The Seven Fires Prophecy and Wild Rice Continued...
The prophecies not only told of our chosen lands and sacred food, Manoomin, the prophecies predicted contact with the Europeans and other events that have occurred or will occur in the future. According to the The Mishomis Book: The voice of the Ojibway by Edward Benton-Banai, Seven prophets came to the Anishinaabe at a time when the people were living a full and peaceful life on the North Eastern coast of North America. The seven prophets gave the people predictions of what the future would bring. Each of the prophecies is referred to as a fire; each fire referenced a particular era of time that would come in the future.
In the previous blog post, Manoomin: The Food that Grows on Water, we talked about the first three fires (prophecies). The first fire foretold the people they would find a turtle shaped island at the beginning and the end of their journey. He warned that if they didn’t move from the east coast, they would perish. The prophet said the people would know they had reached their chosen ground when they found the “food that grows on water”, otherwise known as Manoomin. Manoomin is the sacred food that was given to the Anishinaabe people, otherwise known as wild rice. At Native Harvest, we sell hand harvested wild rice to share with you.
The next three fires, as taken from the Mishomis Book, are as follows:
The Fourth Fire was originally given to the people by two prophets. They come as one. They told of the coming of the light skinned race.
One of the prophets said,
"You will know the future of our people by the face of the light skinned race wears. If they come wearing the face of brotherhood then there will come a time of wonderful change for generations to come. They will bring new knowledge and articles that can be joined with the knowledge of this country. In this way, two nations will join to make a mighty nation. This new nation will be joined by two more so that four will for the mightiest nation of all. You will know the face of the brotherhood if the light skinned race comes carrying no weapons, if they come bearing only their knowledge and a hand shake."
The other prophet said,
"Beware if the light skinned race comes wearing the face of death. You must be careful because the face of brotherhood and the face of death look very much alike. If they come carrying a weapon ... beware. If they come in suffering ... They could fool you. Their hearts may be filled with greed for the riches of this land. If they are indeed your brothers, let them prove it. Do not accept then in total trust. You shall know that the face they wear is one of death if the rivers run with poison and fish become unfit to eat. You shall know them by these many things."
The fifth prophet said,
"In the time of the Fifth Fire there will come a time of great struggle that will grip the lives of all native people. At the waning of this Fire there will come among the people one who holds a promise of great joy and salvation. If the people accept this promise of a new way and abandon the old teachings, then the struggle of the Fifth Fire will be will be with the people for many generations. The promise that comes will prove to be a false promise. All those who accept this promise will cause the near destruction of the people."
The prophet of the Sixth Fire said,
"In the time of the Sixth Fire it will be evident that the promise of the Fifth Fire came in in a false way. Those deceived by this promise will take their children away from the teachings of the Elders. Grandsons and granddaughters will turn against the Elders. In this way the Elders will lose their reason for living ... they will lose their purpose in life. At this time a new sickness will come among the people. The balance of many people will be disturbed. The cup of life will almost become the cup of grief."