Poetry

Minnehaha

... the later life of Minnehaha

by Bill Jodrey

Minnehaha was seen naked in the forest by an Indian brave one day and, as their relationship developed, they set up housekeeping.

After a short period, Minnehaha left her man because he was mean spirited and beat her so much that she feared for the life of the baby within her body.

Because she chose to leave her man she was banished from tribal membership but as she was pregnant, she was allowed to remain until the child was born, at which time she was forced to leave but the child remained and was raised by a tribal mother.

Minnehaha traveled in what was referred to by the Iroquois people as the "outback" which is a custom of the Indian nations which allows traveling Indian guests to stop temporarily to eat, sleep, and rest but not for long.

It was in this manner that, traveling alone and moving from tribe to tribe, it is recorded that Minnehaha reached Fort Worth, Texas at one point of her journey.

As the years passed and she was aging, she eventually returned to the Iroquois nation area which consisted of what is now known as the New York and New England territories.

Because she had been banished once, she was banished again but recognizing how aged and infirm she had become, she was allowed to return when the tribe had erected a "Dying Hut" for her when it was evident that her demise was imminent.

As the epic of Minnehaha comes to a close, her only offspring was growing up and taking her own place in the history of her people.

March 26, 1999


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