Tuesday, September 12

Running as ceremony

They ran to make rain, to honour the dead, to generate healing. They ran to send news and get reinforcements. They ran for power and for prayer.
Yep, the American Indians knew a thing or two about running, as I've just discovered after finding an out-of-print book on the subject.
One of the bits I liked most was this Navajo chant (a "Leg Song") that their runners used, that just about sums it all up:

"The mountain,
I become part of it...
The herbs, the fir tree,
I become part of it.
The morning mists,
The clouds, the gathering waters,
I become part of it.
The rain that sweeps across the earth,
I become part of it.
The wilderness, the dew drops, the pollen...
I become part of it."

* From "Indian Running: Native American history and tradition" by Peter Nabokov (Ancient City Press, New Mexico 1981).

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