Lenape Village Scene: Shamokin

This has been one of my favorite drawings to do so far-- an American Indian village in the summer of 1749.

Specifically it is Shamokin, Pennsylvania, along the Susquehanna River (now Sunbury, and not to be confused with present-day Shamokin). Shamokin was a village of American Indians from various displaced tribes, including Lenape.

This image represents a high point in Wynonah's young life. She is newly married, and her husband Shshash has built them a wigwam near the longhouse where Wynonah's parents live. Wynonah's first child-- a daughter-- is swaddled on a cradle board and held by Wynonah's mother. A second child is on the way.

We see that Wynonah's mother has come over to help with the cooking and babysitting, and has paused in her task to get Wynonah from the garden to welcome Shshash, just returning from a successful fishing trip. Some fish are already drying on racks.

The full width artwork. Text will appear along the top

Wynonah's dog does not appear in the text but I have invented her for several of the pictures-- she greets Shshash with a happy wag. In my research I learned that the Lenape dogs, now extinct, could howl like wolves; also sometimes they are found buried alongside their masters. I came across a Lenape story, too, called something like "How the Dog Was Allowed to Come into the House."

Based on these facts I surmised that Wynonah might have a dog and that the relationship between human and canine would be a warm one.

BONUS: Preview this art together with the story text right here.