The Sacred Bundle – Recording Tribal Stories


“and so it is with God, this is the place where faith comes in.  Knowing something is right but not knowing just how it fits together or even maybe even why.”  …from The Writings of HANCOCK , Error & Faith

There is a tradition among Native American people to have a member of the tribe record their history.  This was someone who documented, usually in pictorial form on an animal skin, significant events of the tribe.

In some cases these skins were used as the wrapping for objects used in religious ceremonies into a sacred bundle that was passed down through generations.

My Tribe’s Sacred Bundle

In March of 2000, my father, Paul E. Hancock moved to heaven.  For us left behind, it was too soon.  Seventy is not old in today’s world, but there are forces in this realm that conspire.  As a result, good people, like my dad grow weary of the fight.  In this case, it was a form of cancer.  One that was hard to diagnose and even more difficult to treat.  He left behind a sturdy family that has continued without him, but not without his wisdom, character, work ethic and faith as guides.

Just before Daddy died, he handed his version of our family’s sacred bundle.  It contained all of the ancestry research he had painstakingly gathered, as well as all of his writings.   I have compiled his writings into a book.

Daddy’s faith, like many of his generation, showed up in action.  It was rather a personal and mostly private faith.  He endeavored to live his faith through his daily deeds. Yet he wrote about it sharing those writings with a select few.

His writings told of his relationship with Jesus Christ, his constant journey of discovery and what that relationship should look like to others.  In later years I had the sense that he struggled.  I suspect that had more to do with his failing health than any inner doubts.

As a point of remembering his home-going seventeen years ago this month, I am putting the book, The Writings of HANCOCK, back on-line.

The Forward

“In November 1999 during one of Dad’s good days and when hope was still alive that he would be with us a while longer, Dad talked about the book he wanted to write.  He had more events, things, and people he wanted to write about and compile.  At some point later, when Dad knew he was on his way to the other side, he began to tie up as many loose ends as best he could. 
One was turning over a navy blue vinyl portfolio that contained his writings.   I knew Dad wrote privately, unaware of how much he had written over the years until he passed and final preparations were being made for his “going home” service.

No one can finish the book Dad wanted to write, but contained in this volume is a compilation of those things he did write. Originally, in loose-leaf form, distribution only to immediate family. 

This was for two reasons:  First, because at the time we thought other pieces of his written wisdom might surface.  Second had to do with my response to his words as I compiled them.  As I read through his thoughts, I felt a need to write those responses down, a sort of journal as I processed Dad’s departure from us into God’s presence. 

The first distribution was a few weeks after Dad’s passing, leaving room for other immediate family to process in their way; to respond personally to what Dad wrote.  In any case, at that time, it was too soon for me to say, “It is finished.”

It is now fifteen years later and time to share this on a wider scale.  Dad’s grandchildren have grown, great-grandchildren are emerging, so this work is first for them., that they may know from Dad’s own hand, his thoughts, words, struggles, and feelings.  But perhaps others will relate, be encouraged, challenged, even provoked.  So we are allowing you access.”

More to Come

There is much more to the sacred bundle than these writings.  Work progresses, albeit at a snails pace.  The point of the sacred bundle is:

  • to record the past, not live in it;
  • preserve the stories of the past so that future generations can benefit from the wisdom of those who have gone before.

I know that daddy would be pleased that some are reading his words.  More than that, he would be pleased to know that his faith in Jesus Christ is being shared.  This truth means that daddy is not only in my past, as precious as that is, but he is in my future.

Happy home-going anniversary daddy.  We miss you.
NOTE:  I do not know how long the book will be available in this venue.  There have been some difficulties with people honoring the copy write and intellectual property rights. This seems to be an issue in the on-demand independent publishing world.  I have taken steps to remedy this and intend enforce those remedies.  That said, I wanted to risk re-publishing for those who would enjoy having a copy.
What form does your sacred bundle take?   

I am a former air traffic controller, pilot, Aircoupe owner, married 42 years to a great guy. We live in a 125+ year old historic Victorian, enjoy cats, vintage anything, precious friends. My passion is Giving Lost Stories A Voice – Giving Found Materials Fresh Form and Purpose!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *