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Craig and Sandy Ojawashko from Oklahoma

The Journey to Lenapehoking Go Down Go Back
THE JOURNEY TO LENAPEHOKING, as told by Craig Ojawashko, eighth of ten, born in Anadarko, Oklahoma, and Sandy Ojawashko, first of three, born at the river camp on the Washita River in Oklahoma.
As a very young boy, I would journey with my mother to visit with my great grandfather, White Wolf. I would sit with him to listen for hours to him speak the stories of the Lenape.
After lighting a fire for both heat and light, White Wolf began each story with "This is a story my great grandfather, story keeper Mashipacong told me when I was a young boy."
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In fact, all of story keeper Mashipacong′s stories have been passed down from one Lenape story keeper to the next story keeper, even since wiwundhakamik schwonack aschtehhellen kittahikan chen amochol macheu (long before the white men crossed the ocean on their great wind canoes.) —Craig Ojawashko
MY FIRST MEMORIES of when I was a child, was that we had two homes, one in town where we spent most of the year and also a teepee on the Washita River where we would go during the summer to camp, fish, swim and sit around the fire in the evenings to watch for falling stars.
Craig and I have been friends since we were very young growing up in the same community and as we got older we just naturally fell in love. When we came of age and since my father had died when I was young, Craig and I decided to ask his great grandfather Olsatom for permission to wikingen.
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Our ceremony was at our river camp where I wore my mother′s deerskin knee-length skirt with her wampum beads around my forehead. —Sandy Ojawashko

The Family History Go Down Go Up
CRAIG OJAWASKO 1 was born in the winter of 1953 just a bow shot from the Washita River near the village of Anadarko in southwest Oklahoma. His parents are Lenape who have made their home on Delaware land two miles north of town.
Craig is of the Wolf Clan, his full name is Wulamoc Olsatom Ojawashko, however, as a youth, he choose for himself the name Craig because it would be easiest for others to pronounce. Craig′s mother is of the Wolf Clan.
In Lenape culture, a person often took a name for himself which he would use so as not to share their real names, because it was believed that it could give spiritual power to those enemies who knew your name.
In addition, individuals were often given new names, or nicknames, at different periods of their lives, particularly to mark life passages, such as when becoming of age.

Lenni Lenape
The Lenape are of Algonquin language descent and originally separated into three dialectal divisions, which later became the basis for the three Lenape Clans know as the Monsi (Munsee) or Wolf, the Unami or Turtle, and the Unilactigo or Turkey.
Today the clans are known as the Tùkwsit (Wolf Clan), Pùkuwànko (Turtle Clan), and Pële (Turkey Clan).
These were the ones who live in the direction of the sunset, below the land of the Nation of the Mahican and the Nation of the Wappinger who are those dwelling on the other side of the Achgameu Sipo (wide river, now the Hudson river).
The land of the Lenni Lenape begins from the wide water where the mechakgilik sipo (great river or Delaware River) opens to the Kittahikan (great sea), continues along the great river, up it′s many tributaries all the way to the upper area of the great river past the amangi woaktschachne (big bend) and into to the ta-wiquajunquick wachtschu (never ending mountains or Adirondacks.
The people of the Unalachtigo tribe live along the mechakgilik sipo (great river or Delaware river) in the area of the wide water, the Unami tribe live in the area between the two bends and throughout the tributaries, while the Munsee live along the upper mechakgilik sipo and into the ta-wiquajunquick wachtschu. (never-ending mountains or Adirondacks) All three of these tribes make up the entire Nation of the Lenny Lenape people.

The Early Life Go Down Go Up
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.

The First Journeys Go Down Go Up
SANDY OJAWASKO was born and grew up on a farm in Caddo county near the village of Washita, Oklahoma. Her parents are members of the Delaware tribe, and live in the western area of the tribal lands near the Washita river.
One of our first journeys was for Craig and myself, both upon our own mounts, to travel from our home in Washita, to where his Great-grandfather lived so that we might ask him for permission for the two of us to marry.
For me, this was a very long trip but to Craig, he had been there so many times that he made it feel to me like it was a much shorter journey.

The Wayƒaring Begins Go Down Go Up
CRAIG, TOGETHER with his beloved wife Sandy, who like so very many of their people before them, have now taken it to heart and chosen to become wayfarers upon their life journey and doing so by traveling to the Lenape homeland located in the eastern mountains of the North American continent, a place known as Lenapehoking.
Much like the original journey taken by the Lenni Lenape to that homeland which began countless moons ago, even many life journeys ago, now both Craig and Sandy Ojawasko have chosen to take up their personal wayfaring journey to their homeland.
Too, they have decided to take this journey to continue in what their recent ancestors had done for a large portion of their lives when they migrated from Lenapehoking to walk west and find a new home, which migration led them to the home, now located in western Oklahoma and other settlements on this continent.
His parents called Craig, Wulamoc, an old Lenape word meaning One who speaks Truth. As a youth, he chose the name Craig because he felt it would be much easier for his piers to pronounce. Further, in Lenape culture, it is common for one to take a new name to use for oneself so as not to share their real name. This is so because in the past, many Lenape believed that when an enemy knows your name, he could gain special power over you.

Ojawashko is an Algonquin name, pronounced uh-ge-wash-cu, which comes from the Algonquin word for blue.

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