A weekend of festivities featuring distinguished Native American guests was held at Quinta da Calma near Almancil recently. Guests from England, America, Norway, Germany and Portugal convened in aid of a prayer for universal peace.
Native Americans are renowned for their spirituality and healing abilities. Many are still confined to reservations, such as Grandmother Sara and Elk Chief Rod Skenandore from the Black Feet and Oneida tribes in Montana. Rod spoke to The Resident reporter Gabriel Hershman.
“I come from a society of healers. We try to let people understand the needs of the creation – the way life has gone over the last few thousand years during which we have had only 300 years of peace. But we have the energy to turn things around for the sake of the future,” he told me. Rod and his people believe that they possess the ability to promote international peace and feel they have a special connection to nature. Rod believes the world is in a mess: “It’s time for change. We cannot rely on federal governments or the churches.”
Rod, 65, is an ex-chairman of AIM – the American Indian Movement – an organisation that has received a lot of help in the past from luminaries such as the late Marlon Brando. He is also a gifted singer and songwriter, as well as a veteran UFO researcher. “I’ve been interested in UFOs since 1947 when I discovered a mutilated cow on a reservation. I’ve always been fascinated by ‘our extended family’. There have even been aliens kept in top secret installations in America, but these are not things that have been adequately discussed. There has been a gigantic cover-up,” he told me.
During a healing session, Rod played some of his love songs and rubbed members of the congregation with a 300-year-old stone “to put people in touch with the Creation”. The Native Americans spoke of the importance of preserving the environment, saying: “We did nothing to create it. The world was given to us and it is our duty to preserve it.” They also underlined the importance of prayer and, in particular, communion with our ancestors, who, they believe, can steer us in the right direction.
The Native Americans were visiting the Algarve, especially for the Quinta da Calma event, just one of the stops along the way during their travels. Apart from Rod, others present included Grandmother Sara, an elder of the Mohawk Tribe, Iroquois Nation and of the Turtle Clan and Robert Standing Bear who wore an interesting T-shirt with the inscription ‘Real Eyes lead Real Lives’.
Everyone present seemed to enjoy the weekend. One visitor mentioned that he had originally intended to go to the Glastonbury Festival but had changed his mind when he heard about the event at Quinta da Calma. During the closing ceremony, a rainbow flag bearing all the nations’ colours was passed round for blessing.