(Surregionalist notes and reflections from a tour of lower Manhattan
by Evan Pritchard, author of Native New Yorkers, on May 7, 2016
compiled and recomposed by Quincy Saul on September 24, 2016)
Let us bless this land before it is reclaimed by Mother Ocean,
Let us bless the landkeepers who pledged to protect it,
Let us bless the ancestors who made important decisions here under the tree,
Let us pray for wiser decisions.
The West Village was already a village,
Broadway was a hunting trail, heading north into the the forest,
Route 9 is a continuation of that trail all the way to Montreal.
27th street was a fur market – it hasn't moved;
Roasting nuts on the roadside, also an ancient practice.
Tammany Hall was named after Chief Tamanend,
It was Liberty before it was Zucotti; Occupy made it Liberty again.
There are 80,000 Native Americans living in New York City:
Everything, encoded and hidden, is the same as it was.
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Is really a Native American story.
The Dutch copied the natives at the button tree.
Thoreau learned everything he knew about civil disobedience
from the Penobscot (The Way of the Heron).
Wampum beads were accepted on the Brooklyn Ferry until the 1720s.
You'll never hear about the Munsee.
Or the Kapsee, guardians of the points of rocks,
Sharp rocks which used to stand out in the harbor,
Preventing waves and storm surges from reaching shore.
a 30 foot wave,
and a 14 foot wall of water
on Wall Street.
The origin of modern city planning!
The colonists built themselves a massive church
Which blocked their windmill
And people starved.
In 1811 Manhattan was flattened,
Forests, waterfalls, houses destroyed
As a real estate marketing scheme.
Cherry Hill was the original White House.
Then it became a whorehouse –
They built the Brooklyn Bridge to bury it.
(Archway 6; the sign was removed.)
Broad Street – the New York Stock Exchange –
Was once a river,
Polluted until it smelled so bad
They paved it over.
The wall that's now Wall Street
Stone Street was first paved
So the state house wouldn't get so muddy
As politicians walked back and forth from the taverns:
The place of general inebriation!
There are no deeds to Manhattan
Except for small parts of Harlem
And no receipts.
Yeah sure, Brooklyn was "deeded” –
“Safe as stealing home.”
Lobsters in the bay here used to be seven feet long,
Lobsters don't grow past five feet in captivity.
We're in the same boat; we used to live 112 years.
25 Broadway was the first house on the continent.
“If you ever feel like a slave now, maybe it started here.”
The birth of the multinational corporation.
Quetzlcoatl crushed under the foot of the stone sculpture
At the doorway of the Museum of the American Indian,
Crushing the spirit of Mexico to build a new America.
Do you know where the Golden Bull came from?
It was a sharp trick
In 1614, that won the first Dutch corn field,
And the bullshit still stands, in the same place;
No way it's a coincidence.
The Dutch masterminded a lot of the “American revolution,”
Invented the Marines;
Fort Amsterdam was the original Pentagon.
The New York flag is just like to the Dutch Flag:
An Indian with a bow but no arrow.
Scalping was a business decision,
It was an efficient genocide.
The Dutch did much worse than ISIS on Bowling Green.
A pile of 80 severed heads survives in legend
And in the unblinking eyes of the stone heads
Along the side of the customs building,
Staring through the veil of time.
The soil is full of crystals, considered very sacred.
And the word for corn means
The great mother –
Please pass the great mother!
A white moose was murdered,
Which brought us signs from the creator.
The killing of the manitou was also sign, a warning.
They gathered and decided that we were being warned about
Let us bless this land before it is reclaimed by Mother Ocean
Let us bless the landkeepers who pledged to protect it
Let us bless the ancestors who made important decisions here under the tree
Let us pray for wiser decisions.