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‘Indigenous Seeds,’ by Dan Green

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"Indigenous Seeds” is author Al Amanacer’s compilation of a journal written by Dan Green as he follows a sometimes strange and frustrating path to discover the power of “Teta Teeni.”

Written from the journal writer’s perspective, the book tells the tale of Green’s role as a core group prepares for a spiritual gathering of hundreds at Teta Teeni, or “Stone Mouth,” as the location and event are called.

The gathering, which is meant to help indigenous peoples return to the Moccasin Path, is secret yet well publicized across Indian country as people are invited to join in the rejuvenation of their well-being and securing a better place for the seventh generation.

As they work to organize and experience the gathering at an impressive stone ambit, Green and others are called upon to realize that their ancestors have not deserted them. Even as poverty and chemical dependency have put Native peoples through trials, the ancestors’ power is still available to this and future generations through dreams and sweats and prayer.

Sometimes it is a “twisted path,” as the character takes on responsibilities and works to get to the blessing of the gathering. Logistical complications, egos and confusion about relationships create distractions for the main character, who sticks to the belief that important and good things will happen if he and others continue to work toward making Teta Teeni a reality.

The power of prayer is a theme throughout the story. That power is shown as the writer uses it to strengthen himself, as several people gather to fortify a person in need and as large groups become one through their belief in the Grandfather. Varying styles of prayer or tribal beliefs are not allowed to detract from the main purpose: to gather as one extended family and experience the unifying power of Teta Tenni, then carry it forward into the world.

The plot takes several twists as the writer attempts to understand his relationship with the woman in his life. Is she faithful to him? Should he remain faithful to her? He loves her but, as a strong Indian man, can’t kowtow to her in front of friends even when he knows doing so would reduce strife between them.

Their relationship, while at times rocky, is one of the areas of growth the writer experiences as part of Teta Teeni. As he writes, “spiritual melding” with a life partner is part of a blessing provided by the Grandfather.

Released this year by Xlibris publishing, the book is available in hardcover and softcover. At about 440 pages, the book is an easy read; however, the storyline drags in a few places as the reader waits to discover the true meaning of the Teta Teeni.

In his prologue, Amanacer writes that while there are details missing from the original account, “most astute readers will be able to fill in those gaps.” It is frustrating that the writer never reveals dates or locations of the events. However, there are hints provided by the equipment used by the original journal writer (such as satellite Internet connections) and the location is obviously somewhere in the Southwest.

The missing details work to reinforce one of the messages of “Indigenous Seeds” – that relying on spiritual power will lead to the greater good, even if the person working toward the good doesn’t know exactly why he or she has been called upon to do that work. With trust in spiritual leaders, and belief in the Great Spirit, the path will always be shown.

Without giving away the “wondrous gift” that Green and hundreds of others received at the gathering, it is safe to assume this dynamic event – a great “shaking of the earth” – was life-changing for those who experienced it.

If, as the organizer of the Teta Teeni asked those assembled, everyone at the event maintained the bonds they created and continued to work as a community, they surely had a chance to better the world and to fight battles against personal and societal chemical dependency.

Amanacer’s work in “Indigenous Seeds” gives readers a chance to heed the lessons learned at Teta Teeni. Although the experience is not as dynamic as that starlit night at the height of the event, it gives them lessons that may be used to do their share to lead more fulfilling lives.