Part I: A Sacred Day




Ronald Snake Edmo


Spirituality is everything in Native cultures.

 Nemme Newenee' (We, the People), are defined by our
spiritual values.


 Our relationship with all living things teaches us about the value of life.

We show reverence for Sogobia (Mother Earth),

 who brings all life, by walking gently upon her breast.


We remember our ancestors

 and their words that taught us who we are.

This is our spirituality that
makes us different from Stranger. 

You, the non-Indian reader, may be asking yourselves....

Who is Andabichi- (Stranger)?


The answer is this,

you see Stranger every time that you look in a mirror.

Is there hope for Stranger?

I believe that there is.


Many Americans are good people at heart.

Others are lost because they gave up the beliefs of their ancestors.

Others, still, are ignorant about the past

 thus unknowingly repeat the
injustices of their forefathers by remaining silent.


You, Stranger, can change your world and mine by
regaining your spirituality.

When that day comes, we can finally live in peace. 



is a journey that I embark upon

 whenever I need to renew my strength.

respectfully ask you,

 the reader,

to abstain from alcohol or drugs while reading this

 as a sign of respect to our Elders and religious leaders.

More importantly, you show respect to yourselves by

walking upon the Red Road. 

Come, walk with me on this sacred journey. 

I had troubling dreams last night. 
My spirit helper told me to live a spiritual day when I wake. 
I wake to see the false dawn in the eastern sky. 

Now is the time for my


Daa Nanisundehai'hubia or Morning Prayer Song.




Ne dabain do'ai baidu,

I face the rising sun,
Tsaangu beaichehku, Grandfather Spirit.

Good morning, Grandfather Spirit.
Tsaan dai neesungaahka.
All is well.

Ne "South" baidu,
I face South,
Grandfather Spirit, dammen nanna tsutsugu'pe'anee' gahti tsaangu buika.
Grandfather Spirit, look kindly on our Elders.
Dammen nannade deaipe'den gwizho'naika.
Protect our children.

Ne dabain iga'ai baidum baidu,
I face West,
Grandfather Spirit, damme Sogobia yu'waihka.
Grandfather Spirit, warm our Mother Earth. 

Ne hegi nangwahtum baidu,
I face North,
Grandfather Spirit, egi dammen nanewenee' ma'ai' yengaa'yu.
Grandfather Spirit, walk with our people today.

Damme sogopeha ne masunga'a,
I touch the earth,
Sogobia, gwiizo'naipeha nemmi sundehai'.
Mother Earth, bring life to us.
Tsaan daimmen neesungaahka.

 All is well.

The Daa Nanisundehai'hubia, morning Prayer Song, is finished.

Now we greet the day by praying with the pipe.

We ask our Creator to walk with us on this fine day.


Aingadembitan-dua' damme Sogobia'-gaabayunde do'aihkande, emmi dammen newi-beehabinna.
Dammen haga'?
Aika bunninu! Damme saitu hagatunde na'nna.
Getaande, maiku neaide u we'oyonjaangekii'yu.
Ege seade donaa'n tsatsa'ki.
Oyonde hinnin tsaande.
Damme ege seade wa'itee'.
Heinde' bohobi, waapi, dease bahwu.
Damman na'nabebeaite'a, nasundawa'de, dammen do'iman nanisundeh'ai.
Enne sogopeha bu'i, saitu hagatuna'nna.
Enne nasundawa'de, bohobita, waapita, bahwunna.
Do'i man newenahape nanisundehainna.
Nasundawa'de, nanewenee', newenaha'pe tsaanaakaden.



Born of earth, red Catlinite, you are
Our peoples blood.
Where are we?
Look! We are everywhere.


Strong, yet they bend before the wind.
The willow's supple limbs are straight.
Every living thing is sacred.
Make the willow's straight limbs your own.


Pinches of sage, cedar, and tobacco.
Remember our ancestors
As we pray with our pipes.
You see the earth covered with teeming life
Everywhere you look.
Remember the sacred
Sage, cedar, and tobacco.


Praying with the pipe is the ancient
Indian way. My
People, remember, do
Everything in a sacred way.

(Reprinted from COYOTE'S QUEST by Ronald Snake Edmo Woodland Park, CO 1991)

All Rights Reserved

The morning is peaceful.
The sweet smells of life renewing itself fills the air.
I see the rivers teeming with Salmon returning from the sea.
The sun is now past it's zenith.

It is time for


Yeitabai'yi Nanisundehai' Hubia


the Afternoon Prayer Song

(in progress)


What is this I see in the distance?


Could it be?



Beai, nemme Newe-bozheena Sogobia ba'ai yengadee',
Long ago, our People's bison walked about upon Mother Earth,
nemmen Na Neweneen deasen.
So did our People.
Egi, egi dabaiyi, nemmen na newenee' dease bozhee na gai yengadee'
Now, today, our People and the bison cannot walk about
adee'uka Andebichinee saitu hagatundee na'nna.
(that's) because Stranger is everywhere.

Dammen bozhee'na Yellowstonehga naaka ----
The bison who live in Yellowstone ----
 U 'andapu u dei nuyuhakwahka, Andebichi u dei gwasekwainna.
They are shot by Stranger if they leave.
Egi dabaiyi, saitu netewi'ihda hagatunde deekuape bina'ngwa.
Today, they live behind fences everywhere

Sewe dabaiyi, Bozhee'na nean nabushi'aipehtun ne ma'ain daigwannu.
One day, Bison spoke to me in a dream.
Dawi', gai yagaide mai ne niikwi.
Little brother do not cry, he said.
Iwaa', Andebichi damme sogobia' gahyunde gai hai waindu'i.
Tomorrow, Stranger will leave our homeland.
Subai', nemme oyonde nekadu'i, seema'ai sewedaa'ga.
Then (at that time), we will dance together again.

I stood all afternoon watching the bison.

Now, the sun is touching the horizon.

 Our Creator awaits my


Yei Nanisundehai hubia or Evening Prayer Song


There is much to thank him for.

(in progress)


My Yei Nanisundehai hubia is finished.

The people wait patiently.

Yes, -- the stones are hot.


Let us enter the Nebasokohgahni or Sweat Lodge.


O'yonde ne Nanewenee'.

All my Relations.


Nazatewa dabain do'ai baidu,
daa'ape'a benai'i do'ai'aina.
Sogobia'a dammen dukande.
Baishen oyo'go u madenga'nu.
Ege' sohobitta daam bambi ba'ai,
duga dukai'gi da Sogobia'a gaaba,
ege tsaangusem bidedu'i.
Dammen bituse daan beaitenga'tu go'aiyu
Gootoope dembi'a nabasoko tsitahna wayande.
Basoko do'ai'aina.
Daa nanabeaitee'e gai nabuigandengu'pa weega'gu.
Daa nanabeaitee'e tsa damme yukwinna.
Daa daiboo'gammabitta-ha nemme mi'adaihwa.
Nanabeaitee'e-gai nabuigande'nga-tsia dammen buhawinna.
Tsa nabunikingu'pa,
damme dam Sogobia'a-gaaba keannu.



Door facing east where 
Our father, the sun, rises. 
Mother earth, the floor. 
Everything is ready.


Cottonwood saplings arch
Over our heads while the
Velvet darkness of our mother's womb
Engulfs us. We
Return to our origin.


Fire purifies the stones placed
In the central pit. Steam
Rises to greet the spirits
Entering this black void.


We are purified. Our civilized sickness flees
As the spirits living in this
Timeless void comforts us. Light
Releasing us from the damp warmth of our mother's womb.

(Reprinted from COYOTE'S QUEST by Ronald Snake Edmo Woodland Park, CO 1991)

All Rights Reserved

O'yonde ne Nanewenee'


All my Relations.

We emerge reborn.
The full moon is at it's zenith.

We finish with


Duga Nanisundehai'hubia,

the Midnight Prayer Song.




Daa Ape'a, enne dammen usen tsa'i, mai nemmeen niikwi ----
Our Father, we thank you ----
Tsaan dai neesungaahka.
All is well.
Egi dabai'yi, dabai'wa tsaandai neesungaahka----
Today, all day long was good ----
Tsaan dai neesungaahka.
All is well.
Daa Sogobia, u yuu'epuika ----
Our Mother Earth, she sleeps soundly ----
Tsaan dai neesungaahka.
All is well.
Tso'apenee', udei tsaasuande ----
The Spirits, they are happy ----
Tsaan dai neesungaahka.
All is well.
Bozheena, damme Sogobia ba'ai yengaa'yude ----
The Bison, they roam about upon our Mother Earth ----
Tsaan dai neesungaaka.
All is well.
Nemmen Na Neweneen getaambe ----
Our Indian People, they have strength ----
Tsaan dai neesungaahka.
All is well.
Dammen Newenahape, Andebichi u nangasumbaaduka ----
Our Indian traditions, Stranger understands them ----
Tsaan dai neesungaahka.
All is well.
Nanisundehai'hubia ne gaabayunde, geaka ----
This Prayer Song emerges from within me ----
O'yonde ne Nanewenee'.
All my Relations

Thus ends A SACRED DAY.




Thank you for walking with me.






Author's note:

    This collection of poetry is part of a "work in progress."

It is dedicated to all of our shoshonean peoples.

I wish to thank Drusilla Gould and Chris Loether for all of their help and encouragement in preparing this document.

All Rights Reserved