Lafayette as Kayewla or Great Warrior:  The story behind the Kayewla cutting board

Lafayette as Kayewla or Great Warrior: The story behind the Kayewla cutting board

History Behind a Kayewla Cutting Board

Can you believe the beauty and surprise of this gorgeous Kayewla Marquis de Lafayette cutting board?  A total work of art!  Inspired by Lafayette, of course, but also inspired by one of our Kayewla designs at The Lafayette Shoppe (  A friend of mine created this stunning Kayewla cutting board and surprised me with it at the holidays!  I can't get you this cutting board, but this Kayewla design is available on our site on a variety of products.  Email me if you have something Lafayette-themed in mind that you do not see.  I can help you get the Lafayette design you want on the product you want.  Here, you can see the Marquis de Lafayette on horseback with his sword raised and the beautiful Kayewla name underneath him.  This name commemorates Lafayette's warm relationship with the native Americans and the name they gave him, Kayewla, which means "Great Warrior".  

The History:  Lafayette and the Oneida

The Marquis de Lafayette knew how to connect to many people.  This was one of his best traits.  He had a close relationship with Washington, and with the soldiers under his command, and he also forged close relationships with the native American tribes he had contact with. 

During the American Revolution, in New York, the Oneida tribe gave Lafayette the name, Kayewla.  In their language, it means "Great Warrior".  This tribute name is often used as an example of how Lafayette is like a larger-than-life figure - someone able to befriend everyone, the French, American soldiers, enslaved Americans, native Americans, women, aristocrats, revolutionaries, Washington, Hamilton, etc.  When I hear the name Kayewla, it evokes all of the romance of the idea of Lafayette:  the  young, brave, last great knight riding to save the nation and the world from tyranny. 

The connection does not stop there.  When Lafayette returned to America in 1784 for a short 5-month stay, he visited the Oneida again and was instrumental in helping to negotiate better peace and trade relations with them on behalf of America.  The Oneida trusted and liked Lafayette, and Lafayette played a role as a bridge between them and the Americans in a way no one else could.  He respected them and their customs. 

And still the story does not end there.  Again, when Lafayette returned to America in 1824 and 1825, he once again visited the Oneida.  Several members of the tribe had fought with him in the Revolution and were still alive.  He also reconnected with the child of an Oneida member who had lived in Europe with Lafayette. 

To learn more about Lafayette with the Oneida and the Creek Indians, read a Lafayette biography.  For the accounts of Lafayette's relations with the Indian tribes, I can recommend:  "Lafayette" by Harlow Giles Unger and read "Lafayette in America" translated by Alan Hoffman from Levasseur's journals.  

The Objects:  Kayewla Design and More

If you like this Kayewla design, it is a The Lafayette Shoppe original design made from a picture I took of Lafayette's monument in Paris.  The designs on our shoppe website also include the words "Great Warrior" under the Kayewla name. 

You can get this design on t-shirts, mugs, and more at where you will also find other Lafayette-themed gifts and a reproduction bust of Lafayette.  I have not convinced my friend to start mass producing these cutting boards, but if you love it as much as I do, I will see if I can get him to do a few more.  Give your comments below.  Visit our catalog for Lafayette busts and t-shirts and gifts to get ready for the 200th anniversary of Lafayette's return to America in 2024-2025. 


Visit the blog again for more information about Lafayette souvenirs and Lafayette history.  Join our mailing list on our website.  Consider joining the American Friends of Lafayette for Lafayette200 and events celebrating the 200th anniversary.  

-Lisa Ingegneri - Owner of The Lafayette Shoppe at


Unger, Harlow Giles.  Lafayette.  Wiley, 2002.  

Lafayette in America in 1824 and 1825:  Journal of a Voyage to the United States.  By Auguste Levasseur translated into English by Alan R. Hoffman, Peter E. Randall, 2016.    

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