Monday, March 26, 2007

“Abenaki in Vermont learned from childhood that the Creator, Tabaldac, had set aside the rivers and mountains of their homeland for their eternal use. Each landmark had a story: An enormous boulder in Lake Champlain, for instance, contained the spirit of the giant Odzihozo, who in his birth pangs had gouged out the basin that held the lake's waters. These stories, told by firelight during long winter evenings, reminded people of why things were the way there, and of their own place in the world around them.”

"According to Blackfeet storytellers, their forefathers successfully goaded buffalo to their deaths by "buffalo jumps" only when a gifted shaman oversaw the proceedings. At the start, hunt leaders would position women and children behind piles of stones arranged in a V-shape that narrowed to a point at the edge of a sheer cliff. The buffalo were enticed to enter the wedge by a slow-hobbling man disguised in a fur robe. Other people brought up the rear, yelling and flapping robes and waving the scented smoke of burning cedar in the air. This gave the impression of a terrifying forest fire, causing the great beasts to stampede over the edge of the cliff. Down below, a makeshift enclosure prevented wounded animals from escaping, while arrows and spears rained down from all sides until the lifeless carcasses could be approached by the butchering parties..."

"Peace Monuments
There is good reason to believe that it was the custom of Indians in the colonial days to erect a conical pile of stones near their settlements to indicate that they were at peace with their neighbors. There also is evidence that they have been known to bury a stone ax in the center of these unique peace monuments, which they inevitably tore down whenever they started on the war path.

The Tide Mill Site
Willard Emery remembers, as a boy, seeing banks of clam shells, peculiar mounds, piles of stones and finding Indian sweet potatoes in the area close to the site of the old Tide Mill and south of Tide Mill Road. This is in the locality where Frank Glynn would like to dig a few archeological test pits and it may well have been the site of the original Indian settlement of Winnacunnet…"

From: The Indians of Winnacunnet
"Our Town" by James W. Tucker
The Hampton Union -- Thursday, September 10, 1959

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