Various native traditions and stories are associated with Serpent Mound. Mekoce Shawnee Chief Frank Wilson tells one that connects the mound with a ritual of spiritual cleansing:

If you count the curves in the Serpent, there’s seven of them, there’s seven curves before it gets to the head. And seven, the way I was taught, for the Shawano people, is the seven gates that one must go through to reach spirituality, or enlightenment, as people call it, to become a dawan, a medicine person. So each curve, a person walked the snake. They walked the serpent. And there were certain things they had to accomplish on each curve of the snake’s back. And as they accomplished this they moved on, and when they reached the head, they reached a point where everything was completely stripped away except their spirit.

Serpent Mound


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