Chesterfield NH Historical Society
Chesterfield NH Historical Society

An Abenaki Story about Oodzee-hozo

 

In modern times, the landscape of New England is explained by the carving and receding of the glaciers from the last Ice Age. However, the ancient people who arrived and inhabited this area had their own reasoning about how the land formations were created.  This oral tradition was handed down to the Western Abenaki or as they call themselves, Alnobak, for thousands of years. It appears, it was all the doing of the being Oodzee-hozo.

 

Oodzee-hozo or Rock Dunder in Lake Champlain

 

 

Oodzee-hozo translates to “created his own self”, which he did out of the rocky earth around him. With his massive hands he gathered sand and made the mountains. Having no or very short legs, he dragged himself across the land creating rivers, streams, and ponds. By pivoting himself downward, he created lakes. He traveled across this land making it for the Abenaki. His final act was to create Lake Champlain where he turned himself into a rock to rest.

 

For generations, the Abenaki who traveled by this rock, gave offerings of pipes and tobacco. It was believed that if you allowed Ooodzee-hozo a smoke, he would becalm the winds and allow safe passage across, and up and down Lake Champlain. Today the small island is called Rock Dunder. But to the Abenaki, it still holds Oodzee-hozo's spirit.

Oodzee-hozo Bit of History.pdf
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