Another Adventure to the Lenape World

An excerpt of email sent by Bob: April 4, 8:15 AM

Woke up completely out of it this morning. Spent a portion of my night away from home. Did you notice anything? I was back by the creek, upstream, watching the white bird ceremony. The group of guys covering themselves in the mud and something else, not sure what. The old joints were participants, but not in the active manner as the others, more just chanting and shaking rattles occasionally. I sat back in the woods with Nuttah, Mom wolf and the pups. Just watched. The ceremony ended, the men that were covering themselves in stuff went into the water and washed, the bird just sort of hovered around, clearly not afraid. The old joints walked back to us. They started their stuff about being prepared and said what your Mom said to me about needing to survive to take care of you in the event things start to fall apart. I must be more like I was when I was younger, more like I was here (I believe that is a reference to being there and being Nuttah’s father). Be aware of what is around you, you should not be alone. He will find you. ??? I said “who and why”. No response. Thanks. All I got from the old joints from my questions was something I remember from before, they repeated it 3 times, I can still hear it as I write “alewi ki kuwatu” , almost sure I have that right because I hear it, may be off by a letter or two. I know what they were saying when I am there, it becomes somewhat more vague as I remember it, but I will see if you can find anything, I think it has something to do with me knowing the answers. Nuttah said to me “kaski lesiv” or something to that effect, not so sure on that one, but she also repeated it 3 times, she held my hand and squeezed it tighter each time she said it, not sure if it meant anything or if it was her just becoming more urgent. And then it was over and I woke standing in the bathroom. I’m starting to think they have a stake in my survival that goes beyond just caring, maybe not Nuttah, but the old joints. The one old joint travels to the creek for these ceremonies and for the “meetings”, he is not part of their clan/group/village whatever you want to call it. I have forgotten a lot of what I used to know when I was going to see them on a more regular basis!

Excerpt of my response: April 4, 8:50 AM

I found myself for some reason on a post of 4/5/11 and it was about the first white merganser sighting you had: 2 regular mergansers and the one all-white one. The first “alewi ki kuwati” reference in the blog happened on 4/1/10, and that post was about when you found out how she lost you. “Alewi ki kuwatu” is “you know more“. (I have that in the heading of the blog too). I’ll look up Nuttah’s phrase. The other thing I noticed was the buzz pretty strong last night, and then the night before, she had moved her character back to your bedside table. “Kaski” means “You can”. The other word I’m not finding. Any context? An English word I can search on? There does not appear to be a “V” in their language, I could be wrong, but maybe it’s like the Gaelic, which uses a “bh” for “V”, or another combo? The ceremony last year happened on May 26, 2011, that one by the creek where they were smeared with mud. Interesting night though! It’s been a long time. I didn’t notice anything overnight, except I had some pretty vivid dreams.

Then I spent some time trying to look up the translation of Nuttah’s Lenape phrase, and found only this:
How about this for a translation:
kàski në laihòsin.
“You can do that”
Closest word I could find to “lesiv”

Curiously, I am re-reading this and posting it several months since it happened. Reading the part about that mud ceremony in the creek, it reminded me of the first time I’d written about it over a year ago. And I wondered if this ceremony had a special significance for them, so for the first time, I actually did an internet search for “Lenape Mud Ceremony”. It turns out that there is something related to mud, and it is part of their “creation story”. I found this site that describes it quite well. So for the 2nd year, Bob was taken there to be part of this ceremony. The only odd thing is that they occurred on different days of the year: May 26, 2011 the first time, and April 4, 2012 the second. So maybe it has more to do with moon cycles, planetary alignment, seasonal events, than an actual fixed “date”.

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