By seMUel Sahureka.
After reading this article I was just thinking about what one of my Elder told me years ago. It was kind of a statement, ‘without my land I don’t exist’ he said to me.
Land is very important not only to indigenous peoples, but also to all peoples and living creatures on earth. But from the perspective of an indigenous or native, land means more to us. It is the way we are connected to the land of our ancestors, we are part of the ground, better to say that we are the land, we are the ground. Therefore, in many indigenous cultures, the placenta of a child is always buried near his/her parents’ house or village. By doing so, the child will always be connected to the land of his ancestors, and also to Mother Earth. So an indigenous or native is physically, as well as spiritually connected to his land but also with the trees, plants, animals, rivers, lakes and mountains. Land is very important, without land nothing will exist. Imagine even the great oceans are carried by land.
We believe that Mother Earth was entrusted to mankind by the Great Creator. That’s why burying the placenta is always accompanied by a ceremony, a prayer to the Great Creator. As a thanks for the child which the Great Creator entrusted to his parents, they buried the placenta in the ground, knowing that Mother Earth will always give the child everything he/she needs. And Mother Earth has done this generations after generations after generations for thousands and thousands of years.
We can only understand nature and the land on which we live if we are really connected to Mother Earth. If we are connected to Mother Earth, we will be able to understand and to communicate with nature and the land. So we can see, feel and experience the priceless values of nature and our land, which gives us food and shelter but also our identity not only as an individual, but in particular as a people.
Therefore we need to have ceremonies, to strengthen and understand our connection to nature and the land and especially to Mother Earth.