Long ago, the peaceful tribe of the Ongiaras lived beside the Niagara River. For an unknown reason, Indians were dying, and it was believed that the tribe must appease the Thunder God Hinum, who lived with his two sons in a cave behind the Falls.
At first, the Indians sent canoes laden with fruit, flowers and game over the Falls, but the dying continued.
The Indians then began to sacrifice the most beautiful maiden of the tribe, who was selected once a year during a ceremonial feast.
One year, Lelawala, daughter of Chief Eagle Eye was chosen. On the appointed day, Lelawala appeared on the river bank above the Falls, wearing a white doeskin robe with a wreath of woodland flowers in her hair.
She stepped into a white birch bark canoe and plunged over the Falls to her death. Her father, heartbroken, leaped into his canoe and followed her.
Hinum's two sons caught Lelawala in their arms, and each desired her. She promised to accept the one who told her what evil was killing her people.