Tag Archives: First Nations

Sioux Death Song

Bronze statue “SanTee Death Song” by Dave Buffington 1977
overlay on prairie image by hosynth from Pixabay 

When someone passes away, many Native people say that they do not die, but instead “walk on.” This implies a continuation of a journey rather than an endpoint on a linear path.

Dakota (Sioux) Memorial – 1862 in Mankato, Minnesota …

https://www.findagrave.com/cemetery/2340627/dakota-(sioux)-memorial—1862 After listening to the bishop and personally reviewing the trial records, Lincoln commuted the death sentence for all but thirty-eight prisoners. At 10 am on December 26, 1862, the condemned men, chanting the Dakota deathsong, marched in single file to a scaffold guarded by 1,400 troops in full battle dress.

ALAS POOR…

ALAS POOR…

And we in this new old land turning up
with our plow
hammer heads, and arrowheads, and sometimes
a bone or two
and if one would be an uncrushed skull it would
be no Yorick that we knew

This noun, once verb, would mock us
in its grinning
all those with whom we might converse
are laid neath Hamlet’s soil

His redder kin scattered
like his bones