Tanya Erzen

  • Signs and Wonders

    Imagine a delegation of chiefs from the Six Nations of the Iroquois passing through the rural town of Palmyra, New York, in the early 1800s. Among them is Red Jacket, the nephew of the most famous Iroquois prophet, Handsome Lake. Handsome Lake and his followers preached sobriety, conversed with spirits, and implored their beleaguered people to return to Iroquois traditions like the longhouse. Handsome Lake’s visions involved hidden scriptures that described the religious origins of the conflict between his people and whites and included a figure similar to Jesus. Quaker missionaries had lived