Today our Word for the Day is paho…it’s Hopitu Shinumu for….prayer stick.
A paho is a prayer stick (it’s like a wand, but it has nothing to do with magic). Before each special ceremony of the year, the people involved in the ritual (sometimes it was the whole clan, sometimes only certain members would participate depending on the ritual) would make a prayer stick while mentally preparing for the ritual.
A paho can be made from materials you find around your yard and home; you need two sticks, one a straight stick (representing the male principle of life), the other one a forked stick (representing the female principle of life), and you paint the ends of the male stick black, while painting the ends of the female stick red.
You bind the two sticks together with a blue or black ribbon or thread, then wrap a small amount of corn meal in a piece of either blue, black or red felt (or swatch of material), this represents life and abundance. You attach small bits of jewelry, beads, feathers or decorative items to the bundle with your thread, along with the pouch of corn meal.
While you have been working on your paho, you keep the main reason for the ritual in your mind, praying and blessing the paho and the upcoming energy you will gather and focus to your purpose.
This paho can be used for several rituals, for several years or for just the one time.
May You Never Thirst!