The Wendigo Went To Jamestown

Wendigo was gaunt to the point of emaciation, its desiccated skin pulled tightly over its bones. With its bones pushing out against its skin, its complexion the ash-gray of death, and its eyes pushed back deep into their sockets, the Wendigo looked like a gaunt skeleton recently disinterred from the grave. What lips it had were tattered and bloody … Unclean and suffering from suppuration of the flesh, the Wendigo gave off a strange and eerie odor of decay and decomposition, of death and corruption-Basil H. Johnston, an Ojibwe teacher and scholar from Ontario, gives a description of a wendigo:

 

It was a stunning archeological discovery. Found in a pit dated from the early 1600’s ( The Starving Time ) mixed with the bones of squirrels and dogs, were the cannibalized remains of a 14 year old girl.

The people who reconstructed her face named her ” Jane “.

Forensic facial reconstruction of the young girl thought to have been cannibalized. It appears she was dead at the time. (Donald E. Hurlbert/Smithsonian)

I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid in school studying ” American History ”  we never got to the part of the story  where the  the starving Jamestown colonists disinterred their dead and then butchered them for food.

It sounds like a scene from a horror film.

However, I don’t think that anyone was digging up graves by moonlight with a shovel. From what I understand, it was freezing and snowing so I’m not sure how many people were actually buried underground. Still, the idea that  a few Jamestown Colonialists went into a makeshift morgue in the dead of winter and chose  which bodies would be pulled from their place of rest and taken to a place where I’m guessing that animals were slaughtered and butchered,  is a horror that I can’t quite wrap my mind around.

I mean, I get it, I just can’t see it.

Forensics tell us that before she and her fellow Jamestown Settlers began to starve that Jane was well nourished, he teeth were white and beautiful and her bones would have told you she wasn’t a laborer and that her spine and joints probably showed that she wasn’t doing heavy lifting. She was a child of means. I’ll bet she could read and write too.

It’s what happened to her in death that separated her not only from the class she had been born into, but the way the dead are treated  by tradition.

Jane’s skull had been cracked open, some of the cuts to her jaw were describe as ‘tentative’ but I’m thinking that  someone couldn’t bring themselves to butcher her remains, so they tried to carve her up carefully and then at some point they stopped caring because they simple had to not care in order to do what needed to be done.

There’s something sad about that. Call me sentimental ( or just mental ) but she may have saved some people from starving to death. The way they treated her poor remains doesn’t show much gratitude. They could have given what remained of her a burial. They owed her that.

In my mind’s eye, if the Wendigo touched the colonists, I don’t think it happened when they went into the place where the dead were sleeping. I doubt if it cursed them when they cooked Jane and probably a few other people too.

I think it touched them when they threw Jane’s bones into the garbage pit.

That was evil and that is what the Wendigo really feeds on.

Detail of cut marks found on the girl’s jaw, or lower mandible in a stereo-microscopic photo. Smithsonian Institution / Don Hurlbert

Four butchery marks found on the skull of a 14-year-old girl who died at Jamestown constitute the first evidence for cannibalism during the colonization of the New World.

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

The Smithsonian Institution’s Doug Owsley displays the skull and facial reconstruction of “Jane of Jamestown” at the museum in Washington on Wednesday.Carolyn Kaster/STF

RDP Monday: SOIL

Hippity Hop Stevie Boy!

 

When you give the finger to the Justice system, sometimes it slams you in cuffs and you get to take a ‘perp walk’ down a well lit hallway in handcuffs lined with the press.

AND sometimes people play the video of you doing the walk over and over again because it makes you feel all warm and happy inside.

But this is about slang- was Stevie being frogmarched or was he taking perp walk. Which would be the correct term to use?

In this case I’d call this a straight up  frogmarch-because  ol’ Steve is hopping mad- lol.

RDP Thursday: FROGMARCH

That’s What She Said

RDP MONDAY: FLOUNCE

A long time ago,

my Great Grandmother told me one day

that the only way women could express their rage

in a socially acceptable way

was to gather up their skirts and angrily flounce away.

 

When did that change, I asked her

when were women  allowed to get really mad?

And my Great Grandmother told me, without a smile

Lizzy Borden changed all of that.

Lizzie Borden

It’s Like This Sam

RDP Friday: LURKING


Gertrude Abercrombie,
Reverie, 1947

” I’m just going to say it straight up. Your girlfriend isn’t very cool.” Calvin’s friend told him at the bus stop one day.
It was the Friday before Labor Day and most of the people who waited at the stop were  friends so Cal and Sam knew since the beginning of the week they’d be the only two there today. That’s why Sam had decided to bring up the Girlfriend topic.
” She’s just always there shooting us the stinkeye.”  Sam decided to soften his position because the bus was about 10 minutes away and he didn’t want to share this with some random commuters.  ” I mean why does she hang around  us if she doesn’t want to hang out with us? You know what I mean?”
Sam looked up Elm Way and  when he didn’t see the bus hissing it’s way towards them he decided to answer.
” No. No I don’t know what you mean.”
” She’s like a stalker or something Cal. She’s just there checking everyone out and she never says anything. She just stares at us like we’re a bunch of bastard children who showed up at a family reunion, see what I mean? “
” I really don’t Sam.”
“Well. She walks you to the bus stop everyday and she waits on the corner over there under the tree until the bus shows up. She never comes over here if I’m here or anyone else we ride with. She just looks all offended or pissed off if I even wave at her or smile.
The bus sailed towards them and Sam turned and waved to Calvin’s girlfriend- ” See man, Nothing. She’s not very friendly is she?”
The bus stopped  in front of them and the doors opened.
Calvin  stepped back and let Sam take the stairs up first. Then he turned around to the place under the tree where Sam had waved and like always there wasn’t anyone  there when Calvin turned around.
One of these days he was going to tell Sam he didn’t have a girlfriend.
However, Calvin  did have a wife and she wasn’t  standing under the tree on the corner.
She was buried next to it.
Calvin decided that this might not be the right time to have that conversation with Sam, but over the weekend when the street was quiet he might get around to doing a little more digging around that tree and then maybe- just maybe he would have a little talk with Sam.