In the Book "Traveling New Jersey", the author makes an observation that the Jersey Devil Legend is similar to an Indian belief in the "living Solid Face" of the forest. Since I had never heard that before and I was not familar with the Indian belief, I have decided to research the Leni Lenape Indians of South Jersey and "The Legend of Mesingw".
Below is an excerpt from a book on the Leni Lenape by M.R. Harrington.
"Ku-les-ta! Listen! One time long ago there were
three boys about your age who weren't treated very
well; in fact their parents did not seem to care
whether they lived or died. They were out in the
forest one day thinking about their troubles when
they saw a strange-looking hairy person with a big
face half red and half black. This person said: "I am
Mee-sing haw lee kun; I have taken pity on you and
I will give you strength so that nothing can ever hurt
you again. Come with me and I will show you my
"He took one boy up in the air to the place where he
came from; it was a great range of mountains up in
the sky reaching from north to south. While he was
showing the boy his country, he promised he should
become stout and strong and should gain the power
to get anything he wished. Then he brought the boy
back to earth again.
"Afterwards when the boy grew up and went hunting
he used to see Mee-sing-haw-lee-kun riding on a
buck, herding the deer together and giving his
peculiar call 'Ho-ho-ho.'
Harrington in Dikon Among the Lenape
Leni Lenape Mesingw Mask
Back to Jersey Devil Page
Click here for a audio file of the words "Do you speak Lenape?" in native Lenape language.