Without Wounds-Chapter 2 Guardians of the Sea


From the Ancient Ages of the Toltec, Honored Sentinels and Dark Mask Guardians  had watched The Big Water.  Sentinels worked during sun and stars, watching for the Wigwam Canoes to appear on the horizon. Sacred mounds, rocks, temples were used as look out points. Survey pegs notched into leather charted movements of  ships so that Sentinels might be accurately informed as to ships’ movements. Sentinels summoned dedicated Guardians who risked their lives to stop watercraft out in the open ocean.

As a Guardian, Yuta’s chants could take until full sunrise, for he must add all the new Silver words his trade had garnished. A rapidly growing vocabulary of the Silver Hats coincided approximately with the essential concepts of the Nations. Correlating Silver gibberish  with the fine-tuned languages and gestures of The People was a monumental task for the Elders. For example, White Faces had only one word for an item while The People might use a handful.  The Ancients had nearly a handful names for canoe, depending on the status of the person who made it, its purpose, the wood used, the spirit of the Ancestor for whom it was named.

Words for colors posed a major stumbling block. Some Nations used five separate words for ‘green’. The terms for sea, trees, crops, mosses, and fishes certainly had to vary for clear communication between the many Tribes. Red had many words: blood, fire, ochre earth, face paint color, stones. Five generations of  Ancients built the growing Silver vocabulary. This was not considered a prideful feat as the primitive White Faces had a mere 5 languages compared to  six hundred dialects of The Nations of The Center Land.

Although he chided himself, Yuta felt sadness at the loss of Silver Hats as if they were hummingbirds or bees, since they seemed to be but a simple race lacking in basic skills of communication, survival, and knowledge of the Great Spirit. The Councils had told stories of  surviving White Face People requiring extensive enlightenment before they were officially adopted by a Tribal Family, sometimes requiring several winters of study.

But legends from Toltec and Olmec Runners disclosed the reckless and careless Silver  behaviors: taking trees without prayers to the Forest Spirits; killing of the precious White Deer; eating of the foul sucking fish of the shores; the worst, spreading the Sores Sickness. Old chants from His Ancestors of five generations told a story of a ship arriving onto Arawak Islands. The Silver boats brought fine soft cloth and sweet dried fruits and baited Arawaks with the items. Nearly all Arawak died in a horrible way less than one moon after partaking of ‘Gifts’. Some Elders and War Chiefs viewed the act as intentional; Silvers cursed the cloth with sicknesses.

After this event, Elders advanced Guardians in status as experts throughout all The Lands, from the Ice of the North, to the Ice of the South. All knew. If any numbers of White Faces were allowed onto the Earth, the harmony of the Tribal Ways would collapse. Shamans agreed that fragile co-existence could not support a teetering earth. The resulting imbalance would shift Earth’s axis and total destruction would prevail.  Yuta sang the song of the Old Fathers into the night.

No more Beings must

Come from Mother Sea

To live with the Peoples

On the The Land.

The tree burners make thick smoke

From the souls of our trees

The floating Wigwams will obstruct Rivers

The Sea would dry into salt.

Tiny fishes and raging Bison will die

And the Nations will weep in one voice.

The Turtle that holds up the World

Will cough from the smoke

Die without the water

The World will fall

Will fall, fall, fall from

The Turtle’s Back.



  1. The use of chants to hold the power of memory rather than pictures or writing is a remarkable concept in this chapter!

    1. Each chapter was provided by a single concept from the research texts listed. Chants to remember family history still are in practice among the Tribes.

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