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Monday, October 13, 2014

Meshekenabek



Just been surfin' and looking for some interesting reading, and ran into a legend over by Rochester, Indiana, that I had never heard of before.   Should be an interesting journey.  I might have to go over and visit Rochester (very close to me) to see this Lake Manitou and take some pictures and video.

Some interesting quotes and links concerning Meshekenabek, the Lake Manitou serpent:

The Preacher's Lantern - Serpent Worship -  Among the Red Indians there is a traditional being answering to the Greek Apollo or the Indian Crishna This is Manabozho he was the great teacher of the Algon quins and is always represented as in opposition or conflict with Meshekenabek the great serpent This tradition like that of Thor and the midgard or Crishna has features about it strikingly like some of those in Scripture Manabozho missed his young cousin and knowing by trails in the sand that he had been decoyed away by the great enemy Meshekenabek he tracked him to the edge of the deep and dreadful lake which has ever since been called the Lake of Manitou the spirit lake or the lake of devils At the bottom of this lake was the dwelling of the great serpent with all his monstrous and terrible companions all serpents In the midst of this horrible company was the great serpent himself coiling his awful folds in volumes round the hapless cousin of Manabozho Dreadful was the appearance of the arch snake his head was red as with blood his eyes burning and glowing like fire his body covered over with hard impenetrable glittering scales The pitying god Manabozho looked down upon the fearful sight and determined on the salvation of his cousin He dispersed all the clouds from heaven and caused the winds to be still so that the waters might be stagnant Then he caused the sun to shine upon the lake in all its fierceness that so his enemy might be compelled to come forth and seek the cool shadows of the trees upon the banks of the lake he meantime never relinquishing his power to destroy took his bow and arrows and placing himself in the spot where he knew the great serpent would emerge transformed himself into the stem of a tree that so his presence might not be suspected All the winds were still the air stagnant the rays of the sun so fierce that they penetrated to the evil brood at the bottom of the lake bubbles rose to the surface an awful serpent's head was raised looking round the shores the waters hissed as Meshekenabek said Manabozho sleeps The great serpent came forth from the waves his scales glistening like a sleetcovered forest beneath the winter's sun The shores of the lake were soon covered with the foul trailing bodies of the snakes They saw the stunted stem of the tree and they knew the cunning of Manabozho and even suspected it might be one of his disguises The giant snake coiled himself round it and sought to drag it down but he could not Manabozho was firm and by and by the great snake and all the snakes of the forest slept Then Manabozho from the stem of the tree drew his arrow and pierced the heart of the great serpent and the hiss the snake gave drew a howl of consternation from all the creatures and beasts of the forest The great serpent was mortally wounded though he and his snakes were tenfold more wild and terrible in their wrath High on the crest of the waves of the lake black as midnight rode the expiring snake pouring forth a deluge of venom which rose to a flood and almost overwhelmed the hills and the villages round But the good Manabozho achieved the salvation upon which he determined The great serpent was dead and the snakes his companions were cast again into the lake of evil spirits whence from the fear of Manabozho they never more dared to come forth This is a sufficiently curious tradition although some may think it almost unworthy of a place in our chronicle of serpent worship All these pieces of primeval folklore however are interesting in themselves and it is from such as these we are to seek the crude elements from which we trace the development of religious ideas This idea so universal of the serpent the cunning serpent the implacable foe of man from the beginning seems to point to conclusions which will hardly satisfy themselves with those notions which represent evil as a mere generalisation made by man from the perception of pain 


Strange Mag - An Unnatural History of Indiana 5 - Located in the town of Rochester, Lake Manitou was once considered forbidden to the Potawtomi who lived in the area. The reason for their fear was their belief that the lake was inhabited by a great monster called, Meshekenabek. In hisRecollections of the Early Settlements of the Wabash Valley, Sanford C. Cox reported that, "The Indians would not hunt upon its borders, nor fish in its waters for fear of incurring the anger of the evil spirit that made its home in this little woodland lake." In fact, the Native Americans would later warn settlers against building a mill on the lake, said Cox, fearful that the monster would "rush forth from its watery dominions and take indiscriminate vengeance on all those who resided near the sacred lake."




Lake Manitou - 6/14/2014, Rochester, IN.


Nightghost

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