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We Thank You (Niawen)

"When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself."
 - Tecumseh

Forest Morning
Forest Morning

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We Thank You (Niawen)

Niawen is the Mohawk word for "thanks" - it is pronounced "niee-ha-wahn" or "niee-ha-wehn". While not exactly meaning "We Thank You", I added it to the title of the piece to associate Native American’s connection with nature and the land they occupied and honored.

Why Choose the Mohawk Language?
I grew up I upstate New York and our elementary school history curriculum emphasized the importance of the Iroquois Nation and the Mohawks in particular. When I return to visit friends and family and mountain bike or hike in the area, I often imagine what life was like before European colonization.

Imagine a gathering in the woods in the early morning light… A blessing is recited to thank the Great Spirit for the bounty of the forest, meadows and streams all around them.

About the Music
I recently rediscovered an electric piano patch I made ages ago on my Roland D-50 that was a very subtle and beautiful. It inspired this tune. The melody is of course played on an actual Native American flute. A sense of peacefulness and gratitude as if a “morning blessing” is the intent of the song although there is an undercurrent of sadness as well (perhaps a strange premonition of great sorrow in the days ahead...?)

I remixed the recording on October 5th, 2018 to bring out a bit more of the accompaniment.

Tecumseh
Tecumseh
Tecumseh
Tecumseh (1768 - 1813) was a Native American Shawnee warrior and chief, who became the primary leader of a large, multi-tribal confederacy in the early 19th century. Tecumseh was among the most celebrated Indian leaders in history and was known as a strong and eloquent orator who promoted tribal unity.
Tecumseh