As it turns out, a Native American artifact would have prevented my trivia team from being able to play in the My Trivia Live finals scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 15. I did not know this when I decided to walk away from the league after playing four games at Powell’s back in early September, but in retrospect…maybe some Native American spirits were trying to tell me something!
Let’s rewind back to 1993, shall we? It all started when the guy I was dating (whom I would later marry) acquired an old medicine pouch from his grandfather, who would die later that year. It was encased in a glass frame, and he never handled it – or displayed it (he feared the UV light would damage the deerskin). His grandfather had been given the medicine pouch by a member of the local Ojibwe tribe in Mount Pleasant, MI. I honestly don’t know the whole story, but I gather that his grandfather had been active with the local Ojibwe folks and was a person held in their high regard (which is why they gave the medicine pouch to him). Medicine pouches are considered to be sacred items, and would typically carry things considered very precious to the owner – seeds, herbs, pine cones, grass, animal teeth or claws, horse hair, rocks, tobacco, beads, arrowheads, bones, or anything else of relatively small size that possessed spiritual value. Years ago, I asked Mike what was inside his medicine pouch that he’d gotten from his grandfather. He said he didn’t know – and didn’t want to know. Which is the way it’s supposed to be!
This is not “the” actual medicine pouch. I can’t photograph it, since it’s no longer in our possession. But this is basically what they look like. This article will do a MUCH better job of explaining the functions of a medicine bag than I can!
Fast forward 25 years? Now the tribe is getting their pouch back! About three weeks ago or so, my husband brought the pouch back to his dad, who got in touch with the tribe. Long story short, the tribe in Mount Pleasant scheduled a ceremony for around noon Saturday, Dec. 15 and we’ve been invited to attend.
This is just a BIT more important than a trivia tournament! I think it will be exciting to be a part of this event. I have no idea what to even expect! I may have to wear my old beaded Native American bracelet Mike bought for me at a pow-wow many moons ago (I’ll have to see if I can find it)! Its beads are green, so it should be easy for me to find something to go with it (accessorizing is SO important, LOL)!
When we had the medicine pouch in our possession, it came with us through several different moves of residence, and it always had to be treated with extreme care. Mike (my husband) always wanted to keep it on the “down low” that we even had it. He feared that some of his more greedy relatives might try getting their hands on it – and selling it. He still thinks something like this might happen before this ceremony occurs.
And it’s not just family members who are interested in this thing! About 20 years ago or so, we visited the Natural History Museum in Ann Arbor and he mentioned the medicine pouch to one of the museum workers, who had a LOT of questions about it! It made him a bit…nervous!
I’d like to think that we’re paying something forward by giving this thing back to the rightful caretakers. Good mojo, if you will… But what do I know? Not much more than the typical person who has seen the movie Poltergeist! Don’t build things on top of sacred burial grounds (check)! Don’t anger “the spirits.” Native American “magicks” are definitely NOT something I’d want to trifle with.
As for trivia, we’ll be checking out a new MTL spot tonight and attempting to qualify this season. If the stars are right! If the…spirits allow! This will be the first MTL game we’ve played in nearly three months. Go Pods!