August 14, 2013

Two Row! Wampum!

Paddling down the Hudson in two rows

The two rows of purple in the Two Row Wampum belt represent two rows of people, natives and non-natives, paddling down the river of life side-by-side, with respect and friendship for each other. This August, we brought that metaphor to life. We really did paddle in two lines — native paddlers on the west and allies on the east. Sometimes we'd chant -- with one row yelling "Two Row!" and the other row responding, "Wampum!"

Sometimes our leader, Hickory, would stop paddling and signal to the rest of us by holding his paddle high in the air, horizontal. Other paddlers followed, holding up their paddles for all to see. That meant a rest break, a chance for slower paddlers to catch up. That's when we'd clump together, holding the sides of kayaks and canoes to raft together, sharing water and snacks. The safety paddlers, who wore orange bandanas so that we knew who they were, would dart about to check on everyone. "Do you have enough water? Stay hydrated!"

Paddling break


Ianqui said...

Is that Bannerman Castle in the second picture? One of these days, I'm going to go on the tour of that place.

jo(e) said...

Yes, it is. I've seen it out the train window many times, so it was cool to be able to get up close in a kayak.

radagast said...

"Wampum." Such a great word, and not enough excuses to use it, much less shout it down the river.

Sandy said...

That must have been such a fantastic trip.

Mary Stebbins Taitt said...

How fabulous and wonderful! (More tears!) Super pictures!