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of the system, after much reflection, it is thought, however, that a few remarks on the general character of this art may not be out of place. For, simple as it is, we perceive in it the native succedaneum for letters. It is not only the sole graphic mode they have for communicating ideas, but it is the mode of communicating all classes of ideas commonly entertained by them-such as their ideas of war, of hunting, of religion, and of magic and necromancy. So considered, it reveals a new and unsuspected mode of obtaining light on their opinions of a deity, of the structure or cosmogony of the globe, of astronomy, the various classes of natural ob jects, their ideas of immortality and a future state, and the prevalent no tions of the union of spiritual and material matter. So wide and varied, indeed, is the range opened by the subject, that we may consider the Indian system of picture writing as the thread which ties up the scroll of the Red man's views of life and death, reveals the true theory of his hopes and fears, and denotes the relation he bears, in the secret chambers of his own thoughts, to his Maker. What a stoic and suspicious temper would often hold him back from uttering to another, and what a limited language would sometimes prevent his fully revealing, if he wished, symbols and figures can be made to represent and express. The Indian is not a man prone to describe his god, but he is ready to depict him, by a symbol. He may conceal under the figures of a serpent, a turtle, or a wolf, wisdom, strength, or malignity, or convey under the picture of the sun, the idea of a supreme, all-seeing intelligence. But he is not prepared to discourse upon these things. What he believes on this head, he will not declare to a white man or a stranger. His happiness and success in life, are thought to depend upon the secrecy of that knowledge of the Creator and his system in the Indian view of benign and malignant agents. To reveal this to others, eren to his own people, is, he believes, to expose himself to the counteracting influence of other agents known to his subtle scheme of necromancy and superstition, and to hazard success and life itself. This conduces to make the Red man eminently a man of fear, suspicion, and secrecy. But he cannot avoid some of these disclosures in his pictures and figures. These figures represent ideaswhole ideas, and their juxtaposition or relation on a roll of bark, a tree, or a rock, discloses a continuity of ideas. This is the basis of the system.
Picture writing is indeed the literature of the Indians. It cannot be interpreted, however rudely, without letting one know what the Red man thinks and believes. It shadows forth the Indian intellect, it stands in the place of letters for the Unishinaba. * It shows the Red man in all periods of our history, both as he was, and as he is ; for there is nothing more true than that, save and except the comparatively few instances where they have truly embraced esperimental christianity, there has not
• A meneric term denoting the common people of the Indian race.
GRAVE CREEK MOUND. This gigantic tumulus, the largest in the Ohio valley, was opened some four or five years ago, and found to contain some articles of high antiquarian value, in addition to the ordinary discoveries of human bones, &c. A rotunda was built under its centre, walled with brick, and roofed over, and having a long gallery leading into it, at the base of the mound. Around this circular wall, in the centre of this heavy and damp mass of earth, with its atmosphere of peculiar and pungent character, the skeletons and other disinterred articles, are hung up for the gratification of visiters, the whole lighted up with candles, which have the effect to give a strikingly sepulchral air to the whole scene. But what adds most to this effect, is a kind of exuded flaky matter, very white and soft, and rendered brilliant by dependent drops of water, which hangs in rude festoons from the ceiling.
To this rotunda, it is said, a delegation of Indians paid a visit a year or two since. In the “Wheeling Times and Advertiser" of the 30th August 1843, the following communication, respecting this visit, introducing a short dramatic poem, was published.
“ An aged Cherokee chief who, on his way to the west, visited the rotunda excavated in this gigantic tumulus, with its skeletons and other relics arranged around the walls, became so indignant at the desecration and display of sepulchral secrets to the white race, that his companions and interpreter found it difficult to restrain him from assassinating the guide. His language assumed the tone of fury, and he brandished his knife, as they forced him out of the passage. Soon after, he was found prostrated, with his senses steeped in the influence of alcohol.
“'Tis not enough! that hated race
NAMES OF THE AMERICAN LAKES.
Ontario, is a word from the Wyandot, or, as called by the Iroquois, Quatoghie language. This tribe, prior to the outbreak of the war against them, by their kindred the Iroquois, lived on a bay, near Kingston, which was the ancient point of embarkation and debarkation, or, in other words, at once the commencement and the terminus of the portage, according to the point of destination for all, who passed into or out of the lake. From such a point it was natural that a term so euphonous, should prevail among Europeans, over the other Indian names in use. The Mohawks and their confederates, generally, called it Cadaracqui—which was also their name for the St. Lawrence. The Onondagas, it is believed, knew it, in early times, by the name of Oswego.* Of the meaning of Ontario, we are left in the dark by commentators on the Indian. Philology casts some light on the subject. The first syllable, on, it may be observed, appears to be the notarial increment or syllable of Onondio, a hill. Tarak, is clearly, the same phrase, written darac, by the French, in the Mohawk compound of Cadaracqui; and denotes rocks, i. e. rocks standing in the water. In the final vowels io, we have the same term, with the same meaning which they carry in the Seneca, or old Mingo word Ohio.f It is descriptive of an extended and beautiful water prospect, or landscape. It possesses all the properties of an exclamation, in other languages, but according to the unique principles of the Indian grammar, it is an exclamation-substantive. How beautisul! [the prospect, scene present.]
Erie is the name of a tribe conquered or extinguished by the Iroquois. We cannot stop to inquire into this fact historically, farther than to say, that it was the policy of this people to adopt into their different tribes of the confederacy, the remnants of nations whom they conquered, and that it was not probable, therefore, that the Eries were annihilated. Nor is it probable that they were a people very remote in kindred and language from the ancient. Sinondowans, or Senecas, who, it may be supposed, by crushing them, destroyed and exterminated their name only, while they strengthened their numbers by this inter-adoption. In many old maps, this lake bears the name of Erie or “Oskwago."
Huron, is the nom de guerre of the French, for the “Yendats," as they are called in some old authors, or the Wyandots. Charlevoix tells us that it is a term derived from the French word hure, [a wild boar,] and was applied to this nation from the mode of wearing their hair. “Quelles Hures!" said the first visiters, when they saw them, and hence, according to this respectable author, the word Huron.
* Vide a Reminiscence of Oswego.
When this nation, with their confederates, the Algonquins, or Adirondaks, as the Iroquois called them, were overthrown in several decisive battles on the St. Lawrence, between Montreal and Quebec, and compelled to fly west; they at first took shelter in this lake, and thus transferred their name to it.
With them, or at least, at the same general era, came some others of the tribes who made a part of the people called by the French, Algonquins, or Nipercineans, and who thus constituted the several tribes, speaking a closely cognate language, whose descendants are regarded by philologists, as the modern Lake-Algonquins.
The French sometimes called this lake Mer douce, or the Placid sea. The Odjibwas and some other northern tribes of that stock, call it Ottowa lake. No term has been found for it in the Iroquois language, unless it be that by which they distinguished its principal seat of trade, negociation and early rendezvous, the island of Michilimackinac, which they called Tiedonderaghie.
Michigan is a derivative from two Odjibwa-Algonquin words, signifying large, i. e. large in relation to masses in the inorganic kingdom, and a lake. The French called it, generally, during the earlier periods of their transactions, the lake of the Illinese, or Illinois.
Superior, the most northwesterly, and the largest of the series, is a term which appears to have come into general use, at a comparatively early era, after the planting of the English colonies. The French bestowed upon it, unsuccessfully, one or two names, the last of which was Traci, after the French minister of this name. By the Odjibwa-Algonquins, who at the period of the French discovery, and who still occupy its borders, it is called Gitch-Igomee, or The Big Sea-water; from Gitchee, great, and guma, a generic term for bodies of water. The term IGOMA, is an abbreviated form of this, suggested for adoption.
The poetry of the Indians, is the poetry of naked thought. They have neither ryhme, nor metre to adorn it.
Tales and traditions occupy the place of books, with the Red Race.They make up a kind of oral literature, which is resorted to, on long winter evenings, for the amusement of the lodge.
The love of independence is so great with these tribes, that they have never been willing to load their political system with the forms of a reguar government, for fear it might prove oppressive.
To be governed and to be enslaved, are ideas which have been confounded by the Indians.
GEOGRAPHICAL TERMINOLOGY OF THE U. STATES,
DERIVED FROM THE INDIAN LANGUAGE.
These Extracts are made from “ Cyclopædia Indiaensis” a MS. rork in preparation
Hudson River.-By the tribes who inhabited the area of the present County of Dutchess, and other portions of its eastern banks, as low down as Tappan, this river was called Shatemuc—which is believed to be a derivative from Shata, a pelican. The Minisi, who inhabited the west banks, below the point denoted, extending indeed over all the east half of New Jersey, to the falls of the Raritan, where they joined their kindred the Lenni Lenape, or Delawares proper, called it Mohicanittuck—that is to say, River of the Mohicans. The Mohawks, and probably the other branches of the Iroquois, called it Cahohatatea-a term of which the interpreters who have furnished the word, do not give an explanation. The prefixed term Caho, it may be observed, is their name for the lower and principal falls of the Mohawk. Sometimes this prefix was doubled, with the particle ha, thrown in between. Hatatea is clearly one of those de. scriptive and affirmative phrases representing objects in the vegetable and mineral kingdoms, which admitted as we see, in other instances of their compounds, a very wide range. By some of the more westerly Iroquois, the river was called Sanataty.
ALBANY.—The name by which this place was known to the Iroquois, at an early day, was Schenectady, a term which, as recently pronounced by a daughter of Brant, yet living in Canada, has the still harsher sound of Skoh-nek-ta-ti, with a stress on the first, and the accent strongly on the second syllable, the third and fourth being pronounced rapidly and short. The transference of this name, to its present location, by the Eng lish, on the bestowal on the place by Col. Nichols, of a new name, derived from the Duke of York's Scottish title, is well known, and is stated, with some connected traditions, by Judge Benson, in his eccentric memoir before the New York Historical Society. The meaning of this name, as derived from the authority above quoted, is Beyond the Pines, having been applied exclusively in ancient times, to the southern end of the ancient portage path, from the Mohawk to the Hudson. By the Minci, who did not live here, but extended, however, on the west shore above Coxackie, and oven Coeymans, it appears to have been called Gaishtinic. The Mohegans, who long continued to occupy the present area of Rensselear and Columbia counties, called it Pempotawuthut, that is to say, the City or Place of the Council Fire. None of these terms appear to have