Birch Bark Legends of Niagara
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Birch Bark Legends of Niagara


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The Project Gutenberg EBook of Birch Bark Legends of Niagara, by OwahyahCopyright laws are changing all over the world. Be sure to check the copyright laws for your country before downloadingor redistributing this or any other Project Gutenberg eBook.This header should be the first thing seen when viewing this Project Gutenberg file. Please do not remove it. Do notchange or edit the header without written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and other information about the eBook and Project Gutenberg at the bottom of thisfile. Included is important information about your specific rights and restrictions in how the file may be used. You can alsofind out about how to make a donation to Project Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain Vanilla Electronic Texts****eBooks Readable By Both Humans and By Computers, Since 1971*******These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousands of Volunteers!*****Title: Birch Bark Legends of NiagaraAuthor: OwahyahRelease Date: March, 2005 [EBook #7783] [This file was first posted on May 16, 2003]Edition: 10Language: English*** START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK, BIRCH BARK LEGENDS OF NIAGARA ***Bill Boerst, Juliet Sutherland, Charles Franks, and the Online DistributedProofreading TeamBIRCH BARK LEGENDS OF NIAGARAFOUNDED ON TRADITIONS AMONG THE IROQUOIS, OR SIX NATIONSA STORY OF THE LUNAR-BOW;(Which Brilliantly Adorns Niagara Falls by Moonlight),OR,ORIGIN OF THE TOTEM OF THE ...



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LTehge ePnrdosj eocft  NGiautgeanrab,e rbgy  EOBwoaohky oafh Birch BarksCuorpey triog chth leacwk st haer ec ocphyarniggihnt gl aawll so fvoerr  ytohuer  wcooruldn.t rByebefore downloading or redistributing this or anyother Project Gutenberg eBook.vTiheiws inhge atdhiesr  Psrhoojeulcdt  bGeu ttehne bfierrsgt  tfihlien. gP lseeaesne  wdho ennotremove it. Do not change or edit the headerwithout written permission.Please read the "legal small print," and otherinformation about the eBook and ProjectGutenberg at the bottom of this file. Included isimportant information about your specific rights andrestrictions in how the file may be used. You canalso find out about how to make a donation toProject Gutenberg, and how to get involved.**Welcome To The World of Free Plain VanillaElectronic Texts****eBooks Readable By Both Humans and ByComputers, Since 1971*******These eBooks Were Prepared By Thousandsof Volunteers!*****Title: Birch Bark Legends of Niagara
Author: OwahyahfRilee lewaasse f irDsatt ep:o sMteardc oh,n  2M0a0y5  [1E6,B o2o0k0 3#]7783] [ThisEdition: 10Language: English*E*B* OSTOAK,R TB IORFC HT HBEA RPKR OLJEEGCETN DGSU TOEFN NBIEARGGARA***Bill Boerst, Juliet Sutherland, Charles Franks, andthe Online DistributedProofreading TeamBIRCH BARK LEGENDS OF NIAGARAIFROOUQNUDOEIDS , OONR T SRIAX DNITAITOINOSN SAMONG THEA STORY OF THE LUNAR-BOW;(Which Brilliantly Adorns Niagara Falls byMoonlight),RO,
ORIGIN OF THE TOTEM OF THE WOLFFDREODIMC AWTHEOD MT OM TAHNEY  LMEEGMEONRDYS  OOFF  JTOHIENSTAGA,ABYL MTOHES TA FUOTHROGRO TOTWENA HPYAASHT WERE OBTAINEDPREFACEMy preface will be a few citations from reliableauthorities to introduce to my readers the people ofwhom I write:GOV. CLINTON, in a discourse delivered beforethe New York Historical Society, says: "Previous tothe occupation of this country by the progenitors ofthe present race of Indians, it was inhabited by arace of men much more populous and muchfarther advanced in civilization; that theconfederacy of the Iroquois is a remarkable andpeculiar piece of legislation; that the more we studythe Indian history the more we will be impressedwith the injustice done them. While writers havetruthfully described their deeds of cruelties, whynot also quote their deeds of kindness, theirintegrity, hospitality, love of truth, and, above all,unbroken fidelity?"WASHINGTON IRVING says: "The current opinionof Indian character is too apt to be formed from thedegenerate beings, corrupted and enfeebled by the
vice of society, without being benefitted by itscivilization. That there are those, and a large classof them that have with moral firmness resisted thetemptations, with which they have beensurrounded, and command our highest esteem."VOLNEY, the French Historian, pronounces theIroquois "The Romans of theWest."W. H. C. HOSMER, "The Warriors of Genesee."ORSEMUS TURNER, in his History of the HollandPurchase, says. "The existence of the IROQUOISupon the soil now constituting Western and MiddleNew York, is distinctly traced back to the Period ofthe discovery of America."Their traditions go beyond that period. They fixupon no definite period in reference to the origin oftheir confederacy. Their Councils were held alongthe southern shores of Lake Ontario, and upon theNiagara River, before the first adventurers, theDutch, and French Jesuits appeared in the valleyof the Mohawk; and there are evidences of a longprecedent existence that corresponds with theirtraditions."And their Council Fires are still kindled though theyburn not as brightly as of yore. Nor do the youngbraves listen to the wisdom, or ever now in theirCouncils witness the allegorical or figurativelanguage so beautifully illustrating the discourses ofRed Jacket, Corn Planter, Farmers Brother andother Chiefs, thus eulogized by PRES. DWIGHT:
other Chiefs, thus eulogized by PRES. DWIGHT:"In strength and sublimity of their eloquence theymay be fairly compared with the Greeks."The INDIANS say: "We listen to your stories, whydo you not listen to ours? Although civilized, youuse not the rules of common civility."OWAHYAH
BIRCH BARK LEGENDS OFNIAGARAIFROOUQNUDOEIDS  OONR  TSIRXA DNIATITIOONNS SAMONG THEWithin sound of the thundering cataract's roar onceworshipped the roaming sons of the forest in alltheir primitive freedom. They recognized in itsthunder the voice, in its mad waves the wrath, andin its crashing whirlpool the Omnipotence of theGreat Spirit—the Manitou of their simple creed.tAhles ob iena tuhtief urli sbinogw mitsht,e  tbhreil liflaignth tp oaft ht hfeol lsoowuel,d  abnyd  tihnespirits of good Indians to their Happy HuntingGround.With this belief came the custom of yearly offeringa sacrifice to the Great Spirit, or whenever anyparticular blessing was to be acknowledged, or forsome wrong perpetrated, to propitiate therighteous anger of their Deity of the roaring waters.The sacrifice, or offering, consisted of a boat filledwith fruit, flowers and any precious gift, which wasto be paddled over the foaming cataract by oneeither drawn by lot or selected by the chiefs; or, asoften happened, a voluntary offering of life, as itmanifested heroism beyond their usual test oftorture. Martyrs thus sacrificed had this
consolation: that their spirits were sure to rise inthe mist and follow the bright path above, while badIndians' spirits passed down in the boiling, crashingcurrent, to be torn and tossed in the whirlpool,there to linger in misery forever.With all thy present loveliness—smooth paths cutround thy rocky banks, covered with trailing vinesand bright, soft mosses, nature's beautifultapestry; flights of steps, half hidden with gayfoliage, displaying at almost every turn majesticscenery; bridges thrown over the bounding,foaming rapids, from island to island, openingbower after bower with surprises of beauty at everystep. Scattered here and there the nut-brownIndian maids and mothers; among the last of therace—still lingering around their fathers' places andworking at the gay embroidery—soon to pass awayforever.Yes, with all thy loveliness, the circle of mirth andgaiety, reflecting happy faces of thy presentworshippers, tame is the scene compared with thetraditions of a by-gone race, which, notwithstandingthe simplicity in forms of customs that governedthem, were among the brightest pictures ofAmerican life—always associated with the beautifulforest, which together are passing away, andoblivion's veil fast gathering around them.Thy rocks, now echoing the gay laugh of idlers,fIinrsdti arna'sn gl owwi,t hm tehlelo wwi lsd ownagrs- wofh opoepa,c eo,r  osre nmti nbgalcekd thewith the heavy roar of thy failing waters the
mournful dirge of the doomed one, to the GreatManitou.aSdToOrnRsY  NOiaFg aTrHa EF LallUs NbAy R mBoOonWli,g (htW),hich brilliantlyROOrigin of the Totem [Footnote: The coat of arms ofa clan.] of the Wolf.FIRST LEGEND.The tradition of the Lunar Bow, the Manitou's brightpath, or the origin of the totem of the wolf, wastraced with a scene long remembered at theircouncils, passing from generation to generation,and still sung by the Indian mothers in their far-offhome towards the setting sun—the last foot-hold ofthe dark sons of the forest on this their native land.On the east side of the Falls of Niagara, before thehallowed waters of the mist fell, on the pale-facedwarrior or the sound of the axe had even brokenthe great stillness of their undisputed soil, the darkshadows of the primeval forest fell only on rockand wigwam.The red-topped sumach and sweet sassafras grewthick on either side, while ledges of rocks here andthere pierced the foliage of the cedar-crowned
banks 'round which tumbled and roared the madwaves, leaping like frightened does in wildconfusion to their final plunge. The narrow Indiantrails, winding around swamps, over hills, andthrough ravines, were the only paths that led to thistheir Great Manitou.The drowsy sultriness of an American summerpervaded this secluded spot, harmonizing with theunceasing roar of the Great Falls. Ever and anon,tall, dark forms might be seen suddenly appearingfrom the thick foliage of the underbrush, throughwhich their paths with difficulty wound, and silentlytheir painted faces and gayly plumed headsdropped round the big wigwam. Importantquestions waited the decision of their wisestSachems, and runners had been sent withwampum to call together distant Chiefs, who, withbraves and warriors, as became the dignity of thewampum, answered by their presence quickly andin silence.Near the brink of the Falls, beneath an aged pine,reclined a well- guarded, sorrowful, but haughtyband. Their fine symmetry, noble height, and freecarriage, were especially attractive. They were allyoung warriors, whose white paint presentedemblems of peace: their plumes were from thebeautiful white crane of the sunny forest, whichdesignated the southern land from whence they.emacwA hgillee athme ior f apttriitdued felsa sbheesdp oakcer obsost thh deierf idaanrcke f aacneds,
despair. A tall, stately looking youth appeared tocommand from these few the deference due aChief. He was leaning against the old tree, lookingfor the first time on the great sheet of fallingwaters, where soon himself and followers wouldprobably end their tortures by a welcome leap.Their noble bearing had attracted the eye of theSachem's daughter, the Gentle Fawn; she, with afew young Indian girls, half hid among thewhortleberry bushes growing luxuriantly around thesmaller wigwams of the camp, were dividing theirattention between the stately captives and weavingthe gaudy wampums to be bestowed, with the shylittle weavers themselves, upon such young bravesas should be deemed worthy by the great council.Their stolen glances of admiration and pity,however, were intercepted by the young brave whobrought home and so suspiciously guarded theprisoners. He was a fierce, wicked savage, withrepulsive, glistening eyes, evincing a cunning,revengeful disposition.[Illustration: GREAT OAK]sAct atlhpes ,s iadned  oaf  tghliesa sma vofa geex uhltuantigo na  ssthriont ga corf ofrses shhisswarthy visage as he pointed to the gory trophiesat his belt, saying:"The Black Snakes scalps are fresh from hisenemies; the fingers of theGentle Fawn cannot number them.""The Fawn does not like the smell of blood," quickly