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History has not been kind to Tenskwatawa otherwise known as Lalawethika or The Prophet He is inevitably compared to his heroic brother Tecumseh and fails to measure up in both physical and moral stature He seems hidden in the shade of his brothers name whereas his brother would never have had the stature he received if it were not for The Prophets religion of classical Indian heritage Lalawethika seemed to be plentiful of both physical and social shortcomings An unimpressive-looking man of below-average height fond of wearing jewelry especially small medals which he hung from his pierced nose and ears His most striking physical characteristic was his damaged right eye which was permanently closed after he injured it with a bow and arrow Lalawethika was not a likable person He was not accepted by the other Shawnee youths and refused to take part in traditionally prestigious male activities such as hunting and fighting As a young man he boasted of his abilities but seemed to lack anyambition He attempted to compensate for his misfortunes but was only counterproductive in making a truculent bragging personality that earned him his nickname Lalawethika The Rattle or Noisemaker p 73 Two activities Lalawethika liked were drinking and talking He wasnt as gifted a speaker as his brother Tecumseh but he was nonetheless manipulative and forceful Using these qualities he became a medicine man in Tecumsehs village Lalawethikas transformation from a lazy drunkard into a powerful spiritual leader came after a dream in which he claimed to have been visited by the Great Spirit He proclaimed his new name to be Tenskwatawa meaning The Open Door White settlers began to call him The Prophet because he said the gods had shown him the path to salvation for his people This new religion called upon Natives to reject white culture and return to the traditional way of life Tenskwatawa gave up alcohol and urged his followers to do the same
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