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    This isn’t exactly family lore, but I stumbled across this web site when I was writing a paper tonight It states at the bottom that it is not hard to see Siouan influence in Iroquois mythology. Wish he was more specific.

    The web site explains the teachings of the Seneca prophet, Handsome Lake. The index is found here :



    hey Cindy, theis Arthur parker was an anth. as you can see but he was also a Seneca , he did a short article on the Spirit Adoption ceremony and several other topics. All are very well done and really come from a more informed view.

    Iam happy to see you posted this.


    YES. And that Spirit Adoption Ceremony piece was great. Lynella.



    Is that information on the spirit adoption ceremony on this web site? I did not read the article, only looked at the mythology for the article I was writing.

    While I was looking on this site, I found this The notes at the bottom indicate that the Thunder ceremony was Dakota or Sioux. Would this mean the Piedmont Sioux or others?


    PS: Need to find time to read the whole thing. Looks very relevant to my Blackfoot ggggrandmother who came from the area with “mostly Cornplanter Seneca,” according to her step grandson’s book. Not so sure that the Buell in my line is not a derivative of the name that Cornplanter’s family had, Obail.


    Hey Cindy , well I don’t know which Sioux that this srticle is refereing to, but the only folks that we know of that did go there are our Tutelo cousins, so maybe !

    These sun ceremonies are really interesting because they point back to the Mound Builder times, the old “Southeastern Ceremonial Complex”. The firing of arrows 3 times towards the sun is really interesting because our ancestors and relatives today use this 3 arrow pattern. So perhaps this maybe from our Tutelo relatives.

    I have never found the spirit Adoption ceremony on line , I once had an old Crafts and Culture magazine that did have this article by Parker; if I can locate a journal with it in I’ll post this reference to you.

    The thunder cerewmonies out wst here are found in conjuction with the opening of sacred medicine bundles, often the sound of the first thunders indicate thier opening.

    We usually find that the first sounds are heard in early spring, one year though they were heard in Febuary really quite early and caused some real concerns for the coming seasons.



    I found a portion of the Spirit Adoption Ceremony in one of these books I have here. About a month ago I posted that piece of info here on the site, but I don’t for the life of me remember where. I know Linda responded to it, but that’s all I remember. I’ll dig through these books this weekend and see if I can find it again. Iam sorry I’ve been so lacadazical. (I’m sure I spelled that one wrong!) I’ve been working extra hours on the handcrafted items, my sister is a bit better so that’s taking less time, but my sun has had some kind of psychotic breakdown and as of two days ago, no one has heard from him and we can’t find him. He’s 25 years old so, it’s not like anyone will hand us any information on him. He’s not a kid now. I am so worried and the morbid things that are going through my mind are torture……..Enough of that–I didn’t get on here to buzz in your ears. I’ll keep digging for that ceremony. It might have been in Native American Religouns. Love & Light, Lynella.:cool:


    Cindy & Tom,

    O.k. here it is, It’s in The Encyclopedia of Native American Religions, Arlene Hirschfelder and Paulette Molin, MJF Books, New York,1992, ISBN 1-56731-101-6. I’m just going to put it word for word the way they have it here. I wish there were photographs, but there’s not. It’s on page 276.

    SPIRIT ADOPTION CEREMONY (Fourth Night Feast). Tutelo

    (Six Nations Reserve, Canada). A complex ceremony to

    carry on the living identity of a deceased Tutelo. The

    ceremony is held in the winter season while vegetation is

    dormant (on the ninth night after death or within a year

    after death). The spirit of the deceased is recalled for the

    night of the ceremony and his/her qualities, name and tribal

    membership are adopted, or reincarnated, in a living

    substitute. That individual is bound to observe all Tutelo

    cultural traditions and upon death, his or her Tutelo nationality

    is transferred to another person. The individual may be

    Iriquois, but the ceremony bestows genuine nationality,

    regardless of birth and sustains the Tutelo people (whose

    nation was adopted by the Iriquois League in 1753). The

    ceremony, sponsored by the family of the deceased, is

    performed in private homes or one of the longhouses. The

    family provides a new outfit of clothing for the adopted

    person worn throughout the ceremony, and a chain of

    Tutelo wampum. The mourners choose the person to be

    reclothed and adopted in the name of the deceased who

    must be the same gender. Active participants in the ritual

    include a caretaker who has the responsibility to be

    custodian of the adopted person and supervise him or her

    in each movement of the ritual; a cook who prepares food

    and drink for the feast; a fire keeper who maintains the

    fire in two stoves in the longhouses; a drummer, rattler

    and singers who perform during the ten-hour ritual; and a

    speaker who converses in the Tutelo language to the

    adopted person during the ritual. The ceremony is

    preceded by four days of preliminary observances in which

    the entire ritual is rehearsed to insure its correct

    performance on the actual ceremonial night, called the

    fourth night feast. People maintain this ritual that is

    pleasing to the dead and believe its discontinuation could

    cause harm.

    Please see next posting: Lynella.


    Hey Guys,

    Oops! I was talking on the phone and typing at the same time, so it took so long I got booted off line! Anyway that’s what I have on the ceremony, plus this little peace which is what I posted on this site a month or more ago. This bit is on page 2 of the same book. Here goes:

    ADOPTION STRING. Tutelo, Six Nations Reserve, Canada.

    During the Tutelo Spirit Adoption Ceremony, the person

    adopted wears a long single loop or chain of white Tutelo

    wampum beneath the shirt. The wampum passes over the

    left shoulder and down the right side to the waist. The chain

    symbolizes the return to life of a deceased Tutelo person

    as revived in the personality of the adopted person who

    becomes the living representative of the deceased. At the

    end of the ceremony, the string of Tutelo wampum is

    removed from the adopted person and safegarded until the

    next adoption rite.

    There we go. Yes, I recall a brief discusion involving Linda about the wampum. I don’t know anything about the shells they used or anything. And I recall Linda having said something about that. I do still need to know. If she knew, I can’t remember. So, if anyone knows. Please let me know. Thank you so much you guys. Love & Light, Lynella.:D



    Thanks for the information. This was really interesting. The Shawnee naming ceremony uses a white bead necklace too.




    Really? That’s cool. I do enjoy looking up and researching this stuff so I really had fun with this. I’ll do it anytime, as time allows! Thank you, too!! Lynella.;)


    During the ceremony, a strand of purplr wampum is hung on the north wall and white waumpum on the south wall!

    After the ceremony there is a starnd of shell beads that are broken up and given to the participants.

    Somewhere I remember a person having a small strand of these “payment ” beads. Anyay , when time allows I’ll write more., I’m still preoccupied with that “full time job” thing.



    😉 Thank you for the info. Don’t work too hard. What kind of work do you do? When you do get a chance to write more, what kind of beads were used for the payment beads? Stay warm. Love & Light, Lynella.



    In part 2 of the field notes on the 2nd link you supplied at the very top of your post here, there are some interesting stories. All though they are Seneca, they are still very interesting. Thank you again! Love & Light, Lynella.

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