Monday, February 9, 2015

Native Legends

Native Legends

Winter-time is definitly the correct time for story-telling- especially in this weather.  Although I still have quite a few pics to organize into posts I figure I will accomodate these with some other links.  Below are two great First Nations stories that were uploaded on to YouTube.  These stories (under 30 mins) aired on Canadian television in the early 1980's.  

1) "Glooscap."  The first story is told and re-enacted by Gesgapegiag MicMac Tribal members.  It is the story of Glooscap (also a prominent creator deity in the New England area) and his twin brother Malsumis.  Although Glooscap is not the Creator himself, as I understand it he is one of the creator's first creations, a powerful deity- Glooscap is benevolent and good.  He creates the moose and other animals from the clay of the Earth, and soon creates the first humans (from the Ash tree- I have heard this legend years ago from other sources).  However, Glooscap's twin brother Malsimus has no creative energy of his own, and hatred grows strong in him.  He begins to corrupt Glooscap's creations, thus introducing a concept of "evil" into the world.

A classic good against evil.  Just like all traditions in the ancient world, the duality of light and darkness is portrayed.  Probably the implications to the changes of the environment and landscape and also animals and man in this story is more profound than most realize or will admit.  One thing to take note of in this re-enactment of this Algonquian legend is the use of stone cairns and other stone structures throughout the episode. (25 mins):

2) "The Winter Wife." (An Ojibwe legend.)  A young hunter struggles to get by alone at his winter campsite.  He soon receives powerful visions from an elk.  Soon, he meets a strange beautiful lady.  She becomes his winter wife, refusing to go back to the young man's village in the spring, but promising the man to remain true to her.  Through the good luck of meeting this woman, the young hunter is successful at his winter campsite.  However, this makes him desirable to be wed when he returns to his village.  Will the hunter remain true to his winter wife's promise, or will success and temptation get the best of him?  Also, is the beautiful winter wife more than she seems?  A very good legend about the morals, and true meaning, of life itself. (24 mins.):

Statue of Glooscap, Halifax Nova Scotia.

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