Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Some Lines from a Hammonasset Story (Madison CT)

Sebaquanash “The Man Who Weeps” by Dale Carson (Abenaki)
(Dale Carlson Illustration)
      "Long, long ago, when the world was still new, there was a family of people who called themselves “The Hammonassetts.” In their language this meant “The People.” They lived on the shores of a river, which later came to be named for them..."
    At Hammonassett, the beach was flat with occasional rock outcroppings for children and wildlife to discover. The salt marsh area where they lived in the summers was the most beautiful place one could imagine. Their wigwam was high enough to be safe from flooding and from every direction there was nothing but the glory that Creator had made. The morning sun to the east, the setting sun to the west and the moon rose and set over the land giving spectacular vistas all around. Indeed, a sacred place to live..."
  "High enough to be safe from flooding," along the Indigenous Shoreline Path.

      In this surviving Hammonasset story, Mahomac says to his favorite grandson Sebaquanash: “Grandson, when I was not much older than you are now, I went to the caves north of here, our winter camp, and stayed alone without food for four days and nights. On the third night, I dreamt a strange and wondrous thing. The Great Spirit came to me and said that one day I would have a daughter who would give birth to a great leader of our people. He would be called “The Man Who Weeps”. On the fourth day I went outside and climbed to the top of the caves, to the highest point of land I could find. The dream was for me to study and contemplate its meaning so it was there and then that I saw my purpose and my personal life path.”
       Part of a vision quest sometimes included sweating first to purify a person's body. If I could pick out a couple interesting Hammonasset Lines (so to speak), the "lines of stones" along what has become a modern road on a certain hill, you'd find this stone structure, a possible Pesuponk or Stone Sweat Lodge, where a person would "purify" their body before a vision quest - or await a vision:
(Karen Lucibello Daigle photo)
Further along is this one:
(Karen Lucibello Daigle photo)
Higher up, farther north, just a little west of this old trail:
Toward the the higher ground, behind these stones on a boulder:
A serpentine row (line?) of stones, crowns the outcrop, at "the top of the caves, to the (or one of the) highest point of land I could find," just like Grandpa says he did:
Other stonework on the Hill:
Hammonasset related: 

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