Sunday, March 13, 2016
Yellow Rhythmic Seed/ Yellow Planetary Warrior - Solar Jaguar Moon of Intention, Day 7
“I am an Indian,” says Chief Dwain Perry of Ramapough Lenape Indian.
Photo courtesy Steven Oritt.
Although the Ramapough Mountain Indians have resided in the Ramapough Mountains for more than three hundred years, there is very little documentation in New York or New Jersey that refers to the tribe. There are many reasons for this, starting with the lack of a written language by the Lenape people. The written history of the native people in this area was always left to the non-native community to write, and with their ignorance of Lenape ways and language, their documentation was seldom accurate. Therefore, we rely on our oral history more than the writings found in the history books. Most of the Europeans that came to Scheyichbi didn’t understand that the different bands of natives that lived throughout New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania were all part of the whole Lenape Nation. The bands were known by the places they resided, therefore Europeans thought they were different Tribes. Each band had their own chief or Sachem, whom represented them. Although he was the representative, the majority of the Band made decisions. In time, most of the Munsee migrated north. The few individuals and families that stayed behind began making decisions for themselves. This caused even more confusion among the newcomers, and more trouble for the natives. The Lenape didn’t believe anyone could own the land or water. They believed that would be like someone owning the air. You could only own what you can hold in your hand and even that was for sharing. They believed the Creator put the land and water here for the survival of all people. Land couldn’t be owned by one person, or group of people. They also believed that all things on Turtle Island had a life. The plants, animals, and even the rocks would give their life so the people could survive. When the whites wanted to buy the land, the natives thought they wanted to give them gifts for sharing the land with them. Of course the new settlers didn’t look at things in the same way, so when they “bought” the land, they would take action against the Lenape if they tried to use any part of it. When they realized what the settlers had in mind they began to refuse, but land speculators found ways of getting the land away from the Indians. It didn’t matter if the signor was anyone of importance among his people, or if he had any claim to the land, as long as they put their mark on a deed, saying he was the rightful owner. They would also tell the person signing the deed that the boundary was at a different location than it really was, so the natives had no idea that the deed turned over rights to thousands of acres.
One of the first Ramapough Indians mentioned on a land deed was a woman named Ayamanugh who signed the Ramapo Patent as a witness. The family of Jon De Freese, a Tappan Indian, (also Munsee) was found to have moved into the Ramapough band some thirty years after he was listed on the New York Muster Roll. Another Indian named Maanis (Samuel Mann), along with Seowes, Wactan, Nakalma, and Ayco, sold the Pothat deed to Wynant Van Gelder. This is now the town of Sloatsburg, N.Y.
Maanis lived where Stag Brook runs into the Ramapough River, in Mahwah. Although he was never listed as a Ramapough, he was, because he lived on Ramapough land. A Frenchman named LaRue lived just down the river from Maanis. Maanis trusted him and enlisted his help in legal matters when they arose. Maanis thought so much of him, he named two of his sons after LaRue’s sons, Aurie and Peter. After Mannis died, no one knew what had become of his sons. Then, in the 1790′s, it was written, that a community of Indians lived near the Green Mountain Valley, just a few miles from Maanis’ home. One of the leaders of the community was, Peter Mann. Peter the son of Maanis, changed his name to Peter Mann, to better integrate into society. Other surnames were De Freese, (descendants of Jon De Freese) and De Groat (who’s decendents are tribal members of the Stockbridge-Munsees and the Brothertowns of Wisconsin).
By the start of the American Revolution, most of the Southern Lenape People had moved west to Ohio and Pennsylvania. Most of the Munsee that lived on the northern border of Lenapehoking, had moved north into New York and New England. Some sought refuge in Canada. Some swore allegiance to the Rebels and fought in the Continental Army, only to come home after the war to find their homes had been taken and their families were nowhere to be found. With no place to go, most headed north to New England, where the Brotherton Indians from New Jersey (named after the first Indian Reservation in the New World) had gone. As they moved north, some remained with other native people they encountered along the way. Some remained in the Ramapough Mountains, which at that time had an established community of more than thirty years. The mountains were claimed by both New York and New Jersey and their overlapping borders were ideal for the natives in the Ramapough’s because they were left to themselves. The official border was surveyed and mapped out in 1798 but by then, the Ramapoughs were securely entrenched. As the years passed, other native people trekked through the Ramapo pass and some took up residence with the Ramapough Indians.
Victor Jacquemont wrote about Indians, with blood from the original Natives from the area, living in the mountains in 1827. He stayed just a few miles away from the Green Mountain Valley when he wrote about them.
Squire Christi lived along the Ramapough River in Mahwah from the 1700′s, until his death in the 1800′s. Throughout his life, he spoke of seeing the Indians who lived in the mountains. So, it was common knowledge among the settlers in the valley that there were Indians living in the mountains. But the Indians only came down to trade and the settlers had no desire to go into the mountains.
During the Revolution the outlaw Claudius Smith robbed the Erskine house on the west side of the mountains, and during the robbery told them he would fire his gun and bring 300 Indians hiding in the mountains down on them.
The Natives were left alone because no one had any reason to want the mountain land. The valley below had good soil for farming and the mountains were full of rocks. It was too hard to navigate up the side of the mountain to make it worth the effort. That all changed with the coming of the railroad. Trees were needed to make rails and fuel for the trains. This made the trip into the mountains more of a necessity. This also meant the Ramapough Indians would become more scrutinized as more curiosity seekers made their way into the mountains to see the “outcast tribe”. Upon finding the Indians unwilling to talk about their private lives and the struggles they’d endured, people made up their own stories. Self-proclaimed historians and amateur archaeologists would give their own versions. Elders of the tribe were passing down their history and culture to their children. The children were told to keep it a secret so they wouldn’t be taken away. This terrible deed was still taking place into the twentieth century. Upon hearing that a parent had died, or became ill, so called do-gooders would rush into the mountains and gather up the children, and take them away. Some never had contact with their relatives again. Some contacted those who were left of their family fifty or sixty years later.
Today the Ramapough and all other Lenape People are getting to know each other after more than 300 years of separation. www.ramapoughlenapenation.org
Kin 84: Yellow Rhythmic Seed
I organize in order to target
I seal the input of flowering
With the rhythmic tone of equality
I am guided by my own power doubled.
Cosmic history contains coded keys for the development of transcendental thought-forms that surpass the limitations of our present knowledge structures.*
*Star Traveler's 13 Moon Almanac of Synchronicity, Galactic Research Institute, Law of Time Press, Ashland, Oregon, 2015-2016.
The Sacred Tzolk'in
Anahata Chakra (Silio Plasma)