The White Wampum

by Emily Pauline Johnson


Epigraph and Author’s Note


                          “And few today remain;
     But copper-tinted face and smouldering fire
    Of wilder life, were left me by my sire
    To be my proudest claim.”


    As wampums to the Redman, so to the Poet are his songs; chiselled alike from that which is the purest of his possessions, woven alike with meaning into belt and book, fraught alike with the corresponding message of peace, the breathing of tradition, the value of more than coin, and the seal of fellowship with all men.
    So do I offer this belt of verse-wampum to those two who have taught me most of its spirit—my Mother, whose encouragement has been my mainstay in its weaving; my Father, whose feet have long since wandered to the Happy Hunting Grounds.