Native American Totems

Discovering the medicine and lessons learned from the spirits of animals and all living things.

Search this site:

I can find no specific tribe associated with this Native American version of The Twelve Days Of Christmas. I did read one account that it possibly could have been written by a Missionary for the Huron as a way for them to remember his Christian teachings in a way they could better relate to.  I think it is beautiful and wanted to share it with you:

Gather my children. I have a song to teach you. It will help you remember the sacred things of our Grandfather, the reasons that He came to walk our land as he was clothed in Red Dirt. Remember the things He accomplished for us, among us, and through us. Remember, that all the ways we have walked before pointed us to this moment, when we humble humans are able to walk as sons and daughters of the Most Holy One.

On the First day of Christmas, Grandfather gave to me… an Eagle sitting on a cedar tree. (The eagle climbs the highest and takes our prayers to the highest places. The eagle is Jesus who was able also to climb to the Sky World.)

On the second day of Christmas, Grandfather gave to me… two wise owls. (The owls represent both death and sacred messages from the Holy places. They also represent the Old Testament and the New Testament that brought transformation and mercy.)

On the third day of Christmas, Grandfather gave to me… three sacred drums. (Drums beat out the sound of Mother Earth as we pray to the Grandfather. When you hear them beat, remember the Word creating the earth and the heavens.)

On the fourth day of Christmas, Grandfather gave to me… four talking feathers. (The feathers remind us that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were given the talking feather by the Grandfather to tell His story to all of us.)

On the fifth day of Christmas, Grandfather gave to me… five prayer bundles. (Remember that the Law of Nature is still to be followed, and we humbly submit to it as we offer our prayers.)

On the sixth day of Christmas, Grandfather gave to me… six hawks a laying. (We celebrate the creation of Mother Earth. We thank Grandfather for giving us life. We often use the feathers of this creature to smudge ourselves in preparation of our prayer time.)

On the seventh day of Christmas, Grandfather gave to me… seven stones for my sweat lodge. (Remember the gifts of the Great Spirit are seven fold. We learn how to walk in these gifts through our awe and love of Him as we pray in our lodges.)

On the eighth day of Christmas, Grandfather gave to me… eight great buffalo. (To remember the beatitudes – the teachings of Jesus. The buffalo represent His provision for our health and our existence. He blessed the people, the meek, those who weep, and the poor.)

On the ninth day of Christmas, Grandfather gave to me… nine precious elders. (As we sit at the feet of our elders we hear how we can walk in the path of the Great Spirit. Our Elders have always taught these truths; we did not know that they were the same truths taught by the talking leaves that the white men have brought to us.)

On the tenth day of Christmas, Grandfather gave to me… ten eagle dancers. (The eagle dancers sacrifice for the people during the Sun Dance. Our dancers dance to protect the people and to keep the people in a state of wholeness. The eagle dancers represent the ten commandments which were given to keep the people whole.)

On the eleventh day of Christmas, Grandfather gave to me… eleven braids of sweet grass sage. (As we light it and send the smell of sweet grass to the Sky Nation, it invites those who dwell in the realm of the Grandfather to enter our world and help us. We remember the faithful disciples who stood ready to do His will and work.)

On the twelfth day of Christmas, Grandfather gave to me… twelve drummers singing. (The sacred drums cannot help us to pray if they do not have four drummers each to beat out the heartbeat of Mother Earth to the Great Spirit. When our people are on the drum, we call it singing, we call it praying. We know it to be much more than just drumming.)

Chippewa woman and child print

Mother and child

Merry Christmas to all of my readers….

~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related.