At this time of year when Americans get ready to tuck into their Thanksgiving holiday dinners, I would like to remind them that November is also Native American Heritage month.
The Roycroft has several connections to Native American culture. Elbert Hubbard’s son, Ralph, was very interested in Native American culture. He went out west in the 1920's to learn more firsthand and later invited Boy Scout Troops to his ranch where he taught them Native American dances and culture. Today’s Kwahadi Dance group is a direct descendant of Ralph Hubbard’s early work.
Another link between Native American culture and the Roycroft is the fact that the American Arts and Crafts Movement (of which the Roycroft was a part) was heavily influenced by Native American decorative arts. Authentic Navajo rugs and ceramics were often used in Arts and Crafts interiors and A&C designers were inspired by the colors and shapes in Native American designs.
A Native American ritual you may wish to honor this Thanksgiving holiday is the Seneca Nation or, Haudenosaunee, Thanksgiving Address. Many non-native Americans are not aware of this Iroquois address which is over 1,000 years old; passed on from generation to generation in the oral tradition. This address gives thanks for everything we are given from the ground to the sky and is spoken at the opening and closing of all ceremonial and governmental gatherings held by the six Iroquois nations throughout the year.
May your Thanksgiving be filled with thanks, love and respect,