Indian men do not talk much. They said little while eating at this feast. When they were done, the women sat down to eat. They were merry and gay. They talked and laughed as they ate. With the Wyandots the woman is the head of the house. Will you take him to be one of your family? He shall be a Wyandot of the Deer Clan. He shall be one of my family.
A Wyandot of my house was a great chief. He was the Head Master of all the Wyandots. He lived many years ago. Since that time no man has held his high office.
I wish this white man raised up to his place. Give him the name and the office of the Half-King. The Chief then gave the white man the name and the office of the Great Chief of the Wyandot of the old times. They made him welcome. They said he was their brother. They gave him presents. Some gave him wampum or Indian money. One gave a cannon ball which he found on a field of battle where he was a soldier.
One woman gave him a horn of a buffalo. A very poor Indian gave him some feathers from the tail of a rooster. Before the first white people came, only the Indians lived in our country. They had been here a very long time; they could not tell for how long.
The Indians had a happy life. In summer the men hunted and fished. They went on long journeys into the woods or over the hills and plains.
Sometimes they went in canoes on the lakes and along the rivers. The women and children often remained at home. Their lodges stood at the edge of the forest, or on the bank of a lake, or in the meadows beside the swift-flowing stream. For food they hunted game, gathered wild berries and fruits, dug up the roots of plants and trees, and in small fields raised squashes, pumpkins, beans and corn.
Some raised tobacco. When winter came the snow often lay white over the land. The cold wind blew about the Indian lodges. At night the dogs howled, and he lodges looked dark and lonely. But inside there was a bright fire of dry wood.
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At one side of the fire sat the mother on a pile of furs. She was weaving baskets or putting beads on buckskin clothes. On the other side sat the father. He smoked his pipe and told beautiful stories to the children.
Full text of "Myth and Geology"
The Indians had no books or papers. So the stories had to be kept in memory and told down from one to another. Would you not have liked to sit with the red children around the even fire of the Indian lodge? They had to remember the stories well, for the next night the father might call on them to repeat what they had heard. Then when they grew up they could tell the stories to their own boys and girls.
After the white people came, the Indian fathers did not always tell the stories to the children. For they had much trouble and had to move from place to place. At last only a few old men in the tribe knew the stories. A kindly white man found the old men living deep in the great woods. They made him a Wyandot Indian, like themselves.
He wrote down what these wise old Indians told him. So now all boys and girls may read the stories which once were heard only by the red children. Long ago this world was almost covered with water. There was only a little land. The people lived in a world above the sky.
Anthony Van Corlaer
These people were Wyandot Indians. This skyland was a strange world. For it had no sun nor moon nor any stars.
The chief of the Upper World. Upon this tree grew large yellow flowers. It was thickly covered with them. From these yellow blossoms came the light of that land; and there was no night there. This Tree of Light was holy. No one, save the priests, was ever allowed so much as to touch it.
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At once she knew she had done a great wrong. She was afraid of what her husband might say to her. So she ran away to her own people, who were the priests, or hookies. And she was sick from having eaten the flowers. He went home from his hunt. When he heard what his wife had done, he was very sad. He tried to cure the Tree of Light and make it bright again. For many days he lay upon his face on the ground before it. He would not eat. But the Tree was not cured. Then he told the priests to make his wife well. They said that what she needed to make her well would be found among the roots of the Tree of Light.
So they brought the sick Woman and laid her down upon a mat at the root of the Tree.
Then they began to dig by her bed to find that which would cure her. The priests, or hookies, had dug but a little while when, all at once, the Tree of Light and the ground around it sank down.
The Tree had broken through the Upper World.