This Test is required to be taken to those who are American Indians or Native Americans incarcerated in TDCJ.
However, no test is required if you state that you are Christian, Jew or Muslim. So is this not discrimination?
Basic Knowledge Test/Answers
1. Who is;<- Back to Test
a. WanKan Tanka
In the Sioux tradition, Wakan Tanka (correct Siouan spelling Waka; ka also known as Wakan or Wakanda by the Omaha Tribe) is the term for the "sacred" or the "divine". It is often translated as "The Great Spirit". However, its meaning is closer to "Great Mystery" as Lakota spirituality is not monotheistic.
2. What does it mean to walk the Red road?
"The Good Red Road" is a phrase used by many different Native American tribal communities to represent one who is walking the road of balance, living right and following the rules of the Creator.
One may be of any race or of almost any religion and walk the Red Road. The Good Red Road is a path, a way of living. It's full meaning is the way one acts, the methods one uses, and what directs one's doing. There is more to the Red Road than spoken word or written words on paper. It is behavior, attitude, a way of living, a way of "doing" with reverence - of walking strong yet softly, so as not to harm or disturb other life. The Red Road is a pathway to truth, peace and harmony.
Walking in balance is more than just the physical action, it also incompases the mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of our being. In experiencing the Good Red Road, one learns the lessons of physical life, or of being human. This road runs South to North in the circle of the medicine wheel. After the graduation experience of death, one enters the Blue or Black Road, that is the world of the grandfathers and grandmothers. In spirit, one will continue to learn by counseling those remaining on the Good Red Road. The Blue Road of the spirit runs East to West.
We must speak in one united voice to awaken the people of the world to the catastrophic consequences we face if we don't change the way we relate to each other and our Mother Earth.
3. What does Sacred mean?
1. devoted to deity: dedicated to a deity or religious purpose
2. of religion: relating to or used in religious worship
3. worthy of worship: worthy of or regarded with religious veneration, worship, and respect
4. dedicated to somebody: dedicated to or in honor of somebody
5. inviolable: not to be challenged or disrespected
4. What is meant by Intention?
1. aim or objective: something that somebody plans to do
State your intentions.
2. quality of purposefulness: the quality or state of having a purpose in mind
She acted without intention.
5. Explain what is;
a. Kicci Yaon Ohinni
b. Mitakuya Oyasin
Mitakuye Oyasin is a Lakota Sioux phrase for "All My Relations." It is a prayer of oneness and harmony with all forms of life: other people, animals, birds, insects, trees and plants, and even rocks. It reminds us that we are connected to these other aspects of Creation, that we share a common kinship in the Hoop of Life.
When Council Fires were held or when a band or group made camp, the open space at the center of the circled tipis was called hocoka. It was a place of great importance, where the four directions, North, South, East, and West meet.
This same sacred center is found in the Inipi (sweat lodge), where the altar is made of stones. By extension, hocoka is considered to be the center of one's self and of the Universe.
6. What does a Heyoka or Sacred Clown do?
A Sacred Clown; to act contrary, to do things backward, to be humorous
7. Why is story telling important?
Honoring All Life
Native American stories are as varied as the trees on the Earth and yet have many common themes, whether told by the Inuit of Alaska or the Seminole of Florida. Traditional Native stories are based on honoring all life, especially the plants and animals we depend on, as well as our human ancestors.
Indigenous storytelling is rooted in the earth. Years upon years of a kinship with the land, life, water and sky have produced a variety of narratives about intimate connections to the earth. In a call and response lasting through time, Native peoples have experienced a relationship of give and take with the natural world.
In the basket of Native stories, we find legends and history, maps and poems, the teachings of spirit mentors, instructions for ceremony and ritual, observations of worlds, and storehouses of ethno-ecological knowledge. Stories often live in many dimensions, with meanings that reach from the everyday to the divine. Stories imbue places with the power to teach, heal and reflect. Stories are possessed with such power that they have survived for generations despite attempts at repression and assimilation.
Most stories talk about the living beings within a specific tribe’s homeland—the raven of the Pacific Northwest, the coyote from the desert, the buffalo of the Plains, the beaver of the Eastern woodlands. Stories explain why and how certain local plants and animals came to be, such as Narragansett storyteller Tchin’s lesson of why rabbits have such long ears. Other stories explain ceremony and ritual, such as Hoskie Benally’s story “The Five Sacred Medicines”.
Prayers, songs and dances are all types of stories, which can be offered to honor the earth, or as Western Shoshone elder Corbin Harney describes it, the Nature Way. Some stories provide practical instructions on traditional living, such as Rosella Archdale’s lesson about preparing foods with reverence. Other stories tell about child rearing, friendship and love, hunting routes, bird migrations, family lineage, and prophecies that describe and predict major ecological, celestial and spiritual events.
Some Native songs are sung in great cycles, containing over 100 songs for a specific ritual. The Mojave Creation songs, which describe cremation rituals in detail, are a collection of 525 songs and must be performed for the deceased to journey to the next world. These stories can take many days to be shared, and within these longer story-song cycles much information is given to instruct, entertain, and heal.
Without our ancestors, we would not have the gift of life. Therefore, one of the most important and common themes among Native stories are creation stories, which are universal among all cultures. Native creation stories explain how life began on Earth and how a particular tribal nation came to be. They talk about spiritual and mythical origins within real, physical landscapes and outline the “original instructions” or natural laws of how to live in balance with creation.
Above all, each Native story is a part of a greater whole, a continuum of stories that has neither a beginning nor an end. Each story in its own way fills in a section of the larger narrative, giving us a fuller sense of life.
Types of Stories
^ Symbolic—refer to larger bodies of oral literature
^ Lessons—describe how and why things are the way they are
^ Instructions from spirit mentors—explain how to conduct ceremonies
^ Descriptions of natural processes—water cycles, inter-species relationships, life cycles of plants, earth movements and soil types
^ Survival accounts—hunting, gathering, and farming stories talk about how to collect, prepare, and eat foods
^ Oral maps for travel—describe historic and on-going migrations of tribe for subsistence and holy journeys
^ Magical tales of transformation—articulate the mystery and complexity of being human
^ Adventures in love, romance and marriage
8. What important duty should you perform every day?
For centuries Native Americans have struggled to retain and to engage in their traditional spiritual practices in a society dominated by Judeo-Christian values and beliefs. As difficult as this struggle has been in free society, for Native Americans incarcerated in prisons throughout the United States, the struggle has been even more arduous. Little Rock Reed, a former federal prisoner, compiled first hand accounts of these struggles by Native American prisoners in a powerful book called The American Indian in the White Man's Prisons: A Story of Genocide.(1) Many cases have been brought by Native American prisoners desperately trying to have their spiritual practices afforded the same respect and treatment that prison officials give to Christian practices.
9. What are the following?
A ceremony may mark a rite of passage in a person's life.
Sometimes, a ceremony may only be performed by a person with certain authority.
Other, society-wide ceremonies may mark annual or seasonal or recurrent events.
Ceremonies may have a physical display or theatrical component: dance, a procession, the laying on of hands.
Tradition ways and culture passed down through the centuries.
Beliefs or customs taught by one generation to the next, often orally.
A set of actions, often thought to have symbolic value, the performance of which is usually prescribed by a religion or by the traditions of a community by religious or political laws because of the perceived efficacy of those actions.
10. Who traditionally is responsible for teaching the children in Native families?
Traditionally the Grandparents have a strong interaction with their grandchildren.
11. What is the drums meaning and its use?
The drum is an important instrument for Indian people, giving both rhythm and meaning to life. It provides the beat for dancers to proudly offer their thanks and praise to the Creator and the Mother Earth during ceremonies. It was and still is used to help heal the sick and as a way of carrying songs and prayers to the Great Above All Person. The tradition of the drum is still very important today and is a way of bringing the People together.
12. Give a couple uses for the rattle.
Rattles, for many years and for many groups of American Indians, have always played a large part in the spiritual connection with the creator as well as for use in communal events.
They are also among the most used musical instruments for use in powwows and other ceremonies throughout most Indian tribes.
13. Why do Native Americans wear headbands?
Headbands are a trite representation of American Indians.
14. What is the importance of Eagle feathers?
Eagle feathers were awarded to Indian Braves, warriors and Chieftains for extreme acts of valor and bravery. These feathers were difficult to come by, and were earned one at a time.
15. Why do some Natives wear medicine bags, what does it represent?
While anyone may have one, usually it would be the medicine man, or shaman, of a tribe who would carry one. As something that holds supernatural items, the medicine bag must also have some power of its own.
16. Give some examples of items that can be placed in the medicine bag?
The medicine bag is used to store items of fetishism,
such as bones, fur, claws, feathers, water from certain places, certain types of plants and woods.
17. What does the circle represent?
The Circle of Life
18. Draw the 2 most common medicine wheels.
19. Name the seven directions.
Up - Down - Center - North - South - East - West.
20. Name the 7 colors that correspond with the 7 directions.
[Lakota's Colors Only, other Tribes differs.]
21. Name the 4 animal spirits that represent the 4 cardinal directions on the medicine wheel and what direction do they represent?
a. North represents Wisdom. Its colour is white, its power animal is the buffalo and its gift is strength and endurance.
b. South comes the gift of warmth and growth after winter is over, a place of innocence and trust. Its colour is green (or sometimes red), its power animal, the mouse.
c. West is the place of introspection, of looking within one's spirit. Its colour is black, its gift rain and its power animal the bear.
d. East is marked by the sign of the Eagle. Its colour is gold for the sun's illumination, the new dawning sky and enlightenment. Its gift is peace and light.
22. When you enter and exit the circle what directions do you travel?
You always enter and exit clock-wise.
23. When you begin a ceremony, what direction do you face and why?
You always face the East, because the Sun rises in the East.
24. Name the 4 elements and what direction do they represent?
a. Earth; North
b. Fire; South
c. Air; East
d. Water; West
25. Name the 4 sacred plants and what direction do they represent?
26. What do each of the sacred plants used for?
a. Sweetgrass; signifies kindness, is burned to invite good spirits to enter.
b. Sage; burned to drive out negative forces when prayer is offered
c. Cedar; burned to drive out negative forces when prayer is offered
d. Tobacco; offered to the Great Creator
27. What is Kinni-Kinnic and what is is used for?
Tobacco; Ceremonies and Rituals.
28. Why and what doe we smudge?
Smudging is a common practice among Native Americans for the cleansing of energy through the burning of sage, tobacco, and sweetgrass. These substances emit certain smells that are pleasing to the Great Spirit.
Smudging plays a central role in traditional healing ceremonies because it is believed that once negative energies are cleared out, a sense of peace and relaxation takes over, putting spiritual difficulties to rest. Joseph explains why this aspect of healing is so important.
Smudging is often combined with other modalities that get to the root of illness, such as talking to a shaman, taking long walks, fasting, praying, and engaging in purification ceremonies.
29. When smoking the pipe what is the smoke when you breath it in, then out.
Smoke becomes our words; it goes out, touches everything, and becomes a part of all there is.
30. What does the pipe stem and the pipe bowl represent?
The pipe stem was the Male Principle as well as the Animal World, hence sometimes a piece of fur was wrapped around it.
The pipe bowl in that view represents the Female Principle and Plant Kingdom, while the pipe as a whole represents Creation in a sacred form that embodies as soon as the pipe bowl and stem are connected.
31. What is the difference between a Lakota pipe and a Cherokee pipe?
Pipestone - a soft, brittle, white on black marbled pipestone found in South Dakota and used by the Plains Tribes (Lakota) for ceremonial pipes.
The Cherokees fashioned pipes made from fired clay that also employed small reed cane pipestems made from river cane. These pipes were made from aged river clay hardened in a hot fire.
32. What are some different uses for the pipe?
The tobacco being burned in a pipe under this belief system was thought to carry prayers to the attention of the being or beings or forces that create everything.
33. Give some examples of different styles of pipes.
Clay, Red Pipestone, Blue Pipestone, Bluestone, Salmon Alabaster, Green Pipestone, Black Pipestone
34. What is an Inipi?
Sweat Lodge Ceremony
35. Please give a brief explanation why you feel you should walk the Red Path.
The Creator has given the First Nations people their own way to stay in their health and become all that they can be. This way assures all the best in life and the capacity to make dreams come true. This path has been termed The Red Road. It is said that the Red Road is the path to the inner self. This is true, because inside all human beings lies the Red Road. The Red Road, like the three Principles, mind, consciousness and thought are a way to walk in life. This path is a road, not a physical road but a mental one.