Richard Calmit Adams

The Clans

Richard Calmit Adams (1864-1921), was a member of the Delaware Tribe of Indians. As a Lenape poet and writer he wrote five books of Delaware stories, history, religion, and traditions. He acted as their legal representative in Washington D. C., in the legal battle with the Cherokee Nation over land…

When the waters were so mighty
  As to reach the mountains high,
And it seemed that all creation
  Surely then was doomed to die,
Came the turtle to our rescue,
  Brought us safely unto land,
For the Manitou had sent him;
  Now we’re called “The Turtle Clan.”

The Wolf band comes from children,
  Whom a she-wolf nursed with care,
And thus restored the children
  Who were giv’n up in despair.
Her wailing brought the hunters
  To the babies where they lay;
So a band among the people
  Is the Wolf Clan of to-day.

When the tribe was once in danger,
  A wild turkey gave alarm,
And the warriors met the foeman
  With the fury of a storm,
To a maiden, in a vision,
  Did the turkey show the plan,
And we call all her descendants
  To this day, the “Turkey Clan.”