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cuing from oblivion so much of the legendary lore of the bidians.
The scene of the poem is among the Ojibways on the southern shore of Lake Superior, in the region between the Pictured Rocks and the Grand Sable. Page 232.
In the Vale of Tawasentha. This valley, now called Norman's Kill, is in Albany County, New York.
Page 235. On the Mountains of the Prairie. Mr. Catlin, in his Letters and Notes on the Manners, Customs, and Condition of the North American Indians, Vol. II. p. 160, gives an interesting account of the Côteau des Prairies, and the Red Pipe-stone Quarry. He says:
" Here (according to their traditions) happened the mysterious birth of the red pipe, which has blown its fumes of peace and war to the remotest corners of the continent; which has visited every warrior, and passed through its reddened stem the irrevocable oath of war and desolation. And here, also, the peace-breathing calumet was born, and fringed with the eagle's quills, which has shed its thrilling fumes over the land, and soothed the fury of the relentless savage.
“ The Great Spirit at an ancient period here called the Indian nations together, and, standing on the precipice of the red pipe-stone rock, broke from its wall a piece, and made a huge pipe by turning it in his hand, which he smoked over them, and to the North, the South, the East, and the West, and told them that this stone was red, that it was their flesh,--that they must use it for their pipes of peace,--that it belonged to them all, and that the war-club and scalping-knife must not be raised on its ground. At the last whiff of liis pipe his head went into a great cloud, and the whole surface of the rock for several miles was melted and glazed; two great ovens were opened beneath, and two women (guardian spirits of the place) entered them in a blaze of fire; and they are heard there yet (Tso-mec-cos-tee and Tso-me-cos-tewon-dee), answering to the invocations of the highpriests or medicine-men, who consult them when they are visitors to this sacred place.”
Page 241. Hark you, Bear ! you are a coward.
This anecdote is from Heckewelder. In his account of the Indian Nations, he describes an Indian hunter as addressing a bear in nearly these words. “I was present,”
“at the delivery of this curious invective; when the hunter had despatched the bear, I asked him how he thought that poor animal could understand what he said to it? 0,' said he in answer, the bear understood mo very well; did you not observe how ashamed he looked while I was upbraiding him?'"- Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. I. p. 240.
Page 250. Hush ! the Naked Bear will get thee! Heckewelder, in a letter published in the Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. IV. p. 260, speaks of this tradition as prevalent among the Mohicaus and Delawares.
“ Their reports,” he says, “ run thus: that among all animals that had been formerly in this country, this was the most ferocious; that it was much larger than the largest of the common bears, and remarkably long-bodied; all over, (except a spot of hair on its back of a white color,) naked.
“The history of this animal used to be a subject of conversation among the Indians, especially when in the woods a hunting. I have also heard them say to their children when crying: 'Hush! the naked bear will hear you, be upon you, and devour you.'' Page 261.
Where the Falls of Minnehaha, &c. “The scenery about Fort Snelling is rich in beauty, The Falls of St. Anthony are familiar to travellers, and to readers of Indian sketches. Between the fort and these falls are the Little Falls,' forty feet in height, on a stream that empties into the Mississippi. The Indians called them Mine-hah-hah, or 'laughing waters.'”—Mrs. Eastman's Dacotah, or Legends of the Sioux, Introd. p. ii.
Page 306. Sand Hills of the Nagow Wudjoo. A description of the Grand Sable, or great sand dunes of Lake Superior, is given in Foster and Whitney's Report on the Geology of the Lake Superior Lund District, Part II.
131. “ The Grand Sable possesses a scenic interest little inferior to that of the Pictured Rocks. The explorer passes abruptly from a coast of consolidated sand to one of loose materials; and although in the one case the cliffs are less precipitous, yet in the other they attain & higher altitude. He sees before him a long reach of coast, resembling a vast sand-bank, more than three hundred and fifty feet in height, without a trace of vegetation. Ascending to the top, rounded hillocks of blown sand are observed, with occasional clumps of trees, standing out like oases in the desert.”
Page 306. Onaway! Awake, beloved !
The original of this song may be found in Littell's Living Age, Vol. XXV. p. 45.
Page 310. Or the Red Swan floating, flying.
in Schoolcraft's Algic Researches, Vn? II. p. 9. Three brothers were hunting on a wager to see who would bring home the first game.
“They were to shoot no other animal,” so the legend says, “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 bowstring 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 brother's 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 be took the last arrow, he felt his arm firmer, and, drawing it up with vigor, 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.”pp. 10–12. Page 318.
When I think of my beloved. The original of this song may be found in Oneóta, p. 15.
Page 320. Sing the mysteries of Mondamin.
The Indians hold the maize, or Indian corn, in great veneration. " They esteem it so important and divine A grain," says Schoolcraft, “ that their story-tellers invented various tales, in which this idea is symbolized under the form of a special gift from the Great Spirit. The Odjibwa-Algonquins, who call it Mon-dá-min, that is, the Spirit's grain or berry, have a pretty story of this kind, in which the stalk in full tassel is represented as descending from the sky, under the guise of a handsome youth, in answer to the prayers of a young man at his fast of virility, or coming to manhood.
"It is well known that corn-planting, and corn-gathering, at least among all the still uncolonized tribes, are left entirely to the females and children, and a few superannuated old men. It is not generally known, perhaps, that this labor is not compulsory, and that it is assumed by the females as a just equivalent, in their view, for the onerous and continuous labor of the other sex, in providing meats, and skins for clothing, by the chase, and in defending their
villages against their enemies, and keeping intruders off their territories. A good Indian housewife deems this a part of her prerogative, and prides herself to have a store of corn to exercise her hospitality, or duly honor her husband's hospitality, in the entertainment of the lodge guests."— Oneóta, p. 82. Page 321. Thus the fields shall be more fruitful.
A singular proof of this belief, in both sexes, of the mysterious influence of the steps of a woman on the vegetable and insect creation, is found in an ancient custom, which was related to me, respecting corn-planting. It was the practice of the hunter's wife, when the field of corn had been planted, to choose the first dark or overclouded evening to perform a secret circuit, sans habilement, around the field. For this purpose she slipped out of the lodge in the evening, unobserved, to some obscure nook, where she completely disrobed. Then, taking her matchecota, or principal garment, in one hand, she dragged it around the field. This was thought to insaro a prolific crop, and to prevent the assaults of insects and worms upon the grain. It was supposed they could not creep over the charmed line."- Oneóta, p. 83. Page 324.
With his prisoner-string he bound him. “ These cords,” says Mr. Tanner, "are made of the bark of the elm-tree, by boiling and then immersing it in cold water. The leader of a war party commonly earries several fastened about his waist, and if, in the course of the fight, any one of his young men takes a prisoner, it is his duty to bring him immediately to the chief, to be tied, and the latter is responsible for his safekeeping.”—Narrative of Captivity and Adventures, p. 412. Page 325. Wagemin, the thief of corn-fields,
Paimosaid, the skulking robber. “If one of the young female huskers finds a red ear of corn, it is typical of a brave admirer, and is regarded as a fitting present to some young warrior.
But if the ear be crooked, and tapering to a point, no matter what color, the whole circle is set in a roar, and wa-ge-min is the word shouted aloud. It is the symbol of a thief in the cornfield. It is considered as the image of an old man stooping as he enters the lot. Had the chisel of Praxiteles been employed to produce this image, it could not more vividly bring to the minds of the merry group the idea of a pilferer of their favorite mondámin.
“The literal meaning of the term is, a mass, or crooked ear of grain; but the ear of corn so called is a couventional type of a little old man pilfering ears of corn in a çorn-field. It is in this manner that a single word or term, in these curious languages, becomes the fruitful parent of many ideas. And we can thus perceive why it is that the word wagemin is alone competent to excite merriment in the husking circle.
“ This term is taken as the basis of the cereal chorus, or corn song, as sung by the Northern Algonquin tribes. It is coupled with the phrase Paimosaid, -a permutative form of the Indian substantive, made from the verb pim0-sa, to walk.
Its literal meaning is, he who walks, or the walker ; but the ideas conveyed by it are, he who walks by night to pilfer corn. It offers, therefore, a kind of parallelism in expression to the preceding term.”— - Oneóta, p. 254.
Page 339. Pugasaing, with thirteen pieces.
This Game of the Bowl is the principal game of hazard among the Northern tribes of Indians. Mr. Schoolcraft gives a particular account of it in Oneóta, p. 85. game,” he says, " is very fascinating to some portions of the Indians. They stake at it their ornaments, weapons, clothing, canoes, horses, every thing in fact they possess; and have been known, it is said, to set up their wives and children, and even to forfeit their own liberty. Of such desperate stakes I have seen no examples, nor do I think the game itself in common use. It is rather confined to certain persons, who hold the relative rank of gamblers in Indian society,-men who are not noted as hunters or warriors, or steady providers for their families. Among these are persons who bear the term of lenadizze-wug, VOL. II.