of right and wrong in the traditional Native American cultures was likely
to be involved with the events that either make life better or worse.
So they thought they had to keep a balance in their life. They had strict
responsibilities to behave in certain ways. Then if their obligations
were met, harmony and balance were conserved. Unfortunate relationships
of any kind, which were relationships that didn't follow the patterns,
were put in mythic times--whether it was a relationship between human
and human, human and spirit, human and animal, or human and plant. There
is a Navajo word, hozho, which explains all of this. Hozho means "a sense
of balance, harmony, beauty, and completeness." Wrong actions interrupt
the steadiness and harmony, which disturbs the normal lifestyle of people.
people called The Cherokee made a difficult coordination of keeping this
balance. In their humanity, all happenings fit in a group with similar
events and each event had an opposite side. The opposite groups could
never meet each other except with managed and ritual limits. Men and women
were members of two groups, which are masculine and feminine, and their
involvement was cautiously managed. Another opposite pair is fire and
water. Then another balance was made among humans, animals, and plants,
which was a bad one. Human beings killing animals for food and clothing
made animals angry. So, the animals decided to contaminate the people
with a new disease every time a person killed an animal. Plants, however,
felt bad for the humans and gave cures for the animal infections. Ever
since plants have been associated with the Cherokee and hunters have followed
rituals to pay tribute to the animals that they killed.