A Timely Message from Chilo
Prince of the Mound Builders
(Printed in the Chillicothe Gazette, 1936.)
I am Chilo. I am the past; the last great prince of the first great race to rule and prosper in this beautiful Valley of the Kings. I now come before you to speak of whence I came and whither you are going, for of my past you know little, of your future, less.
I, Chilo, ask you to preserve the natural beauty of my valley. Please leave my dead where I have buried them. If you would have Nature smile on your babes, permit nature to remain in possession of the burial places sacred to my race, for every mound left discernible will have its influence on the souls of men.
The rustling of the leaves and the murmurs of the streams were once as dear to us as they now should be to you. Listen to my plea, lest you destroy forever the beauty of this land. If bird and beast, and flower and tree were life to us will you too not lose when they are all destroyed? The perfume of the wild flower gladdened the hearts of my people. It will do as much for yours when all other consolations fail.
The ghosts of the Mound Builders look on aghast at the thoughtless destruction of the wild life of their land. I beg you give to Nature the freedom you claim for yourselves.
As I look upon the rapid destruction of things which were once so dear to us, even that which remains may soon pass unless you quickly change your ways. You are wise to create the new but if you forget to protect the old, prosperity and contentment will cease to dwell among you. The time is near when your protesting children will beg to exchange all your wealth and modern perfection for things of nature you now destroy without a thought.
I, Chilo, the shade of the past ask not for sympathy, but justice for the future. I ask you to carry this massage to your brothers throughout the land, and I promise, that as the wild flowers covered the graves of my people, so shall their spirits arise to bless you. Keep a vision of the future always before you and remember this message from the past.
I am chilo. I have spoken.
Photo of the "Valley of the Kings" taken in 1936 from the South Point Lookout at the Buzzard's Roost.