Photo by Heidi Walters
Tuluwat, Indian Island, at super high tide earlier this year.
Beginning tomorrow, the Wiyot Tribe will hold its first World Renewal Ceremony in 154 years
. And the tribe is asking for the public's respect:
"While it is customary not to turn away anyone who wishes to participate with an open heart, free of anger toward anyone, we ask that the community respect the sacredness of this ceremony," says an open letter from the tribe to the public. "This is not a demonstration or spectator event." (Read the full letter below.)
The ceremony is intended to “put the world right,” as Wiyot Tribe member Cheryl Seidner explains.
“This is like the beginning of our new year, when everything is green,” she says.
Until the 1860 massacre, the Wiyot had held the ceremony annually; the tribe intends to resume that tradition. But contrary to what has been reported elsewhere, this year’s ceremony will not be an attempt to finish the ceremony interrupted in 1860. It will be a new ceremony, a fresh beginning, says Seidner.
And, to repeat: The ceremony is very sacred
. For the past week, many Wiyot who will be dancing in the ceremony have been praying and fasting. Tomorrow, Saturday and Sunday they will continue to fast, and they will dance.
Here is the tribe's full request:
An open letter from The Wiyot Tribe:
He’ ba’ lo’,
Re: Attendance at the 2014 Wiyot World Renewal Ceremony
On March 28-30, 2014, the Wiyot Tribe will be holding its first World Renewal Ceremony since February 1860. This sacred ceremony will take place over three consecutive days at Tuluwat on Indian Island, Pi’mad on the South Jetty, and at Rrawuraghu’muk at Table Bluff Reservation.
While it is customary not to turn away anyone who wishes to participate with an open heart, free of anger toward anyone, we ask that the community respect the sacredness of this ceremony. This is not a demonstration or spectator event. The Wiyot Tribe will provide transportation by boat to and from Tuluwat for the dancers, their families and supporters, and Wiyot Tribal Citizens. Parking along Highway 255/ Samoa Bridge is not permitted. Furthermore, attempting to walk across the marsh or cross the channel from Woodley Island is extremely dangerous and not advisable, and there are not any public facilities at Tuluwat, The Wiyot Tribe accepts no liability for anyone attempting to make their way to Tuluwat. No video, photography, or recording is allowed and we ask that no one attempt to record the ceremony from a distance.
We are very grateful for the outpouring of support from the community and all of those who worked to help bring this historic event to pass, so that the Wiyot Tribe can once again “set the world right” and promote ongoing healing for the entire community. We ask that anyone who does wish to show their support by attending the ceremony refrain from coming until the final day, March 30, at Table Bluff Reservation. For more information, please contact the Wiyot Tribal Office during regular business hours at 707-733-5055.
The Wiyot Tribe Council