Links of the site are right at the bottom of the page)
Some of the 86 pages in this Myth & Lore section are below.
The rest will be found HERE
The Spirit Lodge
by S. E. Schlosser
The great chief Quaquahela lived in
peace with his people on the banks of the River Styx where it
entered the lake waters. Their lives were busy and full. The
warriors hunted and fished, the women cooked and cared for the
old and the young, and all lived in peace with the natural world
Quaquahela determined one day to
visit with a tribe far to the south of their village. He set
out at dusk, paddling across the lake, and then walking inland
towards the lodge of a friend, where he would spend the night
before resuming his journey. He had gone only a few yards from
the lake shore when he heard a terrible snarling, and a huge
bear came bursting forth out of the bushes nearby. Quaquahela
was well-armed with his war club and his hunting gear, but the
bear was his totem, and so it was forbidden for him to kill
the creature. Thus he fled back toward his canoe, intent on
escape. But the enraged bear threw itself forward and knocked
him to the ground.
Desperate now, Quaquahela wrestled
with the bear, beating it repeatedly with his war club, trying
to drive it off. Blood stained the ground from many wounds as
the bear fought with the mighty chief. At last, the chief drew
his knife and stabbed the bear repeatedly around the head and
throat until it released him with a final, blood-chilling growl.
Quaquahela crawled away from the bear and collapsed on the ground.
His body was torn and broken, his wounds grievous. He turned
himself over with great effort and looked toward his enemy,
his totem. The bear was dead. With a moan of contrition and
despair, Quaquahela's head fell back to the earth as he succumbed
to his injuries. He died a moment later.
The friend of the great chief, not
knowing of his intent to stay with him, did not know anything
was amiss until two days later, when he discovered the body
of a great bear laying near the lake. The chief's canoe was
beached nearby, and Quaquahela's bloody war club and totem and
knife told a grisly story. Of the chief's body there was no
sign, but wolves' tracks suggested that his friend had been
dragged away by the local pack. Quaquahela's friend summoned
more warriors and they searched for the remains of the chief
for many days, but it was never recovered.
About a month later, on the night
of the full moon, Quaquahela's clan saw a strange mist spiraling
up the side of a nearby hill like the smoke from a fire. The
conditions were clear and the night bright as day, yet the strange
mist solidified before their eyes and stayed, unmoving, in that
one location in spite of the strong wind that sprang up and
rustled the trees around it. The clan was mystified by the strange
apparition, and wondered why it had appeared to them.
That night, the great chief Quaquahela
appeared in a vision to his medicine man. "It is I,"
he told the man, "who have appeared in the mist on the
hillside. I have killed the great bear who took my life, and
so am barred forever from entering the spirit realm. Rather
than roam the earth, I have determined to stay near my clansmen,
and so have erected a spirit lodge on the hillside in the place
which you saw tonight."
The great chief promised the medicine
man that he would accompany his people on all their expeditions,
ensuring their safe leaving and returning. If they ever doubted
his presence, all the must do was look to the hillside. The
mist that gathered in that one place was the smoke from his
spirit lodge ascending to the treetops. Thus they would be reassured
of his spirit eternally dwelling with them. And if they ever
called over to him, he would answer them.
The medicine man conveyed the words
of his spirit-chief to the clansmen the next morning. There
was much joy in the knowledge that their beloved Quaquahelm
was still among them. Many the people whooped and shouted towards
the hillside where he made his spirit lodge, and always a reply
would echo back to them. Thus was confirmed the vision of the
To this day, the spiraling, misty
smoke from Quaquahelm's spirit lodge may be seen rising above
the hillside in damp or wet weather, and anyone giving a friendly
shout to the great chief will hear his voice echoing in reply.
Copyright: Cinnamon Moon & River WildFire Moon (Founders.)
All rights reserved.
constructed by Dragonfly