An Old Prayer

AN OLD PRAYER.

THUNDER:  

O Jigwé Nagan’ien

Oh Thunder Leader

Mamwé mishkwezyen shote

Supreme Power here

Égi bgednegoyen éwi je

You were placed and to

Kewabmiyak I je mine

Protect us (also) and

Éwi nizhokmodwan gij

To help your other

Mishkwezimak éwi

Lesser plants under you and good

Mnogmoak éwi nizhokmodwan  *(always praise the

Rains and help (bless us with)       rains)

Éwi mno bmadziyak jak gégo

Good lives (that we may live good lives)

Mine éwi gsiabaudi’ek

All crops, growths and every variety

Nebeshknegen jayék

All rotten things (and washes clean atop the ME

All rotten things)

Anaké tatbégwen mine mishkoyen

Along with leaves and weeds

Nebeshknegen éwi binabaud’iek

Rotten and made clean by the rain

Édnesyak iw je pi

Where we live and when

Zhawno’enmek émnoskyag inoden

The South Winds with their nice damp air and the Great

Good Wind

Égche mnobmadji shka gwi yak

Enable us to live and able

Ije gedzhi’esk miyak jak

To continue all

Mno mikjéwiwen éwi

Variety of good work and

Jak gishwiyak we’an meze

Variety of completed work pursuing

Mno mikjéwiyak éwi zhigojkemegon

Good work and to avoid

Mine jak nenyézanyek

Any and all danger.

NORTH SPIRIT:

Ahau Pondesé wéwéne

Greeting Coldness (One) earnestly

Kenadotmonenan éwi

We ask you and

Kewabmiyak wéwénije

Protect us earnestly we ask

Kenadotmonenan éwi

You to protect us and

Kewabmiyak éwi bwa zigdezhiyak

Watch over us and not to freeze us

Bénagdze éwi zak senyak

Be very mild then Cold Ones

Ije gche ndotmonenan

And we request

Débtso éwi bgeshagon

A sufficiency then of falling snow

Éwi ngwagneg se kig

So as to blanket the Earth

Éwi déb mno Otakiwak

And so sufficient a nice dampening of the Earth

Gé she je kejkadoiyag éwi

In order to help us then

Gizhgatoyag wabgonen

Raise pumpkins

Ndamneg mine penik

Corn and potatoes

Mine kojések mine

And beans and

Jak ézgak washkgbek

All variety of growing things

Mine jak ézgak bébiz wayak

And also small fruits.

THE EAST:

Kegnaswé ékche yéwak

Coming Daylight Greatest

Gebébamzawen gin

Power you

Éwedzema dzegék jak gégo

Start varieties of everything

Bamgak mshkekegé jak

Growing medicine all

Éshkek wa nadwashkag wiyak

Kinds that grow for doctoring ourselves

Ébgosén demak wéwéne éwi

We wish sincerely then

Gizgak iw je wéwéne gé je

They grow then nicely so we can

Skeksedoiyak éwi

Gather them and

Nado’owé wiyak iw pi éyaknogéyak

Cure ourselves when we fall ill

Iw je wéwéne kéndotmon nag tche

And respectfully I ask you an early

Ewi Mnokmek iw je wéwéne

Spring and respectfully

Endotmonag jak ézgak

We ask you for it all kinds of growing

Washkgbeg gé je skeknemag

Fruit that we may gather

Iw pi Ponok éwi mijyak

When Winter comes and we eat

Mine éwizgek nekmek jak

And gather all kinds

Ezgek mashgeké

Of growing things.

THE SOUTH :

Zhawdesi ik she éndotmonag

Hotness now we pray

Ewi mizhyak jak gégo kazegek

Then give us varities of all that

Géte ga nak gin jayék épamzen

Grows in the fields you do have all kinds of control

Ékwabdoyen éwi mno zak ki’eg

You have charge of them and good growths

MOTHER EARTH:

Mesekmekwé ngyénan ik she

Top soil our Mother now we

Wéwéne éndotmonag gé pe

Respectfully ask you to fulfill your

Bamziwen gé gin ga wje

Responsibility that is your duty

Bgetnegoyen éwi je nizhokmowiyak

You were placed to do and help us execute

Shewénmatenejnag éwi mno

Graciously and good

Zak k’yég mine wéwéne éwi

To sprout and properly to

Gizhgag jak gégo waje’ gé’ak

Mature all everything they/we plant

Éwi mémek mikwékek

And make them grow abundantly.

THE GOOD SPIRIT:

She wén ge’en mnomneto wéwéne

Merciful Good Spirit respectfully

Knedotmomen éwi kewabmiyak

We say to protect then (us) from

Jak gégo éje nizan wiyag

All of the dangers

Gche tche igwan n’mo jenak

Avert cyclone or

Gche wawiyasto jayék gégo

Great Whirlwind and all sorts of

Ze’angek égche mkomi

Dangers with great hail or falling storm

Biésag gé’aba éwi bwa

Also avoid excessive

Ozam wizganmek

Winds

Iw je gé she ndotmomen

Also again we pray you

Gche tche igwan jayék

Ward off all kinds

Éwi nénmoyak jak zengak

Then ward them off all danger

Éwi bwa pe gém jeka gwi yak

Then so it will not touch

Gche tche igwan nénmo jenak

Us ward off great dangers

I gé zenan dek noden

Including Hot Wind.

Author: neaseno

I was born on Powers Bluff in Wood County, Wisconsin, into a traditional community of Neshnabek. I was raised speaking only native languages, and learned to speak English upon entering school at the age of 6. As of this writing, I am one of 5 remaining Heritage Fluent Speakers of Potawatomi.

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