We have just hiked to Mina Sauk Falls on Taum Sauk Mountain. These are not standard white American names. Could you tell?
Some time ago, before white-skinned people ivaded the Arcadia Valley, as we have just done, Taum Sauk was the chief of the Native tribe of Piankashaw Indians. Mina Sauk, his daughter, was of superior pulchritude. Many of the young warriors in the Piankashaw tribe had the hots for Mina Sauk, but she fell for one particular Osage stud. They kept their affair hush-hush for as long as they could — y’know, wrong side of the tracks and all — but eventually they were found out. This was momentous and not in a good way. After capture, trial and condemnation, the Osage warrior was tossed from the high rocks down the side of the mountain, bouncing from ledge to outcrop, repeatedly stabbed during his fall by the spears of the warriors. Blood and body parts everywhere. He lay at the bottom of the valley, mortally wounded. He died shortly thereafter.
Mina Sauk, consumed with grief, was restrained by the tribal women from throwing herself over the same rocks. But in her anguish, she broke free, hurled a curse at her own tribe and launched herself over the edge, taking the same plunge as her boyfriend, to her death.
“This is no way to live,” thought the Great Spirit. He called on the Storm King who caused a great whirlwind to rise. The earth shook and the entire tribe was battered about and swallowed up. A huge bolt of lightning cleaved the mountain. Water poured forth over the rock ledges and flowed down the side of the mountain, washing away the lovers’ blood. This flowing water is now the Mina Sauk waterfall. The water irrigated the valley and made it lush with flowers. The blood in the water turned flowers into the brilliant crimson Indian Pink that lines the mountainsides.