Canku Ota - A Newsletter Celebrating Native America
June 17, 2000 - Issue 12

The Wallam Olum
A Legend of the Lenape Indians
Our thanks to: Timm Severud (Ondamitag)

Editor's note: The Wallum Olum is a pictographic history that were carved on twenty-two (22) tablets each measuring seven (7) inches by two (2) inches. Book One - Creation consists of three (3) tablets, Book Two - The Great Flood: two (2) tablets, Book Three - The Migration three (3) tablets, Book Four - History eight (8) tablets and Book Five - History (continued) six (6) tablets. Sadly, it appears that the original wooden tablets have been lost. We present drawings of replicas of some tablets made in the 19th century. We will publish each of the five books. This is Book Five.

A Legend of the Lenape Indians by Leander Leitner

WALLAM OLUM, meaning, red score, is a translation from the picture writing record of the Lenãpe Indians by Daniel G. Briton about 1860. In the language and dialect of the Delaware Indians and a legend of the Creation, the Great Flood, Migration and History from their beginning to the time of the coming of the white man to the eastern shore of Delaware.

PART 5 - HISTORY (continued)

All was peaceful, long ago at the Talega land,
The Pipe-Bearer was chief at the White River,
White-Lynx was chief, much corn was planted,
Good-and-Strong was chief, the people were many,
The Recorder was chief, he painted the records,
Pretty-Blue-Bird was chief, there was much fruit,
Always-There was chief, the Towas were many,
Paddle-Up-Stream was chief, he was much on the river.
Little-Cloud was chief, many departed,
Big-Bear was chief at the White-Salt-Lick.
The Seer, the praised one went to the west,
He went to the south west to the western villages,
The Rich-Down-River-Man was chief at the Talega River.
The Walker then was chief, there was much war,
With the Tawa people, with the Stone people and the Northern people.
Grandfather-of-boats was chief, he went to land in boats.
Snow-Hunter was chief, he went to the north land,
Look-About was chief, he went to the Talega mountains,
East-Villager was chief, he was east of Talega.

A great land and a wide land was the east land,
A land of lakes, a rich land, a pleasant land.
Great-Fighter was chief toward the south,
At Straight River, River-Lover was chief,
Becoming-Fat was chief at Sassafras Land.
All the hunters made wampum at the great sea,
Red-Arrow was chief at the stream again,
The Painted-Man was chief at the mighty water,
The Easterners and the Wolves go north west.
Good-Fighter was chief and went north,
The Mengwe, the Lynxes, all trembled,
Again the Affable was chief and made peace with all,
All were friends, all were under this great chief,
Great-Beaver was chief remaining in the Sassafras Land.
White-Boy was chief on the sea shore,
Peace-maker was chief, friendly to all,
He-Makes-Mistakes was chief hurriedly coming;
At this time the white men came to the eastern shore.

Much-Honored was chief, he was prosperous,
Well-Praised was chief, he fought at the south,
He fought in the land of the Talega and the Koweta,
White-Otter was chief, a friend of the Talmatans,
White-Horn was chief, he went to the Talega,
To the Hilini, to the Shawnees, to the Kanawhas.
Coming-as-a-Friend was chief, he went to the Great Lakes
Visiting all his children, all his friends,
Cranberry-Eater was chief, friend of the Otowas,
North-Walker was chief, he made festivals,
Slow-Gathering was chief at the shore;
As three were desired, three grew forth,
The Unani, the Minsi, the Chikini.
Man-who-Fails was chief, he fought the Mengwe,
He-is-Friendly was chief, he scared the Mengwe,
Saluted was chief, thither
Over there on the Scioto he had foes.
White Crab was chief, a friend of the shore,
Watcher was chief, he looked toward the sea.
At this time, from the north and south
The whites came;
They were peaceful, they have great things,
Who are they?

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