Oneida Name for Golf Course Has History

The Oneida Indian Nation has a strong history in the Mohawk Valley and upstate New York, but many are not aware that we also had a very strong presence in the Susquehanna Valley in Pennsylvania at one time as well. Prior to European contact, the Haudenosaunee were a very powerful alliance that dominated many other tribal nations, including the Susquehannock, Delaware and other people in the Ohio Valley. The League would choose someone to act as a “deputy” or a “vice-gerent” to be an overseer of those nations. This duty fell to the Oneidas, sometimes referred to “Keepers of the Southern Door.”

One of these chosen men was called Scarooyady by the English. He was an Oneida chief born in approximately 1710, who was also known as “Half-King” and sometimes referred to as “Monacatootha.” Half Kings were given that designation because they were not full-fledged representatives of the Haudenosaunee, but had some authority granted to them from the League. He attended many conferences and meetings in Philadelphia with Pennsylvanian representatives and was well-liked by both Indians and non-Indians alike.

Scarooyady’s name is better spelled in Oneida as “Skaluyati” which according to historical record-keepers means On the Other Side of the Sky. This piqued my interest as I am aware that one of our golf courses is named Kaluhyat, which means The Other Side of the Sky.

Although we may not have known it at the time, it seems that we named one of our golf courses after a famous Oneida chief and were not even aware of it…our ancestors are truly smiling down on us.

– Kandice Watson (Wolf Clan), Documentarian