Friday, February 04, 2005

Cheyenne Madonna and Papoose

This Bridge Building print hangs on our bedroom wall next to a life-sized papoose we bought while on our Alaska cruise in 1999. I worked with Cheyenne native-americans for 3 summers in a row at the University of Oklahoma while in training with Wycliffe Bible Translators in the '60s. I can still mouth the words of simple greetings like nitonidamOHta (phonetically spelled with the voiceless syllable OH = "how are you?").

I also still see the aged, wizened faces of women patiently repeating simple phrases while doing their intricate beadwork.

If ever there was a Madonna before whom I would light a candle, it would be this young Cheyenne woman, mentored by the Wisdom of the Ages. Can you imagine Jesus swaddled as a papoose (or a "papoo," as the sales lady called him in her broken English)!

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