in the translation of the MAALAN AARUM

3.1 Mound Land
When the waves were calm
in the land they left,
the decent people
lived together there
in strong hollow houses
with thick roofs
3.2 Freezing

They lived where it snowed.
They lived where it stormed.
They lived where it was always winter.

3.3 Dream

While still in their cold land
They remembered longingly
the mild weather,
the many deer,
and also foxes

3.4 Split

The poor, lonely, but tough men
became hunters and
left those living
in strong houses.

3.5 Mighty Hunters

Separated from home
like breasts on the same body
the hunters became tougher
extremely good and
they reached for the sky.

3.6 Explored All

The hunters camped
in the north, east,
south and west.

3.7 Mound Man

The man, who ruled
in that old, northern land
that they all left,
was baptized to be pure.

Maalan Aarum Algonquin Old Norse

lumow aki
lowan aki
tulpen aki
el ow aki

wulamo aki
lowan aki
tou a ppu aki
ei-ow aki

framan akr
raa-andi akr
dau fr by akr
eiga aki
duufa buui
hreina buui

Arrow   Arrow
In that ancient county
In that northern country
In that turtle country
The best of the Lenapi
were Turtle men
?no recorded sounds?
left pointing arrow
original English
right pointing arrow
of Old Norse
earlier ground (land)
freezing ground
deserted (solitude) ground
he had (the) ground (land)
(who) is immersed (in water)(to) be pure

(All references are to Sherwin’s eight volumes of the Viking and the Red Man)

Original English In that ancient county  
Recorded sounds lumow   aki  
Algonquin words wulamo   aki v. 6 p. 56 & v. 1. p. 8
Old Norse framan   akr  
Norse/English earlier ground (land)  
Original English In that northern country  
Recorded sounds lowan   aki  
Algonquin words lowan   aki v. 6 p. 56 & v. 1 p. 8
Old Norse raa-andi akr  
Norse/English freezing ground  
Original English In that turtle country  
Recorded sounds tul    pen   aki  
Algonquin words tou a   ppu  aki v. 3 p.127 & v. 1 p. 8
Old Norse dau fr   by   akr  
Norse/English deserted (solitude) ground  
Original English The best of the Lenapi  
Recorded sounds el ow aki  
Algonquin words ei-ow aki v. 1 p. 45 & p. 8
Old Norse eiga aki  
Norse/English he had (the) ground (land)  
Original English were Turtle men  
Recorded sounds tu la piwi  
Algonquin words tauoh pewi v. 3 p. 127
Old Norse duufa buui 1*
Norse/English (who) is immersed (in water)  
Original English ?no recorded sounds? 2*
Recorded sounds linapiwi  
Algonquin words linapiwi v. 1 p. 169
Old Norse Hreina buui  
Norse/English (to) be pure  
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1*This phrase, “to immerse in water” may have been difficult for the Recorder to understand, so the Historian may have tried to convey the meaning by gestures, such as plunging a hand into water.

If something similar to “immerse in water” was originally recorded, Rafinesque’s focus on “turtles” may have been strengthened. So he may have replaced the phrase with “turtle men.”

2* Why was this phrase omitted in the WO English translation? One reason might be that the Recorder and Rafinesque apparently did not know “linapiwi” had a meaning other than the name of the Lenape tribe.
General Comments

Rafinesque’s focus on turtles and the lack of knowledge about the meaning of “linapiwi” caused him to miss a key element in the Walam Olum story. The man (men) who had the land in the earlier country was (were) immersed in water to be pure. This description strongly implies that a Christian man (men) possessed the land.

Rafinesque probably did not even consider the possibility that the Indians may have migrated from a Christian land. His thinking reflected the national mindset of the early 1800’s. Americans, who were promoting “Manifest Destiny,” may not have been willing to consider a hypothesis that implied the people being shoved aside were descendents of Christians.

If Rafinesque could have published the correct concept of this verse of the Walam Olum sooner, the outcome of Indian/American relationships may have been improved. The harsh effects of those relationships still persist in America. Hopefully, a better understanding of the Walam Olum can still moderate the harsh effects.

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3.8 Soccers
The discouraged people
were worried about
worn out land
they had to abandon.
The priest said,
"We decent people
should go somewhere else."

3.9 Akomen
The common people
in the east stole away
the brothers
abandoned all
with great discouragement
and again discouragement

3.10 Driven

In a short while
the weeping, weak, dirty.
needy (people from)
the burnt land
saved themselves and
rested on the other side
3.11 Free Men
After moving down
from the snowy land
and discreetly leaving
the cousins separated
through out all the land
3.12 Open Water

Where there was little
pack ice in heaped ice
with a lot of snow drifts,
the white geese ruled
and the white bear ruled

3.13 Rich Father
Floating up the streams
in their canoes,
our fathers were rich.
They were in the light
when they were at these Islands.

"Head Beaver and Big Bird
said 'Let us go to Akomen'"

3.15 All Will Go

All say they will go along,
All who are free to go.

3.16North East

Those of the north agreed.
Those of the east agreed.
Over the waters
Over the frozen sea
They went to enjoy it

3.17 Stone hard

On the wonderful slippery water,
On the stone hard water, all went
On the great tidal sea,
Over the [puckered pack ice]

3.18 Big Mob

[I tell you it was a big mob]
In the darkness,
all in one darkness
To Akomen, to the [west],
In the darkness
They walk and walk,
all of them

3.19 men

The men from the north,
the east, the south,
The eagle clan, the beaver clan
the wolf clan,
The best men, the rich men,
the head men
Those with wives,
Those with daughters,
Those with dogs

3.20 They All Come

They all come.
They tarry at the land
Of the spruce pines,
Those from the east
Some with hesitation.
Esteeming highly their
Old home at the mound land