Tobacco Image In the time of creation when the Creator put humankind on the earth for the first time he did so with specific instructions. Those instructions were to learn lifes-ways from the animals and in doing so the clan system was started. As mankind went about their business of learning from the animals some of them were able to interpret what each of the animals gift was. As time would come to pass they would learn the gift of medicine from the bear because the bear would only eat those things that were healthy for him. When bear became injured bear knew what plants did what and bear used those plants for healing. Man knew that the knowledge that he was seeking was in the actions of animals so he watched what each animal did. Each year some did the same thing as they did the year before but some of them changed patterns as climates and environments changed. Man continued to watch following the original instructions and some men got lazy and gave up. Year after year one man continued to follow the instructions and during that time he learned from his fellow man what was good and what was not. He would come to know these things by watching the mistakes that mankind would make. Many winters would come to pass and as time passed this one man would eventually gain the knowledge and the wisdom that the Creator’s instructions had asked for. Many of the people in the village would go to him in their time of need seeking his wisdom. He would work tirelessly seemingly nonstop in his effort to try to help his people. People from surrounding villages heard of him as well and sought his knowledge too. Sometimes strangers would come from some other villages and some of them would be sick and having heard of this man they too sought out his help with medicine and doing so the term medicine man was born. Many, many more years would come to pass and in that time the kind, gentle old man would share his stories and life experiences with everyone. Now, after many years he was white-haired with a weathered face the people noticed that the old man started taking long walks and would begin to be gone longer and longer each time. The old man would go sometimes for a couple days saying that he would go and visit a friend in the next village. As time passed the people became worried about the old man taking longer and longer to return. People started to worry about the old man leaving the village and going to another where no one knew him and he could kind of take it easy a little bit and slow -down from all his work. Finally the village people had a meeting to talk about what was happening, it was decided that they would ask the old man if he was planning on leaving the village. They did ask him if that was his plan to leave the village and his answer was that he would never leave. The people were relieved of their worry because they did not know what would happen in their village if the old man left. All of them wondered what they would do if he did leave. Questions began to come up about who could do what the old man did and who would help the people in time of sickness. Each time they discussed the issue of the old man leaving they reminded one another that the old man had already said he would never leave them. In the night some visitors / relatives came to visit the old man and the old man knew it was his time was near. Day after day he would walk and each day going further and further. Then one day the village people noticed that the old man had not returned from his walk. They became worried once again and once again the people were reminded that the old man said he would never leave them. Days passed and eventually weeks passed and the village people became so worried that they sent out a search party to try to find the old man. Each day the search party went out and each night they returned with no news of the old man. The search party went to village after village asking for him but the answer was always the same nobody saw him or knew where he was. Months passed and the search party continued. As they searched the search party separated into smaller groups so they could cover more territory but always staying within sight or sound of one another. Suddenly a distant whooping could be heard and the party knew that they had found the old man. Word spread to the village that the search party had found him and everyone was relieved once again. A great feast had been prepared to celebrate his return and as darkness had fallen upon the village the riders came in, but no one had the old man. After consulting with the old ones in the village the feast celebration was cancelled and the village was informed of the death of the old man. They decided that they would go the next day and give the old man a proper burial. After the burial they feasted his spirit and said that they would return to his grave each year to feast and honor his spirit. Upon their arrival to the gravesite one year later for their annual feast they noticed a strange plant had come up where they buried him. Everyone was asking what is was but nobody knew. The people started talking about the good things that the old man had done as a way of honoring him. Today in modern time we still do that at that time and at that time we always remind people that when that old man said he would never leave, he didn’t leave he simply came back in spirit through the nen-sema. That is why we follow our leader.