Soulful Stuff, our wonderful Story Hour Team Leader had this to say about our May 25, 2011 story teller.

“Tonight the storyteller is Forthebrand…Carmen! Carmen is witty, funny….
a wonderful sense of humor….and very thoughtful….and quite a talented craftsperson!

She most recently has been creating the most uwoduhi cuffs! Check them out!
Summertime Textured Copper Cuff w/Peace Sign Cut Out
1 Egg Man, Ron, began the evening with one of his beautiful prayers.

O Great Spirit, Creator of all things

May my eyes behold You in the sunrise and the sunset.
May my ears hear Your message in the wind.
May my hands feel You present in the rock or the tree.
May my feet feel firm upon the ground.
May my mouth taste the flavor of each food.
May the hurt in my heart find healing
and gratitude for every living creature.

Help me to be strong in my journey through life,
Help me understand that all are different yet still alike,
And guide me on my path until my final journey brings me home.
To be by Your side forever.

For The Brand Takes The Stage:
“Being Indian is mainly in your heart. It’s a way of walking with the earth instead of upon it. A lot of the history books talk about us Indians in the past tense, but we don’t plan on going anywhere… We have lost so much, but the thing that holds us together is that we all belong to and are protectors of the earth; that’s the reason for us being here. Mother Earth is not a resource, she is an heirloom.”

David Ipinia, Yurok Artist, Sacramento, CA

For all of us who are married, were married, wish
you were married, or wish you weren’t married, this
is something to smile about the next time you see a
bottle of wine:

Sally was driving home from one of her business
trips in Northern Arizona when she saw an elderly
Navajo woman walking on the side of the road.

As the trip had been a long and quiet one, she stopped
the car and asked the Navajo woman
if she would like a ride.

With a silent nod of thanks,
the woman got into the car.

Resuming the journey, Sally tried in vain to make
a bit of small talk with the Navajo woman. The old
woman just sat silently, looking intently at
everything she saw, studying every little detail,
until she noticed a brown
bag on the seat next to Sally.

‘What in bag?’ asked the old woman.

Sally looked down at the brown bag and said, ‘It’s
a bottle of wine. I got it for my husband.’

The Navajo woman was silent for another moment or
two. Then speaking with the quiet wisdom of an elder, she said:

‘Good trade…..’

Nadia’s First Dance

Nadia was four years old…and she loved Indians. Everything about Indians excited her. One day Nadia’s grandmother came for a visit. Grandmother recalled those old stories the family told of Cherokee blood. So Grandmother decided to take Nadia, along with Nadia’s mother and baby brother, to her first pow wow.

Little Nadia stood at the edge of the Circle. She watched with awe as the dancers passed by her dressed in their beautiful clothing. She listened intently to the drum, her knees dipping with the beat and Nadia knew she wanted to dance. But there were so many kinds of dances going on. She watched the men; then the women. She lifted one foot, then the other, puzzled about just what she should do with her feet.

Nadia felt a tap on her shoulder. Looking up she saw a smiling woman dressed in beautiful clothing holding out her hand toward Nadia. Nadia hesitated and glanced at her grandmother for approval. Grandmother’s eyes smiled, “Yes.”

So Nadia accepted the hand of the stranger and together they danced and danced around the Circle. After a while, Nadia began to dance on her own. As Grandmother watched, Nadia started to twirl and whirl holding her arms up high in the air in imitation of the lovely fancy shawl dancers.

Grandmother beckoned to Nadia. She gave her a small blue blanket belonging to Nadia’s baby brother. Nadia placed the blanket around her shoulders and began to dance with it in the Circle, the blue blanket twirling and whirling about her like the wings of a butterfly.

She felt another tap on her shoulder, and there stood a different woman, and in her out-stretched hand she held a child-sized fringed shawl. Nadia glanced at Grandmother for approval. Grandmother’s eyes smiled, “Yes.”

So Nadia accepted the gift from the stranger. She placed the fringed shawl about her shoulders and then began to dance, the fringed shawl twirling and whirling about her like the wings of a butterfly.

Nadia danced in honor of all those ancestors who had come before and with the pure joy of being a little girl at her very first pow wow.

A Story About Respect:

There once was a man, who was raising his young son. The mother had passed away in childbirth and he was teaching his son all that he knew. This son grew up and in time wanted to go to a nearby village and find him a companion. Many months passed and the young man returned to his home and with him he had a woman his wife. They lived in the home of his father

Shortly after, they had a son and the father, now a grandfather, began teaching this young boy all he knew. He taught him how to respect the forest, the animals, and life. The mother, tiring of sharing her home with the old man, told her husband that she wanted the old man out.

The father spoke “I cannot, this is his home and he built it for us.” She spoke “if you do not make him leave, I will take our son and I will leave.” The father agreed and spoke to his son. “My son, tomorrow I want you to take grandpa out and leave him. Give him this blanket.” The young boy cried. “Why do you do this? Grandpa has been teaching me all that I know. Why do I have to do this to him?” The father spoke. “Son, follow the wishes of your father.” So the next morning, the father went hunting to the North. The son took grandpa as far as he could walk to the South.

That evening the young boy was sitting on the bed crying when his father came in. He saw the blanket on the bed. “Son, I thought I told you to give grandpa the blanket?” “I gave grandpa half of the blanket. The other half I will give to you some day.” The mother and father understood the message and they went band brought grandpa back.

The End

Carmen, thanks for this powerful story and for the wine joke as well.  To see more of the work of our talented story teller, please go to: