Historia y leyendas

Message to the Western World

Hau de no sau nee is the name of the Confederation of Six Nations or Iroquois that groups the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, Senecas and Tuscaroras. These villages were located in the northwest of North America. Their culture and relationship has been studied with great curiosity and dedication, as it enabled horizontal relationships between human beings and prevented a vertical hierarchy from establishing power relationships in the community.

In 1977 they formulated three papers that masterfully synthesized their vision of the cosmos, nature and living beings and, of the history of mankind; these were presented to the United Nations Non-Governmental Organizations. This is the first of them:

Hau de no sau nee, or Confederation of the Six Iroquois Nations, has existed on this earth since the beginning of human memory. Our culture is among the oldest continuously existing cultures in the world. We still remember the earliest events of human beings. We recall the original instructions of the Life Creators in this place that we call Etenoha: Mother Earth. We are the spiritual guardians of this place. We are the Ongwhehonwhe the Genuine People.

At the beginning, we were told that human beings walking on Earth have been provided with all the things necessary for life. We were instructed to carry love from one another, and to show respect for all beings on this Earth. We were shown that our life exists with the tree life, that our well-being depends on the welfare of the Vegetable Life, that we are close relatives of the four-legged beings. In our ways, spiritual consciousness is the highest political form.

Ours is a Lifestyle. We believe that all living beings are spiritual beings. Spirits can be expressed as forms of energy manifested in matter. A grass leaf is a form of energy manifested in matter: grass matter. The spirit of the grass is that invisible force that produces grass species, and it manifests itself to us in the form of real grass.

All things in the world are real, material things. Creation is a real material phenomenon, and Creation manifests itself to us through reality. The spiritual universe, then, manifests itself to Man as Creation, the Creation that sustains life. We believe that man is real, a part of Creation, and that his duty is to sustain life in conjunction with other beings. That's why we call ourselves the Ongwhehonwhe - the Genuine People (o Real).

The original instructions indicate that as we walk on Earth we have to express great respect, affection, and gratitude towards all the spirits that create and sustain Life. We congratulate and thank the many supporters of our lives: the corn, the porot, the calf, the winds, the sun. When people stop respecting and expressing gratitude for these many things, then all life is destroyed, and human life on this planet will come to an end.

Our roots lie deep in the lands where we live. We have a great love for our country, because it is where we were born. The soil is rich with the bones of thousands of those of our generations. Each of us was raised in such lands, and it is our duty to take great care of them, because from these lands the future generations of the Ongwhehonwhe will sprinkle. We walk through them with great respect, because the Earth is a very sacred place.

We are not a people who demand or demand anything from the Creators of Life, but instead, we greet and thank that all the forces of Life are still in action. We deeply understand our relationship with all living beings. To this day, the territories that we still preserve are filled with trees, animals and other gifts of Creation. In such places we still receive our food from our Mother Earth.

We have seen that not all people on Earth show the same kind of respect for this world and its beings. The Indo-European people who have colonized our lands have shown very little respect for the things that create and sustain Life. We believe that such people ceased their respect for the world a long time ago. Many thousands of years ago, all the peoples of the world believed in the same Way of Life, that of harmony with the universe. They all lived in accordance with the Natural Ways.

About ten thousand years ago, people who spoke the Indo-European languages lived in an area today known as the Russian Steppes. At that time, they were a people of the Natural World who lived on the earth. It had developed agriculture, and it is said that it had begun the practice of domesticating animals. It is unknown that it was the first town in the world to practice the domestication of animals. The hunters and gatherers who wandered around the area probably purchased livestock from the farmers, and adopted an economy based on gathering and raising herds of animals.

The assembly and breeding of animals pointed to a fundamental distortion in the relationship of humans with other forms of life. It set in motion one of the true revolutions of human history. Before herds, humans depended on Nature for the reproductive powers of the animal world. With the advent of flocks, humans assumed the functions that through time had been the duties of the spirits of animals. Time after that happened, the story records the early emergence of the social organization known as “patriarchy”.

The area between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers was the home, in ancient times, of several peoples, many of whom spoke Semitic languages. The Semitic peoples were among the first in the world to develop irrigation technology. This development led to the initial emergence of settlements, and eventually cities. Water manipulation, another form of spiritual life, represented another style in which humans developed a technology that reproduced functions of Nature.

Within these cultures, a hierarchically stratified social organization crystallized. Ancient civilizations developed imperialism, partly because of the very nature of cities. Obviously, cities are concentrations of population. More importantly, these are places where the material needs of such a concentration must be imported from the countryside. This means that the Natural World must be subjugated, squeezed and exploited according to the interests of the city. To order this process, the Semitic world developed early codes of law They also developed an idea of monotheism to serve as a spiritual model for their material and political organization.

Much of the history of the ancient world relates to the struggles between the Indo-European and Semitic peoples. Over a period of several millennia, the two cultures impacted and combined. In the 2nd century BC, some Indo-Europeans, more specifically the Greeks, had adopted the practice of building cities, thus engaging in the process they called "Civilization".

Both cultures developed technologies similar to such civilizations. The Semitic peoples invented marmitas that enabled the creation of woodworking for trade and the accumulation of surpluses. Those primitive marmitas became ovens that could generate enough heat to melt metals, notably copper, tin and bronze. The Indo-Europeans developed the way to melt iron.

Rome was the heir to these two cultures, it became the place where the final encounter took place. Rome is also the true birthplace of Christianity. The process that has come to be the culture of the West is historically and linguistically a Semitic/Indo-European culture, but has been commonly defined as Jewish-Christian tradition.

Christianity was an absolutely essential element in the initial development of this kind of technology. Christianity advocated one God. It was a religion that imposed itself exclusively on all others. The local people of the European forests were a people who believed in the spirits of the forests, the waters, the hills and the land; Christianity attacked such beliefs, and effectively despiritalized the European world.

Christian peoples, possessing superior armaments and a need for expansion, were able to militarily subdue the tribal peoples of Europe.

The availability of iron led to the development of tools that could cut down the forest source of charcoal to make more tools. The new lands, cleared of trees, were then worked by the newly developed iron plow that was, for the first time, pulled by horses. With such technology, far fewer people could work much more land, and indeed many men were displaced to become soldiers or landless peasants. The rise of such technology ushered in the Feudal Age and eventually made possible the emergence of new cities and expansive trade. It also marked the beginning of the end of the European forest, although it took a long time to complete the process.

The eventual building of cities and the concomitant emergence of the European State created the onslaught of expansion and search for markets, which led men, such as Columbus, to spread sails across the Atlantic. The development of sailing ships and navigation technologies made the "discovery" of the Americas inevitable.

The Americas provided Europeans with a vast new area for expansion and material exploitation. Initially, the Americas supplied new materials and even finished materials for the developing world economy that was founded on Indo-European technologies. European Civilization has a history of peaks and declines as technologies reach their material and cultural limits. The finite Natural world has always provided a kind of intrinsic contradiction to Western expansion.

The Indo-Europeans attacked every aspect of North America with unparalleled viciousness. The Native peoples were ruthlessly destroyed because they were an element that could not be assimilated by Western civilizations. The forests provided materials for large ships, the land was cool and fertile for agricultural surpluses, and some areas provided sources of slave labor for invading conquerors. At the time of the Industrial Revolution, in the mid-19th century, North America was already a leader in the area of developing extractive technologies.

The hardwood forests of the northwest were cut down to provide agricultural timber. Those forests were destroyed to create charcoal for the forges of iron smelters and blacksmiths. By 1890, the West had turned to coal, a fossil fuel, to supply the energy needed for the many forms of machinery that had been developed. During the first half of the 20th century, oil replaced coal as an energy source.

Western culture has been horribly exploitative and destructive of the Natural World. More than 140 species of birds and animals have been completely destroyed since the European arrival in the Americas, mostly because they were unusable in the eyes of the invaders. Forests were flattened, waters polluted, Native peoples subjected to genocide. The vast herds of herbivores were reduced to mere handfuls, the buffalo was almost extinct. Western technology and the people who have employed it have been the staggeringly most destructive forces in human history. No natural disaster has destroyed on such a scale. Not even the Ice Age had so many victims. But just like hardwood forests, fossil fuels are also finite resources. As the second half of the 20th century progressed, people in the West began to look for other sources of energy to fuel their technology. Their eyes have fallen on atomic energy, a form of energy production whose by-products are the most poisonous substances that man has ever known.

Today the species of Man faces the question of the very survival of the species. The way of life known as Western Civilization is on a deadly path for which its own culture lacks viable answers. When faced with the reality of its own destructiveness, it only manages to advance to more efficient terrains of destruction. The appearance of Plutonium on this planet is the clearest sign that our species is in trouble. It is a sign that many Westerners have chosen to ignore.

The air is rotten, the waters are poisoned, the trees are dying, the animals are disappearing. We think that even the climate systems are being modified, our ancient teachings warned us that if Man interfered with Natural laws such things would happen. When the last Natural Way of Life is gone, all hope of human survival will be gone with it. And our Lifestyle disappears quickly, victim of destructive processes.

Hau de no sau nee's other documents have outlined our analysis of legal and economic oppression.

But our essential message to the world is a basic call to consciousness. The destruction of Native cultures and peoples is the same process that has destroyed and is destroying life on this planet. The technologies and social systems that have destroyed animal and plant life are also destroying Native peoples. That process is Western Civilization. We know that there are many people in the world who can quickly discern the intent of our message. But experience has taught us that very few are willing to search for a method to determine any real change. If there is to be a future for all beings on this planet, we have to begin looking for avenues of change.

The processes of colonialism and imperialism that have affected the Hau de no sau nee are just a microcosm of the processes that affect the world. The reservation system used against our people is a microcosm of the system of exploitation used against the entire world. Since the time of Marco Polo, the West has been refining a process that has mystified the peoples of the Earth.

The majority of the world does not find its roots in the culture of Western traditions. Most of the world has its roots in the Natural World, and it is the Natural World, and the traditions of the Natural World, that must prevail if we are to develop truly free and equitable societies.

It is necessary, at this time, that we begin a dynamic of critical analysis of the historical processes of the West, to expose the real nature of the roots of the exploitative and oppressive conditions that force humanity. At the same time, as we gain understanding of these processes, we must reinterpret that history for the people of the world. Ultimately, the most oppressed and exploited people are the people of the West. They carry the weight of centuries of racism, sexism and ignorance that have made their people desensitized to the true nature of their lives.

We have to consciously and continually challenge every model, every program, and every process that the West tries to impose on us. In his book Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire wrote that imitating the oppressor is a characteristic of the oppressed, to obtain relief from the oppressive condition through such action. We must learn to resist such a response to oppression.

The people who live on this planet need to break the narrow concept of human liberation, and begin to see liberation as something that needs to be expanded to the integrity of the Natural World. What is needed is the liberation of all the things that sustain Life - the air, the waters, the trees - all the things that sustain the sacred fabric of Life.

We feel that the Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere can continue to contribute to the potential survival of the human species. Most of our people still live according to traditions that have their roots in Mother Earth. But Native peoples need a forum where our voice can be heard. And we need alliances with other peoples of the world to assist us in our struggle to recover and maintain our ancestral lands, and to protect the Way of Life we follow.

We know that it is a very difficult task. Many nation-states may be threatened by the position represented by the protection and liberation of peoples and cultures, of the Natural World, a transformative orientation that must be integrated into the political strategies of the people that seek to defend the dignity of Man. But such a position continues to grow in strength, and represents a necessary strategy in the evolution of transformative thinking.

Native, traditional peoples hold the key to reversing the processes that in Western Civilization promise an unimaginable future of suffering and destruction. Spiritualism is the highest form of political consciousness. And we, the Native peoples of the Western Hemisphere, are among the surviving bearers of such a type of consciousness in the world. We are here to impart that message.


Native American Cultures: Myths and magicNative American Cultures: Myths and magic

You can purchase this book on Amazon.

This book challenges deep-seated stereotypes and offers an enriching perspective that contributes to a more comprehensive and respectful appreciation of the indigenous peoples of North America. Through an understanding of their myths and beliefs, we are taking an important step toward cultural reconciliation and the recognition of the diversity that has enriched the history of this continent.
These mythical stories, many of them linked to the literary genre of fantasy, reveal a world where the divine and the human intertwine in narratives that explain the cosmic order, creation, and the fundamental structure of the universe. Discover how these sacred tales bear witness to the deep connection of the natives with nature and spirituality.