Monday, April 21, 2014
Covering Dallas, Monmouth, Independence, Falls City and surrounding areas since 1868
Cindy Vincent leads the groom to the sacred circle as the bride follows.
June 15, 2005
FALLS CITY -- The bride and groom approached the sacred circle atop wild mustangs.
Juan Sullivan Martin and Sharmon Dee Norwest Neria had been planning this for months. Sharmon hand-made their clothes, all elaborately embroidered with shells (a sign of wealth) and ribbons (full of colorful meaning).
Steve Vincent, a Winntu Fire Tender, waited calmly for their arrival. Caring for the sacred fire was his primary job. The fire gave the great spirits a place to reside -- a temporary home during the ceremony.
The couple dismounted and were cleansed with sage smoke and water. They then began their migration. Around the circle they moved, with deliberate steps to each compass point: west, north, east, south.
For each point there stood a spirit caller -- a singer to call forth the sacred, to bless the union, to keep it safe. At each point the couple exchanged a vow in various native tongues.
Vows to honor, vows to love, vows to respect.
Nancy Velarde-Gibson, half Apache, half Din‚, sang an ancestoral song to the Northern spirits and a canoe song to the Southern spirits. Her dark hair pulled back by a butterfly clip, her voice clear and strong.
The power could be felt. It made skin tingle.
Jubel Perkins of the Kickapoo of Kansas sang a marriage song for the East spirits and turtle song for the West. His songs carried lessons n on the wind and brought blessings to those assembled.
Acrid, sweet smoke whipped across the skin and cleansed the air as shadows danced between the clouds. Then the sun broke through and shined brightly on the wedding guests -- those visible and and those not.