"GENERATIONS"---The story behind this piece references two different sources or stories.
The first story is known as the Three Sisters (Corn, Beans & Squash). They are grown together and look after one another. Many tribes have a story regarding growing these crops together. There is a practical reason why planting these crops together works. But there is also a spiritual component of why these crops were planted together and that is reflective in this piece titled, GENERATIONS.
The Three Sisters look after one another. Corn looks after her sister, beans, by growing tall so her stalks are strong enough the bean vines can climb the stalks. In doing so her sister, beans, will have someplace to grow and be protected. Beans provide nutrients to the soil around her sisters, corn and squash, that they may grow strong and healthy. The other sister, squash, will shade the mound with her leaves ensuring that the mound will retain moisture and nutrients. The leaves will also keep the mound from unwanted weeds from growing as well.
The second story comes from the Mandan about the, "Old Woman Who Never Dies," she sends geese, swans and ducks indicating to the people when to plant. In the spring when the people would see geese that meant it was time to plant corn. When the people would see ducks that meant to plant beans and when they would see swans that meant to plant squash.
The history of agriculture from the Native American perspective was more than just growing food. For those tribes that primarily grew food their life was reflective of that in their songs and ceremonies and how they lived.
In this piece the earth lodge represents people/families/nations. The crops represent agriculture/food/sustenance. The water, sun and soil provide the nutrients that the crops may grow, year after year, generation after generation.
When we work together with all of our different talents and gifts, life can be so beautiful. Examples of working together can be found everywhere in nature. This piece represents just a few examples in nature of what can be possible when we work together.
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