The Red Record | The Institute for Creation Research

The Red Record

Flood narratives abound in cultures around the world. Creation speaker and scientist Bruce Malone alerted me to one of these accounts in a fascinating translation and history by David McCutchen that documents a clear and detailed Flood tradition. The Red Record: The Wallam Olum presents a “written” history of the Lenni Lenape, or Delaware tribe, a large group of Native Americans that played a prominent role in colonial times.1 A majority of the work chronicles interactions between the European settlers and the tribe. But the earlier sections deal with their view of the origin of all things in a “very good” state, how that state was then lost due to evil, the resulting worldwide Flood, and the migration of their ancestors from the Old World to the New while enduring iceage conditions.

Predictably, certain details are vague and questionable but also intriguing and potentially valuable. First surfacing as a series of linear symbolic annotations on prepared bark tablets, the narrative was arranged into “books.” The symbols are both pictorial and cryptic, making precise translation difficult. The tablets became accessible to the outside world in 1820 when an itinerant doctor chanced upon a village of ill and dying Delaware Native Americans. He was able to nurse some back to health, and as a way of expressing their gratitude—and through fear that their history might be lost—they entrusted him with their sacred records. In 1822, the documents passed to the scholarly Frenchman Constantine Rafinesque, who translated them as best he could, making primary use of language notes compiled by Moravian mission workers.

The Delaware Native Americans’ record lay in obscurity until republished in 1954 by the Indiana Historical Society under the title Walam Olum or Red Score: The Migration Legend of the Lenni Lenape or Delaware Indians.2 The history was subsequently declared by tribal elders to be authentic and representative of their oral stories.

The following column outlines The Wallam Olum’s original etchings, McCutchen’s translations, and parallel events from the book of Genesis’ correct history, which I have noted. This finding is consistent with what historian Bill Cooper wrote: “It was commonly found by missionaries all over the world that the people they encountered knew about the Flood already. Their knowledge of it…was startlingly in agreement with the Book of Genesis.”3 Secularists who claim all Flood legends are myths bear the burden of explaining how so many different people groups retained accounts that so closely overlap the Genesis record.

References

  1. McCutchen, D., trans. 1993. The Red Record: The Wallam Olum. Garden City Park, NY: Avery Publishing.
  2. The complete title of the 1954 edition was Walam Olum or Red Score: The Migration Legend of the Lenni Lenape or Delaware Indians, a New Translation, Interpreted by Linguistic, Historical, Archeological, Ethnological, and Physical Anthropological Studies.
  3. Cooper, B. 2012. The Authenticity of the Book of Genesis. Portsmouth, UK: Creation Science Movement, 166.

* Dr. Morris is President of the Institute for Creation Research and received his Ph.D. in geology from the University of Oklahoma. Bruce Malone is Executive Director of Search for the Truth Ministries.

Cite this article: Various Authors. 2014. The Red Record. Acts & Facts. 43 (1).

The Latest
NEWS
Innate Speed-of-Sound Engineering Revealed in Bats
Bats have the amazing ability to accurately and consistently detect the speed of sound.1 This enables them to employ a complex system of echolocation...

NEWS
Unlocking the Mysteries of Genesis Conference Coming to Lincoln,...
Are you looking for real answers to the tough questions of faith and science? Come to the Unlocking the Mysteries of Genesis Conference on June 26 at Lincoln...

NEWS
Inside June 2021 Acts & Facts
How do the Everglades illustrate Bible-affirming biology? Why do marine sponges inspire engineers? What can we learn about God’s providence from...

NEWS
Two Excuses for Human Evolution Confusion
Public school textbooks assert that apes and humans emerged from an ape-like animal, whereas Genesis 1 says that God created humans and the different animal...

DAYS OF PRAISE DEVOTIONALS
Summer 2021
...

ACTS & FACTS
Creation Kids: Coral Reef
Christy Hardy and Susan Windsor* You’re never too young to be a creation scientist! Kids, discover fun facts about God’s creation with...

ACTS & FACTS
The Legacy and Faith of a Godly Father
Good fathers serve an essential role in the family, and it’s surely fitting that we express our love and gratitude on Father’s Day. After...

APOLOGETICS
Even Seaweed Is Proof of God's Providence
Tidewater-tossed seaweeds display God’s providence.1,2 Hidden in plain view, tidewater seaweeds are spectacular exhibits of Christ’s...

ACTS & FACTS
What It Takes to Make a Cell: A Review of The Stairway to Life
Rare is the science book that can hold even an average reader’s attention. But The Stairway to Life does just that. Coauthored by biochemist Laura...

ACTS & FACTS
Does Radioisotope Dating Prove an Old Earth?
Tim Clarey, Ph.D., and Vernon R. Cupps, Ph.D.* When most people think about radioisotope dating, they think of carbon-14 (C-14), or radiocarbon...