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Wyandank






Category: THE ISLE OF MANHATTOES AND NEARBY

Source: Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land

From Brooklyn Heights, or Ihpetonga, highplace of trees, where the
Canarsie Indians made wampum or sewant, and where they contemplated the
Great Spirit in the setting of the sun across the meeting waters, to
Montauk Point, Long Island has been swept by the wars of red men, and
many are the tokens of their occupancy. A number of their graves were to
be seen until within fifty years, as clearly marked as when the warriors
were laid there in the hope of resurrection among the happy hunting
grounds that lay to the west and south. The casting of stones on the
death-spots or graves of some revered or beloved Indians was long
continued, and was undoubtedly for the purpose of raising monuments to
them, though at Monument Mountain, Massachusetts, Sacrifice Rock, between
Plymouth and Sandwich, Massachusetts, and some other places the cairns
merely mark a trail. Even the temporary resting-place of Sachem
Poggatacut, near Sag Harbor, was kept clear of weeds and leaves by
Indians who passed it in the two centuries that lapsed between the death
of the chief and the laying of the road across it in 1846. This spot is
not far from Whooping Boy's Hollow, so named because of a boy who was
killed by Indians, and because the rubbing of two trees there in a storm
gave forth a noise like crying. An older legend has it that this noise is
the angry voice of the magician who tried to slay Wyandank, the
Washington of the Montauks, who is buried on the east end of the
island. Often he led his men into battle, sounding the warwhoop, copied
from the scream of the eagle, so loudly that those who heard it said that
the Montauks were crying for prey.

It was while killing an eagle on Block Island, that he might use the
plumes for his hair, that this chief disclosed himself to the hostiles
and brought on a fight in which every participant except himself was
slain. He was secretly followed back to Long Island by a magician who had
hopes of enlisting the evil ones of that region against him,--the giants
that left their tracks in Blood-stone Rock and Printed Rock, near
Napeague, and such renegades as he who, having betrayed his people, was
swallowed by the earth, his last agony being marked by a stamp of the
foot that left its print on a slab near the Indian burial-ground at
Kongonok. Failing in these alliances the wizard hid among the hollows of
the moors, and there worked spells of such malice that the chief's hand
lost steadiness in the hunt and his voice was seldom heard in council.
When the haunt of this evil one was made known, a number of young men
undertook to trap him. They went to the hills by night, and moved
stealthily through the shrubbery until they were almost upon him; but his
familiars had warned him of their approach, though they had wakened him
only to betray him for a cloud swept in from the sea, fell about the
wretch, burst into flame, and rolled back toward the ocean, bearing him
in the centre of its burning folds. Because of the cry he uttered the
place long bore the name of Whooping Hollow, and it used to be said that
the magician visited the scene of his ill-doing every winter, when his
shrieks could be heard ringing over the hills.





Next: Mark Of The Spirit Hand

Previous: The Rival Fiddlers



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