Thursday, February 02, 2006

Te-lah-nay's wall

On his land along the old Natchez Trace in Lauderdale County, in the northwest corner of the state, Tom Hendrix has been building, for the past 15 years, an unmortared stone wall to honor his great-great-grandmother, Te-lah-nay, a Yuchi tribeswoman who survived the 19th-century genocide known as the "Trail of Tears."

At its highest points, the irregular wall is 4 feet high; at its widest points, it's 10 feet wide. It's 2.5 miles long and may be the largest monument to a woman in the United States. Hendrix told the Florence Times Daily in 2003 that the wall contained stones from every U.S. state and 126 stones from foreign lands.

After her family was killed by U.S. troops, Te-lah-nay selected stones from the riverbank and placed them around the burial mounds to honor her ancestors. And so Hendrix continues to place stones today, to honor the brave woman who walked home from Oklahoma, determined to live in her own land and not a reservation.

"She did not make an ordinary journey," Hendrix told the Times Daily. "I did not build an ordinary wall."

Hendrix's book about Te-lah-nay is titled If the Legends Fade.

The wall is near the intersection of the Natchez Trace Parkway and Lauderdale County Highway 8, just off Alabama Highway 20 near Threet's Crossroads.

(Thanks to Serena Blount and Stuart McGregor for telling me about this.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much my wife and I have been looking forward to seeing the blessed area.thankyou agin for people like yourselves. hope to see someone soon.
Thanks, Josh whitworth

10:48 PM  

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