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In Search of: Our Tribal Roots



This particular search has been conducted by looking to the Tribal
Systems of Native Vinland. Some data gathered and quoted from: 'Native
American Legends': compiled & edited by George E. Lankford

Around 1539 to 1542, the Spaniards under Hernando DeSoto traveled the
Southeastern territory of Vinland, and saw what appeared in their eyes
to be 'Provinces,'  with monarchs, and nobility. But, in fact, it was
a far more complicated international system of Chiefdoms, each with
its own characteristic peculiarities and sets of relationships to each
other. Although the Chiefdoms agreed on basic concepts, each
maintained its own uniqueness. The  result was a very strong cultural
individuality within an apparent regional sameness.

To better understand the concept of this system, let's look to the
'basic unit' of its construction. This basic unit was called a 'Talwa'
by the Creeks, 'Okla' by the Choctaw, & other names by other peoples.

The English translation of a 'town system' poorly communicates the
true concept behind the Talwa, but, it is very similar to our own
Kindred units. One was either born, or adopted into a Talwa, and owed
it lifelong fidelity.
Much the way some of us form or join a Kindred and swear an Oath of
fidelity to Kin & Kindred.

The Talwa had a location, but the location did not define the Talwa.
For example: The 'Mother Talwa' of the Upper Creeks was called 'Coosa'
Through history, it moved many times, but it always remained 'Coosa.'

It is when a Talwa 'split' that the real greatness of the system can
be seen.
When a Talwa split, it 'gave birth' to an offspring Talwa, but members
of the new group always maintained the 'Old-Talwa' as chief identity.
This concept was called, *Being of One-Fire!*

This *Being of One Fire* is a reference to the Sacred fire which
burned in the council lodges or 'temple' area and was the source for
all fires at the annual 'New Fire' ceremony. This would compare to Our
Althing gatherings.
One of our modern day groups, the Ealdriht, speaks of similar practice
of the sacred fire, called the Nedfyr (Need Fire)

The primacy of the Talwa as the social unit made it possible for a
Talwa to ally itself with otherwise unrelated Talwas without
undergoing major cultural change. The end results of such unions were
know as the phenomenon of the 'Confederacy.'

The Confederacy was a group of tribal towns/Talwas, banded together
for various reasons. Some were offspring Talwa *Being of One Fire,*
while others were Talwa conquered and absorbed by adoption into the
collective. Yet a third type was formed by un-related Talwa banding
together to stand against a common enemy.
Confederacy compares to our modern day groups, such as the AA, AFA, &

When people ask: "How do we Build a Community?" or "How do we rebuild
the Tribes?" As seen in the comparisons above, the concept has not
really been lost to us, it is merely a problem of the language getting
in the way. People have come to think in terms of Singularity rather
than from a Tribal collective viewpoint.
Perhaps by asking a different question, we can find the answer.
To find the answer to the above questions, let us instead ask: "How
would we build a forest?"

The simple answer: We plant a Tree.
The tree will sink down roots to support itself, grow to maturity, and
bare fruit from which the forest of the future shall grow.

Why have I chosen this particular analogy?

Once, long ago, in the mists of time, a Great Tribe had formed.
This Tribe consisted of Blood Kin, Kin of Marriage, and Kin of
In the land of this Tribe, grew a Mighty Tree, and it was within the
confines of this tree that the Great Tribe created many wonderful
The Great Tribe grew and eventually gave birth to other Tribes who
also took their place within the Tree.
These other Tribes bore different names, held different customs, and
sometimes even fought with each other. But, they always remained Tru
to the Great Tribe from which each in turn was a descendant.

We are the continuation of this tradition.
We are children of the various Tribes, and through them we retain Our
connection to the Great Tribe.
The Tree of the Great Tribe still stands, else we would not be here.
That Tree with it's roots sunk deep into the mists of time.
That Tree whose trunk stood strong even when harried by Serpents from
below and Harts from above.
That Tree whose fruit gave birth to great forests.

I submit that we are, and always have been, a Tribal people.
This is something that has not been lost to us.
What has been lost, is Our willingness to temporarily set aside Our
personal Offspring-Tribe differences and come together in honor of the
Great Tribe from which we all came.
We have forgotten the meaning of: *Being of One Fire.*

*Many Tribes - One Fire~!*

My question is: "Who will join me by the fire?"