, more hugs and even MORE happy birthday songs! This niece just turned 16!

It was a beautfiul long and full day...

5 comments:

Christiejolu said...

Sounds like a fun day! Fry bread...Yummy!

Betty Manousos:cutand-dry.blogspot.com said...

You look gorgeous in that photo.
So delicious food you got there!.
Came to thank you so much for your encouraging words. That is a philosophical attidute. I'll follow that. I think it helps.
As about your stoty, oh that is a story!It's great having met you.
hugs hugs

Steve Julian said...

Fantastic looking food. Great story and description of your life there. Some beautiful ladies. You sound like a joyful person. You are so lucky to be around Traditional people and times.

Grandma K said...

How wonderful! I am so glad tradition lives! I love your stories, and the descriptions and pictures of food made me hungry!! I do miss the fry bread. Never knew about it until we vacationed in the Bad Lands!

bonequinhoda bic said...

I wish I was there.