Thursday, April 24, 2008

He's Back & He's Brought Folklore

Where I'm from in relation to the USA.

A little closer look at the state.

Where I came from in relation to the state.

The Birth Of A Great Medicine Man(Passamaquoddy Legend as passed down to me, and from several other sources.)

A story of old times. There was once a woman who travelled constantly through the woods. Every bush she saw she bit off, and from one of these she came to be with child. She grew bigger and bigger until at last she could travel no longer, but built a wigwam near the mouth of a stream. The woman gave birth to a child in the night. She thought it best to kill the child, but did not wish to murder her offspring.

At last she decided to make a canoe of bark, and in it she put her child and let it float down the river. The water of the river was rough, but the child was not harmed, or even wet. It floated down to an Indian village, and was stranded on the shore near a group of wigwams.

A woman of the village found the baby on the shore and
brought it to her home. Every morning, after the baby had been brought to the place, a baby of the village died. The Indians did not know what the matter was until they noticed that the waif which the woman had found in the bark on the river bank went to the river every night and returned shortly after.

A woman watched to see what this had to do with the death of the babes, and she saw the child, when it returned to the wigwam, bring a tongue of a little child, roast and eat it. Then it laid down to sleep. The next morning another child died, and
then the Indian knew that its tongue had been cut out. It was therefore believed that the strange child had killed the baby. They deliberated as to what they should do with the murderer. Some said, cut him in pieces and cast the fragments into the river. Others said, cut him up and burn the fragments. This, after much consultation, they did. They burnt the fragments of the child until nothing but the ashes remained.

Everybody thought it dead, but the next morning it came back to camp again, with a little tongue as before, roasted and ate the morsel. The next morning another child was found to have died the night before. After the weird child had roasted and eaten the tongue of its victim he laid down to sleep in the same place he had laid before he had been cut up into fragments and cremated. But in the morning the child said that it would never kill any more children.

He had now, in fact, become a big boy. He said he would take one of his bones out of his side. This he tried to do, and as he did it, all the bones came out of his body at the same time. Then he closed his eyes by drawing his fingers over his eyelids so that his eyes were hidden. He could not move, because he had no bones and had grown very fat. He became a great medicine man, and told the Indians that whatever they asked of him he would grant them.Then the Indians moved away from the place and left the medicine man behind in a nice wigwam which they built for him. But they were accustomed to go back when they wished anything, and to ask the conjurer for it. The Indians used to go to him for medicine of all kinds. When he granted their request he said, "Turn me over and you will find the medicine under me."

Koolpejot has since been "rolled over by means of a handspike." He is a great medicine man, he has no bones, always lies out in the open air, and is rolled over from one side to the other twice a year, during spring and fall. An Old Relative suggested that this was a figurative representation of the revolution of the seasons and the herbal and other medicines each season gives up to the Indians as they change in their turn.

Works okay for me. Until next time, take care.


The Guy Who Writes This said...

Welcome back, Mike.

Cherie said...

I LOVE stuff like this! Thanks. I even read it the kids - but of course got 'ewwww' from them. Kids!

Anyhoo, I join in welcoming you back.

(I am so not going to munch on any bushes in the woods - no no no! ;)

Mike S said...

Cherie, you gotta have action characters and lotsa gore these days, or a game box.

Melly/Melody/or Mel said...

I absolutely love it.

Reminds me of "sealskin, soulskin".

Mike S said...

Melly, yup, but they left out the bit about being beautiful.

Brother Tim said...

Sounds believable to me. ;)

Mies said...

Nice to have you back Mike. At first I thought you might be telling the story of Moses, with the baby being set a drift and all :)...just kidding of course....I love folklore, my favorite being Indian and Irish. Wigwam? Still waiting to hear how that word came to be...
Thanks again...L

Mike S said...

Mies....English mispronounciation of wikuwam from the Maliseet for house, dwelling; building(plural wikuwamol) led to that spelling. It's sort of ironic in that the 'misspelled' form is the one most heard today, even among native speakers.

Mies said...

Well thank you sir...Good to see you didn't lose your note and remembered to find the info...Wikuwam? I think I like that better than wigwam...Let's change it back:):)...L

Kay said...

I love reading about legends.