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Authenticity & "The Red Record"


lusa

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This is a shoutout to see if anyone's research has gone farther than mine on this particular interesting tribal spiritual history. Mine's not gone very far, but I've got some stuff. It's unlikely or maybe obscure, but I figured I'd give it a shot. For some time now, I've been interested in the Leni Lenape tribe as for one, they are my ancestral tribe, and I'm also interested in historical perspectives spiritual beliefs and practices within the tribe itself. There is often so little we can definitively know about cultures and what they believed.

 

As is the case with many historical accounts of groups all over the world whose history mostly lay in the memorization and oral passing on of rule and rote, the spiritual history of the tribe considered (with or without accuracy I know not much) by many to be the "grandfathers" of the Algonquin people, has come to much debate. The piece here that is in question is called "The Red Record" or the Wallum Ollum , supposedly given to a missionary in the early 1800's. Time-period-wise, this could be consistent, as there were many Leni Lenape still along the East Coast in NJ, NY, and PA more or less assimilating into white culture through marriage, and this coincides with records I have of the stuff my ancestor got into with some former British officers still residing in the states.

 

But many believe this to be a fraudulent account of (yet again) rewritten history. Many believe it is an Xtian rehash of native beliefs - echoing symbols of floods, snakes as evil figures, etc.. I am rather hesitant to purchase the Red Record/Wallum Ollum because last I checked the prices were ridiculously high, and I'm too wary at the idea of purchasing fake historical accounts. So, I've searched separately -

Here's one piece I've found so far, and a good read at that, from JSTOR. While it touches on spirituality, the gender neutrality/duality of god(s), spirits "manitowuk", and the power of the 4 quarters, the axis (interesting as it is) is male/female power in the tribe. Does anyone have actual sources/books/suggestions as to the validity of the Red Record claim?

 

The theme of rewritten history is a common find for sure! Even if you've got no clue where I should continue look, the above article is pretty interesting.

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OOps, forgot...the other thing I DID notice in this article, is that they executed both male/females accused as witches. Wtf. Maybe it's the stereotyping, and I know many of the tribes were extreeeeemely violent (I don't have this 20th century peaceful pow wow idea entirely burned into my brain), but the LL were regarded as "women" by the warring tribes and not allowed to fight. It's just odd to see them executing witches. Does anybody know of witch-persecution in other tribal (nat. am. or otherwise) situations?

 

Between reading parts of this article and hearing the Amanda Knox girl in the Perugia murder trial being called a "witch", I'm a tad disturbed.

 

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