The Kwakiutl, Navajo, and Cheyenne
by Lisa Schmidt 2/2/99
Kwakiutl by the sea,
Make a totem from a tree.
Gifts from the forest help you live.
Berries and animals it will give.
Cedar bark to make your clothes.
Blankets, too, to warm your toes.
Salmon, trout, and clams are good,
Seals and seaweed, ocean food.
Navajo in pueblos live.
Deserts give them space to live.
Growing corn and raising sheep,
Weaving blankets for their sleep.
Adobe bricks to make their homes
Keep them cool when summer comes.
Cheyenne tribe lives on the plains.
Stay in tipis when it rains.
Following the buffalo
Move the tribe out of the snow.
Clothes are made from animal skin
Pretty beads and paint to trim.
All of nature is their mother,
Rain and river are their brother,
Sister lives in rocks and trees,
Ancient spirits ride the breeze.
Giving thanks for all they take,
Never wast, all things can make
Life for them a little better,
For the giver and the getter.
You can read the book Brother Eagle, Sister Sky and share
the illustrations to get across the religious customs and
beliefs of these people. It helps explain the last stanza.