Algonquin Legends and Customs

Published on January 28, 2013 by Carol

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Algonquin: An Algonquin Indian

Three Loons Swimming Among the Water Lily Pods
The cry of the loon serves as a mate call, for the Indians. When they hear the loons calling, to one another, and uttering a certain cry, a plaintive one, they know there is a moose, or deer nearby. “It is always a sure warning,” said Two Black Beaver Woman, “the loon hardly ever fails us. Otherwise, we have to use the hunter’s horn to call the moose, or deer to us.”

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The Sun Woman Kisisok8e
My grandmother, the Sun-Woman Kisisok8e, never ate until the sun had touched a certain plant, then she would eart, said White Caribou Woman. She told me that when the Bear-head was in the sky, it kept turning all the time, and that is how she could tell the different seasons. The Bear-head was in the form of seven stars, and from the Bear-head she could tell if it was going to be a cold, or warm winter.

A Rattlesnake for Tootache
When we were children, said White Caribou Woman, my great-grandmother, the Sun Woman would catch a rattlesnake, and when we suffered from tootache, she would make us bite into the snake’s body several times, and when she would let the snake loose, this would cure our tootache. It also preserved our teeth from decay.

It would never consent to bite into the rattlesnake, and today my teetch are all gone. If only I had listened to my great-grandmother the Sun Woman, I would still have my teeth. My sisters and brothers all have good teeth. My great-grandmother believe in all snake cures. (There exists several species of rattlesnakes in southwestern Ontario. The massasauga is found most frequently. None are reported in Québec.)

The Indians made their own false teeth from hardwood, and inserted the tooth in the cavity. Mostly cedarwood was used.

La Nouvelle-France La Fleur de Lys
The Algonkian Indians always depict La Fleur de Lys (The Lily of France, French emblem) on their basketry, as a symbol of friendship.

Many of the older Indians are named Louis, in memory of the Kings of France, said White Duck, chief of the Little Nation of the North.

Source: Sacred-texts

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