Pageants have been part of the Camp Horseshoe program from the beginning. The style and form of these pageants have changed throughout the camp's history. This room captures the metamorphosis from the elaborate dramatic plays of the 20's and 30's to the ceremonial campfire pageants of today.
Many of the current Saturday evening pageants were developed under the direction of William (Bill) P. Lear, an early member of the Camp Horseshoe staff who wrote, reviewed and revised these pageants. Bill was a member of the 1st National Scout Jamboree held in Washington D.C. in 1937, and he was responsible for helping to write, direct and produce a pageant used at the Jamboree. Bill designed the "sets" used by Miss Evelyn Ay at the 1953 Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, NJ. Miss Ay went on to win the competition and became Miss America for 1953-54, the only Miss Pennsylvania to date to achieve that status. -Biographical Information Provided by Bill Waxbom.
For many snows, the Indian tribes had been at war. Many braves had been killed; many children and squaws had starved. The Lenni Lenape tribe was still strong. They had suffered their share, but they had men enough to get food, guard their village and run a raiding party, so they were quite secure.
Chief Cholena saw the results of the warpath. He saw that it led no where and that peace was what everyone wanted. So he called his braves into council. Then it was that Cholena called unto him Quecksapiet, the medicine man, to rid the sacred circle of evil spirits. Quecksapiet ordered the fire maker to prepare the fire. Let the fire lighters enter! Let the center fire be lighted! Let the outer fires be lighted. During this ceremony the other braves and warriors watched with great interest, but with fear in their hearts. Again, Quecksapiet arose, and with the shell of the giant water animal, he performed his magic. Then he gave a sign unto the chief that all was well, the place was blessed by the good spirits and Manitou was with them. Then there was great rejoicing among the tribe as the braves left the council.
Cholena, Chief of the Birds, withdrew from the tribe to a small sacred ceremonial clearing to call on the Great Spirit for guidance. He sat alone chanting and weaving, awaiting some sign from the Great Spirit. His heart was heavy. He knew the council would be looking for him to guide them away from their troubled path. Hour by hour passed. Chief Cholena became weary and began to slump forward. Still no sign from the Great Spirit. When next Chief Cholena raised his head, he was greeted by the silent darkness which had closed in around him. Still longing for some message, yet knowing his leadership was needed back with his tribe, he reluctantly gathered his medicine pouch and rattle and struggled to his feet. He shuffled his tired bones along the path leading back to the village. When without warning, the heavens were split by lightening and thunder. With a mighty flash, Chief Cholena saw blocking his path a dark and sinister figure. The chief was so startled, he stepped back and dropped to his knees. Having only a rattle for protection, he shook it violently to drive off the spirit.
The spirit approached the chief and spoke in this way, "I am Wopanon, son of Scarionate. My father is the Great War Chief Spirit. He has seen the battle plan and spoke to me of its outcome. The news I bring is grim. I have come to warn you of this dreadful end to your nation. I bring strong medicine. This will clear your mind. You will see before you a clear path to peace." Chief Cholena accepted the potion. Turning the east, and offering it first to the Great Spirit, then to his own lips, Chief Cholena turned back and the spirit was gone. The chief hurried back to the village. He knew what he must do. As he approached the village, he heard the deep tones of the ceremonial drum calling the braves into council.
Cholena entered the circle and stood before the council. Cholena, mighty Chief of the birds, spoke in this way. "Braves, for many moons the rivers are red with blood. The dead are many. We Lenni Lenape are strong, but many tribes have lost braves until hunger in the cold winter faces them. We want peace, peace to hunt venison, peace to make warm with skins, peace to make canoes, peace to make new wigwams." The braves gave a sign of their approval. Cholena continued, "War is no good. It only kills and breaks. War settles nothing. We settle things at council. The warpath is a long round way to peace. Why not take the straight path to peace? We are strong. We are not cowards. Let us ask the weaker tribes to live at peace with us and each other. Let us speak first. Let us ask for the Big Peace. Not so much for ourselves but for all tribes. Let the keeper of the sacred bundle carry it to the tribes. Let us start the Big Peace. I, Cholena have spoken."
As the Chief sat, there was a tense moment of silence, which could be felt by all. One by one the braves gave sign of their approval, but a few held back. Wopahlan asked, "Do you want peace with those skunks that ambushed our hunting party?' Monachgen asked, "Why make peace with the murderers of my children?" But the older braves pointed out that such a revenge would go on and on.
Finally, all agreed and it was decided that on the morrow, the Sacred Bundle with the Peace Pipe should start on its ceremonial journey to visit tribes. Word was sent by runner that the Sacred Bundle was coming. The braves departed to their wigwams to prepare for council.
First the Bundle passed through the tribes to the west, land of the Kickapoo, Shawnee and the Chickasaw. Then to the east, land of the Mohican and the Naticoke. The to the south, land of the Tuscarora and the Creeks. Lastly to the north, land of the Seneca and Oneida.
On the designated day, the runners from the various tribes arrived; each telling Cholena that their chief would arrive before noon. At high noon, the deep tones of the ceremonial drum called the chiefs and braves to council.
As all were seated, the Keeper of the Sacred Bundle entered. With song, dance and prayer, he carried the Bundle about the circle. Then to the fire, where the pipe was lighted. The pipe was offered to the Great Spirit, Manitou; to Mother Earth; to the North, land of the winter winds; to the South, land of the warm summer breezes; to the East, land of the awakening day; and lastly to the west, land of the setting sun. The pipe was then ready to be offered to the makers of the peace. Each in turn smoked the big calumet. The ashes were then emptied into the Sacred Bundle of Peace.
Next a deep hole was scraped in the center of the circle and the dance for peace was begun. Round and round they danced, each carrying a stone tomahawk and mimicked war action, until Cholena, entered the circle and threw his tomahawk at 'War', the imaginary monster in the hole. One by one each chief did the same, until each had hurled his stone tomahawk into the open grave of war.
Then in silence each gathered up earth with his hands and threw it into the grave, burying the tomahawk of war. Upon the little mound a new ceremonial fire was built, to which each chief brought small sticks of wood to feed its flame. Each one gave something to the friendly light of peace. Then all were seated. Cholena spoke with feeling, "We are brothers and the Great Manitou is our father. Nevermore shall the tomahawk of a brother be raised against a brother. Never again shall the swift arrow of one be drawn against another. We shall live at peace. It is the law of the Great Manitou. And when, as the great light comes out of the east each day, it shall shine on wrongs, on things crooked. Any brave can ask the Peace Council to gather at this sacred place, by this great fire and here in council, we will seek the truth and right. Is it not better so?" All present gave sign of their approval.
Then in silence, the warriors stood beside the crackling fire, with no noise, save the crackle of the embers and the mysterious half noises of the forest. Each raised the right hand to the sky and to the Great Spirit as a pledge of peace. Then it was that the braves left the council.
Cholena and the head men of the Lenni Lenape tribe had long recognized that boys were the only stuff out of which braves could be made. Cholena's father before him had taught him the skills of hunting and fishing, of stalking and tracking. He had learned from the animals their calls and knew the wild foods of the plains, marshes and forests.
Cholena encouraged the craftsmen of the tribe, those most skillful in making arrows, in building canoes, in painting, in working with war-bonnets, to let boys watch them at their work. As a result, early in life, these indian boys had the chance to try these things themselves and learn by doing.
When a boy began to show skill, it was reported to the chief or the Council of Braves and the boy received helpful suggestions as to how to meet his requirements, before being ready to be initiated into membership on the tribe and begin working up to the rank of brave.
Cholena recognized that each boy might be thrown upon his own, so there were certain things each boy had to be able to do, as a preparation. First he had to make his own bow and arrows or spear and these were to be the kind that would be used in the hunt, the kind and size for full duty. Second, he had to be able to track and stalk a brave of the tribe, as a test, without being seen by the brave, reporting on the brave's movements and actions. Third, he had to know how to tie things firmly, either with thongs or with grasses, branches or inner bark, as he might find. Fourth, he had to bring in his first big food animal, a deer, an antelope, buffalo or a bear, or bag and bring in his first fighting animal, like a wolf, bobcat or mountain lion.
Mowgli and his chum Huwihu had each met these requirements. Mowgli had brought in a deer and Huwihu killed a grim timber wolf on the very same day. As this was reported through the village, many braves came to see the animals which proved the bravery and skill of the two boys.
Cholena called the two boys to his wigwam. There he had them tell him the details of their victory. "Young braves," said he, " it is good. Cholena's heart was big with sunshine. Next sunset, we will hold a council Fire for you." The boys were all excited. How long they had wanted to be members with the men, and now, it was too good to be true.
"This night," continued Cholena, "each of you must go forth alone, you to Big Mountain and you to Setting Sun Mountain. First, cleanse yourself in the seat house with the smoke of pine needles. You go to learn the Great Mystery. Alone in the mountains, open your heart to the Great Spirit and he will speak to you. He will show you new names. Sleep not, he will speak. When the sun falls on my wigwam, return."
And so the boys went forth alone, beneath the stars, to learn from the Great Spirit, to think lofty thoughts, to get ready to be braves. Then it was the braves left council. Through long hours, they proved that the Great Spirit would give them strength, guard them from flying arrows and from evil spirits and show them his favor by some sign. Beneath the stars, the hours wore on and on and when morning dawned, the boys came down, each from his mountain and stood soberly at the chief's wigwam.
Each told of his experience. Mowgli has seen shapes in the clouds of the sky, a giant bald eagle carrying a lion in his talons and passing from the east, traveling westward. "You shall be called 'Bald Eagle'," the chief said.
Huwihu had seen, among the trees, the flash of a falling star that gleamed long and brightly and to him it meant that he, like the star, was to give the white light of peace to many. "Huwihu," said Cholena solemnly, "hereafter your name shall be "Shooting Star'. Cholena is glad. Go to your lodges and prepare."
That day they ate only at noon, and then only bits of plants, no flesh. As dark grew near, braves took them and painted upon them secret colours, to protect them from danger.
Chief Cholena then called his braves into the great Sacred Council Ring. When all were seated, he called upon Quecksapiet, the medicine man to perform his magic in the fire. The medicine man then left the circle and returned with the two boys, Mowgli and Huwihu. When the boys were seated, the braves arose and performed the traditional ceremonial Eagle Dance. Then in the half darkness, the braves implored the Great Spirit to accept these new members. Some tribal secrets were told them and they pledged loyalty to the tribe and the Great Spirit.
Then each was permitted to tell by work and dance, of his hunting and of his night on the mountain, first Mowgli and then Huwihu.
Mowgli told of tracking and stalking his first deer and how he shot it with his bow and arrow. He then told of his night on the mountain and the giant bald eagle cloud carrying the lion in his talons. Then Huwihu told of facing and killing the grim timber wolf and also of his dream on the mountain. He had seen the falling star flash through the trees.
Then Cholena said, "Braves, we are receiving two new pairs of eyes and ears and hands and feet. May such things enter eyes and ears as shall bring us willing hands and feet. Bald Eagle will help our arrow maker Wild Horse and Shooting Star will work with Quecksapiet, keeper of the sacred bundle. I have spoken." The braves then signified their approval.
Then again silence. The braves stood about the dying fire with the two boys on either side of Chief Cholena. With the right hand raised to the Great Spirit, Mowgli and Huwihu became members of the braves' Great Sacred Council Ring.
Chief Aloahak called his braves into council. The chief was in the twilight season of his life and in his few remaining years, he felt burdened with the need to pass along much of the history of his tribe. The old chief stood before his council and began to relate a story which was vivid in his memory and spoke about it as if it had only been yesterday. "Braves" he said, " you know no hunger, for your storehouses have plenty. We have been free from fear for many, many seasons. Our warring brothers have been at peace for your lifetime. You are warm in skins and enjoy the warmth of our council fire. But this was not always so. So that you may know whereof I speak, pull back from the council ring, back into the shadows, away from the warmth of this fire, as I tell you how it was in the time of my youth."
(COUNCIL SHUFFLES BACK SLOWLY)
"I was young, and had seen 14 snows. My father brought me to council and I had to sit just outside the inner ring of braves. My grandfather was then chief and he was speaking of a time when our tribe was without fire. Without warmth, without the ability to cook. We ate only plants, dried meat, dried fish. We huddled together under many skins to keep warm during the winter. On occasions, our hunting parties, who had traveled far to the north, brought back stories of the great orange tongue that swept swiftly throughout the grasslands and licked at great trees and left behind blackened earth. These traveling bands of hunters also spoke of the great light given off at night by these orange tongues, and when these hunters would approach, they were driven off by a searing pain caused by the orange and white light.
It was in early summer. The plantings of the tribe had been out of the ground for a moon. Far off, there came a sound like large boulders being pushed off a neighboring mountain. The sound came closer and closer. The daylight darkened, and large flashes of bright light stretched across the sky in jagged force. Near to the edge of the village was a large dead tree. The old chief, then a young man, was playing with some of his friends nearby, and was startled when the white snake's tongue licked down from the heavens. A mighty crash and the big tree split open. The ground shook, and the great orange tongued spirit covered the tree. The storm passed quickly, the winds swirled around and the great tree continued to glow. The tribe gathered in amazement. As they would draw closer, they could feel the warmth of the sun reaching out from the orange spirit. They also discovered that the orange spirit could be enlarged by adding dead branches. Thus they learned how to control what they named the fire spirit. Each long house learned to carry part of this spirit to its own lodge. To provide warmth from the cold winds, to chase away the dark shadows of the night and to dry their meat and fish in a short period of time. This Aloahak's grandfather had told us was a gift from the Great Spirit Manitou, and he had looked with favor upon the tribe of the white feathers.
Each summer, the long houses extinguished their fires. There was no need for warmth. Plants and berries were plentiful. Meat and fish were dried in the sun. The aged chief selected three of his best braves and charged them with the responsibility of keeping the orange spirit alive for the summer. The three braves went off to a secluded canyon where dead trees were plentiful and the fire could be tended with ease. Throughout the long, hot summer, the small fire was tended. Each one took his turn, watching by night while the others slept. They were well aware of the peril to their tribe were they to let the fire go out. For many, many seasons, this task was faithfully executed. Then, without warning, an enemy raiding party found this secluded canyon and waiting until nightfall, crept in to make their strike. The task was easy. The three had built up the fire and all had lain down to sleep. The tribe of the black feather, seeing this, filled a skin with water and crept in and extinguished the flame. As the black feathers stole away into the night, they carried with them the spirit of the fire.
The three sleeping braves were awakened by the hissing of the dying spirit. They looked stunned at the drenched embers, they knew they must face their tribe and their chief. Shamefully, they presented themselves to the chief and the medicine man. There, they related to them the events that led to their disgrace. The aged chief and medicine man presented an ultimatum; 'You who have disgraced your positions as braves and whose thoughtlessness will bring our tribe much grief and much pain, must go now and return swiftly with the fire spirit before the cold will creep into our lodges. You may journey to the north, to our friends beyond the large lakes. This journey will take you over many mountains, through warring bands and pass ferocious and deadly beasts. Or you may choose the path to the west, toward the setting sun, crossing two great rivers. That will be a longer journey, again fought with much danger. Your third choice is the trail to the south. There, your obstacles will be another great lake, many deadly snakes and warring tribes'.
The three braves weighed the possibilities and dreading the journey but realizing their duty to the tribe made their choices known. Each had selected one of the paths. Shedding their heavy weapons, spears and tomahawks, they prepared for a swift journey, and they departed, each to his own path. The brave who traveled northward by day and night, rested little. Many suns and moons had he traveled, and still he pushed further north to find his friends and the fire spirit. One day, late in the afternoon, he felt a cold chill. It was a chill, not of a breeze, but a chill he had previously known when danger was nearby. The brave dropped quickly and quietly to the ground. He listened, and heard the far off crashing of limbs breaking, underbrush snapping and he knew it was a hugh beast on his trail. He dogged and weaved, hopping from log to rock. Where he encountered a stream, he ran in and out trying to disguise the scent. But to no avail, for closer and closer plodded the beast. The cunning beast had forced the freighted brave to run into a clearing, and there they met face to face. The brave backed to the edge of the clearing. There as he crouched, fitted an arrow to his sinew string, and drew it back as the beast stood erect. He let fly the arrow. The arrow found its mark, but the wounded beast staggered forward with ear splitting growls. The brave drew his knife from its sheath. Holding it with both hands, he made a final lunge at the beast, driving it to the hilt into the throat of the hugh black bear. As he did so, the great beast clawed the brave, leaving him with mortal wounds. Each crippled and swaying, staggered from the clearing, and were seen no longer.
The disgraced brave who had chosen the southern trail had traveled through many open fields, through much shrub land and his travel had slowed by many swamps and marshes. It happened one day, while he was picking his way through a dark swamp, that the brave felt a sharp sting on his forearm. In the dim light, the brave recognized the sinister form of a poisonous serpent. He worked his way to high ground. There, he sought rest and an opportunity to attempt cure. With the point of his sharp knife, he dug at the marks and sucked out the poison. But, alas, it was too late, for the venom had already begun to take effect. He staggered and fell to his knees, his mind clouded and, with his last bit of strength, he offered and prayer and fell dead.
The winter snows were now upon the tribe of Lenni Lenape. The long houses were dark and the braves huddled together under their fur robes. Chief Kikeytopi had tried to prepare the tribe for this time of hardship. He had required each man to dry fish and meat and lay in large stores of dried berries and nuts, for he knew the hunger and cold would take a heavy toll. As the winter chill cut deeper, each long house was touched by sorrow. Morning after morning, saw the silent procession carrying departed brothers to their final resting place. The tribe of the Lenni Lenape were unaware that they had but one remaining chance to regain the fire spirit.
It was Chesimus, the young brave journeying to the west. He had by this time crossed the great rivers, and had been forced southward from his first path. He had evaded a warring band and continued to press onward. One evening, he rested beside a small stream. He drank long, for he had been without food for seven days. In his exhausted weary state, he looked up to the heavens. He heard the sound of strong wind, yet the leaves did not move. The grass did not bend over, and he felt no coolness against his face. It was a strange, eerie sound, and it came closer and closer. The sound of the wind was accompanied by a loud whistling noise. He closed his eyes, and bowed his head. As he did so, he felt a touch on his shoulder. He suddenly opened his eyes, and fell backwards. He saw before him the great winged spirit Mehok. The spirit beckoned to him, and urged him to follow, that he would lead the way, for his prayers had been answered, and that he would be given a chance to redeem himself and save his dwindling tribe. He rested alone that night and in the morrow, he awakened to that whistling sound, and saw above him the winged spirit. It lead the way all day, circling and gliding, urging him onward, till they came that evening to small a clearing in the woods.
The bird spirit landed in the clearing and directed the wary brave to a small lodge at the edge of the clearing. A large, furry skin hung at the entrance. As he approached at the insistence of the bird spirit, the brave felt an unseen force. It was as if two giant hands were pressing on his shoulders and forcing him to his knees. At that instant, the large furry skin was peeled open and revealed a glowing spirit standing before him. The spirit explained, 'I am the fire spirit, Atepatton, sent by Manitou to warm, protect, to illuminate the chosen ones. You, Chesimus, have been faithful. It was not your turn to stand guard at the fire when it was extinguished, but as part of the trio charged with the responsibility, your chief had no choice but to include you in the ultimatum. Your tireless travels have been rewarded, and if you remain faithful, you will learn the secret of the fire, and can carry it with you anywhere. You will be able to return to your village and share with them the fire's warmth, its protection and its radiance. Be not afraid. Come close, as the winged spirit will fan the glow'. The fire spirit withdrew from his bundle the wooden shaft of an arrow, some shredded bark and a flattened stick. These he placed on the ground in front of him and began to spin the arrow shaft. The crouched bird spirit drew closer and began to fan the spinning arrow. At first, nothing, but then wisps of smoke began to rise. The spirits working together caused a small glow. With puffs of air and the magic of the fire spirit, it burst into flames. The amazed and weary Chesimus was in awe of the fire spirit's magic. The shaft of the arrow and the fire stick were handed to the brave. The spirits counseled with him that this fire secret was not to be shared with any other tribes, and to be used only when necessary. The spirits told him to rest that night, and they would stand guard, but in the morning, at first light, he should return to his village with great speed, for they were hungry, cold and dying. Exhausted Chesimus lay over on his skins and rested for a few short hours, but at first light, he was off like a shot, carrying with him the newfound secret. Many moons would pass and may trials would beset the brave, but with the protection of the winged spirit, they would not impede his journey to the village.
Chief Kikeytopi had withdrawn from the tribe. He had gone to his favorite spot for meditation and prayer. The old chief sat huddled in his robes, weary and near starvation. He prayed for his tribe and the return of the fire spirit and, as he gazed upward, he saw a large bird. It circled closer and closer and lighted near the chief.
'Chief Kikeytopi', he said, 'your village has been spared. You selected a very brave runner, and he approaches the edge of your village. He has met the fire spirit.' Then the spirit vanished.
The chief was overjoyed at this news and summoned the medicine man at once. As the old medicine man sat down, the young brave begged admittance. He carried with him a small bundle. The chief and the medicine man followed his graceful gestures as he approached them. He carefully unwrapped the bundle and took out the shredded bark. He next extracted the fire stick and asked the blessing of the Great Spirit. He then withdrew from the bundle the wooden arrow shaft, and it too was offered to Manitou for his blessing. The brave then fitted the shaft to the fire stick and began to chant and pray, just as the fire spirit had shown him. The two great warriors gazed with great interest as a small amount of smoke gathered at the fire stick and curled its way upward. The old medicine man leaned forward and shaking his rattle, worked with the young brave, and soon the smoke burst into flames. The old chief elevated this young brave to a high place in the council next to him."
Chief Aloahak, grandson of the old chief, continued his story. "Braves," he said,"return from the shadows. Pull close to the warmth of this fire and gaze with me into the center. Look there," he continued, "you can see the winged spirit fanning its glow, and there at the top, the form of the fire spirit. We have been rewarded and blessed, and if we are true to Manitou our people will continue to prosper."
The braves then stood about the glowing council fire, and left the council in silent but joyful procession with the new truth in their hearts.
Many years ago, there dwelt upon the sloping hills and in these pleasant valleys, a band of warriors known as the Tribe of the Lenni Lenape. For many seasons, they had followed the winding streams down their courses like that of a great serpent, when on a certain day, they came upon a great open space covered with grass and surrounded on all sides by hills on which large timber grew.
Then it was Cholena, the Chief of the birds, called unto him Quecksapiet, the medicine man, asking for his council and if the good spirits were in this place. Quecksapiet ordered the fire maker to prepare the fire. Let the fire lighter enter, let the inner fire be lighted, let the outer fires be lighted.
During the ceremony, the other braves watched with great interest, but with fear in their hearts. Finally Quecksapiet arose and with his medicine stick and rattle, made from the horn of the great white buffalo, he performed his magic, stopping to peer into the fire and to move his stick about among the embers. Then he gave a sign unto the chief that all was well. There was great rejoicing among the tribe, and Cholena, the chief, gave word that they might set up their long houses in the new hunting grounds. Then the braves departed into the forest to cut tall timber for their lodges and to choose the best sight for their camp.
Wulisso, the handsome one, held council with his father, Cholena and told him of the tracks of deer he had seen beyond the hills where the winding stream forms the shape like that of a giant horse's hoof. He begged his father that the braves might leave the camp on the morrow to search for the animals for they were greatly in need of food. The wise chief agreed that it was well to do so.
In the morning they departed, bidding farewell to the children and squaws. They traveled deep into the forest. Without warning, they heard a cry of battle and from behind the trees rushed many savage warriors, the scalp hunters. Ferocious was the battle and they fought long with club, tomahawk and arrow. The forest echoed and re-echoed the sounds of terror, but slowly they grew fainter and fainter until they disappeared into the distance, but alas Wulisso had been struck just beneath his heart with a poison arrow and he knew he must surely die. As he lay there in agony, one of the scalp hunters returned and performed the scalp dance. Wulisso regained consciousness and summoned all his energies to defend himself. He broke off the arrow and drew his knife from its sheath. Trying not to attract the attention of his would-be executioner, he lay there poised for the right moment when the dancer's back was turned. He sprang at the back of the warrior, they wrestled, rolling and turning until Wulisso pinned him to the ground. He raised his dagger high as the frightened warrior cringed, waiting for the final blow. But it never came.
Wulisso, in his dazed condition, received a vision from the Great Spirit. He was to spare the life of the only remaining member of the beaten scalp hunter tribe. Wulisso lowered his dagger and fell away from the brave onto his haunches. He bowed his head. The brave slowly withdrew, recognizing his life had been spared. Cholena and some of his warriors entered a clearing in search of his son Wulisso. It had been reported that Wulisso had been mortally wounded. The victorious Lenni Lenape had to find him. As they paused to rest at the edge of the clearing, the lookout spotted a lifeless body a short distance away. As they advanced, they realized it was Wulisso. His life was almost spent. Great was the grief of the warriors and greater still was that of the father, Cholena.
What happened to Wulisso after that he often told his people, and he always told it the same way.
He lay there on the forest floor for sometime. He was sick in mind and body. Pain drove away sleep. He closed his eyes and waited for the spirit of Woapasum, the spirit of the Sun Dance, to bear him to his forefathers.
Presently he heard a sound in the distance, the shrill eagle whistle music of the great Sun Dance. The music drew nearer and nearer and he heard the Sun Dance song. He grew strong and brave of heart again. As he listened, he saw the medicine spirit standing before him.
The medicine spirit of the Sun Dance then sat with Wulisso and called upon the spirits of the rain to cool his fever and Wulisso was made stronger. The spirit spoke to him. "Wulisso, you have been a brave warrior. You defended your fellow braves with honor. But more than this, you were willing to lay down you life by stepping in the path of the arrow meant for the chief, your father. This act alone would draw attention of the Great Spirit, but today you spared the life of your enemy and in doing so has brought me to your side sent by the Great Spirit. Your life has been spared."
The great Sun Dance spirit called forth the eagle spirits. Their beating wings grew nearer and nearer and Wulisso felt their presence as their wings grew silent. He saw standing before him four young braves. Suddenly, without warning the four were struck down by invisible arrows and fell dead at this feet. Wulisso wept. The great Sun Dance spirit comforted him and told him that he is blessed with three gifts. He would have the power to grant happiness, restore health and return the worthy to the living.
Wulisso arose from the dead. It was then the Sun Dance told Wulisso that a mark should be placed upon his body, and that those who he wished to bless would be given the opportunity of selected life for themselves. Even when one of his people was ill in mind or body, the handsome one could restore him to health again. Also, braves who's path had led them through much grief would be shown the path to happiness. That which Wulisso saw in the form of the winding stream, a horse's hoof was the sign placed upon his breast, and with that sign he was blessed.
Cholena and the braves entered the clearing to recover Wulisso's bones. But when they got there they found him well and whole. Cholena's heart was full of joy for he never expected to see his son alive again. Wulisso then told them of the Sun Dance Spirit and turned to show the chief the spirit, but he was no longer there. Wulisso told his father that he would not return to his tribe, but rather would remain and perform the tasks of which Sun Dance had spoke. The braves tried to persuade him to go, but it was no use. So they all solemnly left Wulisso. And there, where the stream follows its course like a great serpent, is where Wulisso stayed.
Many moons ago there dwelt upon these sloping hills and in these pleasant valleys a tribe of Indians known as the Lenni Lenape, strong and valiant warriors. For many years had they followed the winding streams down the courses like that of two great serpents. When on a certain day they came upon a great open space covered with grass and surrounded on all sides by hills on which large timber grew. Then it was Cholena, Chief of the birds, called unto him Quecksapiet, the medicine man, asking for his council and if the good spirits were in this place. Quecksapiet ordered the fire maker to light the fire, and when the flames leaped high, Quecksapiet arose and with his medicine stick and rattle made from the horn of the sacred white buffalo, performed his magic stooping to peer into the fire and to move his stick about among the embers. Then he gave a sign unto the Chief that all was well. Then the braves departed into the forest to cut timber for their lodges and choose the best site for their camp.
Wulisso, the handsome one, held council with his father, Cholena, and told of the tracks of deer he had seen among the hills between where the winding streams flowed and met to make one. He begged his father that the braves might leave camp on the morrow to search for the animals for they were in need of food. The wise chief agreed that it was well to do so.
In the morning they departed bidding farewell to the children and squaws. They traveled deep into the forest. Without warning they heard a cry of battle and from behind the trees rushed several savage warriors. *** The Scalp Hunters. Ferocious was the battle and they fought long with club, tomahawk and arrow. The forest echoed and re-echoed the sounds of terror, but slowly they grew fainter and fainter until they disappeared into the distance, but alas Wulisso had been struck just beneath his heart with an arrow and he knew he must surly die. As he lay in his agony, one of the Scalp Hunters returned to take his scalp. Just as he was about to kill Wulisso, Cholena returned searching for the Handsome one. The Scalp Hunters were vanquished, the victorious Lenni Lenape found Wulisso, but his life was almost spent. Great was the grief of the warriors, and greater still was that of the father, Cholena. Sorrowfully they raised his body and Wulisso writhed in pain. He urged them not to carry him away but to go on and someday return for his bones. He spoke wisely. They could readily see that he had but a short time to live. A few hours at the most, perhaps, a few minutes. Bidding him farewell, they walked away sadly singing the death chant as they went.
What happened to Wulisso afterwards he often told to his people, and always in the same way. He lay there on the forest floor for some time sick in body and mind, pain drove away sleep but he closed his eyes and waited for the spirit of the Woapasum,
the spirit of the Sun Dance to bear him to his forefathers.
Presently he heard a song in the distance, the shrill eagle whistle music of the great Sun Dance. The music drew nearer and nearer and he heard the Sun Dance song. He grew strong and brave of heart again as he listened. He saw the medicine spirit stand before him. The spirit spoke to him and told him that he had taken pity on him for he was young and brave and good. He would not let Wulisso die. Wulisso would see his home and friends again.
The Medicine Spirit of the Sun Dance then sat with Wulisso and called upon the East Wind and rain to cool his fever, and Wulisso was stronger. As the winds grew stronger, he saw a brave standing before him, and as he watched, He saw him struck down dead, killed by invisible arrows. Wulisso wept, the spirit told him to stop his weeping. As he did so, the brave arose from the ground, well and whole as he had been before. Then the true meaning of it was revealed to him. The great Woapasum told him that the Thunder Birds and spirits of the happy hunting grounds had blessed him with three great gifts and three great duties. His gifts were: to serve cheerfully, to serve well, and to serve eternally. To him who had been given life on earth, his duties were: First to the Great Spirit and his nation, second to his fellow man and third to himself. As he had seen the brave struck down before him, so would he be able to destroy. He would have also the power to restore life again.
It was then that Woapasum said he should have a mark placed upon his body, and that in future years those whom he wished to bless would be marked also and his life and health restored to him. The mark of him who dwells in the streams and seems to live forever, Unami, the turtle, was placed upon his breast and with that mark were he and his people blessed and called henceforth by the other tribes.
As the spirits departed, Cholena and the braves entered the clearing to recover Wulisso's bones, but when they got there they found him well and whole. Cholena's heart was full of joy for he never expected to see him alive again. Wulisso then told his father that he would not return to his tribe but would remain where he was to instruct and induct the new braves into the tribe.
Out of the strange half silence of the great forest boomed the heavy tones of the stump drum. Three times it echoed through the night, calling the Chippewa braves into council. The braves in the village quickly made their way through the forest until they came to the open council circle. Led by their chief and the wise men of the tribe, the braves entered the circle.
Then it was that Shingoosh, Chief of all Chippewas, called unto him Nopiming, the medicine man, to rid the sacred circle of all evil spirits. Nopiming then ordered the fire makers to prepare the fires. Let the fire lighters enter. Let the center fire be lighted. Let the outer fires be lighted. During this ceremony, the other braves and warriors watched with great interest, but with fear in their hearts. Again Nopiming rose, and with his rattle made from the horn of the great white buffalo, he performed his magic, stooping to peer into the fire and move his stick about among the embers. He then gave a sign unto the chief that all was well, that the place was blessed and that the good spirits were with them.
Carrying the sacred bundle to the center of the circle, Nopiming placed it there and returned to his place in the ring of the braves. Shingoosh, the mighty chief, then removed the great calumet from the bundle and lit it with the flame of the council fire. The chief then offered the pipe first to the Great Spirits on high, first to the north, land of the Wyandots and the Ojibwa; then to the south, land of the Chickasaw and Zuni; next to the east, land of the Muisee and Lenni Lenape; and finally to the west, land of the Ute and Blackfoot. The chief carried the pipe to each brave in turn. After each brave had smoked the pipe, it was again given to Nopiming, who danced it around the fire and returned it to the sacred bundle.
Shingoosh then rose and addressed the council. "My Brothers, we are a peace loving people. We know of the hardships of the war path, but even now as I talk, the neighboring Saux-Fox grow greedier. They have taken over much of our hunting grounds and the game is becoming scarce. Even now, our children become hungry. The Saux-Fox have gone so far as to raid our hunting parties. It is now time for us to fight back, we can no longer ignore the Saux-Fox. Tomorrow we will seek out their war party and rid our lands of them. Tonight we will prepare."
The braves then rose and stood gazing into the fire. Each asked for help from the spirits in silent prayer. As the flames leaped high, the braves began the dance of war among the shifting shadows. This dance was not a dance of joy, but a producer of fighting men. Everyone danced in unison, symbolizing singleness of purpose. The dance ended with four loud beats of the ceremonial drum. Shingoosh spoke once more, "My Brothers, we are ready. Tomorrow we leave when the sun rises. Go to your lodges and rest."
The next day, the war party set out to find the enemy, each man proud and full of self assurance from the war dance of the night before. They searched the forest for signs of the Saux-Fox. When the sun was high, they found a sign: a moccasin imprint in the soft forest floor. The Saux-Fox had carelessly left a trail. Skillfully, the Chippewa war party stalked the enemy. Finally, as the shadows began to lengthen, the enemy was sighted. Carefully, the Chippewas crept up within range. Quietly each brave put an arrow to his bow and together they all shot. With the shot, the Chippewas charged the Saux-Fox and overwhelmed them with force as well as surprise. Within a few minutes, they had won the battle. With the battle over, they raced home to their village to spread the good news.
That night the braves were once again called to the ceremonial circle by the heavy tones of the stump drum. This time they all knew why and they walked tall, each being proud of his honor in battle. This time when they entered the circle, the drum boomed out the beat of the pow wow dance. Each brave did his best to out dance his fellow brave, just as he had tried to outfight him in the afternoon's battle. The drum set the pace and the dancers went on tirelessly. Just as the dance reached its peak, the drum echoed loudly and Shingoosh entered the circle. The dancing stopped and everyone went to his place.
Shingoosh stood before the council and spoke in this way, "Today, we the Chippewa, were victorious because we stood undivided, each by his fellow brave and because we were blessed by the great spirit Wokanda. Now we can return to our lodges with no fear in our hearts." The braves stood before the crackling fire and gave a sign of their approval.
Many, many moons ago there dwelt upon the sloping hills and in these pleasant valleys, a band of warriors known as the tribe of the Lenni Lenape. Many seasons had they followed the winding streams down its course like that of a great serpent. When upon a certain day they came upon a great open space surrounded on sides by hills on which large timbers grew. Then it was Cholena, the Chief of the birds, called unto him Quecksapiet, the chief medicine man, asking for his counsel and if the good spirits were in this place. Quecksapiet ordered the fire maker to prepare the fire. Let the fire lighters enter. Let the center fire be lighted. Let the outer fires be lighted. During the ceremony the other braves and warriors watched with great interest but with fear in their hearts. Finally Quecksapiet rose and with his medicine stick and rattle made from the horn of the great white buffalo, he performed his magic, stooping to peer into the fire and to move his stick about among the embers. Then he gave a sign unto the chief, that all was well. The place was blessed with good spirits and Wakando was with them. Then there was great rejoicing among the tribe and Cholena, the chief gave word that they might set up their tepees and turn loose the horses to graze in the new hunting grounds. Then the braves departed into the forest to cut the tall timber for the tepees and to choose the best site for their camp.
Wulisso, the handsome one, held counsel with his father, Cholena, and told him of the tracks of the deer and buffalo he had seen beyond the hills where the winding stream forms the shape like that of a giant horse's hoof and how in following further up this winding stream, he had come to a great rock jutting out from the side of the hill. As he approached it, there was a flutter of wings and a buzzard flapped into the sky and soared over head. Then as he started to climb he saw two white downy little buzzards in a nest among the rocks. He also saw much flint, just what the braves needed to replenish their stock of arrow heads. There atop the huge rock he looked out over the surrounding countryside. The trees had not grown as high as the rock, so Wulisso could see the approach of any hostile group of indians. Across the stream, towards the setting sun, he saw a flat grassy meadow and Wulisso knew he had found a wonderful place for their village and for their horses to graze.
He asked his father to send two of his older braves to get their opinion of what he had seen. Cholena agreed and in the morning, Wulisso led the braves to the Rock of the Buzzard that they might discern if his judgement was correct. The braves were gone for a short time.
Upon their return, the two braves gave report of what they had been shown by Wulisso. They told the chief that all that he had said was true. That it was just the place for a village there by the side of the stream which started to shape itself into a large horse's hoof.
Cholena then rose and spoke to the council. "Braves, we have journeyed far and have moved from one hunting ground to another very often. Here the deer, the buffalo and the bear are plentiful. There is much grass for our horses. We have a high place where we can keep watch over our village and not be harmed by surprise attacks. We shall build our village in the grassy flat land by the flowing stream which shapes like the great horse's hoof. When the next sun rises on my tepee, we shall start. I have spoken."
Long and peaceful did Cholena's people live on the grass land by the winding waters. Many of the boys had earned their privilege to sit in the council ring as braves. Many had moved several places nearer the chief. The village thrived. Maize could be seen growing nearby. The horses were fat. The old braves made arrow heads under the great rock. Cholena and the braves came to the rock and mounted the highest point when they talked to the Great Spirit.
Cholena was now an old man, unable to go forth to hunt but with a keen mind still ruled his people. Wulisso, now a man, was prepared and approved by the rest of the braves to take his father's place as chief.
One day as Cholena sat in front of his tepee, he was suddenly stricken and fell over on his blanket. As he did so, one of the boys of the village, who was out tracking and looking for birds, passed and seeing him, ran quickly to the medicine man to tell the news.
The medicine man came to the chief to do the Medicine Pipe Ceremonial Dance to restore their chief to health. They walked slowly around the circle then the medicine man made his magic at the fire. The bundle containing the sacred pipe was carried over and placed on the ground between the chief and the fire. After he laid the bundle down, he took his place with the others who were standing on the opposite side of the fire. All then sat themselves.
(Another medicine man gets up and dances slowly to the pipe. Then he stops and stoops as if to open the bundle, but just as he is about to touch it he suddenly leaps back. He does this twice again before he finally touches the bundle and begins to carefully unwrap it. This is in accordance with making three or four feints of movements before touching sacred objects. When the pipe is unwrapped, it is set up against the tree. Another medicine man gets up and dances toward the chief. He paints his face with sacred paints and standing, says this prayer to the sun.)
"Ho, Sun! Ho, Thunder! Ho, Napu! Bless our children and may our paths be straight. Look down on all of us and pity us. Let us reach old age. Let our lives be complete. You will smoke. We will find the sacred pipe."
(He returns to his place. The next medicine man dances to the pipe. He picks it up and dances with it to the four quarters of the wind. In a straight line he dances first to the west, then to the south, to the east and to the north. Then he dances around the chief, passing the pipe over his body. The pipe is placed again on the tree and the medicine name returns to his place. Now all the medicine men dance around the circle and around the chief. They are driving the spirits from his body with their rattles, so they shake their rattles at him and suddenly jump away. They stand side by side and move once again about their chief. They hold their rattles high overhead and bring them down and touch the chief's body. As the three raise him, the chief medicine man steps near the fire.)
He says, "Ho! Ho! Our chief is cured! Great is the power of the Thunder Pipe!"
Cholena's life is spent and soon he goes to the Happy Hunting Ground. He requested to be buried with his people at the base of the great look-out rock which Wulisso had climbed as a lad and had seen the young buzzards. Cholena was carried from his tepee over the winding stream and up to the base of the Great Rock where he was buried along with the necessities to carry him through the Happy Hunting Ground.
Legend of Hadenti and Hanigo: The Gift from the Upper World
In the beginning of time, when the earth was new, people on earth spoke one tongue. The villagers lived in such a manner that there were no quarrels or disputes among them.
One such village was situated not far from this clearing and its inhabitants lived and worked on this land. The village chief was known as Yadodak or running hunter and his people dwelt in perfect harmony and peace,
(Enter unnamed brave)
until one day a brave of the village came before him with a grievous complaint. This brave was a great hunter and he now told the chief that his most prized hunting knife had been stolen from his lodge. This news greatly alarmed Yadodak because theft was unknown among his people. The brave told the chief of two boys who had this day admired his knife and he felt they had taken it. With the agreement of the medicine man, Yadodak called before him the two boys, Hadenti and Hanigo.
(Enter Hadenti and Hanigo)
Yadodak told the boys, "a brave and great hunter of the village had told me you have stolen his most prized knife. This conduct is unknown to my people and so it must remain. Therefore I must ask you to leave our village and not return until after two snows."
Hadenti and Hanigo were obedient to their chief so they gathered their belongings, skins, bows, and arrows and departed the village, though they knew in their hearts that they were falsely accused and had not taken the knife.
(Hadenti and Hanigo circle around; exit chief, medicine man and brave)
The two braves traveled toward the land of the setting sun. Many times the sun did rise and set as they traveled. When one day, with the sun high in the sky, they came upon a large hemlock tree. Hadenti said, "I will climb this tree and look around to see if there are any people or villages in sight." The limbs of the tree came very close to the ground so he climbed it easily. From the top he saw no people but instead, there was a beautiful path leading from the tree through the air. He called to his companion, "Throw down your bow and arrows and come up to see what an unbelievable path I have found." Now Hanigo climbed the tree and he too looked at the trail with great wonder. The two were drawn to the trail by its great beauty and could not resist the urge to follow it.
So they started off. The trail seemed as solid as if on the earth and it extended up into the sky as far away as they could see.
The young men traveled on the path, not knowing where it would lead them. Until after some time there was a loud crack and a flash of light. Then the boys had the feeling that they had left the place from which they had come and were now in a new place, a place which seemed very pleasant.
(Enter Kahkwa, the sun)
Before them stood a great lodge, out of which smoke was rising. The lodge was made of bark with a piece of bark suspended as a door. The boys pulled aside the door to find a man sitting inside. The lodge was very well lit, though there were no openings and it seemed the man himself was causing the light, which filled the room.
He spoke, "Come join me at my fire." They sat with him. He continued, "I know the trouble you have been through to get here and how you were banished wrongly by your people. I have influenced you to follow the trail which led you here. You have been brought here for a reason which you will soon know. I am he who makes light for you to see and enjoy your world and to help your foods grow. I am Kahkwa, the Sun. The Great Spirit commands me, saying that I must give you light. This is my midday resting place, I am always here at noon.
When I leave, you will walk to the next lodge to meet my brother, Dag-gad-awet, the keeper of the Rain and Thunder."
(Exit Kahkwa, enter Dag-gad-awet)
With this the Sun departed and Hadenti and Hanigo went into the next lodge. At the next lodge, they were greeted by a young man who said in a booming voice, "I am Dag-gad-awet, the rain and thunder. We have brought you here for a reason which you will soon know." And when he spoke, the boys thought they felt the very ground shake. The thunder and rain maker then said, "You have been traveling two days in this world. What we call one day here is one year in your world. Two years ago you started from your home below. During these two years great trouble has come to your people." With that, Dag-gad-awet faced the fire. With a wave of the great thunder sticks and a small amount of powerful potion, the fire grew bright. As it died back down, the fire became a window to the world below. The boys looked with wonder upon the scene before them as Dag-gad-awet spoke, "Before, when food was plentiful, the people of your village lived in harmony. But, for two seasons now, fish and game has been scarce and roots, tubers and berries cannot be found. Hunger has driven the people to almost constant squabbling. Disputes over the ownership of small game have caused bloodshed and the future of your people is threatened."
With that, the window closed and the vision of the lower world faded. Dag-gad-awet then opened his sacred bundle to reveal a strange plant never before seen by the boys. It was long, with large green leaves and yellow seed in great bunches. The thunder maker then said, "This is known as corn. Take it back to your village. You must plant these seeds and care for them. With the light from Kahkwa, the sun and the rain I will give, the corn will grow and will provide for the welfare of your people. You must carry this gift back to your world and spread its bounty to all the villages."
Hadenti and Hanigo took the gift of corn from Dag-gad-awet and then proceeded back the way they had come.
They traveled very swiftly and soon reached the lodge of the sun.
There the sun greeted them and guided them westward to the beautiful trail which led to the lower world. He stayed with them until they reached the great hemlock tree.
When they climbed down the tree to their world below, they were two years older than before their journey began. The two years seemed no longer that the interval between going in the morning and returning in the evening. At the base of the tree, they found their bows and arrows where they had left them, though now they were covered with moss and were no longer new. They picked up their belongings and hiked in the direction of their village. As they approached the village, the deep tones of the council drum could be heard which meant Chief Yadodak was calling his braves to council.
When all were seated, the braves each told their grievances to the chief in turn. The first said, "I had set a snare which was clearly marked with my feather and the snare was robbed this day of its catch."
The second said, "A small basket of berries was taken from my lodge yesterday."
(Enter Hadenti and Hanigo)
At this moment, Hadenti and Hanigo entered the council circle and stood before the chief. Suddenly the braves grew quiet. The chief spoke first. "I am glad you have returned. Soon after you were sent away, the knife which was lost was found and I know you were wrongly accused. We sent braves after you but you could not be found. Now you see we have before us another problem. Food is scarce and the people are hungry."
Hadenti addressed the council, "We have been on a great journey. We have seen the lodges of the sun and the rain maker. They have given us the gift of corn, which will provide abundant food for our people. Hanigo and I will visit many villages and will spread the bounty of our new gift across the land."
The braves all stood around the dying fire and with hands held high, they thanked the Great Spirit for this gift which would put an end to their hunger and would again bring peace and harmony to their village.
Many harvests have passed since Scarionate and his small band had traveled from the Great Waters up the wide Susquehanna River. Following a muddy stream which connects to the river, they traveled its windy course for two days and happened upon a flat plain high above the water. The water almost encircled the plain. There, near a large jutting rock, they built their wigwams and the tribe flourished. Food is plentiful. The Octoraro stream fills their drying racks with fish and their gardens yielded food enough for all.
(Handsome Lake enters)
Chief Scarionate called his young son, Handsome Lake, to his wigwam. Handsome Lake is in his thirteenth summer and his father will begin training him in the skills necessary to join the council of braves. Chief Scarionate is one of the tribe's most skillful snare makers and is looking forward to the time when Handsome Lake will bag his first fighting animal. The chief presents the young boy with a fine hunting knife, the very one his father presented to him long ago. Handsome Lake eagerly examines the knife and watches carefully as his father builds a snare. Handsome Lake is quick to learn the skill and anxious to test his newfound knowledge. He thanks his father for the knife and asks permission to leave the village and go in search of an animal run. Scarionate bids him good fortune as he accompanies him to the edge of the woods.
Handsome Lake quickly makes his way by an old familiar trail down along the Octoraro's edge. After traveling down stream a short distance, he is approached by a returning hunting party laden with skins. He recognizes two old friends in the group, who show him their catch. Handsome Lake, not to be outdone, draws his knife and brags of his skill with a sinew snare. He shows off the beautiful knife and boasts to the group that he will return tomorrow with a fine catch.
The tired hunting party shoulders their skins and starts again for the village, leaving Handsome Lake puzzling how to make good his promise. As he wanders the woods, he collects materials for his snare and begins its construction. How skillfully and how quickly his father was able to fashion a snare, but Handsome Lake is unable to reproduce it. Try as he might, he cannot get his snare to work. He realizes he is faced with another problem. How could he return to his father and his two friends with empty hands? Wearily and reluctantly, he makes his way back to the village. Having gone only a short distance, he hears a rustle in the bushes. Swiftly he removes his knife and stealthily approaches the sound. Handsome Lake parts the bushes and sees an animal in a snare with the marking of a brave in his father's council. He puts the animal out of its misery, shoulders the quarry and heads back to the village. He will do a service to this brave by protecting the pelt from other scavengers.
As Handsome Lake approaches the village, he is startled by the two friends he had boasted to, just a short time earlier. Quickly, he realizes he is faced with a decision. "Should I hide? Should I tell the truth? Should I make good on my boast, claiming the pelt was mine?" He ponders these thoughts as he approached his friends. He is pressed to make a decision. The two hear him coming and turn, their eyes fixed on his prized pelt. Not giving him a chance to explain, they compliment him on his prize. They question him further. "Where did you set your snare? What did you use for bait?" Handsome Lake, caught up in the excitement of the moment, begins to weave a story. "Just beneath a large rock ledge, I placed the snare; bending a small sapling and fashioned a loop of sinew. I found a dead bird nearby and used that for bait. I waited only a short time while a curious raccoon caught the scent of the bird and tripped the snare." With that, Handsome Lake has sealed his first lie.
Handsome Lake, accompanied by the two braves, walks proudly through the village on the way to the chief's hut. The path they have chosen takes them past many huts. As they pass one, a figure steps forward. It is the brave whose mark was on the snare. The beautiful pelt catches the eye of the brave. He admires the skin. He remarks, "Oh, that I could have brought back such a prize!" and slaps Handsome Lake on the back. He says, "Wait one minute, such a catch deserves a coo, a feather for your headband."
Handsome Lake accepts the praise and the gift of the feather, which only compounds the lie. His two companions now impatiently urge him to show the skin to his father, the chief.
Chief Scarionate is seated at a sacred spot near the village edge with the medicine man. Handsome Lake is reluctant to intrude, but his friends press him. He tries in vain to convince them to leave. The commotion draws the attention to the chief, who summons them to sit at his fire with him. Handsome Lake, now embarrassed at what he has done, tries unsuccessfully to hide the animal. The braves begin to talk excitedly about how quickly Handsome Lake had learned the skills of snaring and how he quickly turned his boast into reality. The chief say, "My son, show us the prize and tell us of your adventure." As Handsome Lake gestures the story, inwardly he ponders the consequences of his lie.
The brave and medicine man roast the meat of the animal and return to their lodges for the night. The night is long for Handsome Lake, sleep does not come to him. At first light, he hastily gathers his hunting materials and sets out for the woods.
He begins to recall how proud he felt when he was presented the feather and how easy it would be to continue the lie. No harm was done. Many braves of the village daily set their snares and would not become suspicious if one were tripped and empty as animals often escape. He presses deeper into the woods to a favorite hunting spot of his village. He knows he must get there early before the other braves arrived. He quickly makes his way past several snares which held unimpressive catches in search of a bigger prize.
He next climbs a small rock ledge to get a better view of the area. As he did so he kicked loose a rock which rolled down the side of the ledge, angering a snared animals hidden among the rocks. He hears the deep, guttural growl of a bobcat. The young boy inches his way toward the sound and to his delight, he finds an enormous bobcat snared by its hindquarters and poised to do battle. Handsome Lake moves in swiftly with a large rock and renders the animal helpless, leaving no blood. Shouldering the animal, he backs away from the snare, sweeping the ground clean of tracks with a pine branch. He carefully surveys the scene for any sign which may give his secrets away. He leaves the area without a trace by climbing over the rocks.
Handsome Lake sits down by an old tree and begins to work out his plan. "If I return too quickly, my father and the braves might get suspicious." As he ponders these thoughts, he dozes off. Later he is shaken from his sleep by a loud roll of thunder. A storm has come over, the sky is blackened. Strange shadows are cast by the flashed of lightening. "Should I go or should I stay here under the protection of this tree?"
Another loud clap of thunder and like a shot he is off, leaving his quarry behind. As he approaches a small clearing, the lightening snaps close overhead. An instant later a second flash brings a tree crashing down on him. Ha lay lifeless, pinned beneath a large limb.
Three days pass. The villagers grew anxious. Chief Scarionate sends two of his best trackers in search of his son, Handsome Lake. Till noon that day, they search without success. As the braves enter a small clearing, they see the shattered tree. They make their way through the clearing, stepping over branches as they go. The braves cut their way through the fallen branches to a path on the other side of the clearing. The lead brave shrieks with horror when he sees the body of the young boy. They free the body and with great sorrow carry the limp form back to the village.
That night Scarionate summons his braves to council to mourn the death of his young son and to perform the funeral rite. The council sits chanting and weaving.
Handsome Lake's body is dressed in the finest ceremonial garb and carried on the shoulders of four warriors. They walk erect and carry his body solemnly around the circle. They gently place it on the funeral pyre. The four honored warriors take their seats with the rest of the council.
Old Gaygayyoumet feebly begins the funeral rite. He chants and shakes his turtle rattle calling on the Great Spirit to accept this young warrior. Like the snap of a twig a spell is cast on the council.
The Thunder maker calls forth the spirit from the stiff body. The ghostly form of Handsome Lake appears standing before the funeral rack. The form moves toward the council fire. A messenger from the Thunder maker appears in front of the ghostly figure.
The messenger speaks, "You, son of Scarionate, have been prepared to travel on the back of the Turtle to join Sky Woman. This is your final journey. Your life was taken in payment for the dishonor your brought yourself and your father. Thunder maker had great plans for you. You would have followed in your father's footsteps as a great chief. Now Thunder maker offers you a choice. You may continue as a falling star passing through the heavens with no purpose or accept now this challenge. Return to your body, then rejoin the living. Once there, forever speak against the deeds which led you here." The messenger vanishes.
Gaygayyoumet is the first to recover from the spell. With a vigorous shake of the turtle rattle, Handsome Lake sits slowly erect. He has chosen to return to the living. The spell now fully broken, Gaygayyoumet calls attention of the council with a shriek of surprise. The braves and chief spring quickly to their feet and rush to join the bent one. Handsome Lake rises to his feet and addresses the council.
"Braves," said he, "I, Handsome Lake, son of Scarionate, have dishonored my father and family and have brought shame to my clan. I have twice stolen from my brothers and I have plotted, lied and I have cheated to cover my tracks. By deceit I received this honor which I proudly accepted. My deeds and actions so angered the Great Spirit that he presented me with two paths. You will now bear witness to the path that I have chosen.
I have been on the edge of the great journey. To return here with the living, I vowed to lead a different life. I will become the whisper within you. My voice will be loudest when temptation is closest. I will warn you against the evils which have beset me."
With this he leaps from the stand and addresses his father face to face. "My Father, Thunder maker calls me and I cannot refuse. while I will be apart from you and my people, I will be serving the members of all nations. I am called to be the conscience of man. This sacred place will forever echo this tale. I bid you all farewell."
The chief and his council joyously return to the village, knowing that Handsome Lake is still among them.
The youngsters of the beaver clan were playing during mid- evening when Chenatok, the elder story teller of the Lenni Lenape, entered the village carrying a rabbit skin pouch. Chenatok travelled from village to village, and clan to clan recounting the stories, legends and traditions of the tribe to each new generation. Chenatok approached the chief and made his presence known. Chief Nechasin was proud to have such a wise man and good teacher among his peoples. The storyteller then called the youngsters together. He told them, "I have traveled a great distance to tell you one of my many stories, however you must chose the story by selecting an item from my pouch." As was the custom, the youngest brave was entreated to choose the item. The young brave pulled out a piece of wood, that had be gnawed by a beaver. This reminded Chenatok of how the beaver, through the guidance of the Great Spirit formed the loop and through a vision led a new clan of the Lenni Lenape to the fertile land in the center of the loop. He then asked the Great Spirit to help him teach the young men.
Chenatok began to recount the story of the loop. "Many moons ago, the Octoraro flowed swiftly from the northern hills to the south over the great falls at Conowingo and to the sea. The river's course was as straight as an arrow. The land was barren of all wild life. Even the strongest of fish could not best the swift current of the Octoraro. Animals that went to drink from the river were sept away. The soil was continuously washed away. The Great Spirit was troubled by this, for all the land was his home. The Great Spirit then taught the beaver to slow the waters of the Octoraro by using their new skill. Dam after dam was built to calm the mighty waters. Over time, the river slowed. The Great Spirit then instructed the beaver to allow the waters to flow around the dam forming a loop. The land of the loop was the most fertile of the entire area. Wildlife flourished, fish swam, birds sang, and the land was blessed with the presence of the Great Spirit.
The Unami or turtle clan had grown too large for the land around their busy wigwam village and decided they must split into two clans. The new clan moved from the fertile lands of the Delaware River and were struggling with drought and famine. Nediwatchu, the medicine man was asleep, when a vision came to him. In his vision, he saw fertile land, with fish and game that was plentiful. This vision was obviously a message from the Great Spirit. The next morning, the medicine man went to Chief Nechasin, and told him of his vision of the fertile land.
Chief Nechasin sent out his finest braves, in pairs, to the north, to the south, to the east and to the west, with instructions to return after two full moons, or as soon as this fertile land had been discovered. One full moon had passed, when two braves who had traveled to the west came across a large family of beavers busily maintaining a very large dam. The two braves swam through the muddy water to find the most beautiful land where fish and game were abundant and the soil was rich for crops.
One brave started the long journey back to inform his tribe of this new found land, while the other stayed with their new home. The braves who went to the east had reached the sea without finding the land the medicine man had envisioned, returned. They returned to the village first, reporting that they had found nothing. They were followed by the braves from the north and south, who also told their chief of their failure. The brave from the west returned, jubilantly describing the foreseen land. The clan then uprooted their culture and made the arduous journey from their barren land to the envisioned land. Upon arriving, they all raised their hands to the Great Spirit, praising his wonderful gift".
Chenatok finished with this: "This gift I have spoken of was given to us all by the Great Spirit. The river that surrounds is, which we call Muddy Waters, should be cherished forever, and the title of your clan, Beaver, should be spoken with the utmost of pride". Chenatok then returned to the chief, who thanked the storyteller with skins and a tomahawk. The clan then retired for the night. The youngsters were more educated about the origin of their clan and how they arrived in the fertile land of the loop.
Long before the memory of the great shaman; back at the first snow, the Delaware moved to the area between the great rivers. Many seasons passed. The tribe grew strong. Three chieftains emerged. They took their followers separate ways and formed the Delaware into three distinct clans. The clan to the north, the Minsi. The symbol of their clan was the wolf. The clan to the east, the Unami or Turtle Clan. The clan to the south, the Unilachigo. Their symbol was the wild turkey. And now the tribes continue to flourish as game is plentiful. The streams are rich with food. Springtime plantings bring bountiful harvest of corn squash and beans.
However, a cloud from the north appeared. The Flint People from the north, the Mohawk, have invaded this fertile land. Small bands of Mohawk raid the Delaware hunting parties. More and more Mohawk become greedy and begin raiding villages deep in Minsi territory. Warriors from the Unami and Unilachigo join the Minsi in the struggle against the Flint People from the north. The struggle occupies all the Delaware villages. No one knows when the terrible war cry will sound. Fear is constantly in the hearts of the people. Everyone faces starvation because the hunters fear the forest and the gardens are not tended.
Scarionate, Chief of all the Delawares, sits in council in a secluded spot with Prune Face the 'Old Gnarled One'. They longed for a return to the old days. The chief is desperate to end the war. The old one describes his plan with great feeling.
(Enter bloody warrior without warning)
The silence is broken by a shriek of pain and torment. It is a bloodstained messenger from the war torn land of the Minsi.
Scarionate rises to assist the young warrior, Wulisso. Chief Scarionate quickly summons the aid of the Old One. Within a few breaths, the battered brave is revived by the strong potions of the medicine man. Scarionate began to question the brave. Where are you from? What news do you bring from the battle? The bloodstained Wulisso, still clutching his weapons began to relate the tale of what had been seen.
In weary gesture and sign, he began. "I am Wulisso, of the clan of the Unilachigo sent by my father to aid the Minsi in their struggle against the Flint People. For six moons we battled. Our band numbered fifty. Each day fewer returned from battle. In the midst of the fighting, I became separated from the few that were left. I climbed a high rocky slope overlooking the valley of the battle. From that point, I saw many villages afire. Their dead were many and lay all about. The streams ran red with blood.
Many of the People of the Flint have died. There can be no clear victory. To fight on would only bring an end to us both. This message must reach my father who is chief of the Unilachigo."
(He gasps and clutching his weapons to his chest, falls dead at the feet of the chief.)
The chief and his medicine man hastily build a shape to cover Wulisso's body, then quickly return to the village. Scarionate instructed the medicine man to send runners south to Wulisso's father telling the sad news of the death of his son and to join Scarionate and the other Delaware and Iroquois in a grand council when next the sun sets. Prune Face is greatly disturbed by the endless war. He travels to a sacred ground shaded by large oak, there to spend the night in ritual and in prayer, asking the Great Spirit to guide the Delaware in this time of strife. The night wears on, and old Prune Face, weaving and chanting, becomes tired and kneels by the old oak. In his weakened and dazed condition he feels a presence. Turning, he sees a ghostly warrior. Through step and gesture, the figure begins the long and tedious journey through life. As he carefully travels the life line, he conveys to Prune Face the importance of a brave's duty to serve his fellow man. Then the vision dies. Prune Face, wishing to delve deeper into the spirit's mysteries, unslings the sacred symbol of the clan. The gnarled one beats the ground to summon back the spirit. The vision returns, continuing along the road of life in another winding direction. This time the vision shows the importance of resisting evil and then once again begins to fade. Again Prune Face uses the turtle rattle to recall the spirit. It returns to the trail of life and urges the Unami to search for the truth. The trail vision again grows faint, but the strength of the rattle prevails. The ghostly warrior gestures to Prune Face that a warrior speaks the truth and the vision fades. Once again the old one calls upon the power of the rattle and the pale warrior returns for a fifth time and completes the line of life with the message: To seek the will of the Great Spirit.
With the first light of morning, the spell is broken, and the vision fades forever. The light reveals a branch on the ground in front of the gnarled one unlike any other on the forest. Its leaves are strange, not broad but thin and long. With great curiosity, Prune Face studies further. He discovers that they appear in groups which number five.
Prune Face feebly makes his way back to the village. He finds his path is blocked by a small strange tree. The leaves match those of the Spirit's branch. This could only be a further sign form the spirit world. Clutching the rattle, the branch and the tree, he quickens his pace as he hears the beat of the council drum. As he approaches council, he hears the angry voices of the warrior chiefs. He stands at the council gate, raising the rattle high to draw their attention. He begins to relate his spirit vision. Walking the line of life, he pauses five times; once for each of the five lessons of the spirit: to serve your fellow man, to resist evil, to search for the truth, to speak the truth and to seek the will of the Great Spirit. And they then left the circle with these new truths in their hearts and peace among their people.
Many moons ago there dwelt upon the sloping hills and in these pleasant valleys, a band of warriors known as the tribe of the Lenni Lenape. Many seasons had they followed the winding streams down its course which was like that of great serpent and was surrounded on all sides by the hills on which large timber grew. Then it was Cholena, the Chief of the birds, call unto him Quecksapiet, the chief medicine man, asking for his council and if the good spirits were in this place. Quecksapiet ordered the fire maker to go start the fire.
(Fire lighters enter.)
During this ceremony the other braves and warriors watched with great interest, but with fear in their hearts. First Quecksapiet rose, and with his medicine stick and rattle made from the horn of the great white buffalo, he performed his magic, stooping to peer into the fire and to move his stick about among the embers. Then there was great rejoicing among the tribe, and Cholena, the chief, gave work that they might set up their wigwams in the new hunting grounds.
Then it was Cholena called unto himself his two young sons, Nampayo the Brave and Yon-ray-hil the Strong, both brothers of Wulisso, the handsome one. This was the day when they were to begin their ordeal as braves. Cholena presented the two boys each with a knife; they were exactly alike in every detail. The chief then told his two sons that they were always to keep the knives, but they were never to be drawn except for two purposes. One, to protect the helpless and the other, to revenge all wrongs. The two young sons of the chief were deeply impressed, and rising, vowed never to forget.
(All leave circle.)
The next day, Nampayo was to take his ordeal. Early in the morning with nothing but his knife for protection and company, he left the camp by himself and entered the sacred forest and proceeded into its very center where the clearing had been made long years ago for just such testing. Here he was to remain for three days without either bread or water. During this period, the brave was to ask Manitou for some message to make him a better brave. Standing in the center of the sacred circle, Nampayo raised his arms to Manitou and offered up a silent prayer to the Great Spirit, thus began the ordeal of Nampayo.
All day he stood faithfully, and when night at last fell, he rested, but no message came. The second day, and then the third, but still no message came from Manitou. Instead, a storm and wind and rain. At last, Nampayo offered up a twilight song and laid himself down. He closed his eyes.
Far off, it seemed, there came the sound of drums. Suddenly, the indian boy sat up. He listened. It was the war beat, calling the camp to action. He leaped to his feet, should he go or should he stay? To leave his ordeal meant failure. Yet the tribe was in danger. Like an arrow shot from a new strung bow, he was off through the forest, half stooping, half jumping he went, until he reached the camp of his tribe.
The sight he saw caused him to gasp. The lodges of the tribe had been burned; the people massacred! Quickly Nampayo made his way to the Lodge of his father and there on the ground he found him slain, clutching in his hand a black feather. This Nampayo knew had been taken from the enemy. Only one tribe was known to wear the black feather. Nampayo took his father's bow and arrow. The feather he placed in his headband. Then he searched for his brother but he was not among the dead. He must have been taken captive. Nampayo drew his knife, rasing his weapons and holding both hands above his head, he vowed revenge!
Nampayo then became a lone and wandering brave. He wandered through the forest, the hill and valleys, ever in search of his brother and the tribe of the black feather. From tribe to tribe he went, and Nampayo became known as the Lone Brave. He grew to be respected. He never killed a living thing. For food he ate the things found growing in the forest. The animals became his friends. And if Nampayo found some wild bird caught or snared, he'd take his knife and set the bird free.
Many years passed. One day as Nampayo was in the forest, he saw something. It made him drop quickly to the ground. He watched and what he saw was a small band of five indians each wearing the tell-tale black feather. His heart leaped! This was the enemy. It was a small hunting band loaded with meat and skins, and they had wandered far from their home tribe. Nampayo followed until they made camp. When the hunters had eaten and darkness fell, they went to sleep. The lone brave crept in. Removing his knife from its sheath, Nampayo raised it silently overhead, as if to ask the Great Spirit to sanction his deed. This was to be the knife's first taste of blood ... Revenge was the only thought on his mind. He plunged the blade into the hearts of two of the braves of the black feather and then lifting once again the dagger on high, asked forgiveness for his deed and crept away. At dawn the band awoke, but two slept on. Fear filled the faces of the braves, and leaving their trophies, they fled into the forest. Nampayo followed.
At sundown, once again the band was tired. They were a long way from their tribe. It was with some fear that they made camp. This time a guard was posted. It made it difficult, but Nampayo crept upon the guard and as a panther leaps on its prey, Nampayo leaped and drove his dagger deep, and leaped away. The sound awoke the others, but it was too late. Only two were left. This was a game Nampayo liked. In his delight, Nampayo forgot to ask forgiveness. The two that were left separated, but Nampayo, seeing this, was not to be outdone. Fitting an arrow to the new string, he raised it taking careful aim. The bowstring twanged. The brave fell dead. Only one remained.
He fled through the forest but Nampayo was right behind. Through the dense and quiet forest they went, Nampayo stalking the other brave with all of his skill until a clearing was reached and the brave stopped to rest against a large tree, thinking himself hidden behind it. But Nampayo saw him, and leaping around the tree met him face to face. Nampayo lunged.
How skillfully the other took his wrist, and with an awkward twist, Nampayo lost his knife. Amazed, he stood eyeing his enemy. Who was this last brave who was his match? Nampayo slowly picked up his dagger and again lunged and fought, rolling and tumbling until Nampayo's hand was pinned beneath him, leaving him open for a stab, but none came. Blinded by hate, with a mighty twist, Nampayo broke the hold and snatching the other's knife with one hand and his own with the other was poised over the frightened brave. He drew both blades home and stood, the victor.
He raised his weary and blood stained arms clutching in his hand the two knives. Then he felt an unseen blow knock him to the ground. He slowly looked at the knives. They were identical in every way. Then in Nampayo's mind came the over whelming fact that this remaining brave had been his brother!
Rising, he took one knife and threw it into the forest and with the other, held it high as he drove the blade home into his own heart and fell down, dead.
A noise was heard in the forest. It was the noise of braves. Nampayo heard it and sat up. It was his father and brother and the braves of the tribe. It all came to him, the message had been sent to him in the form of a dream. A dream and message from the Great Spirit, Manitou. The braves had council in the sacred circle and Nampayo told his father the message he had received. Revenge was wrong. It was a brave's duty to help, not to kill. To give life rather than to take it and to let Manitou give revenge. The chief rose; Nampayo was a brave. He had received a message from the Great Spirit. As the braves rose in solemn gesture and lifted their hands to the Great Spirit and in grave but joyous procession, left the circle with new truth in their hearts.
Looking back many spring plantings, a village of Lenni Lenape was settled a half day's walk from the great river on this very spot. They scattered their lodges among these tall trees. For many seasons they lived in this land until the elders knew no other place. Then it happened that reports came through the village, few at first, then more murmurs; corn patches were burned; stores of grain, dried skins, fish, and meat were taken in the night. One morning there were among the burned-out fields, some items which were not Lenni Lenape. These were hastened to the chief. The chief and the medicine man soon identified them as headband and tomahawk with the marking of the Cherokee who live to the South.
It was just at this time that a young orphan boy came into the village. He went from lodge to lodge, but was turned away each time because he was unknown to them and the villagers were already fearful from the unseen enemy to the South. The young boy would not leave the village, instead he persisted; working his way into a lodge only for a few days and then he was again put out. So he made a lodge alone.
During the first night alone, Washek (which means "the wanderer"), was visited by a dream spirit. The spirit wakened him and gave him this message: "When the sun next rises, there will be a great opportunity which you must not miss." Then the spirit vanished.
In the morning, Doskenhon, the chief of the village, called his braves to council. (long pause) Doskenhon gave a sign unto the medicine man, Agwasson, to summon the Great Spirit for guidance. (short pause) With step and gesture, Agwasson chanted, performing his magic. There was a silence as Chief Doskenhon rose to address the council. "I have thought long. If we don't end the plunder of our crops, we will winter with starvation. We must take action. This day we will form a party from volunteers who will track the owners of these marks, and bring an end to their reign of terror."
One by one the braves offered their services. Each picked up a hunter bundle. Filing past the chief and medicine man for a blessing, they left the village.
Washek also volunteered, but was rejected by the group. He recognized that he must join the war party, for this was the opportunity of which the bird spirit spoke. Again and again he tried, but each time was rejected. Not yielding to defeat, he crept behind the group unseen.
The war party traveled southward, tracking the Cherokee band. When darkness came the braves split up and made small fires to cook their venison. Washek, seeing this, tried to join one of the groups. The braves refused to share their fire with him. Again and again he attempted to sit with the braves, but each time was turned away.
Dejected, Washek made his own small fire, and camped alone. That night, when the fires had burned to ashes and the braves lay asleep, the bird returned to Washek. He felt the brush of the spirit's wing on his cheek, and a high shrill sound broke the silence. Washek, startled, sat up quickly. The bird spirit told Washek, "You have done well. You have followed my instructions. I will reward you with special powers, and one day you will be a respected and great leader. When the sun is high in the sky, a challenge will be before you. Trust your conscience." Then the bird spirit flew off into the night.
Washek kept this news to himself, for he knew the other braves would only mock him. The band pushed on down the trail, stopping only for rest and water.
At noon, the column stopped abruptly as the lead warrior was frozen in his place. The second came forward, and he too stiffened with fear. The others crept up and found before them the large footprints of the mystical bear: Hegowa. Legend has it that Hegowa is a giant black bear possessed with fierce spirits, which always kills the ones that encounter it. Its magic power is so great, that the instant anyone looks on its tracks, the bewitched bear knows it and returns to destroy that person.
The boy stepped forward and told the braves, "I am very anxious to see this bear." The warriors told him, "We are turning off this trail. You may track the bear, but if it chases you, don't run in our direction."
Alone now with only his bundle and scant weapons, Washek stalked the bear. He followed the bear for some time until he came upon a tremendous object blocking the way. He soon realized it was the bear resting with its back toward him. He crept up to the bear and swatted it with the shaft of an arrow.
With this the bear rose, sounding a mighty roar. The trees shook and the skies darkened. The bear rushed after Washek who bolted away. The bear drew so close as they were running that the boy could feel its breath on the back of his neck. Washek darted from tree to tree, and darted off in a straight line. He ran on swiftly until he came to a stream that was very deep. The boy was able to jump back and forth across the stream by using stones as steps. Now as the young man ran, he felt that his strength was growing greater as he saw that the bear was failing. Seeing this, Washek made a great loop through the woods and back to the stream; then again across the stream to make a loop on the other side. He passed the bear midway in the stream, going the other way. The bear did not follow by sight, but by scent alone. Now the beast had failed so much that the youth was just behind it as it continued in the old tracks. Then the boy shot from the back and brought the bear down. The bear rose again to its feet, reeled and fell over dead. Washek left the bear's carcass after taking a bunch of hair and a tooth. He back-tracked to his bundle, and then headed off to the west. Running fast and pausing little, he soon overtook the frightened warriors. He called to them, "I have killed the great Hegowa, of which you were so afraid."
They were, naturally, greatly astonished and doubtful, for no man had ever seen the creature and lived to tell the tale. He produced the trophies: the hair and the tooth. They said, "Let us go back and see the remains of the bear." They hiked to the place. There they saw the great carcass. They were amazed at its enormous size. They burned up the body and picked a few bones from the ashes which they each carried in their bundles and it gave them great powers of the hunt. That night they lay down on their blankets, exhausted. Just before morning, the winged spirit returned. It told Washek, "An owl will visit you today as a warning when you are very near your enemy." The spirit continued, "In the midst of your enemy you will see a great tall warrior. If you defeat him, the others in his land will see this and flee."
With first light, he told the others of the vision and they started down the trail. As predicted, toward midday they heard the hooting of an owl as it flew along their trail. It alighted on a tree and said, "Be ready--your enemy is at hand." The leader of the group said, "Hand your bundle and make ready for battle." Now as the dream had foretold, they saw the enemy and among them towered the giant warrior. The two sides paired off in battle. Washek and the tall one met face to face. They fought with club and knife brandished, but the charmed Washek dodged the blow. He sprang to his feet. Before the big one could recover his stance, Washek was on his back. Raising his club high, he finished the giant with a single blow. Seeing this, the enemy warriors threw down their weapons and fled into the hills.
A large number of the enemy were killed but not one of Washek's men was even injured. They gathered up many trophies of enemy weaponry and departed back for their own village, having finally defeated the terrorists of their tribe.
Five suns later, they arrived home and immediately a council of braves was called. All took their places in the great circle. The returning warriors urged Washek to relate to the council how the winged spirit favored them in battle. Washek reluctantly stepped forward and told of this battle with the great bear, Hegowa. How he swatted the bear, and it chased him until it was tired, then he slew it with one arrow, taking a tooth as a trophy. They looked upon the tooth with great awe. Then he told of the battle with the band from the south and the defeat of the giant warrior, and they viewed the enemy weapons with great wonder.
Washek was hailed as a hero for his bravery and courage in the battle and it was thought that he had the favor of the Great Spirit because of the visions which visited him. It was decided that he should be the brave who would take the place of the ailing chief. All the braves signaled their approval of this by fueling the council fire. The chief then summoned Washek forward. He took the place at the head of the circle and the chief faced him. The chief then removed the ancient symbol of leadership: his feathered bonnet and placed it gently on Washek's head. The old chief then sat down and Washek addressed the council.
"My fellow braves," the newly appointed chief said, "we have put down the scourge from the south. They will plague us no longer." All stood around the dying fire and raised their hands to the Great Spirit to thank him for their many blessings; a new and powerful chief, and their newly-won peace. Then all left the circle with joy in their hearts.
This pageant was first performed on August 8th, 2009 in honor of Karl W. "Moose" Winsch for his 35 years of service to Camp Horseshoe and many more to Scouting.
The land of the beaver clan was teaming with bountiful crops and the Lenni Lenape people were enjoying a hearty Autumn harvest. Each brave had toiled endlessly in the fields, and down by the small tumbling river that encircled their village in its loop. Now, with stomachs full and spirits high, the clan entered their ceremonial circle to hear the proud Chief speak.
Chief Petasemowik began, “This good fortune of plenty has only been ours since my early childhood, which was a time of great strife. The dutiful care of our fields, and the sanctity of our village, have been the gifts of my ancestor, whose name I fear is lost to all but my eldest council.” The Chief then called forth Nemoagan, the medicine man, to bless the fire that was roaring before them. As the old man went up and down the fire with his rattle, the flames' warmth grew to match the hearts of the beaver clan. The Chief then stepped forward and proclaimed, “This land, while under the watchful eye of the Great Spirit, is our source of nourishment and for that, we are grateful. But it is only through our strength and our knowledge that we have sustained the land, and thus, it has sustained us. Come forth, Wulaptonen, and tell the clan of my ancestor, who brought this wisdom of farming to our people.”
The story teller rose, and beckoned the three closest braves to sit near him. As they sat, he began “For many moons, the Unami tribe had dwelt upon the fertile lands near the mighty river. Each brave sought the guidance and the wisdom of their chief, who had brought them through hunger and battle with his steady hand and mind. The tribe fished, hunted and scoured the land for game until neighboring tribes began sending their seasoned hunters to the Unami's grounds. The Chief knew the encroaching tribes were a threat to the deer, fish and small animals that were the food of his people, so he called his three oldest braves to his council to deal with the growing danger. The chief asked each of them to gather a war party, and head outward to the farthest edges of their lands to dispatch the intruders.”
One brave, Amangi Nenajunges, began to council his chief of another way. He stood before the chief and said “We should tend to the fields, and though the other tribes may take some game from our hunting lands, they do not intend to take our home. The Great Spirit has sat with me, and spoken of the methods for growing corn, and fruit, and millet. And he has spoken also of these other tribes, and they will pass by our village without causing harm.” But the chief had decided on a course of war, and the braves were to set out with bows and arrows and spears at dawn.
That night, the three braves slept under a full moon, and as the animals stirred in the dark forest, the Great Spirit came again to Amangi Nenajunges in his dreams. “I shall guide you once more, for your allegiance is in doubt.” Amangi Nenajunges stood and faced the Great Spirit. “I do not know who to follow, Great Spirit,” he said. “I love my people and my chief, but in my heart I know we must follow these new ways if we are to survive.” The Great Spirit smiled and said “Then your allegiance shall be to your own heart, which is true. Now, take this rock. And travel South until the half moon, then West until the moon has vanished. There you shall find a clan near the bend of a small river, and their need for your knowledge is far greater. Teach them the ways of the land, for their minds are open. You shall know them, for their land shall be full of these white rocks.” The Great Spirit then disappeared into the shadows, and when the morning broke, the three braves set upon their courses. Amangi Nenajunges gathered three fellow braves and headed in the direction admonished to him by the Great Spirit.
After travelling for many days, Amangi Nenajunges and his party found the beaver clan, and they had suffered the same fate he feared his own tribe would soon suffer. Starving from famine, the beaver clan welcomed the outsiders and they listened in earnest as Amangi Nenajunges taught them to remove the white rocks from the soil while tilling the fields to grow corn and millet. He also taught them his original skill, that of arrow-head making, by using the native white rocks to make arrows and spears so that they may hunt and fish while farming the land. After several years of using the stranger's methods, the beaver clan grew strong and inducted him along with his tribesmen into the council.
Amangi Nenajunges sent two of his former Unami clansmen to return to their old tribe, to teach them of these new skills, and to welcome them to this land. But alas, after many moons, the braves did not return. Amangi Nenajunges explained to the chief that the braves must have stayed in their tribal homeland, or had been punished by the chief for their disobedience. The Chief smiled and said “You, however, are a hero to the beaver clan, and I can see in your heart that it has brought joy to your life that you are able to offer happiness to the lives of so many, despite sacrificing the comfort of your other life in the North. Let your shining spirit guide your two travelers, as they may too strive to bring joy to the Unami Tribe.”
At the story's conclusion, Wulaptonen called forth the three braves to stand, and he admonished them with this: “May at least one of you learn from this tale, and enstill in your descendants its lessons, that of unselfish sacrifice and service to man, may he be fellow or stranger alike. Only then will Amangi Nenajunges and our chief's legacy endure. Only then will I, like Amangi Nenajunges, who was known as the Immense Moose from Neighboring Tribe, find fulfillment in life.”
Click here to see pictures of the Saturday Night Campfires.