AS A YOUTH, Craig would often journey with his mother to see White Wolf, his great grandfather whose name also is Olsatom, so that White Wolf could pass on his stories. Craig would sit with him in his lodge, listen to him speak his stories, and endeavor to remember. When asked abut these early journeys, he replied.
As Told by Craig Ojawashko
When I was a very young boy, my mother took me with her to see her grandfather. The very first journey was a trip lasting four days on horseback during which we would make camp each night alone the way. Mother had made provisions for both of us and put them in her saddlebags.
We had just forded the second river late on the third day and soon after we entered a dense woodland area. Ahead of us was a narrow path through a large growth hardwood forest which we followed until we reached a small clearing where a lone wikwam stood. Mother said that her grandfather build this house using poles from the forest and then overlaid the poles with the hides from many animals. Then, she said, This is where I lived as a child.
We stopped, dismounted, unsaddled the animals, put them in the small wooden corral and added some hay into the manger for them to eat. Turning to look towards the wikwam, I notice that the smoke flaps at the top are slightly open and there is smoke coming from the opening, rising upward to the tops of the trees above. Mother walked from the corral to the wikwam and stopped just before the entrance, waiting there without speaking a word.
Then from inside, I heard in the language of the Lenape an expression which I recognize from my mother′s speaking it often to me: ksi temike (please enter).
Mother lifts the flap, steps into the wikwam and then holds the flap open for me to follow her. When I was also inside, she let the flap back down which shut out the daylight. Except for a very dim light coming in from the smoke hole above, it was dark inside and it takes my eyes a long time to adjust to this darkness.
Just as my eye are becoming accustom to the darkness, a voice comes from someone sitting on a mat across the wikwam, who says, ksi meshake (please, be seated).
I sit down on a mat next to the fire pit, then turn to look at my mother who moves back to the entrance of the wikwam, unrolls a mat and sits down there. I wait quietly for what seemed to be an eternity before White Wolf next speaks.
Nquistook schachackaptonen kiluwa pendaquot wiwundhakamik kikeyin najundam alluns machtenalittin wentschiwoak kikeyin (My son what I have to tell you was told to me when I had achieved the age to carry arrows into battle, just as you now have also achieved this age). Nanneleu juke wulipendamen, meschatamen, wisaschin alluns ngutti najundam alluns ches (That is the way of it for you, it is now time for you to hear well, remember and carry these words as one carries arrows in a skin quiver.)
Alluns Mochimsunga Wundamawachtowagan aptonen Lenni Lenape (These words are a message from our forefathers spoken to all the people). Alluns wuhhala sakima lenape juke quischimawan sakima weski (These words are to be preserved by the story keeper of the people until it is time to appoint the next story keeper).
Matta juke sakima meken alluns Matta juke quischimawan sakima weski (Even so, it is now time for the story keeper to surrender the words, and it is now time to appoint a new story keeper.)
Lenape Wdellewunsowagan muchomes nochan milit Wapsu Timmeu, wachtuchwepiwo wdellewunsowagan Olsittam. (The name given me by my great grandfather is White Wolf, but my own chosen name is One Who Believes). Wdellewunsowagan muchomes nochan Mashipacong sakima lenape chweli tpoquik. (The name of my great grandfather is Mashipacong and he was story keeper of the people many, many moons ago.) Mashipacong meden alluns ndelli meken kepoak. (Mashipacong gave me the words, the same words that I am now entrusting to you.)
Elangomellan, Nguttitehen n′mis untschi Wundamawachtowagan (My Friend, be of one heart and mind with me concerning this declaration.)
White Wolf tells his Stories
Machipacong mehittachpin pommauchsin Lenapehoking, majawat nachkala mecheli tpoquik (Mashipacong was born during the time the Lenape people lived in their homeland, the only home that our people had know for countless moons). Elemokunak wengup schowonack lenapehoking, elemokunak kitschii nhakewelendamoagan wiakipuin, machque mattameechen chwelhammok wulatenamogan (This were the days before the white man came to our home, it was the time of great hope, during which we lived our days and nights with an abundance of food, when there were bear tracks crossing many deer tracks and the band of happiness was worn by all the people.) Tapemi poquiechen alluns lenni lenape, Unalachtigo, wihitawemguppanil pommauchsin Mashipacong (This was the time of the broken arrow people, the turkey clan, who were of the Lenni Lenape who had lived in the same day of Mashipacong.)
Gischquik, achpineen sihunasu linnilenape, cheli mindawelendam (Now, we are a conquered nation of people and many of our people have become dejected, full of sorrow because of our plight lacking any hope. Schingaluet schingalgussowagan taktauntschi Lenapehoking, attaihaschi guttgennemen Lenape. (Our conquers have exiled our people from our homeland, never to return it to us.)
The Story Keepers
These stories were told to White Wolf by his grandfather and they both were story keeper. The stories were passed down from one story keeper to the next story keeper and this passing of the stories has continued for many many moons ago, more moons than can be remembered, even many life journeys.