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The photographs in Sacred Places in North America include specific sites that the First Nations identify as holy, as well as other natural landforms that capture the mystical essence of the earth.
With the guidance of local Native peoples, Milne has photographed such well-known sites as Mount Shasta and the Badlands, to lesser-known but no less spectacular places like Manito Ahbee, Enchanted Rock, and Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.
With more than 125 spectacular full-color photographs, this extraordinary book documents fifty fascinating places that capture the profound legacy of this land's original inhabitants and celebrate the magic and beauty of its natural landscape. Here is a sensitive and inspiring portrait of the land the Native Americans called Great Turtle Island, and of the enduring spiritual and cultural traditions of its people.
EAST - To the East and thy sentry, the Red Eagle/ Grant us light that we may see our faults/ And have better understanding with everyone.
Manito Ahbee -Place of Beginning
The story of the Origin of Man
Here at Manito Ahbee, it is said the Original Man was lowered by rope from the sky to become the first inhabitant of Turtle Island, so named because after the Great Flood, the Earth was formed on the back of a turtle. It is here that Original Man received from the Great Spirit the following seven sacred teachings: wisdom, love, respect, bravery, honesty, humility and truth-the principles to guide the Anishanabe in caring for the earth and for each other. These teachings have been recorded in the stone shapes of animal figures and geometric designs called petroforms, which are unique to Manito Ahbee.
The age of the petroforms is not known, but the Anishanabe believe they were built by spirits as a physical reminder of their sacred instructions. One form of a turtle and a snake is said to interpret the afterlife journey of the spirit. Some are used ceremonially by medicine people during tobacco offerings and healing rituals. At Bannock Point, one of two major sites in the area of Manito Ahbee, a human effigy lies face up, arms and legs outstretched. According to the Medewewin, an Anishanabe asked Waynaboozhoo (also known as Nanabush, or in Cree as Wesake Jack) to grant him everlasting life. Waynaboozhoo, ho was both spirit and man, both trickster and guide, complied by turning him forever into a stone effigy.
Today Manito Ahbee is revered by the Anishanabe as a gateway to higher understandings, as a site of origin that is connected to other spiritual centers on our planet. It will stand for eternity as a place to teach, to heal and to pray.
Posted October 29, 2008
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