Owaissa, Owaissa

The White Mountain Scrap Book
of Stories and Legends of the Crystal Hills or
White Mountains of New Hampshire

By Ernest E. Bisbee - 1938

Published by The Bisbee Press, Lancaster, N.H. - 1938

An old Indian legend of Hampton Beach tells of the gentle Owaissa (Bluebird) and her cruel father Kenu. Owaissa had become very friendly with the white settlers and especially their children in a nearby settlement. As time passed and the Indians grew more and more hostile towards the English, her father, Kenu, forbade her visiting the pale-face settlement again.

The gentle Indian maid dared not disobey this mandate until one day she heard that a child whom she was very fond of was sick and right at death's door. Her father soon heard of the visit she had made to the settlement in spite of his orders and in revenge he burned down the home of the child's parents. Here he later found Owaissa weeping at the smouldering ruins of the home she had arrived too late to save.

Fleeing from her wrathful father she managed to reach a rocky headland that has since been known as Great Boar's Head and here finding a canoe, pushed out to sea praying as she went to the Great Father to save her from her irate parent who was wrathfully watching her from the rocky height unable to follow without a canoe.

Her prayer was soon answered and she was seen ascending to Heaven in her canoe with arms outstretched and looking for all the world like a white sea gull. Thus passed on to the Happy Hunting Grounds the gentle Owaissa, but even to this day fortunate ones sometimes see this vision and hear the wild sea waves endlessly repeating "Owaissa, Owaissa."