Voices from the Delaware Big House Ceremony - Robert Steven Grumet Summary
Voices from the Delaware Big House Ceremony examines and celebrates the Big House ceremony, the most important Delaware Indian religious observance to be documented historically. Edited by Robert S. Grumet, this compilation of essays offers diverse perspectives, from both historical documents and contemporary accounts, which shed light on the ceremony and its role in Delaware culture. As Grumet says, "The many voices brought together in this book produce something more akin to a chorus than a chant." The annual fall festival known as the "Gamwing" (Big House) was the center of life for Delaware Indian communities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana west to Ontario and Oklahoma. The last ceremony was performed by the Eastern Oklahoma Delaware community in 1924. Determined to preserve their traditions for future generations, Delaware Big House followers have worked with anthropologists to preserve Big House texts, rituals, songs, and sacred objects. Including commentaries by Delaware traditionalists from communities in Oklahoma, Wisconsin, and Ontario, where most descendants of the Big House Church live today, the volume also features an ethnographic description of the Big House ceremony and historical accounts dating from 1655 to 1984. Voices from the Delaware Big House Ceremony contributors and consultants are John Bierhorst, Ruthe Blalock Jones, Marlene Molly Miller, Michael Pace, Bruce L. Pearson, Terry J. Prewitt, James A. Rementer, and Darryl Stonefish.