American Indian Poetry (Twayne's United States authors by Helen Addison Howard

By Helen Addison Howard

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47 The Lenni Lenape (meaning "real men") lived in substantial log houses in villages surrounded by stockades. They hunted, fished, and cultivated maize, beans, pumpkins, and tobacco. Like many other tribes, including the Nez Perce, they sought a vision quest for a guardian spirit, and they also had shamans who cured sickness. The Corn Dance and Gamwing were their important annual ceremonies. The Gamwing, held for two weeks in autumn, afforded men and women an opportunity to recite their visions, give names to children, and formalize adoptions.

45 Many songs and chants among the various tribes were not only sung, with or without words, but danced without any kind of musical accompaniment. VIII A Rare Epic Poem While the Indian's poetic expression tends toward lyric and narrative poetry, only one example of an epic poem is extant. Walam Olum, the Red Score of the Lenni Lenape or Delaware 36 AMERICAN INDIAN POETRY Indians, consists of a number of birch-bark plates which are incised and painted red. The pictographic record and a translation from the Delawares was obtained by Professor Constantine Samuel Rafinesque and first printed by him in 1836 in a work entitled The American Nations.

VIII A Rare Epic Poem While the Indian's poetic expression tends toward lyric and narrative poetry, only one example of an epic poem is extant. Walam Olum, the Red Score of the Lenni Lenape or Delaware 36 AMERICAN INDIAN POETRY Indians, consists of a number of birch-bark plates which are incised and painted red. The pictographic record and a translation from the Delawares was obtained by Professor Constantine Samuel Rafinesque and first printed by him in 1836 in a work entitled The American Nations.

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