Seminole Casuse (Prayer Pipe)
Within the first few telephone interactions (1987) with Chief Little Dove she began stressing the importunity of attending the Green Corn Ceremony
and that people who attended had to be personally invited by her and receive an OK from the tribal council. Another thing she shared with me which, at the time I thought rather unusual was: if one was ever invited and did not show up, they would never be invited again.
During these first telephone conversations she shared with me that I belonged to (2) different clans; again I thought this was very unusual. Come to find out, I belong to the Crow Clan (Representing Law), in which my tribal card designates, and the Panther Clan (Representing Medicine). She never explained the reason for this. However, over a period of time I discovered that our tribal tradition honors both Matriarchal and Patriarchal of one’s heritage. Presently I have absolutely no idea which of these clans represents which lineage. A couple of interesting notes about the assignment of these clans to me are that I had yet to discover I would become an honored law enforcement officer for the state of Utah, nor had I attended a Green Corn Ceremony.
Within 6 months or so of our telephone conversations, Chief Little Dove informed me that I was a Sacred Prayer Pipe* holder of the Seminole tradition. At this time I had absolutely no idea the meaning of this. I do remember this sounded really cool, so I went to a Salt Lake City Indian jewelry store and bought myself a beautiful pipe. The next day’s conversation with Chief Little Dove I shared with what I had done. She did not receive this news with the kindness and gentleness that I had known her to be in all of our other telephone conversations. She said YOU DID WHAT, and then demanded me to immediately send her the pipe, which I did the following day.
I remember for the following 4 years I would ask her about the Pipe, quite regularly the first year and a half. By the fifth year I stopped asking about it altogether. Probably the reason for this was some one had gifted me a pipe.
In 1992 Chief Little Dove invited me to the Green Corn Ceremony. The last ceremony of the 7-day Green Corn Ceremony was held in the ceremonial square with Seminole ancient traditional dances, songs, the partaking of the Asi (Black Drink) and a scratching. The concluding ceremony of the 7-day sacred event had Chief Little Dove and her tribal council standing behind her to the west side of the Sacred Fire. I remember very clearly listening to birds and the insect sounds of the Florida Everglades, smelling the mixture of the jungle and smoke from the Sacred fire, when suddenly Chief Little Dove commanded me to enter the center of the Sacred Square where she guided me to stand at the East of the fire with her and the Tribal Council standing at the West. I remember feeling very perplexed, as I stood in front of her and the tribal council.
She first unraveled a seemingly very old bundle that contained a Sacred Prayer Pipe. She explained to the participants of the entire ceremony that this pipe represented two thousand years of our tradition. Then she unraveled another bundle that contained the Sacred Pipe I had sent her in 1997. She then informed the ceremony participants that this pipe had set with our Tribal pipe for five years and now was ready to be presented to our tribal Medicine Man. As she handed me the bundle she informed all of the ceremonial participants, that I was never to be led by anything other than the spirit and that even she or the tribal council had no authority over me. * *
* Sacred Prayer Pipe Ceremony
**Seminole Sacred Prayer Pipe – Confirmation Letter