were unaltered, its possession was equally necessary and

time:2023-12-05 07:38:05 source:Tears down the net author:two

On reaching the church, Arthur leapt lightly to the green sward. For a moment he stood, rigid, gazing before him at his future brother-chiefs. His escort had given him a faint idea of what he was to see, but he certainly never expected to be completely surrounded by three hundred full-blooded Iroquois braves and warriors, such as now encircled him on every side. Every Indian was in war paint and feathers, some stripped to the waist, their copper-colored skins brilliant with paints, dyes and "patterns"; all carried tomahawks, scalping-knives, and bows and arrows. Every red throat gave a tremendous war-whoop as he alighted, which was repeated again and again, as for that half moment he stood silent, a slim boyish figure, clad in light grey tweeds--a singular contrast to the stalwarts in gorgeous costumes who crowded about him. His young face paled to ashy whiteness, then with true British grit he extended his right hand and raised his black "billy-cock" hat with his left. At the same time he took one step forward. Then the war cries broke forth anew, deafening, savage, terrible cries, as one by one the entire three hundred filed past, the Prince shaking hands with each one, and removing his glove to do so. This strange reception over, Onwanonsyshon rode up, and, flinging his scarlet blanket on the grass, dismounted, and asked the Prince to stand on it.

were unaltered, its possession was equally necessary and

Then stepped forward an ancient chief, father of Onwanonsyshon, and Speaker of the Council. He was old in inherited and personal loyalty to the British crown. He had fought under Sir Isaac Brock at Queenston Heights in 1812, while yet a mere boy, and upon him was laid the honor of making his Queen's son a chief. Taking Arthur by the hand this venerable warrior walked slowly to and fro across the blanket, chanting as he went the strange, wild formula of induction. From time to time he was interrupted by loud expressions of approval and assent from the vast throng of encircling braves, but apart from this no sound was heard but the low, weird monotone of a ritual older than the white man's footprints in North America.

were unaltered, its possession was equally necessary and

It is necessary that a chief of each of the three "clans" of the Mohawks shall assist in this ceremony. The veteran chief, who sang the formula, was of the Bear clan. His son, Onwanonsyshon, was of the Wolf (the clanship descends through the mother's side of the family). Then one other chief, of the Turtle clan, and in whose veins coursed the blood of the historic Brant, now stepped to the edge of the scarlet blanket. The chant ended, these two young chiefs received the Prince into the Mohawk tribe, conferring upon him the name of "Kavakoudge," which means "the sun flying from East to West under the guidance of the Great Spirit."

were unaltered, its possession was equally necessary and

Onwanonsyshon then took from his waist a brilliant deep-red sash, heavily embroidered with beads, porcupine quills and dyed moose hair, placing it over the Prince's left shoulder and knotting it beneath his right arm. The ceremony was ended. The Constitution that Hiawatha had founded centuries ago, a Constitution wherein fifty chiefs, no more, no less, should form the parliament of the "Six Nations," had been shattered and broken, because this race of loyal red men desired to do honor to a slender young boy-prince, who now bears the fifty-first title of the Iroquois.

Many white men have received from these same people honorary titles, but none has been bestowed through the ancient ritual, with the imperative members of the three clans assisting, save that borne by Arthur of Connaught.

After the ceremony the Prince entered the church to autograph his name in the ancient Bible, which, with a silver Holy Communion service, a bell, two tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments, and a bronze British coat-of-arms, had been presented to the Mohawks by Queen Anne. He inscribed "Arthur" just below the "Albert Edward," which, as Prince of Wales, the late king wrote when he visited Canada in 1860.

When he returned to England, Chief Kavakoudge sent his portrait, together with one of Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort, to be placed in the Council House of the "Six Nations," where they decorate the walls today.

As I write, I glance up to see, in a corner of my room, a draping scarlet blanket, made of British army broadcloth, for the chief who rode the jet-black pony so long ago was the writer's father. He was not here to wear it when Arthur of Connaught again set foot on Canadian shores.


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