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N.A.REL. H 238 r 



(Gift of) 

Bequest of 
R.B. Dixon 

Received ^ May 1936 




Edited by F. W. Hodge 













Preface 13 

Chapter I 

Pantheon 17 

Supreme Being 18 

Evil Spirit 24 

Manl'towiik of the Four Directions 25 

The Sun 27 

The Moon 28 

The Earth 28 

Thunder Beings 29 

Keepers of the Heavens 31 

Misingh^li^'ktln, or Living Solid 

Face 32 

Mother Com 43 

Chapter II 

Minor Deities 45 

Doll Being 45 

Tornado 47 

Snow Boy 48 

Comet 48 

Evil Mani'towtlk 49 

Animal Spirits 49 

Plant Spirits 51 

Local Genii 51 




Chapter III 

Survival of the Soul 52 

The Soul. 52 

The Land of Spirits 52 

Ghosts and Mediumship 54 

Early Accounts 56 

Penn 56 

Brainerd 56 

Zeisberger 57 

Chapter IV 

Visions and Guardian Spirits 61 

Initiation of Boys « 63 

Other Visions 64 

The Guardian Spirit 65 

Favored Individuals 66 

Unami Examples 67 

Minsi Examples 72 

Historical References 77 

Brainerd 77 

Zeisberger 77 

Loskiel 78 

Heckewelder 78 

Adams 80 

Chapter V 

Unami Annual Ceremony 81 

The Leader 81 

Officers 84 

Preparations 85 

Ceremony Commenced 87 

Chief's Speech 87 

Recital of Visions 92 




Conclusion of Rites 96 

Departure of the Hunters 97 

Prayer for the Hunters 99 

Return of the Hunters 100 

New Fire loi 

Use of Carved Drumsticks loi 

Turtle Rattles 103 

Phratry Prayers 104 

Women's Night 105 

Conclusion of Ceremony 106 

Payment of Attendants 107 

Finale 108 

Payment of Officers no 

Valuation of Wampum in 

Indian Comments on the Ceremony in 

Penn's Account 115 

Zeisberger's Account 116 

Adams' Account 118 

Another Form of the Annual Cere- 
mony 122 

Chapter VI 

Minsi Big House Ceremonies 127 

Myth of l")rigin 127 

Number of Ceremonies 128 

Arrangement of the Big House. , . 129 

Preliminaries 132 

Fire 132 

Purification 133 

Opening of the Ceremony 133 

Chief's Speech 133 

Ceremonial Drink 134 




Recital of Visions 135 

Other Features 136 

The Prayer Cry 136 

Feast 137 

Final Address 137 

Conclusion of Rites 137 

Grand River Version 138 

Waubuno's Version 143 

Chapter VII 

The Misi'ng** or Mask 146 

Origin of the Mask and of the Big 

House 147 

Misi'ng^* Dance 152 

Notification 152 

Preparations 153 

The Ceremony 153 

Adams' Account 154 

Other Functions of Misi'ng** 156 

Masks of the Minsi 158 

The Mask Society 159 

Ceremonies 159 

Chapter VIII 

Minor. Ceremonies 162 

The Doll Being 162 

Myth of Origin 162 

Preparations for the Ceremony 163 

The Doll Dance 164 

Minsi Doll Ceremony 166 

An Old Minsi Doll 168 

An Early Account of 

Nani'tis 169 




Bear Ceremony 171 

Traditional Origin 172 

Preparations 172 

The Rites 174 

Otter Ceremony 176 

Myth of Origin 176 

The Ceremony 179 

Buffalo Dance 182 

Imported Ceremonies 183 

Skeleton Dance 183 

Peyote Rite 185 

Paraphernalia 186 

Officers. 188 

Conduct of the Ceremony. 188 

Ghost Dance 190 

Chapter IX 

Summary 192 

Religion 192 

Ceremonies 196 

Minor Ceremonies 198 

Notes 201 

Index 206 






Conclusion of Lenape Annual Ceremony in 
Oklahoma. Native Painting by Ernest 

Spybuck, a Shawnee Frontispiece 

I. Lenape Man and Woman of Okla- 
homa in Ceremonial Costume 22 

IL Costume worn by Impersonator of 

Mlsingh^li'kiin 34 

in. Masks of the Minsi (After Peter 

Jones) 38 

IV.. Stone Head or M!si'ng''^ from Staten 

Island, N. Y 42 

V. Lenape Ceremonial House near Dewey, 

Oklahoma 82 

VI. Lenape Annual Ceremony in Pro- 
gress. Native Painting by Ernest 

Spybuck, a Shawnee 86 

VII. Plan of Lenape Ceremonial House 

and Grounds 94 

VIII. "Nahneetis. the Guardian of Health." 168 
IX. The Peyote Rite among the Lenape. 
Native Painting by Ernest Spy- 
buck, a Shawnee 186 







I. Mask of the Oklahoma Lenape 


2. Rattle of Turtleshell used by Misi'ng''* 


3. Charm representing Mlsingh^i'kfin .... 


4. Mask from the Canadian Lenape 


S. Stone Head or Mlsi'nK^* 


6. Central Post of Ceremonial House show- 

ing Carved Face 


7. Side Posts of Ceremonial House showing 

Carved Faces 


8. Ceremonial Fire-drill used at the Annual 



9. Rattle of Land-tortoise Shell, used by 

Celebrants at the Annual Ceremony . . 


10. Drum made of Dried Deerskin, used at 

the Annual Ceremony 


II. Sacred Drumsticks, used at the Annual 



12. a. Plain Drumstick used at the Annual 

Ceremony, b, Prayerstick 


13. Paint-dish of Bark, used at the Annual 



14. Drum of Dried Deerskin, Minsi tyi)e . . 


15. a. Drumstick, Minsi type, b. Prayer- 



16. a. Regalia of Otter-skin used in the Otter 

Rite, b. Regalia as worn 


17. FKnt and Steel used in the Otter Rite. . 


18. Rattle or Land-tortoise Shell used in the 

Otter Rite 


19. Peyote " Button " 



HE following paper is intended 
to be the first of a series con- 
cerning different phases of the 
culture of the Lenape or Dela- 
ware Indians, once a numerous people 
forming a confederacy of three closely 
related tribes, the Unami, the Minsi or 
Muncey, and the Unala^'tko or Unalach- 
tigo, first encountered by the whites in 
what is now New Jersey, Delaware, 
eastern Pennsylvania, and southeastern 
New York, but at last accounts^ reduced 
to some 1900 souls scattered in Oklahoma 
and the Province of Ontario, Canada, 
with a few in Wisconsin and Kansas. 
Of these the Lenape of Oklahoma seem 
to be mainly of Unami extraction, the 
rest largely Minsi, while the Unala^'tko 
appear to have merged with the others 
and to have lost their identity. 





The writer has gathered most of his 
data for the whole series from the Okla- 
homa bands, with such informants as 
Chief Charley Elkhair (KokfllflpoVe), 
Julius Fox, or Fouts (Peta'nihink), 
Minnie Fox (WemSSle'xkw^) his wife, 
and William Brown; but much valuable 
information came from Canada where his 
principal informants were Chief James 
Wolf (*Tayeno'xwan), Chief Nellis F. 
Timothy, (Tomapemihi'lat), Isaac Mon- 
ture (Ka'pyfl^hflm), Chief Nellis Mon- 
ture, Michael Anthony (Na^nkflma'oxa), 
and Monroe Pheasant. Of these especial 
credit is due to Julius Fox and Chief 
Timothy, both of whom manifested great 
interest in the work and exerted every 
effort to make it complete, and to Ernest 
Spybuck, a Shawnee, whose paintings, 
carefully made of Delaware ceremonies 
at the writer's request, form a valuable 
adjunct to the text. 

The works of previous writers have 
been utilized where available, and much 
has been learned from archeological dis- 
coveries in the ancient territory of the 




Lenape, not so much, of course, with 
regard to the subject matter of the pres- 
ent paper, as of others in preparation. 

Most of the information was gathered 
while the writer was collecting ethnolo- 
logical specimens for the Heye Museum 
of New York, now the Museum of the 
American Indian, Heye Foundation, dur- 
ing the years 1907 to 1910; but some of 
the Canadian data were procured earlier 
while in the field for Mr E. T. Teflft of 
New York, whose collection is now in the 
American Museum of Natural History. 

Without knowledgeof the Delaware lan- 
guage in its divergent dialects, and with- 
out any pretension of being a philologist, 
the writer has endeavored to record the 
Lenape words as he heard them, depending 
for translation on his interpreter pro tern. 
Hence some inaccuracies at least are in- 
evitable. The alphabet used is as follows : 


a as in arch. c like English sh. 

d as in cat. * a slight aspirate. 

^ as in fall. * gives the preceding vowel a 

ai as in aisle. nasal sound. 




e like a in fate. ^ faintly whispered. 

^ as in met. l a surd 1. 

i as in machine, x like German ch. 

i as in hit. Other consonants approxi- 

o as in note. mately as in English. 

tt as in flute. 

il as in but. 

i2 as in full. 

It was intended at first to publish the 
mass of material thus obtained in the 
form of a monograph on the ethnology 
of the Lenape; but later it was seen 
that while some phases of their culture 
could be described in considerable detail, 
there were others not so well represented 
in our notes. It was therefore finally 
decided to publish at once such parts as 
were ready, in the form of separate 
papers, and to leave the others until more 
detailed information could be obtained. 

No extended comparisons of the re- 
ligion and ceremonies of the Lenape with 
those of other tribes will be attempted in 
this paper, these being reserved for a 
projected article to embody the results 
of a comparative study of Lenape culture. 

M. R. Harrington 



By M. R. Harrington 



O THE mind of the Lenape, all 
the phenomena of nature, all 
the affairs of mankind, in fact 
the entire world as we know it, 
is under the control of invisible beings. 
Some are great and powerful, others of 
somewhat lesser influence, and so on 
down to the humble spirits of plants and 
stones. In some, good seems to pre- 
dominate, in others, evil; but most of the 
mani'towuk, or spirits, seem to be, like 
mortals, a mixture of desirable and un- 
desirable qualities. 






All the Lenape so far questioned, 
whether followers of the native or of the 
Christian religion, unite in saying that 
their people have always believed in a 
chief Mant'to, a leader of all the gods, 
in short, in a Great Spirit or Supreme 
Being, the other manVtowiik for the 
greater part being merely agents ap- 
pointed by him. His name, according 
to present Unami usage, is GiceUmH^'ka' 
ong^, usually translated "great spirit," 
but meaning literally, "creator." Di- 
rectly, or through the mani'towiik his 
agents, he created the earth and every- 
thing in it, and gave to the Lenape all 
they possessed, "the trees, the waters, 
the fire that springs from flint, — every- 
thing.'* To him the people pray in their 
greatest ceremonies, and give thanks for 
the benefits he has given them. Most of 
their direct worship, however, is addressed 
to the mani'towuk his agents, to whom 
he has given charge of the elements, and 
with whom the people feel they have a 




closer personal relation, as their actions 
are seen in every sunrise and thunder- 
storm, and felt in every wind that blows 
across woodland and prairie. Moreover, 
as the Creator lives in the twelfth or 
highest heaven above the earth, it takes 
twelve shouts or cries to reach his ear. 
An account of the worship of the Creator 
will be given later in connection with 
the description of the Annual Ceremony. 
The Minsi had similar beliefs, but the 
current name for the Great Spirit in that 
dialect today is Pa^'tumawas, interpreted 
''He who is petitioned," or KrtanUo'- 
wet, "Great Spirit." 

It has been frequently stated that the 
concept of a supreme being or chief of 
the gods was not known among the 
American tribes in precolonial times, and 
that the "Great Spirit" concept, now 
widely distributed among the Indians, is 
entirely the result of missionary teaching. 
This seems to have been the case in 
some instances, but it is a mistake to 
assume such a broad statement as a 
general rule, on a priori grounds. To the 




Indian mind, the spirits or gods partook 
largely of the nature of mankind — Why 
could not a chief of gods be as natural a 
concept as a chief of men? In the case of 
the Shawnee, the Creator or Great Spirit 
is usually spoken of as a woman, "Our 
Grandmother Paboth'kwe*' — surely not 
a missionary idea! 

Let us trace back the Great Spirit 
concept among the Lenape, and find 
what the early writers say about it. Per- 
haps the earliest is in Danker and Sluy- 
ter's Journal^ of about 1679, in which an 
old Indian living near Bergen, New 
Jersey, is quoted as saying: "The first 
and great beginning of all things, was 
Kickeron or Kickerom, who is the origin 
of all, who has not only once produced or 
made all things, but produces every day. 
... He governs all things." 

William Penn,^ in a letter dated Phila- 
delphia, August 16, 1683, says: "They 
believe a God and Immortality; for they 
say, There is a King that made them, 
who dwells in a glorious country to the 
Southward of them, and that the Souls 




of the Good shall go thither, where 
they shall live again." Further con- 
firmation is given by Holm* in his book 
first published in 1702, where he says, 
"They acknowledge a Supreme Being, 
a Great Spirit, who made the heavens 
and the earth." 

Zeisberger^ makes it even stronger, for 
he wrote, about 1779: "They believe and 
have from time immemorial believed that 
there is an Almighty Being who has cre- 
ated heaven and earth and man and all 
things else. This they have learned from 
their ancestors." Hecke welder* (p. 205) 
adds more details in his book, originally 
published in 1818: "Their Almighty 
Creator is always before their eyes on all 
important occasions. They feel and 
acknowledge his supreme power. ... It 
is a part of their religious belief that there 
are inferior MannittoSy to whom the 
great and good Being has given command 
over the elements." 

Finally, in the little work ostensibly 
dictated by the Minsi John Wampum,^ 
known as Chief Waubuno, undated, but 




probably printed in the last quarter of 
the nineteenth century, we have "The 
Great Spirit, whom we call in Mu^isee 
or Delaware Kaunzhe Pah-tum-owans 
or Kacheh Munitto (Great Spirit or 
Benevolent Spirit), created the Indians." 
Thus we have a practically unbroken 
chiain of authorities, including most of 
the best ones since 1679, all speaking of 
the "Great Spirit" as a well-developed 
concept. But Brainerd,® writing in 1745, 
is not so positive in his statements, for 
he speaks of their notions being "so 
dark and confused, that they seemed not 
to know what they thought themselves." 
He also says: "Before the coming of the 
white people, some supposed there were 
four invisible powers, who presided over 
the four corners of the earth. Others 
imagined the sun to be the only deity, 
and that all things were made by him. 
Others at the same time have a confused 
notion of a certain body or fountain of 
deity, something like the anima mundi.'' 
Later (p. 349) he quotes a converted 
Indian conjurer, who, in describing the 




source of his former power, tells how it 
came from "a great man*' who lived in a 
** world above at a vast distance from 
this. The great man was clothed with 
the day; yea, with the brightest day he 
ever saw . . . this whole world . . . was 
drawn upon him, so that in him, the 
earth, and all things on it, might be 

Perhaps, as Brinton® suggests, the 

original Great Spirit of the Lenape might 

really be called the God of Light. Brin- 

ton, however, does not think that this 

Spirit of Light was of necessity a good 

spirit; still, the Lenape today who follow 

the native religion, acknowledging his 

goodness in their ceremonies, think that 

"the Creator wants them to do right," 

and there is evidence*^ that the idea of 

goodness has been associated with that 

of the Great Spirit for a long time. 

Assuming that the Creator of the Lenape 

is the God of Light, what is it that leads 

men to worship the source of Hght? Is 

it not the self-evident benefits connected 

-with light? It seems to the writer that 




goodness necessarily follows as an at- 
tribute of such a deity. 


The case is different with the Evil 
Spirit. The modern Lenape in Okla- 
homa make little mention of an Evil One, 
and James Wolf, my principal Minsi 
informant, did not speak of such a being 
at all, but there is some evidence, how- 
ever, to show this belief to exist among the 
Lenape in more recent years. 

Some writers do indeed make frequent 
mention of **the Devil" as figuring in 
early Lenape belief, but they translate 
the word "mani'to" as having that 
meaning, whereas it really signifies a 
supernatural being, good or bad. These 
writers evidently regarded as "the Devil " 
any deity not fitting into Christian 

But the real truth seems to be that, 
while in ancient times certain mani'towuky 
or spirits, were -supposed to work evil, 
the Devil (along with whiskey and other 
blessings) was introduced by the whites. 




The whole matter is well summed up by 
LoskieP^ where he says: "Besides the 
Supreme Being, they believe in good and 
evil spirits, considering them as sub- 
ordinate deities. . . . They seem to have 
had no idea of the Devil, as the Prince of 
Darkness, before the Europeans came 
into the country." This idea is also 
supported by Zeisberger^^ and Brainerd,^' 
although Holm^^ seems to give contrary 


The Lenape now in Oklahoma believe 

that when the earth was created, and 

everything finished, the Creator gave 

the four quarters of the earth to four 

powerful beings, or mam'towuk, whose 

duty it was to take care of these regions. 

'I'hese personages are the cause of the 

winds which blow from the different 

directions, with the exception of the 

tornado, which is thought to have a 

different origin. In the winter, it is said 

that the mant'towuk of the north and the 

south are playing the game of bowl and 





dice, with alternating fortunes. When 
the north wind is successful it is cold 
for a long time, until the south wind wins 
again. These mani'towiik are called Mox- 
hotnsa' Wdhdnjio^ pung\ Grandfather at 
the East; No^'oma Cawane^yung\ Grand- 
mother at the South; Moxhomsaf Eliosi' 
gak, Grandfather at the West; and 
Moxhomsa' Lowane' yung^ y Grandfather 
at the North, the expression endalun 
towVyun, said to mean "who has charge 
of it" being frequently added after the 

These are mentioned in the ritual of the 
Annual Ceremony, and the people often 
pray to them when gathering herbs or 
perparing medicines, at the same time 
offering tobacco. 

The earliest record of this belief thus 
far found dates from 1616, and while it 
does not concern the Lenape proper, it 
illustrates a similar notion among a cog- 
nate people in Virginia. This is in 
Strachey's work,^* in which he states, 
"The other four [gods] have no visible 
shape, but are indeed the four winds. 




which keep the four corners of the earth." 
Brainerd^* mentions the same belief as 
being an old one among the Indians he 
knew, who were mainly Lenape, and as 
this was in 1745 we have at least a 
respectable antiquity established for "Our 
Grandparents at the Four Directions." 
Loskiel also mentions them.^^ 


To the Sun the Creator gave the duty 
of providing light for the people. The 
Unami say that he is a very powerful 
manVto, and call him GtckokwiHa. They 
speak of him as always clothed in the 
finest of deerskin garments, with his face 
handsomely painted, and wearing red 
feathers in his hair. Every day he 
travels across the heavens from east to 
west, stopping for a little while at mid- 
day, then going on. At night he comes 
back under the earth. The Minsi, ac- 
cording to James Wolf, called him Ki'zho 
or Ki'zhox, and Gickomki'zho is another 
Unami form of the name. When praying 





to the Sun, the Lenape usually addressed 
him as "Elder Brother." 

Little is found in early writings con- 
cerning the worship of the Sun, a mere 
mention in Brainerd,^^ and Loskiel,^^ 
by whom he is called ** the sun or the god 
of the day." 


None of my Lenape informants had 
much to say of the Moon, except that it 
was regarded as the mani^to charged with 
the duty of supplying light by night, and 
that it was addressed, like the Sun, as 
Elder Brother. It is mentioned as a god, 
and called the "night sun" by Loskiel.^ 
This is expressed by the Unami name 


Some Lenape speak of the earth itself 
as a manl'to, and call it "Our Mother" 
because it carries and nurtures the people, 
having been assigned that duty by the 
Creator. Others, instead of the earth 
itself, mention a spirit beneath or within 
the earth, but apparently separate from 




it. The earth is mentioned in a list of 
gods by Loskiel.^^ In some localities, 
at least, it was addressed in the Annual 
Ceremony, and thanks were offered to it 
for the benefits it gives to man. 


Perhaps the most important of all the 
subordinate maniHowuk, excepting only 
the Sun and possibly the Keepers of the 
Four Directions, were the Thunder Be- 
ings, to whom the Great Spirit gave the 
duty of watering the earth and protecting 
the people against Great Horned Water- 
serpents and other monsters. The Una- 
mi told me that they are called Pethako- 
we'yuk, and are addressed as Elder 
Brother. They are man-like beings with 
wings, and always carry a bow and 
arrows with which they can shatter trees. 
When the first thunder is heard in spring, 
the people say, "The Spring Flying 
Things are coming" and it makes them 
feel glad to think that winter is nearly 
over. Some burn tobacco and pray to 
the Thunders at this and other times, 





and for this reason they claim that the 
lightning never used to strike an Indian 
or to destroy Indian property. 

The late James Wolf related an inter- 
esting Thunder myth, which will be 
found in the paper on Lenape Mythology 
to appear later, stating that the Minsi 
called the Thunders Pile'swak, or Pile'- 
soak, and believed them to exist in the 
form of gigantic partridges, although 
really persons, or rather mam^towuk. 
They used to live in Niagara gorge 
beneath the cataract, and could sometimes 
be seen coming out, in the form of a cloud, 
in which, as it rose, a play of lightning 
was visible. There were said to be three 
bands or parties of these mysterious 
beings, each band consisting of three 

Zeisberger^ says, "Thunder is a mighty 
spirit dwelling in the mountains,*' and 
Heckewelder,^ "Indians, at the approach 
of a storm or thunder gust, address the 
Mannitto of the air, to avert all danger 
from them." As a rule, however, the 
early writers do not seem to have noticed 





this belief, or have included it loosely 
under the worship of "gods" representing 
the elements. 


The Lenape now in Oklahoma believe 
that each of the twelve heavens, in the 
highest of which lives the Great Spirit, 
is presided over by a mani'to who serves 
as a messenger to repeat the prayers of 
men until they reach the ear of the 
Creator. They are represented by the 
carved faces upon the posts inside the 
temple, and are mentioned in the ritual 
of the Annual Ceremony. I can find no 
mention of them in early accounts of the 
Lenape, however, unless the twelve gods 
mentioned by Loskiel,^ most of whom 
have already been spoken of in this 
chapter, may represent the same concept. 
The Lenape today speak of these as 
being related to the Living Solid Face, 
who will now claim our attention. 




mIsinghali'kOn, or living solid face 

The most remarkable deity of the 
Lenape is the Mask Being, called by the 

Fi< leight. 

Unami Misingh&li'kun, which was inter- 
preted as "Living Mask," or "Living 
Solid Face," According to the Unami. 




this being was made guardian by the 
Creator of all the wild animals of the 
forest, and is some- 
times seen riding 
about on the back 
of a buck, herding 
the deer; but he 
lives in 3 range of 
rocky mountains 
above the earth. 
His face is large 
and round, theright 
half being painted 
red, the left black, 
while his body is 
covered with long 
dark hair like that 
of a bear. Unlike 
most of the deities 
in the Lenape pan- 
theon, he is repre- 
sented bya ' 'graven p,^ j._Rattie of tuitic- 
image. " a huge shell us«t by Mtai'Ds". 
wooden mask, <^^^*'- "^-^ '"'> 
painted half red and half black {fig. i); 
which is left in charge of some family who 




will take good care of it, and burn Indian 
tobacco for it from time to time. With the 
mask is kept a coat and leggings of bear- 
skin to represent the being's hairy body, 
a peculiar rattle of turtleshell (fig. 2), a 
stick, and a bag made of bear-skin, all 
used by the man selected to impersonate 
Misinghili'ktin at the various ceremonies 
when he is supposed to appear, and which 
will be described later. To the back of 
the mask is fastened the skin of the bear's 
head, which effectually conceals the 
head and neck of the impersonator (pi. 11), 
while the bear's ears, projecting, add to 
the uncanny effect. 

If any Lenape had a child who was 
weak, sickly, or disobedient, he would 
send word to the keeper of the mask 
that he wanted Misingh^li'kQn to "at- 
tend his child." It is said that it did not 
take the impersonator long to frighten 
the weakness, sickness, or laziness out 
of the child, so that thenceforth it would 
be strong and well, and would obey on 
the instant when asked to do anything. 
This effect was probably strengthened by 





the mother saying, "If you don't behave, 
Mlsi'ng^* will carry you off in a bag full 
of snakes!" This seems to be the only 
trace of the doctoring function of the 
mask among the Unami. They also say 
that when the keeper burns tobacco for 
MlsinghUli'ktin and asks for good luck 
in hunting, **it turns out that way every 
time;" and if anyone has lost either 
horses or cattle, whether by straying away 
or through theft, he can go to the keeper 
of the Mlsi'ng^* with some tobacco and 
recover them. All he has to do is to 
explain his errand to the keeper, who in 
turn informs Mlsingh^i'ktin that they 
want him to look for these particular 
animals. The loser then goes home, and 
in a few days the missing stock return, 
driven back by this mysterious being. 
If they were tied or hobbled, it is said 
that the Misi'ng^* appears to them and so 
frightens them that they break loose and 
come home. MlsinghUli'ktin has a spe- 
cial ceremony, held in the spring, and 
also participates in the Annual Ceremony 
at the Big House. This Mlsi'ng^^ is also 




called Weope'lakis, to distinguish it from 
another, kept by a different family, which 
was not so important, and about which 
little was known by my informants ex- 
cept that, within their memories, it had 
never appeared at the Annual Ceremony, 
but that it probably had a spring dance 
of its own. There is an indistinct tradi- 
tion, however, that in former times 
several masks were seen at the Annual 
Ceremony, and that half a day was given 
up to them. 

Miniature masks (fig. 3) were often 
worn on the person as health or good-luck 
charms, in former days usually sus- 
pended from a string about the neck, but 
in later times carried in the pocket. The 
two large Unami masks in the Museum 
of the American Indian, Heye Founda- 
tion, are shown in pi. 11 and fig. i. 

Among the Minsi there are consider- 
able differences in belief and in practice, 
their masks resembling those of the 
Iroquois in many particulars. The late 
James Wolf said that " MizinkhUli'kfln*' 
was supposed to live among the rocks 




on a hill, where he was first seen, and 
told the people how to obtain his power. 
The mask owners formed a society, which 

Fio. 3.~Charm tspreaenting Mlsinahaii'kttn- 
(HdEht. i.oin.) 

had a special meeting-house and cere- 
monies, and whose chief function it was 
to expell disease. This will be discussed 
further in another paper. Peter Jones" 




illustrates two Minsi masks in use in 
the first part of the nineteenth century, 
and these are here reproduced (pi. iii). 
The first he calls a "Muncey idol," and 
says that it was "delivered up by Joe 
Nicholas on his Conversion to Christian- 
ity," and that " Me Zeengk is the name of 
this God"; while the second, which he 
names "a Muncey devil idol," "formerly 
belonging to the Logan family," was 
"delivered up on the 26th of Jan. 1842." 
Jones does not refer to these "idols" in 
the text. The second mask illustrated 
seems to have a turtleshell rattle tied 
on its back, the handle projecting down- 
ward. Another mask, found by the 
writer among the Lenape at Grand river, 
Ontario, and apparently of Minsi type, 
is shown in fig. 4. It was collected for 
Mr E. T. Tefft, of New York, but is now 
in the American Museum of Natural 

Some of our best evidence indicating 
the early existence of belief in this 
Mask Being among the Lenape is fur- 
nished by archeology — by the finding of 




Fig. d.— Mask frolD the Canadian Lenapc. B. T. 
Tefft collection, American Museum of Natural History. 
(Heiaht of head. 14 in.) 




Fir., i — Sione head or Mtai'ng*' from Ohio. (Height. 




a number of heads or masks of stone 
(pi. iv) within the boundaries of their 
former domain in New Jersey and the 
vicinity,^® which, when the rarity of such 
objects in the surrounding regions is also 
considered, seems quite significant. Such 
stone heads even mark the trail of the 
Lenape withdrawal westward through 
Pennsylvania,^^ and have even been found 
in Ohio, where they lingered for a time 

(fig. 5). 

The best early description is given by 

Brainerd,^ who, in May 1745, while on 

the Susquehanna above the English 

settlements, saw a masked Indian who 

must have been an impersonator ol 

MJsinghili'ktin. It runs: 

"But of all the sights I saw among them, or 
indeed anywhere else, none appeared so frightful 
... as the appearance of one who was a devout 
and zealous Reformer, or rather, restorer of 
what he supposed was the ancient religion of the 
Indians. He made his appearance in his ponti- 
Jical garb, which was a coat of bear skins, dressed 
with the hair on, and hanging down to his toes; a 
pair of bear skin stockings; and a great wooden 
face painted, the one half black, the other half 




tawny, about the color of an Indian's skin, 
with an extravagant mouth, cut very much 
awry; the face fastened to a bear skin cap, which 
was drawn over his head. He advanced toward 
me with the instrument in his hand, which he 
used for music, in his idolatr6us worship, which 
was a dry tortoise shell with some com in it, and 
the neck of it drawn on to a piece of wood, which 
made a very convenient handle. As he came 
forward, he beat his tune with the rattle, and 
danced with all his might, but he did not suffer 
any part of his body, not so much as his fingers, 
to be seen." 

With the exception of one minor point, 
the "wry mouth," this would be a good 
description of the MXsi'ng^^ outfit used 
until recently by the Lenape in Oklahoma 
(pi. ii). On the following page, Brainerd 
mentions "images" which seem to be the 
MXsi'ng^^ faces carved on the posts of the 
Big House. 

Zeisberger^ also refers to the masks in 
these words: 

"The only idol which the Indiaiis have, and 
which may properly be called an idol, is their 
Wsinkhoalican, that is image. It is an image cut 
in wood, representing a human head in miniature, 
which they always carry about them either on a 





String around their neck or in a bag. They 
often bring oflferings to it. In their houses of 
sacrifice they have a head of this idol as large as 
life put upon a pole in the middle of the room." 

In his Dictionary, Zeisberger gives the 
word for "idol" as misink\ so it seems 
probable that the IT in " Wsinkhoalikan " 
is a misprint for M, 


One of the important manl'towiik of 
the old days was the Corn Goddess, 
known as "Mother Corn" of whom one 
of the Unami legends collected by the 
writer relates that "It was God's will 
that the Corn Spirit abide in the far 
heavenly region in the image of an aged 
woman, with dominion over all vegeta- 
tion." Although little remembrance of 
the details of her worship can now be 
found among the Oklahoma Lenape, she 
is mentioned as a Guardian Spirit; while 
at the Minsi ceremonies at Grand River 
Reserve in Ontario, she was one of the 
twelve benefactors of mankind to whom 
the thanks of the people were offered. 




and Minsi women mentioned * Sister 
Com " in praying for good crops in the 
com fields; while Zeisberger^ says that 
the presiding Mam' to of Indian Corn or 
maize was spoken of as the "wife" of 
the Indian, and was offered bear's flesh. 




Minor Deities 

doll being 

HE masks described in the last 
chapter are merely representa- 
tions of a supernatural being, 
and are not supposed to be the 
dwellings of a spirit or spirits except 
when worn by an impersonator, who is 
said to become imbued with the spirit 
when the mask is donned; nor are they 
usually supposed to possess inherent 
power, except as symbols of MXsinghili'- 
ktin. But the Lenape had also a class of 
images, usually of wood, representing the 
human form, which were supposed to 
possess life, or at least to be the residence 
of spirits, which, so far as can be learned, 
had no separate existence. They were 
supposed to understand what was said 
to them, and to have the power of pro- 





tecting the owner's health, to enjoy 
offerings, resent ill-treatment, and in fact 
seem to fall into the class of true fetishes. 
Usually, but not always, representing the 
female figure, they were kept as a rule by 
women, and were given yearly feasts, at 
which outfits of new clothes were put 
on them. The native name in Unami is 
O^^das; in Minsi, NaniHis, The cere- 
monies and beliefs associated with them 
will be described later, in the chapter on 
minor ceremonies. Most of the early 
writers seem to have overlooked them, 
which is not surprising, since they were 
matters of personal and not of public 
concern, and their rites were held in 
private. John Brainerd, however, men- 
tions an **idol image" '^ which seems to 
be of this class, and a Minsi specimen is 
figured by Peter Jones^ and mentioned 
by him in a footnote. This was after- 
ward procured by the writer from Jones* 
son, and is now in the American Museum 
of Natural History (pi. viii). John 
Brainerd (brother of the better known 
David) made his note of the custom 




about the middle of the eighteenth 
century, while that of Jones dates from 
about a century later. 


Besides the gods hitherto named there 
were many other deities of lesser im- 
portance. The tornado, for instance, was 
one of these beings classed as manVtowuk. 
He is mentioned as a giant in size, walking 
on his hands when in action, his long hair 
entangling and sweeping away forests 
and villages; and sometimes as a winged 
being. When a "cyclone" was seen 
approaching, some would burn tobacco, 
and addressing the roaring monster as 
"Grandfather," would pray that he turn 
aside and leave the village in peace. 
Others, scorning such measures of con- 
ciliation, would burn old moccasins and 
rubbish, advising the destroyer to turn 
aside if he wished to escape the stinging 
smoke; while still others, even less con- 
ciliatory, threatened him with the edge 
of an axe, vowing they would "break a 
wing for him" if he came their way. It 






was commonly said in the tribe that on 
account of these practices the Lenape 
suflfered little from this evil mani'to. 


Another minor mam'to is Snow Boy, a 
being who is supposed to control snow 
and ice, but who is different from "Our 
Grandfather at the North," who merely 
supplies the north wind. Offerings were 
made to Snow Boy to insure a proper 
amount of snow for tracking in the winter 
hunt. Further information concerning 
these last two mam'towuk will be found 
in the paper on Lenape Mythology, now 
in preparation. 


There is a third manVto called Elau'- 
nato, which some Lenape say means 
" Comet," others " Shooting Star." When 
a war is impending, says the legend, this 
being may be seen flying through the air, 
carrying a bunch of human heads. After 
Elau'nato has passed, if one listens he will 
hear a distant rumbling sound, for this 
mani'to knows beforehand where the 




fighting will take place, and drops the 
heads on the spot, and the noise of their 
fall is a roar like thunder. 

EVIL manI'tow<Jk 

Both the Great Horned Serpents, 
monsters living in the rivers and lakes, 
and the Giant Bear were considered evil 
mani'towuk^ the only good derived from 
them being, in the first case, charms 
made of the scales, bone, or horn of the 
monsters, supposed to bring rain; and, 
in the second case, a medicine made from 
the tooth said to have the power of 
healing wounds. Children were accus- 
tomed to hunt in the sand for tracks of the 
Little People, comparable with fairies 
or elves among the whites. 


The concepts regarding the numerous 
animal spirits who were believed to offer 
themselves as guardians for mankind, 
are rather hard to define. Most Indians 
seem to regard their mysterious animal 
helper not as the spirit or soul of any 




particular animal taken as an individual, 
but as a spirit representing the entire 
species as a whole and partaking of the 
nature of the sf)ecies, at the same time 
having human and mani'to attributes. 

Brainerd3« makes some interesting re- 
marks on this subject, which are worth 

"They do not indeed suppose a divine power 
essential to, or inhering in, these creatures; but 
that some invisible beings . . . communicate to 
these animals a greai power; . . . and so make 
these creatures the immediate authors of good 
to certain persons. Whence such a creature 
becomes sacred to the persons to whom he is 
supposed to be the immediate author of good, 
and through him they must worship the invisible 
powers, though to others he is no more than any 
other creature." 

Certain it is, if a Lenape states that his 
blessing or power comes from "the otter," 
he does not mean some particular otter, 
but a spirit otter whose existence is 
independent of the life of any particular 
animal. However, such an animal was 
supposed, like a man, to have a spirit or 
soul of its own. 





When gathering herbs for medicine it 
was customary to offer prayers to certain 
spirits. Some seem to have prayed at 
this time to the four directions, others 
to the presiding genius of the species of 
plants they sought, or to the spirit of 
the individual plant itself. The Minsi 
say that only certain plants were thus 
addressed. The Corn Spirit has already 
been mentioned. 


Certain localities, it is said, were 
thought to be the dwellings of local 
genii, to whom offerings were occasionally 
made, especially such places as displayed 
curious or unusual natural features, while 
even certain stones were said to have an 
animate principle or indwelling spirit. 




Survival of the Soul 


HE doctrine of the survival of 
the soul or spirit after the 
death of the body, forms an 
integral part of Lenape belief. 
The spirit is supposed to leave the 
body at the moment of dissolution, but 
remains in the vicinity eleven days, during 
which time it subsists on food found in 
the houses of the living, if none has been 
placed at the grave. Some say that the 
actual food is not consumed but that the 
ghost extracts some essence or nourishmen t 
from it. 


On the twelfth day the spirit leaves the 
earth and makes its way to the twelfth or 
highest heaven, the home of the Creator, 




where it lives indefinitely in a veritable 
"Happy Hunting Ground,** a beautiful 
country where life goes on much as it 
does on earth, except that pain, sickness, 
and sorrow are unknown, and distasteful 
work and worry have no place; where 
children shall meet their parents who 
have gone before, and parents their 
children; where everything always looks 
new and bright. There is no sun in the 
Land of Spirits, but a brighter light 
which the Creator has provided. All 
people who die here, be they young or 
old, will look the same age there, and the 
blind, cripples, — anyone who has been 
maimed or injured, — will be perfect and 
as good as any there. This is because the 
flesh only was injured, not the spirit. 

This paradise, however, is only for the 
good, for those who have been kind to 
their fellows and have done their duty 
by their people. Little is said of those 
who have done evil in this world, except 
that they are excluded from the happy 
Land of Spirits. Some Unami say that 
the blood in a dead body draws up into 




globular form and floats about in the air 
as a luminous ball, but this is not the 
true spirit. 

The Minsi seem to have retained a 
more archaic belief, for they say that the 
Land of Spirits lies to the southwest, in 
a country of good hunting. Here they 
say, the wigwams of the spirits are always 
neat and clean, and happiness prevails. 
But between our world and the spirit 
country flows a "river which the spirit 
must cross on a slender foot-log or in a 


Ghosts do not seem always to have 
left the earth at the expiration of the 
twelve days, or else they have the power of 
returning, for the Lenape claim that boys, 
dreaming for power, have sometimes been 
pitied and given some blessing by the 
ghosts, who remained their guardian 
spirits through life. Such people were 
considered to have the power of talking 
with the departed and sometimes made 
a practice of it, but mediumship was by 




no means confined to them. Among the 
Minsi formerly they were accustomed to 
hold meetings in the burial grounds at 
certain times, when some medium, it 
is said, would communicate with the 

The late James Wolf, one of the prin- 
cipal Minsi informants, was said to have 
this power. One time a man was 
drowned in the Thames river near 
Munceytown in Ontario, and the body 
could not be located. Wolf, it is said, 
walked up and down the river-banks, 
with a companion, talking to the water. 
At last a strange sound was heard, and 
Wolf stopped. **That was the dead 
man's spirit,** he said; "the body lies 
right over in that hole." Surely enough, 
when they procured a boat, they found 
the body in the hole, wedged beneath a 
sunken log. 

Certain regular ceremonies were held 
by both the Unami and the Minsi in 
honor of the dead, and will be discussed 
in a later paper. 






Penn. — In William Penn's letter,'^ 
dated August i6, 1683, ^s the first men- 
tion of any details of Lenape beliefs re- 
garding the soul that has been found. 
He says: 

" They say there is a King that made them, who 
dwells in a glorious Country to the Southward of 
them, and that the Souls of the Good shall go 
thither, where they shall live again/' 

Brainerd. — The same Indian whom 
Brainerd saw in 1745 dressed in a bear- 
skin costume and with a wooden mask, 
told him** that — 

"departed souls all went southward, and that the 
difference between good and bad was this: that 
the former were admitted into a beautiful town 
with spiritual walls, and that the latter would for- 
ever hover around these walls, in vain attempts 
to get in." 

Later,^* Brainerd speaks of the Spirit 
Land of the Lenape to the southward as 
being " an unknown and curious place " 
in which the shadows of the dead "will 
enjoy some kind of happiness, such as 
hunting, feasting, dancing, and the like." 



One of his Indian informants defined the 
kind of "bad folks'* who would be un- 
happy in the hereafter as ** those who lie, 
steal, quarrel with their neighbors, are 
unkind to their friends, and especially to 
aged parents, and, in a word, such as are 
a plague to mankind." These would be 
excluded from the ** Happy Hunting 
Ground," not so much as a punishment 
to themselves, as to keep them from 
rendering unhappy the spirits of the good 
inhabiting the "beautiful town." 

Zeisberger. — About 1748, according to 
Zeisberger,^ a number of preachers ap- 
peared among the Indians, who claimed 
to have traveled in Heaven and con- 
versed with God. Some exhibited charts 
of deerskin upon which were drawn maps 
of the Land of Spirits and figures repre- 
senting other subjects used in their 
preaching. Some of their ideas concern- 
ing the Son of God, the Devil, and Hell, 
are evidently derived from the whites; 
others seem more aboriginal in character, 
such as purification by emetics, twelve 
different kinds being used. He wrote: 




"Other teachers pretended that stripes yrere 
the most effectual means to purge away sin. 
They advised their hearers to suffer themselves 
to be beaten with twelve different sticks from 
the soles of their feet to their necks, that their 
sins might pass from them through their throats. 
They preached a system of morals, very severe 
for the savages, insisting that the Indians abstain 
from fornication, adultery, murder, theft, and 
practise virtuous living as the condition to their 
attaining after death the place of good spirits, 
which they call Tschipeghacki, the 'land of 
spirits,' where the life is happy, and deer, bear 
and all manner of game are abtmdant and the 
water is like crystal. There nought was to be 
heard save singing, dancing and merry making. 
. . . The passage thither is the Milky Way. . . . 
Whoever reaches that place will find a city of 
beautiful houses and clean streets. Entering a 
house he will see no one, but have good things to 
eat placed before him, a fire made and a bed 
prepared — all of which is done by spirits invisible 
to him. Others assert that such an one will see 
the women coming with baskets on their backs 
full of strawberries and bilberries, large as apples, 
and will observe the inhabitants daily appear in 
fine raiment and live a life of rejoicing. — The bad 
Indians . . . will not reach the place, Tschipeg- 
hacki, but must remain some distance away, 
able to see those within dwelling happily, but 
not able to enter. They would receive nothing 




but poisonous wood and poisonous roots to eat, 
holding them ever near the brink of a bitter 
death, but not suflering them to die/' 

Zeisberger usually specifies when his 
information is derived from tribes other 
than the Lenape, from whom most of his 
data were procured ; so it is probable that 
the following quotation applies to them, 
although in part somewhat at variance 
with our other knowledge. He says:^ 

"They believe in the immortality of the soul. 
Some liken themselves to corn which, when 
thrown out and buried in the soil, comes up and 
grows. Some believe their souls to be in the sun, 
and only their bodies here. Others say that when 
they die their souls will go to God, and suppose 
that when they have been some time with God 
they will be at liberty to return to the world 
and be bom again. Hence many believe . . . 
that they may have been in the world before. 

" They believe also in the transmigration of the 
soul. Wandering spirits and ghosts, they claim, 
sometimes throw something into a public path 
and whoever goes over it is bewitched and 
becomes lame or ill." 

Such was the Lenape belief with regard 
to the powers that control the world, 
and such were his notions concerning the 




souls of men. The main channel of com- 
munication between this great super- 
natural realm and mankind was, to the 
Lenape as to so many other tribes of 
Indians, the dream or vision, experienced 
either while fasting or in natural sleep. 
This subject will be considered in the next 


Visions and Guardian Spirits 

HE most vital and intimate 
phase of Lenape religion is the 
belief in dreams and visions, 
and in the existence of per- 
sonal guardian spirits or supernatural 
helpers — concepts of wide distribution 
among the North American tribes, but 
rarely, perhaps, so vivid or well -developed 
as we find them here. The vision was the 
point of contact, the channel of com- 
munication> in Lenape belief, between 
the great and marvelous supernatural 
world and the sphere of everyday human 
life. In a vision the youth first found his 
guardian spirit, to whom he would always 
appeal, as hi^ own special friend in the 
supernatural hierarchy, for aid and com- 
fort in time of trouble, and for the revela- 
tion of coming events. He felt that this 
being took a close personal interest in his 





affairs, while the greater gods, including 
the Great Spirit himself, were so remote 
and so occupied with controlling more 
important things that they might not 
notice or concern themselves with the 
affairs of one individual man. Therefore 
the bulk of his prayers and offerings 
went to his guardian spirit. If a Lenape 
won great success on a war expedition 
or a hunting trip, he was sure the spirit 
had helped him; if unlucky, he believed 
that for some reason his guardian had 
become estranged, or had been over- 
powered by superior and malevolent 
forces. A man might become a sorcerer 
or a shaman at the behest of his guardian 
spirit, given in a dream or- vision, or 
change his mode of life in other ways. 
Not every Lenape was blessed with such 
a guardian; yet many were so favored, 
usually in their boyhood days. To be 
eligible for supernatural favor, the youth 
had to pi'lsu^y or pure, which means 
that not only must he be chaste, but 
that he must have kept strictly all the 
taboos against eating food prepared by 




women in their periodic condition, etc. 
Old Lenape say that, as the children of 
the tribe are reared nowadays in the 
same way as the whites, they can no 
longer be pi'lsu^f and the Powers will 
speak to them no more. This is a sad 
matter, for it means the loss of their 
principal ancient ceremonies, at which 
only those blessed with a vision can take 
active part. The old people feel it 
keenly that there will be no one left to 
conduct the rites when the last of their 
generation has been laid away. 


Parents were especially anxious, of 
course, that their sons should have super- 
natural aid, hence, when a boy reached 
the age of about twelve years, they would 
frequently pretend to abuse him, and 
would drive him, fasting, out into the 
forest to shift as best he might, in the 
hope that some mani'to would take pity 
on the suffering child and grant him 
some power or blessing that would be his 
dependence through life. 




Sometimes a man who had several sons 
would take them out into the forest and 
build them a rude little tent, and here 
they would remain for days at a time. 
During the day the boys were pot per- 
mitted to eat, but just before sunrise 
every morning each was given a medicine 
to make him vomit, after which a tiny 
piece of meat was given him, about the 
size of a man's little finger. Occasionally 
the boys became able to fast in this way 
for twelve days, at the end of which time, 
the Lenape say, some had received such 
power that they were able to rise into the 
air, or go down into the ground, or 
prophesy events a year or two ahead, 
with the magic aid of the supernatural 
being that had taken pity on them. 


It sometimes happened also that people 
received visions of power in natural sleep 
without fasting, or even when wide 
awake, while feeling melancholy and 
heartsick over the death of a loved one, 
or suffering other misfortune or trouble. 




As they sat brooding, some mani'to might 
address himself to them, and give them 
advice and comfort, or endow them with 
some kind of power. Women occa- 
sionally had visions of this kind. 


Whatever the precise circumstances of 
its appearance, the guardian spirit in 
many instances was said to show itself 
first in human form, and it was only 
when it turned to leave that its real 
shaf)e (of an animal, for instance) was 
noticed by the recipient of its blessing. 
Sometimes the interview was quite long 
and the directions given by the mani'to 
(for ceremonies, etc.) quite explicit; on 
other occasions they were very vague and 
cryptic. Frequently, according to the 
stories told, some tangible object, called 
by the Unami the opi'na, or blessing, 
wras handed by the mani'to to the re- 
cipient of his favor, who usually swal- 
Icwed it. Some recipients were called 
on, however, to make. and keep some 
symbol of their protector, which was 





usually worn on the person in the form 
of a charm. 

Favored Individuals. — Persons fa- 
vored with a guardian spirit usually 
became prominent among their people 
and were held in high esteem. They 
composed rythmic chants referring to 
their visions for use at the Annual Cere- 
mony (which will be discussed in the 
next chapter), and dance songs to ac- 
company them. Rarely were the words 
of either chants or songs at all definite: 
as a rule they merely mentioned attri- 
butes of the singer's guardian, or inci- 
dents of their first meeting, without stat- 
ing outright what the guardian spirit was, 
or telling a consecutive story of the vision. 

Most Lenape who have had such 
visions can not be induced to tell the 
details; but the following examples of 
such experiences, imperfect in many 
points, were finally obtained. Incom- 
plete though they are, they will give some 
idea of this class of beliefs and in this 
way may prove of value. 




Unami Examples. — One old man 
named Pokite'hemun ("Breaker**), 
known to the whites in Oklahoma as 
George Wilson, saw in his vision what 
seemed to be a man who held out to 
him a white round object like a boy's 
marble, then tossed it to him. Pokite'- 
hemun caught it and swallowed it. 
Then as it turned to go, the being cried 
*' Kwank! kwank! kwank! The ducks 
have a praying meeting in the fall of the 
year!'* As it turned, Pokite'hemun no- 
ticed that it was really a duck instead of 
a man, and was colored half black and 
half white.39 

Pokite'hemun could pound on his chest 
at any time and apparently cough up a 
round marble-like object, which he would 
show in his hand and then appear to 
swallow again. This he claimed was the 
opi'na given by his guardian spirit. 

He seemed to regard the words of the 
duck spirit as an admonition to do all 
he could to keep up the tribal Annual 
Ceremony, which was held in the fall; 
while the "blessing" gave him good 




fortune. The chant he composed for use 
at this ceremony is as follows: 

Wa^jegHk toxweyu 
Lenape, eli nanH^ 
Telowa^, lowa^ 
Nu^ni, endageko 
Lowaet, Iowa nii^ni. 

The interpreter's translation, which is a 
somewhat free one, follows: 

"When he opened his hand 
Something came out of the center 
That's his blessing 
(For?) oi^r kinfolks, the 

Lenape; because that 

Is what he said, he did say 

This, when 

He spoke, he said this." 

Then ^ame the dance song: 

He-e-e-e nehani 


Nehani lama^ne 

Kwe^nanowagHn, nowagHn 







This, according to the interpreter, means 
simply, when stripped of its superfluous 
syllables, " We own a temple — his blessing 
— our kinfolks." 

Another man saw in his boyhood vision 
the Mrsingh^li'kOn, or Living Solid Face, 
riding on a deer. I was unable to get the 
details of their meeting, or the chant, 
but this is the dance song: 



Xingdlo'pai awhe'wani 




This, the interpreter said, means 
"Riding it, riding it, big buck deer, this 
one, Mlsinghili'kOn!" Seldom do the 
songs or chants refer so definitely to the 
protector as does this. 

A third Lenape, when a boy, was sent 
out to the corn-field to drive away the 
crows. As he stood by the field he saw 
them flying around to light on a tree 
near by. Suddenly someone spoke to 
him, and among the things said (which 




were not revealed to me) were the words 
"I like this Lenape food,'* referring to 
the corn. The boy thought a man was 
addressing him, until the person suddenly 
flew away in the form of a crow, crying 
'• Ha! Ha! Ha!'' I failed to get the Indian 
words for the song, and my informant did 
not remember the chant, but the transla- 
tion of the song was given as follows: 

"I like this Lenape food:" 
I never knew a crow said that 
Till the crow was cawing 
"Ha! Ha! Ha!" 

A fourth had seen some kind of an 
animal in his vision, but never told any 
of his tribesmen what it was. His song, 
as now remembered, was translated thus: 

Come, follow me, 

I am going 

Out into the country. 

A fifth had *' Mother Corn'* (the Corn 
Spirit) for a guardian, but only part of his 
song is remembered. 

"All my children 
Are glad when I come out!" 



Some people were helped by the spirits 
of the dead in the same way that others 
received aid from animal or other nature 

"Old man** Secondine, now dead, a 
well known Oklahoma Lenape, was one 
of these. When a boy his parents drove 
him out in the woods, as was the custom, 
in the hope that he might receive a super- 
natural helper. After wandering about 
for a time, he took refuge in a large 
hollow tree, and made that his camping 
place. Before long he was visited by 
apparitions of persons he knew to be 
dead, who took pity on his starving condi- 
tion, and brought him food which they 
had taken at night from the houses of the 
living, this being the way that dis- 
embodied spirits are supposed to get 
nourishment, when visiting the scenes of 
their earthly life. In the meantime his 
parents were unable to find him, and 
searched for him without avail until the 
ghosts finally revealed to them his camp- 
ing place, and then he was brought safely 
home. Ever afterward he claimed the 




ghosts as his guardians, and like others 
blessed with this kind of helpers, was 
said to hold some kind of communication 
with the departed. 

MiNsi Examples. — The late James 
Wolf, my principal Minsi informant, was 
said to possess this power, as was stated 
in the preceding chapter. He had, more- 
over, received another vision when a boy, 
but had made little, if any, use of it, 
because of his profession of Christianity. 
One time in his boyhood days, he told 
me, he thought or dreamed (he was not 
asleep at the time) that there was no 
water in the river, and that he went 
down into its bed and found only one 
little hole containing water. In this 
was a creature resembling a catfish, yet 
somewhat different, and near it was an 
ordinary crayfish, while on the surface 
of the water walked a number of little 
flies. The boy thinking what he had 
seen was real, ran home in haste to tell 
his father. The father walked down with 
him to see, but stopped on the bank where 




the edge of the water had been, while the 
boy ran on down to his pool. The 
river-bed seemed dry to him, but his 
father would not come, saying that the 
river was full of water. The boy then 
came out and they started for home, but 
before they were out of sight, the lad 
looked back. To his surprise, the river 
was full as usual. 

The father, who was Flying Wolf, a noted 
Minsi warrior, had been favored himself, 
when a boy, with a rather unusual sort of 
vision, which James Wolf related to me, as 
nearly as possible the way the old man 
used to tell it at the Annual Ceremony. 

"When I was a boy, I was once fast 
asleep on a hill near a little creek. 
Someone said, 'Wake up! Let us go 
where our friends are!' So I got up and 
followed him across the little creek and 
up a hill, where I saw six men sitting on 
a log. Then I went up and shook hands 
with them all. After they had shaken 
hands with me they all danced around in 
a ring." At this point he used to sing 
one verse of his dance song — 






Whni wango^towak kewiha 
All greet one another 
Yoki lenape vHtci. 
Now Lenape at the same time 


**They told me, *We will go to see our 
friends/ so I went with them. Every 
now and then they stopped and danced 
around as they had, done before. After 
a while one of them told me to look 
toward the south, and there I saw a 
black cloud in which the lightning flashed. 
'Would you like to go there?* they asked 
me. I answered * No.' Then one asked 
if I wanted to go that way, pointing to the 
northeast, where the sky was blue and 
bright, to which I answered that I would 
rather go in that direction toward the 
clear sky. A little farther on they said: 
'We will now leave you. Watch us as 
we go.' They went to the east a little 
way, and then I saw them trotting. 
They were wolyes, and I had thought all 
the while that they were human beings." 

Verses of the dance song were sung at 
intervals during this speech. From an- 
alogy with other visions, such as are 




recorded above, one would think that 
the six wolf-men must have become Fly- 
ing Wolf's protectors, but instead, it was 
a Thunder Being that became his prin- 
cipal guardian, whose participation in the 
vision is merely inferred from the mention 
in the speech of the black cloud and the 
lightning. Evidently this Thunder Be- 
ing was not offended when Flying Wolf 
told his guides that he would rather go 
toward the clear sky than toward the 
black cloud. 

The Minsi say that when Flying Wolf 
recited his vision in the Big House cere- 
monies, he moved everyone, some even to 
tears. After he had finished, they say, a 
thunder-shower would almost always rise. 
He would become strangely excited when 
the dark clouds began to bank up on the 
horizon and spread themselves over the 


land. Stripping himself to the breech- 
cloth, he was ready to go out when the 
storm broke, for he would never stay 
beneath a roof at such a time. He 
loved to expose his body to the driving 
gusts of wind and rain; the appalling 





roar was music to his ears; while the 
lighting, to the eyes of the frightened 
onlookers, seeuied to play about his very 
body. He used to say that if he stayed 
indoors the lightning display would be 
so terrible that the others in the house 
could not endure it. No wonder they 
used to say of him, '' Piles' waL pewa'la- 
tciW' "He is in league with the Thun- 
ders!" , or better, perhaps, "The Thun- 
ders will protect him! " 

Within the memory of Minsi now living 
in Canada there were two members of the 
tribe who claimed the Sun spirit, Ki'zho 
(or Ki'zhox) as their protector. One of 
these was known as "Old man" Half- 
moon, the other as "Muncey John" 
Henry. Halfmoon, it is said, when he 
wished to appear as a warrior, would 
sometimes hold his bare hands up toward 
the flaming face of his guardian, then 
rub the palms down his cheeks. When he 
removed his hands, it was seen that his 
face, clean before, was now painted in bril- 
liant colors! "Surely," the people cried, 
"this man is in league with the Sun!" 




That the idea of a tangible 'blessing' 
is found among the Minsi, as well as 
among the Unami, is shown in certain 
of their traditions. 

Historical References. — Brainerd, 
— Brainerd seems to have been about the 
first author to recognize in any degree 
the importance of the dream or vision in 
Lenape religious belief. He says:*® 

"They give much heed to dreams, because they 
suppose that these invisible powers give them 
directions at such times about certain affairs, 
and sometimes inform them what animal they 
would choose to be worshipped in." 

Other remarks by Brainerd on the same 
general topic were quoted in the preceding 

Zeisherger, — Zeisberger*^ also devotes a 
paragraph to it, in which he says: 

"Almost all animals and the elements are 
looked upon as spirits, one exceeding the other in 
dignity and power. There is scarcely an Indian 
who does not believe that one or more of these 
spirits has not been particularly given him to 
assist him and make him prosper. This, they 
claim, has been made known to them in a dream, 
even as their religious belief and witchcraft has 




been made known to them in a dream. One 
has, in a dream, received a serpent or a buffalo, 
another the sun or the moon, another an owl or 
some other bird, another a fish, some even 
ridiculously insignificant creatures such as ants. 
Thes6 are considered their spirits or Manitios. 
If an Indian has no Manitto to be his friend he 
considers himself forsaken, has nothing on which 
he may lean, has no hope of any assistance and is 
small in his own eyes. On the other hand those 
who have been thus favored possess a high and 
proud spirit." 

Loskiel. — Loskiel's account^ seems 
largely derived from the above. He re- 
marks : 

"The maniUos are also considered as tutelar 
spirits. Every Indian has one or more, which 
he conceives to be peculiarly given to assist him 
and make him prosper. One has in a dream 
received the sun as his tutelar spirit, another the 
moon; a third, an owl; a fourth, a buffaloe; 
and so forth. An Indian is dispirited, and con- 
siders himself as forsaken by God, till he has 
received a tutelar spirit in a dream; But those 
who have been thus favored, are full of courage, 
and proud of their powerful ally." 

Heckewelder. — Heckewelder^ devotes a 
whole chapter to the subject, under the 
head of "Initiation of Boys,** to which 




the reader is referred, as it is all of inter- 
est, but can not be reproduced here. I 
will merely quote portions of one para- 
graph, which will serve to show that this 
author found approximately similar ideas 
as had his predecessors, concepts which 
still exist among the Lenape. 

"When a boy is to be thus iniliaied, he is put 
under an alternate course of physic and fasting 
. . . so that he sees, or fancies that he sees 
visions, and has extraordinary dreams. Then 
he has interviews with the Manitto or with 
spirits, who inform him of what he was before he 
was born, and what he will be after his death. 
His fate in this life is laid entirely open before 
him, the spirit tells him what is to be his future 
employment, whether he will be a valiant warrior, 
a mighty hunter, a doctor, a conjuror or a 

Later in the chapter Heckewelder men- 
tions the fact that persons favored with 
such dreams considered themselves under 
the protection of the "celestial powers," 
and mentions the "strength, the power, 
and the courage" conveyed to them, 
but lays more stress on the prophetic 
side of these visions than on the actual 





aid rendered, according to Lenape belief, 
by the supernatural guardians. 

Adams. — From Hecke welder's time to 
the present, I know of but one writer, 
besides myself, who describes, from his 
own observation, the Lenape belief in 
visions and guardian spirits. This is 
R. C. Adams,** himself of Delaware 
blood, whose notes may be found in the 
volume on Indians of the United States 
Census Report for 1890 (p. 298 et seq.). 
He says: 

"It is believed by the DelaWares that every 
one has a guardian spirit which comes in the 
form of some bird, animal, or other thing, at 
times in dreams, and tells them what to do and 
what will happen. The guardian spirit is sent 
from the Great Spirit." 

Having n6w considered the very foun- 
dation of Lenape religion, we may turn 
with better understanding, to their great 
Annual Ceremony. 



Unami Annual Ceremony 

the leader 

HE great Annual Ceremony of 
the Lenape now in Oklahoma 
was and is held when the 
leaves turn yellow in the fall 
of the year, usually, according to the 
"pale face'* reckoning, some time be- 
tween the tenth and twentieth of October. 
It is not exactly a tribal affair, although 
the whole tribe participates, but must be 
undertaken by some certain individual 
of the proper qualifications who takes the 
responsibility of "bringing in" the meet- 
ing and acting as a leader. 

The phratryto which this leader belongs 
determines the exact form of the ceremonies 
to be held; for each totemic group has a 
ritual of its own, that of the Wolf, which is 






here related, differing in some particulars 
from the ceremonies as practised by the 
Turtle or Turkey people. In former times, 
it is said, when one phratry had finished its 
twelve days of ceremonies, another would 
enact theirs, followed by the third; but at 
present qualified leaders are so few that it 
seldom if ever happens that more than one 
of them feels able to accept such exacting 
duties in any one year. 

* This leader it is who sends a messenger 
forth to notify the people what day the 
ceremonies are to commence and to in- 
vite them all to attend. 

Several days before the date the wagons 
begin to roll in and a white village of 
tents springs up about the gray walls of 
the old Big House, temple, or xi'ngwikan 
(pi. v), standing on the banks of Little 
Caney river, north of Dewey in northern 
Oklahoma, far from any human habita- 

Built of rough logs, the Big House is 
now provided with a roof of hand-split 
shingles pierced by two great smoke- 
holes, as shown in the frontispiece and in 




pi. V, VI. but in former days 
the roof was of bark. The 
length is about 40 ft. from 
east to west, with a height at 
the eaves of about 6 ft., at 
the ridge 14 ft., and a width 
of 24.5 ft. Aside from cer- 
tain ingenuities of construc- 
tion which can not be dis- 
cussed here, its chief interest 
lies in the two large carvings 
of the human face, one lacing 
east (fig. 6) and one west, 
which adorn the great cen- 
tral post supporting the ridge- 
pole. Similar carvings, but 
smaller, may be seen upon 
each of the six posts which 
support the logs forming the 
sides (fig. 7). and still smaller 
ones, one upon each of the 
four door-posts. All twelve 
faces are* painted, the right 
side of each red, the left black. c™t™ip^< 
The building is used only for Siai ril^'. 
the Annual Ceremony. carvedfartl 





The messenger sent to assemble the 
people is one of three male attendants 
chosen by the leader, and these three men 
appoint three women to serve also. To 
these six attendants, known as a'ckas, 

Fic. T— SHe PWta of Ceremonial House. showlnK 

falls all the laborious work of the meeting. 
Although the duties are memal, it is 
con^dered quite an honor to b« selected 
as a'ckas. The attendants camp on the 
north and south sides of the little open 




square just east of the Big House (pi. vii), 
an area where no one is allowed to pitch 
a tent. 

Other officers selected for the meeting 
are a speaker (usually at the time of the 
writer's visit, Chief Charley Elkhair), 
two singers, called Tale'gunHkj '* Cranes,*' 
whose duty it is to beat the dry deerskin 
drum and sing the necessary songs, and a 
chief hunter who is supposed to provide 
venison for the feast. 


Arrived at the Big House, the at- 
tendants begin at once to prepare the 
building for use after its year of idleness. 
The first act of the men is to make mortar 
of mud, in the old style, and stop the 
cracks between the logs of the house. 
Then they cut two forked saplings, and 
set them in the ground about ten feet 
apart, some distance in front of the Big 
House (see pi. vii); upon these is laid a 
pole, running east and west, to support 
the twenty-gallon kettle used in preparing 
hominy for the feast. After this they 




gather about a cord of wood for the fires 
inside the Big House and the cooking fire 
outside. Then the first night, a fire 
pure and undefiled by the white man 

Fig. 8. — Ceremonial fire-drill used at the Annual 
Ceremony. (Length of shaft, 29-5 in*) 

and his matches, is made with a fire-drill 
(fig. 8). This is operated oYi the principal 
of a pump-drill, like the ceremonial fire- 
drills of the Iroquois. This fire, and 



this only, may be used in the temple, 
and no one is permitted to take it outside 
for any purpose. 


Two of the attendants, a man and a 
woman, then build the two fires in the 
temple, so that there may be plenty of 
light, and sweep the floor with turkey- 
wings for brushes. The men attendants 
take turns so that one of them, at least, 
is always on guard outside the building. 
When the temple is clean, the fires are 
burning bright, and the a'ckas have 
called the people in and all are assembled, 
the chief arises and delivers a speech. 

chief's SPEECH 

First he states the rules of the meeting, 
then he speaks along some such line as 
the following, which was dictated by 
Chief Elkhair, who frequently made these 

"We are thankful that so many of us 
are alive to meet together here once 
more, and that we are ready to hold our 




ceremonies in good faith. Now we shall 
meet here twelve nights in succession to 
pray to Gicel^mCi^'kaong, who has di- 
rected us to worship in this way. And 
these twelve Misi'ng"^^ faces [carved on 
the posts of the house] are here to watch 
and to carry our prayers to Gicel^mCi '- 
kaong in the highest heaven. The rea- 
son why we dance at this time is to 
raise our prayers to him. Our attendants 
here, three women and three men, have 
the task of keeping everything about our 
Temple in good order, and of trying to 
keep peace, if there is trouble. They 
must haul wood and build fires, cook 
and sweep out the Big House. 

"When they sweep, they must sweep 
both sides of the fire twelve times, which 
sweeps a road to Heaven, just as they say 
that it takes twelve years to reach it. 
Women in their menses must not enter 
this house. 

"When we come into this house of ours 
we are glad, and thankful that we are 
well, and for everything that makes us 
feel good which the Creator has placed 




here for our use. We come here to pray 
Him to have mercy on us for the year to 
come and to give us everything to make 
us happy; may we have good crops, and 
no dangerous storms, floods nor earth- 
quakes. We all realize what He has put 
before us all through life, and that He 
has given us a way to pray to Him and 
thank Him. We are thankful to the 
East because everyone feels good in the 
morning when they awake, and see the 
bright light coming from the East, and 
when the Sun goes down in the West we 
feel good and glad we are well; then we 
are thankful to the West. And we are 
thankful to the North, because when the 
cold winds come we are glad to have 
lived to see the leaves fall again; and to 
the South, for when the south wind 
blows and everything is coming up in the 
spring, we are glad to live to see the grass 
growing and everything green again. We 
thank the Thunders, for they are the 
mant'towuk that bring the rain, which 
the Creator has given them power to 
rule over. And we thank our mother, the 




Earth, whom we claim as mother because 
the E^rth carries us and everything we 
need. When we eat and drink and look 
around, we know it is Giceldmd^'kaong 
that makes us feel good that way. He 
gives us the purest thoughts that can 
be had. We should pray to Him every 

"Man has a spirit, and the body seems 
to be a coat for that spirit. That is 
why p)eople should take care of their 
spirits, so as to reach Heaven and be 
admitted to the Creator's dwelling. We 
are given some length of time to live 
on earth, and then our spirits must go. 
When anyone's time comes to leave this 
earth, he should go to GicelCmd^'kaong, 
feeling good on the way. We all ought 
to pray to Him, to prepare ourselves for 
days to come so that we can be with Him 
after leaving the earth. 

"Wc must all put our thoughts to this 
meeting, so that Gicel^mO^'kaong will 
look upon us and grant what we ask. 
You all come here to pray; you have a 
way to reach Him all through life. Do 




not think of evil; strive always to think 
of the good which He has given us. 

**When we reach that place, we shall 
not have to do anything or worry about 
anything, only live a happy life. We 
know there are many of our fathers who 
have left this earth and are now in this 
happy place in the Land of Spirits. 
When we arrive we shall see our fathers, 
mothers, children, and sisters there. And 
when we have prepared ourselves so that 
we can go to where our parents and 
children are, we feel happy. 

** Everything looks more beautiful 
there than here, everything looks new, 
and the waters and fruits and everything 
are lovely. 

" No sun shines there, but a light much 
brighter than the sun, the Creator makes 
it brighter by his power. All people 
who die here, young or old, will be of the 
same age there; and those who are in- 
jured, crippled, or made blind will look 
as good as the rest of them. It is 
nothing but the flesh that is injured: 
the spirit is as good as ever. That is the 





reason that people are told to help always 
the cripples or the blind. Whatever you 
do for them will surely bring its reward. 
Whatever you do for anybody will bring 
you credit hereafter. Whenever we think 
the thoughts that Gicel^md^'kaong has 
given us, it will do us good. 

"This is all I can think of to say along 
this line. Now we will pass the Turtle 
around, and all that feel like worshiping 
may take it. and perform their ceremonies." 

Some nights the speaker says more, 
sometimes less, just as he feels, but he 
always tries to tell it as he heard it from 
the old people who came before him. 


Now, as was stated, these meetings are 
** brought in" by individuals; that is a 
certain person, usually a man, undertakes 
to arrange for the meeting and to lead 
the ceremonies. This person must be 
one of those gifted by a vision or dream of 
power in their youth, and hence, accord- 
ing to Lenape belief, one in communica- 
tion with the supernatural world. 




When the people file into the Big House, 

the Tew that still have them dressed in 

their best Indian costumes carefully pre- 

served for such occasions (pi. i), the 

members of this leader's clan always take 

their seats on the north side, the other 

Fig. o.-Rfltlle of laiid-tortoi« shell, used bycele- 

brants at the Annual Cficmony. (LcDgth, 41 In.) 

two clans in the west end and the south 

side. Men and women, however, do 

not mingle, but sit separately in the 

space allotted to their common clan. 

The diagram (pi. vii) shows the seating 

of the clans when the ceremony is 





"brought in" by 
a member of the 
Wolf division. 

After the chiefs 
speech, the leader 
arises from his 
place just north 
of the central 
post, and, rapidly 
shaking a rattle 
{taxo'xi cowuni'- 
gUn) made of a 
box-tortoise shell 
(fig. 9), recites his 
vision in a high 
monotone, word 
by word. After 
he utters each 
word, he pauses 
an instant to give 
the singers sitting 
at the rolled dry 

Flo. 10— Drum mad« 
of dried deerBkin used 
at the Annual Cere- 
mony. (Length 38.a 


*U!| ^»X«ud 

























































































deerskin called powtini'giln which serves 
as a drum (fig. lo), ample time to repeat 
the same word in the same tone, which 
produces an extraordinary effect. When 
he finishes, the drummers beat rapidly 
on the dry hide, repeating *'Ho-o-o!'' a 
number of times. 

Then the celebrant repeats a verse of 
his song in the same way, and the 
drummers, having learned the words, 
sing them to a dance tune, beating the 
drum in slower time. After dancing 
awhile, the celebrator whoops, and they 
stop; then another similar verse, if not 
the same, is recited and then sung, 

When the leader dances, he circles 
about the two fires contra-clockwise, and 
those who wish may join in the dance and 
follow him (pi. vi). 

His dance finished, the leader passes 
the turtleshell to the next man who has 
been blessed with a vision. This one 
has the privilege of singing his vision if 
he wishes; if not, it is handed to the 
next "dreamer." After a celebrant has 
taken his seat, it is customary for those 




who desire it to smoke until the next 
man is ready to commence. At this 
time also it is considered proper for the 
people to enter or leave the Big House, 
which is not permitted while the actual 
ceremony is in progress. When the 
turtle rattle has thus made the round of 
the building and gets back to its starting 
point, the meeting is brought to a close. 
This is usually along toward morning, 
the exact time of course being dependent 
on the number who have sung their 
visions, and on the length of the inter- 


Now, when the man who started the 
ceremonies begins to dance, that is a 
signal for two of the women a'ckasy or 
attendants, to go out and pound corn for 
hominy or meal, and two of their men 
colleagues cook it in the kettle hanging 
on the pole, so that it is ready when the 
turtle has made its rounds and the meet- 
ing is about to close. Then the repast 
of hominy or corn mush called sd'pan is 




distributed, and the speaker says, "We 
will now pray twelve times," so twelve 
times they cry '*Ho-o-o!'' as a prayer. 
Then they feast, using musselshells from 
the river as spoons, and finally the speaker 
dismisses them with the words, "This is 
all for tonight; tomorrow night we will 
meet again." 


When the next night arrives, approxi- 
mately the same performance is repeated ; 
and the same the next, with little of 
interest occurring during the day; but 
on the fourth morning, the leader who 
has selected a man for chief hunter, 
gives him a yard of wampum as pay. 
This master of the hunt then selects as 
many assistants as he wants, and he and 
his crew all gather in the Big House, 
where they are served about noon with a 
feast prepared for the occasion by the 
women of the camp, and the attendants 
tie sacks of the food to the hunters* 

When they have finished eating, they 







arrange themselves in a row, each hunter 
standing on his left foot and barely 
touching the ground with the toes of his 
right, an action whose meaning I have 
not yet been able to determine. 

Then the speaker rises and talks to 
them, and the Mlsi'ng^* who has been 
seen about the camp from time to time, 
is in the Big House listening to his 
words. "When you hunt," says the 
speaker, ** think of nothing but luck to 
kill deer." As he speaks he goes to the 
west fire and throws into it, six times, an 
offering of native tobacco; then to the 
east fire, where he sacrifices six more 
pinches of the sacred herb — twelve in all. 
While sacrificing tobacco, he prays to the 
Mlsi'ng^* to drive the deer up, so that 
the hunters can kill them. As he drops 
the last tobacco into the flames, he says, 
"If you kill a deer right away, bring it 
in tonight; if not, bring in all you kill 
day after tomorrow." 

W hat tobacco is left is given to the chief 
hunter with the words, "When you camp 
tonight, burn this and ask MisinghSlli'kiin 




to let you kill deer." The reader will 
remember that MXsinghili'kfln, in whose 
image the Mlsi'ng^* is carved, is sup- 
posed to have control over the deer, and 
in fact over all wild animals. 

All the hunters that are in the habit of 
chewing tobacco are now given some for 
this purpose. When they file out and 
mount their horses, the Mlsi'ng^* follows 
them and sees them off". 

After the hunters have disappeared, 
the people call the Mlsi'ng^* back into 
the Big House and coax him to dance, 
while two men volunteer to sing for him. 


The following evening six men are ap- 
pointed and given a yard of wampum to 
divide among them, to go out close to the 
forked game-pole east of the Big House, 
intended for the carcasses of the deer, 
and "pray" there twelve times. The 
meaning of this, of course, is that they 
sound the prayer word '' IIo-o-o!'' which 
is evidently to help the hunters. This 
night also a yard of wampum is unstrung 





and scattered on the ground just west of 
the east fire, and this the attendants 
must pick up, crying ''Ho-o-of' as they 
do so. For doing this, which is called 
"picking berries," they are supposed to 
keep what wampum they pick up. 


If the hunters are lucky and kill a deer 
the first day, they send one man back 
with it. As he approaches he fires a 
gun as a signal of his coming, at which the 
singers run into the Big House and begin 
to sing and beat the drum. Then every- 
one is happy. 

In any case the hunters all return on 
the third day. If they have killed deer, 
they shoot their guns; if not, they come 
in very quietly. When the shots are 
heard, the singers hasten to their places, 
and, beating the drum, sing a song that is 
used only on such occasions. Then 
when the hunters arrive, they feast, and 
their leader announces the names of those 
lucky enough to kill a deer. The car- 
casses are skinned and hung on the deer 




pole (shown in frontispiece), east of the 
Big House, and are used in the feasts at 
the close of every night's meeting until 
the gathering disbands. 


Every night the usual program is re- 
peated until the ninth. On this night a 
new fire is kindled with the sacred pump- 
drill called tu^da'i wdhe^'ji mani'towuk 
or "Fire maker of the Manl'tos" (fig. 8), 
and the ashes of the old are carried out 
through the west door of the Big House, 
which is used only for this purpose 
(among the Unami), and is usually kept 
closed. The new fire seems to symbolize 
a fresh start in all the affairs of life. 


Also on the ninth night, before the 
singing begins, they bring out the two 
ancient drumsticks {pa ku^di'gun), carved 
with tiny human heads, one male and one 
female (fig. ii), to use in place of the 
cruder sticks used before, which are 
marked only with a rude cross (fig. 12, a). 





Fig. ij,— II. Plain drumatiek us«l at the Annual 
Ceremony; 6. Prayeraiick. (Length of i. iS.o to.) 




At this time, also, twelve prayersticks 
(ma^tehi^gun) are distributed — six plain 
and six striped ones (fig. 12, b) — by two 
of the male attendants, each with six, 
one man starting from each end of the 
Big House atid proceeding in a trot to 
distribute the sticks while the drum is 
beaten, and the people, holding up their 
hands, cry the prayer word ''Ho-0-0!*' 
Both drumsticks and prayersticks are 
used every night from this time on. If 
t so happens that the plain sticks do 
not fall opposite each other (or on oppo- 
site sides of the house), they must all 
be picked up again and redistributed. 
After this, those who have received a 
stick raise that instead of their hand, 
when they repeat the prayer word 
'.* Ho-0-0!'' and carry it when they dance. 


At this time, too, all who own turtle 
rattles such as are used in singing the 
visions (fig. 9), are requested to bring 
them in to the meeting, when they are 
placed in a row on the north side, in 




front of the man who, as the Indians 
phrase it, "brought on the meeting." 
The backs of the turtleshells are all 
measured with strings of wampum, which 
are cut oflF in lengths corresponding with 
the lengths of the backs. 

Then the owners are called to get their 
turtles and wampum, which is supposed 
to be their pay for bringing them to the 
meeting. As each takes up his turtle, 
he shakes it, and if it does not sound well, 
then the people laugh, a;id the owner, 
abashed, takes his property out of sight 
as soon as possible. 


Then they call up six men, two from 
each of the three phratries — Turtle, 
Turkey, and Wolf. Each goes outside 
and cries the prayer word "Ho-o-o!'* 
twelve times, holding up his left hand. 
When the first one returns, he is given 
one yard of wampum, and divides it 
with the other five. This is done each 
night until the end. 




women's night 

The twelfth night is reserved for the 
women to relate their visions; but before 
they begin, the speaker orders the at- 
tendants to burn cedar-leaves in the two 
fires, and the people are supposed to 
inhale the smoke and purify themselves. 
Then two women are ordered to take, 
one a little bark dish {a^sipta' gun) of 
red paint (fig. 13), the other a similar 


^^ tT^ 1 f3¥^'^ ^^^""*'' ■*■■ - ■■! " ^^fm^M Im 

\\^ /S^si^SS^sS^^^^^=3^msfSs^^SsB^M^ 

«' * ^^jJbs^^=sbs^^^^^sss^^c^^^^^^s^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^k^^^^^^ 

Fig. 13.— Paint-dish of bark, used at the Annual 
Ceremons^. (Length, 2.2 in.) 

vessel of grease, and the two start from 
the door on the north side of the Temple 
and go to each person present. One dips 
her fingers in the paint and touches the 
color to the person's left cheek, while 
her companion similarly annoints the 
person's head with a little of the grease. 
This done, two men attendants take the 
bark vessels and paint and grease in the 




same way the twelve Mlsi'ng^* faces 
carved upon the posts of the building, 
also the drumsticks, the prayersticks, 
the deerskin drum, and the turtles. A 
variant has it that both bark vessels con- 
tain paint, the customs differing according 
to phratry. 

Each woman who takes part on this 
night receives a share of the venison, 
if there is any, — the biggest and fattest 
buck the hunters kill, — and the attend- 
ants cook it for them at Jhe fire outside. 


Next morning the men resume the 
ceremony and continue until the sun is 
high. Two men are then appointed to 
close the meeting, for which each receives 
one yard of wampum. Their duty is to 
sing twelve times while the people dance 
about the central post, the women in a 
circle next to the post, the men in another 
circle outside that of the women. These 
two singers stop dancing in front of 
where the chief is sitting, and announce, 
"We will now pray twelve times." They 




go back to their seats and cry **Ho'0-o!'' 
twelve times. Then the attendants serve 
the last feast. Two women then go 
around with wampum in a wooden bowl, 
giving everyone two or three beads. 


Then the attendants, three men and 
three women, stand in a row and receive 
six yards of wampum on one string, 
which they hold in their hands, the first 
in the row holding the end of the string, 
which stretches along from one to the 
other. Then the chief says: "We thank 
you attendants of this meeting for your 
kindness in sweeping our Temple for 
these twelve nights, and the attention 
and care you have given. We have 
heard our old parents say that, if you 
sweep this Meeting House twelve dif- 
ferent times, you will sweep up to where 
our great Father is, as he is up in the 
twelfth Heaven above the earth." 

The attendatnts then circle about the 
fires and go out to the cooking fireplace, 
where they divide the wampum, taking 




a yard apiece. At last, when the shadow 
of a person is nearly under him, that is, 
about noon, the speaker or chief arises, 
and says, "All of us kinfolk must now 
go out and end our meeting, which has 
been going on for twelve days and nights." 
Thereupon they all file out — men, women, 
and children — and form a row extending 
north and south, facing east, just east of 
the Big House, the hunters taking with 
them the skins of the deer they killed. 


Here they all pray, or rather cry the 
prayer word "i/o-o-o.'" six times stand- 
ing, holding up one hand, and six times 
kneeling, holding up the other hand. 
The meeting is then ended. This is 
shown in the frontispiece. The deer- 
skins are given to poor old people, who 
need them to make moccasins. 

One informant stated that instead of 
crying Ho-o-o^' twelve times in closing 
the meeting, it was customary to use this 
word only ten times, and then cry Ha-a-d'^ 
twice, completing the sacred number twelve; 




but such discrepancies are probably due to 
the variation of ritual among the three 
phratries before mentioned, the Turkey, 
the Turtle, and the Wolf. This kind of 
prayer was noticed by Zeisberger*' as early 
as 1779, for he writes: 

"At a third kind of feast ten or more tanned 
deer-skins are given to as many old men or 
women, who wrap themselves in them and stand 
before the house with their faces turned toward 
the east, praying God with a loud voice to reward 
their benefactors. They turn toward the east 
because they believe that God dwells beyond the 
rising of the sun. At the same time much 
wampum is given away. This is thrown on the 
ground and the young people scramble for it. 
Afterward it is ascertained who secured the 
most. This feast is called 'ngammuin, the mean- 
ing of which they themselves are unable to give." 

The suspicion that Zeisberger mistook 
the conclusion of the Annual Ceremony 
for a separate rite is strengthened by the 
fact that he gives its name as *''ngam- 
muiriy*' which seems to be a form of Ga^- 
muingf the modern Lenape name for their 
Annual Ceremony. 





All the officers of the meeting receive 
pay in wampum for their services, except, 
of course, the leader — the man who has 
caused the meeting to be held. The 
speaker receives a yard for every night 
of the meeting; the drummers get a 
yard between them each night; there 
are also the payments to the attendants, 
hunters, and others, already mentioned. 
The attendants have other sources of 
profit, too, for they serve meals three times 
a day in the Big House to the leader of the 
meeting and all his near relatives, also 
to the speaker and the drummers. 

When they have finished feasting, the 
leader calls the attendants to come and 
get their dishes and pans. Each has a 
cup in which he brings coffee, and the 
leader puts twenty-five wampum beads 
in each cup for every meal. Moreover, 
when any one in the outside camps is 
hungry, he may go to an a^ckas and 
obtain a meal for twenty-five wampum 
beads. The attendants have a table 



near the tent of one of the woman a'ckas, 
and here they eat. 


For ceremonial purposes the wampum 
(white) is held at one cent a bead, one 
hundred to the dollar. Before the meet- 
ing the people give a yard or so apiece, if 
they are able, to show their appreciation 
and to be prayed for, or subscribe money 
for its purchase and for the other things 
needed at the meeting. The wampum is 
afterward redeemed at the same rate 
and is kept to use again. 


Some explanations and remarks con- 
cerning the annual ceremony, as furnished 
by the Indians themselves, may prove of 
interest here. 

Julius Pouts (or Fox), the interpreter, 
remarks : 

"When the Dela wares complete this 
meeting, then they claim they have 
worshiped everything on this earth. 
God gave the Powers Above authority to 




go around and give all the tribes some 
way to worship. They say these things 
were as if carried in a bundle, and when 
they come to the Delawares, last of all, 
there was a lot left in the bundle and 
they got it all — that is why the Delawares 
have so many different things to do in 
their meetings." 

In explanation of the prayer word 
Ho-o-o, he said, " Did you ever hear that 
noise out in the woods, in the fall of the 
year? 'Ho-o-o,' it says. What is it? 
It is the noise of the wind blowing in the 
trees. When the Delawares pray in the 
Big House, they raise their voices and 
cry ' IIo-o-o' to God, and the MXsi'ng^* 
hears it and understands, for he is of the 
same nature as a tree, and there are 
twelve Misi'ng^* carved in the Big House 
who will carry the prayers to the twelfth 
Heaven. The Indians call the Misi'ng^* 
'Grandfather,' because the trees were 
here before the Indians. The Big House 
is going out of use now, because only the 
old people have had gifts or visions of 
power to sing about. The children of 





today are not pi'lsu^y or pure; they are 
reared like the whites, and the Powers 
Above do not speak to them any more." 

Chief Charley Elkhair, or Elkire, who 
frequently served as speaker in the Big 
House, said: 

"The Delaware meeting helps every- 
body in the world, for they pray for good 
crops and everything good, even wild 
fruits. About ten years ago the people 
thought they would give up holding these 
meetings, and the following year they 
had high winds and big rains, and every- 
one was frightened. Then grasshoppers 
came in swarms, but they came in the fall 
a little too late to get all the crops. So 
the people held a council and talked 
about the Big House again. They finally 
decided to resume it, before any more 
bad luck came; so they began the cere- 
monies again in the fall. 

"Then it seemed as if all the trouble 
stopped. Of late there has been talk of 
again giving up the meeting, but if we do 
give it up we are likely to have a tornado 
or maybe dry weather to ruin the crops. 




"Once the Dela wares owned a great 
deal of land, but that is nearly all gone 
now, and the people seem to have no 
power to do anything. When God looks 
down from Heaven, he sees but very few 
Delaware people, and the reason for this 
is that they cannot follow the Meeting 
House cerehionies now. When I was a 
little boy, I heard my people say that this 
thing would happen just as it is happening 
now. You see, the young people raised 
during the last thirty years do not believe 
in the old ways. We are having good 
times yet, but we don't know when we 
shall catch it. If anything happens to us, 
and once really begins, we can not stop it 
— it will be too late. Even if they take 
up the meeting again — they can not do 
right, even when the ceremonies are going 

"They can not accomplish anything in 
the Big House; they can not raise it up, 
because there are a lot of young folks 
who do not even try to do what the 
speaker tells them, for they do not believe 
in it. 




"The people could get along fine, if 
they followed the rules of the meeting — 
not only the Delawares, but the other 
people round about. For when the Dela- 
ware prays, he prays for things that will 
benefit everybody; he prays for the chil- 
dren as well as for himself; he prays for 
future time. But if anything comes to 
destroy the world, it will be too late to 
think of starting the Big House then." 

Penn's Account, — William Penn seems 
to have been the first to attempt a descrip- 
tion of Lenape rites, for he wrote in 1683, 
in the same letter we have quoted before: 

*' Their Worship consists of two parts, sacri- 
fice and Cantico. Their sacrifice is their first 
fruits. . . . The other part ot their worship is 
by Cantico, performed by round dances, some- 
times words, sometimes songs, then shouts, two 
being in the middle that begin, and by singing 
and drumming on a board direct the chorus. . . . 
They are said to iay their altar on twelve 

In this brief account should be noted the 
presence of two drummers; the fact that 
they did not use a drum, but a " board " 
which was probably, if Penn had taken the 




trouble to look more closely, a dried 
hide; the word cantico which resembles the 
modern Lenape words for " dance " — 
H'ntkd among the Unami and kVntika 
among the Minsi; and finally the use of 
the sacred number twelve. 

Zeisberger's Account. — The earliest de- 
tailed account, however, of the great 
Lenape ceremonies is given by Zeisber- 
ger,^ who, writing about 1779, says: 

"Worship and sacrifices have obtained among 
them from the earliest times, being usages handed 
down from their ancestors. Though in the detail 
of ceremony there has been change, as the Indians 
are more divided now than at that time, worship 
and sacrifice have continued as practiced in the 
early days, for the Indians believe that they 
would draw all manner of disease and misfortune 
upon themselves if they omitted to observe the 
ancestral rites. 

"In the matter of sacrifice, relationship, even 
though distant, is of significance, legitimate or 
illegitimate relationship being regarded without 
distinction. A sacrifice is offered by a family, 
with its entire relationship, once in two years. 
Others, even the inhabitants of other towns, are 
invited. Such sacrifices are commonly held in 
autumn, rarely in winter. As their connections 
are large, each Indian will have opportunity to 



attend more than one family sacrifice a year. 
The head of the family knows the time and he 
must provide for everything. When the head 
of such a family is converted, he gets into diffi- 
culty because his friends will not give him peace 
until he has designated some one to take his place 
in the arrangement of sacrificial feasts. 

" Preparations for such a sacrificial feast extend 
through several days. The requisite number of 
deer and bears is calculated and the young people 
are sent into the woods to procure them together 
with the leader whose care it is to see that 
everything needful is provided. These hunters 
do not return until they have secured the amount 
of booty counted upon. On their return they 
fire a volley when near the town, march in in 
solemn procession and deposit the fiesh in the 
house of sacrifice. Meantime the house has 
been cleared and prepared. The women have 
prepared fire-wood and brought in long dry reed 
grass, which has been strewn the entire length 
of the house, on both sides, for the guests to sit 
upon. Such a feast may continue for three or 
four nights, the separate sessions beginning in the 
afternoon and lasting until the next morning. 
Great kettles full of meat are boiled and bread is 
baked. These are served to the guests by four 
servants especially appointed for this service. 
The rule is that whatever is thus brought as a 
sacrifice must be eaten altogether and nothing 
left. A small quantity of melted fat only is 





poured into the fire. The bones are burnt, so 
that the dogs may not get any of them. After 
the meal the men and women dance, every rule 
of decency being observed. It is not a dance for 
pleasure or exercise, as is the ordinary dance 
engaged in by the Indians. One singer only 
performs during the dance, walking up and down, 
rattling a small tortoise shell filled with pebbles. 
He sings of the dreams the Indians have had, 
naming all the animals, elements and plants 
they hold to be spirits. None of the spirits of 
things that are useful to the Indians may be 
omitted. By worshipping all the spirits named 
they consider themselves to be worshipping God, 
who has revealed his will to them in dreams. 
When the first singer has finished he is followed 
by another. Between dances the guests may 
stop to eat again. There are four or five kinds 
of feasts, the ceremonies of which differ much 
from one another. 

"At these feasts there are never less than four 
servants, to each of whom a fathom of wampum 
is given that they may care for all necessary 
things. During the three or four days they 
have enough to do by day and by night. They 
have leave, also, to secure the best of provisions, 
such as sugar, bilberries, molasses, eggs, butter 
and to sell these things at a profit to guests and 

Adams' Account, — The best and, in 
fact, the only late account previous to his 




own first article^^ the writer has seen of 
the Annual Ceremony among the Lenape 
in Oklahoma, is that written by Adams,^® 
which reads as follows: 

"The peculiar steps which they use in this 
dance have caused the name 'stomp' or 'stamp' 
to be applied to it. 

"In regard to the stomp dances of our people, 
we have several kinds of dances; the most 
important one is the 'worship dance' which is 
carried on in a large building called a temple, 
which is rectangular and ranges from 6b to 80 
feet long, from 30 to 40 feet wide, and is about 
10 feet high. It is built of wood with 2 doors. 
The main entrance is at the eastern door, and it 
has only a dirt floor. 

"On each post is carved a human face. On 
the center post or one in the center of the building 
four faces are carved; each face is painted one- 
half red and one-half black. All the people 
enter at the east and go out the same way. 
When they come in they pass to the right of the 
fire, and each of the three clans of the Delawares 
take seats next to the wall, the Turtle clan on 
the south, the Turkey on the west, and the Wolf 
on the north. In no case can any one pass 
between the center post and east door, but must 
go around the center post, even to go to the north 
side of the temple. 

"This dance is held once each year, in the fall. 




and generally in October, in the full moon, and 
lasts not less than 12 days for each part. The 
tribe is divided into three. clans, and each clan 
has to go through the same part, so the dance is 
sometimes 36 days long, but sometimes the second 
and third clans do not dance more than 6 days 

"The Turtle clan usually lead or begin the 
dance. A tortoise shell, dried and beautifully 
polished and containing several small pebbles, 
is placed in the southeast comer near the door 
in front of the first person. If he has an5rthing 
to say he takes the shell and rattles it, and an 
answer comes from the south side of the temple 
from the singers, who strike on a dried deer's 
hide: then the party who has the tortoise shell 
makes an address or talk to the people, and 
thanks the Great Spirit for blessings, and then 
proceeds to dance, going to the right and around 
the fire, followed by all who wish to take part, 
and finally coming to the center post he stops 
there; then all the dancers shake hands and 
return to their seats. Then the shell is passed 
to the next person, who dances or passes it on, 
as he chooses. 

"On the third day of the dance all men, both 
married and single, are required to keep out of 
the company of women for 3 days at least. 
They have a doorkeeper, a leader, and 2 or 3 
parties who sweep the ground floor with turkey 
wings, and who also serve as deacons. The 




ashes from the fire are always taken out at the 
west door, and the dirt is always swept in the fire. 
In front of the east door outside is a high pole 
on which venison hangs. It is a feast dance and 
the deacons distribute food among the people. 
The officers and waiters are paid in wampum for 
their services. 

" In no case is a dog allowed to enter the temple, 
and no one is allowed to laugh inside it, or in any 
way be rude. Each person is allowed to speak 
and tell his dream or dreams or to give advice. 
It is believed by the Delawares that every one 
has a guardian spirit which comes in the form 
of some bird, animal, or other thing, at times in 
dreams, and tells them what to do and what will 
happen. The guardian spirit is sent from the 
Great Spirit. 

"Traditions say that lo years before white 
men came to this country (America) a young man 
told his dream in the temple. This was on the 
Atlantic coast. He saw coming across the great 
waters a large canoe with pinions (wings) and con- 
taining strange people, and that in lo years they 
would in fact come. He told this dream and 
predicted the arrival of the white men each year 
until they came and were seen by his |)eople. 
Many of our people still keep up this dance, 
but the temple is not so large as it used to be, 
and the attendance now is not more than lOO 
persons. Any Indian of any tribe can also take 
part in the dance, but no white man can. 




"When the dance is over all the people go out 
and stand in a single line from east to west 
with their faces to the south. Then they kneel 
down and pray, and then go home. We do not 
know the origin of the worship dance, but the 
old Indians claim that the Great Spirit came 
many years ago and instructed it and also gave 
them the wampum." 

In spite of several inaccuracies, such as 
the statement that the people face south 
(instead of east) while praying after the 
ceremony, this account is valuable on 
account of the additional data it furnishes 
on several points of interest, especially 
the tradition concerning the prophecy of 
the coming of the whites. 

Another Form of the Annual Cere- 

It appears that in former years there 
was, in addition to the rite just described, 
another form of the Annual Ceremony 
practised by the Lenape, before their 
removal to what is now Oklahoma from 
Kansas, where the last man to " bring | 
in'* such a meeting was John Sarcoxie, 
now dead. 




The ceremony, which was called Mux- 
hatoL'zing, seems, from the accounts 
given the writer by his informants, to 
have taken place in a similar building, and 
to have been similar in ritual to that just 
described, except that it was held for only 
eight days instead of twelve, and that, 
after the return of the hunters the skin 
of one of the deer they had brought in 
was stuffed with grass and stood up by 
the central post of the Big House, antlers 
and all, while about its neck hung a 
string of wampum — perhaps as a pro- 
pitiatory offering. 

Moreover on the morning of the last 
day of the ceremony a large sweathouse 
was built and stones heated; then about 
noon the men who had been reciting their 
visions went into it, each taking one of 
the hot stones with him. This privilege 
was not confined to the actual celebrants 
however, for every one blessed by a 
guardian spirit even if they had not sung 
their visions in the meeting, was entitled 
to carry in a stone and join them. 

The entrance was then closed and 




water poured upon the stones; and while 
the steam rose and the sweathouse grew 
hotter and hotter the perspiring occu- 
pants prayed to their guardian spirits 
and recited their visions. These finished, 
with a shout of "There go our prayers 
to Those Above, ** the cover was suddenly 
snatched from the sweathouse so that 
the steam it had contained rose in a 
puff. If the steam clOud went straight 
up into the air it was thought that the 
prayers would be heard and answered, 
and that all was well, but if it broke and 
spread out the people felt that something 
had gone wrong, and that their prayers 
were of no avail. 

In endeavoring to explain the presence 
of such variations of the Annual Cere- 
mony, it should be remembered that the 
Lenape now in Oklahoma whom the 
writer has called for convenience "Un- 
ami," are not really pure descendants of 
this tribe, but probably have a large 
proportion of the blood of the Unala^'tko 
or Unalachtigo, whose dialect, according 
to Heckewelder, was very similar, and a 




smaller proportion of Minsi and even 
Nanticoke blood. Perhaps then the first 
form of Annual Ceremony described 
may have originally been purely Unami, 
and the second Unalachtigo, or Minsi, or 
vice versa; but later, when the remnants 
of these tribes became amalgamated their 
mixed descendants inherited both forms. 
The second form seems to be a variant 
of the rite mentioned by Zeisberger** 
who describes it as follows: 

*' A fifth kind of festival is held in honor of fire 
which the Indians regard as being their grand- 
father, and call Machtuzin, meaning 'to perspire.' 
A sweating-oven is built in the midst of the 
house of sacrifice, consisting of twelve poles each 
of a different species of wood. These twelve 
poles represent twelve Manittos, some of these 
being creatures, others plants. These they run 
into the ground, tie together at the top, bending 
them toward each other; these arc covered 
entirely with blankets, joined closely together, 
each person being very ready to lend his blanket, 
so that the whole appears like a baker's oven, high 
enough nearly to admit a man standing upright. 
After the meal of sacrifice, fire is made at the 
entrance of the oven and twelve large stones, 
about the size of human heads, are heated and 
placed in the oven. Then twelve Indians creep 




into it and remain there as long as they can 
bear the heat. While they are inside twelve pipes 
full of tobacco are thrown, one after another, 
upon the hot stones, which occasions a smoke 
almost powerful enough to suffocate those con- 
fined inside. Some one may also walk around 
the stones singing and offering tobacco, for tobacco 
is offered to fire. Usually, when the twelve 
men emerge from the oven, they fall down in a 
swoon. During this feast a whole buck-skin 
with the head and antlers is raised upon a pole, 
head and antlers resting on the pole, before which 
the Indians sing and pray. They deny that they 
pay any adoration to the buck, declaring that 
God alone is worshipped through this medium 
and is so worshipped at his will." 

That this is really the same ceremony 
is shown not only by the details as 
related but by the native name of the 
rite, the Machtuzin of Zeisberger corre- 
sponding with the MuxhatoL'zing of the 
present writer. 





MiNsi Big House Ceremonies 

IHE following account of the 
great ceremonies of the Minsi, 
which correspond to the an- 
nual ceremony of the Unami, 
was obtained from Chief James Wolf, 
now deceased, and his nephew, Chief 
Nellis Timothy. 


At first, it appears, the Indians did 
not know how to worship, so K^^tanlto'- 
wet, the Great Manl'to or God, now called 
Pa^'tiimawas, came down and told them 
what to do. After following his instruc- 
tions, they watched him when he 
ascended. He carried twelve sumach 
sticks in his hand, and they could see them 
shine far up in the air. Every now and 
then he dropped one, and when he 






dropped the twelfth he disappeared, while 
they heard the heavens crack like thunder 
behind him as he went in. After this 
the Lenape began to hold these meet- 
ings according to the instructions he had 
given them. 


There were two of these ceremonies 
every year, both held in the Minsi Big 
House {W'^a'tekan), which was quite 
similar to that of the Unami. One of 
these, performed about June when the 
wild strawberries were ripe, lasted only 
a single night; the other, early in winter, 
covered twelve days and nights. This 
latter corresponds to the AnnuaJ Cere- 
mony of the Unami. 

At the June ceremony fresh straw- 
berries were made into a drink for the 
people, which reminds one of the Iroquois 
Strawberry Dance, or Dance of First 
Fruits, as it is sometimes called. Stra'w- 
berries were dried at this time to make a 
drink for the Winter Ceremony. 





Like the Unami Big House, that of the 
Minsi had a larg« .central post bearing 
carved faces; but, unlike that of the 
Unami, there was a second short post, 

Fig. 14.— Drum of dtiwi deerikio. Minsi type. E. 
T. Tefft tollKtion. American Museum of Natural 
Hisloiy. (Length 16.T In.) 

near the central one, upon which was 
hung, for each ceremony, a raw fresh 
deerskin with the head and horns at the 


top. This feature, howevei 
corresponds with the second 
form of the Annual Ceremony 
noted among the Lenape i: 
I Oklahoma and also recorded 
by Zeisbergerin Pennsylva 
Near this central post the 
singers sat, and beat 1 
four carved sticks upon a dry 
deerhide folded into a square, 
in lieu of a drum (fig. 14), 
difTering from the Una mi 
form, which is a rolled dry 
deerskin upon which are tied 
several slats of wood (fig. 8), 
The drumsticks are flat, re- 
sembling those of the Unanii, 
as each bears a face carved 
upon one side, but differ froi 
them in the form of the forked 
end, and in width. Some, il 
is said, represented women, 
the breasts being indicated as 

15.— a. Drumaticlc, Minsi type; b, Piayer- 
E. T. Tefft collEctioD, American Muxum of 
1] History. (Length of 0. 19 in.) 




among the Unami, but this feature does 
not appear in the set collected by the 
writer at Grand River reserve (fig. I5,a), 
which the Indians said were representative 
of the Minsi type. 

There were two poles laid along on 
each side from end to end of the Big 
House to divide the dancing place in the 
center from the sitting places on the 
side, which were covered with a special 
kind of leaves. Along these poles twelve 
little sumach sticks (fig. 15, 6), peeled 
and painted, were laid for twelve people 
to hold in their hands, and tap on the 
poles in time to the music. There were 
also provided a turtle rattle, which was 
placed at the foot of the central pole; 
a fire-drill which Nellis Timothy thinks 
was worked on the "pump-drill" prin- 
ciple, like that of the Unami, and a lot 
of entirely new and unused bowls and 
spoons of bark. Unlike the Unami 
custom, both doors of the Big House 
were used, the people always going in at 
the east door and coming out at the west, 
and here also (like the Unami) the ashes 




were carried out. *'The Sun and every- 
thing else goes toward the west," say the 
Minsi, in explanation, "even the dead 
when they die." 


The first act rememBered by the infor- 
mants preparatory to holding a meeting 
was to send^ to each man in the tribe 
who had been blessed by a "vision of 
power," a little stick which represented 
an invitation to the ceremony, the time 
of which the messenger gave out, before 
which date the people Teaving their 
scattered homes gathered^ and camped 
about the Big House. Meanwhile hun- 
ters were sent out, appointed before, not 
during the meeting as among the Unami, 
to bring in for the Winter Ceremony, if 
possible, exactly twelve deer, which were 
cooked by four young men who served as 
attendants in a small separate house, 
built for the purpose. 

Fire. — The fire was made with a fire- 
drill by a group of old men for use in the 
Big House, but, as among the Unami, 




none of it could be taken outside during 
the ceremony. 

Purification. — When the two fires had 
been built, but before the crowd had 
gathered, the house -was purified by the 
smoke of hemlock boughs thrown on the 
flames, and by sweeping the floor with 
turkey-wing fans, which cleared away 
both dirt and eidl4ftfluences. 


Chiefs Speech. — The next step was 
for the attendants to call in all the people 
from their camps except the women in 
their menses who were not allowed to 
enter. When all were seated, the speaker 
rose and addressed those assembled in 
terms like the following: 

"We are now gathered here, our house 
is purified and clean, and Pa^'ttimawas 
is with us, ready to hear our worship. 
We must thank Him for all the things 
that we enjoy, for He made them every 
one." Then he proceeded to tell the 
people not to drink liquor, nor to do 
anything wrong in the Big House or in 






the camp about it, and advised them to 
be always bi?nest and kind and hospitable. 
He held virtue as something to be fol- 
lowed, at the same time condemning evil, 
every vjce that he could think of being 

The chief then gave thanks for every- 
thing he could remember, from the 
heavenly bodies to the animals, trees, and 
herbs of the earth, not forgetting corn, 
beans, and squashes; and prayer for 
successful hunting and good health for 
all the people. At the summer meeting 
he prayed for good crops also. When 
he had finished, bear's fat was thrown on 
the two fires, and the smoke rose and 
filled the place with its odor. 


At this point it was customary to pass 
around a vessel of drink made of crushed 
wild strawberries, from which each person 
present swallowed about a spoonful, a 
drink made at the Summer Ceremony of 
fresh fruit, but in winter necessarily of 
berries dried for the purpose. 






The first man to relate his vision (my 
informant did not remember whether 
he was the one who "brought in" the 
meeting or not) took up the turtle rattle 
from its place at the foot of the post and 
began to shake it rapidly, while the sing- 
ers struck the drum of dry hide. He then 
recited the story of his vision of power, 
still keeping the rattle shaking, following 
this with his dance song, at the same time 
dancing and rattling the turtle-shell. 

Any one who wished to dance was sup- 
posed to give wampum to the vision- teller 
for the privilege. Some who were well 
off would give him an entire string, 
others merely a few beads. These the 
vision-teller would take, when he had 
quite a handful, to two officers who sat 
in a corner of the building, whose duty 
it was to count the wampum, after which 
it was kept by the chief or leader. 
Sometimes if a poor person who had no 
wampum wished to dance, they would 
give him some to pay the vision-teller. 




A translated example of a Minsi vision 
chant and dance song has already been 
given. When the dreain:teller finished 
the first verse of his dance song, he 
exclaimed, '* E-ye-he-ye-e!'' whereupon 
the singers took up the strain and sang 
the verse several times, for the benefit 
of those who wished to dance, omit- 
ting, however, the final exclamation, but 
those who had bought the privilege 
rose and danced where they stood, in- 
stead of circling around, as among the 
Unami. Each " set " ended with a whoop, 

When the vision- teller finished dancing, 
he went around the house and shook 
hands with everyone; then- the turtle 
rattle was passed to anotljer man who 
had been blessed with a vision, and so on, 
until all those qualified, who wished to 
recite their visions, had done so. 


The Prayer Cry. — From time to time 
during the night the prayer cry '' Ho-o- 
o/" was repeated twelve times, and the 






twelfth cry, they say, was heard by the 
Great Mani'to. 

Feast. — The people were accustomed to 
eat a light supper before going into the 
meeting; then about midnight the four 
attendants carried around baskets with 
boiled meat and corn bread, and in the 
morning, before leaving the Big House, a 
regular feast of venison was served in 
new bark bowls and eaten with new bark 
spoons especially made for the purpose. 

Final Address, — Before the meeting 
closed, the speaker again addressed the 
people, telling them to do right, and 
prayed that the hunters about to leave 
for the winter hunt might be success- 
ful, and that all might live to meet 


In the morning after the ceremonies in 
the Big House were finished, the people 
filed out through the west door, circled 
about the building, and lined up, facing 
eastward, to the east of it. Then they 
raised their hands and cried '' IIo-o-o!'' 





twelve times, and the twelfth time, it is 
said, their ^ry, reached Heaven. 

In comparing this form of the Annual 
Ceremony with that of tne Oklahoma 
Lenape the most noticeable difference 
is that here no masked impersonator of 
Mlsingh^li'kiin was seen in or about the 
Big House, the Masks among the Minsi, 
as with the Iroquois, constituting a soci- 
ety with its own separate rites. 


Such was the version of the great cere- 
monies given the writer by the Minsi of 
Munceytown, Ontario, which is similar 
to, but more detailed in parts than, the 
account previously obtained from the 
Delawares of Grand River reserve, pub- 
lished by the writer in the American 
Anthropologist^ which we will reproduce 
here. It will be noticed that this de- 
scription gives fuller information in some 
places where the first is deficient; so that 
between this and the preceding account, a 
good general idea of the Minsi form of the 
ceremony can be reconstructed. It reads: 




"In the old religious ceremonies of the 
Delawares at Grand River a very peculiar 
drum was used, a dry skin folded in 
rectangular form and beaten with four 
sticks, each bearing a tiny human head 
carved in relief (fig. 15, a). I secured the 
set of four original sticks from Michael 
Anthony {Na^nkuma'oxa), and employed 
him to make me a reproduction of the 
drum (fig. 14) as the original had been 
destroyed. This he did, and in addition 
made six painted sticks (fig. 15, h) also 
used in the ceremony. The description 
of how these articles were used, pieced 
together from several Indian accounts, 
may prove of interest here. 

"it appears that the Delawares of Six 
Nations Reserve formerly held what was 
known as a 'General Thanksgiving* 
ceremony called in Lenape Gitctla^kan, 
twice a year, once in the spring and again 
in the fall. At these times it was custo- 
mary to meet in the Cayuga long-house, 
borrowed for the occasion. At a certain 
point in the proceedings (I shall not at- 
tempt a consecutive description from 





hearsay testimony) a man stood up and 
recited, in a rythmical sing-song tone, 
his dream — the vision of power seen by 
him in his youth. Na nkiima'oxa re- 
membered how one old man was accus- 
tomed to tell about a duck, half black 
and half white, which had appeared to 
him. Between the verses of the dream 
four musicians kneeling at the drum 
pw^awahe'gun) began a plaintive song, 
beating time with the carved sticks 
(pw^awahe'gunuk). As they sang, the 
reciter swayed his body to and fro, 
while a group of dancers gathered on the 
floor behind him danced with a sidewise 
step. Before the ceremony, poles were 
laid lengthwise along both sides of the 
council house, and against these, at 
intervals, three on a side, the painted 
sticks, called mkddhi' gun, were laid. If 
anyone in the crowd felt * especially 
happy' he was privileged to strike with 
one of these sticks upon one of the poles 
in time to the music. The carved heads 
on the drumsticks meant that human 
beings were giving thanks; the lengthwise 




painting of the sticks, half black and 
half red, implied that men and women 
were together in thanksgiving, the black 
representing the warriors, the red the 
women. The fork at the striking end of 
the sticks was to give a sharper sound. 
The dyes for producing the colors were 
made by boiling bark, the black being 
soft maple (sexi^ kiminsi) , and the red, 
red alder bark {ivito'^pi). 

** In another part of the same ceremony 
wampum was used in the form of strings 
and bunches, both of which were repre- 
sented in my collection from the Dela- 
wares. At least thirteen of the strings 
were used, each one made different by 
different combinations of the white and 
purple beads. These thirteen, it is said, 
represented respectively (i) Earth; (2) 
Plants; (3) Streams and Waters; (4) 
Corn, Beans, and Vegetables; (5) Wild 
Birds and Beasts; (6) Winds; (7) Sun; 
(8) Moon; (9) Sky; (10) Stars; (11) 
Thunder and Rain; (12) Spirits; and 
(13) Great Spirit. At the ceremony these 
strings were laid upon a bench before a 




speaker, who picked them up one by one 
as he made his address, each string re- 
minding him of one part of his speech. 
He began, my informant told me, by 
explaining that the Great Spirit had made 
all things — the earth, plants, streams, and 
waters — everything. Having thus enum- 
erated all the things represented by the 
wampum, he proceeded to speak to each 
of the remaining twelve directly, holding 
the appropriate string in his hand. Thus 
he gave thanks to the Earth for the 
benefits it gives to man, and prayed that 
its blessings might continue; then thanked 
in the same way the Plants, the Streams 
and Waters, the Winds; the Corn, Beans, 
and Vegetables — each one in turn. As 
he finished each string he handed it to an 
attendant, who laid it aside. When his 
long speech or prayer was finished, he 
announced, * We will now enjoy ourselves,' 
and selected a man to distribute little 
bunches of wampum, three beads in each, 
which served as invitations to join in the 
dancing that followed. These bunches 
were delivered only to a certain number of 




those known to be 'sober and honest' 
among the crowd in the long-house. If 
any person wishing to dance failed to 
get invitation wampum, it was , his 
privilege to ask for one of the bunches, 
which was given him if he was considered 
qualified. The first man receiving wam- 
pum arose first; then the others, until 
the dancers were all on the floor. It is 
said that this dance, which sometimes 
lasted all night, did not circle around like 
most of the Iroquois dances, but each per- 
former remained in about the same spot. 
** I was told that in this dance a small 
rattle without a handle and made of tur- 
tleshell was used, probably like the box- 
turtle rattle still used in the annual Plant- 
ing Dance by the Seneca and Cayuga." 


The only extended account in print, 
known to the writer, of the great cere- 
monies of the Minsi, beside his own, 
quoted above, is that furnished by John 
Wampum, known as Chief Waubuno," 
which reads as follows: 




"They kept annual feasts: — . . . a feast of 
first fruits which they do not permit themselves 
to taste until they have made an offering of them 
to the manitu-oo-al, or gods; . . . There is one 
of the greatest sacrifice offerings of our fore- 
fathers every six months for cleansing themselves 
from sin; they will have twelve deers to be 
consumed in one day and night. At the great 
feast of the offerings of the first fruits of the earth, 
which feast the Delawares or Munceys hold 
annually, they brought a little of all that they 
raised, such as Indian com, or hweisk-queem, 
potatoes, beans, pumpkins, squashes, together 
with the deer. The Indian women were busily 
engaged in cooking their provisions, previous to 
the commencement of their exercises. They 
invited all strangers into a long pagan temple 
prepared for such purposes, there is a door at 
each end — one opening to the east, and one open- 
ing to the west. On entering, they with all the 
Indians were seated on the ground around two 
fires; in the center of the temple was a large post, 
around which was suspended a number of deer 
skins, and wampum is kept buried at the foot 
of this post. Near the post sat two Indian 
singers, each with a large bundle of undressed 
deer skins which served as drums. There were 
two young men appointed to watch the doors 
and keep the fires burning, the doors being 
closed. Each of the young men brought an 
armful of hemlock boughs, which being thrown 




on the fires smothered them and caused a great 
smoke. In order that the smoke might fill 
every comer of the temple, each man waved his 
blanket over the fire; this was done with the 
idea of purifying the temple and driving out 
the evil spirits. After the smoke had subsided, 
the master of ceremonies, an old chief, rose and 
began to rattle a turtle shell he had in his hand. 
He delivered a speech to the people telling them 
the object of the meeting was to thank the great 
spirit for the growth and ripening of the com. 
When he finished his speech he began to dance, 
sing and rattle the shell, the two singers joining 
in, beating on their skins. When he took his 
seat he handed the shell to the next person, who 
performed in the same way, thus it went from 
one to the other all night. The purport of their 
speeches was to recount the mercies of the Great 
Spirit to them during the past year, and telling 
any remarkable dreams that they had had. In 
the course of the night a number of them went 
out the west door, making a wailing noise to the 
moon, and came in again the east door. In the 
morning the meat and soup were divided amongst 
the people. 

"These feasts often lasted twelve days and 
twelve nights, and the Indians call it nee-shaw- 
neechk-togho-quanoo-maun, or ween-da-much- 
teen. No drinking or improper conduct is 
allowed. The utmost solemnity prevails." 




The MIsi'ng^* or Mask 

HE Minsi version of the myth 
explaining the origin of their 
great ceremonies has been al- 
ready related, but not that of 
the Unami, for the latter, which concerns 
itself with the origin of the Unami rites 
as now practised, is so intimately inter- 
woven with the story of the Mtsi^ng^^, or 
mask (fig. i), that it was thought best 
to place it in the chapter devoted to that 
curious being, with whose position in the 
Lenape pantheon, recorded history, and 
activities in the Annual Ceremony, we 
have already become acquainted. 

The myth is therefore presented here- 
with, as related by Chief Charley Elkhair, 
the Lenape master of ceremonies, with 
only such additions as later questioning 
brought forth. 






This is the way the Lenape found out 
that there is a living Mlsingh^li'kttn 
above us. Many years ago, when the 
Delawares lived in the East, there were 
three boys who were not treated very well. 
Their relatives did not take care of them, 
and it seemed as if it made no difference 
whether the children died or not. These 
boys were out in the woods thinking 
about their troubles, when they saw the 
Misinghjili/kiin or Living Solid Face. 
He came and .spoke to them, and gave 
them strength so that nothing could 
hurt them again. To one of these boys 
he said, **You come along with me and I 
will show you the country I come from." 
So he took the boy up in the air to the 
place whence he came, which is rocky 
mountains above us, reaching out from 
the north and extending toward the 
south. It is not the place where people 
go when they die, for it is not very far 

from this earth. A long time ago people 







could see this country of Misinghili'ktin, 
but none can see it now. 

While he was showing the boy his 
country, the Misinghili'kiin promised 
him that he would become stout and 
strong, and would have the power to get 
anything he wished. Then he brought 
the boy back. 

Afterward, when the boy grew up and 
went hunting, he used to see the Mlsing- 
hili'kfin riding a buck around among the 
other deer, herding them together. Thus 
it happened that there were three men in 
the tribe, who knew that there is a 
Misinghili'kiin, because they had seen 
him with their own eyes. 

The Delawares had always kept a Big 
House {xi'ngwikan) to worship in, but 
in those days it was built entirely of 
bark and had no faces of the Misi'ng''* 
carved upon the posts as it has now. 
Here they used to sing about their 
dreams (visions of power); but some 
time after the three boys talked with the 
Misinghili'kiin, the people gave up this 
worship, and for ten years had none. 




Then there came a great earthquake, 
which lasted twelve months and gave 
great trouble to the Lenape. It came 
because they had abandoned the worship 
their fathers had taught them. In those 
times the tribe lived in towns, not 
scattered about the country as they are 
now, and in one of these towns a chief 
had a big bark house, and here the people 
met to worship, hoping to stop the 
earthquake, while they were building a 
new Big House. When it was finished, 
they began to worship there, and sang 
and prayed all winter for relief. After 
spring came, they were holding a meeting 
one night when they heard the Mlsing- 
hiii'ktin making a noise, '' Ho^-ho^-hd^,'' 
right east of the Big House. The chief, 
who did not know what was making the 
noise, called for somebody to go and 
see what it was. Then these three men 
oflfered to go, because, as they said, they 
knew what was making the noise and 
could find out what he wanted. So they 
went out and found Misinghili'ktin, and 
asked him what he wanted. He answered : 




"Go back and tell the others to stop 
holding meetings and attend to their 
crops. Do not meet again until fall, 
when I will come and live with you, and 
help in the Big House. You must take 
wood and carve a face (Mlsi'ng^*) just 
like mine, painted half black and half red, 
as mine is, and I will put my power in it, 
so that it will do what you ask. When 
the man who takes my part puts the face 
on, I will be there, and this is how I will 
live among you. This man must carry 
a turtle rattle and a stick, just as I do 
now." Then he told them how to fix 
the twelve carved faces on the posts of 
the Big House, and the faces on the drum- 
sticks, and taught them how to hold the 

Then he said: 

"You must also give me hominy every 
year in the spring. I take care of the 
deer and other game, that is what I am 
for. Wherever you build the Big House, 
I will keep the deer close by, so that you 
can get them when you need them. 

" Never give up the Big House. If you 




do, there will be another earthquake, or 
something else just as bad. 

**The earthquake stopped that time; 
that is why the Delawares have kept the 
Mlsi'ng^^ and the Big House ever since. 
The Mask is left in charge of some family 
who will take good care of it, and burn 
Indian tobacco for it from time to time." 

It will be seen that, according to the 
above tradition, the Mlsi'ng^^ was, first 
of all, a personal helper, or guardian 
Spirit, that afterward became more or 
less of a tribal deity, and that his cult 
became engrafted on the Annual Cere- 
mony among the Unami, the rites of 
which were already ancient among them. 
That this engrafting really took place 
seems possible from the fact that among 
the Minsi there were no masked per- 
formers at the Big House ceremonies, and 
that, while the central post of the temple 
was provided with carved faces, the 
masks had an entirely different function 
among this people. The innovation, if 
it took place at all, must have been before 
Brainerd's**^ time, however, for, as related 




in our first chapter, he found the Mlsi'ng^* 
and Big House in use, as among the 
Unami today, as early as May, 1745, 
while traveling among the Delawares 
living at that time on Susquehanna river. 

mIsi'ng^^ dance 

Besides the part taken by the Mlsi'ng'^' 
in the Annual Ceremony, he has certain 
rites peculiar to himself which were held 
every spring. As the Indians put it: 

"When spring comes, the Delawares 
are glad, and they are thankful that their 
helper, the Mlsi'ng^\ is still among them. 
For this reason they give a feast and 
dance to make him happy too." 

Notification, — So at the time of the full 
moon (about May), the keeper of the 
mask gives another Indian a yard of 
wampum to ride around to all the 
Delaware houses, wearing the mask and 
bearskin costume (pi. Ii) to let the people 
know that the time for the Mlsi'ng^^ 
dance {Misingkl' nikd) is at hand. The 
Mlsi'ng^^ rides horseback, and another 
man, also mounted, follows him to see that 




he comes to no harm. At each house the 
impersonator dismounts and enters, mak- 
ing known his errand by signs, but saying 
only '' Ho^-ho^'ho^,'' and everywhere they 
give him tobacco, which he puts in his 
sack. At this time the people frighten 
disobedient children with the threat that, 
unless they behave, the Mlsi'ng^^ will 
carry them away in a sack full of snakes. 

Preparations, — The dance-ground cus- 
tomarily used for this purpose has mean- 
while been put in order, a cleared place 
in the woods selected for good shade and 
pleasant surroundings, and the logs which 
serve as seats arranged to form the rec- 
tangle within which the dance takes place. 
A great pot of hominy is also prepared; 
this constitutes the main dish of the feast. 

The Ceremony. — When the people have 
gathered on the night appointed, and the 
impersonator has returned from the 
bushes where he retired to dress, wearing 
the mask and bearskin suit (pi. ii), the 
speaker addresses the people and. relates 
the origin of the dance, then addressing 
the Mlsi'ng^S says, "Take care of us 




while we are dancing, so that everything 
goes smoothly." Then they have a 
dance in which the Mlsi'ng^* joins, but 
he dances around the outside of the circle 
of people, not with them. When they 
have finished, he dances twelve changes 
alone, which occupies the time until 
morning. When daylight appears, the 
hominy is brought out and everyone eats, 
including the Mlsing^^', after which the 
speaker says, "Now we have eaten with 
our Mlsi'ng^\ We will have this dance 
again next spring." The people then 
disperse to their homes, the Mlsi'ng^* is 
put away and the impersonator paid a 
yard of wampum for his dancing. At 
this dance the singers keep time by 
striking with sticks on a dry deer-hide 
rolled over and stuffed with dried grass, 
very similar to the "drum" used in the 
Big House. 

Adams^ Account. — The only account 
the writer has seen of this ceremony is 
that of Adams', '^ the chief inaccuracy of 
which is the statement that the dance is 
"only for amusement." It furnishes, 




however, several additions to our knowl- 
edge of the " Solid Face." It is as follows: 

" Messingq or Solid Face Dance or Devil Dance. 
— The principal leader in this dance is the 
Messingq, an Indian, who is dressed in a bearskin 
robe with a wooden face, one-half red and one- 
half black. He has a large bearskin pouch and 
carries a stick in one hand and a tortoise shell 
rattle in the other. He is a very active person. 
The dance is only for amusement, and men and 
women join in it. A large place is cleared in the 
woods, and the ground is swept clean and a fire 
built in the center. Across the fire and inside 
of the ring is a long hickory pole supported at 
each end by wooden forks set in the ground. 
On the east of this pole the singers stand; on 
the west end is a venison or deer, which is roasted. 
About daylight, when the dance is nearly over, 
all the dancers eat of the venison. They have a 
dried deer hide stretched over some hickory 
poles, and standing around it beat on the hide 
and sing. The dancers proceed around the fire 
to the right, the women on the inside next to the 
fire. After the dance is under headway the 
Messingq comes from the darkness, jumps over 
the dancers, and dances between the other dancers 
and the fire. * He makes some funny and queer 
gestures, kicks the fire, and then departs. The 
Messingq is never allowed to talk, but frequently 
he visits the people at their homes. He is a 
terror to little children, and when he comes to a 




house or tent the man of the house usually 
gives him a piece of tobacco, which the Messingq 
smells and puts in his big pouch, after which he 
turns around and kicks back toward the giver 
which means 'thank you,* and departs. He 
never thinks of climbing a fence, but jumps over 
it every time that one is in his Wiay. The Devil 
dance is what the white men call it, but the 
Delawares call it the Messingq, or 'solid face' 
dance. The Messingq does not represent an evil 
spirit, but is always considered a peacemaker. 
I suppose that it is from his hideous appearance 
that white men call him the devil." 


The Mlsi'ng^^ the Indians claim, 
" takes care of the children/' as well as of 
the deer, for as before related if any 
Delaware has a child who is weak, sickly, 
or disobedient, he sends for the Mlsi'ng^* 
and asks him to "attend to" his child. 
On his arrival it does not take the im- 
personator long to frighten the weakness, 
sickness, or laziness out of such children, 
so that "afterward they are well and 
strong, and whenever they are told to do 
a thing, they lose no time in obeying." 
This is the only trace of the doctoring 




function of the mask found among the 

When the keeper of the Mlsi'ng^* 
burns tobacco for him and asks for good 
luck in hunting, "it tur^is out that way 
every time;" and the Lenape say more- 
over that if anyone loses horses or cattle, 
either strayed away or stolen, he can go 
to the keeper of the Mlsi'ng^* with some 
tobacco as a gift and get them back. 
He explains hfs errand to the keeper, who 
in turn informs the Mlsi'ng^^ that they 
want him to look for the horses or cattle. 
The loser then goes back home, and after 
a few days the missing animals return, 
driven back by the Mlsi'ng^*, who if they 
had been tied or hobbled by the thieves, 
frightened them until they broke away 
and came home. When the Big House 
meeting is held in the fall, the Mlsi'ng^*, 
as before related, is seen going around 
among the tents of the Delawares as- 
sembled, and in and out of the Big House, 
always coming from the woods, where the 
impersonator has a place to change his 
clothes. The Indians say: 




"He helps the people with their hunt- 
ing, and also helps in the Big House while 
the ceremonies are in progress. If he 
finds anyone there who has not done 
right, he informs the three guards of the 
meeting, who take that person and put 
him out. In all these ways the Misi'ng^' 
helps the Delawares." 


The Minsi Mizi'nk (cognate with the 
Unami Misi'ng^^) was a mask made of 
wood with copper or brass eyes and a 
crooked nose, according to my informants 
at Munceytown; and judging by Peter 
Jones' drawings (pi. in) they were pro- 
vided also with hair, tufts of feathers, and 
jingling copper cones or deer-hoofs. The 
Mizink at Grand river was of Minsi type, 
judging by the specimen obtained by the 
writer (fig. 4). 

Such masks were made to represent 
MizinkhMi'ktin, who was "something like 
a person, but diflferent from the Indians, 
and was powerful. They saw him first 
among the rocks on a hill, and he spoke to 



them and told them what to do to get his 
power. When a man put on a Mizink 
he received the power of this person or 
spirit; he could even see behind him, 
and could cure diseases.** 

The Mask Society. — The men who 
owned these masks formed a kind of 
society which Nellis Timothy says orig- 
inally had twelve members, but which, 
before it disbanded, dwindled to about 
five. Sometimes only two appeared in 

The society had a meeting-house of 
its own where its dances, Mizinki'ntika, 
were held, for, unlike the Unami custom, 
no Mizink ever appeared in the Big 
House. The members appeared wearing 
their masks and clad in rough bearskin 
and deerskin costumes, while some, at 
least, where provided with a turtleshell 
rattle which they would rub on a long 
pole, crying "O-o'^-o**.'** the while. 

Ceremonies. — While no consecutive ac- 
count of their ceremonies is now re- 
membered, it was said that they some- 
times put down their rattles, heaped up 






the ashes from the two fires, then threw 
the ashes all over the house to prevent 
the people assembled from having disease. 

Should any sick person appear, he or 
she would be especially treated with 
ashes. Sometimes the performers would 
pick up live coals and throw them about, 
frightening the people. At other times 
the whole company of them would go 
around to the different houses begging 
for tobacco, and would dance in any 
house where someone was willing to sing 
for them. 

Nothing was said among the Minsi 
about the Mizink bringing back stray 
stock or driving deer, characteristic at- 
tributes of the Mask Being of the Unami. 
The writer obtained but one mask among 
the Canadian Lenape, and this was from 
the Grand River band (fig. 4); it has 
been described by him" in the following 

"But one mask (mizink) was obtained. It 
differed from those of the Iroquois chiefly in 
being cruder, and also in decoration, the lines 
being burnt into the wood instead of being 




painted or carved. The original use of the mask 
had to do, in ;part at least, with healing the sick, 
but Isaac Montour {KapyHChUm), from whom I 
bought it, failed to make himself clear as to the 

It will be seen that the Minsi beliefs 
and practices noted above resemble those 
of the False Face Company of the Iro- 
quois tribes much more than they do the 
customs connected with Mlsi'ng^* among 
the Unami. 

In fact, a vague tradition exists to the 
effect that the False Face Company of 
the Cayuga once put a stop to an epidemic 
of cholera among the Minsi. While this 
was not given to account for the origin 
of the society among the Minsi, it at 
least shows that they were familiar with 
the Iroquois practices in this line. 




Minor Ceremonies 
The Doll Being 

HE Doll Being, called by the 
Unami 0^'das and by the 
Minsi Nani'tis, has been al- 
ready mentioned as a minor 
Lenape deity, and it now remains only to 
relate the ceremonies and beliefs con- 
nected with it, beginning with the myth 
accounting for its origin. 

Myth of Origin 

Long ago, the Lenape say, some chil- 
dren, playing with sticks, decided to cut 
faces upon them, and were then very 
much surprised to notice that the little 
dolls which they had thus made seemed 
to have life. Their parents made them 
throw the dolls away when they dis- 
covered this, and most of the children 



soon forgot what had happened. One 
little girl, however, grieved for her doll; 
it bothered her all the time, and finally 
she began to dream of it every night. 
Then she told her parents of her trouble, 
and they realized that they should not 
have compelled her to throw the doll 
away. One night the doll appeared to 
the child and spoke to her, saying, "Find 
me and keep me always, and you and 
your family will ever enjoy good health. 
You must give me new clothing and hold 
a dance for me every spring," and then 
told her exactly what to do. The girl 
reported this to her parents, who imme- 
diately looked for the doll and found it, 
then dressed it, made some hominy, 
killed a deer, and held a dance in its 
honor as they were instructed, and this 
rite has been continued to the present 

Preparations for the Ceremony 

When the family owning a doll of this 
kind is ready to conduct the Doll Dance 
{O^'das-ki'ntkd), they select two men to 





gather firewood and to clean up the 
dance-ground used every year, and to 
engage a speaker and two singers, paying 
each of them with a yard of wampum. 
The dance-ground is square, similar to 
that used for the Mlsi'ng^^ dance, with 
logs ranged about for seats, in some 
pleasant place out in the woods. A 
hunter is then selected, who calls on 
several to help him get a deer, which, 
when brought in, is hung on poles pre- 
pared for it at the dance-ground, where 
it remains over night. The next morning 
they cook the deer and a kettle of hominy, 
and are then ready for the ceremony. 

The Doll Dance 

About the middle of the afternoon the 
speaker rises and addresses the people, 
telling them the story of the doll's origin 
and explaining its function; then he 
addresses the doll, which has now been 
fastened on a pole, calling it "grand- 
mother" and notifying it that they are 
about to hold a dance in its honor, at the 
same time asking it to insure good health 




to the family of its owner. When he 

finishes, the dance leader, who should be 

a relative of the family owning it, takes 

the doll on its pole, and then, as the 

drummers sitting in the center of the 

dance-ground begin to strike the dry 

hide stuffed with grass that serves as a 

drum, and to sing the song of the Doll 

dance, he commences to dance, circling 

roun'd the drummers, still carrying the 

doll, the people falling in behind him, 

forming two circles, the men inside, 

next to the drummers, and the women 

outside. When the leader finishes his 

'*set," he passes the doll pole to the man 

behind him, who repeats the process, and 

so on until the men dancers have carried 

it six times, when it is transferred to the 

women, who, in their turn, dance six 

sets, making twelve in all, the Lenape 

sacred number. 

The twelve sets, or " changes," lengthen 
the ceremony far into the night, and this 
necessitates a large fire to give light. 
This is built near the center of the dance- 
ground. Sometimes, if the crowd in 




attendance is large, two such fires are 
built. Between the changes the doll 
pole is stuck into the ground near the 
fire. When the twelfth set is finished, 
the speaker announces, **The Doll Dance 
is over," and the feast of hominy and 
venison is served to everyone. Then 
the speaker says: "If you want to dance 
the rest of the night, you may do so, for 
many of you have come a long way from 
home and should have a chance for more 
enjoyment. We will hold another Doll 
Dance next year." Then they put the 
doll away and amuse themselves with 
various social dances until morning. 

MiNsi Doll Ceremony 

Among the Minsi the beliefs concerning 
the Doll Being were similar, but differed 
in detail. As to origin, Wolf told the 
writer that one time a man lay ill, likely 
to die, and his family called in a medicine- 
man, or "witch-doctor." The shaman 
finally announced that the family must 
make one of these dolls and care for it, 
and that the sick man would then get 




well. This was done, and the doctor's 
prediction being realized, the Minsi have 
ever since made and used these dolls, 
called in their dialect nani^tis, which 
were transmitted from parents to chil- 
dren. Wolf's own mother had one, 
carved out of wood in the form of a 
person, with a woman's dress and mocca- 
sins (for as a rule they represent women) ; 
and she always cared for it religiously, 
in the belief that if well treated it would 
protect the family and give them good 
health, but if neglected, someone would 
surely die. Every year, in the fall, when 
the deer are in their best condition, 
Wolf's mother held a dance for it, called 
*' Feeding the Nani'tis;" but she did 
more than feed it: she put new clothes 
on it, three sets, and new moccasins 
every year. She believed that the image 
sometimes went about of its own accord, 
although she kept it carefully in a box, 
for the old dresses always seemed worn 
at the bottom and soiled, and she found 
burrs clinging to them when she went 
to put new clothes on "Nani'tJs." 




She hired a man especially to hunt a 
yearling doe for the ceremony, which 
took place in her own dwelling. The 
details are lost, but it is remembered that 
a man beat a little drum and sang while 
she, as owner, danced around, carrying 
the doll in her hands, followed by such 
of the other women present as wished to 
participate. Said Wolf, *'The Nani'tis 
helped the Indians, that's why they fed 

An Old Minsi ** Doll.'' — The writer was 
able to obtain but one old specimen of this 
type (pi. viii), which was procured at 
the Grand River reserve, Ontario, for the 
E. T. Tefft collection, now in the Amer- 
ican Museum of Natural History, and 
was described in the writer's article," 
before cited, as follows: 

"Perhaps the most interesting Delaware speci- 
men of all is the little wooden image, about eight 
inches high, bought of Dr. Jones, which his 
father. Rev. Peter Jones, described and illustrated 
in his book under the name 'Nahneetis, the 
Guardian of Health.' He says: 

"'I have in my possession two family gods. 
One is called Pabookowaih — the god that crushes 





or breaks down diseases. The other is a goddess 
named Nahneetis, the guardian of health. This 
goddess was delivered up to me by Eunice Hank, 
a Muncey Indian woman, who with her friends 
used to worship it in their sacred dances, making 
a feast to it every year, when a fat doe was 
sacrificed as an oflfering, and many presents were 
given by the friends assembled. She told me 
she was now restored to worship the Christian's 
God, and therefore had no further use for it.* 

"There can be no doubt in this case concerning 
the identity of this specimen with the one 
illustrated in the book quoted. It will be noticed 
however by those who are familiar with Peter 
Jones* illustration that Nahneetis, like many 
humans, has lost her hair in her old age. An 
interesting feature of the specimen is the primi- 
tive skirt, which is made apparently by belting a 
blanket-like bit of cloth, bound at the edges, 
around Nahneetis' waist. A vestige of this 
method of making a skirt survives, I think, in the 
form of the beaded strip running up one of the 
vertical seams of the more modern Indian skirt, 
among both the Delawares and the Iroquois." 

The writer afterward found such skirts 
still in use among the Lenape in Okla- 
homa (pi. I, b). 

An Early Account of NaniHis. — An- 
other early account of the Nani'tJs 
among the Minsi may be found in the 




Wisconsin Historical Collections^ among 
the documents relating to the Stock- 
bridge Mission, written by the Rev. 
Cutting Marsh.^ It reads as follows: 

"Nov. 6th [1839]. A Munsee Indian who 
came to this place over a year previous from 
Canada called upon me with an interpreter in 
order to give up a family idol. This man whose 
name is Big-Deer is upwards of 50 years of age, 
and since removing to this place, thro' the in- 
fluence of this family above mentioned has 
attended meetings constantly and gives some 
evidence of a change of heart. 

"The history of this idol was very interesting. 
He said that his mother gave it to him before her 
death which occurred about 29 years ago, and 
that he had worshipped it until within a few 
years when he heard about Jesus Christ, but 
had never given it up before. 'Now he says I 
wish to give it up and follow the Lord Jesus 
Christ, and I give this idol to you and you may 
do what you are a mind to with it.' It vf9& 
indeed not only a 'shameful thing,' but a horribly 
looking object about the size of a common doll; 
fantastically arrayed in Indian costulne and 
nearly covered with silver broaches and trinkets; 
and whilst retained as an object of worship was 
kept wrapped up in some 20 envelopments of 
broad-cloth trimmed with scarlet ribbon. They 
called it their ' Mother,' it is more than a hundred 




years old, and its late possessor was the fourth 
generation which had worshipped it. The season 
for worshipping it was in the fall after a hunt 
when they made a feast to it and danced around 
it. ' If they did not do this every fall they said, 
that is, make the feast &c. it would be angry and 
destroy them by some dreadful sickness.' It was 
therefore an object of fear or dread with them, 
but not one of love and compassion." 


We will now consider two ceremonies 
of the Unami which are based on animal 
cults which show a considerable similarity 
not only in their traditional origin, but 
also in their ritual. 

The more important seems to be the 
one called Papasokwi^'lun^ which, al- 
though no part of a bear appears in its 
rites as practised within recent years, 
was evidently a Bear ceremony in the 
days when these animals were abundant. 
It also exhibits some features suggesting 
the Annual Ceremony before described, 
but there is no Mlsi'ng^\ and there are 
many other important differences. 





Traditional Origin 

The Indians say that a cub bear, kept 
as a pet by a Lenape family long ago, 
became a great playmate of one of the 
little sons of the family, but finally grew 
so large that the child's parents decided 
to get rid of it; so they tied a little bag 
of tobacco around its neck and told it to 
go away. This it did, but the little 
boy, its playmate, soon fell ill, and his 
parents searched in vain for a cure. 
After a long while one of the Indian 
doctors told his parents that if they would 
hold a ceremony of this kind and repeat 
it every two years, the child would re- 
cover and would keep his health. This 
was done; the boy recovered, and his 
family, who belong to the Wolf phratry, 
have continued to practise the rites ever 
since, believing that it preserves their 


This ceremony required a special house, 
which was made new for it every two 
years, so the first thing the family did, 
when the time approached, was to find 




a number of men, each of whom was 
paid a yard of wampum to cut forks 
and poles and erect the building. This 
was made by setting up a frame of poles 
in the form of a Big House, but smaller, 
only seven paces wide and fifteen paces 
long, then covering the top with brush 
and piling brush at the sides. Then to 
the east of the house a pole was erected, 
upon which to hang the meat for the 
feast, which, in old times, had to be a 
bear; but when bears became scarce a 
black hog was substituted, and of late a 
hog of any color has been used. The 
building finished, the hog was killed, and, 
having been hung on the pole over night, 
was taken into the house the next day, 
quartered, singed on a fire that had been 
built inside, then carried out again, cut 
up, and cQoked, all except the loose fat, 
which was kept for a special purpose, as 
will appear later. When done, the meat 
was kept in large baskets, with the excep- 
tion of the head, which, having 'been 
cooked whole, was placed in a large bowl 
with two of the animal's ribs in its mouth. 




The Rites 

When night came, the leader entered 
the brush house, taking with him a 
turtle rattle similar to that used in the 
Annual Ceremony, followed by the men 
who were to participate (no women being 
allowed), and then made a speech, telling 
of the men who had "brought in" this 
meeting, and explaining its origin, but 
making no prayers to the Great Spirit 
or to any of the manl'towuk, his helpers. 
He then threw half of the hog-fat upon 
the fire, and placed a string of wampum 
around his own neck. At this juncture 
the cook brought him the hog's h^ad in 
its bowl, and then, first announcing, '* I 
am now going to carry the head around,** 
the leader began to chant and to walk 
about the house, making false motions to 
everyone as if to give him the head, then 
withdrawing it and proceeding to the 
next. The burden of the chant, the 
Indians say, was "what his dream helper 
told him,** very much as in the Big House, 
but here the people kept time to his chant 
orally, saying ** Hu-hu-hu!*' until he 




stopped. The informant does not know 
who, if any one, shook the rattle. Prob- 
ably it was employed by the singers after 
the burning of the head. After making 
the circuit twice, the leader hung his 
string of wampum upon some old man 
of the Turkey phratry who had a "vision 
of power," who took the head and made 
his rounds in the same way. He finally 
cut off the ears of the head, pulled the 
ribs from its mouth, and threw it into 
the fire, bowl and all. The meat was 
then distributed to everyone, whereupon 
the floor was open to any man who wished 
to sing an account of his vision. A 
bucket of prepared drink was placed at 
each end of the house for the refreshment 
of such singers, but the head, of course, 
was gone. When the songs were finished, 
the remainder of the fat, and finally the 
broth in which the meat had been 
cooked, were thrown upon the fire, and 
in conclusion, six women were called in 
and instructed to go out and give six 
times the prayer cry, *' IIo-o-o!'' 

Perhaps the following ceremony noted 




by Zeisberger'^ may have been of this 

"A fourth kind of feast is held in honor of a 
certain voracious spirit, who, according to their 
opinions, is never satisfied. The guests are, 
therefore, obliged to eat all the bear's flesh and 
drink the melted fat. Though indigestion and 
vomiting may result they must continue and not 
leave anything." 


Similar to the Bear ceremony in many 
ways, both in traditional origin and in 
rites, was the observance called A^'tci- 
gamu'Lti^, said to mean "compulsory 
hog-eating," held to propitiate the Otter 
spirit, a cult whose paraphernalia the 
writer was fortunate enough to collect 
for the Museum of the American Indian, 
Heye Foundation. 

Myth of Origin 

Many years ago, so runs the story, a 
little girl about ten years of age was given 
a young otter for a pet, and this she kept 
and cared for until it was well grown. 
About this time she began to feel that 
she should keep him no longer, for she 




had qome to realize that he was pi'lsu^y 
meaning **pure" or *' sacred," and, like 
all wild things, belonged to the Powers 
Above. The old people told her what 
she must do, so she took her otter down 
to the creek, and, first tying a little bag 
of tobacco on his neck, said to him: 
** Now I shall set you free. I have raised 
you and cared for you until now you are 
full grown. Go, then, and follow the 
ways of your kind." 

The otter disappeared into the waters, 
and the little girl returned to her home, 
feeling that she had done well. But 
before a year had passed, a sickness came 
upon her, which the Indian doctors told 
her was caused by her pet otter, which 
wanted soniething to eat. The only way 
for the child to get well, they said, was 
for her to have a hog killed and cooked, 
and then to invite a number of men to 
eat it all, in the name of the otter. This 
was done, and when the men finished 
eating the hog and the soup, they said 
that the girl would recover, and so she 
did. For this ceremony they took an 





a b 
Fig. i6.— a. Regalia of otter-sltin used in the Otlw 
Rice; b. Regalia ae worn. (Length of a. s6.s In.) 




otter-skin (fig. i6, a) to represent the 
girfs pet, which was used every two 
years, and when the owner died was 
passed to the oldest survivor of the family 
which owned it, and kept in the belief 
that it would benefit the health of all of 
them. It was the only one of its kind 
in the tribe, and is called '^ Kunu^'xasJ" 

The Ceremony 

The exact details and order of the 
ceremony were not remembered by our 
informant, but it was certain that the 
family in question "fed the otter" every 
two years in the spring, that being the 
time of year when the little girl had been 
taken ill. Everyone was invited, men 
and women, and a man was selected to 
cook the hog, and another to supply wood 
and to cut the poles for swinging the 
kettle, both of whom were paid with a 
yard of wampum. The fire was kindled 
with a special flint-and-steel always kept 
with the outfit (fig. 17). 

It will be observed that the otter-skin 
has a slit down the niiddle of the neck. 




through which the owner thrust his head 
in such manner that the otter's nose lay 
under the wearer's chin, while its body 

a b 

Fig. 17. — Flint and steel used in the Otter Rite. 
(Length of a, 3 in>) 

and tail hung down his back. Wearing 
the skin in this manner (fig. 16, 6), 
himself impersonating the original otter, 
the owner would open the ceremony by 
walking about the fire, chanting and 




shaking the turtle rattle (fig. i8), which 
resembles those used in the Big House, 
while the audience kept time to his song 
by uttering " Hu-hu-hu-hu!" The na- 
ture of the song the writer was unable to 
learn, but, like the chants of the Bear 

Fic. i8.— Rattle of land- toilolat abell uaed In the 
OMfr Rite. (Length. 3.9 in.) 

Ceremony, it probably was concerned 
with the singer's "dream helper." When 
he had finished, another man put on the 
skin and took up the chant, and so on 
until noon the next day, when the cere- 
mony was brought to a close and all 





joined in the feast. At this time the skin 
is told, "We will feed you again in tw^o 


Such was the list of native Lenape 
ceremonies furnished by our informants; 
but Adams^ mentions several more, for 
which the writer was unable to procure 
much in the way of data. One of these 
was the Buffalo dance, which the writer 
feels should be included with the Otter 
and Bear ceremonies, although Adams 
calls it a "pleasure dance.". He admits, 
it will be observed, that it usually took 
place before hunters started on the chase. 
His account follows: 

"The Buffalo dance is a pleasure dance and 
always begins in the morning and lasts all day. 
The ground is made clean in a circle large enough 
to dance on, and in the center a fire is built and 
a fork driven into the ground on each side, and 
a pole placed across the fire east and west. On 
each side of the fire is a large brass kettle hanging 
across the pole with hominy in it, and when the 
dance is nearly over, the dancers eat the hominy, 
dipping their hands in the kettle. The singers 
are outside of the ring and beat on a dried deer 




hide stretched over poles. They do not use the 
same step in the dance, but gallop like buffaloes 
and bellow like them, also have horns on their 
heads and occasionally hook at each other. The 
dance is usually given before starting on a chase." 

Skeleton Dance 

The preceding ceremonies have all 
been, ostensibly at least, of native Lenape 
origin, but we now come to several whose 
outside origin is admitted by the Indians 
themselves. The most ancient of these 
is the ** Human Skeleton Dance," men- 
tioned by Adams.^ He calls it a rite 
belonging to the Wolf clan or phratry of 
the Delawares, but the writer's infor- 
mants say that it is not true Lenape at 
all, but a Nanticoke (One^'tko) ceremony 
introduced among the Lenape by the 
survivors of that tribe who had joined 
forces with them. Adams' account, 
which is better than any the writer was 
able to obtain, is as follows: 

** Human Skeleton Dance. — Given only 
by the Wolf clan of the Delawares. A 





certain dance given as a memorial to the 
dead was supposed to clear a way for 
the spirit of the deceased to the spirit 
land. When a member of the Wolf clan 
died, the flesh was stripped from the 
bones and buried, and the bones were 
dried at some private place. At the end 
of 1 2 days the skeleton would be wrapped 
in white buckskin and taken to a place 
prepared for the dance and there held up 
by some one. As the singers would sing 
the men who held the skeleton would 
shake it and the bones would rattle as the 
dancers would proceed around it. After 
the dance the skeleton was buried. 
Traditions say that in ancient times some 
of the head men in the Wolf clan had a 
dream that they must treat their dead in 
that way, and the custom has been 
handed down to them for many centuries. 
The other clans say the custom does not 
belong to theni. The custom has been 
long dropped. There has not been a 
skeleton dance since i860.*' 





One of the latest of introduced cere- 
monies, which was still much in favor with 
the Oklahoma Lenape when last visited 
by the writer, is the Peyote Rite, a cult 

Fic. 19— Peyote " Button." (Diametef. i.a in.) 

now widespread among the tribes of the 
Central Weat, introduced among this 
people by an Indian named John Wilson, 
who obtained it, they say. from the 
Caddo on Washita river about the year 
1890 or 1892. During this ceremony re- 





markable visions are produced by eating 
the dried top of a small cactus, the peyote 
(fig. 19), for which the cult is named, and 
these visions, coupled with the moral 
teachings embodied in the ritual, make 
it very attractive to the Indian, who, on 
joining the cult, is often persuaded to 
discard entirely the ancient beliefs of his 
own people. The writer is acquainted 
with two principal forms of the rite, one 
involving native deities only, the other, 
almost entirely Christian in teaching and 
symbolism. It is this latter form which 
has been adopted by the Lenape, to whom 
the tipi, in which the ceremony is held, 
is as foreign an institution as the little 
cactus itself, brought in from southern 
Texas and Mexico. 

Paraphernalia. — For this ceremony the 
tipi is erected with the door to the east, 
and a complex series of symbols arranged 
inside, as shown in the smaller draw- 
ing, pi. IX. On the western side of the 
lodge is built a crescent-shaped mound, 
or moon/* o( earth, packed hard, its 
horns turned toward the east, which they 




say represents the tomb where Christ 
was buried, and on the center of this is 
placed a large peyote, dampened and 
flattened (fig. 19), resting either on a 
bed of feathers or on the bare earth ; and 
to the west of this again, sometimes a 
crucifix, as shown in the illustration. 
Between the points of the crescent is 
built the fire in a certain prescribed man- 
ner with overlapping sticks forming an 
angle pointing westward. Near the door 
lies another mound — a round one repre- 
senting the sun. From the peyote resting 
on the embankment to the sun mound, 
directly through the middle of the fire, a 
line is drawn in the earth of the floor. 
This represents the "peyote road." along 
which the Peyote Spirit takes the devotee 
on a journey toward the sun, and. also 
symbolizes the road to Heaven that 
Jesus made for the souls of men when He 
returned thither. West of the crescent- 
shaped mound stands, when not in use, 
the highly decorated arrow or staff, 
frequently made in the form of a long 
cross, with a groove extending from 




end to end, representing the spirit road. 
A small water-drum made of a piece of 
deerskin stretched over a crock, as seen 
in pi. IX, a nicely carved drumstick, an 
eagle-feather fan for brushing all evil 
influence away from each devotee as he 
enters or leaves the ceremony, and a 
supply of dried peyote, dampened and 
crushed in a mortar, are all necessary for 
the ceremony. Each devotee, moreover, 
must be supplied with a decorated gourd 
rattle of his own. 

Officers. — The only officers needed for 
this rite are a "Road-man" or speaker, 
who sits ^n the west, just opposite the 
door, and a fire guard stationed at the 
door, whose duty it is to keep the fire 
burning, and to brush with the feather 
fan the devotees as they enter. This is 
illustrated in the colored plate (pi. ix), 
which represents also the "Road-man" 
guiding a newcomer to a seat. 

Conduct of the Ceremony. — When all 
are gathered in the tipi, the leader first 
passes around a fragment herb which the 
people chew and rub over hands and 




body. Then the macerated peyote is 
passed, and each takes enough to make 
eight pellets about half an inch in di- 
ameter, of which some eat all, some only 
part, reserving some pellets to be eaten 
later. About this time the leader ad- 
dresses the peyote and the fire, prays, 
and often delivers a regular sermon or 
moral lecture. He then takes the staff 
in his left hand, and sitting, or kneeling 
on one knee, he sings a certain number of 
peyote songs, which are a class to them- 
selves, while the man to the left beats 
the drum, then passes the staff to the 
person on his right, himself taking the 
drum while this person sings, and so the 
stafT travels round and round the lodge, 
each taking his turn at singing, while the 
devotees, men and women alike, keep 
their eyes fixed upon the fire or upon the 
peyote lying on the mound. As the 
night wears on the "medicine** begins to 
take effect, and the devotees see many 
strange visions, pictures, and brilliant- 
colored patterns. Often one may see 
the Peyote Spirit, in the form of an old 



man, who takes his spirit on a wonderful 
journey along the "peyote road," east- 
ward toward the sun. At daybreak they 
all file out of the tipi bearing their 
paraphernalia, as seen in pi. ix, fe, and 
when the sun appears they raise their 
hands in salutation, and then those who 
are left standing (for some fall as if 
dead at the sight of the sun) "give thanks 
to the Great Father in Heaven." Those 
who fall at sunrise, they say, are the ones 
who visited the sun in their visions. All 
sleep, or at least rest, until about noon, 
when a feast is served, after which every- 
one tells what he or she saw while "on the 
peyote road." 

The Lenape variant of this ceremony, 
as related above, differs somewhat from 
that of other tribes practising the Chris- 
tian form of the Peyote rite, but in all 
essentials it is almost identical. 

Ghost Dance 

The Ghost dance was also introduced 
among the Lenape by an Indian named 
Wilson, about the same time, our infor- 



mants thought, as the Peyote rite, and, 
like it, probably from the Washita River 

Wilson would call a dance every now 
and then during his lifetime, at which 
the people appeared in their everyday 
dress, without such special costumes as 
were seen, for instance, at such functions 
among the Kiowa and the Arapaho. At 
these meetings the participants would 
dance round and round for a long time, 
with a sidewise step, to the sound of 
song and water-drum, sometimes for a 
considerable period without stopping. 
Occasionally one would fall and appear 
to faint, and when revived would claim 
to have visited Heaven in spirit while his 
body lay as if dead. When Wilson died, 
the cult, so far as the Delawares were 
concerned, perished with him. 

Such were the ceremonies surviving 
until recent times among the Lenape, 
from which have been omitted only the 
observances connected with the dead, 
shamanism, witchcraft, and war, all of 
which will be discussed in later papers. 






STUDY of the material pre- 
sented shows that the Lenape 
believed in a Great Spirit, or 
Creator, whose goodness is ac- 
knowledged, who is thanked for past 
blessings and petitioned for their con- 
tinuance, but who is not their only god. 
He is, however, the great chief of all, and 
dwells in the twelfth, or highest heaven. 
He created everything, either with his own 
hands or through agents sent by him, and 
all the powers of nature were assigned to 
their duties by his word. That these 
concepts are not new among the Lenape 
may be seen from the fact that most of 
the early writers who treat of this people 
have noticed such beliefs among them, 
which can be traced back as far as 1679. 





This Great Spirit gave the four quarters 
of the earth and the winds that come from 
them to four powerful beings, or manl'- 
towuk, namely, Our Grandfather where 
daylight begins, Our Grandmother where 
it is warm, Our Grandfather where the 
sun goes down, and Our Grandfather 
where it is winter. To the Sun and the 
Moon, regarded as persons and addressed 
as Elder Brothers by the Indians, he gave 
the duty of providing light, and to our 
Elder Brothers the Thunders, man-like 
beings with wings, the task of watering 
the crops, and of protecting the people 
against the Great Horned Serpents and 
other water monsters. To the Living 
Solid Face, or Mask Being, was given 
charge of all the wild animals; to the 
Corn Spirit, control over all vegetation, 
while Our Mother, the Earth, received 
the task of carrying and feeding the 

Besides these powerful personages were 
many lesser ones, such as the Small 
People, the Doll Being, the Snow Boy, 
and the Great Bear. Certain localities. 





moreover, were the abode of supernatural 
beings, while animals and plants were 
thought to have spirits of their own. 
Besides these there were, of course, the 
countless spirits of the human dead who 
were still supposed to retain some in- 
fluence in earthly affairs. 

This, then, was the supernatural world 
which, to the mind of the Lenape, con- 
trolled all things — on which they must 
depend for health, for success in all their 
undertakings, even the daily task of deer- 
hunting or corn-raising. Benevolent be- 
ings must be pleased, and bad spirits 
combated and overcome, or at least 

There was, however, until very lately, 
no conception of a "devil" in the modern 
sense of the word. 

The main channel of communication 
between the supernatural world and 
man was the dream or vision, obtained, 
as before described, by fasting and con- 
sequent purification in youth. Through 
the vision the young man obtained his 
guardian spirit or supernatural helper. 




who gave him some power or blessing 
that was his main dependence through 
life, his aid in time of trouble, the secret 
of his success. No wonder, then, that 
visions and helpers form the basis of 
Lenape belief and worship. Among the 
guardian spirits figured not only such 
great powers as the Sun and the Thunder 
Beings, the personified powers of nature, 
but the spirits representing various spe- 
cies of animals and birds, such as the 
Wolf or the Owl, of plants, as "Mother 
Corn," as well as the Mask Being, and 
even the spirits of the dead which some 
Lenape claimed as helpers. 

Those favored by such visions were 
considered the leading people of their 
community. They usually composed 
rythmic chants referring to their visions, 
and appropriate dance songs to go with 
them, to recite at the Annual Cere- 

Belief in a soul or spirit surviving the 


death of the body formed an integral part 
of Lenape philosophy. The soul is sup- 
posed to linger for eleven days after death. 




and is addressed and offered food by the 
surviving relatives, sometimes in a 
formal ** Feast of the Dead;" but on the 
twelfth day, they say, it leaves the earth 
and finally makes its way to the twelfth 
or highest heaven, the home of the Great 
Spirit, where it leads a happy life in a 
land where work and worry are unknown. 
Some persons are thought to have the 
power of communicating with the de- 


Most of the beliefs summarized above 
were found among the descendants of 
both Unami and Minsi; but when we 
consider their great religious ceremonies, 
we begin to note differences. While it 
is true that (i) in both cases these rites 
are based on the recital of the visions 
seen by the participants, combined with 
thanksgiving to the Great Spirit and his 
helpers for past blessings and prayers 
for their rene*wal, that (2) the New Fire 
ceremony figures in both, and that (3) 
they take place in a building of special 




form and decoration erected for the 
purpose, we note that among the Unami 
the ceremony is conducted only once a 
year, and is combined to a certain extent 
with the cult of the Mlsi'ng^*, or Mask 
Being, a magnified guardian spirit or 
personal helper; while the Minsi have in 
addition to that held in the fall, a spring 
ceremony also, cognate with the Iroquois 
"Thanks for the First Fruits," or Straw- 
berry Dance, and masked impersonators 
do not appear in the Minsi ceremonial 

In the ceremonies of both Unami and 
Minsi, however, we note other similarities 
besides those first mentioned, such as the 
manner of prayer, the use of a drum 
made of a dried deer-hide beaten with 
flat forked drumsticks each bearing a 
carved face, the fumigation and sweeping 
of the Big House, the restriction against 
women in their menses, and the use of 
twelve as a sacred number. 

It therefore seems likely that the rites, 
in spite of the differences noted, probably 
have a common origin, and hence date 




back to a period before the separation of 
the Unami and the Minsi. Indeed we 
have an historical account which seems 
to refer to this kind of ceremony as 
early as 1683, while under date of 1779 
there is a description of the rites prac- 
tically as enacted as late as 1920. 


Analyzing the minor ceremonies of 
Lenape origin we find the cults of two 
types: one founded on a beneficent 
spirit, a personal helper such as the Mask 
Being, whose relations are friendly with 
mankind ; the other based on a discarded 
toy or pet, which makes trouble for its 
former owner unless propitiated by the 
ceremony in question. 

A good example, in fact the only one 
we recorded, of the first type is the 
ceremony in honor of the Misingh^li'ktin, 
or Mask Being, among the Unami, which, 
however, does not find its counterpart 
among the Minsi, who had a Society of 
Masks whose rites and functions were 




similar to those of the Iroquois "False 
Face Company.*' 

The second class embraces the cults 
of the Doll, Bear, and Otter, all of which 
must be propitiated periodically, under 
pain of sickness or death. 

It will be observed that recitals of 
visions form a part of the Bear rites, and 
probably also of the Otter ceremony, all 
of which, taken into consideration with 
the preceding, gives rise to speculations 
concerning the basic form of Lenape 
ceremonies. Perhaps originally, every- 
one who had been blessed with a vision, 
held a periodic ceremony at which rites 
appropriate to his own guardian spirit 
were emphasized, but at which others 
so blessed could recite their own 

Of course ceremonies of extraneous 
origin, such as the Peyote rite, can not 
be classified with those of true Lenape 
origin; and there are others of which our 
accounts are so fragmentary that we can 
not place them, and still others, doubtless, 
that have disappeared entirely. 



That such may have been the case is 
not remarkable — not nearly so extra- 
ordinary as the fact that the Lenape 
have retained so much of their ancient 
beliefs and practices after three centuries 
of contact with civilization. 



1. Handbook of American Indians, Bulletin 30, 
Bureau of American Ethnology, part i, p. 386, 
Washington, 1907. Indian Population in 
the United States and Alaska. 19 10, p. 73, 
Washington, 191 5. Annual Report of the 
Department of Indian Affairs for 1913. 
Ottawa, 1913. 

2. Dankers, Jaspar, and Sluyter, Peter. Jour- 
nal of a Vo3rage to New York in 1679-80. 
Translated from the original manuscript 
in Dutch for the J^ng Island Historical 
Society, pp. 266-267, Brooklyn, 1869. 

3. Penn, William. A Letter from William 
Penn, Proprietary and Govemour of Penn- 
sylvania in America to the Committee of 
the P'ree Society of Traders of that Province, 
Residing in London, p. 6, London, 1683. 

4. Holm, Thomas Camps^nius. Short descrip- 
tion of the Province of New Sweden, now 
called Pennsylvania. Mem. Hist. Soc. Pa., 
vol. Ill, p. 139, Phila., 1834. 

5. David Zeisberger's History of the Northern 
American Indians. Edited by Archer Butler 
Hulbert and William Nathaniel Schwarze. 
Ohio Archceological and Historical Quarterly, 





vol. XIX, no8. I and 2, p. 128, Columbus, 

6. Heckewelder, John. An Account of the 

History, Manners and Customs of the 
Indian Nations who once inhabited Penn- 
sylvania and the neighboring States. Trans- 
actions of the American Philosophical Society, 
vol. I, p. 205, Phila., 1819. 

7. Waubuno, Chief ( John Wampum). The 

Traditions of the Delawares. as told by Chief 
Waubuno. London [n.d.J. This little 
pamphlet contains some original material on 
the Minsi and some purporting to apply to 
the Minsi, but copied from Peter Jones' 
"History of the Ojebway Indians." 

8. Brainerd, David. Memoirs of the Rev. 
David Brainerd. Missionary to the Indians 
. . . chiefly taken from his own diary, bv 
Rev. Jonathan Exlwards, including his 
Journal, now ... incorporated with the 
rest of his diary ... by Sereno Edwards 
Dwight, pp. 344, 349, New Haven, 1822. 

9. Brinton, Daniel G. The Lenape and their 
Legends, p. 65 et seq., Phila., 1885. 

10. Loskiel, George Henry. History of the 

Mission of the United Brethren among the 
Indians in North America, p. 34, London. 
1794. Zeisberger, op. cit., pp. 128-129. 
Heckewelder, op. cit., p. 205. 

11. Loskiel, op. cit. 

12. Zeisberger, op. cit., p. 130. 




13. Brainerd, op. cit., p. 238. 

14. Holm, op. cit., p. 139. 

15. Strachey, Wm. The Historic of Travaile 
into Virginia. Hakluyt Soc. Pub., vol. vi, 
p. 98, London, 1849. 

16. Brainerd, op. cit., p. 344. 

17. Loskiel, op. cit., p. 43. 

18. Brainerd, op. cit. 

19. Loskiel, op. cit. 

20. Ibid. 

21. Ibid. 

22. Zeisberger, op. cit., p. 147. 

23. Heckewelder, op. cit., p. 205. 

24. Loskiel, op. cit., p. 43. 

25. Jones, Rev. Peter. History of the Ojebway 

Indians, p. 83, London, 1861. 

26. Skinner, Alanson, and Schrabisch, Max. 
A Preliminary Report of the Archaeological 
Survey of the State of New Jersey, Bulletin 9 
of the Geological Survey of New Jersey, p. 32, 
Trenton, 1913. 

27. Skinner, Alanson. The Lenape Indians of 
Staten Island, Anthropological Papers of the 
American Museum of Natural History, vol. 
Ill, p. 21. New York, 1909. Idem. Two 
Lenape Stone Masks from Pennsylvania and 
New Jersey, Indian Notes and Monographs, 

28. Brainerd, op. cit., p. 237. 

29. Zeisberger, op. cit., p. 141. 

30. Ibid., op. cit., p. 139. 




31. Brainerd, John, quoted by Abbott in Idols 
of the Delaware Indians, American Nat- 
uralist, Oct. 1882. 

32. Jones, op. cit., pp. 87. 95. 

33. Brainerd, David, op. cit., p. 344. 

34. Penn, William, op. cit. 

35. Brainerd, David, op. cit., p. 238. 

36. Ibid., p. 346. 

37. Zeisberger, op. cit., pp. I33-I34« 

38. Ibid., p. 131. 

39. A similar vision of a black and white duck 
was reported by the Lenape at the Grand 
River reserve in Ontario. See Harrington, 
M. R., Vestiges of Material Culture among 
the Canadian Delawares, American Anthro- 
pologist, n.s., vol. X, no. 3, p. 414, July-Sept., 

40. Brainerd, David, op. cit., p. 347. 

41. Zeisberger, op. cit., p. 132. 

42. Loskiel, op< cit., p. 40. 

43. Heckewelder, op. cit., p. 238 et seq. 

44. Adams, R. C. Notes on Delaware Indians, 

in Report on Indians Taxed and Indians not 
Taxed, U. S. Census 1890, p. 299. 

45. Zeisberger, op. cit. p. 138. 

46. Ibid. pp. 136, 137. 

47. Harrington, M. R. A Preliminary Sketch 
of Lenape Culture, American Anthropologist, 
vol. XV, no. 2, April-June, 1913. 

48. Adams, loc. cit. 

49. Zeisberger, op. cit. p. 138. 




50. Harrington, Canadian Delawares, pp. 414, 
415. See note 39. 

51. Waubuno, op. cit. p. 27. 

52. Brainerd, David, op. cit. p. 237. 

53. Adams, loc. cit. 

54. Harrington, Canadian Delawares, p. 416. 

55. Ibid. p. 417. 

56. Marsh, Rev. Cutting. Documents Relating 
to the Stockbridge Mission, 1825-48, Wis- 
consin Historical Collections, vol. xv, pp. 

57. Zeisberger, op. cit. p. 138. 

58. Adams, loc. cit. 

59. Ibid. 




A'ckas or attendants of Annual ceremony, 
duties of, 84-85, 87-88, 96-97, 103, 105, 107. 
See Attendants. 

Adams f R. C, on Annual ceremony, 118-122; 
on Buffalo dance, 182-183; on dreams or 
visions, 80; on Misi'ng**dance, 154^156; 
on Skeleton dance, 183-184. 

Air, mannitto of, 30. See Thunder Beings 

Alder, dye from bark of, 141 

Alphabet used for Lenape words, 15-16 

Altar at Annual ceremony, 115 

America, prophecy of whites' coming to, 121 

American Anthropologist, account of Minsi 
ceremony in, 138-143 

American Museum of Natural History, Doll 
in collection of, 46, 168-169; Tefft collection 
in, 15, 38 

American tribes, concept of Great Spirit 
among, 19-20 

Animals, as guardian spirits, 49-50, 65, 70, 
77, 80, 121, 195; ceremonies of, 171-183; 
spirits of, 118, 125, 194; thanks to, 134. 
See Wild animals 

Anima mundi compared with Great Spirit, 22 

Annual ceremony, authorities on: Adams, 
118-122; Indian comments, 111-115; Penn, 
115-116; Zeisberger, 116-118; Bear cere- 
mony resembling, 171; carved faces in, 31; 
chant of Pokite'hemun at, 67-69; chants of 




visions at, 66, 73-76, 195; compared with 
Minsi ceremony, 127-145; Four winds in 
ritual of, 26; native name for, 109; penalties 
of omitting, 113-116; rites of Mask in, 36, 
146, 151; thanks given to Earth in, 29; 
Unami rites of, 81-111; variants of, 122-126; 
worship of Great Spirit in, 19; worship of 
Mask Being in, 35. See Minsi 

Anthony, Michael, acknowledgment to, 14, 139 

Ants as guardian spirits, 78 

Arapaho, Ghost dance of, 191 

ArroWf ceremonial use of, at Peyote rite, 
187-188; arrows of Thunder Beings, 29 

Ashes, ceremonial removal of, 101, 131-132; 
prevention of disease by, 160 

A^sipta'gun or paint-dish of bark, 105 

A^'tcigamU'lJi'*, native name for Otter cere- 
mony, 176. See Otter ceremony 

Attendants, at Annual ceremony, 84-85, 87-88, 
96-97, 103, 105-111, 117-118, 120; at Bear 
ceremony, 172-173; at Feast of first fruits, 
144; at Minsi ceremony, 132-133, 137; 
at Otter ceremony, 179; at Peyote rite, 188. 
See A 'ckas 

Axe, Tornado threatened with, 47 

Bad luck, caused by neglect of rites, 113-1 16 

Bag, full of snakes, 35, 153; mask worn in, 
42; of Mask impersonator, 34; of tobacco 
offered: to bear, 172; to otter, 177 

Bark, boiled for making dyes, 141; ceremonial 
bowls and spoons of, 131, 137; ceremonial 
paint-dish of, 105-106; first Big House of, 
148; roof of Big House of, 83 

Beads of wampum, as invitation to dance. 



142-143; payment in, 110-111, 135; used in 
Minsi ceremony, 141-143. See Wampum 

Beans, offering of, 144; thanks to, 134; wam- 
pum string symbolizing, 141-142 

Bear, abundance of, in Happy Hunting 
Ground, 58; ceremony of, 171-176, 199; 
fat of, burned, 117-118, 134; flesh of, 
offered to Corn Goddess, 44; hair of Mask 
Being like, 33; head of, fastened to mask 
of Mask impersonator, 34; provision of , for 
feast, 117 

Bearskin, bag of Mask impersonator, 34, 

155; cap of Mask impersonator, 42; coat of 
Mask impersonator, 41; dress of Mask im- 
personator, 56, 152-153; leggings of Mask 
impersonator, 34, 41 ; worn by members of 
Mask society, 159 

"Beautiful town" or Heaven, 56-57. See 
Happy Hunting Ground 

Belief: in Doll Being, 162-171; in dream or 
vision, 61-80; in Great Spirit, 18-24, 
88-92, 192-193; in immortality, 52-60, 
195-196; in supernatural beings, 17-51 

Bergen, New Jersey, information from Indians 
at, 20 

Big-Deer, Nani'tis given up by, 170-171 

Big House or Xi^ngwtkan, Annual ceremonies 
in, 35, 82'-122; common to both tribes, 
129-133, 196-197; construction of, 82-83, 
119, 148-150; Elkhair on significance of, 
113-115; Mask impersonator present in, 
98-99; MuxhatoL'zing in, 123; of Bear cult, 
173; of Minsi, 127-145; origin of, 147-152; 
prayer in, 112-113; preparation of, for 
Ceremony, 85-87, 117; return of hunters to. 




100-101; rites of Mask in, 151-152; seating 
of congregation in, 93; serving of meals in, 
110; turtle rattles of, 181; visions recited in, 
75-76. See Annual ceremony, Meeting- 

Bilberries, at Annual feast, 118; in Happy 
Hunting Ground, 58 • 

Birds as guardian spirits, 78, 80, 121, 195 

Black, and red: carved faces painted with, 83, 
119; Mask painted with, 2>3, 41, 150, 155; 
and white duck, as guardian spirit, 67, 140; 
hog, offering of, 173; symbolizing men, 

Blanket, ceremonial waving of, 145; blankets 
spread over sweating-oven, 125 

Blessing granted by guardian spirits, 65-67, 
77, 194-195 

Blood, luminous ball of, 53-54 

Body, luminous form of, 53-54 

Bones, burning of, at Annual ceremony, 118 

Bowl, and dice game of mani'towuk, 25-26; 
ceremonial, in Bear cult, 173-174; bowls, 
bark, in Minsi ceremony, 131, 137 

Bows and arrows of Thunder Beings, 29 

Box-tortoise rattle in Annual ceremony, 94-96, 
118, 120. See Rattles 

Box-turtle rattle of Planting dance, 143. See 

Boys, dreaming of, for power, 54; initiation 
of, 63-64, 78-80; pet of, 172; vision of Mask 
Being by, 147-152; visions of, 62-63, 72-75, 
92, 140, 194-195 

Brainerd, David, on animal spirits, 50; on 
Annual ceremony, 151-152; on carved 
faces in Big House, 42; on concept of soul. 




56; on dream or vision i 77; on Evil Spirit, 
25; on Four Directions, 27; on Great Spirit, 
22-23; on impersonator of Mask Being, 
41-42; on sun, 28 

Brainerd, John^ on idol image or Doll, 46-47 

Brass eyes of Mizi'nk, 158 

^'Bringing in" the meeting, 81, 92-94, 104, 
122, 135, 174 

Brown, William, acknowledgment to, 14 

Brush house of Bear cult, 173-174 

Buck, chant referring to, 69; prayer to, 126; 
ridden by Mask Being, ^i, 148; women's 
share in, 106 

Buckskin, skeleton wrapped in, 184 

Buffalo, as guardian spirit, 78; dance of, 182- 

Bunches of wampum, symbolism of, 141-143 

Burial, Wolf clan rites of, 183-184 

Burning, of bones, 118; of cedar leaves, 105; 
of fat, 117-118, 134, 173-175; of hemlock- 
boughs, 133, 144-145; of hog*s head, 175; 
of moccasins, 47; of tobacco, 29, 98, 126, 
151 See Offering 

Cactus called peyote, 186. See Peyote rite 
Caddo, Peyote cult originating among, 185 
Canada, Lenape now resident in, 13-14, 170. 

See Ontario 
Canoe, coming of white men in, 121; over 

river to Spirit land, 54 
Cantico, Penn's term for ceremony, 115-116 
Cap, bearskin, of Mask impersonator, 42 
Carved drumsticksi in Annual ceremony, 101- 

103, 150; in Minsi ceremony, 130-131, 

139-140, 197 




Carved faces, on drumsticks, 101, 130-131, 197; 
on posts of Big House, 42-43, 83, 88, 106, 
119, 148, 150; on posts of Minsi Big House, 
129-130, 151; representing Keepers of the 
Heavens, 31. See Mask, Masks, Misi'n^^ 

Catfish, James Wolf's dream of, 72-73 

Caitle, Mask Being guardian of, 35, 157 

Cayuga, False Face company of, 161; long- 
house, thanksgiving of Lenape in, 139; 
Planting dance of, 143 

Cedar-leaves, burning of, at Annual ceremony, 

Central post, carved faces on, 83, 119, 151 ; cere- 
monial of: in Annual ceremony, 94, 106, 
119-120; in Feast of first fruits, 144; in 
Minsi Big House, 129-130, 135; in Muxha- 
toL'zing, 123 

Central West, Peyote cult in, 185 

Ceremonies, directed by guardian spirit, 65; 
extinction of, 63; in honor of dead, 55, 191, 
195-196; minor, 198-199; of Big House, 
75-76, 82; of Lenape, paintings of, 14; of 
Minsi Bi House, 127-145; of Minsi to 
Mother Corn, 43; of Unami and Minsi, 
compared, 196-200; thanks given to Great 
Spirit in, 18, 145, 196. See Annual cere- 
mony. Ceremony 

Ceremony, of Bear, 171-176; of Buffalo, 182- 
183; of Doll Being, 46, 162-171; of First 
fruits, 144-145; of Mask Being, 35, 198-199; 
of Mask society, 37, 159-161; of Otter, 
176-183; of Peyote, 185-191; of Skeleton 
dance, 183-184; of Thanskgiving, 139-143. 
See Annual ceremony. Ceremonies 

Chant, at Otter ceremony, 180-181 ; of Pokite'- 




hemun, 67-68; referring to Mask Being, 

69; referring to visions, 66-74, 136, 174r-175, 

195; Unami examples of, 67-72, See 

Singers, Singing, Visions 
Charm, opi'na or blessing as, 65-66; charms: 

from Great Homed Serpents, 49; miniature 

masks as, 36, 42. See Fetishes 
Charts of Heaven drawn on deerskin, 57 
Chastity of boys, 62-63 
Chief, of the gods. Great Spirit as, 19; hunter 

of Annual ceremoi;iy, 85, 97. See Leader 
Chief Wauhuno, description of Minsi ceremony 

by, 143-145; on Great Spirit, 21-22 
Children, cared for by ^lask Being, 34-35, 

153, 155-156; Doll Being revealed to, 

162-163; Little People hunted by, 49, 193; 

meeting of, with parents in Heaven, 53, 

91; no longer pi'lsu'*, 63, 112-114; part of, 

in Annual ceremony, 108-109; prayers for, 

115. See Boys, Girls 
Cholera checked by False Face company, 161 
Christ, tomb of, at Peyote rite, 186-187. 

See Jesus Christ 
Christianity, concepts of, in Peyote rite, 
186-190; idols given up for, 38; Nani 'tis given 

up for, 169; visions given up for, 72. See 

Devil, Missionary, Whites 
Clans, see Phratries 

Clothing of Nani'tis, 167. See Costume 
Coat of bearskins of Mask imperscnator, 34, 

Colors, dyes for, 141. See Black, Red 
Comet, attributes of, 48-49 
Cones, copper, adorning Mizi'nk, 158 
Confederacy of the Lenape, 13 




II H HI ■ 

Conjurer^ information of, in regard to Great 

Spirit, 22-23 
Copper adorning Mizi'nk, 158 
Cortif beans and vegetables, wampum string 

symbolizing, 141-142; called Lenape food, 

70; in rattle of Mask impersonator, 42; 

offering of, 144; soul likened to, 59; spirit, 

duties of, 193; thanks for, 145; thankis to, 

134. See Mother Corn 
Corn-bread at Minsi ceremony, 137 
Corn GoddesSt see Mother Com 
Corn-mush, see Hominy, Sd'pan 
Costume, of impersonator: of Mask Being, 33- 

34, 41-42, 56, 152-153, 155, 158; of Otter, 

177-182; of members of Mask society, 

159; of Nani'tis, 169-170; of Sun, 27; worn 

at Annual ceremony, 93; worn at Ghost 

dance, 191 
Cranes or singers of Annual ceremony, 85. 

See Singers 
Crayfish, James Wolf's dream of, 72-73 
Creator, see Great Spirit 
Cripples, injunction to help, 91-92 
Crooked nose of Mizi'nk, 158 
Crops, prayer for, 44, 134; ruin of, 113; 

supernatural control of, 194; watered by 

Thunder Beings, 193 
Cross, drumsticks marked with, 101; spirit 

road represented by line on, 187-188. 

See Crucifix 
Crow as guardian spirit, 69-70 
Crucifix at Peyote rite, 187 
. Ctdt, see Ceremony, Ceremonies 

Dance, at Thanksgiving ceremony, 142-143; 





in honor of Great Spirit, 88; native terms 
for, 115-116; of Buffalo, 182-183; of Doll 
Being, 164-165; of First fruits, 128; of 
guardian spirits, 73; of Ghost, 190-191 
of Mask impersonator in Big House, 42, 99 
of Misi'ng^\ 152-156; of Skeleton, 183-184 
of Weope'lakis, 36; Planting, 143; Straw- 
berry, 128, 197 ; dances connected with Mask 
society, 160. See Dancing 

Dance songs accompanying chants, 66. See 
Clmntf Singers f ' Singing 

Dancing, at Annual ceremony, 42, 95, 99, 103, 
106, 115-116, 118-122; at Feast of first 
fruits, 145; at Minsi ceremony, 135-136, 
140; in ceremonies of Nani'tis, 168, 171; 
in Happy Hunting Ground, 56, 58. See 

Dankers, Jaspar^ and Sluyteff Peter, on Great 
Spirit, 20 

Day, clothing the Great Man, 23; god of, 28. 
See Great Spirit 

Dead, beliefs concerning, 52-60; ceremonies in 
honor of, 55, 191 ; dance in honor of, 183-1 84; 
food offered to, 52, 195-196; food taken by, 
71; going west, 132; spirits of, as guardians, 
71-72, 194-195. See Ghosts, Immortality 

Death, propitiation to prevent, 199 

Deer, abundance of, in Happy Hunting Ground, 
58; ceremonial hunting of, 97-101; for 
Annual ceremony, 117; for Doll dance, 
163-164, 168-169; for Feast of first fruits, 
144; for Minsi ceremony, 132; herded by 
Mask Being, 33, 148, 150, 156 

Deer-hoofs adorning Mizi'nk, 158 

Deerskin, charts of Heaven drawn on, 57; 




clothing Sun, 27; drum at Annual ceremony, 
85, 94-95, 100, 106, 115-116, 120; drum at 
Buffalo dance, 182-183; drum at Doll 
dance, 165; drum at Minsi ceremonies, 130, 
135, 139; drum at Misi'ng^'dance, 154-155; 
drum at Peyote rite, 188; giving away of, 
at Annual ceremony, 108-109; stuffed with 
grass, 123; suspended from pole, 144; taken 
by hunters, 108; worn by members of Mask 
society, 159 

Delaware, Lenape first encountered in, by 
whites, 13 

Devil, a Christian concept, 24-25, 57, 194. 
See Evil Spirit 

Devil dance, Misi'ng^* dance so called by whites, 

Dewey, Oklahoma, Big House near, 82 

Dictionary, Indian, Zeisberger, author, 43 

Disease, caused by neglect of rites, 116; cere- 
mony of expelling, 37; cured by Mask 
Being, 159, 161; cured by Pabookowaih, 
168-169; prevention of, by ashes, 160. 
See Sickness 

Dish of bark used in Annual ceremony, 105- 

Doe offered to Nani'tis, 168-169 

Dogs, forbidden in Big House, 121; prevented 
from eating bones, 118 

Doll Being, belief in, 45-47, 162-163, 193, 199; 
Unami dance of, 163-166. See Nani'tis 

Dolls; see Fetishes 

Dream helper, see Guardian spirit 

Dreams, see Visions 

Drink, ceremonial, at Bear cult, 175-176; of 
Minsi ceremonies, 128, 134 




Drum, at Annual ceremony, 85, 95-94, 100, 
103, 106, 115-116, 120, 197; at Buffalo 
dance,^ 182-183; at Doll dance, 165, 168; 
at Feast of first fruits, 144; at Ghost dance, 
191; at Minsi ceremony, 130, 135, 139-140, 
197; at Misi'ng^' dance, 154-155; at Peyote 
rite, 188-189 

Drummers, at Annual ceremony, 95, 100, 
110, 150; at Doll dance, 165 

Drumsticks, at Annual ceremony, 101-103, 
106, 150; at Minsi ceremony, 130-131, 139, 
197; at Peyote rite, 188 

Duck as guardian spirit, 67-69, 140 

Dyes for red and black, 141 

Eagle-feathers, fan of, 188 

Earth, concept of, 28-29; created by Great 
Spirit, 18, 21; duties of, 193; thanksgiving 
to, 89-90; wampum string symbolizing, 

Earthquake caused by abandoning rites, 149, 

East, ceremonial significance of, 74, 83, 85, 98, 
100-101, 108-109, 119, 121-122, 131, 137, 
144-145, 149, 155, 182, 186-187; Grand- 
father at, 26; home of Great Spirit in, 109; 
thanksgiving to, 89 

Elau'nato or Comet, attributes of, 48 49 

Elder brother, title, of moon, 28, 193; of sun, 28, 
193; of Thunder Beings, 29, 193 ' 

Elements, 2iS guardian spirits, 77; worship of, 
29-31. See Thunder Beings 

Elkhair, Chief Charley, acknowledgment to, 
14; Annual ceremony explained by, 112-1 15; 
myth of Mask related by, 146-152 ; speaker 




of Annual ceremony, 85; speech of, at 

Annual ceremony, 87-92 
ElkirCt see Elkhair 
Emetics, purification by, 57, 79; visions induced 

by, 64 
Endalun towi'yun, title of Four Directions, 

English settlements on Susquehanna, 41 
Europeans, concept of Devil introduced by, 

25, 57, 194. See Christianity, Whites 
EvU, exclusion of, from Heaven, 53, 56-59 
EvU Spirit, native concept of, 24-25 
Evil spirits, driving out of, 133, 145, 188; 

ghosts as, 59; Giant Bear one of, 49; Great 

Horned Serpents as, 29, 49, 193; placation 

of, 194; Tornado one of, 47-48 
E-ye-he-ye-S, cry concluding chant, 136 

Faces, carved: by children on sticks, 162; in 
Big House, 31, 42, 83, 88, 119, 148, 150; in 
Mmsi Big House, 129-130, 151; on drum- 
sticks, 101, 150, 197; on Minsi drumsticks, 
130-131; ceremonial painting of, 105-106; 
painted by sun, 76; painted, of Mask Being, 
33, 41-^2, 150, 155; painted, of suri, 27. 
See Mask, Masks 

Fairies, Little People like, 49 

FcUl, Annual ceremony celebrated in, 81, 116, 
119-120; ceremony of Nani'tis in, 171; 
Thanksgiving in, 139 

FcUse Face Company of Iroquois, 198-199; 
comp>ared with Minsi mask, 161 

Family, keepers of: Bear, 172; Doll, 163-164; 
Mask, 33-35, 151; Nani'tis, 166-171; 
Otter, 177-182; sacrifice by, 116-117 




Fans, eagle-feather, at Peyote rite, 188; 
turkey- wing, ceremonial sweeping with, 133 

Fasting, visions induced by, 60, 64, 79, 194 

Fat, drinking of, 176; thrown on fire, 117-118, 
134, 173-175 

Feast, at Annual ceremony, 85, 96-97, 107, 
109; at Bear ceremony, 173-176; at Buffalo 
dance, 182; at Doll dance, 166-167; at 
Minsi ceremony, 137; at Misi'ng^^ dance, 
152-156; at Peyote rite, 190; ceremonial, 
Zeisberger on, 116-118; of the Dead, 195- 
196; of First fruits, 144-145; of hunters, 
97-98, 100-101; of Machtuzin, 126; of 
Otter ceremony, 177, 179, 182; to Nani'tis, 
169, 171 

Feasting in Happy Hunting Ground, 56 

Feathers, adorning Mizi'nk, 158; fan of, 188; 
Peyote placed on, 187; red, worn by sun, 27 

Feeding, of dead, 52, 71; of Nani'tis, 167; of 
Otter, 179, 182 

Female deities: Doll Being, 46, 162-171; Earth, 
28, 89-90, 193 ; Grandmother at the South, 
26; Great Spirit, 20; Mother Corn, 43-44, 
70, 195 

Festival of Machtuzin, 125-126. See Cere- 
monies, Ceremony 

Fetishes or dolls, 45-46, 162. See Charm, 
Doll Being 

Fire, ceremonial making of: at Annual cere- 
mony, 85-88, 101, 132-133, 196; at Buffalo 
dance, 182; at Otter ceremony, 179; cere- 
monial use of: at Annual ceremony, 98-100, 
105, 107, 117-121, 134, 160; at Bear cult, 
173-175; at Doll dance, 165-166; at Feast 
of first fruits, 144-145; at Otter ceremony. 




180-181; at Peyote rite, 187, 189; festival 
in honor of, 125-126; gift of Great Spirit, 
18; tobacco offered to, 126 

Fire-drill used in Annual ceremony, 86. See 

Fire-maker of the mani'tos, 101 . See Pump-driU 

First fruits, offering of, 1 15, 144-145, 197. See 
Strawberry dance 

Fish as guardian spirit, 72-73, 78 

Flint, and steel, ceremonial fire-making with, 
179; fire springing from, 18 

Flying Wolf, vision of, 73-76 

Food, ceremonial purity of, 62-63; distribution 
of, at Annual ceremony, 121; hunters pro- 
vided with, 97; offered to dead, 52, 195-196; 
procured by dead, 71. See Feast 

Foot-log across river to Spirit land, 54 

Forest, boys driven into, for vision, 63-64 

F«9r^5 on drumsticks, 130, 141 

Four, attendants: at Annual ceremony, 118; 
in Minsi ceremony, 132; drumsticks in 
Minsi ceremony, 139; musicians in Minsi 
ceremony, 140 

Four Directions or Four Winds, mani'towuk 
of, 25-27, 29, 88, 112-113, 193; prayers to, 
51. See Winds 

Four Powers, Brainerd on, 22. See Four 

Fouls, see Fox 

Fox, Julius, acknowledgment to, 14; explana- 
tion of Annual ceremony by, 111-113 

Fox, Minnie, acknowledgment to, 14 

Fruits, prayer for, 113. See First fruits 

Fu'l moon. Annual ceremony held m, 119-120; 
Misi'ng^* dance in, 152 




Future, controlled by guardian spirit, 62; 
foretold by visions, 61-62, 79-80, 121; 
prayers for, 115. See Immortality 

Game, Mask Being guardian of, 150 
Ga'muing, native name for Annual ceremony, 

109. See Annual ceremony 
General thanksgiving, see Thanksgiving 
Genii of places, 51 
Ghost dance, rites of, 190-191 
Ghosts, as guardian spirits, 54; bewitchment 

by, 59 
Giant Bear, an evil mani'to, 49. See Great 

Gicet^miT'kaong or Great Spirit, 88. See 

Great Spirit 
Gickonlki'zho or Gickokwi'ta, Unami name of 

sun, 27. See Sun 
Girls, sacred otter of, 176-179; vision of 

Doll Being by, 162-163 
Gilctla'kan or Thanksgiving ceremony, 139-143 
God of day, 28. See Sun 
God of light, 23-24. See Great Spirit 
Goodness, attribute of Great Spirit, 17, 23-24; 

definition of, 58 ; reward of, 53, 56, 58, 90-92 
Gourd rattle at Peyote rite, 188 
Grandfather, at the East, 26; at the North, 

26, 48; at the West, 26; title of: Four 

Directions, 193; Mask, 112; Tornado, 47; 

Fire, 125 
Grandmother, at the South, 26; Paboth'kwe, 

Great Spirit of the Shawnee, 20; title of 

Doll Being, 164; title of one of Four Direc- 
tions, 193 
Grandparents at the Four Directions, 26-27 




Grand Rivera Ontario, drumsticks collected 
at, 130-131; Mask collected at, 158, 
16(>-161; Nani'tis collected at, 168; version 
of Minsi ceremony at, 138-143; worship of 
Corn Goddess at, 43 • 

Grass f deerskin stuffed with, 123; drum 
stuffed with, 154, 165; strewn for seating 
guests, 117 

Grasshoppers f plague of, 113 

** Graven image*' of Mask Being, 33. See 
Mask, Misi'ng*'' 

Grease, annointing with, in Annual ceremony, 

Great Bear, a lessor mani'to, 49, 193 

Great Father, see Great Spirit 

Great Horned Serpents, evil mani'towiik, 49; 
protection against, 29, 193 

Great Man, attributes of, 23. See Great Spirit 

Great Spirit or GicelSmH^'kaong, concept of, 
18-24, 88-92, 192-193; early writers on, 
20-24; goodness of, 23-24; guardian spirit 
sent by, 80, 121;. home of, in east, 109; 
home of, in Twelfth Heaven, 19, 31, 52-53, 
196; masks the messengers of, 31, 88, 112- 
113; Minsi concept of, 127-128, 133-134; 
prayer to, 18, 31, 88-90, 112-113, 136-138, 
196; relation of Mask Being to, 32-33; 
remote from individual, 62; thanks to, at 
Annual ceremony, 18, 120, 138, 196; 
thanks to, at Feast of first fruits, 145; 
thanks to, in Peyote rite, 190; Thunder 
Beings ministers of, 29; wampum given by, 
122; wampum string symbolizing, 141-142; 
worship of, at -Ajmual ceremony, 118. 
See Pa^'tHmawas 




Guardian spirit^ animals as, 49-50, 70, 77, 80; 
ants as, 78; birds as, 78, 80; buffalo as, 78; 
chants explanatory of, 66; courage derived 
from, 78-79; crows as, 69-70; dead as, 54, 
71-72; duclcs as, 67-69, 140; elements as, 
77; fish as, 78; given by Great Spirit, 80, 
121; given in visions, 65-66, 194-195; 
Mask Being as, 69, 151, 197; moon as, 78; 
Mother Corn as, 70; owl as, 78; periodic 
ceremonies of, 199; prayer to, in sweat- 
house, 123-124; serpent as, 78; sun as, 76, 78; 
supernatural helpers as, 61-63; Thunder 
Being as, 74-75; title of Mother Corn, 43; 
vision of, 174-175. See Thunder Beings, 

Ha^a-a, variant of prayer-cry, 108. See 

Hair, of Mask Being, Z^, 158; of Sun, 27; of 
Tornado, 47 

Halfmoon, Sun spirit guardian of, 76 

Hank, Eunice, Nani'tis given up by, 169 

Happy Hunting Ground or Land of Spirits, 
20-21, 52-59, 88, 90-92. See Heaven 

Head, heair*s, ceremonial offering of, 173—175; 
of family, duties of, 117; heads: annointed 
with red paint, 105; carved on drumsticks, 
101, 139-140, 150, 197; dropping of, by 
Comet, 48-49; stone, of Mask Being, 40—41 

Health, Bear cult preserving, 172; fetishes 
preserving, 45-46; Otter cult preserving, 
177-179; god of, 168; Mask restoring, 34, 
36-37, 156-157, 159, 161; Nani'tis guardian 
of, 163-164, 166-171; prayer for, 134; 
supernatural control of, 194. See Sickness 




Heaven, concept of, 20-21, 52-59; duration of 

journey to, 88; Milky Way to, 58; Peyote 

road to, 187; sweeping way to, 88, 107; 

visited by preachers, 57; visited during 

visions, 189-191. See Happy Hunting 

Heavens, keepers of, 31 ; return of Pa^'tumawas 

to, 127-128. See Happy Hunting Ground, 

Twelfth heaven 
Heckewelder, John, on dreams or visions, 78-80; 

on Great Spirit, 21; on Thunder Beings, 30; 

on Unala^'tko, 124 
Hell, extraneous concept of, 57 
Hemlock-boughs, ceremonial burning of, 133, 

Herb, passed at Peyote rite, 188-189; herbs: 

prayers in gathering, 26, 51; thanks to, 134 
Heye Museum, see Museum of the American 

Indian, Heye Foundation 
Hill, home of Mask Being, 1.58 
Hog, feast of, at Otter ceremony, 176-179; 

offering of, 173-175 
Ho'*'ho^-ho'^ or cry of Mask Being, 149, 153 
Holm, Thomas Campanius, on Evil Spirit, 25; 

on Great Spirit, 21 
Hominy, at Buffalo dance, 182; at Mlsi'ng^* 

dance, 153-154; offered to Doll Being, 

163-164, 166; offered to Mask Being, 150; 

preparation of, for Annual ceremony, 85, 

Ho'O'O, a prayer-cry, at Annual ceremony, 

95, 97, 99-100, 103-104, 106-108, 136-138; 

at Bear ceremony, 175; origin of, 112-113 
Horses, Mask Being guardian of, 35, 157; 

tobacco offered to recover, 35 


^- —" 




Hu'hu-hUf cry at Bear ceremony, 174-175 
Hu-hU'hu-hu, cry at Otter ceremony, 181 
Human heads carved on drumsticks, 101, 

139-140, 150, 197 
Human skeleton dance, see Skeleton dance 
Hunt for Nani'tis, 171 
Hunter at Doll dance, 164 
Hunters f Buffalo dance of, 182-183; of Annual 

ceremony, 97-101, 108, 110, 117; of Minsi 

ceremony, 132, 137; of MuxhatoL'zing, 123 
Hunting, help of impersonator of Mask Being 

in, 158; in Happy Hunting Ground, 56; 

prayer before, 134, 137; supernatural 

control of, 62, 194; tobacco offered before, 

35, 157 
Hweisk-queem, Minsi term for com, 144. 

See Corn 

Idol or M^stnk\ 43. See Mask, Mask Being, 

Illegitimacy disregarded in family rites, 116 
Images possessing life, 45-4/. See Doll 

Being, Fetishes 
Immortality, belief in, 20-21, 52-60, 195-196 
Impersonator, of Mask Being, 34-36, 41-^2, 

45, 56, 98-99, 138, 150, 152-159; of Otter, 

Indian corn, see Corn 
Indian dictionary, Zeisberger, author, 43 
Indians, comments of, on Annual ceremony, 

111-115; United States Census report on, 

cited, 80 
Initiation of boys, 63-64; Hecke welder on, 

78-80. See Boys, Visions 
Iroquois, ceremonial fire-drills of, 86; masks 




of, compared with Minsi, 36, 138, 160-161, 
198-199; Planting dance of, 143; primitive 
skirt among, 169; Strawberry dance of, 
128, 197 

Jesus Christy Nani'tis given up for, 170; road 

of, 187. See Christianity ^ Peyote rite 
Jones, Peter, on Nahneetis, the Guardian of 

Health, 46, 168-169; on Minsi masks, 37-38, 

Journal of a voyage to New York in i67g~i68o, 

Dankers and Sluyter, authors, 20 
June, Minsi Big House ceremony in, 128 

Kacheh Munitto, see Kaunzhe Pah-tum-owans 
Kansas, celebratioii of Annual ceremony in, 

122-124; Lenape now resident in, 13 
Ka'pyu^hUm, native name of Isaac Monture, 

14, 161 
Kaunzhe Pah-tum-owans or Kacheh Munitto, 

ancient Minsi name of Great Spirit, 22. See 

Great Spirit 
Keeper of Mask, general duties of, 34-36, 151; 

notification of dance by, 152; stray stock 

returned through, 157 
Keepers of Four Directions, see Four Directions 
Keepers of the Heavens, 31. See Carved faces. 

Four Directions 
Ke^'tanlto'wet, ancient Minsi name of Great 

Spirit, 19, 127. See Great Spirit 
Kickeron or Kicker om, recorded name of 

Great Spirit in New Jersey, 20 
KVnlkd or KVntika, native terms for dance, 

Kiowa, Ghost dance of, 191 




Ki'zho or Ki'zhox, Minsi name of sun, 27. 

See Sun 
KokiUupo'w^'e, native name of Chief Charley 

mkhair, 14. See Elkhair 
Kunu'^'xdSf native term for otter-skin, 179. 

See Otter ceremony 
Kwif or whoop, concluding dance, 136 

Lakes, home of Great Horned Serpents, 49 
Lameness caused by ghosts, 59. See Cripples 
Land of Spirits or Tschipeghacki, 58. See 

Happy Hunting Ground, Heaven 
Leader, of Annual ceremony, 81-82, 92-94, 
117, 120; of Bear cult, 174-175; of Doll 
dance, 165; of Feast of first fruits, 145; 
of Minsi ceremony, 133-134; of Peyote rite, 
188-190; leaders, favored with visions, 195 
Leaves, strewn for seating guests, 131 
Legend, of Annual ceremony, 111-112; of 
Comet, 48-^9; of coming of whites, 121-122 ; 
of Mother Corn, 43. See Myth 
Leggings of Mask impersonator, 34, 41 
Lesser mam'towHk: animal spirits, 49-50; 
Bear, 172-176; Comet, 48-49; Doll, 45--47, 
162-171; Earth, 28, 89-90; Great Bear, 

49, 193; Great Horned Serpents, 29, 49, 193; 
Keepers of the Heavens, 31; Mask Being, 
32-43, 146-161; ministers of Great Spirit, 
18, 21, 193-194; Moon, 28; Mother Corn, 
43-44; of Four Directions, 25-27; Otter, 

50, 176-182; Snow boy, 48; Sun, 27-28; 
Thunder Beings, 29-31; Tornado, 47-48 

Light, Brinton on concept of, 23-24 
Lightning, Flying Wolf's love of, 75—76; 
prayer to avert, 30 




Little Caney river, Oklahoma, Big House on 

banks of, 82 
Little People hunted for by children, 49, 193 
Living Mask, see Mask, Mask Being 
Living Solid Face, see Mask, Mask Being 
Logan family, mask delivered up by, 38 
Logs, Big House built of, 82; foot-log to 

Spirit Land, 54; seats for Misi'ng^^ dance, 

Loskiel, George Henry, on dreams or visions, 

78; on earth, 29; on Four Directions, 27; 

on Great Spirit, 25; on moon, 28; on sun, 28; 

on twelve gods, 31 

Macktuzin, festival in honor of fire, 125-126. 

See MuxhatoL'zing 
Maize, see Corn 
ManVtowHk or spirits, belief in, 17-44; offerings 

to, 144-145; thanksgiving to, in Annual 

ceremony, 89-90. See Great Spirit, Lesser 

Mannittos, Heckewelder on, 21. See Lesser 

Maple, dye from bark of, 141 
Marble-like object given to Pokite'hemun by 

guardian spirit, 67 
Marsh, Cutting, account of Nani'tis by, 

Mask, absent from Bear ceremony, 171; 

annointing of, 105-106; as guardian spirit, 

151; called Weope'lakis, 35-36; carved 

faces of, in Big House, 42, 83, 88, 148, 150; 

healing power of, 34, 37, 156-157, 159, 161; 

keeper of, 34-36, 151-152, 157; painting of, 

33-34, 41, 150, 155; society of Minsi, 36-37, 




138, 159-161, 198-199; Unami myth of, 
146-152. See Mask Being, Masks, Mlsi'ng^' 
Mask Being or Misinghdlikiin, as guardian 
spirit, 195; ceremonies of, 197; cult of, 
32-43, 198; deer herded by, 33, 99; diseases 
cured by, 34-35, 156-157, 159, 161; general 
duties of, 193; impersonator of, 34-36, 
41-42, 45, 56, 98-99, 138, 150, 152-159; 
masks the symbol of, 33, 42, 45, 83, 88, 99, 
148, 150; myth of, 147-152; relation of 
Keepers of Heavens to, 31; vision concern- 
ing, 69. See Mask, Masks, Misi'ng^^ 
Masks, of stone, found in New Jersey and 
vicinity, 38-41; painting of, 83, 119; prayer- 
cry carried by, 31, 112-113; representing 
Keepers of the Heavens, 31; symbols of 
Mask Being, 33, 42, 45, 83, 88, 99, 148, 150. 
See Mask, Mask Being, Mlsi'n^^ 
Master of Ceremonies, see Leader 
May, Misi'ng^* dance in, 152 
Meals served by a'ckas, 110-111, 118 
Medicine, from tooth of Great Bear, 49; 

prayer to Four Directions in making, 26 
Medicine-man, see Shaman 
Mediumship, belief in, 54-55, 196 
Meeting-house of Mask society, 159 
Men, black symbolizing, 140-141; drumsticks 

representing, 101, 13(>-131 
Menses, women in, taboo, 62-63, 88, 133, 197 
Mhink' or idol, 43. See Mask, Mask Being, 

Messengers of Great Spirit, 31, 88. See 

Four Directions 
Messingq, Adams on dance of, 155-156. 
See Sfask, Mask Being, Misi'ng*"^ 




Me Zeengk, name given by Peter Jones to 
Mizi'nk, 38. See Mizi'nk 

Milky Way^ the road to Heaven, 58 

Miniature masks or charms, 36, 42-43 

Minsi or Muncey^ a tribe of the Lenape, 13; 
archaic heaven of, 54; belief of, in Great 
Spirit, 19, 127, 133-134; belief of, in plant 
spirits, 51; Big House of: 128-132; Mask 
impersonator absent from, 138; carved 
faces in, 129-130, 151; cefemonies of, 
compared with Unami, 127-145, 196-200; 
ceremonies of, to Mother Corn, 43; chants 
of, referring to visions, 72-77; Doll Being 
of, 45-47, 162, 166-171; Feast of first fruits 
of, 144-145; guardian spirits of, 72-77; 
ki'ntika or dance of, 116; Mask of, 36-38, 
158-161; Mask society of, 138, 159-161, 
198-199; mediumship among, 54-55; pro- 
portion of, in Lenape, 124-125; Thanks- 
giving ceremony of, 138-143 

Mlsi'ng"^', dance of, 152-156. See Mask, 
Minsi mask 

Misinghdli'kiln, Unami name for Mask Being, 
32. See Mask Being 

Misingki'nikd, Unami name for Misi'ng^* 
dance, 152. See Misi'ng^^ 

Missionary teaching, concept of Great Spirit 
not due to, 19-20. See Christianity 

Mizi'nk, Minsi form of Misi'ng^*, 158. See 
Mask society, Minsi mask 

Mhinkhdli'kHn, Minsi form of Misingh^li'kun, 
36. See Mask Being 

MizinWntika or dance of Mask society, 159 

Mk&dhi'gun, Minsi term for painted sticks, 
140. See Sticks 





Moccasins, burned to deflect Tornado, 47; 

made for Nani'tis, 167; made of ceremonial 

deerskins, 108 
Monture, Chief Nellis, acknowledgment to, 14 
Monture, Isaac, acknowledgment to, 14; 

Minsi mask bought from, 161 
Moon, or mound, at Peyote rite, 186-187; or 

Piske'weniki'zho: as guardian spirit, 78; con- 
cept of, 28; duties of, 193; wailing to, 145; 

wampum string symbolizing, 141-142. See 

Full moon 
Moral code, at Annual ceremony, 58, 90-92; 

at Feast of first fruits, 144; at Minsi Annual 

ceremony, 133-134, 137; at Peyote rite, 

Mortar made of mud, 85 
Mortar, peyote crushed in, 188 
Mother, title of earth, 28, 89-90, 193; title 

of Nani'tis, 170-171 
Mother Corn, as guardian spirit, 70, 195; 

attributes of, 43-44, 51 
Mound, ceremonial, in Peyote rite, 186-187 
Mountains, home of Mask Being, 33, 147; 

home of Thunder Beings, 30 
Moxhomsa' Eliosi'gak or Grandfather at 

the West, 26 
Moxhomsa' Lowane'yting^ or Grandfather at 

the North, 26 
Moxhomsa' Wdhdnji-o'pUng^ or Grandfather 

at the East, 26 
Mud, ceremonial mortar made of, 85 
*' Muncey devil idoV^ or mask, 38. See 

** Muncey John*^ Henry, Sun spirit guardian 

of, 76 




Munceytowttf Ontario, drowning near, 55; 

masks of, 158; Minsi ceremony at, 127- 

Munsey^ see Minsi 
Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foufida- 

tion, masks in, 36; paraphernalia of Otter 

ceremony in, 176; researches of, 15 
Music, see Drum, Singers, Singing 
Musselshells used as spoons at feast, 97 
MuxhatoL'zing form of Annual ceremony, 

123-124. See Machtuzin 
Myth, of Bear ceremony, 172; of Doll Being, 

162-163; of Minsi Annual ceremony, 

127-128; of Otter, 176-179; of Thunder, 30. 

See Legend 

Nahneetis, the Guardian of Health, Peter Jones 

on, 168-169. See Nani'tis 
Nani'tis, account of, by Rev. Cutting Marsh, 

169-171; ceremonies of, 166-171; feeding 

of, 167-168; in E. T. Tefft collection, 

168-169; Minsi term for Doll Being, 45-47, 

162. See Doll Being 
Na^nkHma'oxa, native name of Michael 

Anthony, 139, 140. • See Anthony, Michael 
Nanticoke, proportion of, in Lenape, 124-125; 

Skeleton dance of, 183-184 
Nature, how regarded, 17, 23. See Great 

Spirit, Lesser manVtowUk, Offering, Prayer 
Nee-shaw-neechk-togho-quanoo-maun or Ween- 

da-much-teen, Minsi term for Feast of first 

fruits, 145 
New fire, ceremony of, 196; making of, 101. 

See Fire 
New Jersey, early writers on Lenape in, 20; 




Lenape first encountered in, by whites, 13; 

Lenape stone masks found in, 38-41 
New York, Lenape first encountered in, by 

whites, 13 
* Ngammuin, or feast, described by Zeisberger, 

109. See Annual ceremony 
Niagara gorge, home of Thunders, 30 
Nicholas, Joe, Mask delivered up by, 38 
Night sun, see Moon 
No^'oma Cawane'yiing^ or Grandmother at 

the South, 26 
North, ceremonial significance of, 93, 103, 108, 

119, 147 ; mani'towuk of, 25-26; thanksgiving 

to, 89 
North American tribes, belief in visions among, 


October, Annual ceremony held in, 81, 119-120 

O^'das, Unami term for Doll Being, 46, 162. 
See Doll Being 

O^'das-kVnlkd, Unami term for Doll dance, 
163. See Doll Being 

Offering, of bear's fat, 117-118, 134; of bear's 
flesh to Corn Goddess, 44; of deer to Doll 
Being, 163; of doe to Nani'tis, 168-169; 
of first fruits, 115, 144-145; of food to 
dead, 52, 195-196; of hog to Otter, 173; 
of hominy to Doll Being, 163-164, 166; 
of hominy to Mask Being, 150; of moccasins 
to avert tornado, 47; of tobacco: on behalf 
of hunters, 98-99; to Bear, 172; to fire, 126; 
to Four Directions, 26; to Mask, 34, 35, 
151, 157; to Mask impersonator, 153, 156; 
to Otter, 177; to Thunder Beings, 29; of 
wampum to deer, 123; offerings: at Annual 




ceremony, 117-118; to genii, 51; to guar- 
dian spirit, 62; to Mask, 43; to Nani'tis, 
45-46; to Snow boy, 48. See Propitiation^ 

Officers of Annual ceremony, 84-85; payment 
of, 110-111, 121 

OhiOf Lenape stone masks found in, 38-41 

Oklahoma, ancestry of Lenape now in, 124-1 25; 
Annual ceremony celebrated in, 81-111, 
119-122, 130, 138; Lenape now resident 
in, 13; primitive skirts worn in, 169; worship 
of Corn Goddess in, 43 

One^'tko or Nanticoke, 183. See Nanticoke 

Ontario, Canada, Lenape now resident in, 13; 
mediumship reported in, 55; Mmsi cere- 
monies in, 43, 127-145. See Grand River, 

O'-o'*-©'*, prayer-cry of Mask society, 159 

Opi'na or blessing granted by guardian spirits, 
65-66. See Blessing 

Orientation, as to fire, 101, 119-120; at Misi'- 
ng^* dance, 155; in offerings, 98; in Peyote 
rite, 186-187; in praying, 100, 108, 109, 122, 
137; in visions, 74, 147, 149; of carved faces, 
83; of ceremonial cooking, 85, 182, 187; of 
entrance and exit, 119, 131-132, 144-145; 
of heaven, 54, 56; of rattles, 103, 120; of 
seating, 93, 119, 131; of thanksgiving, 89. 
See East, North, South, West 

Origin, of Bear ceremony, 172; of Mask, Z^, 
146-152; of Minsi Annual ceremony, 127- 
138; of Nani'tis, 166-167; of Otter ceremony, 
176-179; ci Peyote rite, 185, 199 

Otter, ceremony of, 176- 83, 199; power from, 




Otter-skin, regalia of, 177-182 
Our Mother, title of Earth, 28 
Owl as guardian spirit, 78, 195 

Pabookowaih, god of health, 168-169 
Paboth'kwe, Great Spirit of the Shawnee, 20 
Paint, on carved faces, 83, 119, on drumsticks, 
symbolism of, 140 141; on face of Mask 
Being, 33, 41, 150, 155; on face of Muncey 
John, 76; on face of Sun, 27; on sticks used 
in Minsi ceremony, 131, 139-141. See 
Black, Red 
Paint-dish of bark in Annual ceremony, 105- 

Paintings by Ernest Spybuck, 14 
PakU^di'gun or carved drumsticks, 101. 

See Drumsticks 
Pantheon of the Lenape, 17-44. See Great 

Spirit, Lesser manVtowuk, ManVtowuk 
Papasokwi^'lUn, Unami name for Bear cere- 
mony, 171. See Bear ceremony 
Paradise, see Happy Hunting Ground 
Parents, kindness to, rewarded, 57; meeting 

with, in Heaven, 53, 91 
Partridges, Thunders in form of, 30 
Pa^'tHmawas, Minsi name for Great Spirit, 19, 
127; Minsi worship of, 133-134. See 
Great Spirit 
Payment of officers and attendants at cere- 
monies, 97, 99, 104, 106-111, 118, 121, 
152-154, 164, 172-173, 179. See Wampum 
Peacemaker, Mask Being so considered, 156 
Pebbles in tortoise-shell rattle, 118, 120 
Penn, William, on Annual ceremony, 115-116; 
on concept of soul, 56; on Great Spirit, 20-21 



Pennsylvania^ Annual ceremony in, 130; 
Lenape first encountered in, by whites, 13; 
Lenape stone masks found in, 38-41 

Peta'nihinkf native name of Julius Fox, 14. 
See Fox, Julius 

Pethakowe'yuk or Thunder Beings, 29. See 
Thunder Beings 

Pets, cult of, 198; spirits of, 172, 176 

PeyoU, rite, 185-196, 199; road, 187, 189-190 

Pheasant, Monroe, acknowledgment to, 14 

Phratries or totemic groups: prayers of, 104; 
rituals among, 81-82, 108-109, 119-120; 
Turkey, in Bear cult, 175; Wolf: Bear cult 
of, 172; vSkeleton dance of, 183-184 

^^ Picking berries^^ or wampum, 100 

Pile'swak or Pile' soak, Minsi name of Thunder 
Beings, 30. See Thunder Beings 

Pile'swaL pewa'latcil or in league with Thun- 
ders, 76 

Pi'lsu'*^ or pure, otter, 176-177; visions 
vouchsafed to, 62-63, 112-114; 

Piske'weniki'zho or night sun, 28. See Moon 

Placation of spirits, 194. See Offering, 

Places, genii of, 51 

Plants, as guardian spirits, 195; spirits of, 17, 
51, 118, 125, 194; wampum string symboliz- 
ing, 141-142 

Poisons, fare of wicked, 58-59 

Pokite'hemun or George Wilson, vision of, 

Poles, deer hung on, 100-101, 164; deerskin 
hung on, 129-130, 144; in Fire festival, 
125; in Minsi Big House, 131, 140; meat 
hung on, 173; representing twelve mani'- 





towiik, 125; used in Misi'ng^* dance, 155; 
venison hung on, 121. See Four Directions, 

Pontifical garb of impersonator of Mask 
Being, 41. See Costume 

Poor, deerskins given to, 108-109 

Posts, of Big House, carved faces on, 31, 42, 
83, 106, 119, 148; of Minsi Big House, 
129-130. See Central post, Poles, Sticks 

Potatoes, offering of, 144 

Power, derived from guardian spirit, 50, 66, 
78-79; from vision, 54, 140, 147-148, 175, 
194-195. See Blessing 

Powtni'giin or deerskin drum, 94-95. See Drum 

Prayer, at conclusion of Annual ceremony, 
106-109, 122, 197; at Minsi ceremony, 
133-134, 136-138, 197; at Thanksgiving 
ceremony, 142; carried by Masks, 112; for 
hunters, 99-100; of Bear ceremony, 174; of 
phratry, 104; to buck, 126; to Corn Goddess, 
43-44; to Doll Being, 164-165; to Earth, 
29; to Four Directions, 26; to Great Spirit, 
18, 31, 88-90, 196; to guardian spirits, 62, 
124; to Mask, on behalf of hunters, 98; to 
Mask Being, 149; to Thunder Beings, 29-30; 
to Tornado, 47; universal benefit of, 
113-115; while gathering herbs, 26, 51. 
See Prayer-cry 

Prayer-cry, at Minsi ceremony, 136-137; 
carried by Masks, 31, 88, 112-113; of women, 
175. See Ho-o-o 

Prayer-meeting of the ducks, 67 

Prayer-men at Annual ceremony, 99-100, 104 

Prayersticks or ma^tehi'gun at Annual cere- 
mony, 103; annointing of, 106 




Preachers f native, reported by Zeisberger, 57 

Prince of Darkness, 25. See Evil Spirit 

Prophecy of coming of white men, 121. See 
Future, Visions 

Propitiation to prevent misfortune, 199. See 
Offering, Prayer 

Pump'drUl, ceremonial fire made with, 86, 101 ; 
in Minsi ceremony, 131-132 

Pumpkins, offering of, 144 

Purification, by emetics, 57, 64, 79; by sacri- 
fice, 144r-145; by smoke, 105, 133, 144^145, 
197; by stripes, 58; necessary to vision, 194. 
See P/'/^M" 

Purple and white beads, 141 

Pw^awahe'gun, Minsi term for drum, 140. 
See Drum 

Pw^ awake' giiniik, Minsi term for drumsticks, 
140. S^ Drumsticks 

Rain, charms for bringing, 49; caused by 
Thunder, 89; wampum string symbolizing, 

Rattles, of box-tortoise shell: at Annual 
ceremony, 92, 94-96, 103-104, 106, 118, 
120; at Bear ceremony, 174-175; at Feast of 
first fruits, 145; at Minsi ceremony, 131, 
135-136; at Otter ceremony, 180-181; 
at Planting dance, 143; at Thanksgiving 
ceremony, 143; of gourd, at Peyote rite, 
188; of Mask impersonator, 34, 38, 42, 150, 
155, 159 

Red, and black, faces painted with, in Big 
House, 83, 119; and black, Mask painted 
with, 33, 41, 150, 155; ceremonial painting 
with, 105-106; feathers in Sun's hair, 27; 
symbolizing women, 140-141 




Red alder, bark of, used as dye, 141 
Religion^ see Belief 

Road-man or speaker of Peyote rite, 188 
Road to heaven, in Peyote rite, 187, 189-190; 

Milky Way, 58; sweeping of, 88, 107 
Rocks, home of Mask Being, 36-37, 158 
River, dividing earth from Spirit country, 54; 

James Wolf's dream of, 72-73 
Rivers, home of Great Horned Serpents, 49 

Sacrifice, by family, 116-118; cleansing by, 

from sin, 144-145. See Offering 
Sand, tracks of Little People in, 49 
Sd'pan or mush, repast of, at Annual ceremony, 

Sarcoxie, John, Annual ceremony conducted 

by, 122-124 
Seating, at Annual ceremony, 93, 117, 119; at 

Doll dance, 164; at Minsi ceremony, 131 ; at 

Peyote rite, 188 
Secondine, guardian spirits of, 71-72 
Seneca, Planting dance of, 143 
Serpent as guardian spirit, 78 
Sexi'kiminsi, Minsi name of soft maple, 42 
Shaman, originator of Nani'tis cult, 166-167 
Shawnee, concept of Great Spirit among, 20; 

Ernest Spybuck, a native, 14 
Shooting by hunters, 100 ,117 
Shooting star, see jComet 
Sickness, caused: by ghosts, 59; by loss of 

bear, 172; by neglect of rites, 171; by otter, 

177-179; cured: by Mask Being. 34-35, 

156-157; by Nani'tis, 166-167; propitiation 

to prevent, 199. See Disease 




Silver brooches worn by Nani'tis, 170 

Sin, cleansing from, by sacrifice, 144-145. 
See Evil 

Singers f at Annual ceremony, 85, 94-96, 100, 
115, 118, 120; at Bear cult, 175; at Buffalo 
dance, 182-183; at Doll dance, 164; at 
Feast of first fruits, 144; at Minsi ceremony, 
130; at Misi'ng^'' dance, 154-155; at Skeleton 
dance, 184. See Chant 

Singingf at festival of Machtuzin, 126; at 
Ghost dance, 191; at Peyote rite, 189; at 
Otter ceremony, 180-181; in Happy Hunt- 
ing Ground, 58 ; of vision : at Annual 
ceremony, 95-96; in Big House, 148; in 
Minsi ceremony, 140. See Chant 

Sister Corn^ see Mother Corn 

Six months^ purification at end of, 144-145 

Six Nations' reserve^ Thanksgiving ceremony 
on, 139-143 

Skeleton dance^ rites of, 183-184 

Skiri^ primitive, 169 

Sky^ wampum string symbolizing, 141-142 

Sluyter, Peter^ and Bankers, Jaspar, on 
Great Spirit, 20 

Smoke, purification by, 105, 133, 144-145, 197 

Smoking, at Annual ceremony, 95-96 

Snakes, bag full of, 35, 153 

Snow Boy, attributes of, 48, 193 

Society of mask owners, 37. See Mask 

Soft maple, bark of, used as dye, 141 

Son of God, concept of, 57. See Jesus Christ 

Songs, see Chant, Singers, Singing 

Sorrow inducing visions, 64-65 

Souls, immortality of, 52-60, 195-196; nature 
of, 90; of animals, 50; transmigration of, 59 




Souihf ceremonial significance of, 93, 108, 
119^120, 122, 147; mani'towuk of, 25-26; 
significance of, in vision, 74; thanksgiving 
to, 89 

Souiheast, ceremonial significance of, 120 

Southward, the direction of Heaven, 54, 56 

Southwest, Heaven of Minsi located in, 54 

Speaker, at Annual ceremony, 85, 87-92, 98, 
107-108, 110, 120; at Doll dance, 164-165; 
at Minsi ceremony, 133-134; at Misi'ng^* 
dance, 153-154; at Peyote rite, 188; at 
Thanksgiving ceremony, 14^-142 

Speech, at Annual ceremony, 87-92, 98; at 
Doll dance, 164; at Feast of first fruits, 145; 
at Minsi ceremony, 133-134 

Spirit, oi com, 43; of light, 23-24; of otter, 50, 
176; of peyote, 187, 189-190; of sun as 
guardian, 76; within earth, 28-29 

Spirit road, see Peyote road 

Spirits, animal, as guardians, 49-50; land of, 
52-54; lesser, 194; of animals, 118, 125; of 
dead, as guardians, 71-72; of plants, 17, 51, 
118, 125; of stones, 17, 51; wampum string 
symbolizing, 141-142; wigwams of, 54. 
See Guardian spirit. Lesser manVtowiik, 

Spoons, of bark in Minsi ceremony, 131, 137; 
musselshells as, 97 

Spring, ceremony of Mask Being in, 35; Minsi 
ceremony in, 128, 197; Misi'ng^* dance in, 
152-156; thanksgiving in, 89, 139; thunder 
in, 29 

Spring dance of WeopS'lakis, 36i See Mts'ng'^ 

Spring Flying Things, see Thunder Beings 




Spybuck, Emestf acknowledgment to, 14 

Squashes f offering of, 144; thanks to, 134 

Staff at Peyote rite, 187, 189 

Stamp or Stomp dance, 119. See Annual 

Stars J wampum string symbolizing, 141-142 

Steam carrying prayers, 124 

Stick, of Mask impersonator, 34, 150, 155; 
sticks: as invitations to ceremony, 132; 
at Peyote rite, 187; beating by, 58; carried 
by Pa^'tumawas, 127-128; transformed into 
fetishes, 162; used in Minsi ceremony, 131, 

Stockbridge Mission, documents of, 170 

Stockings, bearskin, of Mask impersonator, 41. 
See Leggings 

Stone masks found in New Jersey and vicinity, 

Stones, spirits of, 17, 51 

Strachey, William, on concept of Four Winds, 

Strawberries, ceremonial drink of, 134; in 
Happy Hunting Ground, 58; Minsi cere- 
mony in time of, 128 

Strawberry dance of Iroquois, 128, 197 

Streams and waters, wampum string symboliz- 
ing, 141-142 

Strings of wampum, symbolism of, 141-142 

Stripes, purification by, 58 

Sumach sticks, carried by Pa"tumawas, 
127-128; in Minsi ceremony, 131 

Sun or Gick^kwi't'i, as guardian spirit, 76, 
78, 195; Brainerd on concept of, 22; con- 
cept of, 27-28; duties of, 193; Peyote road 
toward, 187, 190; salutation (ff, 190; souls 




in, 59; turning toward west, 132; wampum 

string symbolizing, 141-142 
Supernatural helpers or guardian spirits, 61-63. 

See Guardian spirit 
Supreme Being, see Great Spirit 
Survival of the soul. See Immortality 
Susquehanna river, rites of Annual ceremony 

on, 152; rites of Mask Being on, 41-42 
Sweathouse, described by Zeisberger, 125-126; 

of MuxhatoL'zing, 123-124 
Sweating-oven, see Sweathouse 
Sweeping, ceremonial, of Big House, 87-88, 

107, 120, 133, 197; around fires, 121 

Taboos prescribed to be pi'lsu'^, 62-63 
Tale'guniik or singers at Annual ceremony, 85. 

See Singers 
Taxo'xi cowUni'gun or tortoise-shell rattle, 94. 

See Rattles 
Tayeno'xwan, native name of Chief James 

Wolf, 14. See Wolf, Chief James 
Tefft, E. T., ethnological collection of: 15; 

Nani'tis in, 168-169; Minsi mask in, 38 
Temple, see Big House 

Thames river, Ontario, locating a body in, 55 
Thanksgiving, at Minsi ceremony, 134; carved 

heads symbolic of, 140; Minsi ceremonies of, 

115, 139-145, 197; to Great Spirit at 

ceremonies, 18, 120, 138, 145, 190, 196; to 

mani'towuk, 89-90; to Misi'ng'^*. 152-156; 

to Mother Corn, 43 
Thirteen ceremonial wampum strings, 141-142 
Three, bands of thunders, 30; days, women 

interdicted during, 120; phratries, rituals of, 

119-120; tribes of Lenape, 13 





Thunder and rain, wampum string symbolizing, 

Thunder Beings or Pethakowe'yuky as guardian 
spirits, 74^75, 195; attributes of, 29-31, 
193; thanksgiving to, 89 

Thunders-in-league-with or Pile'swaL pewa'- 
latcilf 76 

Timothy^ Chief NeUis F., account of Minsi 
Annual ceremony by, 127-138; acknow- 
ledgment to, 14; on Mask society, 159 

Tipiy use of, in Peyote rite, 186, 188 

Tobacco, ceremonial begging of, 160; offered: 
on behalf of hunters, 98-99; to bear, 172; 
to fire, 126; to Four Directions, 26; to 
impersonator of Mask Being, 153, 156 
to Mask, 34, 35, 151, 157; to otter, 177 
to Thunder Beings, 29; to Tornado, 47 
smoked at Annual ceremony, 95-96 

Tomapemihi'lat, native name of Chief Nellis 
F. Timothy, 14. See Timothy, Chief 
Nellis F. 

Tomb of Christ at Peyote rite, 186-187 

Tooth of Great Bear, medicine made from, 49 

Tornado, attributes of, 47-48 

Tortoise- shell rattle, at Annual ceremony, 
94r-96, 118, 120; at Misi'ng^' dance, 155; 
of Mask impersonator, 42. See Rattles 

Totemic groups, see Phratries 

Toys, cult of, 198. See Doll Being, Fetishes 

Transmigration of souls, 59 

Trees, Mask Being akin to, 112; gift of the 
Great Spirit, 18; shattered by Thunder 
Beings, 29; thanks to, 134 

Tschipeghacki or Land of Spirits, 58. See 
Happy Hunting Ground 



Tw^da'i wdhe^'ji manVtowHk or fire-inaker of 
the mani'tos, 101 

Turkey phratry at Annual ceremony, 82, 104, 
119; part of, in Bear cult, 175 

Turkey-wings, Big House swept with, 87, 120, 

Turtle phratry, leader of Annual ceremony, 
82, 104, 119-120 

TurUe-raUles, at Annual ceremony, 92, 94-96, 
103-104, 118, 120; at Feast of first fruits, 
145; at Misi'ng'^* dance, 155; at Otter 
ceremony, 180-181; at Thanksgiving cere- 
mony, 143; in ceremonies of Mask society, 
159; in Bear cult, 174-175; in Minsi cere- 
mony, 131, 135-136; of Mask impersonator, 
34, 38, 150, 155, 159. See Rattles 

Twelfth^ day, soul reaches heaven, 196; 
heaven, home of Great Spirit, 19, 31, 52, 
107, 112, 192, 196; night in Annual cere- 
mony, 105-106; prayer-cry reaching Great 
Spirit, 136-138; stick, dropping of, by 
Pa^'tiimawas, 127-128 

Twelve f benefactors, Corn Goddess among, 43; 
carved faces, 83, 88, 106, 112; celebrants, 
125-126; ceremonial sweepings, 107; cere- 
monial use of, 197; concluding prayers, 
106-107; days, before burial, 184; days, 
duration of ceremonies, 82, 119-120, 128; 
days, ghosts linger near earth, 52, 54; days, 
period of boys' fast, 64; deer at Feast of 
first fruits, 144; deer for Minsi ceremony, 
132; emetic^ as purification, 57; gods or 
masks, 31; neavens, 31; in Fire festival, 
125-126; members of Mask society, 159; 
months, duration of earthquake, 149; nights. 


INDEX 245 

duration of Annual ceremony, 88, 107; 
offerings of tobacco, 98; pipes, in Fire 
festival, 126; prayer-cries, 97, 104, 136; 
prayersticks at Annual ceremony, 103; rep- 
etitions of dance, 154, 165; repetitions of 
prayer, 19, 108-109, 136-138; sticks, penance 
of beating by, 58; sticks used in Minsi 
ceremony, 131; stones, altar laid on, 115; 
stones in sweating-oven, 125; sumach sticks 
of Pa*'tumawas, 127-128; sweepings of cere- 
monial fire, 88; years, age of initiation for 
boys, 63; years before reaching Heaven, 88 

UnalachtigOf see Unala^'tko 

Unala'^'tkoj a Lenape tribe, now merged, 13; 
proportion of, in Lenape, 124-125 

Unamif a Lenape tribe now mainly resident in 
Oklahoma, 13; ceremonies of, compared 
with Minsi, 196-200; chants of, referring to 
vision, 67-72; cult of Mask Being among, 
32^3, '146-158, 198; Doll Being of, 45-47, 
162-166; form of Annual ceremony, 81-111; 
proportion of, in Lenape, 124-125 

United States Census report on Indians, cited, 

Vegetables f offering of, 144; wampum string 

symbolizing, 141-142 
Vegetation controlled by Corn spirit, 193 
Venison J feast of, at Doll dance, 166; feast of, 
at Misi'ng^* dance, 155; feast of, at Minsi 
ceremony, 137; provision of, for Annual 
ceremony, 85, 121; women's share in, 106 
Virginia f concept of Four Directions in, 26-27 
Visions f Adams on, 80; as prophecies, 121; 




Brainerd on, 77; chanting of, at Otter 
ceremony, 181; communication by, with 
Spirit world, 59-63, 194-195; decline of, 
112-113; fortuitous, 64-65; Heaven visited 
in, 189-191; Heckewelder on, 78-80; in- 
duced by peyote, 186, 188-190; initiation of 
boys to induce, 63-64, 92; leaders blessed 
with, 132; Loskiel on, 78; Minsi examples 
of, 72-77; of Doll Being, 162-163, power 
given by, 54; recital of: at Annual ceremony, 
95-96, 118, 121, 196; at Feast of first 
fruits, 145; at Minsi ceremonv, 135-136, 
139-140; at MuxhatoL'zing, 123-124; at 
various rites, 148, 199; referring to Skeleton 
dance, 184; Unami examples of, 67-72; 
Zeisberger on, 77-78. See Chant, Guardian 
Vomiting, 176. See Emetics 

Wampum, adorning leader at Otter ceremony, 
174; buried, at Feast of first fruits, 144; 
given by Great Spirit, 122; given to vision 
teller, 135; giving of, at Annual ceremony, 
109; offered to deer, 123; owners of rattles 
paid in, at Annual ceremony, 104; payment 
m, at Doll dance, 164; payment of atten- 
dants in, at Annual ceremony, 106-109, 
118, 121, 172-173, 179; payment of imper- 
sonator in, 152-154; pavment of officers in, 
at Annual ceremony, 97, 99-100, 110-111, 
121; symboUc use of, 141-143; valuation 
of, 111 
Wampum, John, see Chief Waubuno 
War, comet a presage of, 48-49; success in, 
due to guardian spirit, 62 




Washita river ^ Oklahoma, Caddo on, 185; 

Ghost dance from region of, 190-191 
Wa'tekan or Minsi Big House, 128. See 

Minsi Big House 
Water-drum^ at Ghost dance, 191; at Peyote 

rite, 188 
Water monsters^ see Great Horned Serpents 
Waters y gift of Great Spirit, 18 
Ween-da-much-teent see Nee-shaw-neechk-togho- 

Wem^He'xkwe, native name of Minnie Fox, 

14. See FoXf Minnie 
Weope'lakiSy name for mask of Unami, 35-36. 

See Mask 
West, ceremonial significance of, 83, 85, 93, 

98, 100, 101, 121-122, 131-132, 137, 145, 
155, 182, 187; Grandfather at, 26; thanks- 
giving to, 89 

Whiskey introduced by the whites, 24 

White, and black duck as guardian spirit, 67, 
140; and purple beads, 141; buckskin, 
skeleton wrapped in, 184 

Whites, devil and whiskey introduced by, 24; 
fairies and elves of, 49; Lenape children 
reared like, 63, 112-113; Lenape first 
encountered by, 13; religious concepts 
derived from, 57; vision or dream regarding, 

Whoop, concluding dance, 136; in recital of 
vision, 95 

*' Wife,'' corn spoken of as, 44 

Wig;tvams of the spirits, 54 

Wild, animals: Mask Being guardian of, 33, 

99, 193; wampum string symbolizing, 141- 
142; things. Powers Above guardians of, 177 




Wilson^ Ghost dance introduced by, 190-191 

Wilson, George, see Pokite'hemun 

Wilson, John, Peyote cult introduced by, 185 

Wind, prayer-cry derived from, 112 

Winds, attributes of, 193; mani'towuk of, 
25-27 ; wampum string symbolizing, 141-142 
See Four Directions 

Wings, of Thunder Beings, 29, 193; of Tor- 
nado, 47; used to sweep Big House, 87, 120, 

Winter, Minsi Big House ceremony in, 128 

Wisconsin Historical Collections, account of 
Nani'tisin, 169-171 

Wisconsin, Lenape now resident in, 13 

Witchcraft, dreams revealing, 77-78; of ghosts, 

Wito'^pi, Minsi term for red alder, 141 

Wolf as guardian spirit, 195 

Wolf, Chief James, account of Minsi Annual 
ceremony by, 127-138; acknowledgment 
to, 14; dream- vision of, 72-73; mediumship 
of, 55; on Evil Spirit, 24; on Mask Being, 
36; on Nani'tis, 166-168; on sun, 27; on 
thunder myth, 30 

Wolf n en, see Wolves 

Wolf phratry, at Annual ceremony, 94, 104, 
119; Bear cult of, 172; Skeleton dance of, 

Wolves, Flying Wolf's vision of, 73-75 

Women, drumsticks representing, 101, 130- 
131; forbidden in Bear cult, 174; in Happy 
Hunting Ground, 58; in menses, 62-63, 88, 
133, 197; intercoarse with, forbidden, 120; 
keepers of NanJ'tis, 46; night of, in Annual 
ceremony, 105-106; part of: in Annual 


INDEX 249 

ceremony, 84-85, 87-88, 96-97, 108-109, 
117-118; in ceremony of Nani'tis, 167-168; 
in Doll dance, 165; m Feast of first fruits, 
144; in Misi'ng^* dance, 155; in Otter 
ceremony, 179; prayer of, at Bear ceremony, 
175; prayer of, for crops, 44; red symbolizing, 
140-141; separate seating of , in Annual cere- 
mony, 93; share of, in venison, 106; visions 
granted to, 65 

Worships of Corn Goddess, 43-44; of elements, 
29-31; of Mask Being, 35; of sun, 28. 
See Annual ceremony ^ Offering^ Prayer 

Wounds, medicine for healing, 49 

Wry mouth of Mask Being, 42 

Wsinkhoalican, Zeisberger's term for Mising- 
haii'kiin, 42. See Mask Being 

Xi'ng;mkan or Big House, 82, 148. See Big 

Zeisberger, David, on Annual ceremony, 116- 
118, 130; on Bear ceremony, 175-176; on 
concept of soul, 57-59; on Corn Goddess, 
44; on dreams or visions, 77-78; on Evil 
Spirit, 25; on Great Spirit, 21; on Masks, 
42-43; on prayer, 109; on Thunder Beings, 
30; on variant of Annual ceremony, 125-126 


2iOi i]3n 




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