Indian Time - A Voice from the Eastern Door

Defeat of the French Record Belt

 

Onondaga, Hill People.

Reprinted from Wampum Belts of the Iroquois by Tehanetorens

Jake Swamp's son, Andy Swamp, holding Onondaga record belt.

This is an Onondaga belt and was made as a record. A French priest who was stationed at Onondaga told a French boy captive of the Onondagas that a French army was to invade the Iroquois Country, starting with the Onondagas. He, the priest, was secretly storing gun power and other military supplies in a small house in back of the mission, supplies that he received from time to time from French traders who visited Onondaga. The boy who had lived with the Onondagas and who was adopted by them, liked their ways, and considered himself an Onondaga, told the Chiefs. The Onondagas then demanded to see the inside of the little building behind the mission. The priest refused, saying that the log building was a holy place that only he could enter. They forced their way in and found that the boy's story was true. They killed the black robe and renounced Catholicism. They met the French army and defeated it. The belt was made as a record of the event so that they would not be taken in again, fooled by words.

The cross at the top of the belt represents French Canada. The long line to the figure of the man is the trail of the priest from Canada. The human figure is the priest and the diamond-shaped design at the bottom represents Onondaga.

 

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