Thursday, July 06, 2006


by geophile

I'm amazed by the vision of those who came before.

I've never posted anything about the site in Monroe County called Meniolagomeka, partly because I have only this unsatisfying photograph and partly because I didn't fully understand its significance.

This site was once a Lenape (Delaware) Indian village, eventually converted to Moravian Christianity. The Moravians were notable, among other things, for being willing to learn the Lenape language, and one who ministered to the Indians at Meniolagomeka actually translated the gospels into that tongue. A group of Moravian Delawares still exists in Canada.

At any rate, an unusual wall complex remains on the site, which is marked by a monument placed by the Moravian Church. Two broad walls come together at an acute angle, forming a closed-in space, but on the inside of one of those walls, it comes to a point. This is hard to describe. This was also the first place where I saw a 'thunderbird nest' or hollow in one of the broad walls. Whether this is significant, I don't know,but when we visited there with the Lenape descendants who joined us for the conference, they chose to settle and talk at this hollow place in the wall.

In the picture above, you see Fred Werkheiser pointing out a feature in the wall. Note the dug-out places on the rock in the background.

The most interesting memory I have of this place, however, was a visit we made to it on winter solstice. We stood at the place where the wall came to a point inside the area enclosed by the meeting walls. The sun appeared about to rise in a deep notch in the Kittatinny Ridge, but then, instead of rising clear, it crept along, just hidden by the edge of the ridge where it rose from the notch. You could see that the sun was there because its glow moved along the ridge, but it didn't actually rise until some minutes later, when it got up to where the ridge flattened out. It was a memorable effect.

This site was not as impressive as those that include strikingly representative boulders or unusually-shaped rock piles, but it has increased in its significance for me since I have learned more here. If possible I will try to get more pictures there one of these days.

1 comment :

RuthAnnie said...

Xeli Wanishi

many thanks, I am looking for connection to my mother's mother's mother's people who were forced from Egg Harbor, NJ to Meniolagomeka. The eldest was a medicine man and mediator who was documented as traveling between many people to facilitate peace or at least reduce harm. I am honored to read your account and send you All Blessings.

Wemi Onkuntuwakan

Huhuma Achimwi, Grandmother Story
also called RuthAnn (Friend of Grace)