Margaret of Scotland vs. Enmegahbowh

The Elate Eight continues with an intriguing match-up between Margaret of Scotland and Enmegahbowh. One of the sub-plots of this round has been "What will Celebrity Blogger Heidi Shott possibly come up with for Enmegahbowh kitsch?" This will be answered today as these two pillars of the faith vie for the third spot in the Faithful Four.

Yesterday, Dietrich Bonhoeffer punched his ticket to the next round by ousting Jerome 74% to 26% and joining Mary Magdalene in keeping their Golden Halo hopes alive.

To make it this far, Margaret defeated William Temple and John Cassian while Enmegahbowh beat Thomas and David Oakerhater. Check out the updated bracket to see what's coming up in Lent Madness.

Meanwhile, back at Lent Madness HQ, Tim and Scott plot to launch an entire line of saintly kitsch. Kitsch-meisters? You bet! Speaking of which, check out our recent post Kitsch Cranks (which really should have been spelled "Kranks") and read about Lent Madness in the Huffington Post.

Hey, all you Margaret fans! How does one show one’s admiration for and devotion to (Queen) Margaret of Scotland? There are just too many options to show here, but I picked out a few for your consideration:

If she’s a queen, there must be a doll, right? And indeed there are several dolls one can purchase for your saintly queen doll collection. First, there’s this wooden peg doll, made to order, featuring the blonde queen (she was Saxon after all) holding a black cross and wearing a tartan sash (“not historically accurate but cute all the same”).

Or, if a wooden doll doesn’t seem cuddly enough, here’s a whimsical Margaret of Scotland Felt Saint Softie. This Margaret is holding her special book of Gospels that miraculously did not show any water damage after being dropped into a river and she is also wearing a special prayer on her back. I personally am planning to buy one of these!

Want to color your own St. Margaret? Download this coloring page and experiment with different queenly shades for her outfit and fingernails!

Or get a St. Margaret tote bag to carry all your St. Margaret stuff around with you. The same design is featured on a keepsake box to keep all your St. Margaret stuff safely at home.

Speaking of home, if your taste runs more to home furnishings than dolls and coloring pages, here’s a St. Margaret throw pillow for your sofa or favorite chair so that you can read your morning prayers and devotional books with the saint by your side. The same design can be ordered on a coffee mug, ornament, or keepsake box.

St. Margaret can also reign over your refrigerator from this handy (and lovely!) “attention-grabbing” magnet set. Order just one, or a pack of 100, so you can share with all your St. Margaret-loving friends! (Yes, it’s the same design as the pillow, but, hey, it’s “stained glass!” And you can also "Liven up any room or party with our fun, hip" St. Margaret tile coasters!)

Finally, while you’re out and about (visiting the St. Margaret Pub in Twickenham, say), show your Team Margaret pride and solidarity while wearing this great Team Margaret Hoodie and make everyone guess why there’s a shamrock on the front. Pair this with the Team Margaret doggie shirt for your canine companion for the ultimate in kitschy Margaret-wear!

Go Team Margaret!

 -- Penny Nash

As predicted by a member of the SEC, commercial kitsch featuring Enmegahbowh, the first Native American to be ordained as an Episcopal priest, is scarce. In fact here’s a screenshot of an early attempt to turn up any product that would even begin to rival yesterday’s St. Jerome/Lion Reversible Doll.

Alas, “0 results found for “Enmegahbowh kitsch.”

Enter the fans! Team E supporter Mary-Elise Haug offered an assist by sending along a Not For Sale (and one-of-a-kind, we suspect) item honoring the “Providential Man” himself. This handmade doll depicting Enmegahbowh was on display in 2007 at the Native American Ministries Winter Talk Conference held in Jamestown, Virginia, to mark the 400th Anniversary of Jamestown.

Please take note that the stole he’s wearing is identical to the one in the icon displayed during the Saintly 16 round.  Excellent attention to detail, Dollmaker!

Are we surprised by a sad lack of cheesy saint crap? No! John Johnson Enmegahbowh was a serious man serving his people and his Church during a very serious era of the American experiment. It’s not surprising that his kitsch-factor is low.

However, that’s not to say he wasn’t a funny guy. So, in lieu of sufficient kitsch, here are a couple of stories: In 1874 Enmegahbowh wrote with stunning poignance to the Office of the Indian Commission at 30 Bible House in New York to report the death of his great friend and fellow Christian, Chief Nabunashkong, aka, Isaac H. Tuttle.

In telling the story of Tuttle’s conversion and his role in it, Enmegahbowh revealed his mischievous side. As a mark of Tuttle’s new faith, he asked his Enmegahbowh to cut his long locks of hair, a symbol of his standing in the tribe. Enmegahbowh wrote:

“[Tuttle said] ‘If the Great Spirit has so big a love for poor Indian, surely Indian ought and must give back big love to the Great Spirit. Now dear brother,’ he said, ‘to be true to return my big love to the Great Spirit, I brought this scissors, to have you cut my hair locks which I shall throw away forever.’

“...When it was all over, he took wild, and threw his head in every direction, to see if any one coming to see him. I smiled, and pitied him greatly. ‘Friend,’ he ask, ‘what made you smile?’

“I said: ‘You look precisely like the baboon I saw at Barnum’s Museum in New York, some years ago.’”


Then there’s another story that tells of the feistiness of his wife, Biwabiko-gizig-okwe or Iron Sky Woman, (or Charlotte, if you must). It also indicates a measure of Enmegahbowh’s humanity, if not his good humor, and offers a fuller explanation about why he and Methodists at Fond du Lac parted company early in his ministry. The “Man Who Stood Before His People” also stood by his wife. Fair play to him! The story goes that in 1849 Iron Sky Woman and a fur trader got into an argument.

According to Owanah Anderson in Forward Movement’s 1988 volume, Jamestown Commitment: The Episcopal Church and the American Indian, “...a white man insulted Enmegahbowh’s wife Charlotte and that Enmegahbowh knocked the man down and held him while his wife gave the worthless man a sound beating.”

Beyond the pricelessness of story, there is at least one thing for sale that offers a wonderful reminder of Enmegahbowh’s legacy. Holy Women, Holy Men credits him with training “many others to serve as deacons throughout northern Minnesota. The powerful tradition of Ojibway hymn singing is a living testimony to their ministry. His understanding of Native tradition enabled him to enculturate Christianity in the language and traditions of the Ojibway.”

For $.99 cents you can buy an MP3 and hear the Ojibwe Hymn Singers’ lovely rendition of “On the Beautiful Beyond.”

And finally, if you need a button to sport on your General Convention nametag, how about this? Unfortunately they only come in packs of 100.

-- Heidi Shott

The Supreme Executive Committee subtracted 80 votes from Enmegahbowh at 12:33 a.m. EDT, because of voting irregularity we discovered. The person(s) involved have been blocked from Lent Madness. Remember, we encourage you to spread the word about your favorite saints. However, voting 50+ times from one computer is not allowed.


Margaret of Scotland vs. Enmegahbowh

  • Margaret of Scotland (49%, 934 Votes)
  • Enmegahbowh (47%, 903 Votes)

Total Voters: 1,836

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73 comments on “Margaret of Scotland vs. Enmegahbowh”

  1. Now this one is a hard one, and I won't allow kitsch, or the lack thereof, to influence my vote. But I gotta go with the missionary who went where God called ... Go, Enmegahbowh!

  2. Tim and Scott, I was just thinking that a post-Lent churchy kitsch blog was just the thing. A place to showcase all the great kitsch out there. I hope you'll get to work on that next week so it will be ready to unveil after Easter. 🙂

  3. I'm an admirer of both, and the coloring page had me (6 grandchildren, you know). However, my holy habit this week has been to vote for the underdog (the one with the least amount of kitsch). Go, Emmagabowh (it's also a vote for his spouse--just like any election).

  4. I am not sure at this point if I am voting for Enmegahbowh or his wife. Now there is a woman you do not want to cross!

    1. I love the image of Enmegahbowh defending his wife's honor. I especially love the image of him holding the man down while Biwabiko-gizig-okwe beat her oppressor to a pulp. That wouldn't work today, but oh, my, what a great idea. Go Enmegahbowh!

  5. Besides being my namesake, I guess I just can't see the Golden Halo going to someone who's name we can't pronounce! 🙂

  6. While I know that Enmegahbowh is the one featured in this contest, perhaps some of you who have been following along are curious to see what Iron Sky Woman looked like. (I figured out a long time ago growing up in the Christian & Missionary Alliance denomination that there is no such thing as a Missionary Wife. If you're out on the field, you're a missionary...whether you're the ordained one or not.) Anyhoo, here's a link to a copyright protected image of our spirited sister . Scroll to the thumbnail of her below the big photo.

    Here's one other thing that's just too wonderful not to share. Yesterday I ran across the name of one of the native deacons mentored by Enmegahbowh. His Anglo name was Mark Hart, but his native name was Obimweweiash which translates to "Sailing Along with a Thundering Cloud." It's a name that takes my breath away.

    1. Thanks for adding this - wow, what a woman! And there had to be so many more like her about whom we'll never know. I appreciate learning about her.

    2. Yes, indeed. She looks to be a woman who could get the job - not matter what - done.

  7. It's a very close "battle" right now, but, as much as I admire Enm. . . . . (I can't even say it; I'm surely not going to try to spell it!), I'm going with the (sort of) Celtic queen whose hospitality to the poor gave us a saintly model.

  8. As much as I love kitsch, that alone won't affect my final decision. Nor will my inability to prononce "E"'s name right off the bat without having to look at it and syllabize, a practice others could easily acquire with very little effort. Please note that I am not descending to the level of singling out and naming others who make choices based on such. "E" all the way ! And for what it's worth, I just call him" Enmeggie" and his fearless madam "She who beats the living tar out of those who lack the proper respect for a clergy wife".

  9. Oh, this is too hard! Margaret, whose hands outstretched to serve I see in the stained glass window at my church every Sunday, or tough and faithful Enmegahbowh (and his feisty spouse)? Decisions, decisions--I might just have to get back to actual work while I ponder this fateful choice.

  10. This is really getting difficult. On one hand, Margaret, a true blood relative, who was generous to a fault to her people and spiritual; a nun of the heart if not of the body.
    Then "E", a native American and a deacon, something we share. Tough call, especially if we ignore gender (doesn't God?). This time, I'll go with and his wonderful wife.

  11. I cannot vote for Margaret because I am still mad that she ousted John Cassian, my favorite saint. So few voted during that round - don't people know who John Cassian was - have they not read his writings?

  12. As a deacon, sometime klutz, and promoter of outdoor worship settings, I'm intrigued by Margaret's book of Gospels that didn't show any water damage after being dropped into a river. If anyone offers those for sale, they have a buyer! Torn between Margaret and to ponder.

  13. As the daughter of a feisty woman and a strong man who stood by her (George & Jo Scholz) my vote goes to Enmegahbowh (and Iron Sky Woman).

  14. Margaret of Scotland used her influence over her husband to force Roman ways on the native church. Her sons continued the "Romanization" during their reigns. Those who refused to convert risked being subjected to the royal power of investiture where their lands would be seized and turned over to the church. Years and years ago one of Margaret's sons took my ancestors land when they refused to convert. I cannot vote for her.

    I also have a wife with Native-Ameican blood who at times has shown some of the traits of Iron Sky Woman so a vote for the home team seems like a good idea.


  16. Sam Portero's message (in Brightest and Best) about Emmegahbowh was inciteful enough to sway my vote.

  17. Margaret was not a Scot; she a Saxon princess born in Hungary, who married a Scottish king. She did not speak Gaelic and refused to learn it, insisting that that the court language become English.

    She detested the native Celtic Church, in favor of Rome. She forced many of the native clergy out of the church and replaced them with English clergy. The Roman diocesan structure replaced the native Celtic one.

    As a descendant of Gaelic Highlanders, I don't like her.

    Enmegahbowh was part of the 99%, not the 1%. His power was not the power of force but the power of persuasion and living a worthy life. His work continues in the work of the Native American churches in northern Minnesota.

    1. It had nothing to do with the church, but Enmegahbowh holding a man down while
      his wife gave him "a sound beating" certainly is the power of force and a bad witness at that.

  18. I couldn't see the Margaret peg doll's Tartan sash, to determine which of the Clans has been associated with her, and that makes me wary. Thus, even though I have a LOT more Margarets in my family tree than Enmegahbowhs or Iron Sky Women, I'll have to cast my lot with our native son.

  19. Tough call, but I have to go with Maggie over Enmegahbowh. Firsts are nice and it is good that he brought Christianity to the Native Americans, but the Scots were pretty notoriously uncivilized too. Without Margaret, ultimately, there would be no Presbyterians.

    1. Well, actually that's true but perhaps for different reasons. As one writer has noted, "Benefices were instituted, bishops and abbots became men of wealth and eminence, gifts of land were made to churches and monasteries, and Malcolm’s generosity, inspired by his queen [Margaret], started the process by which one third of the richest Lowland land in Scotland was acquired by the Church by the end of the thirteenth century. Had it not been for this process, there might have been no Reformation in Scotland."

  20. Go E, many thanks for enlightening natives and welcoming them to a glorious heaven!

  21. Both E and Margaret are worthy competitors, but neither one can win against the awesome Mary Magdalene in the Faithful Four! Oh and for tomorrow, don't let the YouTube smear campaign sway you - VOTE EMMA!!!