Lavishly illustrated book launched at the RBG Rock Garden

eventsgreen 100x100By Staff

September 22nd, 2017



The Mayor put it very well when he said the book tells the story of the Escarpment in the best way he has heard it told, or words to that effect.  Mark Zelinski, the author of the book that was being launched said the Mayor was the first person to bulk buy the book.

In an interview with Zelinski he told the Gazette that the Region declined to purchase the book.  So much for support for the arts.

The occasion was a book launch that took place at RBG Rock Garden earlier this week. A surprisingly large audience listened to Mark Zelinski show some of the pictures in his lavishly illustrated Heart of Turtle Island.

zelinski Mark

Mark Zelinski – photographer, publisher

Zelinski did the bulk of the photography and was considerate enough to give public credit to pictures that were taken by others.

Chesley Martin - writer - dancer Zelinski

Chezney Martin – writer – dancer – poet

Chezney Martin, an Indig-enous dancer and poet,part of the Turtle Clan of the Seneca Nation.  She lives at Six Nations.

Chezney wrote a portion of the book and read the short piece – it is worth sharing with you.

“The Thunder Beings are considered the supernatural grandfathers and protectors of the earth. They make appearances in many Haudenosaunee stories and tales. The duties of the Thunder Beings flow from the creation story to the belief that they keep dinosaurs underground with strikes of lightning.

“In this particular story we meet a monstrous snake-like beast conjured by witchcraft that decided to live within the Niagara waterways to kill and eat the Haudenosaunee people.

“Enraged by this, the Thunder Beings sought to dispel the snake with force. This battle raged on for days as thunder rumbled in the sky and lightning struck the serpent until it dissipated into a huge crevice in the earth, the same crevice we call the Niagara Gorge today.

“The Thunder Beings were suspicious as to whether or not the snake had truly been defeated. Rather than leaving the earth they sought shelter behind the waterfall that had been created by the serpent. The Thunder Beings natural rumbles were covered by the sound of falling water, as they awaited any sign that the snake had survived.

“Shortly after this battle, the clouds in the sky cleared to a beautiful day. The sunshine attracted a young woman to lie near the water. She was soon to be wed and wouldn’t have much time to enjoy her alone time once she had children.

“As she closed her eyes, the snake that was shrunken by the strikes of the Thunder Beings slithered out of the water. It is said that the snake entered her body during her rest.

“The young woman was later married and after the first night spent with her new husband, he died. She mourned and decided to try marriage again with the same result. She tried once more to marry, desperately craving a family. Her third husband died.

“Distraught with grief and guilt the young woman decided to end her life. She entered a canoe up stream and allowed the current to carry her to the waterfall.

“Just as her canoe was going to tip over the edge and to the sharp rocks below, the Thunder Beings heard her weeping. They caught her mid-fall, and brought her into their cave behind the water.

“Once inside, the Thunder Beings taught the young woman how to dispel witchcraft as they alleviated her of the snake and destroyed it.

“It is said that the Thunder Beings returned to the clouds. The knowledge passed on to the young woman was brought back to the Haudenosaunee and has been used ever since.[1]

A lavishly illustrated book that is worth having and giving as a gift.

“This is the story of The Maid of the Mist from the Original People.”

The book is on sale at the Different Drummer or directly from the author. If you are looking for a gift that will be appreciated for years to come – keep the title in mind.

Previously published news story.

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1 comment to Lavishly illustrated book launched at the RBG Rock Garden

  • The recent presentations that Mark Zelinski gave at the RBG Rock Garden and at A Different Drummer Book store to launch his latest book of local photographic experiences – “The Heart of Turtle Island – The Niagara Escarpment” was very inspirational.
    The events were entertaining and the lineup of speakers was exceptional giving the audiences an opportunity to listen to many who not only care deeply about our environment but are also doing something tangible to protect and preserve it.
    Thank you for the education through imagery and story, and for reminding us what is at stake if we don’t work together on the environmental issues.