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The Walum Olum or Red Record

The Walum Olum, also called the Wallam Olum, or Red Score, is purportedly a tribal chronicle of the the Delaware, or Lenape, Indians that ranges from Creation all the way to the coming of the White man into North America. The main themes are the migration from Asia to Alaska across the Bering Strait, traveling up the Yukon River Valley, and then southward along the McKenzie River Valley, along the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains, and eventually spreading out to the south and east across the North American continent.

The original manuscript was published in 1836 by Constantine S. Rafinesque, who was at the time, a botanist and natural historian at the University of Transylvania in Lexington, Kentucky.

An extremely detailed analysis of Rafinesque's manuscript was published by the Indiana Historical Society in 1954. This book presents a discussion of the origins of the Walum Olum manuscript, complete text including the pictographs, a new translation by a C. F Voeglin, speculations on the chronology and migration of the Lenape, parallels to the Walum Olum in other native or aboriginal cultures, and a detailed presentation of the known physical anthropological data on this tribe. The conclusion of this publication was that the Walum Olum was indeed an authentic record.

Walum Olum; The Migration Legend of the Lenni Lenape or Delaware Indians
By: Indiana Historical Society, 1954
Lakeside Press, R. R. Donnelly & Sons Company
Library of Congress:

Another more recent study of the Walum Olum is the following -

Walum Olum; A Migration Legend of the Delaware Tribe
By Webb, Eugene, 1938-
University of Washington Press, c1981
Library of Congress:

See the text of the Walum Olum per the above reference

Another study of the Walum Olum is the following -

The Red Record or Walum Olum
The Oldest Native American History
By David McCutchen
Avery Publishing Group, 1993
Garden City, New York
ISBN - 0-89529-525-3

But - a recently-published article claims the the Walum Olum is a masterful hoax that has been perpetrated on the Delaware Indians and everybody else for the past some 160 years!

This article claims that Rafinesque used Joseph Smith's (founder of Latter Day Saints) "Golden Tablets" idea in 1830 as a model for the Walum Olum. In keeping the the fact that Smith's "Golden Tablets" were never found, Rafinesque's wooden writing sticks about the Walum Olum were never found. Rafinesque was supposed to have even copied in sequence old - and known to him at the time - dictionaries of the Delaware language in some areas of his writings!

"Unraveling the Walam Olum."
Natural History Magazine, October, 1996, Pages 14... -
By David Oestreicher

Reviewed by E. Stiltner, Copyright © 2001.

World Wide Web links for more information about the Walum Olum -

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URL of this page: http://bcn.boulder.co.us/environment/cacv/'CACVBOLM.HTM'
World Wide Web page by SCCS.
Copyright ©, 2001 SCCS.