Tenskwatawa has arrived!

Tenskwatawa by Paul Reaume


Height: Shorter than Tecumseh

His father died before he was born resulting in his mother leaving the family shortly after. The small, weak and shy, Lalawethika grew up without the guidance of his parents. Young Lalawethika was then dependent on his siblings to teach him the Shawnee ways. He was not close to his siblings and therefore never learned how to hunt or fight successfully, skills essential to a Shawnee man.

Losing an eye to an arrow in a hunting accident while young, his poor looks and braggart personality didn’t win him many friends. As a result, Lalawethika grew up to be the laughing-stock of his community and turned to alcohol. In the language of the Shawnee his name meant he-who-makes-noise but can be translated idiomatically to mean loudmouth or troublemaker.

He was a vile man who retreated from society after failed attempts at being a medicine man. Unable to care for his family due to his alcoholism, he was supported by his older brother Tecumseh. He was also rumoured to have beaten his wife and family and was seen even by his own people as a “waste of life”. This all changed after he had a terrible vision of his people being swallowed up and destroyed by the whites.

After his transformation he took the name Tenskwatawa meaning Open Door to show that his teachings were the doorway to salvation for all Native Peoples. After proving his worth as a great medicine man people took to calling him the Prophet and his following started to steadily grow. He was proof that the evil influences of the white man such as alcoholism could be overcome and taught that a return to the old ways were the only way they could survive. His brother Tecumseh inspired by his sudden transformation took up his message and carried it as far as he could travel bringing many adherents to their cause.

This entry was posted by drocha on Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013 at 3:49 pm and is filed under Uncategorized . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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