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The Proud Govoha Indians

The Proud Govoha Indians

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Published by binhersh
Humorous satire on the Yeshiva community at Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, New Jersey
Humorous satire on the Yeshiva community at Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, New Jersey

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Published by: binhersh on Mar 13, 2009
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06/16/2009

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The Proud Govoha Indians
Long ago, before the Europeans reached the New World, in what is now central NewJersey, lived a great tribe of Indians. These were the Govoha Indians. The Govohaswere a very proud tribe and considered themselves the highest tribe upon thecontinent.Legend has it that the Govohas grew out of a very small tribe that was exiled from theWhite Plains. The Govohas were not a homogeneous nation. They would acceptyoung braves from other tribes as long as these tribes were descendants of an ancientsect of Native Americans known as the Litwakee Indians. Many came from the long beaches of Nassau, from Ramapo and the Spring Valley, the Phila delta where theSchuylkill and Delaware rivers meet, from the Scranton tribe on the banks of theLackawanna, from Chesapeake Bay, from the Cuyahoga plains, and even some fromthe Great Lakes region and the Western territories in the Colorado Rockies.Though they were a very friendly tribe, the Govohas kept to themselves. They wouldhave nothing to do with the Irigoys whom they considered to be of another creed.Even from among their creed they also had some rivals with which they wereconstantly at war. Among their opponents were the members of the loathed Mizrachetribes. Another opponent was the Lupapache Tribe that originated at the Heights of theEastern Darkway and, from there, spread to the West, East, North, and South. Their leader was the revered Chief Son of Daughter-In-Law who they referred to as Chief Oil on Head the Immortal Savior. He was renowned as a master of Wisdom,Understanding, and Knowledge. He would sit at large gatherings and hand out firewater and green tobacco leaves that would be valued today at around one dollar. Hisspirit is long departed but there remain many legends. Even after he had not been seenfor many, many rains, some Lupapache elders claimed that his body and spirit stillwalk. This group would imbibe on peace pipes and fire water. Many Govohas shunthem as they do the Irigoys.Their most fiercest opponent were the M.O.hicans whose empire stretched from thelower Hudson Valley near Fort Washington and Fort Lee, all the way North toPlymouth Rock and Massachusetts Bay where the great warrior Chief Jay Bear of theSolapachik tribe once reigned. After Chief Jay Bear’s spirit departed, his brother,Arrow Horn, former chief of the Skokies, was summoned from the Blackhawk landson the shores of Lake Michigan to lead the tribe. Though claiming to be a trueM.O.hican, Arrow Horn of the Solapachiks was noted to display tendencies thatmirrored the Govohas such as prohibiting the November Thanksgiving at PlymouthRock because the new harvest cannot be eaten until the following spring and opposingthe ancient Indian custom of surrounding the villages with totem poles joined by thinropes to unite all the teepees as one. As such, Chief Arrow Horn was not accepted byall. In fact, since the death of Chief Jay Bear, the tribe has never been able to producea warrior capable of filling his moccasins and so he is known as the last of the greatM.O.hicans.The Govohas were a relatively primitive people who shunned ideas and philosophiesthat were foreign to their ancient lifestyle. They would spend most of their timediscussing the origins of their tribe and their ways. How to practice their rituals, how
 
to settle disputes, and the Laws of the Squaws. Of major concern was how to dealwith the crazy ideas and newfangled devices that many of the rival tribes were pickingup from the abominable white man. Often these discussions would escalate into fierydebates and trigger one of their frequent pow-wows.The Govohas were great hunters and traders. They fished in the lakes and hunted inthe woods. One of their rituals was to dip all their arrows, hunting knives andtomahawks in Lake Carasaljo before initiating their use.The most precious commodities were the scalps of their enemies and dark hats madeof rabbit and beaver furs. The scalps would adorn the heads of their wives and manycompeted to obtain the fairest scalps. No price was too high. The Govohas wouldoften travel up the trade routes to do business with the white men in New Amsterdam.Early attempts to establish trade routes met with failure, but they had great success onthe 9
th
attempt and so, for many generations, they traveled mainly on trade routenumber 9.Of great interest is the family lives and mating rituals of the Govohas. There wereactually two classes within the Govohas. One who had not yet taken a wife was a
brave
and one who had a wife was a
worrier 
. The braves lived in large caves full of  bats, foxes, raccoons, and other loathesome creatures. The worriers lived with their wives and children in individual teepees in colonies. Typically the openings of eachteepee faced another teepee so everybody could know what's going on in everyoneelse's teepee. Some of the worriers were in a Golden state but most weren't.The Govohas were generally a monogamous tribe. Only the great Chief Milky Eelwas allowed two wives (this, by a special counsel of 100 elders). In a bit of historicalirony, his first wife was descended from the same Solapachik tribe as was Chief JayBear. The Govohas had some unique rituals. One was that they would store up snowand ice from the harsh winters. When a new brave was accepted into the tribe, hewould be packed into the ice for a period of four months or until the first signs of spring in the middle of the month of Shivat. Only after this ritual was he allowed tounfreeze and search for a squaw. The motto was, "No squaw until after the thaw!" Tothaw them out, they would need large doses of fire water. So they would headnorthward up the trade routes to the area near Fort Hamilton or the Great SpringValley where there were plenty of maidens. Indian maidens from every corner of thecontinent would congregate there for it was a great privilege to be chosen as a squawfor one of the Govohas. They would choose a maiden and bring them to the Island of Manhattan. (The name
Manhattan
is derived from the word
manahachtanienk 
whichin the Munsee dialect of Lenape means:
 place of general inebriation
-Wikipedia).There they would drink much fire water to thaw themselves out and to win over theheart and the gold of the maiden.The Govohas also had a belief that a mouse is impure. And as such, anyone or anything that is attached to a mouse is impure. Even touching a live mouse wouldmake the one who touches it impure. To rid themselves of these mice, they would tryto trap them in nets. Of course this would immediately render the Net impure. Whenthey did trap a mouse in the Net, they were required to inform a special band of witchdoctors that "I have a mouse In the Net!" and the witch doctors would use specialincantations and spells to rid the Worrier of his impurity. The Worrier would be

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