The Sacred Weed

The Sacred Weed is a tale about the significance behind the ritualism that Native Americans associated with smoking tobacco. The preface to this tale helps the reader to understand the truth behind this piece – for Native Americans, smoking was a spiritual act, a way of transcendence. By providing a comparison to the way in which Europeans saw the act, the reader is provided with the notion that the way that we see smoking today is not what it was intended to be. This is further represented in the story by depicting the beaver’s adaptation of how it should be done – they provide Bull-by-Himself and his wife with the proper methods and incantations to associate with smoking. The real truth behind this piece, as expressed towards the audience, is meant to depict the importance of the reverence and ritual behind all aspects of Native American life. The story shows the act of smoking as something that was previously kept hidden from the world by men of greed; Bull-by-Himself and his wife had to go to great lengths to bring the art to the rest of the world. The truth in this resides in the many great innovations of today – our technology and own forms of entertainment, as well as religious experiences, were brought about because someone had the pioneering vision to seek them out and learn their arts. Someone was dedicated enough and believe enough in the difference that cellular phones would make that they gave up their own time to develop it for the rest of the world. The story also serves as a lesson to a time in which innovation was not something happening every day – the story sends a message to Native American population that, upon the discovery of new information, that it is meant to be shared with the community. This further emphasizes the communal aspect that was custom among tribes of the time, as well.

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