If the Legends Fade, book about a Yuchi Indian girl, by Tom Hendrix
This page last updated on 2/3/21
...If the legends fade,
...........who will teach the children?
Art by Ree Shannon ©2000
Voices from the misty past...an Indian
girl with dancing eyes and a compelling dream; a grandmother's
wisdom; and songs of the Woman in the River, beloved by the Yuchi people.
Step back in time. Make the journey with Te-lah-nay, taken from her home in Alabama
to the Indian Nations of Oklahoma, then travel with her on her long walk back to the
valley of the Singing River.
From the Prologue:
"Ewashnay-e-e-mello. Greetings, Brothers and Sisters. Let me tell
you of a journey--a journey of a young girl, a healer, a daughter of the Sun. Her name was
Te-lah-nay, which in her language means Woman with the Dancing Eyes. She was born above the
shoulderbone in the valley of the Tennessee River in the 1800s. Her tribe was the Yuchi, and
she was my great-great-grandmother.
"Te-lah-nay's journey began when she and her sister were part of the removal of native
peoples from northwest Alabama to the Indian Territory in Oklahoma. Almost from the beginning
of her exile, Te-lah-nay had a recurring dream in which her grandmother beckoned to her from
a hill overlooking the river.
"The Yuchi people believed that in the Tennessee River there was a young woman who sang
beautiful songs. They called it the Singing River. When she reached Oklahoma,
my great-great-grandmother said the rivers and streams were silent.
She felt she had to return to her homeland.
"On her journey back to Alabama, Te-lah-nay encountered people and places both good and bad.
She endured in the remote mountains of Arkansas, the treacherous canebrakes of many rivers and
streams, and the long shadows of the Devil's Backbone.
"Come, make the long walk with a young Indian girl who lived her dream--a dream to come home."
Ree Shannon ©2000
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