Long before the Europeans arrived on the eastern shores of North America, there was a tribe of people living in the land, now known as the Delaware Indians. In more recent years, and as long as the Europeans have been here, the neighboring tribes as far south as Florida refereed to the Delaware as the “Grandfathers” or the “Lenni Lenape “. Though Lenni Lenape in the Lenape, “Algonquian Indian” language means “ Original People “, their own tradition, and records reveal a very different story. The “Red Record”, or Story of the Grandfathers, Delaware Indians is well-preserved and is known in the Indian tongue as the “Wallum Olam”.
The Wallum Olam pictured above is the oldest written account of the migration and colonization of any ” Native American people”, spanning almost a hundred generations and beginning with a written account of Noah’s flood.
From the Pre-Columbian American Religions, p. 162
In the long chain of tribes along the east coast, one ethnic group stands out, not only in the European written sources but also in the judgment of the Indians themselves. This remarkable group was the Delaware, called in their own language the Lenni Lenape. They had a special status in the eyes of many other Indian peoples: they were reverenced as the “grandfathers,” representatives, after a fashion, of authority and legality.
One of the things that we today have learned from these writings as far as what the term “Grandfathers” meant to those tribes who later came to co-exist the continent with the already flourishing Delaware, is not exactly what earlier historians and anthropologist understood it to mean. Because of the wonderfully preserved written account of the Delaware, and remnant discoveries of a long-lost civilization along the Mississippi River basin, truth of who the first now known inhabitants of the continent were became overpowering but clear.
Though the term “Grandfathers” and other reverencing, and honorable terms used by the neighboring tribes to describe the Delaware came well deserved, as the ensuing revelation of exactly who the Delaware had to conquer when first coming into the new land portrays , it also tells of just how “Earned” the sentiments must truly be.
In 1519, Hernando Cortez, and his hoard of 600 soldiers landed ship on the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, and discovered an established, well advanced society who called themselves the Aztec. Later, Cortez, after herding the Aztecs, who were polytheistic, and unable to understand the Spanish language, into great masses and shouting the principles of the Gospel of Christ at them, mistook the seemingly indifferent response of the Aztec as rejection of the Gospel. This military authoritative means of spreading the Gospel of Christ not only revealed the Spanish hoard’s misunderstanding of the message and Christ himself, but unfortunately resulted in catastrophic annihilation of an absurd amount of human lives.At first encounter, and until Cortez decided it was time for him to make converts to Christianity, the Aztecs greeted the Spaniards peacefully. In fact, as some of the Aztec Traditional legends told them of a god who would return to them one day, they first perceived erroneously that he had returned through Cortez.
Ensuing are excerpts from Bernal Diaz del Castillo:
The first hand account of Bernal Díaz del Castillo‘s True History of the Conquest of New Spain paints a portrait of a noble leader who struggles to maintain order in his kingdom after he is taken prisoner by Hernán Cortés. In his first description of Moctezuma, Díaz del Castillo writes:
“The Great Montezuma was about forty years old, of good height, well proportioned, spare and slight, and not very dark, though of the usual Indian complexion. He did not wear his hair long but just over his ears, and he had a short black beard, well-shaped and thin. His face was rather long and cheerful, he had fine eyes, and in his appearance and manner could express geniality or, when necessary, a serious composure. He was very neat and clean, and took a bath every afternoon. He had many women as his mistresses, the daughters of chieftains, but two legitimate wives who were Caciques[N.B. 2] in their own right, and only some of his servants knew of it. He was quite free from sodomy. The clothes he wore one day he did not wear again till three or four days later. He had a guard of two hundred chieftains lodged in rooms beside his own, only some of whom were permitted to speak to him.” (Díaz del Castillo 1568/1963: 224–25)
When Moctezuma was allegedly killed by being stoned to death by his own people “Cortés and all of us captains and soldiers wept for him, and there was no one among us that knew him and had dealings with him who did not mourn him as if he were our father, which was not surprising, since he was so good. It was stated that he had reigned for seventeen years, and was the best king they ever had in Mexico, and that he had personally triumphed in three wars against countries he had subjugated. I have spoken of the sorrow we all felt when we saw that Montezuma was dead. We even blamed the Mercederian friar for not having persuaded him to become a Christian.” (Díaz del Castillo 1568/1963: 294) End Wiki