by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

To the Great Chief at Washington
Language: English 
     and to the Chiefs of Peoples across the Great Water
     by Hiamovi, Chief among the Cheyennes and the Dakotas
Long ago the Great Mystery caused this land to be,
and made the Indians to live in this land.
And well has the Indian fulfilled all the intention of the Great Mystery. 
Once only Indians lived in this land. 
Then came strangers from across the Great Water.
No land had they; we gave them of our land. 
No food had they; we gave them of our corn.
They have become many and they fill all the country. 
The dig gold - from my mountains.
They build houses - of the trees of my forest.
They rear cities - of my stones and rocks.
None of the things that make their riches did they bring with them
from beyond the Great Water;
all comes from my land, 
the land the Great Mystery gave unto the Indian. 
And when I think upon this I know 
that in the heart of the Great Mystery it was meant
that stranger-visitors, my friends across the Great Water, 
should come into my land;
that I should bid them welcome;
that all men should sit down with me and eat together of my corn.
It was meant by the Great Mystery 
that the Indian should give to all peoples. 

There are birds of many colors - 
red, blue, green, yellow - yet it is all one bird.
There are horses of many colors - 
brown, black, yellow, white - yet it is all one horse.
So all living things - animals, flowers, trees.
So men: in this land where once were only Indians are now men of every color --
yet all ONE PEOPLE. 

That this should come to pass was in the heart of the Great Mystery.
This is right. And everywhere shall be peace.


  • by Anonymous / Unidentified Author

Musical settings (art songs, Lieder, mélodies, (etc.), choral pieces, and other vocal works set to this text), listed by composer (not necessarily exhaustive)

Available translations, adaptations or excerpts, and transliterations (if applicable):

  • GER German (Deutsch) (Thomas Schubert) , "An den grossen Häuptling in Washington", copyright ©, (re)printed on this website with kind permission

Researcher for this text: Maria Nimmerfall

This text was added to the website: 2010-11-05
Line count: 34
Word count: 308