Myths and Legends of the Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes

Page: 10

When the waters sank, he was sent to find land. He could find none. Then a dove was sent and came back with a grain of sand. This sand was placed on top of the great waters and immediately it stretched out. It became dry land. Therefore the dove is called “Ground Watcher.”

Three different decorated bowls

From Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology.
Early Indian Pottery.




MANABUSH[5] wanted to punish the evil manidoes, the Ana maqkiu who had destroyed his brother Wolf. Therefore he invented the ball game.

[5] The Manabozho of the Ojibwas.

The place selected by Manabush for a ball ground was near a large sand bar on a great lake near Mackinac. He asked the Thunderers to play against the Ana maqkiu. These evil manidoes came out of the ground as Bears. One chief was a silvery white bear, and the other a gray bear. They played the ball game all day. Manabush watched the game from a tree on a knoll.

When night came, Manabush went to a spot between the places where the Bear chiefs had played ball. He said, “I want to be a pine tree, cut off halfway between the ground and the top, with two strong branches reaching out over the places where the Bear chiefs lie down.” At once he became just such a tree.

[22] Now when the players came to the ball game the next morning, the Bear chiefs at once said, “This tree was not standing there yesterday.”

The Thunderers at once said, “Oh, yes. It was there.” Thus they argued. At last one Bear chief said, “This tree is Manabush. Therefore we will kill him.” At once they sent for Grizzly Bear. They said, “Climb this tree. Tear off the bark. Scratch it.” Grizzly Bear did so. He also bit the branches.