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Title: Algic Researches, Comprising Inquiries Respecting the Mental Characteristics of the North American Indians, Vol. 2 of 2 - Indian Tales and Legends
Author: Schoolcraft, Henry Rowe, 1793-1864
Language: English
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*** Start of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Algic Researches, Comprising Inquiries Respecting the Mental Characteristics of the North American Indians, Vol. 2 of 2 - Indian Tales and Legends" ***

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Author or a Narrative Journal of Travels to the Sources of the Mississippi;
Travels in the Central Portions of the Mississippi Valley;
An Expedition to Itasca Lake, &c.


Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1839,
In the Clerk's Office of the Southern District of New-York.



The Red Swan                                                        9

Aggo Dah Gauda, or The Man with his Leg tied up                    34

Iosco, or a Visit to the Sun and Moon                              40

The Two Jeebi                                                      61

Pah-hah-undootah, or The Red Head                                  67

Leelinau, or The Lost Daughter                                     77

Puk Wudj Ininee, a Fairy Tale                                      85

Mishosha, or The Magician of the Lakes                             91

The Weendigoes                                                    105

The Racoon and Crawfish, a Fable                                  119

La Poudre, or The Storm Fool                                      122

Git-chee-gau-zinee, or The Trance                                 127

Wassamo, or The Fire Plume                                        132

Ossco, or The Son of the Evening Star                             150

Kwasind, or The Fearfully Strong Man                              160

Mudjee Monedo and Minno Monedo                                    165

The Pigeon Hawk and Tortoise, a Fable                             181

The Charmed Arrow                                                 182

Addik Kum Maig, or The Origin of the Whitefish                    194

Owasso and Wayoond, or The Manito Foiled                          199

Shawondasee                                                       214

The Linnet and Eagle, a Fable                                     216

The Moose and Woodpecker, or Manabozho in distress                217

Weeng                                                             226

Iagoo                                                             229

The Grave Light, or Adventures of a Warrior's Soul                233

Pauguk                                                            239

The Vine and Oak, an Allegory                                     242



Three brothers were left destitute, by the death of their parents, at an
early age. The eldest was not yet able to provide fully for their
support, but did all he could in hunting, and with his aid, and the
stock of provisions left by their father, they were preserved and kept
alive, rather, it seems, by miraculous interposition, than the adequacy
of their own exertions. For the father had been a hermit,[1] having
removed far away from the body of the tribe, so that when he and his
wife died they left their children without neighbours and friends, and
the lads had no idea that there was a human being near them. They did
not even know who their parents had been, for the eldest was too young,
at the time of their death, to remember it. Forlorn as they were, they
did not, however, give up to despondency, but made use of every exertion
they could, and in process of time, learned the art of hunting and
killing animals. The eldest soon became an expert hunter, and was very
successful in procuring food. He was noted for his skill in killing
buffalo, elk, and moose, and he instructed his brothers in the arts of
the forest as soon as they become old enough to follow him. After they
had become able to hunt and take care of themselves, the elder proposed
to leave them, and go in search of habitations, promising to return as
soon as he could procure them wives. In this project he was overruled by
his brothers, who said they could not part with him. Maujeekewis, the
second eldest, was loud in his disapproval, saying, "What will you do
with _those you propose to get_--we have lived so long without them, and
we can still do without them." His words prevailed, and the three
brothers continued together for a time.

One day they agreed to kill each, a male of those kind of animals each
was most expert in hunting, for the purpose of making quivers from their
skins. They did so, and immediately commenced making arrows to fill
their quivers, that they might be prepared for any emergency. Soon
after, they hunted on a wager, to see who should come in first with
game, and prepare it so as to regale the others. They were to shoot no
other animal, but such as each was in the habit of killing. They set
out different ways; Odjibwa, the youngest, had not gone far before he
saw a bear, an animal he was not to kill, by the agreement. He followed
him close and drove an arrow through him, which brought him to the
ground. Although contrary to the bet, he immediately commenced skinning
him, when suddenly something red tinged all the air around him. He
rubbed his eyes, thinking he was perhaps deceived, but without effect,
for the red hue continued. At length he heard a strange noise at a
distance. It first appeared like a human voice, but after following the
sound for some distance, he reached the shores of a lake, and soon saw
the object he was looking for. At a distance out in the lake, sat a most
beautiful Red Swan, whose plumage glittered in the sun, and who would,
now and then make the same noise he had heard. He was within long bow
shot, and pulling the arrow from the bow-string up to his ear, took
deliberate aim and shot. The arrow took no effect; and he shot and shot
again till his quiver was empty. Still the swan remained, moving round
and round, stretching its long neck and dipping its bill into the water,
as if heedless of the arrows shot at it. Odjibwa ran home, and got all
his own and his brothers' arrows, and shot them all away. He then stood
and gazed at the beautiful bird. While standing, he remembered his
brother's saying that in their deceased father's medicine sack were
three magic arrows. Off he started, his anxiety to kill the swan
overcoming all scruples. At any other time, he would have deemed it
sacrilege to open his father's medicine sack, but now he hastily seized
the three arrows and ran back, leaving the other contents of the sack
scattered over the lodge. The swan was still there. He shot the first
arrow with great precision, and came very near to it. The second came
still closer; as he took the last arrow, he felt his arm firmer, and
drawing it up with vigour, saw it pass through the neck of the swan a
little above the breast. Still it did not prevent the bird from flying
off, which it did, however, at first slowly, flapping its wings and
rising gradually into the air, and then flying off toward the sinking of
the sun.[2] Odjibwa was disappointed; he knew that his brothers would be
displeased with him; he rushed into the water and rescued the two magic
arrows, the third was carried off by the swan; but he thought that it
could not fly very far with it, and let the consequences be what they
might, he was bent on following it.

Off he started on the run; he was noted for speed, for he would shoot an
arrow, and then run so fast that the arrow always fell behind him. I
can run fast, he thought, and I can get up with the swan some time or
other. He thus ran over hills and prairies, toward the west, till near
night, and was only going to take one more run, and then seek a place to
sleep for the night, when suddenly he heard noises at a distance, which
he knew were from people; for some were cutting trees, and the strokes
of their axes echoed through the woods. When he emerged from the forest,
the sun was just falling below the horizon, and he felt pleased to find
a place to sleep in, and get something to eat, as he had left home
without a mouthful. All these circumstances could not damp his ardour
for the accomplishment of his object, and he felt that if he only
persevered, he would succeed. At a distance, on a rising piece of
ground, he could see an extensive town. He went toward it, but soon
heard the watchman, MUDJEE-KOKOKOHO, who was placed on some height, to
overlook the place, and give notice of the approach of friends or
foes--crying out, "We are visited;" and a loud holla indicated that they
all heard it. The young man advanced, and was pointed by the watchman to
the lodge of the chief. "It is there you must go in," he said, and left
him. "Come in, come in," said the chief, "take a seat there," pointing
to the side where his daughter sat. "It is there you must sit." Soon
they gave him something to eat, and very few questions were asked him,
being a stranger. It was only when he spoke, that the others answered
him. "Daughter," said the chief, after dark, "take our son-in-law's
mockasins, and see if they be torn; if so, mend them for him, and bring
in his bundle." The young man thought it strange that he should be so
warmly received, and married instantly, without his wishing it, although
the young girl was pretty. It was some time before she would take his
mockasins, which he had taken off. It displeased him to see her so
reluctant to do so, and when she did reach them, he snatched them out of
her hand and hung them up himself. He laid down and thought of the swan,
and made up his mind to be off by dawn. He awoke early, and spoke to the
young woman, but she gave no answer. He slightly touched her. "What do
you want?" she said, and turned her back toward him. "Tell me," he said,
"what time the swan passed. I am following it, and come out and point
the direction." "Do you think you can catch up to it?" she said. "Yes,"
he answered. "Naubesah," (foolishness) she said. She, however, went out
and pointed in the direction he should go. The young man went slowly
till the sun arose, when he commenced traveling at his accustomed speed.
He passed the day in running, and when night came, he was unexpectedly
pleased to find himself near another town; and when at a distance, he
heard the watchman crying out, "We are visited;" and soon the men of the
village stood out to see the stranger. He was again told to enter the
lodge of the chief, and his reception was, in every respect, the same as
he met the previous night; only that the young woman was more beautiful,
and received him very kindly, and although urged to stay, his mind was
fixed on the object of his journey. Before daylight he asked the young
woman what time the Red Swan passed, and to point out the way. She did
so, and said it passed yesterday when the sun was between midday and
_pungishemoo_--its falling place. He again set out rather slowly, but
when the sun had arisen he tried his speed by shooting an arrow ahead,
and running after it; but it fell behind him. Nothing remarkable
happened in the course of the day, and he went on leisurely. Toward
night, he came to the lodge of an old man. Some time after dark he saw a
light emitted from a small low lodge. He went up to it very slyly, and
peeping through the door, saw an old man alone, warming his back before
the fire, with his head down on his breast. He thought the old man did
not know that he was standing near the door, but in this he was
disappointed; for so soon as he looked in, "Walk in, Nosis,"[3] he said,
"take a seat opposite to me, and take off your things and dry them, for
you must be fatigued; and I will prepare you something to eat." Odjibwa
did as he was requested. The old man, whom he perceived to be a
magician, then said; "My kettle with water stands near the fire;" and
immediately a small earthen or a kind of metallic pot with legs appeared
by the fire. He then took one grain of corn, also one whortleberry, and
put them in the pot. As the young man was very hungry, he thought that
his chance for a supper was but small. Not a word or a look, however,
revealed his feelings. The pot soon boiled, when the old man spoke,
commanding it to stand some distance from the fire; "Nosis," said he,
"feed yourself," and he handed him a dish and ladle made out of the same
metal as the pot. The young man helped himself to all that was in the
pot; he felt ashamed to think of his having done so, but before he could
speak, the old man said, "Nosis, eat, eat;" and soon after he again
said, "help yourself from the pot." Odjibwa was surprised on looking
into it to see it full, he kept on taking _all out_, and as soon as it
was done, it was again filled, till he had amply satisfied his hunger.
The magician then spoke, and the pot occupied its accustomed place in
one part of the lodge. The young man then leisurely reclined back, and
listened to the predictions of his entertainer who told him to keep on,
and he would obtain his object. "To tell you more," said he, "I am not
permitted; but go on as you have commenced, and you will not be
disappointed; to-morrow you will again reach one of my fellow old men;
but the one you will see after him will tell you all, and the manner in
which you will proceed to accomplish your journey. Often has this Red
Swan passed, and those who have followed it have never returned: but you
must be firm in your resolution, and be prepared for all events." "So
will it be," answered Odjibwa, and they both laid down to sleep. Early
in the morning, the old man had his magic kettle prepared, so that his
guest should eat before leaving. When leaving, the old man gave him his
parting advice.

Odjibwa set out in better spirits than he had done since leaving home.
Night again found him in company with an old man, who received him
kindly, and directed him on his way in the morning. He travelled with a
light heart, expecting to meet the one who was to give him directions
how to proceed to get the Red Swan. Toward night fall, he reached the
third old man's lodge. Before coming to the door, he heard him saying,
"Nosis, come in," and going in immediately, he felt quite at home. The
old man prepared him something to eat, acting as the other magicians had
done, and his kettle was of the same dimensions and material. The old
man waited till he had done eating, when he commenced addressing him.
"Young man, the errand you are on is very difficult. Numbers of young
men have passed with the same purpose, but never returned. Be careful,
and if your guardian spirits are powerful, you may succeed. This Red
Swan you are following, is the daughter of a magician, who has plenty of
every thing, but he values his daughter but little less than wampum. He
wore a cap of wampum, which was attached to his scalp; but powerful
Indians--warriors of a distant chief, came and told him, that their
chief's daughter was on the brink of the grave, and she herself
requested his scalp of wampum to effect a cure. If I can only see it, I
will recover, she said, and it was for this reason they came, and after
long urging the magician, he at last consented to part with it, only
from the idea of restoring the young woman to health; although when he
took it off, it left his head bare and bloody. Several years have passed
since, and it has not healed. The warriors' coming for it, was only a
cheat, and they are now constantly making sport of it, dancing it about
from village to village; and on every insult it receives the old man
groans from pain. Those Indians are too powerful for the magician, and
numbers have sacrificed themselves to recover it for him, but without
success. The Red Swan has enticed many a young man, as she has done you,
in order to get them to procure it, and whoever is the fortunate one
that succeeds, will receive the Red Swan as his reward. In the morning
you will proceed on your way, and toward evening you will come to the
magician's lodge, but before you enter you will hear his groans; he will
immediately ask you in, and you will see no one but himself; he will
make inquiries of you, as regards your dreams, and the powers of your
guardian spirits; he will then ask you to attempt the recovery of his
scalp; he will show you the direction, and if you feel inclined, as I
dare say you do, go forward, my son, with a strong heart, persevere, and
I have a presentiment you will succeed." The young man answered, "I will
try." Early next morning after having eaten from the magic kettle, he
started off on his journey. Toward evening he came to the lodge as he
was told, and soon heard the groans of the magician. "Come in," he said,
even before the young man reached the door. On entering he saw his head
all bloody, and he was groaning most terribly. "Sit down, sit down," he
said, "while I prepare you something to eat," at the same time doing as
the other magicians had done, in preparing food--"You see," he said,
"how poor I am; I have to attend to all my wants." He said this to
conceal the fact that the Red Swan was there, but Odjibwa perceived that
the lodge was partitioned, and he heard a rustling noise, now and then,
in that quarter, which satisfied him that it was occupied. After having
taken his leggings and mockasins off, and eaten, the old magician
commenced telling him how he had lost his scalp--the insults it was
receiving--the pain he was suffering in consequence--his wishes to
regain it--the unsuccessful attempts that had already been made, and the
numbers and power of those who detained it; stated the best and most
probable way of getting it; touching the young man on his pride and
ambition, by the proposed adventure, and last, he spoke of such things
as would make an Indian rich. He would interrupt his discourse by now
and then groaning, and saying, "Oh, how shamefully they are treating
it." Odjibwa listened with solemn attention. The old man then asked him
about his dreams. His dreams, (or as _he saw when asleep_,[4]) at the
particular time he had fasted and blackened his face to procure guardian

The young man then told him one dream; the magician groaned; "No, that
is not it," he said. The young man told him another. He groaned again;
"That is not it," he said. The young man told him of two or three
others. The magician groaned at each recital, and said, rather
peevishly, "No, those are not them." The young man then thought to
himself, Who are you? you may groan as much as you please; I am inclined
not to tell you any more dreams. The magician then spoke in rather a
supplicating tone. "Have you no more dreams of another kind?" "Yes,"
said the young man, and told him one. "That is it, that is it," he
cried; "you will cause me to live. That was what I was wishing you to
say;" and he rejoiced greatly. "Will you then go and see if you cannot
procure my scalp?" "Yes," said the young man. "I will go; and the day
after to-morrow,[5] when you hear the cries of the Kakak,[6] you will
know, by this sign, that I am successful, and you must prepare your
head, and lean it out through the door, so that the moment I arrive, I
may place your scalp on." "Yes, yes," said the magician; "as you say,
it will be done." Early next morning, he set out on his perilous
adventure, and about the time that the sun hangs toward home,
(afternoon) he heard the shouts of a great many people. He was in a wood
at the time, and saw, as he thought, only a few men; but the farther he
went, the more numerous they appeared. On emerging into a plain, their
heads appeared like the hanging leaves for number. In the centre he
perceived a post, and something waving on it, which was the scalp. Now
and then the air was rent with the _Sau-sau-quan_, for they were dancing
the war dance around it. Before he could be perceived, he turned himself
into a No-noskau-see, (humming bird) and flew toward the scalp.

As he passed some of those who were standing by, he flew close to their
ears, making the humming noise which this bird does when it flies. They
jumped on one side and asked each other what it could be. By this time
he had nearly reached the scalp, but fearing he should be perceived
while untying it, he changed himself into a Me-sau-be-wau-aun, (the down
of anything that floats lightly on the air,) and then floated slowly and
lightly on to the scalp. He untied it, and moved off slowly, as the
weight was almost too great. It was as much as he could do to keep it
up, and prevent the Indians from snatching it away. The moment they saw
it was moving, they filled the air with their cries of "It is taken from
us; it is taken from us." He continued moving a few feet above them: the
rush and hum of the people was like the dead beating surges after a
storm. He soon gained on them, and they gave up the pursuit. After going
a little farther he changed himself into a Kakak, and flew off with his
prize, making that peculiar noise which this bird makes.

In the meantime, the magician had followed his instructions, placing his
head outside of the lodge, as soon as he heard the cry of the Kakak, and
soon after he heard the rustling of its wings. In a moment Odjibwa stood
before him. He immediately gave the magician a severe blow on the head
with the wampum scalp: his limbs extended and quivered in agony from the
effects of the blow: the scalp adhered, and the young man walked in and
sat down, feeling perfectly at home. The magician was so long in
recovering from the stunning blow, that the young man feared he had
killed him. He was however pleased to see him show signs of life; he
first commenced moving, and soon sat up. But how surprised was Odjibwa
to see, not an aged man, far in years and decrepitude, but one of the
handsomest young men he ever saw stand up before him.

"Thank you, my _friend_," he said; "you see that your kindness and
bravery has restored me to my former shape. It was so ordained, and you
have now accomplished the victory." The young magician urged the stay of
his deliverer for a few days; and they soon formed a warm attachment for
each other. The magician never alluded to the Red Swan in their

At last, the day arrived when Odjibwa made preparations to return. The
young magician amply repaid him, for his kindness and bravery, by
various kinds of wampum, robes, and all such things as he had need of to
make him an influential man. But though the young man's curiosity was at
its height about the Red Swan, he controlled his feelings, and never so
much as even hinted of her; feeling that he would surrender a point of
propriety in so doing; while the one he had rendered such service to,
whose hospitality he was now enjoying, and who had richly rewarded him,
had never so much as even mentioned anything about her, but studiously
concealed her.

Odjibwa's pack for travelling was ready, and he was taking his farewell
smoke, when the young magician thus addressed him: "Friend, you know for
what cause you came thus far. You have accomplished your object, and
conferred a lasting obligation on me. Your perseverance shall not go
unrewarded; and if you undertake other things with the same spirit you
have this, you will never fail to accomplish them. My duty renders it
necessary for me to remain where I am, although I should feel happy to
go with you. I have given you all you will need as long as you live; but
I see you feel backward to speak about the Red Swan. I vowed that
whoever procured me my scalp, should be rewarded by possessing the Red
Swan." He then spoke, and knocked on the partition. The door immediately
opened, and the Red Swan met his eager gaze. She was a most beautiful
female, and as she stood majestically before him, it would be impossible
to describe her charms, for she looked as if she did not belong to
earth. "Take her," the young magician said; "she is my sister, treat her
well; she is worthy of you, and what you have done for me merits more.
She is ready to go with you to your kindred and friends, and has been so
ever since your arrival, and my good wishes go with you both." She then
looked very kindly on her husband, who now bid farewell to his friend
indeed, and accompanied by the object of his wishes, he commenced
retracing his footsteps.

They travelled slowly, and after two or three days reached the lodge of
the third old man, who had fed him from his small magic pot. He was
very kind, and said, "You see what your perseverance has procured you;
do so always and you will succeed in all things you undertake."

On the following morning when they were going to start, he pulled from
the side of the lodge a bag, which he presented to the young man,
saying, "Nosis, I give you this; it contains a present for you; and I
hope you will live happily till old age." They then bid farewell to him
and proceeded on.

They soon reached the second old man's lodge. Their reception there was
the same as at the first; he also gave them a present, with the old
man's wishes that they would be happy. They went on and reached the
first town, which the young man had passed in his pursuit. The watchman
gave notice, and he was shown into the chief's lodge. "Sit down there,
son-in-law," said the chief, pointing to a place near his daughter. "And
you also," he said to the Red Swan.

The young woman of the lodge was busy in making something, but she tried
to show her indifference about what was taking place, for she did not
even raise her head to see who was come. Soon the chief said, "Let some
one bring in the bundle of our son-in-law." When it was brought in, the
young man opened one of the bags, which he had received from one of the
old men; it contained wampum, robes, and various other articles; he
presented them to his father-in-law, and all expressed their surprise at
the value and richness of the gift. The chief's daughter then only stole
a glance at the present, then at Odjibwa and his beautiful wife; she
stopped working, and remained silent and thoughtful all the evening.
They conversed about his adventures; after this the chief told him that
he should take his daughter along with him in the morning;--the young
man said "Yes." The chief then spoke out, saying, "Daughter, be ready to
go with him in the morning."

There was a Maujeekewis in the lodge, who thought to have got the young
woman to wife; he jumped up, saying, "Who is he (meaning the young man),
that he should take her for a few presents. I will kill him," and he
raised a knife which he had in his hand. But he only waited till some
one held him back, and then sat down, for he was too great a coward to
do as he had threatened. Early they took their departure, amid the
greetings of their new friends, and toward evening reached the other
town. The watchman gave the signal, and numbers of men, women, and
children stood out to see them. They were again shown into the chief's
lodge, who welcomed them by saying, "Son-in-law, you are welcome," and
requested him to take a seat by his daughter; and the two women did the

After the usual formalities of smoking and eating, the chief requested
the young man to relate his travels in the hearing of all the inmates of
the lodge, and those who came to see. They looked with admiration and
astonishment at the Red Swan, for she was so beautiful. Odjibwa gave
them his whole history. The chief then told him that his brothers had
been to their town in search of him, but had returned, and given up all
hopes of ever seeing him again. He concluded by saying that since he had
been so fortunate and so manly, he should take his daughter with him;
"For although your brothers," said he, "were here, they were too timid
to enter any of our lodges, and merely inquired for you and returned.
You will take my daughter, treat her well, and that will bind us more
closely together."

It is always the case in towns, that some one in it is foolish or
clownish. It happened to be so here; for a Maujeekewis was in the lodge;
and after the young man had given his father-in-law presents, as he did
to the first, this Maujeekewis jumped up in a passion, saying, "Who is
this stranger, that he should have her? I want her myself." The chief
told him to be quiet, and not to disturb or quarrel with one who was
enjoying their hospitality. "No, no," he boisterously cried, and made
an attempt to strike the stranger. Odjibwa was above fearing his
threats, and paid no attention to him. He cried the louder, "I will have
her; I will have her." In an instant he was laid flat on the ground from
a blow of a war club given by the chief. After he came to himself, the
chief upbraided him for his foolishness, and told him to go out and tell
stories to the old women.

Their arrangements were then made, and the stranger invited a number of
families to go and visit their hunting grounds, as there was plenty of
game. They consented, and in the morning a large party were assembled to
accompany the young man; and the chief with a large party of warriors
escorted them a long distance. When ready to return the chief made a
speech, and invoked the blessing of the great good Spirit on his
son-in-law and party.

After a number of days' travel, Odjibwa and his party came in sight of
his home. The party rested while he went alone in advance to see his
brothers. When he entered the lodge he found it all dirty and covered
with ashes: on one side was his eldest brother, with his face blackened,
and sitting amid ashes, crying aloud. On the other side was Maujeekewis,
his other brother; his face was also blackened, but his head was covered
with feathers and swan's down; he looked so odd, that the young man
could not keep from laughing, for he appeared and pretended to be so
absorbed with grief that he did not notice his brother's arrival. The
eldest jumped up and shook hands with him and kissed him, and felt very
happy to see him again.

Odjibwa, after seeing all things put to rights, told them that he had
brought each of them a wife. When Maujeekewis heard about the wife, he
jumped up and said, "Why, is it just now that you have come?" and made
for the door and peeped out to see the women. He then commenced jumping
and laughing, saying, "Women! women!" That was the only reception he
gave his brother. Odjibwa then told them to wash themselves and prepare,
for he would go and fetch them in. Maujeekewis jumped and washed
himself, but would every now and then go and peep out to see the women.
When they came near he said, I will have this one, and that one, he did
not exactly know which--he would go and sit down for an instant, and
then go and peep and laugh; he acted like a madman.

As soon as order was restored, and all seated, Odjibwa presented one of
the women to his eldest brother, saying, "These women were given to me;
I now give one to each; I intended so from the first." Maujeekewis
spoke, and said, "I think three wives would have been _enough_ for
you." The young man led one to Maujeekewis, saying, "My brother, here is
one for you, and live happily." Maujeekewis hung down his head as if he
was ashamed, but would every now and then steal a glance at his wife,
and also at the other women. By and by he turned toward his wife, and
acted as if he had been married for years. "Wife," he said, "I will go
and hunt," and off he started.

All lived peaceably for some time, and their town prospered, the
inhabitants increased, and everything was abundant among them. One day
dissatisfaction was manifested in the conduct of the two elder brothers,
on account of Odjibwa's having taken their deceased father's magic
arrows: they upbraided and urged him to procure others if he could.
Their object was to get him away, so that one of them might afterward
get his wife. One day, after listening to them, he told them he would
go. Maujeekewis and himself went together into a sweating lodge to
purify themselves. Even there, although it was held sacred, Maujeekewis
upbraided him for the arrows. He told him again he would go; and next
day, true to his word, he left them. After travelling a long way he came
to an opening in the earth, and descending, it led him to the abode of
departed spirits. The country appeared beautiful, the extent of it was
lost in the distance: he saw animals of various kinds in abundance. The
first he came near to were buffalo; his surprise was great when these
animals addressed him as human beings. They asked him what he came for,
how he descended, why he was so bold as to visit the abode of the dead.
He told them he was in search of magic arrows to appease his brothers.
"Very well," said the leader of the buffaloes, whose whole form was
nothing but bone. "Yes, we know it," and he and his followers moved off
a little space as if they were afraid of him. "You have come," resumed
the Buffalo Spirit, "to a place where a living man has never before
been. You will return immediately to your tribe, for your brothers are
trying to dishonour your wife; and you will live to a very old age, and
live and die happily; you can go no farther in these abodes of ours."
Odjibwa looked, as he thought, to the west, and saw a bright light, as
if the sun was shining in its splendour, but he saw no sun. "What light
is that I see yonder," he asked. The all-boned buffalo answered, "It is
the place where those who were good dwell." "And that dark cloud,"
Odjibwa again asked. "Mudjee-izzhi-wabezewin," (wickedness) answered the
buffalo. He asked no more questions, and with the aid of his guardian
spirits, again stood on this earth and saw the sun giving light as
usual, and breathed the pure air. All else he saw in the abodes of the
dead and his travels and actions previous to his return, are unknown.
After wandering a long time in quest of information to make his people
happy, he one evening drew near to his village or town, passing all the
other lodges and coming to his own, he heard his brothers at high words
with each other; they were quarrelling for the possession of his wife.
She had, however, remained constant and mourned the absence and probable
loss of her husband; but she had mourned him with the dignity of virtue.
The noble youth listened till he was satisfied of the base principles of
his brothers. He then entered the lodge, with the stern air and
conscious dignity of a brave and honest man. He spoke not a word, but
placing the magic arrows to his bow, drew them to their length and laid
the brothers dead at his feet. Thus ended the contest between the
hermit's sons, and a firm and happy union was consummated between
ODJIBWA,[7] or him of the primitive or gathered voice, and the Red Swan.


[1] Pai-gwud-aw-diz-zid.

[2] Pungish-e-moo, falling or sinking to a position of repose.

[3] My grandchild.

[4] Enaw-bandum.

[5] The Indian expression is, Awuss-Waubung--the day _beyond_ to-morrow.

[6] A species of hawk.

[7] This word may to be a derivative from Ojeebik, a root, &c. and
maidwa, voice, or from odjoebwuh, to gather, v. a.




Aggo Dah Gauda had one leg looped up to his thigh, so that he was
obliged to get along by hopping. He had a beautiful daughter, and his
chief care was to secure her from being carried off by the king of the
buffaloes. It was a peculiarity in which he differed from other Indians,
that he lived in a log house, and he advised his daughter to keep in
doors and never go out into the neighbourhood for fear of being stolen

One sunshiny morning Aggo Dah Gauda prepared to go out a fishing, but
before he left the lodge reminded his daughter of her strange and
persecuting lover. "My daughter," said he, "I am going out to fish, and
as the day will be a pleasant one, you must recollect that we have an
enemy near, who is constantly going about, and do not expose yourself
out of the lodge." When he had reached his fishing ground, he heard a
voice singing at a distance the following strains, in derision of him.

       Aggo Dah Gauda
       Aggo Dah Gauda
       Ke anne po--po--
       Ko no gun a.

       Aggo Dah Gauda
       Aggo Dah Gauda
       Ke anne po--po--
       Ko gau da.

     Man with the leg tied up,
     Man with the leg tied up,
     Broken hip--hip--

     Man with the leg tied up,
     Man with the leg tied up,
     Broken leg--leg--

He saw no one, but suspecting it to come from his enemies the buffaloes,
he hastened his return.

Let us now see what happened to the daughter. Her father had not been
long absent from the lodge, when she thought in her mind, [_ke in ain
dum_] it is hard to be thus for ever kept in doors. The spring is now
coming on, and the days are so sunny and warm, that it would be very
pleasant to sit out doors. But my father says it would be dangerous. I
know what I will do. I will get on the top of the house, and there I can
comb and dress my hair. She accordingly got up on the roof of the small
house, and busied herself in untying and combing her beautiful hair. For
her hair was not only of a fine glossy quality, but was so long that it
reached down on the ground, and hung over the eaves of the house, as she
sat dressing it. She was so intent upon this, that she forgot all ideas
of danger, till it was too late to escape. For, all of a sudden, the
king[8] of the buffaloes came dashing on, with his herd of followers,
and taking her between his horns, away he cantered over the plains,
plunged into a river that bounded his land, and carried her safely to
his lodge, on the other side. Here he paid every attention to gain her
affections, but all to no purpose, for she sat pensively and
disconsolate in the lodge among the other females, and scarcely ever
spoke, and took no part in the domestic cares of her lover the king. He,
on the contrary did every thing he could think of to please her and win
her affections. He told the others in his lodge to give her every thing
she wanted, and to be careful not to displease her. They set before her
the choicest food. They gave her the seat of honour in the lodge. The
king himself went out hunting to obtain the most dainty bits of meat,
both of animals and wild fowl. And not content with these proofs of his
attachment he fasted himself, and would often take his pib be gwun,[9]
and sit near the lodge indulging his mind in repeating a few pensive

       Ne ne moo sha
       Ne ne moo sha
            We ya.

       Ma kow
       We au nin
            We yea.

       Sau gee naun ih
            We yea.

       Ka-go ka-go
       Dush ween e
       Shing gain--
       E me she kain
            We yea.

     My sweetheart,
     My sweetheart,
            Ah me!

     When I think of you,
     When I think of you,
            Ah me!

     How I love you,
     How I love you,
            Ah me!

     Do not hate me,
     Do not hate me,
            Ah me!

In the mean time Aggo Dah Gauda came home, and finding his daughter had
been stolen, determined to get her back. For this purpose he immediately
set out. He could easily track the king, until he came to the banks of
the river, and saw that he had plunged in and swam over. But there had
been a frosty night or two since, and the water was so covered with thin
ice, so that he could not walk on it. He determined to encamp till it
became solid, and then crossed over and pursued the trail. As he went
along he saw branches broken off and strewed behind, for these had been
purposely cast along by the daughter, that the way might be found. And
the manner in which she had accomplished it, was this. Her hair was all
untied when she was caught up, and being very long, it caught on the
branches as they darted along, and it was these twigs that she broke off
for signs to her father. When he came to the king's lodge it was
evening. Carefully approaching it, he peeped through the sides and saw
his daughter sitting disconsolately. She immediately caught his eye, and
knowing that it was her father come for her; she all at once appeared to
relent in her heart, and asking for the dipper, said to the king, "I
will go and get you a drink of water." This token of submission
delighted him, and he waited with impatience for her return. At last he
went out with his followers, but nothing could be seen or heard of the
captive daughter. They sallied out in the plains, but had not gone far,
by the light of the moon, when a party of hunters, headed by the
father-in-law of Aggo Dah Gauda, set up their yells in their rear, and a
shower of arrows was poured in upon them. Many of their numbers fell,
but the king being stronger and swifter than the rest, fled toward the
west, and never again appeared in that part of the country.

While all this was passing Aggo Dah Gauda, who had met his daughter the
moment she came out of the lodge, and being helped by his guardian
spirit, took her on his shoulders and hopped off, a hundred steps in
one, till he reached the stream, crossed it, and brought back his
daughter in triumph to his lodge.


[8] In our Indian languages the highest terms for men in power are
KOSINAUN, our father, and OGIMAU, chief. Both admit of a prefixed
adjective to indicate great, and of a diminutive inflection to denote
inferiority in size, power, or excellence. The term "king" is retained
here, from the verbal narration of the interpreters.

[9] Indian flute.





One day five young men and a boy of about ten years of age, went out a
shooting with their bows and arrows. They left their lodges with the
first appearance of daylight, and having passed through a long reach of
woods, had ascended a lofty eminence before the sun arose. While
standing there in a group, the sun suddenly burst forth in all the
effulgence of a summer's morning. It appeared to them to be at no great
distance from the position they occupied. "How very near it is," they
all said. "It cannot be far," said Iosco, the eldest, "and if you will
accompany me, we will see if we cannot reach it." "I will go! I will
go!" burst from every lip. Even the boy said he would also go. They told
him he was too young; but he replied, "If you do not permit me to go
with you, I will mention your design to each of your parents." They
then said to him, "you shall also go with us, so be quiet."

They then fell upon the following arrangement. It was resolved that each
one should obtain from his parents as many pair of moccasins as he
could, and also new clothing of leather. They fixed on a spot where they
would conceal all their articles, until they were ready to start on
their journey, and which would serve, in the meantime, as a place of
rendezvous, where they might secretly meet and consult. This being
arranged, they returned home.

A long time passed before they could put their plans into execution. But
they kept it a profound secret, even to the boy. They frequently met at
the appointed place, and discussed the subject. At length every thing
was in readiness, and they decided on a day to set out. That morning the
boy shed tears for a pair of new leather leggings. "Don't you see," said
he to his parents, "how my companions are drest?" This appeal to their
pride and envy prevailed. He obtained the leggings. Artifices were also
resorted to by the others, under the plea of going out on a special
hunt. They said to one another, but in a tone that they might be
overheard, "we will see who will bring in the most game." They went out
in different directions, but soon met at the appointed place, where they
had hid the articles for their journey, and as many arrows as they had
time to make. Each one took something on his back, and they began their
march. They travelled day after day, through a thick forest, but the sun
was always at the same distance. "We must," said they, "travel toward
Waubunong,[10] and we shall get to the object, some time or other." No
one was discouraged, although winter overtook them. They built a lodge
and hunted, till they obtained as much dried meat as they could carry,
and then continued on. This they did several times; season followed
season. More than one winter overtook them. Yet none of them became
discouraged, or expressed dissatisfaction.

One day the travellers came to the banks of a river, whose waters ran
toward Waubunong. They followed it down many days. As they were walking,
one day, they came to rising grounds, from which they saw something
white or clear through the trees. They encamped on this elevation. Next
morning they came, suddenly, in view of an immense body of water. No
land could be seen as far as the eye could reach. One or two of them
laid down on the beach to drink. As soon as they got the water into
their mouths, they spit it out, and exclaimed with surprise, Shewetagon
awbo! [salt water.] It was the sea. While looking on the water, the sun
arose as if from the deep, and went on in its steady course through the
heavens, enlivening the scene with his cheering and animating beams.
They stood in fixed admiration, but the object appeared to be as distant
from them as ever. They thought it best to encamp, and consult whether
it were advisable to go on, or return. "We see," said the leader, "that
the sun is still on the opposite side of this great water, but let us
not be disheartened. We can walk around the shore." To this they all

Next morning they took the northerly shore, to walk around it, but had
only gone a short distance when they came to a large river. They again
encamped, and while sitting before the fire, the question was put,
whether any one of them had ever dreamed of water, or of walking on it.
After a long silence, the eldest said he had. Soon after they laid down
to sleep. When they arose the following morning, the eldest addressed
them: "We have done wrong in coming north. Last night my spirit appeared
to me, and told me to go south, and that but a short distance beyond the
spot we left yesterday, we should come to a river with high banks. That
by looking off its mouth, we should see an island, which would approach
to us. He directed that we should all get on it. He then told me to cast
my eyes toward the water. I did so, and I saw all he had declared. He
then informed me that we must return south, and wait at the river until
the day after to-morrow. I believe all that was revealed to me in this
dream, and that we shall do well to follow it."

The party immediately retraced their footsteps in exact obedience to
these intimations. Toward the evening they came to the borders of the
indicated river. It had high banks, behind which they encamped, and here
they patiently awaited the fulfilment of the dream. The appointed day
arrived. They said, we will see if that which has been said will be
seen. Midday is the promised time. Early in the morning two had gone to
the shore to keep a look out. They waited anxiously for the middle of
the day, straining their eyes to see if they could discover any thing.
Suddenly they raised a shout. Ewaddee suh neen! There it is! There it
is! On rushing to the spot they beheld something like an _island_
steadily advancing toward the shore. As it approached, they could
discover that something was moving on it in various directions. They
said it is a Manito, let us be off into the woods. No, no, cried the
eldest, let us stay and watch. It now became stationary, and lost much
of its imagined height. They could only see _three_ trees, as they
thought, resembling trees in a pinery that had been burnt. The wind,
which had been off the sea, now died away into a perfect calm. They saw
something leaving the fancied island and approaching the shore, throwing
and flapping its wings, like a loon when he attempts to fly in calm
weather. It entered the mouth of the river. They were on the point of
running away, but the eldest dissuaded them. Let us hide in this hollow,
he said, and we will see what it can be. They did so. They soon heard
the sounds of chopping, and quickly after they heard the falling of
trees. Suddenly a man came up to their place of concealment. He stood
still and gazed at them. They did the same in utter amazement. After
looking at them for some time, the person advanced and extended his hand
toward them. The eldest took it, and they shook hands. He then spoke,
but they could not understand each other. He then cried out for his
comrades. They came, and examined very minutely their dresses. They
again tried to converse. Finding it impossible, the strangers then
motioned to the Naubequon, and to the Naubequon-ais,[11] wishing them
to embark. They consulted with each other for a short time. The eldest
then motioned that they should go on board. They embarked on board the
boat, which they found to be loaded with wood. When they reached the
side of the supposed island, they were surprised to see a great number
of people, who all came to the side and looked at them with open mouths.
One spoke out, above the others, and appeared to be the leader. He
motioned them to get on board. He looked and examined them, and took
them down into the cabin, and set things before them to eat. He treated
them very kindly.

When they came on deck again all the sails were spread, and they were
fast losing sight of land. In the course of the night and the following
day they were sick at the stomach, but soon recovered. When they had
been out at sea ten days, they became sorrowful, as they could not
converse with those who had hats on.[12]

The following night Iosco dreamed that his spirit appeared to him. He
told him not to be discouraged, that he would open his ears, so as to be
able to understand the people with hats. I will not permit you to
understand much, said he, only sufficient to reveal your wants, and to
know what is said to you. He repeated this dream to his friends, and
they were satisfied and encouraged by it. When they had been out about
thirty days, the master of the ship told them, and motioned them to
change their dresses of leather, for such as his people wore; for if
they did not, his master would be displeased. It was on this occasion
that the elder first understood a few words of the language. The first
phrase he comprehended was _La que notte_, and from one word to another
he was soon able to speak it.

One day the men cried out, land! and soon after they heard a noise
resembling thunder, in repeated peals. When they had got over their
fears, they were shown the large guns which made this noise. Soon after
they saw a vessel smaller than their own, sailing out of a bay, in the
direction toward them. She had flags on her masts, and when she came
near she fired a gun. The large vessel also hoisted her flags, and the
boat came alongside. The master told the person who came in it, to tell
his master or king, that he had six strangers on board, such as had
never been seen before, and that they were coming to visit him. It was
some time after the departure of this messenger before the vessel got up
to the town. It was then dark, but they could see people, and horses,
and odawbons[13] ashore. They were landed, and placed in a covered
vehicle, and driven off. When they stopped, they were taken into a large
and splendid room. They were here told that the great chief wished to
see them. They were shown into another large room, filled with men and
women. All the room was Shonean-cauda.[14] The chief asked them their
business, and the object of their journey. They told him where they were
from, and where they were going, and the nature of the enterprise which
they had undertaken. He tried to dissuade them from its execution,
telling them of the many trials and difficulties they would have to
undergo: that so many days' march from his country dwelt a bad spirit,
or Manito, who foreknew and foretold the existence and arrival of all
who entered into his country. It is impossible, he said, my children,
for you ever to arrive at the object you are in search of.

Iosco replied; "Nosa,"[15] and they could see the chief blush in being
called _father_, "we have come so far on our way, and we will continue
it: we have resolved firmly that we will do so. We think our lives are
of no value, for we have given them up for this object. Nosa," he
repeated, "do not then prevent us from going on our journey." The chief
then dismissed them with valuable presents, after having appointed the
next day to speak to them again, and provided every thing that they
needed or wished for.

Next day they were again summoned to appear before the king. He again
tried to dissuade them. He said he would send them back to their country
in one of his vessels: but all he said had no effect. "Well," said he,
"if you will go, I will furnish you all that is needed for your
journey." He had every thing provided accordingly. He told them, that
three days before they reached the Bad Spirit he had warned them of,
they would hear his Shéshegwun.[16] He cautioned them to be wise, for he
felt that he should never see them all again.

They resumed their journey, and travelled sometimes through villages,
but they soon left them behind and passed over a region of forests and
plains, without inhabitants. They found all the productions of a new
country: trees, animals, birds, were entirely different from those they
were accustomed to, on the other side of the great waters. They
travelled, and travelled, till they wore out all of the clothing that
had been given to them, and had to take to their leather clothing again.

The three days the chief spoke of meant three years, for it was only at
the end of the third year, that they came within the sight of the
spirit's shéshegwun. The sound appeared to be near, but they continued
walking on, day after day, without apparently getting any nearer to it.
Suddenly they came to a very extensive plain; they could see the blue
ridges of distant mountains rising on the horizon beyond it: they pushed
on, thinking to get over the plain before night, but they were overtaken
by darkness: they were now on a stony part of the plain, covered by
about a foot's depth of water: they were weary and fatigued: some of
them said, let us lie down; no, no, said the others, let us push on.
Soon, they stood on firm ground, but it was as much as they could do to
stand, for they were very weary. They, however, made an effort to
encamp, lighted up a fire, and refreshed themselves by eating. They then
commenced conversing about the sound of the spirit's shéshegwun, which
they had heard for several days. Suddenly the instrument commenced; it
sounded as if it was subterraneous, and it shook the ground: they tied
up their bundles and went toward the spot. They soon came to a large
building, which was illuminated. As soon as they came to the door, they
were met by a rather elderly man. "How do ye do," said he, "my
grandsons? Walk in, walk in; I am glad to see you: I knew when you
started: I saw you encamp this evening: sit down, and tell me the news
of the country you left, for I feel interested in it." They complied
with his wishes, and when they had concluded, each one presented him
with a piece of tobacco. He then revealed to them things that would
happen in their journey, and predicted its successful accomplishment. "I
do not say that all of you," said he, "will successfully go through it.
You have passed over three-fourths of your way, and I will tell you how
to proceed after you get to the edge of the earth. Soon after you leave
this place, you will hear a deafening sound: it is the sky descending on
the edge, but it keeps moving up and down; you will watch, and when it
moves up, you will see a vacant space between it and the earth. You must
not be afraid. A chasm of awful depth is there, which separates the
unknown from this earth, and a veil of darkness conceals it. Fear not.
You must leap through; and if you succeed you will find yourselves on a
beautiful plain, and in a soft and mild light emitted by the moon." They
thanked him for his advice. A pause ensued.

"I have told you the way," he said; "now tell me again of the country
you have left; for I committed dreadful ravages while I was there: does
not the country show marks of it? and do not the inhabitants tell of me
to their children? I came to this place to mourn over my bad actions,
and am trying, by my present course of life, to relieve my mind of the
load that is on it." They told him that their fathers spoke often of a
celebrated personage called Manabozho, who performed great exploits. "I
am he," said the Spirit. They gazed with astonishment and fear. "Do you
see this pointed house?" said he, pointing to one that resembled a
sugar-loaf; "you can now each speak your wishes and will be answered
from that house. Speak out, and ask what each wants, and it shall be
granted." One of them, who was vain, asked with presumption, that he
might live for ever, and never be in want. He was answered, "Your wish
shall be granted." The second made the same request, and received the
same answer. The third asked to live longer than common people, and to
be always successful in his war excursions, never losing any of his
young men. He was told, "Your wishes are granted." The fourth joined in
the same request, and received the same reply. The fifth made an humble
request, asking to live as long as men generally do, and that he might
be crowned with such success in hunting as to be able to provide for his
parents and relatives. The sixth made the same request, and it was
granted to both, in pleasing tones, from the pointed house.

After hearing these responses they prepared to depart. They were told by
Manabozho, that they had been with him but one day, but they afterward
found that they had remained there upward of a year. When they were on
the point of setting out, Manabozho exclaimed, "Stop! you two, who asked
me for eternal life, will receive the boon you wish immediately." He
spake, and one was turned into a stone called Shingauba-wossin,[17] and
the other into a cedar-tree. "Now," said he to the others, "you can go."
They left him in fear, saying, we were fortunate to escape so, for the
king told us he was wicked, and that we should not probably escape from
him. They had not proceeded far, when they began to hear the sound of
the beating sky. It appeared to be near at hand, but they had a long
interval to travel before they came near, and the sound was then
stunning to their senses; for when the sky came down, its pressure would
force gusts of wind from the opening, so strong that it was with
difficulty they could keep their feet, and the sun passed but a short
distance above their heads. They, however, approached boldly, but had to
wait some time before they could muster courage enough to leap through
the dark veil that covered the passage. The sky would come down with
violence, but it would rise slowly and gradually. The two who had made
the humble request, stood near the edge, and with no little exertion,
succeeded, one after the other, in leaping through, and gaining a firm
foothold. The remaining two were fearful and undecided: the others spoke
to them through the darkness, saying, "leap! leap! the sky is on its way
down." These two looked up and saw it descending, but fear paralyzed
their efforts; they made but a feeble attempt, so as to reach the
opposite side with their hands; but the sky at the same time struck on
the earth with great violence and a terrible sound, and forced them into
the dreadful black chasm.

The two successful adventurers found themselves in a beautiful country,
lighted by the moon, which shed around a mild and pleasant light. They
could see the moon approaching as if it were from behind a hill. They
advanced, and an aged woman spoke to them; she had a white face and
pleasing air, and looked rather old, though she spoke to them very
kindly: they knew from her first appearance that she was the moon: she
asked them several questions: she told them that she knew of their
coming, and was happy to see them: she informed them that they were half
way to her brother's, and that from the earth to her abode was half the
distance. "I will, by and by, have leisure," said she, "and will go and
conduct you to my brother, for he is now absent on his daily course: you
will succeed in your object, and return in safety to your country and
friends, with the good wishes, I am sure, of my brother." While the
travellers were with her, they received every attention. When the proper
time arrived, she said to them, "My brother is now rising from below,
and we shall see his light as he comes over the distant edge: come,"
said she, "I will lead you up." They went forward, but in some
mysterious way, they hardly knew how: they rose almost directly up, as
if they had ascended steps. They then came upon an immense plain,
declining in the direction of the sun's approach. When he came near, the
moon spake--"I have brought you these persons, whom we knew were
coming;" and with this she disappeared. The sun motioned with his hand
for them to follow him. They did so, but found it rather difficult, as
the way was steep: they found it particularly so from the edge of the
earth till they got halfway between that point and midday: when they
reached this spot, the sun stopped, and sat down to rest. "What, my
children," said he, "has brought you here? I could not speak to you
before: I could not stop at any place but this, for this is my first
resting-place--then at the centre, which is at midday, and then halfway
from that to the western edge."[18] "Tell me," he continued, "the object
of your undertaking this journey and all the circumstances which have
happened to you on the way." They complied. Iosco told him their main
object was to see him. They had lost four of their friends on the way,
and they wished to know whether they could return in safely to the
earth, that they might inform their friends and relatives of all that
had befallen them. They concluded by requesting him to grant their
wishes. He replied, "Yes, you shall certainly return in safety; but your
companions were vain and presumptuous in their demands. They were
Gug-ge-baw-diz-ze-wug.[19] They aspired to what Manitoes only could
enjoy. But you two, as I said, shall get back to your country, and
become as happy as the hunter's life can make you. You shall never be in
want of the necessaries of life, as long as you are permitted to live;
and you will have the satisfaction of relating your journey to your
friends, and also of telling them of me. Follow me, follow me," he said,
commencing his course again. The ascent was now gradual, and they soon
came to a level plain. After travelling some time he again sat down to
rest, for we had arrived at Nau-we-qua.[20] "You see," said he, "it is
level at this place, but a short distance onwards, my way descends
gradually to my last resting place, from which there is an abrupt
descent." He repeated his assurance that they should be shielded from
danger, if they relied firmly on his power. "Come here quickly," he
said, placing something before them on which they could descend; "keep
firm," said he, as they resumed the descent. They went downward as if
they had been let down by ropes.

In the meantime the parents of these two young men dreamed that their
sons were returning, and that they should soon see them. They placed
the fullest confidence in their dreams. Early in the morning they left
their lodges for a remote point in the forest, where they expected to
meet them. They were not long at the place before they saw the
adventurers returning, for they had descended not far from that place.
The young men knew they were their fathers. They met, and were happy.
They related all that had befallen them. They did not conceal any thing;
and they expressed their gratitude to the different Manitoes who had
preserved them, by feasting and gifts, and particularly to the sun and
moon, who had received them as their children.

       *       *       *       *       *

[The foregoing tale was related by Chusco, an Ottowa chief, converted to
Christianity a few years ago. He was born at L'arbre Croche, in
Michigan, some years after the taking of Fort Mackinac, in 1763,--an
event of such notoriety in Indian tradition, that it is generally
referred to by them as an era. He was present at the treaty of
Greenville, in 1793, and received an annuity during the last few years
of his life in consequence of a promise understood to have been made to
him by General Wayne.]

Chusco was a man of small stature; he appears to have possessed great
bodily activity in his youth, united to a mind of quick observation. He
embraced, at an early period of his life, the profession of a seer, and
practised it with the approbation of his tribe till within a few years.
About 1827 his mind was arrested by the truths of revelation, which were
first brought to his notice by his wife, who had been instructed at a
mission on the island of Mackinac. He made a profession of religion
within a year or two after, renounced his idolatry, gave up the use of
ardent spirits and every species of fermented drink, and exhibited a
consistent Christian life, to the period of his death, in 1837. He is
buried at Round Island, in lake Huron, where a neat paling has been
placed over his grave. The story itself, so far as respects the object,
is calculated to remind the reader of South American history, of the
alleged descent of Manco Capac and the Children of the Sun. But I am not
prepared to say, that an examination of the traditional history of the
Algics will sustain the comparison.

The tale does not appear to be of great comparative antiquity. The
introduction of ships, and guns, and axes, is sufficient to indicate
this. It is interesting, however, as revealing their notions of
cosmogony, the division of the day into quartads, and their impressions
of general geography. It would appear that they believe the earth to be
_globular_; they speak of but a single sea. The tradition of Manabozho
is attested, and he is here represented, as in all other known
instances, to be a Bad, and not a Good Spirit, and there is no
countenance given to the verbal opinion, sometimes expressed, that this
personage partakes of any of the characters of a Saviour.

The moral bearing of the story is, perhaps, to indicate the danger of
ambition. Ambition and presumption, in human wishes, are very clearly
rebuked by the results of the oracular response, and by the immediate
fulfilment of the predictions.


[10] The East--i. e. place of light.

[11] Ship and boat. These terms exhibit the simple and the diminutive
forms of the name for ship or vessel. It is also the term for a woman's
needlework, and seems to imply a tangled thready mass, and was perhaps
transferred in allusion to a ship's ropes.

[12] Wewaquonidjig, a term early and extensively applied to whiteman, by
our Indians, and still frequently used.

[13] Odawbon comprehends all vehicles between a dog train and a coach,
whether on wheels or runners. The term is nearest allied to vehicle.

[14] Massive silver.

[15] My father.

[16] A rattle.

[17] A hard primitive stone, frequently found along the borders of the
lakes and water-courses, generally fretted into image shapes. Hardness
and indestructibility are regarded as its characteristics by the
Indians. It is often granite.

[18] This computation of time separates the day into four portions of
six hours each--two of which, from 1 to 6, and from 6 to 12, A. M.
compose the _morning_, and the other two, from 1 to 6, and from 6 to 12,
P. M. compose the _evening_.

[19] This is a verbal form, plural number, of the transitive

[20] Midday, or middle line.





There lived a hunter in the north who had a wife and one child. His
lodge stood far off in the forest, several days' journey from any other.
He spent his days in hunting, and his evenings in relating to his wife
the incidents that had befallen him. As game was very abundant he found
no difficulty in killing as much as they wanted. Just in all his acts,
he lived a peaceful and happy life.

One evening during the winter season, it chanced that he remained out
later than usual, and his wife began to feel uneasy, for fear some
accident had befallen him. It was already dark. She listened attentively
and at last heard the sound of approaching footsteps. Not doubting it
was her husband, she went to the door and beheld two strange females.
She bade them enter, and invited them to remain.

She observed that they were total strangers in the country. There was
something so peculiar in their looks, air, and manner, that she was
uneasy in their company. They would not come near the fire; they sat in
a remote part of the lodge, were shy and taciturn, and drew their
garments about them in such a manner as nearly to hide their faces. So
far as she could judge, they were pale, hollow-eyed, and long-visaged,
very thin and emaciated. There was but little light in the lodge, as the
fire was low, and served by its fitful flashes, rather to increase than
dispel their fears. "Merciful spirit!" cried a voice from the opposite
part of the lodge, "there are two corpses clothed with garments." The
hunter's wife turned around, but seeing nobody, she concluded the sounds
were but gusts of wind. She trembled, and was ready to sink to the

Her husband at this moment entered and dispelled her fears. He threw
down the carcass of a large fat deer. "Behold what a fine and fat
animal," cried the mysterious females, and they immediately ran and
pulled off pieces of the whitest fat,[22] which they ate with
greediness. The hunter and his wife looked on with astonishment, but
remained silent. They supposed their guests might have been famished.
Next day, however, the same unusual conduct was repeated. The strange
females tore off the fat and devoured it with eagerness. The third day
the hunter thought he would anticipate their wants by tying up a portion
of the fattest pieces for them, which he placed on the top of his load.
They accepted it, but still appeared dissatisfied, and went to the
wife's portion and tore off more. The man and his wife felt surprised at
such rude and unaccountable conduct, but they remained silent, for they
respected their guests, and had observed that they had been attended
with marked good luck during the residence of these mysterious visiters.

In other respects the deportment of the females was strictly
unexceptionable. They were modest, distant, and silent. They never
uttered a word during the day. At night they would occupy themselves in
procuring wood, which they carried to the lodge, and then returning the
implements exactly to the places in which they had found them, resume
their places without speaking. They were never known to stay out until
daylight. They never laughed or jested.

The winter had nearly passed away, without anything uncommon happening,
when, one evening the hunter staid out very late. The moment he entered
and laid down his day's hunt as usual before his wife, the two females
began to tear off the fat, in so unceremonious a way, that her anger was
excited. She constrained herself, however, in a measure, but did not
conceal her feelings, although she said but little. The guests observed
the excited state of her mind, and became unusually reserved and uneasy.
The good hunter saw the change, and carefully inquired into the cause,
but his wife denied having used any hard words. They retired to their
couches, and he tried to compose himself to sleep, but could not, for
the sobs and sighs of the two females were incessant. He arose on his
couch and addressed them as follows:

"Tell me," said he, "what is it that gives you pain of mind, and causes
you to utter those sighs. Has my wife given you offence, or trespassed
on the rights of hospitality?"

They replied in the negative. "We have been treated by you with kindness
and affection. It is not for any slight we have received, that we weep.
Our mission is not to you only. We come from the land of the dead to
test mankind, and to try the sincerity of the living. Often we have
heard the bereaved by death say that if the dead could be restored, they
would devote their lives to make them happy. We have been moved by the
bitter lamentations which have reached the place of the dead, and have
come to make proof of the sincerity of those who have lost friends.
Three moons were allotted us by the Master of life to make the trial.
More than half the time had been successfully past, when the angry
feelings of your wife indicated the irksomeness you felt at our
presence, and has made us resolve on our departure."

They continued to talk to the hunter and his wife, gave them
instructions as to a future life, and pronounced a blessing upon them.

"There is one point," they added, "of which we wish to speak. You have
thought our conduct very strange in rudely possessing ourselves of the
choicest parts of your hunt. _That_ was the point of trial selected to
put you to. It is the wife's peculiar privilege. For another to usurp
it, we knew to be the severest trial of her, and consequently of your
temper and feelings. We know your manners and customs, but we came to
prove you, not by a compliance with them, but a violation of them.
Pardon us. We are the agents of him who sent us. Peace to your dwelling,

When they ceased total darkness filled the lodge. No object could be
seen. The inmates heard the door open and shut, but they never saw more
of the two JEEBI-UG.

The hunter found the success which they had promised. He became
celebrated in the chase, and never wanted for any thing. He had many
children, all of whom grew up to manhood, and health, peace, and long
life were the rewards of his hospitality.


[21] Ghosts.

[22] The fat of animals is esteemed by the N. A. Indians among the
choicest parts.





As spring approaches, the Indians return from their wintering grounds to
their villages, engage in feasting, soon exhaust their stock of
provisions, and begin to suffer for the want of food. Such of the
hunters as are of an active and enterprising cast of character, take the
occasion to separate from the mass of the population, and remove to some
neighbouring locality in the forest, which promises the means of
subsistence during this season of general lassitude and enjoyment.

Among the families who thus separated themselves, on a certain occasion,
there was a man called ODSHEDOPH WAUCHEENTONGAH, or the Child of Strong
Desires, who had a wife and one son. After a day's travel he reached an
ample wood with his family, which was thought to be a suitable place to
encamp. The wife fixed the lodge, while the husband went out to hunt.
Early in the evening he returned with a deer. Being tired and thirsty he
asked his son to go to the river for some water. The son replied that it
was dark and he was afraid. He urged him to go, saying that his mother,
as well as himself, was tired, and the distance to the water was very
short. But no persuasion was of any avail. He refused to go. "Ah, my
son," said the father, at last, "if you are afraid to go to the river
you will never kill the Red Head."

The boy was deeply mortified by this observation. It seemed to call up
all his latent energies. He mused in silence. He refused to eat, and
made no reply when spoken to.

The next day he asked his mother to dress the skin of the deer, and make
it into moccasins for him, while he busied himself in preparing a bow
and arrows. As soon as these things were done, he left the lodge one
morning at sunrise, without saying a word to his father or mother. He
fired one of his arrows into the air, which fell westward. He took that
course, and at night coming to the spot where the arrow had fallen, was
rejoiced to find it piercing the heart of a deer. He refreshed himself
with a meal of the venison, and the next morning fired another arrow.
After travelling all day, he found it also in another deer. In this
manner he fired four arrows, and every evening found that he had killed
a deer. What was very singular, however, was, that he left the arrows
sticking in the carcasses, and passed on without withdrawing them. In
consequence of this, he had no arrow for the fifth day, and was in great
distress at night for the want of food. At last he threw himself upon
the ground in despair, concluding that he might as well perish there as
go farther. But he had not lain long before he heard a hollow, rumbling
noise, in the ground beneath him. He sprang up, and discovered at a
distance the figure of a human being, walking with a stick. He looked
attentively and saw that the figure was walking in a wide beaten path,
in a prairie, leading from a lodge to a lake. To his surprise this lodge
was at no great distance. He approached a little nearer and concealed
himself. He soon discovered that the figure was no other than that of
the terrible witch, Wok-on-kahtohn-zooeyah´pee-kah-haitchee, or the
little old woman who makes war. Her path to the lake was perfectly
smooth and solid, and the noise our adventurer had heard, was caused by
the striking of her walking staff upon the ground. The top of this staff
was decorated with a string of the toes and bills of birds of every
kind, who at every stroke of the stick, fluttered and sung their
various notes in concert.

She entered her lodge and laid off her mantle, which was entirely
composed of the scalps of women. Before folding it, she shook it several
times, and at every shake the scalps uttered loud shouts of laughter, in
which the old hag joined. Nothing could have frightened him more than
this horrific exhibition. After laying by the cloak she came directly to
him. She informed him that she had known him from the time he left his
father's lodge, and watched his movements. She told him not to fear or
despair, for she would be his friend and protector. She invited him into
her lodge, and gave him a supper. During the repast, she inquired of him
his motives for visiting her. He related his history, stated the manner
in which he had been disgraced, and the difficulties he laboured under.
She cheered him with the assurance of her friendship, and told him he
would be a brave man yet.

She then commenced the exercise of her power upon him. His hair being
very short she took a large leaden comb, and after drawing it through
his hair several times, it became of a handsome feminine length. She
then proceeded to dress him as a female, furnishing him with the
necessary garments, and decorated his face with paints of the most
beautiful dye. She gave him a bowl of shining metal. She directed him
to put in his girdle a blade of scented sword-grass, and to proceed the
next morning to the banks of the lake, which was no other than that over
which the Red Head reigned. Now PAH-HAH-UNDOOTAH, or the Red Head, was a
most powerful sorcerer and the terror of all the country, living upon an
island in the centre of the lake.

She informed him that there would be many Indians on the island, who as
soon as they saw him use the shining bowl to drink with, would come and
solicit him to be their wife, and to take him over to the island. These
offers he was to refuse, and say that he had come a great distance to be
the wife of the Red Head, and that if the chief could not come for her
in his own canoe, she should return to her village. She said that as
soon as the Red Head heard of this, he would come for her in his own
canoe, in which she must embark. On reaching the island he must consent
to be his wife, and in the evening induce him to take a walk out of the
village, when he was to take the first opportunity to cut off his head
with the blade of grass. She also gave him general advice how he was to
conduct himself to sustain his assumed character of a woman. His fear
would scarcely permit him to accede to this plan, but the recollection
of his father's words and looks decided him.

Early in the morning, he left the witch's lodge, and took the hard
beaten path to the banks of the lake. He reached the water at a point
directly opposite the Red Head's village. It was a beautiful day. The
heavens were clear, and the sun shone out in the greatest effulgence. He
had not been long there, having sauntered along the beach, when he
displayed the glittering bowl, by dipping water from the lake. Very soon
a number of canoes came off from the island. The men admired his dress,
and were charmed with his beauty, and a great number made proposals of
marriage. These he promptly declined, agreeably to the concerted plan.
When the facts were reported to the Red Head, he ordered his canoe to be
put in the water by his chosen men, and crossed over to see this
wonderful girl. As he came near the shore, he saw that the ribs of the
sorcerer's canoe were formed of living rattlesnakes, whose heads pointed
outward to guard him from enemies. Our adventurer had no sooner stepped
into the canoe than they began to hiss and rattle, which put him in a
great fright. But the magician spoke to them, after which they became
pacified and quiet, and all at once they were at the landing upon the
island. The marriage immediately took place, and the bride made presents
of various valuables which had been furnished by the old witch.

As they were sitting in the lodge surrounded by friends and relatives,
the mother of the Red Head regarded the face of her new daughter-in-law
for a long time with fixed attention. From this scrutiny she was
convinced that this singular and hasty marriage augured no good to her
son. She drew her husband aside and disclosed to him her suspicions:
This can be no female, said she, the figure and manners, the
countenance, and more especially the expression of the eyes, are, beyond
a doubt, those of a man. Her husband immediately rejected her
suspicions, and rebuked her severely for the indignity offered to her
daughter-in-law. He became so angry, that seizing the first thing that
came to hand, which happened to be his pipe stem, he beat her
unmercifully. This act requiring to be explained, to the spectators, the
mock bride immediately rose up, and assuming an air of offended dignity,
told the Red Head that after receiving so gross an insult from his
relatives, he could not think of remaining with him as his wife, but
should forthwith return to his village and friends. He left the lodge
followed by the Red Head, and walked until he came upon the beach of
the island, near the spot where they had first landed. Red Head
entreated him to remain. He pressed him by every motive which he thought
might have weight, but they were all rejected. During this conference
they had seated themselves upon the ground, and Red Head, in great
affliction, reclined his head upon his fancied wife's lap. This was the
opportunity ardently sought for, and it was improved to the best
advantage. Every means was taken to lull him to sleep, and partly by a
soothing manner, and partly by a seeming compliance with his request,
the object was at last attained. Red Head fell into a sound sleep. Our
aspirant, for the glory of a brave man, then drew his blade of grass,
and drawing it once across the neck of the Red Head completely severed
the head from the body.

He immediately stripped off his dress, seized the bleeding head, and
plunging into the lake, swam safely over to the main shore. He had
scarcely reached it, when looking back he saw amid the darkness, the
torches of persons come out in search of the new-married couple. He
listened till they had found the headless body, and he heard their
piercing shrieks of sorrow, as he took his way to the lodge of his kind

She received him with rejoicing. She admired his prudence, and told him
his bravery could never be questioned again. Lifting up the head, she
said he need only have brought the scalp. She cut off a small piece for
herself, and told him he might now return with the head, which would be
evidence of an achievement that would cause the Indians to respect him.
In your way home, she said, you will meet with but one difficulty.
MAUNKAH KEESH WOCCAUNG, or the Spirit of the Earth, requires an offering
from those who perform extraordinary achievements. As you walk along in
a prairie, there will be an earthquake. The earth will open and divide
the prairie in the middle. Take this partridge and throw it into the
opening, and instantly spring over it. All this happened precisely as it
had been foretold. He cast the partridge into the crevice and leapt over
it. He then proceeded without obstruction to a place near his village,
where he secreted his trophy. On entering the village he found his
parents had returned from the place of their spring encampment, and were
in great sorrow for their son, whom they supposed to be lost. One and
another of the young men had presented themselves to the disconsolate
parents, and said, "Look up, I am your son." Having been often deceived
in this manner, when their own son actually presented himself, they sat
with their heads down, and with their eyes nearly blinded with weeping.
It was some time before they could be prevailed upon to bestow a glance
upon him. It was still longer before they recognised him for their son;
when he recounted his adventures they believed him mad. The young men
laughed at him. He left the lodge and soon returned with his trophy. It
was soon recognised. All doubts of the reality of his adventures now
vanished. He was greeted with joy and placed among the first warriors of
the nation. He finally became a chief, and his family were ever after
respected and esteemed.





Leelinau was the favourite daughter of an able hunter who lived near the
base of the lofty highlands called Kaug Wudjoo, on the shore of Lake
Superior. From her earliest youth she was observed to be pensive and
timid, and to spend much of her time in solitude and fasting. Whenever
she could leave her father's lodge she would fly to remote haunts and
recesses in the woods, or sit upon some high promontory of rock
overlooking the lake. In such places she was supposed to invoke her
guardian spirit. But amid all the sylvan haunts, so numerous in a highly
picturesque section of country, none had so great attractions for her
mind as a forest of pines, on the open shore, called Manitowok, or the
Sacred Grove. It was one of those consecrated places which are supposed
to be the residence of the PUK WUDJ ININEE, or little wild men of the
woods, and MISHEN IMOKINAKOG, or turtle-spirits, two classes of minor
spirits or fairies who love romantic scenes. Owing to this notion, it
was seldom visited by Indians, who attribute to these imaginary beings a
mischievous agency. And whenever they were compelled by stress of
weather to make a landing on this part of the coast, they never failed
to leave an offering of tobacco, or some other article.

To this fearful spot Leelinau had made her way at an early age,
gathering strange flowers or plants, which she would bring home to her
parents, and relate to them all the little incidents that had occurred
in her rambles. Although they discountenanced her visits to the place,
they were unable to restrain them, for they did not wish to lay any
violent commands upon her. Her attachment to the spot, therefore,
increased with her age. If she wished to propitiate her spirits to
procure pleasant dreams, or any other favour, she repaired to the
Manitowok. If her father remained out later than usual, and it was
feared he had been overwhelmed by the tempest, or met with some other
accident, she offered up her prayers at the Manitowok. It was there that
she fasted, supplicated, and strolled. And she spent so much of her
time there, that her parents began to suspect some bad spirit had
enticed her to its haunts, and thrown a charm around her which she was
unable to resist. This conjecture was confirmed by her mother (who had
secretly followed her) overhearing her repeat sentiments like these.

     Spirit of the dancing leaves
     Hear a throbbing heart that grieves,
     Not for joys this world can give,
     But the life that spirits live:
     Spirit of the foaming billow,
     Visit thou my nightly pillow,
     Shedding o'er it silver dreams,
     Of the mountain brooks and streams,
     Sunny glades, and golden hours,
     Such as suit thy buoyant powers:
     Spirit of the starry night,
     Pencil out thy fleecy light,
     That my footprints still may lead
     To the blush-let Miscodeed,[23]
     Or the flower to passion true
     Yielding free its carmine hue:
     Spirit of the morning dawn,
     Waft thy fleecy columns on,
     Snowy white, or tender blue
     Such as brave men love to view.
     Spirit of the green wood plume
     Shed around thy leaf perfume
     Such as spring from buds of gold
     Which thy tiny hands unfold.
     Spirits hither quick repair,
     Hear a maiden's evening prayer.

The effect of these visits was to render the daughter dissatisfied with
the realities of life, and to disqualify her for an active and useful
participation in its duties. She became melancholy and taciturn. She had
permitted her mind to dwell so much on imaginary scenes, that she at
last mistook them for realities, and sighed for an existence
inconsistent with the accidents of mortality. The consequence was, a
disrelish for all the ordinary sources of amusement and employment,
which engaged her equals in years. When the girls of the neighbouring
lodges assembled to play at the favourite game of pappus-e-kowaun,[24]
before the lodge door, Leelinau would sit vacantly by, or enter so
feebly into the spirit of the play, as to show plainly that it was
irksome to her. Again, in the evening, when the youths and girls formed
a social ring around the lodge, and the piepeendjigun[25] passed rapidly
from hand to hand, she either handed it along without attempting to
play, or if she played, it was with no effort to swell her count. Her
parents saw that she was a prey to some secret power, and attempted to
divert her in every way they could. They favoured the attentions paid to
her by a man much her senior in years, but who had the reputation of
great activity, and was the eldest son of a neighbouring chief. But she
could not be persuaded to listen to the proposal. Supposing her aversion
merely the result of natural timidity, her objections were not deemed of
a serious character; and in a state of society where matches are left
very much in the hands of the parents, they proceeded to make the
customary arrangements for the union. The young man was informed,
through his parents, that his offer had been favourably received. The
day was fixed for the marriage visit to the lodge, and the persons who
were to be present were invited. As the favourable expression of the
will of the parents had been explicitly given, and compliance was as
certainly expected, she saw no means of frustrating the object, but by a
firm declaration of her sentiments. She told her parents that she could
never consent to the match, and that her mind was unalterably made up.

It had been her custom to pass many of her hours in her favourite place
of retirement, under a low, broad-topped young pine, whose leaves
whispered in the wind. Thither she now went, and while leaning
pensively against its trunk, she fancied she heard articulate sounds.
Very soon they became more distinct, and appeared to address her.

     Maiden, think me not a tree
     But thine own dear lover free,
     Tall and youthful in my bloom
     With the bright green nodding plume.
     Thou art leaning on my breast,
     Lean for ever there, and rest!
     Fly from man, that bloody race,
     Pards, assassins, bold and base;
     Quit their din, and false parade
     For the quiet lonely shade.
     Leave the windy birchen cot
     For my own, light happy lot,
     O'er thee I my veil will fling.
     Light as beetle's silken wing;
     I will breathe perfume of flowers,
     O'er thy happy evening hours;
     I will in my shell canoe
     Waft thee o'er the waters blue;
     I will deck thy mantle fold,
     With the sun's last rays of gold.
     Come, and on the mountain free
     Rove a fairy bright with me.

Her fancy confirmed all she heard as the words of sober truth. She
needed nothing more to settle her purpose.

On the evening preceding the day fixed for her marriage, she dressed
herself in her best garments. She arranged her hair according to the
fashion of her tribe, and put on the ornaments she possessed. Thus
robed, she assumed an air of unwonted gayety, as she presented herself
before her parents. I am going, said she, to meet my little lover, the
chieftain of the green plume, who is waiting for me at the Spirit Grove;
and her countenance expressed a buoyant delight, which she had seldom
evinced. They were quite pleased with these evidences of restored
cheerfulness, supposing she was going to act some harmless freak. "I am
going," said she, to her mother, as she left the lodge, "from one who
has watched my infancy, and guarded my youth. Who has given me medicine
when I was sick, and prepared me food when I was well. I am going from a
father who has ranged the forest to procure the choicest skins for my
dress, and kept his lodge supplied with the best food of the chase. I am
going from a lodge which has been my shelter from the storms of winter,
and my shield from the heats of summer. Adieu! adieu!" she cried as she
skipped lightly over the plain.

So saying she hastened to the confines of the fairy haunted grove. As it
was her common resort, no alarm was entertained, and the parents
confidently waited her return with the sunset hour. But as she did not
arrive, they began to feel uneasy. Darkness approached, and no daughter
returned. They now lighted torches of pine wood, and proceeded to the
gloomy forest of pines, but were wholly unsuccessful in the search. They
called aloud upon her name, but the echo was their only reply. Next day
the search was renewed, but with no better success. Suns rose and set,
but they rose and set upon a bereaved father and mother, who were never
afterward permitted to behold a daughter whose manners and habits they
had not sufficiently guarded, and whose inclinations they had, in the
end, too violently thwarted.

One night a party of fishermen, who were spearing fish near the Spirit
Grove, descried something resembling a female figure standing on the
shore. As the evening was mild, and the waters calm, they cautiously
paddled their canoe ashore, but the slight ripple of the water excited
alarm. The figure fled, but they recognised, in the shape and dress, as
she ascended the bank, the lost daughter, and they saw the green plumes
of her lover waving over his forehead, as he glided lightly through the
forest of young pines.


[23] Claytonia Virginica.

[24] A game played with sticks and two small blocks on a string by

[25] A game played with a piece of perforated leather and a bone.



There was a time when all the inhabitants of the earth had died,
excepting two helpless children, a baby boy, and a little girl. When
their parents died, these children were asleep. The little girl, who was
the elder, was the first to awake. She looked around her, but seeing
nobody besides her little brother, who lay asleep, she quietly resumed
her bed. At the end of ten days her brother moved without opening his
eyes. At the end of ten days, more he changed his position, lying on the
other side.

The girl soon grew up to woman's estate, but the boy increased in
stature very slowly. It was a long time before he could even creep. When
he was able to walk, his sister made him a little bow and arrows, and
suspended around his neck a small shell, saying, you shall be called
WA-DAIS-AIS-IMID, or He of the Little Shell. Every day he would go out
with his little bow shooting at the small birds. The first bird he
killed was a tomtit. His sister was highly pleased when he took it to
her. She carefully skinned and stuffed it, and put it away for him. The
next day he killed a red squirrel. His sister preserved this too. The
third day he killed a partridge (Peéna), which she stuffed and set up.
After this, he acquired more courage, and would venture some distance
from home. His skill and success as a hunter daily increased, and he
killed the deer, bear, moose, and other large animals inhabiting the
forest. In fine he became a great hunter.

He had now arrived to maturity of years, but remained a perfect infant
in stature. One day walking about he came to a small lake. It was in the
winter season. He saw a man on the ice killing beavers. He appeared to
be a giant. Comparing himself to this great man he appeared no bigger
than an insect. He seated himself on the shore, and watched his
movements. When the large man had killed many beavers, he put them on a
hand sled, which he had, and pursued his way home. When he saw him
retire, he followed him, and wielding his magic shell, cut off the tail
of one of the beavers, and ran home with his trophy. When the tall
stranger reached his lodge, with his sled load of beavers, he was
surprised to find the tail of one of them gone, for he had not observed
the movements of the little hero of the shell.

The next day WA-DAIS-AIS-IMID, went to the same lake. The man had
already fixed his load of beavers on his _odaw´bon_ or sled, and
commenced his return. But he nimbly ran forward, and overtaking him,
succeeded, by the same means, in securing another of the beaver's tails.
When the man saw that he had lost another of this most esteemed part of
the animal, he was very angry. I wonder, said he, what dog it is, that
has thus cheated me. Could I meet him, I would make his flesh quiver at
the point of my lance. Next day he pursued his hunting at the beaver dam
near the lake, and was followed again by the little man of the shell. On
this occasion the hunter had used so much expedition, that he had
accomplished his object, and nearly reached his home, before our tiny
hero could overtake him. He nimbly drew his shell and cut off another
beaver's tail. In all these pranks, he availed himself of his power of
invisibility, and thus escaped observation. When the man saw that the
trick had been so often repeated, his anger was greater than ever. He
gave vent to his feelings in words. He looked carefully around to see
whether he could discover any tracks. But he could find none. His
unknown visiter had stepped so lightly as to leave no track.

Next day he resolved to disappoint him by going to his beaver pond very
early. When WA-DAIS-AIS-IMID reached the place, he found the fresh
traces of his work, but he had already returned. He followed his tracks,
but failed to overtake him. When he came in sight of the lodge the
stranger was in front of it, employed in skinning his beavers. As he
stood looking at him, he thought, I will let him see me. Presently the
man, who proved to be no less a personage than Manabozho, looked up and
saw him. After regarding him with attention, "who are you, little man,"
said Manabozho. "I have a mind to kill you." The little hero of the
shell replied, "If you were to try to kill me you could not do it."

When he returned home he told his sister that they must separate. "I
must go away," said he, "it is my fate. You too," he added, "must go
away soon. Tell me where you would wish to dwell." She said, "I would
like to go to the place of the breaking of daylight. I have always loved
the east. The earliest glimpses of light are from that quarter, and it
is, to my mind, the most beautiful part of the heavens. After I get
there, my brother, whenever you see the clouds in that direction of
various colours, you may think that your sister is painting her face."

"And I," said he, "my sister, shall live on the mountains and rocks.
There I can see you at the earliest hour, and there the streams of water
are clear, and the air pure. And I shall ever be called PUCK WUDJ
ININEE, or the little wild man of the mountains."

"But," he resumed, "before we part for ever, I must go and try to find
some Manitoes." He left her and travelled over the surface of the globe,
and then went far down into the earth. He had been treated well wherever
he went. At last he found a giant Manito, who had a large kettle, which
was for ever boiling. The giant regarded him with a stern look, and then
took him up in his hand, and threw him unceremoniously into the kettle.
But by the protection of his personal spirit, he was shielded from harm,
and with much ado got out of it and escaped. He returned to his sister,
and related his rovings and misadventures. He finished his story by
addressing her thus: "My sister, there is a Manito, at each of the four
corners of the earth.[26] There is also one above them, far in the sky,
and last," continued he, "there is another, and wicked one, who lives
deep down in the earth. We must now separate. When the winds blow from
the four corners of the earth you must then go. They will carry you to
the place you wish. I go to the rocks and mountains, where my kindred
will ever delight to dwell." He then took his ball stick, and commenced
running up a high mountain, whooping as he went. Presently the winds
blew, and as he predicted, his sister was borne by them to the eastern
sky, where she has ever since been, and her name is the Morning Star.

     Blow, winds, blow! my sister lingers
       For her dwelling in the sky,
     Where the morn, with rosy fingers,
       Shall her cheeks, with vermil dye.

     There, my earliest views directed,
       Shall from her their colour take,
     And her smiles, through clouds reflected,
       Guide me on, by wood or lake.

     While I range the highest mountains,
       Sport in valleys green and low,
     Or beside our Indian fountains
       Raise my tiny hip holla.


[26] The opinion that the earth is a square and level plain, and that
the winds blow from its four corners, is a very ancient eastern opinion.




In an early age of the world, when there were fewer inhabitants than
there now are, there lived an Indian, in a remote place, who had a wife
and two children. They seldom saw any one out of the circle of their own
lodge. Animals were abundant in so secluded a situation, and the man
found no difficulty in supplying his family with food.

In this way they lived in peace and happiness, which might have
continued if the hunter had not found cause to suspect his wife. She
secretly cherished an attachment for a young man whom she accidentally
met one day in the woods. She even planned the death of her husband for
his sake, for she knew if she did not kill her husband, her husband, the
moment he detected her crime, would kill her.

The husband, however, eluded her project by his readiness and decision.
He narrowly watched her movements. One day he secretly followed her
footsteps into the forest, and having concealed himself behind a tree,
he soon beheld a tall young man approach and lead away his wife. His
arrows were in his hands, but he did not use them. He thought he would
kill her the moment she returned.

Meantime, he went home and sat down to think. At last he came to the
determination of quitting her for ever, thinking that her own conscience
would punish her sufficiently, and relying on her maternal feelings to
take care of the two children, who were boys, he immediately took up his
arms and departed.

When the wife returned she was disappointed in not finding her husband,
for she had now concerted her plan, and intended to have despatched him.
She waited several days, thinking he might have been led away by the
chase, but finding he did not return, she suspected the true cause.
Leaving her two children in the lodge, she told them she was going a
short distance and would return. She then fled to her paramour and came
back no more.

The children thus abandoned, soon made way with the food left in the
lodge, and were compelled to quit it in search of more. The eldest boy,
who was of an intrepid temper, was strongly attached to his brother,
frequently carrying him when he became weary, and gathering all the wild
fruit he saw. They wandered deeper and deeper into the forest, losing
all traces of their former habitation, until they were completely lost
in its mazes.

The eldest boy had a knife, with which he made a bow and arrows, and was
thus enabled to kill a few birds for himself and brother. In this manner
they continued to pass on, from one piece of forest to another, not
knowing whither they were going. At length they saw an opening through
the woods, and were shortly afterward delighted to find themselves on
the borders of a large lake. Here the elder brother busied himself in
picking the seed pods of the wild rose, which he preserved as food. In
the meantime, the younger brother amused himself by shooting arrows in
the sand, one of which happened to fall into the lake. PANIGWUN,[27] the
elder brother, not willing to lose the arrow, waded in the water to
reach it. Just as he was about to grasp the arrow, a canoe passed up to
him with great rapidity. An old man, sitting in the centre, seized the
affrighted youth and placed him in the canoe. In vain the boy addressed
him--"My grandfather, (a term of respect for old people,) pray take my
little brother also. Alone, I cannot go with you; he will starve if I
leave him." Mishosha, (the old man,) only laughed at him. Then uttering
the charm, CHEMAUN POLL, and giving his canoe a slap, it glided through
the water with inconceivable swiftness. In a few moments they reached
the habitation of the magician, standing on an island in the centre of
the lake. Here he lived with his two daughters, who managed the affairs
of his household. Leading the young man up to the lodge, he addressed
his eldest daughter. "Here," said he, "my daughter, I have brought a
young man to be your husband." Husband! thought the young woman; rather
another victim of your bad arts, and your insatiate enmity to the human
race. But she made no reply, seeming thereby to acquiesce in her
father's will.

The young man thought he saw surprise depicted in the eyes of the
daughter, during the scene of this introduction, and determined to watch
events narrowly. In the evening he overheard the two daughters in
conversation. "There," said the eldest daughter, "I told you he would
not be satisfied with his last sacrifice. He has brought another victim,
under the pretence of providing me a husband. Husband, indeed! the poor
youth will be in some horrible predicament before another sun has set.
When shall we be spared the scenes of vice and wickedness which are
daily taking place before our eyes."

Panigwun took the first opportunity of acquainting the daughters how he
had been carried off, and been compelled to leave his little brother on
the shore. They told him to wait until their father was asleep, then to
get up and take his canoe, and using the charm he had obtained, it would
carry him quickly to his brother. That he could carry him food, prepare
a lodge for him, and be back before daybreak. He did, in every respect,
as he had been directed--the canoe obeyed the charm, and carried him
safely over, and after providing for the subsistence of his brother,
told him that in a short time he should come for him. Then returning to
the enchanted island, he resumed his place in the lodge, before the
magician awoke. Once, during the night, Mishosha awoke, and not seeing
his destined son-in-law, asked his daughter what had become of him. She
replied that he had merely stepped out, and would be back soon. This
satisfied him. In the morning, finding the young man in the lodge, his
suspicions were completely lulled. "I see, my daughter," said he, "you
have told the truth."

As soon as the sun arose, Mishosha thus addressed the young man. "Come,
my son, I have a mind to gather gulls' eggs. I know an island where
there are great quantities, and I wish your aid in getting them." The
young man saw no reasonable excuse; and getting into the canoe, the
magician gave it a slap, and uttering a command, they were in an instant
at the island. They found the shores strown with gulls' eggs, and the
island full of birds of this species. "Go, my son," said the old man,
"and gather the eggs, while I remain in the canoe."

But Panigwun had no sooner got ashore, than Mishosha pushed his canoe a
little from the land, and exclaimed--"Listen, ye gulls! you have long
expected an offering from me. I now give you a victim. Fly down and
devour him." Then striking his canoe, he left the young man to his fate.

The birds immediately came in clouds around their victim, darkening the
air with their numbers. But the youth seizing the first that came near
him, and drawing his knife, cut off its head. He immediately skinned the
bird, and hung the feathers as a trophy on his breast. "Thus," he
exclaimed, "will I treat every one of you who approaches me. Forbear,
therefore, and listen to my words. It is not for you to eat human flesh.
You have been given by the Great Spirit as food for man. Neither is it
in the power of that old magician to do you any good. Take me on your
backs and carry me to his lodge, and you shall see that I am not
ungrateful." The gulls obeyed; collecting in a cloud for him to rest
upon, and quickly flew to the lodge, where they arrived before the
magician. The daughters were surprised at his return, but Mishosha, on
entering the lodge, conducted himself as if nothing extraordinary had
taken place.

The next day he again addressed the youth:--"Come, my son," said he, "I
will take you to an island covered with the most beautiful stones and
pebbles, looking like silver. I wish you to assist me in gathering some
of them. They will make handsome ornaments, and possess great medicinal
virtues." Entering the canoe, the magician made use of his charm, and
they were carried in a few moments to a solitary bay in an island, where
there was a smooth sandy beach. The young man went ashore as usual, and
began to search. "A little farther, a little farther," cried the old
man. "Upon that rock you will get some fine ones." Then pushing his
canoe from land--"Come, thou great king of fishes," cried the old man;
"you have long expected an offering from me. Come, and eat the stranger
whom I have just put ashore on your island." So saying, he commanded his
canoe to return, and it was soon out of sight.

Immediately, a monstrous fish thrust his long snout from the water,
crawling partially on the beach, and opening wide his jaws to receive
his victim. "When!" exclaimed the young man, drawing his knife and
putting himself in a threatening attitude, "when did you ever taste
human flesh? Have a care of yourself. You were given by the Great Spirit
to man, and if you, or any of your tribe eat human flesh, you will fall
sick and die. Listen not to the words of that wicked man, but carry me
back to his island, in return for which I will present you a piece of
red cloth." The fish complied, raising his back out of the water, to
allow the young man to get on. Then taking his way through the lake, he
landed his charge safely on the island before the return of the
magician. The daughters were still more surprised to see that he had
escaped the arts of their father the second time. But the old man on his
return maintained his taciturnity and self-composure. He could not,
however, help saying to himself--"What manner of boy is this, who is
ever escaping from my power. But his spirit shall not save him. I will
entrap him to-morrow. Ha, ha, ha!"

Next day the magician addressed the young man as follows: "Come, my
son," said he, "you must go with me to procure some young eagles. I wish
to tame them. I have discovered an island where they are in great
abundance." When they had reached the island, Mishosha led him inland
until they came to the foot of a tall pine, upon which the nests were.
"Now, my son," said he, "climb up this tree and bring down the birds."
The young man obeyed. When he had with great difficulty got near the
nest, "Now," exclaimed the magician, addressing the tree, "stretch
yourself up and be very tall." The tree rose up at the command. "Listen,
ye eagles," continued the old man, "you have long expected a gift from
me. I now present you this boy, who has had the presumption to molest
your young. Stretch forth your claws and seize him." So saying he left
the young man to his fate, and returned.

But the intrepid youth drawing his knife, and cutting off the head of
the first eagle that menaced him, raised his voice and exclaimed, "Thus
will I deal with all who come near me. What right have you, ye ravenous
birds, who were made to feed on beasts, to eat human flesh? Is it
because that cowardly old canoe-man has bid you do so? He is an old
woman. He can neither do you good nor harm. See, I have already slain
one of your number. Respect my bravery, and carry me back that I may
show you how I shall treat you."

The eagles, pleased with his spirit, assented, and clustering thick
around him formed a seat with their backs, and flew toward the enchanted
island. As they crossed the water they passed over the magician, lying
half asleep in his canoe.

The return of the young man was hailed with joy by the daughters, who
now plainly saw that he was under the guidance of a strong spirit. But
the ire of the old man was excited, although he kept his temper under
subjection. He taxed his wits for some new mode of ridding himself of
the youth, who had so successfully baffled his skill. He next invited
him to go a hunting.

Taking his canoe, they proceeded to an island and built a lodge to
shelter themselves during the night. In the mean while the magician
caused a deep fall of snow, with a storm of wind and severe cold.
According to custom, the young man pulled off his moccasins and leggings
and hung them before the fire to dry. After he had gone to sleep the
magician, watching his opportunity, got up, and taking one moccasin and
one legging, threw them into the fire. He then went to sleep. In the
morning, stretching himself as he arose and uttering an exclamation of
surprise, "My son," said he, "what has become of your moccasin and
legging? I believe this is the moon in which fire attracts, and I fear
they have been drawn in." The young man suspected the true cause of his
loss, and rightly attributed it to a design of the magician to freeze
him to death on the march. But he maintained the strictest silence, and
drawing his conaus over his head thus communed with himself: "I have
full faith in the Manito who has preserved me thus far, I do not fear
that he will forsake me in this cruel and emergency. Great is his power,
and I invoke it now that he may enable me to prevail over this wicked
enemy of mankind."

He then drew on the remaining moccasin and legging, and taking a dead
coal from the fireplace, invoked his spirit to give it efficacy, and
blackened his foot and leg as far as the lost garment usually reached.
He then got up and announced himself ready for the march. In vain
Mishosha led him through snows and over morasses, hoping to see the lad
sink at every moment. But in this he was disappointed, and for the first
time they returned home together.

Taking courage from this success, the young man now determined to try
his own power, having previously consulted with the daughters. They all
agreed that the life the old man led was detestable, and that whoever
would rid the world of him, would entitle himself to the thanks of the
human race.

On the following day the young man thus addressed his hoary captor. "My
grandfather, I have often gone with you on perilous excursions and
never murmured. I must now request that you will accompany me. I wish to
visit my little brother, and to bring him home with me." They
accordingly went on a visit to the main land, and found the little lad
in the spot where he had been left. After taking him into the canoe, the
young man again addressed the magician: "My grandfather, will you go and
cut me a few of those red willows on the bank, I wish to prepare some
smoking mixture." "Certainly, my son," replied the old man, "what you
wish is not very hard. Ha, ha, ha! do you think me too old to get up
there?" No sooner was Mishosha ashore, than the young man, placing
himself in the proper position struck the canoe with his hand, and
pronouncing the charm, N'CHIMAUN Poll, the canoe immediately flew
through the water on its return to the island. It was evening when the
two brothers arrived, and carried the canoe ashore. But the elder
daughter informed the young man that unless he sat up and watched the
canoe, and kept his hand upon it, such was the power of their father, it
would slip off and return to him. Panigwun watched faithfully till near
the dawn of day, when he could no longer resist the drowsiness which
oppressed him, and he fell into a short doze. In the meantime the canoe
slipped off and sought its master, who soon returned in high glee. "Ha,
ha, ha! my son," said he; "you thought to play me a trick. It was very
clever. But you see I am too old for you."

A short time after, the youth again addressed the magician. "My
grandfather, I wish to try my skill in hunting. It is said there is
plenty of game on an island not far off, and I have to request that you
will take me there in your canoe." They accordingly went to the island
and spent the day in hunting. Night coming on they put up a temporary
lodge. When the magician had sunk into a profound sleep, the young man
got up, and taking one of Mishosha's leggings and moccasins from the
place where they hung, threw them into the fire, thus retaliating the
artifice before played upon himself. He had discovered that the foot and
leg were the only vulnerable parts of the magician's body. Having
committed these articles to the fire, he besought his Manito that he
would raise a great storm of snow, wind, and hail, and then laid himself
down beside the old man. Consternation was depicted on the countenance
of the latter, when he awoke in the morning and found his moccasin and
legging missing. "I believe, my grandfather," said the young man, "that
this is the moon in which fire attracts, and I fear your foot and leg
garments have been drawn in." Then rising and bidding the old man
follow him, he began the morning's hunt, frequently turning to see how
Mishosha kept up. He saw him faltering at every step, and almost
benumbed with cold, but encouraged him to follow, saying, we shall soon
get through and reach the shore; although he took pains, at the same
time, to lead him in roundabout ways, so as to let the frost take
complete effect. At length the old man reached the brink of the island
where the woods are succeeded by a border of smooth sand. But he could
go no farther; his legs became stiff and refused motion, and he found
himself fixed to the spot. But he still kept stretching out his arms and
swinging his body to and fro. Every moment he found the numbness
creeping higher. He felt his legs growing downward like roots, the
feathers of his head turned to leaves, and in a few seconds he stood a
tall and stiff sycamore, leaning toward the water.

Panigwun leaped into the canoe, and pronouncing the charm, was soon
transported to the island, where he related his victory to the
daughters. They applauded the deed, agreed to put on mortal shapes,
become wives to the two young men, and for ever quit the enchanted
island. And passing immediately over to the main land, they lived lives
of happiness and peace.


[27] The end wing feather.



Once there lived in a lonely forest, a man and his wife, who had a son.
The father went out every day, according to the custom of the Indians,
to hunt for food, to support his family. One day while he was absent,
his wife, on going out of the lodge, looked toward the lake that was
near, and saw a very large man walking on the water, and coming fast
toward the lodge. He had already advanced so near that flight was
useless. She thought to herself, what shall I say to the monster that
will please him. As he came near, she ran in, and taking the hand of her
son, a boy of three or four years old, led him out. Speaking very loud,
"See, my son," said she, "your grandfather," and then added in a
conciliatory tone, "he will have pity on us." The giant advanced, and
said sneeringly, "Yes, my son." And then addressing the woman said,
"Have you anything to eat." Fortunately the lodge was filled with meal
of various kinds. The woman thought to please him by handing him some
cooked meat, but he pushed it away in a dissatisfied manner, and took up
the raw carcass of a deer, which he _glutted_ up, sucking the bones, and
drinking the blood.

When the hunter came home, he was surprised to see the monster, for he
looked very frightful. He had again brought home the whole carcass of a
deer, which he had no sooner put down than the cannibal seized it, tore
it to pieces, and devoured it, as if it had been a mere mouthful. The
hunter looked at him with fear and astonishment, telling his wife that
he was afraid for their lives, as this monster was one whom Indians call
Weendigo. He did not even dare to speak to him, nor did the cannibal say
a word, but as soon as he had finished his meal, he laid himself down
and fell asleep.

Early next morning he told the hunter that he should also go out
hunting, and they went together. Toward evening they returned, the man
bringing a deer, but the Weendigo brought home the bodies of two
Indians, whom he had killed. He very composedly sat down and commenced
tearing the limbs apart, breaking the bones with his teeth, and
despatching them as easily as if they had been soft pieces of flesh. He
was not even satisfied with that, but again took up the deer which the
hunter had brought, to finish his supper, while the hunter and his
family had to live on their dried meat.

In this manner the hunter and the Weendigo lived for some time, and it
is remarkable that the monster never made an attempt on their lives,
although the ground outside the lodge was white with the human bones he
had cast out. He was always still and gloomy, and seldom spake to them.
One evening he told the hunter that the time had now arrived for him to
take his leave, but before doing so he would give him a charm, that
would always make him successful in killing moose. This charm consisted
of two arrows, and after giving them to the hunter he thanked him and
his wife for their kindness, and departed, saying that he had all the
world to travel over.

The hunter and his wife felt happy when freed from his presence, for
they had expected, at every moment, to have been devoured by him. He
tried the virtues of his arrows, and never failed to be successful in
their use. They had lived in this manner for a year, when a great evil
befell them. The hunter was absent one day when his wife, on going out
of the lodge, saw something like a black cloud approaching. She looked
till it came near, when she perceived that it was another Weendigo. She
apprehended no danger, thinking he would treat them as the first one had
done. In this she was wholly mistaken. Unluckily they had but a small
portion of moose meat in the lodge. The Weendigo looked around for
something to eat, and being disappointed he took the lodge and threw it
to the winds. He hardly seemed to notice the woman, for she was but a
morsel for him. However, he grasped her by the waist. Her cries and
entreaties, with those of her son, had no effect--the monster tore out
her entrails, and taking her body at one mouthful, started off without
noticing the boy, probably thinking it was not worth his while to take
half a mouthful.

When the hunter returned from the forest, he did not know what to think.
His lodge was gone, and he saw his son sitting near the spot where it
had stood, shedding tears. On a nearer approach he saw a few remains of
his wife, and his son related all the circumstances of her death. The
man blackened his face and vowed in his heart he would have revenge. He
built another lodge, and collecting the remains of his wife, placed
them in the hollow part of a dry tree. He left his boy to take care of
the lodge while he was absent, hunting, and would roam about from place
to place, trying to forget his misfortune. He made a bow and arrows for
his son, and did every thing in his power to please him.

One day, while he was absent, his son shot his arrows out, through the
top of the lodge, but when he went out to look for them he could not
find them. His father made him some more, and when he was again left
alone, he shot one of them out, but although he paid particular
attention to the spot where it fell, he could not find it. He shot
another, and immediately ran out of the lodge to see where it fell. He
was surprised to see a beautiful boy, just in the act of taking it up,
and running with it toward a large tree, where he disappeared. He
followed, and having come to the tree, he beheld the face of the boy,
looking out through an opening in the hollow part. Nha-ha[29] (oh dear,)
he said, my friend, come out and play with me. And he urged him till he
consented. They played and shot their arrows by turns. Suddenly the
younger boy said, "your father is coming. We must stop. Promise me that
you will not tell him." The elder promised, and the other disappeared in
the tree. The elder boy then went home, and when his father returned
from the chase, sat demurely by the fire. In the course of the evening
he asked his father to make him a new bow. To an inquiry of his father
as to the use he meant to make of two bows, he replied, that one might
break, or get lost; he then consented. Next day, after his father had
gone, he went to his friend, and invited him to come out and play, and
at the same lime presented him the new bow. They went and played in the
lodge together, and raised the ashes all over it. Suddenly again the
youngest said, "your father is coming, I must leave." He again exacted a
promise of secrecy, and went back to his tree. The eldest took his seat
near the fire. When the hunter came in, he was surprised to see the
ashes scattered about. "Why, my son," said he, "you must have played
very hard to day, to raise such a dust, all alone." "Yes," said the boy,
"I was lonesome, and ran round and round--_that_ is the cause of it."

Next day the hunter made ready for the chase as usual. The boy said,
"Father, try and hunt all day, and see what you can kill." As soon as he
had gone, the boy called his friend, and they played and chased each
other round the lodge. The man was returning and came to a rising piece
of ground, when he heard his son laughing and making a noise, but the
sounds appeared as if they arose from _two_ persons playing. At the same
instant the young boy of the tree stopped, and after saying, "your
father is coming," ran off to the tree, which stood near the lodge. The
hunter, on entering found his son sitting near the fire, very quiet, but
he was much surprised to see all the articles of the lodge lying in
various directions. "Why, my son," said he, "you must play _very_ hard,
every day, and what do you do, all alone to throw about all our things
in this manner, and cause the ashes to spread about the lodge." The boy
again made excuse. "Father," said he, "I play in _this_ manner--I chase
and drag my coat around the lodge, and that is the reason you see ashes
spread about." The hunter was not satisfied until he saw his son play
with the coat, which he did so adroitly as to deceive him. Next day the
boy repeated his request that the father would be absent all day, and
see if he could not kill _two_ deer. He thought it strange for his son
to make such a request, and rather suspected something. He, however,
went into the forest, and when out of sight, his son went for his young
companion to the tree, and they resumed their sports. The father, on
coming home at evening, when he reached the rising ground, which almost
overlooked the lodge, heard again the sounds of laughing and playing,
and could not be mistaken; he was now certain there were two voices. The
boy from the tree had barely time to escape, when he entered and found
his son, sitting as usual, near the fire. When he was seated and cast
his eyes around, he saw the lodge was in worse confusion than before.
"My son," said he, "you must be very foolish, when alone, to play so.
But tell me--I heard two voices I am certain," and he looked closely on
the prints of the footsteps in the ashes. "True," he said, "here is the
print of a foot that is smaller than my son's," which satisfied him that
his suspicions were well founded, and that some very young person had
played with his son. The boy, at this time, thought best to tell his
father all that had been done. "Why, father," said he, "I found a boy in
the hollow of the tree, near the lodge, where you put my mother's
bones." Strange thoughts came over the man; he thought that this little
boy might have been created from the remains of his deceased wife. But
as Indians are generally fearful of disturbing the dead, he did not dare
to go near the place where he had placed her remains. He thought best to
tell his son, and make him promise, that he would entice his friend to a
dead tree, that was near their lodge, by telling him that they could
kill many flying squirrels by setting fire to it. He said he would
conceal himself near by, and take the boy. Next day the hunter went into
the woods, and his son went and insisted on his friend's going with him
to kill the squirrels. He objected that his father was near, but was, at
length, persuaded to go, and, after they had set fire to the tree, and
while they were busy in killing the squirrels, the father suddenly made
his appearance and clasped the boy in his arms. He cried out, Kago!
Kago! (don't, don't) you will tear my clothes--which appeared to have
been made of a fine transparent skin. The father tried to reassure him
by every means in his power. By long-continued kindness, he, at last,
succeeded, and the boy was reconciled to his new situation; but it was
owing principally to the society of his friend. The father now knew that
it was the Great Spirit who had thus miraculously raised him a son from
the remains of his wife; and he felt persuaded that the boy would, in
time, become a great man, and aid him in his revenge on the Weendigoes.

The hunter was now more reconciled to the loss of his wife, and spent as
much time as he could spare from the chase, in attending to his sons.
But what was very remarkable, both his sons retained their low stature,
although they were well formed and beautiful.

One day he advised his sons not to go near a certain lake, which, he
said, was inhabited by foul birds, who were vicious and dangerous. In
the course of one of their rambles, the boys had wandered near it, and
they came out and stood on its banks. They saw, on one side, a mountain,
rising precipitously from the water, and reaching apparently to the sky.
They stood and looked for some time with astonishment at the sight. The
youngest spoke and said, "I see no harm in climbing the rock to see what
is to be discovered on its top." They ascended, and had got up, with
difficulty, half way, when the rumbling noise of thunder was heard, and
lightning began to play near them. But they were undaunted, and reached
the top, where they beheld an enormous bird's nest, and in it two very
large young birds. Although they had only the soft down, as yet, on
their bodies, they appeared to be monsters, and when the young men put a
stick near their eyes, which they opened and shut very quick, the
flashes they emitted broke the stick in pieces. They, however, took the
young birds, and with great difficulty reached the lodge with them. When
their father came home, they told him what fine birds they had, and
requested him to tame them, and bring them up as pets, "for," said
they, "when we took them we intended them for you." They told him where
they had procured them, saying, that he need not have given them the
caution respecting the dangers of the lake. The father was now convinced
that both his sons were gifted with supernatural powers. He, however,
advised them not to go near another lake he told them of, which was
inhabited by _Mishe-genabigoes_.[30] When he was again absent, the boys
wandered near that lake, and as they were talking, they heard some one
ordering them away, and telling them not to make so much noise. "Who are
you?" they answered. "I am Mishegenabig," cried the same voice; "and who
are you that dare to disobey me?" The youngest boy told his brother to
sing some magic words, while he went in search of the one who had so
insultingly spoken to them; and while he waded into the water, the other
sang these words:

     O pau neence
     In de go wish
     Se nau bun
     Opunai sun
     Mau moke e sagin.

     _Literal translation._
     Little slave--
     Bad monster--
     I spy him--
     His diminutive liver--
     Peeping out (as a mushroom
     suddenly shooting out of the ground, or a thing appearing from
     beneath the water, and applied generally to a person, or noun
     animate, unexpectedly appearing as a mushroom, &c.)

He continued singing as he was directed, and he soon saw pieces of liver
floating on the water. Soon after his brother returned from under the
water with a mishegenabig, whom he dragged by his horns. "Brother," said
he, "this is the one who was so insolent to us. We will now go home and
make a pet of him." When they reached home they told their father that
they had brought him another pet. Their father was thoughtful. He was
surprised to see his son overcome all manner of monsters; he, however,
kept silent, and rejoiced in spirit to think that his sons were so
fortunate in commencing life.

One day, after musing for a long time, he told his sons that his time
was come, and that he should have to follow his forefathers to the land
of the west. "But," he continued, "before I leave this earth, my sons,
listen to my advice." He proceeded to speak to them, and when he had
done, the youngest said, "Father, you must remember the Weendigoes, and
the misery they brought on you. You will now leave earth, with your two
feathered favourites; but first we will feed them with the flesh of the
mishegenabig." They did so, and their father departed amid thunder and
lightnings, for the two birds were the offspring of thunder. He fixed
his residence as directed by the Great Manito in the sky toward the
north, and he retains his name to the present day, which is, The Thunder
commencing in the north, and going south.[31]

       *       *       *       *       *

[This story exhibits the mind of the Saginaws in a characteristic light.
This tribe are emphatically the Seminoles of the North, consisting
originally of individuals who were refugees from the great Odjibwa
family. Their origin, as a distinct band, is comparatively recent,
dating no farther back than the time of the flight of the Sauks from the
district of country which is now, in allusion to them, denominated
Saginaw. The principal town of that adventurous and warlike tribe, was,
and is still, called by the natives SAUKINONG (i. e. Sauk-town), and the
Chippewa refugees who succeeded, took their denomination of Saginaws
from the term. Without farther allusion to their history, it may be
observed, that the Saginaws have never made the least advances in
education or religion. Cruelty, deception, intemperance, and a blind
adherence to the idolatrous customs and superstitions of the nation from
which they sprang, have been their characteristics. Up to this day,
there is not a school, or teacher, or preacher, among them. There is not
one individual of unmixed blood in the tribe, who can read, or has any
pretence to the knowledge of Christianity. Most of their lore is of
murders and thefts committed, or vicious adventures of some sort. They
have been, emphatically, a band of plunderers. They bore a conspicuous
part in the depredations committed on the frontiers of Virginia and
Pennsylvania, during the revolutionary, and Wayne's war. Their late
leader and head chief, KISHKAKO, was a perfect Abællino in purpose, who
spent a long life in iniquities, private and public, and would, at last,
have paid the forfeit of his life on the gallows, had he not committed
suicide in jail.

The tales of this tribe, of which there are three specimens furnished,
partake strongly of the character of the tribe. They have less
originality, less moral, and less adherence to the ancient manners and
customs of the original stock, than any other of the traditionary
fictions yet examined. There is also less purity of language in the
original, and a strong dash of vulgarity, which it has required some
care to keep out of the translation.]


[28] The radix of this word is not apparent. The term is used to signify
cannibal, giant, monster. The plural termination in _es_ is in
accordance with the rule of number in English orthography, applied to
originally foreign substantives ending in _o_, as in potatoes,
mulattoes, &c., and previously applied in relation to Indian words, in
Winnebagoes, Otoes, &c.

[29] This phrase is peculiar to boys and girls, and is sung repeating it
several times.

[30] Monstrous serpents.

[31] Thunder from this part of the heavens is called, by the Indians,
the autumnal thunder. It is the last generally heard for the season, and
they say, speaking of it in the plural, that "they are hollaing on their
way home."




The Racoon searches the margins of streams for shell-fish, where he is
generally sure of finding the AS-SHOG-AISH-I, or crawfish. Indian story
says, that the enmity between these two species, and the consequent
wariness of each for the other, was such, that the poor racoon, with all
his stealthiness, was at last put to great straits for a meal. The
crawfish would no longer venture near the shore, and the racoon was on
the point of starvation. At length he fixed on this expedient to decoy
his enemy.

Knowing the crawfish to feed on worms, he procured a quantity of old
rotten wood (filled with these worms) and stuffing it in his mouth and
ears, and powdering it over his body, he lay down by the water's edge,
to induce the belief that he was dead.

An old crawfish came out warily from the water, and crawled around and
over his apparently deceased enemy. He rejoiced to find an end put to
his murderous career, and cried out to his fellows, "Come up my
brothers and sisters, Aissibun[32] is dead, come up and eat him." When a
great multitude had gathered around, the racoon suddenly sprung up, and
set to killing and devouring them in such a way that not one was left

While he was still engaged with the broken limbs, a little female
crawfish, carrying her infant sister on her back, came up, seeking her
relations. Finding they had all been devoured by the Racoon, she
resolved not to survive the destruction of her kindred, but went boldly
up to the enemy and said, "Here, Aissibun, you behold me and my little
sister. We are all alone. You have eaten up our parents, and all our
friends, eat us too." And she continued plaintively singing her chant.

     Racoon, racoon, monster thin!
     You have murdered all my kin:
     Leave not one to pine alone
     On those shores so late our own.
     You have glutted not a few,
     Stealthy monster, eat us too--
     Let the work be finished soon,
                   Aissibun amoon.[33]

     Here, behold us! linger not,
     Sad and lone is now my lot:
     One poor sister, young and small,
     Now makes up my little all--
     She a baby--faint and weak,
     Who cannot yet "mother" speak--
     Come, you monster, eat us soon,
                      Aissibun amoon.

     Once my people, lodge and band,
     Stretched their numbers through the land;
     Roving brooks and limpid streams,
     By the moon's benignant beams.
     First in revel, dance, and play,
     Now, alas! ah! where are they?
     Clutch us, monster,--eat us soon,
                         Aissibun amoon.

The Racoon felt reproached by this act of courage and magnanimity. "No,"
said he, "I have banqueted on the largest and the fattest,--I will not
dishonour myself by such little prey."

At this moment Manabozho happened to pass by seeing how things were.
"Tyau!" said he to the Racoon, "thou art a thief and an unmerciful dog.
Get thee up into trees, lest I change thee into one of these same
worm-fish, for thou wast thyself originally a shell, and bearest in thy
name the influence of my transforming hand."[34]

He then took up the little supplicant crawfish and her infant sister and
cast them into the stream. "There," said he, "you may dwell. Hide
yourselves under the stones, and hereafter you shall be playthings for
little children."


[32] The Racoon.

[33] Racoon, eat us.

[34] The name of the racoon in the Chippewa language, appears to be a
derivation from _Ais_ a shell, with the inflection for the perfect past
tense (bun) united with the copulative vowel _i_. But no tale of such
transformation as is here alluded to, has been met with.





The vernal equinox in America, north of the 44° of north latitude,
generally takes place while the ground is covered with snow, and winter
still wears a polar aspect. Storms of wind and light drifting snow,
expressively called _poudre_ by the French of the upper Lakes, fill the
atmosphere, and render it impossible to distinguish objects at a short
distance. The fine powdery flakes of snow are driven into the smallest
crannies of buildings and fixtures, and seem to be endowed with a
subtile power of insinuation, which renders northern joinerwork but a
poor defence. It is not uncommon for the sleeper on waking up in the
morning, to find heaps of snow, where he had supposed himself quite
secure on lying down.

Such seasons are, almost invariably, times of scarcity and hunger with
the Indians, for the light snows have buried up the traps of the
hunters, and the fishermen are deterred from exercising their customary
skill in decoying fish through the ice. They are often reduced to the
greatest straits, and compelled to exercise their utmost ingenuity to
keep their children from starving. Abstinence, on the part of the elder
members of the family, is regarded both as a duty and a merit. Every
effort is made to satisfy the importunity of the little ones for food,
and if there be a story-teller in the lodge, he is sure to draw upon his
cabin lore, to amuse their minds, and beguile the time.

In these storms, when each inmate of the lodge has his _conaus_, or
wrapper, tightly drawn around him, and all are cowering around the cabin
fire, should some sudden puff of wind drive a volume of light snow into
the lodge, it would scarcely happen, but that some one of the group
would cry out "Ah, Pauppukeewiss is now gathering his harvest," an
expression which has the effect to put them all into good humour.

Pauppukeewiss, was a crazy brain, who played many queer tricks, but took
care, nevertheless, to supply his family and children with food. But, in
this, he was not always successful. Many winters have passed since he
was overtaken; at this very season of the year, with great want, and
he, with his whole family, was on the point of starvation. Every
resource seemed to have failed. The snow was so deep, and the storm
continued so long, that he could not even find a partridge or a hare.
And his usual resource of fish had entirely failed. His lodge stood in a
point of woods, not far back from the shores of the Gitchiguma, or great
water, where the autumnal storms had piled up the ice into high
pinnacles, resembling castles.

"I will go," said he to his family one morning, "to these castles, and
solicit the pity of the spirits, who inhabit them, for I know that they
are the residence of some of the spirits of Kabiboonoka." He did so, and
found that his petition was not disregarded. They told him to fill his
mushkemoots, or sacks, with the ice and snow, and pass on toward his
lodge, without looking back, until he came to a certain hill. He must
then drop his sacks, and leave them till morning, when he would find
them filled with fish.

They cautioned him, that he must by no means look back, although he
would hear a great many voices crying out to him, in abusive terms, for
these voices were nothing but the wind playing through the branches of
the trees. He faithfully obeyed the injunction, although he found it
hard to avoid turning round, to see who was calling out to him. And
when he visited his sacks in the morning, he found them filled with

It chanced that Manabozho visited him on the morning that he brought
home the sacks of fish. He was invited to partake of a feast, which
Pauppukeewiss ordered to be prepared for him. While they were eating,
Manabozho could not help asking him, by what means he had procured such
an abundance of food, at a time when they were all in a state of

Pauppukeewiss frankly told him the secret, and repeated the precautions
which were necessary to ensure success. Manabozho determined to profit
by his information, and as soon as he could, he set out to visit the icy
castles. All things happened as he had been told. The spirits seemed
propitious, and told him to fill and carry. He accordingly filled his
sacks with ice and snow, and proceeded rapidly toward the hill of
transmutation. But as he ran he heard voices calling out behind him,
"thief!" "thief! He has stolen fish from Kabiboonoka," cried one.
"Mukumik! mukumik! Take it away! Take it away!" cried another.

In fine his ears were so assailed by all manner of opprobrious terms,
that he could not avoid turning his head, to see who it was that thus
abused him. But his curiosity dissolved the charm. When he came to
visit his bags next morning, he found them filled with ice and snow.

In consequence, he is condemned every year, during the month of March,
to run over the hills, with Pauppukeewiss following him, with the cries
of mukumik! mukumik!

       *       *       *       *       *

[NOTE. This trick seems put, with allegoric justice, on Manabozho, on
account of his vain-glorious boasting, and imitation of others; for
there was nothing done by any one, which he did not deem himself
adequate to, and immediately set about to perform. Story-tellers say, he
was once rebuked for this spirit, by a little child, who picking up his
foot put his great toe in his mouth, which Manabozho tried, but could
not do. The Odjibwas apply the term PEEWUN to the kind of finely
granulated snow-storm, above alluded to.]




[The following story is related by the Odjibwas, as semi-traditionary.
Without attaching importance to it, in that light, it may be regarded as
indicating Indian opinion on the temporary suspension of nervous action
in trance, and on the (to them) great unknown void of a future state.
The individual, whose name it bears, is vouched to have been an actual
personage living on the shores of Lake Superior, where he exercised the
authority of a village chief.

In former times, it is averred, the Chippewas followed the custom of
interring many articles with the dead, including, if the deceased was a
male, his gun, trap, pipe, kettle, war club, clothes, wampum, ornaments,
and even a portion of food. This practice has been gradually falling
into disuse, until at present, it is rare to see the Indians deposit
any articles of value with adults. What effect tales like the following
may have had, in bringing this ancient pagan custom into discredit, we
will not undertake to decide. Much of the change of opinion which has
supervened, within the last century, may be fairly attributable to the
intercourse of the Indians with white men, and in some situations, to
the gradual and almost imperceptible influence of Christianity on their
external manners and customs. Still, more is probably due to the keen
observation of a people, who have very little property, and may be
naturally judged to have ascertained the folly of burying any valuable
portion of it with the dead.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Git-Chee-Gau-Zinee, after a few days' illness, suddenly expired in the
presence of his friends, by whom he was beloved and lamented. He had
been an expert hunter, and left, among other things, a fine gun, which
he had requested might be buried with his body. There were some who
thought his death a suspension and not an extinction of the animal
functions, and that he would again be restored. His widow was among the
number, and she carefully watched the body for the space of four days.
She thought that by laying her hand upon his breast she could discover
remaining indications of vitality. Twenty-four hours had elapsed, and
nearly every vestige of hope had departed, when the man came to life. He
gave the following narration to his friends:

"After death, my Jeebi travelled in the broad road of the dead toward
the happy land, which is the Indian paradise. I passed on many days
without meeting with any thing of an extraordinary nature. Plains of
large extent, and luxuriant herbage, began to pass before my eyes. I saw
many beautiful groves, and heard the songs of innumerable birds. At
length I began to suffer for the want of food. I reached the summit of
an elevation. My eyes caught the glimpse of the city of the dead. But it
appeared to be distant, and the intervening space, partly veiled in
silvery mists, was spangled with glittering lakes and streams. At this
spot I came in sight of numerous herds of stately deer, moose, and other
animals, which walked near my path, and appeared to have lost their
natural timidity. But having no gun I was unable to kill them. I thought
of the request I had made to my friends, to put my gun in my grave, and
resolved to go back and seek for it.

"I found I had the free use of my limbs and faculties, and I had no
sooner made this resolution, than I turned back. But I now beheld an
immense number of men, women, and children, travelling toward the city
of the dead, every one of whom I had to face in going back. I saw, in
this throng, persons of every age, from the little infant--the sweet and
lovely _Penaisee_,[35] to the feeble gray-headed man, stooping with the
weight of years. All whom I met, however, were heavily laden with
implements, guns, pipes, kettles, meats, and other articles. One man
stopped me and complained of the great burdens he had to carry. He
offered me his gun, which I however refused, having made up my mind to
procure my own. Another offered me a kettle. I saw women who were
carrying their basket work and painted paddles, and little boys, with
their ornamented war clubs and bows and arrows--the presents of their

"After encountering this throng for two days and nights, I came to the
place where I had died. But I could see nothing but a great fire, the
flames of which rose up before me, and spread around me. Whichever way I
turned to avoid them, the flames still barred my advance. I was in the
utmost perplexity, and knew not what to do. At length I determined to
make a desperate leap, thinking my friends were on the other side, and
in this effort, I awoke from my trance." Here the chief paused, and
after a few moments concluded his story with the following admonitory

"My chiefs and friends," said he, "I will tell you of one practice, in
which our forefathers have been wrong. They have been accustomed to
deposit too many things with the dead. These implements are burthensome
to them. It requires a longer time for them to reach the peace of
repose, and almost every one I have conversed with, complained bitterly
to me of the evil. It would be wiser to put such things only, in the
grave, as the deceased was particularly attached to, or made a formal
request to have deposited with him. If he has been successful in the
chase, and has abundance of things in his lodge, it would be better that
they should remain for his family, or for division among his friends and

Advice which comes in this pleasing form of story and allegory, can give
offence to no one. And it is probably the mode which the northern
Indians have employed, from the earliest times, to rebuke faults and
instil instruction. The old men, upon whom the duty of giving advice
uniformly falls, may have found this the most efficacious means of
moulding opinion and forming character.


[35] The term of endearment for a young son.





Wassamo was living with his parents on the shores of a large bay on the
east coast of Lake Michigan. It was at a period when nature
spontaneously furnished everything that was wanted, when the Indian used
skins for clothing, and flints for arrow heads. It was long before the
time that the flag of the white man had been first seen in these lakes,
or the sound of an iron axe had been heard. The skill of our people
supplied them with weapons to kill game, and instruments to procure bark
for their canoes, and to dress and cook their victuals.

One day, when the season had commenced for fish to be plenty near the
shore of the lake, Wassamo's mother said to him, "My son, I wish you
would go to yonder point, and see if you cannot procure me some fish,
and ask your cousin to accompany you." He did so. They set out, and in
the course of the afternoon arrived at the fishing ground. His cousin
attended to the nets, for he was grown up to manhood, but Wassamo had
not quite reached that age. They put their nets in the water and
encamped near them, using only a few pieces of birch bark for a lodge to
shelter them at night. They lit up a fire, and while they sat conversing
with each other, the moon arose. Not a breath of wind disturbed the
smooth and bright surface of the lake. Not a cloud was seen. Wassamo
looked out on the water toward their nets, and saw that almost all the
floats had disappeared. "Cousin," he said, "let us visit our nets,
perhaps we are fortunate." They did so, and were rejoiced, as they drew
them up, to see the meshes white, here and there, with fish. They landed
in fine spirits, and put away their canoe in safety from the winds.
"Wassamo," said his cousin, "you cook, that we may eat." He set about it
immediately, and soon got his kettle on the fire, while his cousin was
lying at his case on the opposite side of the fire. "Cousin," said
Wassamo, "tell me stories, or sing me some love songs." The other obeyed
and sung his plaintive songs. He would frequently break off, and tell
parts of stories, and then sing again, as suited his feelings or fancy.
While thus employed, he unconsciously fell asleep. Wassamo had scarcely
noticed it, in his care to watch the kettle, and when the fish were
done, he took the kettle off. He spoke to his cousin, but received no
answer. He took the wooden ladle and skimmed off the oil, for the fish
were very fat. He had a flambeau of twisted bark in one hand to give
light, but when he came to take out the fish he did not know how to
manage to hold the light. He took off his garters and tied them around
his head, and then placed the lighted flambeau above his forehead, so
that it was firmly held by the bandage, and threw its light brilliantly
around him. Having both hands thus at liberty, he began to take out the
fish, every now and then moving his head, as he blew off the oil from
the broth. He again spoke to his cousin, but he now perceived by his
breathing, that he was asleep. He hastened to finish the removal of the
fish, and while he blew over the broth repeatedly, the plume of fire
over his forehead waved brilliantly in the air. Suddenly he heard a
laugh. There appeared to be one or two persons, at no great distance.
"Cousin," he said, to the sleeping boy, "some person is near us. I hear
a laugh; awake and let us look out." But his cousin was in a profound
sleep. Again he heard the laughing. Looking out as far as the reflection
of the fire threw light, he beheld two beautiful young females smiling
on him. Their countenances appeared to be perfectly white, and were
exceedingly beautiful. He crouched down and pushed his cousin, saying,
in a low voice, "awake! awake! here are two young women." But he
received no answer. His cousin seemed locked up in one of the deepest
slumbers. He started up alone, and went toward the females. He was
charmed with their looks, but just as he was about to speak to them, he
suddenly fell senseless, and both he and they vanished together.

Some short time afterward the cousin awoke. He saw the kettle near him.
Some of the fish were in the bowl. The fire still cast its glare faintly
around, but he could discover no person. He waited and waited, but
Wassamo did not appear. Perhaps, thought he, he is gone out again to
visit the nets. He looked, but the canoe was still in the place where it
had been left. He searched and found his footsteps on the ashes. He
became uneasy--NETAWIS! NETAWIS! (cousin, cousin,) he cried out, but
there was no answer. He cried out louder and louder, NETAWIS, NETAWIS,
where are you gone? but still no answer. He started for the edge of the
woods, crying NETAWIS, NETAWIS. He ran in various directions repeating
the same words. The dark woods echoed NETAWIS, NETAWIS. He burst into
tears and sobbed aloud.

He returned to the fire and sat down, but he had no heart to eat.
Various conjectures passed in his mind respecting his cousin. He thought
he may have been playing me a trick. No, impossible! or he may have
become deranged and ran into the woods. He hoped the morning would bring
with it some discovery. But he was oppressed by the thought that the
Indians would consider him the murderer of the lost man. "Although,"
reasoned he, "his parents are my relations, and they know that we are
inseparable friends, they will not believe me, if I go home with a
report that he is lost. They will say I killed him, and will require
blood for blood."

These thoughts weighed upon his mind. He could not sleep. Early in the
morning he got up and took in the nets, and set out on foot for the
village, running all the way. When they saw him coming, they said, "some
accident has happened." When he got in, he told them how his cousin had
disappeared. He stated all the circumstances. He kept back nothing. He
declared all he knew. Some said, "he has killed him treacherously."
Others said, "it is impossible, they were like brothers; sooner than do
that they would have given up their lives for each other." He asserted
his innocence, and asked them to go and look at the spot of their
encampment. Many of the men accordingly went, and found all as he had
stated. No footsteps showed that any scuffle had taken place. There were
no signs of blood. They came to the conclusion that the young man had
got deranged, and strayed away, and was lost. With this belief they
returned to the village. But the parents still waited and hoped he would
return. Spring came on and the Indians assembled from various quarters.
Among them was Wassamo's cousin. He continued to say that he had done
nothing to hurt his friends. Anxiety and fear had, however, produced a
visible change in his features. He was pale and emaciated. The idea of
the blood of his friend and relation being laid to his charge, caused a
continual pain of mind.

The parents of Wassamo now demanded the life of Netawis. The village was
in an uproar. Some sided with the parents, some with the young man. All
showed anxiety in the affair. They at last, however, decided to give the
young man's life to the parents. They said they had waited long enough
for the return of their son. A day was appointed on which the young man
should give his life for his friend's. He still went at large. He said
he was not afraid to die, for he had never committed what they laid to
his charge. A day or two before the time set to take his life, he
wandered in a melancholy mood from the village, following the beach. His
feelings were wrought to such a pitch, that he thought once or twice to
throw himself into the lake. But he reflected, they will say I was
guilty, or I would not have done so. "No, I will not, I would prefer
dying under their hands." He walked on, thinking of his coming fate,
till he reached the sand banks, a short distance from the village. Here
we will dismiss him for the present.

When Wassamo fell senseless before the two young women, it must have
been some minutes before he recovered, for when he came to himself, he
did not know where he was, and had been removed to a distant scene. On
recovering his senses he heard persons conversing. One spoke in a tone
of authority, saying, "You foolish girls, is this the way you go about
at nights, without our knowing it? Put that person you brought on that
bed of yours, and let him not lie on the ground." After this Wassamo
fell himself moved and placed on a bed. Some time after he opened his
eyes fully, and was surprised to find himself in a spacious and superb
lodge, extending as far as the eye could reach. One spoke to him,
saying, "Stranger, awake, and take something to eat." He arose and sat
up. On each side of the lodge he beheld rows of people sitting in
regular order. At a distance he could see two prominent persons who
looked rather older than the rest, and who appeared to command obedience
from all around them. One of them, the Old Spirit man, addressed him.
"My son," said he, "those foolish girls brought you here. They saw you
at the fishing ground. When you attempted to approach them, you fell
senseless, and they conveyed you underground to this place. But be
satisfied. We will make your stay with us pleasant. I am the guardian
Spirit of NAGOW WUDJOO.[36] I have wished frequently to get one of your
race to intermarry with us. If you can make up your mind to remain, I
will give you one of my daughters--the one who brought you away from
your parents and friends."[37] The young man dropped his head and made
no answer. His silence they construed into an assent to their wishes.

"Your wants," continued the Old Spirit, "will all be supplied, only be
careful not to stray away far from this. I am afraid of that Spirit who
rules all islands lying in the Lakes. For he demanded my daughter in
marriage, and I refused him: when he hears that you are my guest, it may
be an inducement for him to harm you. There is my daughter, (he
pointed.) Take her, she shall be your wife." And forthwith they sat near
each other in the lodge, and were considered as married.

"Son-in-law," said the Old Spirit, "I am in want of tobacco. You shall
return to visit your parents, and can make known my wishes. For it is
very seldom that those few who pass these Sand Hills, offer a piece of
tobacco. When they do it, it immediately comes to me. Just so," he
added, putting his hand out of the side of the lodge, and drawing in
several pieces of tobacco, which some one at that moment happened to
offer to the Spirit, for a smooth lake and prosperous voyage. "You see,"
he said, "every thing offered me on earth, comes immediately to the side
of my lodge." Wassamo saw the women also putting their hands to the side
of the lodge, and then handing something around, of which all partook.
This he found to be offerings of food made by mortals on earth.

"Daughter," said the Old Spirit Woman, NAUONGUISK[38] cannot eat what we
eat, so you can procure him what he is accustomed to. "Yes," she
replied, and immediately pushed her hand through the side of the lodge,
and took a white fish out of the lake, which she prepared for him. She
daily followed the same practice, giving every variety of fish he
expressed a wish for. Sometimes it was trout, pike, sturgeon, or any
other fish the lake furnished. She did the same with regard to meats, or
the flesh of any animal or fowl he asked for. For the animals walked
over the roof of the lodge, the birds sat upon its poles, and the waters
came so near to its side, that the Spirits had only to extend their
hands to the outside to procure whatever they wanted.

One day the Old Spirit said, (although it was perpetual day with them)
"son-in-law, you must not be surprised at what you will see, for since
you have been with us, you have never seen us go to sleep. It was on
account of its being summer, which is constant daylight with us. But now
what you call winter is approaching. It is six months night with us,
you will soon see us lie down, and we shall not get up, but for a
moment, throughout the whole winter. Take my advice. Leave not the
lodge, but try and amuse yourself. You will find all you wish there,"
raising his arm slowly and pointing. Wassamo said he would obey, and act
as he recommended.

On another occasion a thunder storm came on, when every spirit instantly
disappeared. When the storm was over, they all again re-entered the
lodge. This scene was repeated during every tempest. "You are
surprised," said the Old Spirit, "to see us disappear whenever it
thunders. The reason is this. A greater Spirit, who lives above, makes
those thunders sound and sends his fire. We are afraid, and hide

The season of sleep approached, and they, one after another, laid
themselves down to their long sleep. In the mean time Wassamo amused
himself in the best way he could. His relations got up but once during
the whole winter, and they then said it was midnight, and laid down
again. "Son-in-law," said the Old Spirit, "you can now, in a few days,
start with your wife to visit your relations. You can be absent one
year, but after that time you must return. When you get to the village
you must first go in alone. Leave your wife a short distance from the
lodge, and when you are welcome then send for her.[39] When there, do
not be surprised at her disappearance whenever you hear it thunder. You
will also prosper in all things, for she is very industrious. All the
time that you pass in sleep she will be at work. The distance is short
to your village. A road leads directly to it, and when you get there do
not forget my wants, as I stated to you before."

Wassamo promised obedience to their directions, and then set out in
company with his wife. They travelled in a good road, his wife leading
the way, till they got to a rising ground. At the highest point of this,
she said, we will soon get to your country. After reaching the summit,
they passed, for a short distance, under the lake, and emerged from the
water at certain sand banks on the bay of WEKUADONG.[40]

Wassamo left his wife concealed in a thicket, while he went toward the
village alone. On turning the first point of land, who should he meet
but his cousin. "Oh Netawis, Netawis," said his cousin, "you have just
come in time to save me. They accuse me of having killed you." Words
cannot express their joy. The cousin ran off in haste for the village
and entered the lodge where Wassamo's mother was. "Hear me," he said, "I
have seen him whom you accuse me of having killed. He will be here in a
few moments." The village was in instant commotion. All were anxious to
see him whom they had thought dead. While the excitement was at its
height Wassamo entered the lodge of his parents. All was joy at the
happy meeting. He related all that had happened to him from the moment
of his leaving their temporary night lodge with the flame on his head.
He told them where he had been, and that he was married. As soon as the
excitement of his reception had abated, he told his mother that he had
left his wife a short distance from the village. She went immediately in
search of her, and soon found her. All the women of the village
conducted her to the lodge of her relations. They were astonished at her
beauty, at the whiteness of her skin, and more so, at her being able to
converse with them in their own language. All was joy in the village;
nothing but feasting could be seen while they had the means of doing so.
The Indians came from different quarters, to offer them welcome, and to
present their tobacco to the Spirit's daughter.

Thus passed the summer and the fall, and Wassamo's parents and
relations, and the Indians around were prospered in all things. But his
cousin would never leave him, he was constantly near him, and asking him
questions. They took notice that at every thunder storm his wife
disappeared, and that at night, as well as during the day, she was never
idle. Winter was drawing on, and she told her husband to prepare a lodge
for her to pass the season in, and to inform the Indians beforehand of
her father's request. He did so, and all now began to move off to their
winter quarters. Wassamo also prepared for the season. He gave one half
of his lodge to his wife. Before lying down, she said, no one but
yourself must pass on the side of the lodge I am on. Winter passed
slowly away, and when the sap of the maple began to run, she awoke and
commenced her duties as before. She also helped to make sugar. It was
never known before or since that so much sugar was made during the
season. As soon as the Indians had finished their sugar-making, they
left the woods and encamped at their village. They offered tobacco
profusely at the lodge of Wassamo, asking for the usual length of life,
for success as hunters, and for a plentiful supply of food. Wassamo
replied, that he would mention each of their requests to his
father-in-law. So much tobacco had been offered, that they were obliged
to procure two sacks, made of dressed moose skin, to hold it. On the
outside of these skins the different totems[41] of the Indians, who had
given the tobacco, were painted and marked, and also those of all
persons who had made any request.

When the time arrived for their departure, they told their relatives not
to follow them, or see how they disappeared. They then took the two
sacks of mooseskin filled with tobacco, and bade adieu to all but
Netawis. He insisted on going with them a distance, and when they got to
the sand banks he expressed the strongest wish to proceed with them on
their journey. Wassamo told him it was impossible, that it was only
spirits who could exert the necessary power. They then took an
affectionate leave of each other. The young man saw them go into the
water and disappear. He returned home and told his friends that he had
witnessed their disappearance.

Wassamo and his wife soon reached their home at the grand Sand Hills.
The Old Spirit was delighted to see them, and hailed their return with
open arms. They presented him with the tobacco, and told him all the
requests of the people above. He replied that he would attend to all,
but he must first invite his friends to smoke with him. He then sent his
MEZHINAUWA,[42] to invite his friends the Spirits, and named the time
for their reception. Before the time arrived he spoke to his son-in-law.
"My son," said he, "some of those Manitoes I have invited are very
wicked, and I warn you particularly of the one who wished to marry my
daughter. Some of them you will, however, find to be friendly. Take my
advice, and when they come in, sit close to your wife--so close you must
touch her. If you do not you will be lost, for those who are expected to
come in are so powerful, that they will draw you from your seat. You
have only to observe my words closely, and all will be well." Wassamo
said he would obey.

About midday they commenced coming in. There were spirits from all parts
of the country. One entered who smiled on him. He was the guardian
Spirit of the Ottowas, and he lived near the present GITCHY
WEKUADONG.[43] Soon after, he heard the sounds of the roaring and
foaming of waters. Presently they rushed in, and passed through the
lodge like a raging tempest. Tremendous pieces of rocks, whole trees,
logs, and stumps rolled past, and were borne away by the strong current,
with the noise and foaming of some mighty cataract in the spring. It was
the guardian spirit of Water-Falls. Again, they heard the roaring of
waves, as if beating against a rocky shore. The sounds came rapidly on.
In a few moments in rolled the waves of Lake Superior. They were
mountain high, and covered with silver-sparkling foam. Wassamo felt
their pressure and with difficulty clang to his seat, for they were of
frightful appearance, and each one seemed as if it would overwhelm them.
This was the last spirit who entered. It was the guardian of Islands in
the surrounding lake.

Soon after, the Old Spirit arose and addressed the assembly. "Brothers,"
he said, "I have invited you to partake with me of the offerings made by
the mortals on earth, which have been brought by our relative (pointing
to Wassamo). Brothers, you see their wishes and desires, (pointing to
the figured mooseskins). Brothers, the offering is worthy of our
consideration. Brothers, I see nothing on my part to prevent our
granting their requests; they do not appear to be unreasonable.
Brothers, the offering is gratifying. Our wants for this article are
urgent. Shall we grant their requests? One thing more I would
say--Brothers, it is this. There is my son-in-law; he is a mortal. I
wish to detain him with me, and it is with us jointly to make him one of
us." "Hoke! Hoke!" ran through the whole company of Spirits.[44]

The tobacco was then divided equally among them all. They decided to
grant the requests of the people on earth, and also respecting the
spirit's son-in-law. When the Spirit of Islands passed Wassamo, he
looked angrily at him. The guardian spirit of the Ottowa bands said, "it
is very strange that he can never appear anywhere without showing his
bad disposition."

When the company was dispersed, the Old Spirit told Wassamo that he
should once more visit his parents and relatives, and then it should be
only for a short time. "It is merely to go and tell them that their
wishes are granted, and then to bid them farewell for ever." Sometime
after Wassamo and his wife made this visit. Having delivered his
message, he said, "I must now bid you all farewell for ever." His
parents and friends raised their voices in loud lamentation. They
accompanied him to the Sand Banks, where they all seated themselves to
see them make their final departure. The day was mild; the sky clear;
not a cloud appeared, nor a breath of wind to disturb the bright surface
of the water. The most perfect silence reigned throughout the company.
They gazed intently on Wassamo and his wife as they waded out into the
water, waving their hands. They saw them go into deeper and deeper
water. They saw the waves close over their heads. All at once they
raised a loud and piercing wail. They looked again, a red flame, as if
the sun had glanced on a billow, marked the spot for an instant, but the
Feather of Flames and his wife had disappeared for ever.

[The preceding tale opens a chapter in Indian demonology, which was
narrated by the late chief Chusco, an Ottowa. This individual had
performed the office of a seer and necromancer for his tribe for a long
series of years, and had acquired notoriety and power among them from
the successful display of these arts. The story was related after his
conversion to Christianity, but he continued to affirm to the last, that
his power as a JOSSAKEED, or juggler, was derived from a _direct energy_
communicated by the Great Evil Spirit.]


[36] Sand mountains, usually called _La Grandes Sables_, a noted range
of SAND DOWNS, of oceanic formation, on the south shores of Lake

[37] This speech was commenced by throwing the blame of his captivity
upon the daughters. But the Spirit soon reveals, that he had long wished
for such an event, and leaves it to be inferred that it was brought
about by his direct agency. This subterfuge, to call it by its lightest
name, shows that plain truth is not a point of character most
strenuously sought after by the OLD SPIRIT.

[38] This is a term applied by women to a son-in-law, &c.

[39] This is the present ceremonious custom of visiting among the
northern Indians, for strangers of their own, or other tribes Friends
proceed directly to the lodges, but it is the privilege of relations
only to enter them without invitation at the door.

[40] Little Traverse Bay of Lake Michigan.

[41] Family marks, or arms. This institution has been noticed among the
Algonquin tribes from an early day. It is a link in the genealogical
chain by which the bands are held together--and a curious trait, whether
it be regarded of ancient or modern usage. It has no reference to
personal names, but indicates the family or tribal name. All the
individuals of a particular family, as the deer, crane, beaver, &c. when
called upon for their signature, affix their respective family mark,
without regard to specific names. And it is precisely analogous to the
existing feudal institutions of coats of arms. _Totame_, or _totem_ is
the term, and it is a word appealed to by them with pride, and as
furnishing evidence of blood relationship. Whatever the institution may
be derived from, it is certain that a Benjaminite or an Ephraimite,
could not appeal to his tribal appellation with more emphasis and
dogmatism than do our northern Indians to their _totems_.

[42] This is an official personage, standing in the light of an aid, or
office help, to the chiefs. He carves at feasts, and lights the pipe at
councils or ceremonial occasions. He is the verbal messenger of state
messages, but not a messenger in the common acceptation of the term. He
is an important functionary in all formal business, or negotiations with
the chiefs.

[43] Grand Traverse Bay of Lake Michigan.

[44] The interjection Hob! is used by these tribes to imply approbation
and assent. The change in the word here indicated, is to be regarded as
one of the points of invention, in their tales of demonology.





There once lived an Indian in the north, who had ten daughters, all of
whom grew up to womanhood. They were noted for their beauty, but
especially Oweenee, the youngest, who was very independent in her way of
thinking. She was a great admirer of romantic places, and paid very
little attention to the numerous young men who came to her father's
lodge for the purpose of seeing her. Her elder sisters were all
solicited in marriage from their parents, and one after another, went
off to dwell in the lodges of their husbands, or mothers-in-law, but she
would listen to no proposals of the kind. At last she married an old man
called OSSEO, who was scarcely able to walk, and was too poor to have
things like others. They jeered and laughed at her, on all sides, but
she seemed to be quite happy, and said to them, "It is my choice, and
you will see in the end, who has acted the wisest." Soon after, the
sisters and their husbands and their parents were all invited to a
feast, and as they walked along the path, they could not help pitying
their young and handsome sister, who had such an unsuitable mate. Osseo
often stopped and gazed upwards, but they could perceive nothing in the
direction he looked, unless it was the faint glimmering of the evening
star. They heard him muttering to himself as they went along, and one of
the elder sisters caught the words, "Sho-wain-ne-me-shinnosa."[45] "Poor
old man," said she, "he is talking to his father, what a pity it is,
that he would not fall and break his neck, that our sister might have a
handsome young husband." Presently they passed a large hollow log, lying
with one end toward the path. The moment Osseo, who was of the turtle
totem, came to it, he stopped short, uttered a loud and peculiar yell,
and then dashing into one end of the log, he came out at the other, a
most beautiful young man, and springing back to the road, he led off the
party with steps as light as the reindeer.[46] But on turning round to
look for his wife, behold, she had been changed into an old, decrepit
woman, who was bent almost double, and walked with a cane. The husband,
however, treated her very kindly, as she had done him during the time of
his enchantment, and constantly addressed her by the term of
ne-ne-moosh-a, or my sweetheart.

When they came to the hunter's lodge with whom they were to feast, they
found the feast ready prepared, and as soon as their entertainer had
finished his harangue, (in which he told them his feasting was in honour
of the Evening, or Woman's Star,) they began to partake of the portion
dealt out, according to age and character, to each one. The food was
very delicious, and they were all happy but Osseo, who looked at his
wife and then gazed upward, as if he was looking into the substance of
the sky. Sounds were soon heard, as if from far-off voices in the air,
and they became plainer and plainer, till he could clearly distinguish
some of the words.

"My son--my son," said the voice, "I have seen your afflictions and pity
your wants. I come to call you away from a scene that is stained with
blood and tears. The earth is full of sorrows. Giants and sorcerers, the
enemies of mankind, walk abroad in it, and are scattered throughout its
length. Every night they are lifting their voices to the Power of Evil,
and every day they make themselves busy in casting evil in the hunter's
path. You have long been their victim, but shall be their victim no
more. The spell you were under is broken. Your evil genius is overcome.
I have cast him down by my superior strength, and it is this strength I
now exert for your happiness. Ascend, my son--ascend into the skies, and
partake of the feast I have prepared for you in the stars, and bring
with you those you love.

"The food set before you is enchanted and blessed. Fear not to partake
of it. It is endowed with magic power to give immortality to mortals,
and to change men to spirits. Your bowls and kettles shall be no longer
wood and earth. The one shall become silver, and the other wampum. They
shall shine like fire, and glisten like the most beautiful scarlet.
Every female shall also change her state and looks, and no longer be
doomed to laborious tasks. She shall put on the beauty of the starlight,
and become a shining bird of the air, clothed with shining feathers. She
shall dance and not work--she shall sing and not cry."

"My beams," continued the voice, "shine faintly on your lodge, but they
have a power to transform it into the lightness of the skies, and
decorate it with the colours of the clouds. Come, Osseo, my son, and
dwell no longer on earth. Think strongly on my words, and look
steadfastly at my beams. My power is now at its height. Doubt not--delay
not. It is the voice of the Spirit of the stars that calls you away to
happiness and celestial rest."

The words were intelligible to Osseo, but his companions thought them
some far-off sounds of music, or birds singing in the woods. Very soon
the lodge began to shake and tremble, and they felt it rising into the
air. It was too late to run out, for they were already as high as the
tops of the trees. Osseo looked around him as the lodge passed through
the topmost boughs, and behold! their wooden dishes were changed into
shells of a scarlet colour, the poles of the lodge to glittering wires
of silver, and the bark that covered them into the gorgeous wings of
insects. A moment more, and his brothers and sisters, and their parents
and friends, were transformed into birds of various plumage. Some were
jays, some partridges and pigeons, and others gay singing birds, who
hopped about displaying their glittering feathers, and singing their
songs. But OWEENEE still kept her earthly garb, and exhibited all the
indications of extreme age. He again cast his eyes in the direction of
the clouds, and uttered that peculiar yell, which had given him the
victory at the hollow log. In a moment the youth and beauty of his wife
returned; her dingy garments assumed the shining appearance of green
silk, and her cane was changed into a silver feather. The lodge again
shook and trembled, for they were now passing through the uppermost
clouds, and they immediately after found themselves in the Evening Star,
the residence of Osseo's father.

"My son," said the old man, "hang that cage of birds, which you have
brought along in your hand, at the door, and I will inform you why you
and your wife have been sent for." Osseo obeyed the directions, and then
took his seat in the lodge. "Pity was shown to you," resumed the king of
the star, "on account of the contempt of your wife's sister, who laughed
at her ill fortune, and ridiculed you while you were under the power of
that wicked spirit, whom you overcame at the log. That spirit lives in
the next lodge, being a small star you see on the left of mine, and he
has always felt envious of my family, because we had greater power than
he had, and especially on account of our having had the care committed
to us of the female world. He failed in several attempts to destroy
your brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, but succeeded at last in
transforming yourself and your wife into decrepit old persons. You must
be careful and not let the light of his beams fall on you, while you are
here, for therein is the power of his enchantment: a ray of light is the
bow and arrows he uses."

Osseo lived happy and contented in the parental lodge, and in due time
his wife presented him with a son, who grew up rapidly, and was the
image of his father. He was very quick and ready in learning every thing
that was done in his grandfather's dominions, but he wished also to
learn the art of hunting, for he had heard that this was a favourite
pursuit below. To gratify him his father made him a bow and arrows, and
he then let the birds out of the cage that he might practise in
shooting. He soon became expert, and the very first day brought down a
bird, but when he went to pick it up, to his amazement, it was a
beautiful young woman with the arrow sticking in her breast. It was one
of his younger _aunts_. The moment her blood fell upon the surface of
that pure and spotless planet, the charm was dissolved. The boy
immediately found himself sinking, but was partly upheld, by something
like wings, till he passed through the lower clouds, and he then
suddenly dropped upon a high, romantic island in a large lake. He was
pleased on looking up, to see all his aunts and uncles following him in
the form of birds, and he soon discovered the silver lodge, with his
father and mother, descending with its waving barks looking like so many
insects' gilded wings. It rested on the highest cliffs of the island,
and here they fixed their residence. They all resumed their natural
_shapes_, but were diminished to the _size_ of fairies, and as a mark of
homage to the King of the Evening Star, they never failed, on every
pleasant evening, during the summer season, to join hands, and dance
upon the top of the rocks. These rocks were quickly observed by the
Indians to be covered, in moonlight evenings, with a larger sort of PUK
WUDJ ININEES, or little men, and were called Mish-in-e-mok-in-ok-ong, or
turtle spirits, and the island is named from them to this day.[47] Their
shining lodge can be seen in the summer evenings when the moon shines
strongly on the pinnacles of the rocks, and the fishermen, who go near
those high cliffs at night, have even heard the voices of the happy
little dancers.


[45] Pity me, my father.

[46] The C. Sylvestris inhabits North America, north of latitude 46°.

[47] Michilimackinac, the term alluded to, is the original French
orthography of MISH EN I MOK IN ONO, the _local_ form (sing. and plu.),
of Turtle Spirits.




Pauwating[48] was a village where the young men amused themselves very
much in ancient times, in sports and ball-playing.

One day as they were engaged in their sports, one of the strongest and
most active, at the moment he was about to succeed in a trial of
lifting, slipped and fell upon his back. "Ha! ha! ha!" cried the lookers
on, "you will never rival Kwasind." He was deeply mortified, and when
the sport was over, these words came to his mind. He could not recollect
any man of this name. He thought he would ask the old man, the
story-teller of the village, the next time he came to the lodge. The
opportunity soon occurred.

"My grandfather," said he, "who was Kwasind? I am very anxious to know
what he could do."

Kwasind, the old man replied, was a listless idle boy. He would not play
when the other boys played, and his parents could never get him to do
any kind of labour. He was always making excuses. His parents took
notice, however, that he fasted for days together, but they could not
learn what spirit he supplicated, or had chosen as the guardian spirit
to attend him through life. He was so inattentive to his parents'
requests, that he, at last, became a subject of reproach.

"Ah," said his mother to him one day, "is there any young man of your
age, in all the village, who does so little for his parents? You neither
hunt nor fish. You take no interest in any thing, whether labour or
amusement, which engages the attention of your equals in years. I have
often set my nets[49] in the coldest days of winter, without any
assistance from you. And I have taken them up again, while you remained
inactive at the lodge fire. Are you not ashamed of such idleness? Go, I
bid you, and wring out that net, which I have just taken from the

Kwasind saw that there was a determination to make him obey. He did not
therefore make any excuses, but went out and took up the net. He
carefully folded it, doubled and redoubled it, forming it into a roll,
and then with an easy twist of his hands wrung it short off, with as
much ease as if every twine had been a thin brittle fibre. Here, they at
once saw, the secret of his reluctance. He possessed supernatural

After this, the young men were playing one day on the plain, where there
was lying one of those large, heavy, black pieces of rock, which
Manabozho is said to have cast at his father. Kwasind took it up with
much ease, and threw it into the river. After this, he accompanied his
father on a hunting excursion into a remote forest. They came to a place
where the wind had thrown a great many trees into a narrow pass. "We
must go the other way," said the old man, "it is impossible to get the
burdens through this place." He sat down to rest himself, took out his
smoking apparatus, and gave a short time to reflection. When he had
finished, Kwasind had lifted away the largest pine trees, and pulled
them out of the path.

Sailing one day in his canoe, Kwasind saw a large furred animal, which
he immediately recognised to be the king of beavers. He plunged into the
water in pursuit of it. His companions were in the greatest
astonishment and alarm, supposing he would perish. He often dove down
and remained a long time under water, pursuing the animal from island to
island; and at last returned with the kingly prize. After this, his fame
spread far and wide, and no hunter would presume to compete with him.

He performed so many feats of strength and skill, that he excited the
envy of the Puck-wudj In-in-ee-sug, or fairies, who conspired against
his life. "For," said they, "if this man is suffered to go on, in his
career of strength and exploits, we shall presently have no work to
perform. Our agency in the affairs of men must cease. He will undermine
our power, and drive us, at last, into the water, where we must all
perish, or be devoured by the wicked Neebanawbaig."[50]

The strength of Kwasind was all concentrated in the crown of his head.
This was, at the same time, the only vulnerable part of his body; and
there was but one species of weapon which could be successfully employed
in making any impression upon it. The fairies carefully hunted through
the woods to find this weapon. It was the burr or seed vessel of the
white pine. They gathered a quantity of this article, and waylaid
Kwasind at a point on the river, where the red rocks jut into the water,
forming rude castles--a point which he was accustomed to pass in his
canoe. They waited a long time, making merry upon these rocks, for it
was a highly romantic spot. At last the wished-for object appeared,
Kwasind came floating calmly down the stream, on the afternoon of a
summer's day, languid with the heat of the weather, and almost asleep.
When his canoe came directly beneath the cliff, the tallest and stoutest
fairy began the attack. Others followed his example. It was a long time
before they could hit the vulnerable part, but success at length crowned
their efforts, and Kwasind sunk, never to rise more.

Ever since this victory, the Puck Wudj Ininee have made that point of
rock a favourite resort. The hunters often hear them laugh, and see
their little plumes shake as they pass this scene on light summer

"My son," continued the old man, "take care that you do not imitate the
faults of Kwasind. If he had not so often exerted his strength merely
for the sake of _boasting_, he would not, perhaps, have made the fairies
feel jealous of him. It is better to use the strength you have, in a
quiet useful way, than to sigh after the possession of a giant's power.
For if you run, or wrestle, or jump, or fire at a mark, only as well as
your equals in years, nobody will envy you. But if you would needs be a
Kwasind, you must expect a Kwasind's fate."


[48] i.e. Place of shallow cataract, named _Sault de Ste Marie_ on the
arrival of the French. This is the _local_ form of the word, the
substantive proper terminates in EEG.

[49] Nets are set in winter, in high northern latitudes, through
orifices cut in the ice.

[50] A kind of water spirits.





In a beautiful portion of the country, which was part forest and part
prairie, there lived a bloodthirsty Manito in the guise of an Indian,
who made use of all his arts to decoy men into his power for the purpose
of killing them. Although the country yielded an abundance of game, and
every other production to satisfy his wants, yet it was the study of his
life to destroy human beings, and subsist upon their blood. The country
had once been thickly populated, but he had thinned it off by his
wickedness, and his lodge was surrounded by the bleached bones of his

The secret of his success lay in his great speed. He had the power to
assume the shape of any quadruped, and it was his custom to challenge
persons to run with him. He had a beaten path on which he ran, leading
around a large lake, and he always ran around this circle, so that the
starting and winning point were the same. At this point stood a post,
having a sharp and shining knife tied to it, and whoever lost the race
lost his life. The winner immediately took up the knife and cut off his
competitor's head. No man was ever known to beat this evil Manito in the
race, although he ran every day; for whenever he was pressed hard, he
changed himself into a fox, wolf, or deer, or other swift-footed animal,
and thus left his competitor behind.

The whole country was in dread of him, and yet, such was the folly and
rashness of the young men, that they were continually running with him;
for if they refused, he called them cowards, which was a taunt they
could not bear. They would rather die than be called cowards. In other
respects, the Manito had pleasing manners, and visited the lodges around
the country, like others; but his secret object in these visits was to
see whether the young boys were getting to be old enough to run with
him, and he was careful to keep a watch upon their growth, and never
failed to challenge them to run on his race ground. There was no family
which had not lost some of its most active members in this way, and the
Manito was execrated by all the Indian mothers in the country.

There lived near him a widow, whose husband and ten sons he had killed
in this way, and she was now left with an only daughter and a son of ten
or twelve years old, named MONEDOWA. She was very poor and feeble, and
suffered so much for the want of food, that she would have been glad to
die, had it not been for her daughter and her little son, who was not
yet able to hunt. The Manito had already visited her lodge to see
whether the boy was not sufficiently grown to challenge him. And the
mother saw there was a great probability that he would be decoyed and
killed as his father and brothers had been. Still, she hoped a better
fate would attend him, and strove, in the best way she could, to
instruct him in the maxims of a hunter's and a warrior's life. To the
daughter she also taught all that could make her useful as a wife, and
instructed her in the arts of working with porcupine quills on leather,
and various other things, which the Indian females regard as
accomplishments. She was also neat and tasteful in arranging her dress
according to their customs, and possessing a tall and graceful person,
she displayed her national costume to great advantage. She was kind and
obedient to her mother, and never neglected to perform her appropriate
domestic duties. Her mother's lodge stood on an elevation on the banks
of a lake, which gave them a fine prospect of the country for many miles
around, the interior of which was diversified with groves and prairies.
It was in this quarter that they daily procured their fuel. One day the
daughter had gone out to these open groves to pick up dry limbs for
their fire, and while admiring the scenery, she strolled farther than
usual, and was suddenly startled by the appearance of a young man near
her. She would have fled, but was arrested by his pleasing smile, and by
hearing herself addressed in her own language. The questions he asked
were trivial, relating to her place of residence and family, and were
answered with timidity. It could not be concealed, however, that they
were mutually pleased with each other, and before parting, he asked her
to get her mother's consent to their marriage. She returned home later
than usual, but was too timid to say anything to her mother on the
subject. The meetings, however, with her admirer on the borders of the
prairie, were frequent, and he every time requested her to speak to her
mother on the subject of their marriage, which, however, she could not
muster the resolution to do. At last the widow suspected something of
the kind, from the tardiness of her daughter in coming in, and from the
scanty quantity of fuel she sometimes brought. In answer to inquiries,
she revealed the circumstance of her meeting the young man, and of his
request. After reflecting upon her lonely and destitute situation, the
mother gave her consent. The daughter went with a light step to
communicate the answer, which her lover heard with delight, and after
saying that he would come to the lodge at sunset, they separated. He was
punctual to his engagement, and came at the precise time, dressed out as
a warrior with every customary decoration, and approached the lodge with
a mild and pleasing, yet manly air and commanding step. On entering it,
he spoke affectionately to his mother-in-law, whom he called (contrary
to the usage,) NEEJEE, or _friend_.[51] She directed him to sit down
beside her daughter, and from this moment they were regarded as man and

Early the following morning, he asked for the bow and arrows of those
who had been slain by the Manito, and went out a hunting. As soon as he
had got out of sight of the lodge, he transformed himself into a PEÉNA,
or partridge, and took his flight in the air. Where or how he procured
his food, is unknown; but he returned at evening with the carcasses of
two deer. This continued to be his daily practice, and it was not long
before the scaffolds near the lodge were loaded with meat. It was
observed, however, that he ate but little himself, and that of a
peculiar kind of meat, which added to some other particulars, convinced
the family of his mysterious character. In a few days his mother-in-law
told him that the Manito would come to pay them a visit, to see how the
young man prospered. He told her that he should be away that day
purposely, but would return the moment the visiter left them. On the day
named he flew upon a tall tree, overlooking the lodge, and took his
stand there to observe the movement of the Manito. This wicked spirit
soon appeared, and as he passed the scaffolds of meat, cast suspicious
glances toward them. He had no sooner entered the lodge, stopping first
to look, before he went in, than he said--"Why, woman, who is it that is
furnishing you meat so plentifully?" "No one," she answered, "but my
son--he is just beginning to kill deer." "No, no," said he, "some one is
living with you." "Kaween,"[52] said the old woman, dissembling again,
"You are only jesting on my destitute situation. Who do you think would
come and trouble themselves about _me_?" "Very well," replied the
Manito, "I will go; but on such a day, I will again visit you, and see
who it is that furnishes the meat, and whether it is your son or not."
He had no sooner left the lodge and got out of sight, than the
son-in-law made his appearance with two more deer. On being told of the
particulars of the visit, "Very well," said he, "I will be at home next
time and see him." They remonstrated against this, telling him of his
cruelties, and the barbarous murders he had committed. "No matter," said
he, "if he invites me to the race ground, I will not be backward. The
result will teach him to show pity on the vanquished, and not to trample
on the widow, and those who are without fathers." When the day of the
expected visit arrived, he told his wife to prepare certain pieces of
meat, which he pointed out and handed to her, together with two or three
buds of the birch-tree which he requested her to put in the pot; and he
directed that nothing should be wanting to show the usual hospitality to
their guest, although he knew that his only object was to kill him. He
then dressed himself as a warrior, putting tints of red on his visage
and dress, to show that he was prepared for either war or peace.

As soon as the Manito arrived, he eyed this, to him, strange warrior,
but dissembled his feelings, and spoke laughingly to the old woman,
saying, "Did I not tell you that some one was staying with you, for I
knew your son was too young to hunt!" She turned it off by saying that
she did not think it necessary to tell him, as he was a Manito and knew
before asking. He then conversed with the son-in-law on different
topics, and finished by inviting him to the race ground, saying it was a
manly amusement--that it would give him an opportunity of seeing other
men, and he should himself be pleased to run with him. The young man
said he knew nothing of running. "Why," he replied, "don't you see how
old I look, while you are young and active. We must at least run to
amuse others." "Be it so, then," replied the young man, "I will go in
the morning." Pleased with his success, the Manito now wished to return,
but he was pressed to remain and partake of the customary hospitalities,
although he endeavoured to excuse himself. The meal was immediately
spread. But one dish was used. The young man partook of it first, to
show his guest that he need not fear to partake, and saying at the same
time to him, "It is a feast, and as we seldom meet, we must eat all that
is placed on the dish, as a mark of gratitude to the Great Spirit for
permitting me to kill the animals, and for the pleasure of seeing you,
and partaking of it with you." They ate and conversed until they had
eaten nearly all, when the Manito took up the dish and drank the broth.
On setting it down, he immediately turned his head and commenced
coughing violently, having, as the young man expected, swallowed a grain
of the birch tops, which had lodged in his windpipe. He coughed
incessantly, and found his situation so unpleasant, that he had to
leave, saying, as he quit the lodge, that he should expect the young man
at the race ground in the morning.

MONEDOWA prepared himself early in the morning by oiling his limbs, and
decorating himself so as to appear to advantage, and having procured
leave for his brother to attend him, they repaired to the Manito's race
ground. The Manito's lodge stood on an eminence, and a row of other
lodges stood near it, and as soon as the young man and his companion
came near it, the inmates cried out, "We are visited." At this cry he
came out, and descended with them to the starting post on a plain. From
this, the course could be seen, as it wound around the lake, and as soon
as the people assembled, he began to speak of the race, then belted
himself up, and pointed to the knife which hung on the post, and said it
was to be used by the winner. "But before we start," said the old man,
"I wish it to be understood, that when men run with me, I make a bet,
and expect them to abide by it. Life against life." He then gave a
yell, casting a triumphant glance on the piles of human bones that were
scattered about the stake. "I am ready," replied the stranger, as he was
called, (for no one knew the widow's son-in-law,) and they all admired
the symmetry and beauty of his limbs, and the fine and bold air which he
assumed before his grim antagonist. The shout was given, and they went
off with surprising speed, and were soon out of sight. The old man began
to show his power by changing himself into a fox, and passing the
stranger with great ease, went leisurely along. Monedowa now exerted his
magic powers by assuming the shape of a partridge, and lighting a
distance ahead of his antagonist, resumed his former shape. When the
Manito spied his opponent ahead, "Whoa! whoa!" he exclaimed
involuntarily, "this is strange," and immediately changed himself into a
wolf, and repassed him. As he went by, he heard a whistling noise in the
Manito's throat. He again took flight as a partridge, ascending some
distance into the air, and then suddenly coming down with great
velocity, as partridges do, lit in the path far ahead. As he passed the
wolf, he addressed him thus: "My friend, is this the extent of your
speed." The Manito began to have strong forebodings, for, on looking
ahead, he saw the stranger in his natural shape, running along very
leisurely. He then assumed alternately the shapes of various animals
noted for speed. He again passed the stranger in the shape of a
reindeer.[53] They had now got round the circle of the lake, and were
approaching the point of starting, when the stranger again took his
flight as a partridge, and lit some distance in advance. To overtake
him, the Manito at last assumed the shape of a buffalo, and again got
ahead; but it appears this was the last form he could assume, and it was
that, in which he had most commonly conquered. The stranger again took
his flight as a partridge, and in the act of passing his competitor saw
his tongue hanging out from fatigue. "My friend," said he, "is this all
your speed?" The Manito answered not. The stranger had now got within a
flight of the winning post, when the fiend had nearly caught up to him.
"Bakah! bakah! neejee," he vociferated. "Stop, my friend, I wish to talk
to you," for he felt that he should be defeated and lose his life, and
it was his purpose to beg for it. The stranger laughed, as he replied,
"I will speak to you at the starting post. When men run with me, I make
a bet, and expect them to abide by it. Life against life." And
immediately taking his flight, alighted so near to the goal, that he
could easily reach it in his natural form. The Manito saw the movement,
and was paralyzed. The people at the stake shouted. The stranger ran
with his natural speed, his limbs displaying to great advantage, and the
war eagle's feathers waving on his head. The shouts were redoubled, hope
added to his speed, and amid the din, he leaped to the post, and
grasping the shining blade, stood ready to despatch his adversary the
moment of his arrival. The Manito came, with fear and cowardice depicted
in his face. "My friend," said he, "spare my life," and then added in a
low voice, as if he did not wish others to hear it, "give me to live,"
and began to move off, as if the request was granted. "As you have done
to others," replied the noble youth, "so shall it be done to you;" and
his bleeding head rolled down the sloping hill. The spectators then drew
their knives, and cut his body into numberless pieces. The conqueror
then asked to be led to the Manito's lodge, the interior of which had
never been seen. Few had ever dared even to ascend the eminence on which
it stood. On entering, they saw that it consisted of several apartments.
The first was arranged and furnished as Indian lodges usually are. But
horror struck upon his mind as they entered the second,--it was
entirely surrounded by a wall of human skulls and bones, with pieces of
human flesh scattered about. Upon a scaffold, the dead bodies of two
human beings were hanging, cut open, for the purpose of drying the
flesh. The third apartment had its sides beautifully decorated, but
horrid to behold, two monsters in the form of black snakes, lay coiled
up, one on each side of the lodge. It appears that one of them was the
wife, and the other the child of the Manito. They were MISHEGENABIKOES,
or Devils. This was also the natural shape of the Manito, but he had
assumed the human form only to deceive. The orifice by which they had
originally come out of the earth was closed, and escape for them was
impossible. The magic knife still glittered in the stranger's hand, and
without a moment's delay, he severed both their heads. He then commanded
the people to bring together combustibles, which they set fire to, and
consumed their remains. When the fire reached their carcasses, a dark
smoke, ascended from the lodge, and the hideous forms of fiery serpents
were seen curling amid the flames.

The mysterious stranger, who had thus proved their deliverer, then
commanded them to bring together all the human bones scattered around,
and after making due preparations, he chose three magic arrows, and
shooting the first into the air, cried, "Arise!" He then shot the
second, repeating the cry, and immediately shot the third, uttering
aloud, "Arise!" And the bones arose, and stood up covered with flesh, in
their natural forms. And they instantly raised a loud and joyous shout
of thanks to their deliverer.

The Genius of Benevolence (for such we must now regard him), motioned to
all the people to keep silence, and addressed them as follows; "My
friends, the Great Spirit who lives above the skies, seeing the
cruelties of the Manito I have destroyed, was moved with pity for you,
and determined to rid the earth of such a monster. I am the creation of
His thinking mind, and therein first appeared, and he gave me such
power, that when the word was spoken, it was done. When I wished to have
the swiftness of a bird, I flew, and whatever power I wanted was given
me. You are witnesses of it, and have seen the Mudjee Monedo killed and
burned, and the bones of his victims get up and shout. This is as
nothing with Him. It was done to restore your friends. And this will be
the way when the earth has an end, for all people will arise again, and
friends unite in going to the happy hunting grounds, when they will see
who directs all things. My stay with you will be short, for I must
return whence I came. During this brief time, I will, however, instruct
you, and teach you to live happy."

The whole multitude then followed him to the widow's lodge, where he
taught them what to do. They built their lodges around him, forming a
very large town. They dug up the earth and planted--they built large
houses, and learned many new arts, and were happy. Not as it is now--for
all the Indians have forgotten it. Having done this, he ascended into
the clouds, leaving his wife the future mother of a son, to whom he
referred the people assembled to witness his departure, for subsequent

       *       *       *       *       *

NOTE.--How much of the present fiction is due to ideas communicated to
the Indian mind, since the discovery of America, it would be impossible
to determine.

It has been found by the examination of the skull of a Saginaw, [made by
Mr. J. Toulmin, Smith,] that the organ of destructiveness is very
largely developed, exceeding by an inch, in the posterior breadth of the
head, that of exhibited specimens of the Caucasian race. This skull,
however, exhibited benevolence strongly marked, and the entire groups of
the anterior organs, exceeded as 6 to 5-1/2 those of the posterior
groups, indicating, so far as the theory is followed, that favourable
effects might be anticipated to result from education.


[51] The term Neejee, is restricted in its use by males to males, and
cannot, with propriety, be applied by males to females, or by females to

[52] No indeed!

[53] The CERVUS SYLVESTRIS, or American species of Reindeer, in confined
in its range, north of Lake Huron. No traces of it have been observed
south of the parallel of the straits of Michilimackinac, although it is
found in the peninsular area between those straits and the south shores
of Lake Superior. This animal is called ADICK by the Algic race, and is
the CARABOO of the Canadian.



The pigeon hawk bantered the tortoise for a race, but the tortoise
declined it, unless he would consent to run several days' journey. The
hawk very quickly consented, and they immediately set out. The tortoise
knew, that if he obtained the victory it must be by great diligence, so
he went down into the earth, and taking a straight line, stopped for
nothing. The hawk, on the contrary, knowing that he could easily beat
his competitor, kept carelessly flying this way and that way in the air,
stopping now to visit one, and then another, till so much time had been
lost, that when he came in sight of the winning point, the tortoise had
just come up out of the earth, and gained the prize.



[This tale is separated from a mass of traditionary matter, relating to
the origin and wars of the northern Indians, with which, however, it
appears to have no historical connexion beyond the existence of a few
actual proper names of men and places.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Sagimau had performed great feats against the enemies of his tribe. He
had entirely routed and driven off one of the original tribes from the
lakes, and came back to his residence on Lake Huron a conqueror. He was
also regarded as a Manito. But, he could not feel easy while he heard of
the fame and exploits of Kaubina, a great Chippewa chief and Manito in
the north. Kaubina lived on a large island in Lake Superior, and was not
only versed in magic himself, but had an aged female coadjutor who was
a witch, and went under the name of his grandmother. She lived under
Lake Superior, and took care to inform him of every thing that
threatened him.

Sagimau determined to measure strength with him. He accordingly thought
much about him. One night he dreamed that there was a certain head of a
lance, which, if it could be procured, would give him sway over other
tribes. This treasure was in the possession of a certain beautiful and
majestic eagle, to whom all other birds owed obedience, and who, in
consequence of having this weapon, was acknowledged king of birds. The
lance was, however, seldom seen, even by those most intimate with the
owner. The seer of the village dreamed the same dream. It was much
talked about, and made much noise. Sagimau determined to seek for it, as
it would make him the greatest hero in the world. He thought he would
first go and see Kaubina, and endeavour to deceive him, or try his skill
in necromancy. But he resolved to proceed by stratagem. After several
days' travel he crossed the neck of land separating the two great
waters, and reached the banks of Lake Superior, opposite a large island,
which is now called Grand Island. Here Kaubina lived. Some days before
this visit, the witch came into Kaubina's lodge and requested some
tobacco. But he happened to be in an ill humour, and refused her,
telling her he had none. "Very well," said she, "you will see the time
when you may wish you had given me some."

Meantime Sagimau was plotting against him. He resolved to carry off his
youngest wife. Having no canoe to cross to the island, he asked his
companions whether any of them had ever dreamed of walking in the water.
One of the men answered yes. He was therefore selected to accompany him.
They went into the water until it came breast high. "You must not have
the least doubt," said he to the young man, "but resolve that you can
walk under water. If you doubt, you will fail." They both thought strong
of it,[54] and disappeared. When about half way through the strait, they
met two monsters, who looked as long as pine trees, and had glistening
eyes. But they appeased them by giving them tobacco, and went on. On
getting near the island, Sagimau said to his friend, you must turn
yourself into a white stone on the shore, near the path where the women
come to dip water. I will assume the shape of a black log of driftwood,
and be floating, and thumping on the shore near by.

Kaubina had attended a feast that day, and after he got home to his
lodge, complained of thirst. He requested his old wife to get him some
water. "My! My!" said she, "it is dark, and why not let that one go,
whom you think so much of." He then spoke to the youngest, who
immediately got a flambeau, and prepared to go, having first asked the
elder wife to accompany her. She declined. Dark as it was, and alone,
she pursued the path to the edge of the water. She noticed the white
stone, and the wood near it, and thought she had never seen them before;
but if I return, thought she to herself, with such a story, without the
water, they will laugh at me. She made a quick motion to dip the water,
but was instantly seized by Sagimau and his companion. They drew her
under the water, carried her to the main land, and proceeded one day's
journey homeward, when they encamped. Meantime Kaubina waited for his
expected drink of water. He at last got up and searched for her on the
shore, and in the lodges, but could get no intelligence. He was
distressed, and could not rest. Next morning he renewed his search, but
in vain. He invoked the name of his grandmother, with due ceremony,
making the customary present of tobacco. At length she appeared, and
after reminding him of his neglect of her, in her last application for
the sacred weed, she revealed to him the whole plot, and also told him
the means he must use to recover his lost wife. If you follow my advice,
said she, you will get her back in a friendly way, and without
bloodshed. Kaubina obeyed the injunctions of the witch. He carried with
him a number of young men, and overtook Sagimau at his first night's
encampment. When the latter saw him, he assumed a smiling aspect, and
came forward and offered his hand. It was accepted. They then sat down
and smoked. After this Kaubina said, why did you take my wife. It was
only, Sagimau replied, to see how great a Manito you were. Here she
is--take her. Now that I know your qualities, we will live in peace.
Each concealed the deep hostility he entertained for the other. They
parted in peace.

After the interview, Sagimau sent his warriors home to Lake Michigan. He
determined to remain in the country and seek the charmed arrow. For this
purpose he retired to a remote wood, and transformed himself into a dead
moose, which appeared as if the carcass had lain a long period, for
worms were in its eyes and nostrils. Very soon eagles, hawks, crows, and
other birds of prey, flocked to the carcass. But the skin was so hard
and tough that they could not penetrate it with their bills. At length
they said, let us go and call WAUB WE NONGA to come and cut a hole for
us with his lance. Ze Ghe Nhiew offered to go, but having been told that
the dead moose was Sagimau, flew back affrighted. The birds renewed
their attempt to pierce the hide, but without success. They then
repeated their request to the white vulture-eagle. The latter returned
the same wary reply, fearful it was the stratagem of the Manito Sagimau;
but when appealed to the third time, with the assurance that worms were
in the eyes and nostrils of the carcass, he consented. All the birds
were seated around the carcass, eager for the feast. When they heard the
sweeping noise of the wings of Waub-we-nonga, the king of the birds,
they made a cry of joy. He viewed the carcass from a distance. Two birds
older than the rest, screamed out to him to come and cut the skin. He
advanced cautiously, and gave a blow, but to no effect, the lance
bounded back from the tough hide. The birds set up a loud scream,
desiring that he would renew the effort. He did so, and drove the lance
in, about a foot. Sagimau immediately caught hold of it and wrenched it
from the bird. He instantly resumed his human form and commenced his
return to his country. The great bird followed him, entreating him to
give it back, and promising, on compliance, that he would grant him any
thing that he might desire. Sagimau sternly refused. He knew that it
contained magic virtues by which he could accomplish all his purposes,
one of the first of which was, to overthrow Kaubina. This resolution he
firmly maintained, although the bird followed him all the way back,
flying from tree to tree, and renewing its solicitations.

Sagimau had no sooner reached his village with this trophy, than he
commenced gathering all the tobacco he could, as presents to the
different spirits of the land, whom he deemed it necessary to appease,
in consequence of the deception he had used in wrongfully getting
possession of the arrow. This sacred offering he carefully put up in
cedar bags, and then commenced a journey to such places as he knew they
inhabited, to leave his offering, and to obtain the permission of the
Manitoes to retain his trophy. He travelled the whole circuit of Lake
Michigan, and then went across to Lake Huron, visiting every high place
and waterfall, celebrated as the residence of spirits. But he was
unfavorably received. None of the spirits would accept his offerings.
Every spirit he asked replied, "Waub-we-nonga has passed before you with
his complaints, accusing you of a theft, and requesting that the arrow
be returned to its lawful owner. We cannot, therefore, hear you. He who
has stolen shall again be stolen from." The very same words were used by
each. The last spirit he applied to lived in a cleft, on a high point of
rock, surrounded by woods, on the summit of the island called
Mishinimakinong. He added this sentence. "Hlox has cursed you." Thus
foiled at every point, he returned home with all his tobacco. He called
all his _jossakeeds_, and medicine-men, and jugglers together, and laid
the gift before them, requesting their advice in this emergency. He
asked each one to tell him whether his skill could designate the spirit
which was meant by that outlandish word uttered on the island. One of
the oldest men said, "It has been revealed to me, by my guardian spirit,
in a dream. It is the name of a witch living in the bottom of Lake
Superior; she is a relative of Waub-we-nonga." Not another word was
uttered in the council. Silently they smoked out their pipes, and
silently they returned to their lodges.

We must now return to Kaubina. When he had recovered his wife, he went
back directly to his lodge on the island, and with due ceremony invoked
the counsel and aid of his grandmother. For this purpose he erected a
_pointed_ lodge,[55] and covered it close around with bark. He took
nothing in with him but his drum, medicine sack, and rattles. After
singing for some time, he heard a noise under ground, and the woman
appeared. "My grandson," said she, "I am made acquainted with your
wishes. Your enemy seeks your blood. Sagimau has obtained the great war
bird's arrow, and is preparing the sacred gift of our country[56] to
appease the spirits, and obtain their permission to use it. If he
obtains his wishes, he will prevail. But I will use all my power to
circumvent him. I have a firm friend among the guardian spirits of our
nation, who lives on an island toward the south. Waub-we-nonga himself
is my relation. You may rely upon my power. In nine days I shall
reappear." At the end of that time she fulfilled her promise, and told
him to watch, and that at such a time his enemy would come against him
with a large war party in canoes.

In the meantime Sagimau had visited the spirits, and failed in his
design. He would have remained at home, after the result of his council
with the old men and sages, had he not continued to hear of the
exploits of Kaubina, who was making excursions toward the southwest, and
driving back all the tribes who lived on the great lake. He was not only
goaded on by envy of his fame, but he thought him the cause of the
spirits not accepting his tobacco, and thus rendering useless in his
hands the sacred arrow. He mustered a large war party and set off in
canoes for the north, for the purpose of attacking the Odjibwas. His old
men tried to dissuade him from this expedition, but were not heeded.
When the party reached the Great Sand Dunes, Sagimau dreamed that he saw
Kaubina on an island, and took him prisoner. He was, therefore, assured
of success, and went boldly on. They crossed over to the island to watch
the movements of Kaubina, who, at this time, had his village on the main
land. This was revealed to the latter by his grandmother, who declared
the bloody intentions of the enemy. Kaubina appeared in a moment to
forget this advice, for he said to his wife, "Come, let us go over to
the island for basswood bark." "Why," said she, "have you not just told
me that Sagimau was watching there?" "Well," said he, "I am not afraid.
I would have gone if I had not heard this account, and I will go now."
While crossing the bay in his canoe, he directed his wife to land him
alone, and push out her canoe from the shore, and rest there, so that
if any accident occurred, she might immediately cross and arouse the
warriors. He directed her, the moment she reached his lodge, to take out
his medicine sack, and his fighting skin, (which was made out of a large
bear skin,) and to spread out the latter ready for him, when he arrived,
so that he could slip it on in an instant, as he relied on its magic
virtues to ensure him an easy victory. Shortly after landing him, while
resting on her paddles, she heard the sa-sa-kwan, or war whoop. She
immediately paddled for the village, and gave the alarm.

It turned out that when Kaubina landed from the canoe, he stepped ashore
near the ambush of Sagimau's party, who arose to a man and instantly
made him a prisoner. They immediately tied him to a tree, and pushed
over to the main land to secure the village before the alarm spread.
They landed very expeditiously, and getting behind the village,
approached from that part. The fight had but just commenced when Kaubina
appeared. He had been released by Hlox, and invoking his spirit, flew to
the rescue of his people. He found his fighting skin ready, and slipping
it on hastily, he now felt himself invulnerable. He then cried out to
his adversary and challenged him to single combat. Sagimau did not
decline. "Here am I," said he. "I defy you." They closed instantly.
Blow was answered with blow, without any apparent advantage to either,
till about midday, when Sagimau began to give out. He appealed to
Kaubina, saying, "My elder brother, it is enough!" (nesia me-a-me-nik.)
No answer was returned, but the reinvigorated blows of his rival and
adversary. Kaubina fought with the rage of a demon, and soon after the
scalp of Sagimau was flying in the air. Nearly the whole Ottowa party
fell with him. It is said the arrow which Sagimau either forgot to use,
or was mysteriously withheld from using, was lost in this combat, and
returned to the spirit of the King of the Birds who owned it.


[54] This phraseology is peculiar to the Indian language, and is in
accordance with the Indian plan of thought. To think strong of a thing,
implies resolution to the enterprising, and confidence to the doubting.

[55] A high pointed pyramidal lodge is appropriated to the Indian
priesthood or magicians.

[56] Tobacco.




A long time ago, there lived a famous hunter in a remote part of the
north. He had a handsome wife and two sons, who were left in the lodge
every day, while he went out in quest of the animals, upon whose flesh
they subsisted. Game was very abundant in those days, and his exertions
in the chase were well rewarded. The skins of animals furnished them
with clothing, and their flesh with food. They lived a long distance
from any other lodge, and very seldom saw any one. The two sons were
still too young to follow their father to the chase, and usually
diverted themselves within a short distance of the lodge. They noticed
that a young man visited the lodge during their father's absence, and
these visits were frequently repeated. At length the elder of the two
said to his mother; "my mother, who is this tall young man that comes
here so often during our father's absence?"

"Does he wish to see him? Shall I tell him when he comes back this
evening?" "Bad boy," said the mother, pettishly, "mind your bow and
arrows, and do not be afraid to enter the forest in search of birds and
squirrels, with your little brother. It is not manly to be ever about
the lodge. Nor will you become a warrior if you tell all the little
things you see and hear to your father. Say not a word to him on the
subject." The boys obeyed, but as they grew older, and still saw the
visits of this mysterious stranger, they resolved to speak again to
their mother, and told her that they meant to inform their father of all
they had observed, for they frequently saw this young man passing
through the woods, and he did not walk in the path, nor did he carry any
thing to eat. If he had any message to deliver, they had observed that
messages were always addressed to the men, and not to the women. At
this, the mother flew into a rage. "I will kill you," said she, "if you
speak of it." They were again intimidated to hold their peace. But
observing the continuance of an improper intercourse, kept up by
stealth, as it were, they resolved at last to disclose the whole matter
to their father. They did so. The result was such as might have been
anticipated. The father, being satisfied of the infidelity of his wife,
watched a suitable occasion, when she was separated from the children,
that they might not have their feelings excited, and with a single blow
of his war club despatched her. He then buried her under the ashes of
his fire, took down the lodge, and removed, with his two sons, to a
distant position.

But the spirit of the woman haunted the children, who were now grown up
to the estate of young men. She appeared to them as they returned from
hunting in the evening. They were also terrified in their dreams, which
they attributed to her. She harassed their imaginations wherever they
went. Life became a scene of perpetual terrors. They resolved, together
with their father, to leave the country, and commenced a journey toward
the south. After travelling many days along the shores of Lake Superior,
they passed around a high promontory of rock where a large river issued
out of the lake, and soon after came to a place called PAUWATEEG.[58]

They had no sooner come in sight of these falls, than they beheld the
skull of the woman rolling along the beach. They were in the utmost
fear, and knew not how to elude her. At this moment one of them looked
out, and saw a stately crane sitting on a rock in the middle of the
rapids. They called out to the bird. "See, grandfather, we are
persecuted by a spirit. Come and take us across the falls, so that we
may escape her."

This crane was a bird of extraordinary size and great age. When first
descried by the two sons, he sat in a state of stupour, in the midst of
the most violent eddies. When he heard himself addressed he stretched
forth his neck with great deliberation, and lifting himself by his
wings, flew across to their assistance. "Be careful," said the crane,
"that you do not touch the back part of my head. It is sore, and should
you press against it, I shall not be able to avoid throwing you both
into the rapids." They were, however, attentive on this point, and were
safely landed on the south shore of the river.

The crane then resumed his former position in the rapids. But the skull
now cried out. "Come, my grandfather, and carry me over, for I have lost
my children, and am sorely distressed." The aged bird flew to her
assistance. He carefully repeated the injunction that she must by no
means touch the back part of his head, which had been hurt, and was not
yet healed. She promised to obey, but soon felt a curiosity to know
where the head of her carrier had been hurt, and how so aged a bird
could have received so bad a wound. She thought it strange, and before
they were half way over the rapids, could not resist the inclination she
felt to touch the affected part. Instantly the crane threw her into the
rapids. "There," said he, "you have been of no use during your life, you
shall now be changed into something for the benefit of your people, and
it shall be called Addik Kum Maig." As the skull floated from rock to
rock, the brains were strewed in the water, in a form resembling roes,
which soon assumed the shape of a new species of fish, possessing a
whiteness of colour, and peculiar flavour, which have caused it, ever
since, to be in great repute with the Indians.

The family of this man, in gratitude for their deliverance, adopted the
crane as their totem, or mark; and this continues to be the
distinguishing tribal sign of the band to this day.


[57] This term appears to be a derivative from ADDIK, the reindeer, and
the plural form of the generic GUMEE water, implying deer of the waters.
To facilitate the reading of this, and other compound derivatives, a
capital letter is placed at the head of syllables.

[58] Sault Ste Marie.





Owasso and Wayoond were sons of the Thunder that rules in the northern
hemisphere.[59] Their father had left them at an early age, after having
suffered greatly from the power of some horrid Weendigoes, or
man-eaters, against whom he prevailed at last. Wayoond was the youngest
of the two, and was but a mere boy when his father left them, and
ascended into the skies; but he was intrusted to the care of his elder
brother. And he left them his parting advice. They lived in a large
country, where there were lakes and open fields, and often amused
themselves in playing ball. Game was very plenty at that time, and they
had no difficulty in killing as many animals and birds as they wanted.
For their father had been a great medicine man, and had given them
powerful spirits to aid them in all they undertook.

Some time after the father's ascent, the young men went to amuse
themselves by playing ball near the shores of a beautiful lake. They
played and laughed with great spirit, and the ball was seldom allowed to
touch the ground. In this lake happened to be a wicked old Manito, who
looked at them playing, and was very much pleased with their beauty and
activity. He thought to himself, what shall I do to get them to
accompany me--he willed that one of them should hit the ball sideways,
and that it should fall into his canoe. It so happened. When the boys
saw the old man they were surprised, as they had not noticed him before.
"Bring the ball to us," they both cried out, "come to the shore." "No,"
answered the old man. He, however, came near enough for either of them
to wade out to him. "Come, come," he said, "come and get your ball."
They insisted on his coming ashore, but he would not consent. "Very
well," said the eldest, "I will go and get it," and he jumped into the
water and approached the old man. "Hand it to me," he said, touching the
canoe. "Ha," answered the old man, "reach over and get it yourself." The
young man did so, and as he was in the act of reaching, the old Manito
pushed him into the canoe, and uttering the words, _maujaun chemaun_!
off they flew, cutting the water so fast, that the spray fell over them.
In a short time they reached the old man's lodge.

He then took the young man by the arm and led him to his lodge. "My
daughter," he said, to his eldest, as they entered the lodge, "I have
brought you a husband." The young woman smiled, for she soon saw what a
fine looking young man he was. The old man told him to take his seat
near her, and the ceremony was soon ended that made them man and wife.

The young man felt for his poor brother, but it was out of his power, at
that time, to render him any assistance. He remained very happy with his
wife, and they were blessed with a son. She told him that her father was
a magician, and had a magic canoe, and was wicked. He, one day, asked
his son-in-law to go out a fishing with him. They started, for the
magician had only to speak, and off went the canoe. They reached a rocky
island and fished round it. The young man had fastened his spear in a
very large sturgeon, who was making violent efforts to extricate himself
from the barbs. The old man thought this a very favourable opportunity
to drown his son-in-law, and by aiding the canoe as it rocked outwards,
plunged the young man head foremost into the lake. He then spoke to his
canoe, and in a very few moments was out of sight. The young man knew
that this would happen, but being gifted with limited magic powers, he
knew also how to relieve himself. He spoke to the fish and told him to
swim toward the lodge, while he carried him along, which he did with
great velocity. Once he told the sturgeon to rise near the surface of
the water, so that he might catch a glimpse of the magician. He did so,
and the young man saw him busy, in another direction, fishing. He
proceeded and reached the beach, near the magician's lodge, in advance
of him. He then spoke to the fish, not to be angry for his having
speared him, as he was created to be meat for man. He then drew the fish
on shore, and went up and told his wife to dress it and pull out the
gristly part and cook it immediately. She did so, and when it was cooked
the magician arrived. "Your grandfather is arrived," said the woman to
her son, "go and see what he brings, and eat this as you go," handing
him some of the gristle. The boy went, and the magician immediately
asked him, "What are you eating? and who brought it?" He replied, "My
father brought it." The magician had his doubts and felt perplexed; he,
however, put on a grave face, and entering the lodge, acted as if
nothing unusual had transpired.

Some days elapsed when he again requested his son-in-law to accompany
him. The young man said, "Yes!" His wife had then told him the true
character of her father, and the number of times he could exercise his
magic powers. They went out, and arrived at a solitary island composed
entirely of rocks. The magician said, "go on shore and pick up all the
gulls' eggs you can find." The rocks were covered with them, and the air
resounded with the cry of the gulls, who saw the robbery committed on
them. The magician took the opportunity to speak to the gulls. "I have
long wished," said he, "to offer you something. I now give you this
young man for food." He then uttered the charm to his canoe, and it shot
out of sight, abandoning the young man to his fate. The gulls flew in
immense numbers around him, and were ready to devour him. He addressed
them and said--"Gulls, you know you were not formed to eat human flesh,
and man was not made to be the prey of birds; obey my words. Fly close
together, a sufficient number of you, and carry me on your backs to the
magician's lodge." They obeyed him, and he soon found himself swiftly
gliding toward home.

It appears that the magician in telling his canoe to go, often limited
it, in point of time, or distance, till he ordered it forward again. In
this instance he fell asleep, and the canoe stood still, for the young
man in his flight over the lake saw him lying on his back in the canoe,
taking a nap, as the day was calm and delightful. The gulls, as they
passed over him, treated him with great disrespect. He jumped up and
exclaimed, "It is always so with these double pierced birds!" Owasso
reached the lodge in safety, and killed two or three of the gulls for
the sake of their feathers to ornament his son's head. When the magician
arrived, his grandson met him with his head covered with feathers.
"Where did you get these?" he asked. "My father brought them," he
answered. He felt perplexed and uneasy, but said nothing. He entered the
lodge in silence, and sat down to meditate upon some new plan for
destroying his son-in-law. He reflected that he had tried two of his
charms without effect, and had but two more left. He again asked the
young man to go with him to get young eagles, he said he wished to tame
them, and keep them as pets. They started on the trip, and after
traversing an immense waste of water, at length reached a desolate
island in the centre of the lake. They landed and soon found an eagle's
nest. The young man obeyed his father-in-law's wishes, by climbing up
to get the young ones. He had nearly reached the nest, when he heard the
magician's voice addressing the tree, saying, "Grow up," and the tree
instantly reached an extraordinary height. "Now, eagles!" said he, "I
promised you food, and I give you this young man to feed upon." Then he
said to the canoe, "Go!" and away he went, leaving the young man at the
mercy of the eagles. The birds were enraged at seeing their young in
danger--they flew round him with their beaks open, and their claws
distended, ready to tear him in pieces. His power, however, extended to
them also, and he got them to fly back with him to the lodge. His wife
was rejoiced to think that he had escaped the third charm, and told him
it was now his turn to ask the magician to go out, fearing that the old
man would not repeat the invitation himself. She gave him all necessary
directions, which he promised to follow.

When the magician arrived, his surprise and consternation was at its
height, finding that his third effort had failed, and that he had but a
single charm more in his power.

One evening as Owasso and his wife were sitting on the banks of the
lake, and the soft breeze, swept over it, they heard a song, as if sung
by some one at a great distance. The sound continued some time and then
died away in perfect stillness. "Oh! 'tis the voice of my brother,"
cried the young man. "If I could only see him!" and he hung down his
head in deep anguish. His wife felt for him, and to console him, she
proposed that they should attempt to make their escape on the morrow.
The plan was laid. The younger sister was to offer to comb her father's
hair during the warm and sultry part of the day, and pick the hairs
clean, and in so doing, it was supposed he would fall asleep. The plan
succeeded, and as soon as he slept, the young man and family embarked in
the magic canoe, then saying _majaun chemaun_! off the canoe started.
They had nearly reached the land, and could distinctly hear the voice of
the young man, singing, as before, when the magician awoke. He suspected
something, and looking for his canoe immediately found it gone. He spoke
his magic words, extended his sinewy arm in the air, and drew it in. The
charm was irresistible--the young man and his wife saw, with anguish,
when almost within reach of the shore, that the canoe suddenly turned
back. They soon reached the lodge. The magician stood on the beach, and
drew up his canoe. He did not utter a word. The young couple entered
the lodge in silence.[60] Autumn was now near its close, and winter soon
set in. Soon after the first fall of snow, the young man asked the
magician to go out hunting deer, as they could now easily be tracked.
They set out together, and after several days' journey, arrived at a fit
place for their object. They busied themselves in hunting all day, but
without success. At evening they built themselves a lodge of pine
branches to sleep in. The night was bitterly cold, but the young man
took off his leggings and moccasins and hung them up to dry. The
magician did the same, carefully hanging his own in a separate place,
and they laid down to sleep. During the night the magician got up and
went out, remaining some time. As the young man suspected him, and knew,
indeed, what kind of a trick the old man meant to play him, he took this
opportunity to get up and change the moccasins and leggings, putting his
own in the place of the magician's, depending on the darkness of the
lodge, to impose on him. Afterward they both laid down and slept. Near
daylight the magician got up to rekindle the fire, and slyly reached
down his own leggings and moccasins with a stick, thinking they were the
young man's, and dropped them into the fire, at the same instant
throwing himself down, pretending he still wanted to sleep.

The leather leggings and moccasins soon drew up and were burnt.
Instantly jumping up, and rubbing his eyes, the magician cried out,
Son-in-law, your moccasins are burning. Owasso got up deliberately and
unconcerned. "No, my friend," said he, "here are _mine_" taking them
down and putting them on. "It is _your_ moccasins that are burning." The
magician dropped his head in vexation to think that he had been foiled
in all his attempts. Nothing was now left, and he knew that no mercy
would be shown him. The young man left him to meditate on all his crimes
of blood, and to meet that fate from the want of covering for his feet
and legs, which he had prepared for him. He reached home in safety in a
few days, notwithstanding the cold, and resolved to quit the place for
ever, and go in search of his brother. Although the weather was cold,
the lake had not yet frozen over, and the young hunter and his family
resolved to embark immediately, the younger sister went with them in the
hope of getting a husband. Word was given to the magic canoe, and they
went swiftly on their way to the opposite shore. Owasso soon heard his
younger brother's well-known voice, as the sounds were wafted on the
breeze, singing the following words:

     Ni si ai
     Ni si ai
     A ko nau gud dau o un
     A ko nau gud dau o un
     Ash i gun ai a he ee
     Ni mau en gun e wee
     Ash i gun ai a he ee
     Ni mau en gun e wee.

My brother--my brother! since you left me going in the canoe, a-hee-ee,
I am half changed into a wolf, E-wee--I am half changed into a wolf,
E-wee. This he kept repeating as they neared the shore. The sounds were
very distinct. On the sand they saw the tracks of a wolf, as if
departing. They also saw the prints of human hands; and they soon saw
Wayoond himself, half man and half wolf, running along shore. Owasso ran
after him, crying, Ni she ma! Ni she ma! but the partly transformed
object, jumped on the bank and looked back for some time, repeating the
former words, and disappeared in the woods.

The women built a lodge at the spot, and got everything comfortable for
a long stay. The man was, however, very uneasy, and exerted his power
to regain his brother--for he kept near the lodge at night, singing in a
most pitiful strain. They always left food for him some distance from
the lodge, which he eat in the night.

The unmarried woman, who was something of a mud-jee-kee-kuá-wis,
proposed to dig a pit and cover it with light sticks and leaves, for the
purpose of placing the meat on, that when he came to eat it he might
fall in. Her plan succeeded, and when they came next morning to examine
it, they were rejoiced to find the half wolf in the pit. The man had
been fasting previously, and he brought his medicines and charms, and
threw some over his brother, who, after some time, resumed his human,
shape. He was taken to the lodge, but it was some time before the change
was perfect, and still longer before he was restored to health. His
disposition, however, was soured, for he always sat and looked very
gloomy, and felt no pleasure in the society of his friends. He
recommenced hunting, in which he was very successful, for he always hung
the tail of a wolf to his girdle at his back, or at his leg-bands or
garters, which gave him great speed and vigour in overtaking animals of
the deer kind.

MAUJEEKIKUAWIS was forward in her advances toward him. He, however,
paid no attention to it, and shunned her. She continued to be very
assiduous in attending to his wants, such as cooking, and mending his
moccasins. She felt hurt and displeased at his indifference, and
resolved to play him a trick. Opportunity soon offered. The lodge was
spacious, and she dug a hole in the ground, where the young man usually
sat, covering it very carefully. When the brothers returned from the
chase, the young man threw himself down carelessly at the usual place,
and fell into the cavity, his head and feet remaining out, so that he
was unable to extricate himself. "Ha! Ha!" cried Maujeekikuawis, as she
helped him out, "you are mine, I have caught you at last, and I did it
on purpose." A smile came over the young man's face, and he said, "So be
it, I will be yours:" and from that moment they lived happily as man and

They all lived contented and happy after this, for a length of time. The
elder brother's son grew up to manhood, and was noted for his beauty,
bravery, and manliness. He was very expert in the chase, and supplied
them abundantly with food.

One evening the brothers mentioned their desire of visiting a very high
mountain in the vicinity, in order, as they said, to gratify their
curiosity, and see the country which lay beyond it. The women tried to
dissuade them, and expressed their fears lest some accident might befall
them; but their opposition was unavailing. The men prepared to depart,
and gave their parting advice to their wives and children, telling them,
that should anything serious happen, Owasso's elder son was now fully
capable of supporting them, and that the time was not far distant when
they should all meet each other in those happy hunting grounds toward
the setting sun.

The night after this parting address they left the lodge. It was very
dark, still not a breath of air could be felt--when lo! flashes of
lightning appeared, and the noise of rumbling thunder was suddenly heard
advancing from the north (where their father had gone) and the quietude
of the night gave place to one of the most terrible tempests. The dark
air was lit up with flashes of vivid and forked lightning, and the roar
of that ear-stopping thunder was incessant. At the same time the south
wind rushed on with a tremendous noise, laying the most stately trees
level with the earth.

The young men never returned, but tradition says that they were taken up
by their father from the mountain's top, and aided him in wreaking just
vengeance on all Weendigoes and magicians. For it appears that after he
was fixed in his ethereal abode, he beheld with horror the bad actions
of these wicked men. And he resolved to destroy them, and rid the earth
of such monsters, as well as to take vengeance for what he had himself
suffered from them. To this end he exerted the power the Great Spirit
had given him, by sending thunder and lightning to destroy them all.
From this period the Indian world has been free from them. Still the
imaginations of our old and young men often dwell upon their former
power, and they are led to believe that the hills, and caves, and
forests, occupied by these once visible, are still possessed by
invisible demons.

       *       *       *       *       *

[NOTE. This story, it will be perceived, very much resembles, in some of
its incidents, one previously inserted from the Odjibwa. It also
embraces one of the principal incidents in the allegory of the "Forsaken
Boy," from the same source.]


[59] Thunder is invariably _personified_ by the Algic Indians. There is
no other mode of describing it in their vocabulary.

[60] This taciturnity is characteristic of the American Indians, who
seldom speak or manifest any emotion when events of this nature take
place in actual life, especially if hard feelings have been excited in
either party.



Mudjekewis and nine brothers conquered the Mammoth Bear, and obtained
the Sacred Belt of Wampum, the great object of previous warlike
enterprise, and the great means of happiness to men. The chief honour of
this achievement was awarded to Mudjekewis, the youngest of the ten, who
received the government of the West Winds. He is therefore called
KABEYUN, the father of the winds. To his son, WABUN, he gave the East;
to SHAWONDASEE, the south, and to KABIBONOKKA, the North. Manabozho,
being an illegitimate son, was left unprovided. When he grew up, and
obtained the secret of his birth, he went to war against his father,
KABEYUN, and having brought the latter to terms, he received the
government of the Northwest Winds, ruling jointly with his brother
KABIBONOKKA the tempests from that quarter of the heavens.

Shawondasee is represented as an affluent, plethoric old man, who has
grown unwieldy from repletion, and seldom moves. He keeps his eyes
steadfastly fixed on the north. When he sighs, in autumn, we have those
balmy southern airs, which communicate warmth and delight over the
northern hemisphere, and make the _Indian Summer_.

One day, while gazing toward the north, he beheld a beautiful young
woman of slender and majestic form, standing on the plains. She appeared
in the same place for several days, but what most attracted his
admiration, was her bright and flowing locks of yellow hair. Ever
dilatory, however, he contented himself with gazing. At length he saw,
or fancied he saw, her head enveloped in a pure white mass like snow.
This excited his jealousy toward his brother Kabibonokka, and he threw
out a succession of short and rapid sighs--when lo! the air was filled
with light filaments of a silvery hue, but the object of his affections
had for ever vanished. In reality, the southern airs had blown off the
finewinged seed-vessels of the prairie dandelion.

"My son," said the narrator, "it is not wise to differ in our tastes
from other people; nor ought we to put off, through slothfulness, what
is best done at once." Had Shawondasee conformed to the tastes of his
countrymen, he would not have been an admirer of _yellow_ hair; and if
he had evinced a proper activity in his youth, his mind would not have
run flower-gathering in his age.



The birds met together one day, to try which could fly the highest. Some
flew up very swift, but soon got tired, and were passed by others of
stronger wing. But the eagle went up beyond them all, and was ready to
claim the victory, when the gray linnet, a very small bird, flew from
the eagle's back, where it had perched unperceived, and being fresh and
unexhausted, succeeded in going the highest. When the birds came down,
and met in council to award the prize, it was given to the eagle,
because that bird had not only gone up nearer to the sun than any of the
larger birds, but it had carried the linnet on its back.

Hence the feathers of the eagle are esteemed the most honourable marks
for a warrior, as it is not only considered the bravest bird, but also
endowed with strength to soar the highest.



After Manabozho had killed the Prince of Serpents, he was living in a
state of great want, completely deserted by his powers, as a deity, and
not able to procure the ordinary means of subsistence. He was at this
time living with his wife and children, in a remote part of the country,
where he could get no game. He was miserably poor. It was winter, and he
had not the common Indian comforts.

He said to his wife, one day, I will go out a walking, and see if I
cannot find some lodges. After walking some time he saw a lodge at a
distance. The children were playing at the door. When they saw him
approaching they ran into the lodge, and told their parents that
Manabozho was coming. It was the residence of the large redheaded
Woodpecker. He came to the lodge door and asked him to enter. He did so.
After some time, the Woodpecker, who was a magician, said to his wife,
Have you nothing to give Manabozho, he must be hungry. She answered, No.
In the centre of the lodge stood a large white tamarack tree. The
Woodpecker flew on to it, and commenced going up, turning his head on
each side of the tree, and every now and then driving in his bill. At
last he drew something out of the tree, and threw it down, when, behold!
a fine, fat racoon on the ground. He drew out six or seven more. He then
descended, and told his wife to prepare them. Manabozho, he said, this
is the only thing we eat. What else can we give you? It is very good,
replied Manabozho. They smoked their pipes and conversed with each
other. After eating, the great spirit-chief got ready to go home. The
Woodpecker said to his wife, Give him the remaining racoons to take home
for his children. In the act of leaving the lodge he dropped
intentionally one of his mittens, which was soon after observed. Run,
said the Woodpecker to his eldest son, and give it to him. But don't
give it into his hand; throw it at him, for there is no knowing him, he
acts so curiously. The boy did as he was bid. Nemesho (my grandfather),
said he, as he came up to him, you have left one of your mittens--here
it is. Yes, said he, affecting to be ignorant of the circumstance, it is
so. But don't throw it, you will soil it on the snow. The lad, however,
threw it, and was about to return. List, said Manabozho, is that all you
eat,--do you eat nothing else with the racoon. No, replied the young
Woodpecker. Tell your father, he answered, to come and visit me, and let
him bring a sack. I will give him what he shall eat with his racoon
meat. When the young one reported this to his father, the old man turned
up his nose at the invitation. What does the old fellow think he has
got! exclaimed he.

Some time after the Woodpecker went to pay a visit to Manabozho. He was
received with the usual attention. It had been the boast of Manabozho,
in former days, that he could do what any other being in the creation
could, whether man or animal. He affected to have the sagacity of all
animals, to understand their language, and to be capable of exactly
imitating it. And in his visits to men, it was his custom to return,
exactly, the treatment he had received. He was very ceremonious in
following the very voice and manner of his entertainers. The Woodpecker
had no sooner entered his lodge, therefore, than he commenced playing
the mimic. He had previously directed his wife to change his lodge, so
as to enclose a large dry tamarack tree. What can I give you, said he to
the Woodpecker; but as we eat, so shall you eat. He then put a long
piece of bone in his nose, in imitation of the bill of this bird, and
jumping on the tamarack tree, attempted to climb it, doing as he had
seen the Woodpecker do. He turned his head first on one side, then on
the other. He made awkward efforts to ascend, but continually slipped
down. He struck the tree with the bone in his nose, until at last he
drove it so far up his nostrils that the blood began to flow, and he
fell down senseless at the foot of the tree. The Woodpecker started
after his drum and rattle to restore him, and having got them, succeeded
in bringing him to. As soon as he came to his senses, he began to lay
the blame of his failure to his wife, saying to his guest, Nemesho, it
is this woman relation of yours,--_she_ is the cause of my not
succeeding. She has rendered me a worthless fellow. Before I took her I
could also get racoons. The Woodpecker said nothing, but flying on the
tree, drew out several fine racoons. Here, said he, this is the way _we_
do, and left him with apparent contempt.

Severe weather continued, and Manabozho still suffered for the want of
food. One day he walked out, and came to a lodge, which was occupied by
the Moose, (Möz.) The young Mozonsug[62] saw him and told their father
Manabozho was at the door. He told them to invite him in. Being seated
they entered into conversation. At last the Moose, who was a Meet a,
said, What shall we give Manabozho to eat? We have nothing. His wife was
seated with her back toward him, making garters. He walked up to her,
and untying the covering of the armlet from her back, cut off a large
piece of flesh from the square of her shoulder.[63] He then put some
medicine on it, which immediately healed the wound. The skin did not
even appear to have been broken, and his wife was so little affected by
it, that she did not so much as leave off her work, till he told her to
prepare the flesh for eating. Manabozho, said he, this is all we eat,
and it is all we can give you.

After they had finished eating Manabozho set out for home, but
intentionally, as before, dropped one of his _minjekawun_, or mittens.
One of the young Moose took it to him, telling him that his father had
sent him with it. He had been cautioned not to hand it to him, but to
throw it at him. Having done so, contrary to the remonstrance of
Manabozho, he was going back when the latter cried out BAKAH! BAKAH![64]
Is _that_[65] the only kind of meat you eat? Tell me. Yes, answered the
young man, that is all, we have nothing else. Tell your father, he
replied, to come and visit me, and I will give him what you shall eat
with your meat. The old Moose listened to this message with indignity. I
wonder what he thinks he has got, poor fellow!

He was bound, however, to obey the invitation, and went accordingly,
taking along a cedar sack, for he had been told to bring one. Manabozho
received him in the same manner he had himself been received,--repeating
the same remarks, and attempted to supply the lack of food in the same
manner. To this end he had requested his wife to busy herself in making
garters. He arose and untied the covering of her back as he had seen the
Moose do. He then cut her back shockingly, paying no attention to her
cries or resistance, until he saw her fall down, from the loss of blood.
Manabozho, said the Moose, you are killing your wife. He immediately ran
for his drum and rattle, and restored her to life by his skill. He had
no sooner done this than Manabozho began to lay the blame of his ill
success on his wife. Why, Nemesho, said he, this woman, this relation of
yours--she is making me a most worthless fellow. Formerly, I procured my
meat in this way. But now I can accomplish nothing.

The Moose then cut large pieces of flesh off his own thighs, without the
least injury to himself, and gave them to Manabozho, saying with a
contemptuous air, this is the way _we_ do. He then left the lodge.

After these visits Manabozho was sitting pensively in his lodge one day,
with his head down. He heard the wind whistling around it, and thought,
by attentively listening, he could hear the voice of some one speaking
to him. It seemed to say to him; Great chief, why are you sorrowful. Am
not I your friend--your guardian Spirit? He immediately took up his
rattle, and without leaving his sitting posture, began to sing the chant
which at the close of every stanza has the chorus of "WHAW LAY LE AW."
When he had devoted a long time to this chant, he laid his rattle aside,
and determined to fast. For this purpose he went to a cave, and built a
very small fire near which he laid down, first telling his wife, that
neither she nor the children must come near him, till he had finished
his fast. At the end of seven days he came back to the lodge, pale and
emaciated. His wife in the meantime had dug through the snow, and got a
small quantity of the root called truffles. These she boiled and set
before him. When he had finished his repast; he took his large bow and
bent it. Then placing a strong arrow to the string, he drew it back, and
sent the arrow, with the strength of a giant, through the side of his
bark lodge. There, said he to his wife, go to the outside, and you will
find a large bear, shot through the heart. She did so, and found one as
he had predicted.

He then sent the children out to get red willow sticks. Of these he cut
off as many pieces, of equal length, as would serve to invite his
friends to a feast. A red stick was sent to each one, not forgetting the
Moose and the Woodpecker.

When they arrived they were astonished to see such a profusion of meat
cooked for them, at such a time of scarcity. Manabozho understood their
glances and felt a conscious pride in making such a display. Akewazi,
said he, to one of the oldest of the party, the weather is very cold,
and the snow lasts a long time. We can kill nothing now but small
squirrels. And I have sent for you to help me eat some of them. The
Woodpecker was the first to put a mouthful of the bear's meat to his
mouth, but he had no sooner begun to taste it, than it changed into a
dry powder, and set him coughing. It appeared as bitter as ashes. The
Moose felt the same effect, and began to cough. Each one, in turn, was
added to the number of coughers. But they had too much sense of decorum,
and respect for their entertainer, to say any thing. The meat looked
very fine. They thought they would try more of it. But the more they
ate, the faster they coughed and the louder became the uproar, until
Manabozho, exerting his former power, which he now felt to be renewed,
transformed them all into the ADJIDAMO, or squirrel, an animal which is
still found to have the habit of barking, or coughing, whenever it sees
any one approach its nest.


[61] A warlike tribe of the Algic stock located at the sources of the

[62] Diminutive form, plural number, of the noun Möz.

[63] The dress of the females in the Odjibwa nation, consists of
sleeves, open on the inner side of the arm from the elbow up, and
terminating in large square folds, falling from the shoulders, which are
tied at the back of the neck with ribbon or binding. The sleeves are
separately made, and not attached to the breast garment, which consists
of square folds of cloth, ornamented and sustained by shoulder straps.
To untie the sleeves or armlets, as is here described, is therefore to
expose the shoulders, but not the back--a simple devise, quickly
accomplished, by which the magician could readily exercise his art
almost imperceptibly to the object.

[64] Stop! stop!

[65] It is difficult to throw into the English pronoun the whole of the
meaning of the Indian. Pronouns in this language being, like other parts
of speech, transitive; they are at once indicative both of the actor,
personal, and relative, and the nature of the object, or subject of the
action, or relation. This, and that, are not used in the elementary form
these pronouns invariably possess in the English. Inflections are put to
them indicating the class of natural objects to which they refer. A noun
masculine or feminine, requiring an animate pronoun, a noun inanimate, a
pronoun inanimate.



Sleep is personified by the Algic race, under the name of Weeng.[66] But
the power of the Indian Morpheus is executed in a peculiar manner, and
by a novel agency. Weeng seldom acts directly in inducing sleep, but he
exercises dominion over hosts of gnome-like beings, who are everywhere
present, and are constantly on the alert. These beings are invisible to
common eyes. Each one is armed with a tiny puggamaugon, or club, and
when he observes a person sitting or reclining under circumstances
favourable to sleep, he nimbly climbs upon his forehead and inflicts a
blow. The first blow only creates drowsiness, the second makes the
person lethargic, so that he occasionally closes his eyelids, the third
produces sound sleep. It is the constant duty of these little emissaries
to put every one to sleep whom they encounter--men, women, and
children. And they are found secreted around the bed, or on small
protuberances of the bark of the Indian lodges. They hide themselves in
the GUSHKEEPITAUGUN, or smoking pouch of the hunter, and when he sits
down to light his pipe in the woods, are ready to fly out and exert
their sleep-compelling power. If they succeed, the game is suffered to
pass, and the hunter obliged to return to his lodge without a reward.

In general, however, they are represented to possess friendly
dispositions, seeking constantly to restore vigour and elasticity to the
exhausted body. But being without judgment, their power is sometimes
exerted at the hazard of reputation, or even life. Sleep may be induced
in a person carelessly floating in his canoe, above a fall; or in a war
party, on the borders of an enemy's country; or in a female, without the
protection of the lodge circle. Although their peculiar season of action
is in the night, they are also alert during the day.

While the forms of these gnomes are believed to be those of _ininees_,
little or fairy men, the figure of Weeng himself is unknown, and it is
not certain that he has ever been seen. Most of what is known on this
subject, is derived from Iagoo, who related, that going out one day with
his dogs to hunt, he passed through a wide range of thicket, where he
lost his dogs. He became much alarmed, for they were faithful animals,
and he was greatly attached to them. He called out, and made every
exertion to recover them in vain. At length he came to a spot where he
found them asleep, having incautiously ran near the residence of Weeng.
After great exertions he aroused them, but not without having felt the
power of somnolency himself. As he cast up his eyes from the place where
the dogs were lying, he saw the Spirit of Sleep sitting upon a branch of
a tree. He was in the shape of a giant insect, or _monetoas_, with many
wings from his back, which made a low deep murmuring sound, like distant
falling water. But Iagoo himself, being a very great liar and braggart,
but little credit was given to his narration.

Weeng is not only the dispenser of sleep, but it seems, he is also the
author of dulness, which renders the word susceptible of an ironical
use. If an orator fails, he is said to be struck by Weeng. If a warrior
_lingers_, he has ventured too near the sleepy god. If children begin to
nod or yawn, the Indian mother looks up smilingly, and says, "they have
been struck by Weeng," and puts them to bed.


[66] This word has the _g_ sounded hard, as if it were followed by a
half sound of _k_--a common sound for _g_ final in the Odjibwa.



Iagoo is the name of a personage noted in Indian lore for having given
extravagant narrations of whatever he had seen, heard, or accomplished.
It seems that he always saw extraordinary things, made extraordinary
journeys, and performed extraordinary feats. He could not look out of
his lodge and see things as other men did. If he described a bird, it
had a most singular variety of brilliant plumage. The animals he met
with were all of the monstrous kind; they had eyes like orbs of fire,
and claws like hooks of steel, and could step over the top of an Indian
lodge. He told of a serpent he had seen, which had hair on its neck like
a mane, and feet resembling a quadruped; and if one were to take his own
account of his exploits and observations, it would be difficult to
decide whether his strength, his activity, or his wisdom should be most

Iagoo did not appear to have been endowed with the ordinary faculties of
other men. His eyes appeared to be magnifiers, and the tympanum of his
ears so constructed that what appeared to common observers to be but the
sound of a zephyr, to him had a far closer resemblance to the noise of
thunder. His imagination appeared to be of so exuberant a character,
that he scarcely required more than a drop of water to construct an
ocean, or a grain of sand to form an earth. And he had so happy an
exemption from both the restraints of judgment and moral accountability,
that he never found the slightest difficulty in accommodating his facts
to the most enlarged credulity. Nor was his ample thirst for the
marvellous ever quenched by attempts to reconcile statements the most
strange, unaccountable, and preposterous.

Such was Iagoo, the Indian story-teller, whose name is associated with
all that is extravagant and marvellous, and has long been established in
die hunter's vocabulary as a perfect synonym for liar, and is bandied
about as a familiar proverb. If a hunter or warrior, in telling his
exploits, undertakes to embellish them; to overrate his merits, or in
any other way to excite the incredulity of his hearers, he is liable to
be rebuked with the remark, "So here we have Iagoo come again." And he
seems to hold the relative rank in oral narration which our written
literature awards to Baron Munchausen, Jack Falstaff, and Captain Lemuel

Notwithstanding all this, there are but a few scraps of his actual
stories to be found. He first attracted notice by giving an account of a
water lilly, a single leaf of which, he averred, was sufficient to make
a petticoat and upper garments for his wife and daughter. One evening he
was sitting in his lodge, on the banks of a river, and hearing the
quacking of ducks on the stream, he fired, through the lodge door at a
venture. He killed a swan that happened to be flying by, and twenty
brace of ducks in the stream. But this did not check the force of his
shot; they passed on, and struck the heads of two loons, at the moment
they were coming up from beneath the water, and even went beyond and
killed a most extraordinary large fish called Moshkeenozha.[67] On
another occasion he had killed a deer, and after skinning it, was
carrying the carcass on his shoulders, when he spied some stately elks
on the plain before him. He immediately gave them chase, and had run,
over hill and dale, a distance of half a day's travel, before he
recollected that he had the deer's carcass on his shoulders.

One day, as he was passing over a tract of _mushkeeg_, or bog-land, he
saw musquitoes of such enormous size, that he staked his reputation on
the fact that a single wing of one of the insects was sufficient for a
sail to his canoe, and the proboscis as big as his wife's shovel. But he
was favoured with a still more extraordinary sight, in a gigantic ant,
which passed him, as he was watching a beaver's lodge, dragging the
entire carcass of a hare.

At another time, for he was ever seeing or doing something wonderful, he
got out of smoking weed, and in going into the woods in search of some,
he discovered a bunch of the red willow, or maple bush, of such a
luxuriant growth, that he was industriously occupied half a day in
walking round it.


[67] The muscalunge.





There was once a battle between the Indians, in which many were killed
on both sides. Among the number was the leader of the Odjibwas, a very
brave man, who had fought in many battles; but while he was shouting for
victory, he received an arrow in his flesh, and fell as if dead. At last
his companions _thought he was dead_, and treated him as if he were.
They placed his body in a sitting posture, on the field of battle, his
back being supported by a tree, and his face toward the enemies'
country. They put on him his head-dress of feathers, and leaned his bow
against his shoulders, for it was before the white men had brought guns
for the Indians. They then left him and returned to their homes.

The warrior, however, heard and saw all they did. Although his body was
deprived of muscular motion, his soul was living within it. He heard
them lament his death, and felt their touch as they set him up. "They
will not be so cruel as to leave me here," he thought to himself. "I am
certainly not dead. I have the use of my senses." But his anguish was
extreme, when he saw them, one after another depart, till he was left
alone among the dead. He could not move a limb, nor a muscle, and felt
as if he were buried in his own body. Horrid agonies came over him. He
exerted himself, but found that he had no power over his muscles. At
last he appeared to leap out of himself. He first stood up, and then
followed his friends. He soon overtook them, but when he arrived at
their camp no one noticed him. He spoke to them, but no one answered He
seemed to be _invisible_ to them, and his voice appeared to have no
_sound_. Unconscious, however, of his body's being left behind, he
thought their conduct most strange. He determined to follow them, and
exactly imitated all they did, walking when they walked, running when
they ran, sleeping when they slept. But the most unbroken silence was
maintained as to his presence.

When evening came he addressed the party. "Is it possible," said he,
"that you do not see me, nor hear me, nor understand me? Will you permit
me to starve when you have plenty? Is there no one who recollects me?"
And with similar sentiments he continued to talk to them, and to upbraid
them at every stage of their homeward journey, but his words seemed to
pass like the sounds of the wind.

At length they reached the village, and the women and children, and old
men, came out, according to custom, to welcome the returning war party.
They set up the shout of praise. Kumaudjing! kumaudjing! kumaudjing!
They have met, fought, and conquered, was heard at every side. Group
after group repeated the cry.

     Kumaudjing! kumaudjing! kumaudjing!
     They have met, fought, and conquered
       The strong and the brave,
     See the eagle plumes nod,
       And the red trophies wave.
         Kumaudjing! kumaudjing!
         The war-banner waves,
         They have fought like our fathers,
         And scorn to be slaves,
         The sons of the noble,
         They scorn to be slaves.
     And he--where is he, who has led them to fight,
       Whose arrow was death,
       And whose war-club was might.
         Kumaudjing! kumaudjing!
         The hero is near,
     He is tying his enemies' scalp to his robe.
     And wiping the enemies' blood from his spear.
         He is near--he is near,
         And, hark, his Sa-sa-kwan[68]
         Now bursts on the ear.

The truth, however, was soon revealed; although it caused a momentary
check, it did not mar the _general_ joy. The sight of scalps made every
tongue vocal. A thousand inquiries were made, and he heard his own fate
described, how he had fought bravely, been killed, and left among the

"It is not true," replied the indignant chief, "that I was killed and
left upon the field of battle. I am here. I live. I move. See me."
Nobody answered. He then walked to his own lodge. He saw his wife
tearing her hair, and lamenting his fate. He asked her to bind up his
wounds. She made no reply. He placed his mouth close to her ear, and
called for food. She did not notice it. He drew back his arm and struck
her a blow. She felt nothing.

Thus foiled he determined to go back. He followed the track of the
warriors. It was four days' journey. During three days he met with
nothing extraordinary. On the fourth, toward evening, as he drew near
the skirts of the battle field, he saw a fire in the path. He stepped on
one side, but the fire had also moved its position. He crossed to the
other side, but the fire was still before him. Whichever way he took,
the fire appeared to bar his approach. At this moment he espied the
enemy of his fortunes in the moccasin, or flat-headed snake. "My son,"
said the reptile, "you have heretofore been considered a brave man--but
beware of this fire. It is a strong spirit. You must appease it by the
sacred gift." The warrior put his hand to his side, but he had left his
sack behind him. "Demon," he exclaimed, addressing the flame, "why do
you bar my approach. Know that I am a spirit. I have never been defeated
by my enemies, and I will not be defeated by you."

So saying, he made a sudden effort and leaped through the flames. In
this effort he _awoke from his trance_. He had lain eight days on the
battle field. He found himself sitting on the ground, with his back
supported by a tree, and his bow leaning against his shoulder, as his
friends had left him. He looked up and beheld a large Gha Niew, or war
eagle, sitting in the tree, which he immediately recognised as his
guardian spirit, or personal Manito. This bird had watched his body, and
prevented the other birds of prey from devouring it.

He arose and stood for a few minutes, but found himself weak and
emaciated. By the use of simples and such forest arts as our people are
versed in, he succeeded in reaching his home. When he came near, he
uttered the Sa sa kwan, or war cry, which threw the village into an
uproar. But while they were debating the meaning of so unexpected a
sound, the wounded chief was ushered into their midst. He related his
adventures as before given. He concluded his narrative by telling them
that it is pleasing to the spirits of the dead to have a fire lit up on
their graves at night, after their burial. He gave as a reason, that it
is four days' travel to the place appointed for the residence of the
soul, and it requires a light every night at the place of its
encampment. If the friends of the deceased neglect this rite, the spirit
is compelled to build a fire for itself.

     Light up the fire upon my grave
                    When I am dead.
     'Twill softly shed its beaming rays,
     To guide the soul its darkling ways,
     And ever, as the day's full light
     Goes down, and leaves the world in night,
     These kindly gleams, with warmth possest,
     Shall show my spirit where to rest
                    When I am dead.

     Four days the funeral rite renew,
                     When I am dead.
     While onward bent, with typic woes,
     I seek the red man's last repose;
     Let no rude hand the flame destroy,
     Nor mar the scene with festive joy;
     While night by night, a ghostly guest,
     I journey to my final rest,
                     When I am dead.

     No moral light directs my way
                     When I am dead.
     A hunter's fate--a warrior's fame,
     A shade, a phantom, or a name,
     All life-long through my hands have sought,
     Unblest, unlettered, and untaught:
     Deny me not the boon I crave--
     A symbol-light upon my grave,
                    When I am dead.


[68] War cry.



In a peculiar class of languages like the native American, in which
symbols are so extensively used, it might be anticipated that Death
should be thus denoted.

I asked SHAGUSH KODA WAIKWA, from whom this allegory is derived, whether
the Northern Indians discriminated between a corpse, a ghost, a spirit,
an angel, and death, considered as a personification. The answer was
affirmative, and I received the name for each.

Pauguk, according to this authority, is the personification of death. He
is represented as existing without flesh or blood. He is a hunter, and
besides his bow and arrows, is armed with a _puggamagon_, or war club.
But he hunts only men, women, and children. He is an object of dread and
horror. To see him is a sure indication of death. Some accounts
represent his bones as covered by a thin transparent skin, and his eye
sockets as filled with balls of fire.

Pauguk never speaks. Unlike the JEEBI or ghost, his limbs never assume
the rotundity of life, neither is he to be confounded in form with the
numerous class of minor Manitoes, or spirits. He does not possess the
power of metamorphosis. Unvaried in repulsiveness, he is ever an object
of fear; and often, according to Indian story, has the warrior, flushed
with the ardour of battle, rushing forward to seize the prize of
victory, clasped the cold and bony hand of PAUGUK.

"I shall never forget the fate of OWYNOKWA," continued the narrator.
"She was a widow of my native village, who had been left with six sons.
One after the other, as they became of suitable age, they had joined the
war parties who went out against their enemies and fallen in battle. At
last but one was left; he was her only stay and comfort, supplying her
with food and protection in her old age. But he too, as he became old
enough, spurning the dull life of a hunter, followed the war drum of his
tribe, and went out against our enemies in the West. The absence of such
a war party, is a time of anxiety and suspense with the women of a
village. To relieve this, and at the same moment to prepare them for
more particular intelligence, the returning party gives the war-cry of
triumph, and the death-wail indicating the number slain, as soon as they
come within hearing. On the present occasion, Owynokwa rushed from her
lodge, the moment she caught the first sound. She stood with her lips
parted, in an attitude of intense and agonized suspense; and as soon as
the death-wail broke upon her ear, despair appeared to rivet her to the
spot. She heeded nothing; not a muscle moved; she neither inquired nor
heard, who were the slain, but sank slowly to the earth in the place
where she stood. She was carried into her lodge, and the next morning
showed signs of reanimation, but they were slight and brief--the
rigidity of death soon seized upon her frame, and she followed her son
to the land of spirits. Her son was indeed among the slain, but mortal
tongue had not communicated the fact. It was generally supposed she had
met the glare of Pauguk at the moment the death-wail or Chee kwau dum
had broke on her ear."



A vine was growing beside a thrifty oak, and had just reached that
height at which it requires support. "Oak," said the ivy vine, "bend
your trunk so that you may be a support to me." "My support," replied
the oak, "is naturally yours, and you may rely on my strength to bear
you up, but I am too large and too solid to bend. Put your arms around
me, my pretty vine, and I will manfully support and cherish you, if you
have an ambition to climb, even as high as the clouds. While I thus hold
you up, you will ornament my rough trunk with your pretty green leaves
and shining scarlet berries. They will be as frontlets to my head, and I
shall stand in the forest like a glorious warrior, with all his plumes.
We were made by the Master of Life to grow together, that by our union
the weak should be made strong, and the strong render aid to the weak."

"But I wish to grow _independently_," said the vine, "why cannot you
twine around me, and let me grow up straight, and not be a mere
dependant upon _you_." "Nature," answered the oak, "did not _so_ design
it. It is impossible that you should grow to any height _alone_, and if
you try it, the winds and rain, if not your own weight, will bring you
to the ground. Neither is it proper for you to run your arms hither and
yon, among the trees. The trees will begin to say--"It is not my
vine--it is a stranger--get thee gone, I will not cherish thee." By this
time thou wilt be so entangled among the different branches, that thou
canst not get back to the oak; and nobody will _then_ admire thee, or
pity thee."

"Ah me," said the vine, "let me escape from such a destiny:" and with
this, she twined herself around the oak, and they both grew and
flourished happily together.

*** End of this LibraryBlog Digital Book "Algic Researches, Comprising Inquiries Respecting the Mental Characteristics of the North American Indians, Vol. 2 of 2 - Indian Tales and Legends" ***

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