Saturday, November 8, 2008

Pleiades, The Seven Sisters Quilt by Anna Brenkwitz

Wurrunnah a black man was not well cared for by his tribe so he left to move on and live alone until he could find a new people in a new country. As he traveled he came upon a tribe of only seven girls. The Meamei tribe from a far away country was friendly towards him when they found that he was alone and hungry. They gave him food and allowed him to camp with them. They came to this country to stay for awhile and thence return whence they had come. He left the camp to hide near and watch what they did and see if he could steal a wife. As the women were digging with tools for food he took two tools to delay two girls leaving. The tribe left and the two girls came back to get their tools and Wurrunnah jumped out of his hiding place to seize both girls. He said he would care well for them and wanted two wives so the girls stayed.

Often thinking of their five sisters they pondered what happened to the sisters, if they were hunting for them, or whether they had gone back to their tribe to get assistance. One day Wurrunnah sent them to gather bark the fire would not burn. As the women used their combs to cut bark, each felt the tree rising higher out of the ground and bearing her upward with it. Higher and higher grew the trees. Wurrunah came looking for the women not hearing chopping sounds anymore. He found the trees growing higher. Clinging to the trunks of the trees high in the air he saw his two wives. He called to them but no answer. The trees grew taller until they reached the sky. From the sky the five Meamei looked out, called to their two sisters bidding them not to be afraid and come to them. 
Quickly the two girls climbed up when they heard the voices of their sisters. When they reached the top of the trees the five sisters in the sky stretched forth their hands and drew them to live with them in the sky forever. And there, if you look, you may see the seven sisters together. You perhaps know them as the Pleiades, but the black fellows call them the Meamei.

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