One of the most sacred messengers up above to Unequa, "great Being," is tsolv, "tobacco." This was literally called Tsunalugi, "Rising Smoke." Tobacco grew wild in the Ani-Tsalagi area and there were special men and women who could gather the crop. This tobacco was called tsolv agayvli, "old tobacco." It was against tribal law for a Tsalagi man or woman to grow tobacco. They could either gather wild tobacco or trade it from a tribe that had the power to grow such a sacred item. Without proper powers there were many things that an Ani-Tsalagi member was not allowed to do.
Tsolvgayvli, "Ancient Tobacco," was used in prayers. There were two important pipes used for tsolv and Tsolvgayvli, the Gununawa, "Cermonial Pipe," and the Dayohi Gununaway, "Peace Pipe."
The women in the Ani-Tsalagi had much power and many privileges. Two privileges they did not have was to use the Ceremonial Pipe or the Peace Pipe. I was taught that if a woman touched a pipe, she had killed it and it was to be taken in the forest and buried, never to be used again.
The pipe for all people, both men and women, was the usvdoni gunanawe. Both men and women in healing ceremonies or just to relax and send smoke up to Unequa could use this pipe.
There were many things sacred to the Ani-Tsalagi, but not many things were as sacred as tobacco and pipes. The pipe was used to settle war. The pipe was used for ceremonies to send up prayers to Asgaya Galvlati, Unequa, "Man Above, Great Being."
The pipes were made from soapstone, gathered from the mountainside, and a highly prized stone from west of the Great Lakes. The stem was of ataya, "oak," the principal wood, or atsina, "cedar."
The Peace Pipe hung in a prominet position on the center pole of every Gaduyi, "town house," at all times when the people were at peace. The pipe was taken down and encased in white deerskin when the people were at war. Then the Danawa Ahi Galuyasti, "Ceremonial War Hatchet," took its place on the center pole.
[First Town is Formed]
[Building the Mound and Sacred Fire]
[Tribal Government] [Leaders] [Red and White Organizations] [The War Women] [Warriorship and War Titles]
[Diplomacy] [Immunity of Ambassadors] [Marriage and Divorce] [Tobacco Pipes] [The Ceremonial War Hatchet]
[Take Up The Hatchet] [Bury The Hatchet] [Traders and Merchants] [Craftsmen and Industrial Arts] [Games]
[Taboo] [Burial] [Book Main]