Tobacco is the first plant that the Creator gave to the Anishinabe people. Three other plants: sage, cedar and sweetgrass are held sacred by the people.  Together they are referred to as the four sacred medicines (Muskiiki). The four sacred medicines are used in everyday life and in all of our ceremonies. All of them can be used to smudge with, though sage, cedar and sweetgrass also have many other uses.  It is said that tobacco sits in the eastern door, sweetgrass in the southern door, sage in the west and cedar in the north. Elders say that the spirits like the aroma produced when the other sacred medicines are burned.

Sacred tobacco was given to the Anishinabe so that we can communicate with the Spirit world. Tobacco is always offered before picking other medicines. When you offer tobacco to a plant and explain your reasons for being there, the plant will let all the plants in the area know your intentions and why you are picking them. Tobacco is used as an offering, a gift, and is an important part of Anishinabe ceremonies.
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Tobacco
Sage is used to prepare our people for ceremonies and teachings. Because it is more medicinal and stronger than sweetgrass, sage is used more often in ceremonies. Sage is used for releasing what is troubling the mind and for removing negative energy. It is also used for cleansing homes and sacred bundles carried by people. It also has other medicinal uses.
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Sage
Sweetgrass is the sacred hair of Mother Earth. Its sweet aroma reminds our people of the gentleness, love and kindness she has for the people. When sweetgrass is used in a healing circle it has a calming effect.  Like sage and cedar, sweetgrass is used for smudging and purification.
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Sweetgrass
Like Sage and Sweet grass, cedar is used to purify the home, it also has many restorative medicinal use. When mixed with sage for a tea, it cleans the body of all infections, cedar baths are also very healing. When cedar mixed with tobacco is put in the fire it crackles, this is said to call the attention of the Spirits (manitous) to the offering that is being made. Cedar is used in sweat lodge and fasting ceremonies for protection, cedar branches cover the floor of many sweat lodges and some people make a circle of cedar when they are fasting. It is a guardian spirit and chases away the bad spirits.
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Cedar
The above information was originally produced for the Turtle Mountain Children's Christmas Dreams calendar.  The calendar is produced annually as a way to raise money for children's Christmas gifts for needy children in our community.

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9/15/2013 11:55:51 pm

So many people don't know the use of Tobacco as it has given a bad effective for human being.

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I also know that there are different flavors for electronic cigarettes.

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Sage a commonly used spice is used as a fragrance component in soaps and cosmetics too.

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As these sacred plants play important role in our life like the aroma produced by these plants help us place ourselves in a different state of mind.

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    Author

    Content is provided by Kade M. Ferris M.S.  Kade has a B.A. in anthropology and history from University of North Dakota, and a M.S. degree in anthropology from North Dakota State University.  Kade serves as the Historical Society board Vice President and is a professional historian and anthropologist with over 18 years of experience.  He serves as the THPO and Director of Natural Resources for the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, and is the Vice President of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Historical Society Board.

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