Wyandank





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.





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