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"Ononko's Vow"

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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This was a promotional photograph from the Edison Company film, "Ononko's Vow," which was filmed in Deerfield, Massachusetts, in March, 1910. In this scene, an Indian, Ungagook, is about to die. A member of a rescue party, he saved Jonathan Smith, a member of this Deerfield family, from death at the battle at Bloody Brook in September, 1675. He was there with his young son, Ononko. But just after he delivered Smith back home, a fatal wound, hidden from the viewer and family, brought him to the edge of death. Just before he expires, he has his son vow to protect the family, as pictured here. Of course, this was just a movie, and in typical movie fashion there were inaccuracies ranging from the comical to the offensive. The sensation it caused, though, may have been an inspiration for the July, 1910 and later Deerfield Pageants. The 1910 pageant, for example, used costumes very similar to those worn by the "Indians" in this movie.


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