Jennifer Zalewski - Syracuse, New York USA
Fish Creek: Land of Jo-Ge-Oh
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Artist's comments ...
Fish Creek (Land of Jo-Ge-Oh)
Summer 2009: I was on a camping trip up at Fish Creek/Rollins
Pond, in the Adirondack Mountains of Northern New York. We had
miserable weather that week- ominous skies, rain, cold almost
the whole trip. The campground was sparsely populated except for
the "hardiest" (craziest?) of campers. At any rate-- One of
those nights, damp and cold in my tent, I was suddenly woken up
by the sound of footsteps running around the back of my tent. I
was a bit taken aback. The campsites around us were empty, it
was pouring rain, and not only that- it was the middle of the
night!! Through the sound of the drizzle, I kept hearing
something run- in the site next to us, into our campsite, and
back again and around. I could hear it stop- pause- and go off
again. Bizarre! It was definitely bipedal from the cadence of
the foot-fall, but no Adirondack wildlife that *I* know of can
run on 2 feet that way? Bears can stand up, but certainly don't
run on their back legs! What was it? I was perplexed and
terrified. And to make matters worse, my two Greyhounds were
sleeping through the whole thing! My mind began to run away with me.
Finally, after what seemed like forever of listening to the
footsteps, I prodded the dogs awake with my feet, leashed them
up, grabbed my flashlight and went out--a bit nervously, I
admit-- into the rain. The running noise suddenly disappeared,
and I never heard it again. Not that night, or the rest of the
nights on our trip.
Needless to say, as soon as I got home from our camping trip I
began researching what in the world could have made those
sounds. An abnormally walking bear? Ghosts? Sasquatch?
Interestingly, the Adirondack Region doesn't seem to have any
Bigfoot legends that I could find in my studies. However, I was
really interested to read that the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois)
Native Americans have a legend of Jo-Ge-Oh, or Little People,
that live throughout the area. From what I was able to find, the
Jo-Ge-Oh are mischievous - enjoying squirrel hunting, drumming,
and playing pranks on the Haudenosaunee. They are about 2 feet
high and live in 3 different tribes, the Gan-ho-Ga, the
Gan-da-ya, and the Oh-dan-was.
Generally amicable, they show displeasure by throwing stones,
and they enjoy gifts of tobacco.
Was it a Jo-Ge-Oh I heard that night, up at Fish Creek? Would
they choose to show themselves to someone who has zilch-o Native
American blood in them? But... What else in the world could it
have been? I'm totally at a loss!
This linocut- Fish Creek: Land of Jo-Ge-Oh -- is my
commemoration of the Haudenosaunee legend and my experience that
wet summer night!
Syracuse, New York, USA
Paper Dimension: 10 x 7.5
Image Dimension: 5 x 7
Block: Battleship Linoleum
Pigment or Ink: Graphic Chemical
Paper: Seth Cole Vellum