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Black Cloud and Native Inspirations:

  A Zuni Governor

Photograph by:
Edward S. Curtis, 1925
The Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC.

The governor of Zuni Pueblo is appointed annually by six rain priests, two war chiefs, and Chief Old Woman. Since civil officers descend from Spanish heritage, their power is strictly limited to secular affairs.


The Power
of the Old Ways

A Collection of 400 Plains Indian shirts amassed by engineer and businessman George Gustav Haye is now held by the National Museum of the American Indian. (NMAI)

Curator George P. Horse Capture a member of the A'aninin, or Gros Ventre Tribe and his son, Joseph D. Horse Capture of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, believe that many of these shirts still retain some of the power and the spirituality of the old ways.

Each shirt is a one-of-a-kind warrior's garment.

The Article found in the Smithonian Magazine issue Oct. 2001


The Indian
Ten Commandments
Treat the earth and all that dwell thereon with respect.
Remain close to the Great Spirit.
Show good respect for your fellow beings.
Work together for the benefit of all mankind.
Give assistance and kindness where ever needed.
Do what you know to be right.
Look after the well-being of mind and body.
Dedicate a share of your assets to the greater good.
Be truthful and honest at all times.
Take full responsibility for your actions.


0 Great Spirit
Whose voice I hear in the winds,
and whose breath gives life to all the world,
hear me I am small and weak, I need your strength
and wisdom.

Let me walk in beauty, and make my eyes
ever behold the red and purple sunset.

Make my hands respect the things you have made
and my ears sharp to hear your voice.

Make me wise so that I may understand the things
you have taught my people,

Let me learn the lessons you have hidden in every
leaf and rock.

I seek strength, not to be greater than my brother,
but to fight my greatest enemy-myself

Make me always ready to come to you with clean
hands and straight eyes.

So when life fades, as the fading sunset,
my spirit may come to you without shame.


0 our Father, the Sky, hear us
and make us strong.

0 our Mother the Earth, hear us
and give us support.

0 Spirit of the East,
send us your Wisdom.

0 Spirit of the South,
may we tread your path of life.

0 Spirit of the West,
may we always be ready for the long journey.

0 Spirit of the North, purify us
with your cleansing winds.


Remember, remember the circle of the sky
the stars and the brown eagle
the supernatural winds
breathing night and day
from the four directions

Remember, remember the great life of the sun
breathing on the earth
it lies upon the earth
to bring out life upon the earth
life covering the earth

Remember, remember the sacredness of things
running streams and dwellings
the young within the nest
a hearth for sacred fire
the holy flame of fire


The mountains, 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 wilderness, the dew drops, the pollen ...

I become part of it.

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