Indian Wedding Blessing

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A poem known as the "Indian Wedding Blessing", "Apache Blessing", "Apache Wedding Prayer", or "Cherokee Wedding Blessing",[1] is commonly recited at weddings in the United States. Despite the name, it has no connection to the traditions of the Apache, Cherokee or any other Native American culture.

The poem is a work of fiction, written in 1947 by the non-Native author Elliott Arnold in his Western novel Blood Brother.[2] The poem entered popular consciousness when it made its way into the film adaptation of the novel Broken Arrow, scripted by Albert Maltz. The Economist, citing Rebecca Mead's book on American weddings,[3] characterized it as "'traditionalesque', commerce disguised as tradition".[4]

The poem is not associated with any particular religion (aside from being misrepresented as Native American) and does not mention a deity or include a petition, only a wish. The first line of the original poem was "Now for you there is no rain" and the last "Now, forever, forever, there is no loneliness".[5] Since 1950, there have since been several different versions of the poem. The film text begins "Now you will feel no rain" and ends "Go now. Ride the white horses to your secret place."[6]

The poem has gained even wider exposure as a series of Internet memes, often accompanied by stereotypical depictions of Native Americans depicted as Noble savages.[7] That it is continually misrepresented as Apache, Cherokee, or generic "Native American" is an example of both cultural misappropriation and modern fakelore.[1][8]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Cherokee Wedding Blessing" on Google Images
  2. ^ New York, Duell, Sloan and Pearce, p. 332
  3. ^ Rebecca Mead, One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding, 2007, ISBN 1-59420-088-2
  4. ^ "American weddings: Beware the bridezilla monster", The Economist. May 26, 2007. Vol. 383, Issue 8530, p. 99. (A review of the book One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding. By Rebecca Mead. Penguin Press.) full text (available to subscribers only)
  5. ^ Arnold, Elliott (1979). Blood Brother. U of Nebraska Press. p. 332. 
  6. ^ Broken Arrow Full Movie 1950
  7. ^ "Indian Wedding Blessing" on Google Images
  8. ^ "Apache Wedding Blessing" on Google Images

External links[edit]