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Thread: Paging Gazhekwe

  1. #51

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    Yes, Kinequay was another of the white women in the line. She was married later in her life to the younger Maingan as an arranged marriage. I think I got that from your story and found additional corroboration on line somewhere. Kinequay was regarded as a full tribal member and her child was a full tribal member. Am I right, there was one child, Payson?

    Kinikwe has something to do with her medicine I think. Kin can mean something like 'a pinch of something' and ikwe is 'woman.' There could be a different interpretation, depending on how close "kin" is to the original name. I am using the current standardized spelling, called the Fiero system.

  2. #52

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    Thanks for the call Gaz - sorry about the whispering, but there are thoughtless people who carry on loud conversations on cell phones in the quiet computer room here at the library. I'll call as soon as possible, cuz.

  3. #53

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    Correcting some details after our discussion. Kinequay had a white mother and an Indian father. Maingan, her second husband, the same. Waukazoo was his father. The child of their marriage, Payson Wolfe, was considered a full tribal member, and he joined First Michigan Sharpshooters, Company K in 1863. Wolf is the English translation of Maingan, after his father.

  4. #54

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    Gazhekwe, are you familiar with Dean George or his work?

  5. #55

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    Yes. Dean was one of my mentors as I got started in college, and later when I began my career. He was a strong man and was truly missed when he move back home.

    There were a bunch of them, strong men with a true sense of purpose in helping young people learn and progress in the workings of the modern world. Dean, Harry Command, Russ Wright, Maynard Kennedy, all worked various ways within the system and outside of it. Fred Boyd was an expert at biting at the heels of officialdom. I used to call him a wedge. He would drive a breach and more temperate voices could come in behind and negotiate. John Muse, Esther Mays, the Antoines, the Dockstaders, most have walked on, but those they mentored are now trying to fill those big moccasins and mentor others to follow. One of the Georges is now Executive Director at the North American Indian Association of Detroit. I am not sure if she is a daughter, granddaughter or in law. I've never managed to catch her standing still in one place with time to talk.
    Last edited by gazhekwe; September-07-09 at 01:58 PM.

  6. #56

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    Inspired by the 12-21-12 thread here is some info on Anishinaabe calendar and prophecies. First the calendar:

    The Anishinaabe calendar is 13 moons. As you can see, they can change according to the seasons. Winter happens earlier the farther north you go.

    Manidoo-giizis Spirit Moon
    Namebini-giizis Sucker fish moon
    Makoonsag-gaa-nitaawaadi-giizis When the bear cubs are born moon
    Ziinsibaakwadooke-giizis Making sugar time moon
    Omakakiiwi-giizis Frog moon
    Waabigoni-giizis Flowering moon
    Ode-imini-giizis Strawberry moon
    Miini-giizis Blueberry moon
    Manoominikie-giizis Ricing moon
    Waatebagaa-giizis Leaves changing moon
    Waatebagaa-giizis Falling leaves moon
    Adikomemi-giizis Whitefish moon
    Gichi-bibooni-giizis Big winter moon

    As you can see there is a seasonal representation rather than a strict astrological one. Most are named after the most important food gathering activity of the month. The calendar runs yearly with no particular year date.

    Thirteen moons on a turtle's back -- If you
    examine the segments on the back of every turtle you will see thirteen large segments which represent the thirteen moons of the lunar year. By counting the smaller segments around the lower edge of the shell, you will find there are 28, which represents the 28 days between new moons.

    The turtle, of course, is the basis of our land.

    Next the Anishinaabe prophecies.

  7. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by gazhekwe View Post
    Yes. Dean was one of my mentors as I got started in college, and later when I began my career. He was a strong man and was truly missed when he move back home.

    There were a bunch of them, strong men with a true sense of purpose in helping young people learn and progress in the workings of the modern world. Dean, Harry Command, Russ Wright, Maynard Kennedy, all worked various ways within the system and outside of it. Fred Boyd was an expert at biting at the heels of officialdom. I used to call him a wedge. He would drive a breach and more temperate voices could come in behind and negotiate. John Muse, Esther Mays, the Antoines, the Dockstaders, most have walked on, but those they mentored are now trying to fill those big moccasins and mentor others to follow. One of the Georges is now Executive Director at the North American Indian Association of Detroit. I am not sure if she is a daughter, granddaughter or in law. I've never managed to catch her standing still in one place with time to talk.
    Thanks. I knew him not. Oneida Indians have always been of interest to me.

  8. #58

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    About the Prophecies... I am going to use Eddie Benton Benay's version from the Mishomis Book, as it is very similar to the stories I heard as a child. Eddie Benton Benay was a co-founder of the American Indian Movement in the late 60s. He was a school administrator in Minneapolis, and at Lac Court Oreilles Reservation in Wisconsin, his home base. As a tribal elder, he published stories of the creation and more in the Mishomis (Grandfather) Book, 1989. For this he took a lot of heat from tribal members in all areas for disclosing what some feel should be kept for our ears alone. He feels such stories should be shared, and so do I, as they contain messages for people who have crossed over into mainstream culture, and for those of the white race who have changed the course of our lives.

    There were seven prophets who instructed the people with seven predictions of what the future would bring. Each of these prophecies was called a Fire and each Fire referred to a particular era of time that would come in the future.

    [No dates or astronomical references were given in these stories. It is more like interpreting what is going on and relating it to the Seven Fires. -- Gazhekwe]

    Some interpretations from April E. Lindala, Director, Center for Native American Studies, Northern Michigan University
    http://voices.nmu.edu/content.asp?PageName=Anishinaabe

    Others from http://www.chi-manidoo.com/7fires.html

    Others from my memory.
    Last edited by gazhekwe; September-08-09 at 05:09 PM.

  9. #59

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    The First Fire
    The first prophet said to the people, "In the time of the First Fire, the Anishinaabe nation will rise up and follow the sacred shell (Megis) of the Midewiwin Lodge. The Midewiwin Lodge will serve as a rallying point for the people and its traditional ways will be the source of much strength. The Sacred Megis will lead the way to the chosen ground of the Anishinabe. You are to look for a turtle shaped island that is linked to the purification of the earth. You will find such an island at the beginning and at the end of your journey. There will be seven stopping places along the way. You will know the chosen ground has been reached when you come to a land where food grows on water. If you do not move you will be destroyed."

    This interpretation is from Lindala, working with Benay:

    The move from the east took over five hundred years, taking the Anishinaabe through what is now New York, lower Michigan, Ontario and eventually to Moningwunakauning – place of the golden-breasted woodpecker – what is understood today to be near the Red Cliff reservation in Wisconsin. ....

    “At the time of these predictions,” Benton-Banai shares, “many people scoffed at the prophets. They then had mush-kee-ki-wi-nun (medicine) to keep away sickness. These were the people who chose to stay behind on the great migration. These people were the first to have contact. They would suffer the most.”

    Interpretation from what I heard as a child
    It is said the First Prophecy foretells a great disease that would kill everyone unless they moved from their place on the Atlantic near the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. Their quest lasted many generations. Some say the Island shaped like a turtle was in the St. Lawrence River, some say it is Mackinac (Turtle) Island, some say it is Madeline Island at the western end of Lake Superior. Although in our area of the eastern UP we believe it was Michilimackinac, the Great Turtle, Madeline is regarded as the center of the Midewiwin (Medicine Way).

    Some went even farther west, as far as north central Montana, where now there is a reservation of Ojibwe and Cree, Rocky Boy's Reservation.

    The Sacred Shell is generally represented as a cowry shell.
    Last edited by gazhekwe; September-08-09 at 05:09 PM.

  10. #60
    Stosh Guest

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    Quote Originally Posted by gazhekwe View Post
    The First Fire
    The first prophet said to the people, "In the time of the First Fire, the Anishinaabe nation will rise up and follow the sacred shell (Megis) of the Midewiwin Lodge. The Midewiwin Lodge will serve as a rallying point for the people and its traditional ways will be the source of much strength. The Sacred Megis will lead the way to the chosen ground of the Anishinabe. You are to look for a turtle shaped island that is linked to the purification of the earth. You will find such an island at the beginning and at the end of your journey. There will be seven stopping places along the way. You will know the chosen ground has been reached when you come to a land where food grows on water. If you do not move you will be destroyed."

    This interpretation is from Lindala, working with Benay:

    The move from the east took over five hundred years, taking the Anishinaabe through what is now New York, lower Michigan, Ontario and eventually to Moningwunakauning – place of the golden-breasted woodpecker – what is understood today to be near the Red Cliff reservation in Wisconsin. ....

    “At the time of these predictions,” Benton-Banai shares, “many people scoffed at the prophets. They then had mush-kee-ki-wi-nun (medicine) to keep away sickness. These were the people who chose to stay behind on the great migration. These people were the first to have contact. They would suffer the most.”

    Interpretation from what I heard as a child
    It is said the First Prophecy foretells a great disease that would kill everyone unless they moved from their place on the Atlantic near the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. Their quest lasted many generations. Some say the Island shaped like a turtle was in the St. Lawrence River, some say it is Mackinac (Turtle) Island, some say it is Madeline Island at the western end of Lake Superior. Although in our area of the eastern UP we believe it was Michilimackinac, the Great Turtle, Madeline is regarded as the center of the Midewiwin (Medicine Way).

    Some went even farther west, as far as north central Montana, where now there is a reservation of Ojibwe and Cree, Rocky Boy's Reservation.

    The Sacred Shell is generally represented as a cowry shell.
    Very interesting prophecy. I enjoyed reading this and the calendar references. Thanks for sharing these, and it's a good place to be, here tucked in this connect thread. Lack of distractions.

  11. #61

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    Thank you, Stosh! On to the Second Prophet's message:

    The second prophet told the people, "You will know the Second Fire because at this time the nation will be camped by a large body of water. In this time the direction of the Sacred Shell will be lost. The Midewiwin will diminish in strength, a boy will be born to point the way back to the traditional ways. He will show the direction to the stepping stones to the future of the Anishinabe people.

    Interpretations:

    I never heard an interpretation of this one.

    Eddie Benton Benay has this story, but it doesn't refer specifically to the second prophecy. As reported in the Lindala document:

    Upon their journey from the east, they were instructed to seek a turtle-shaped island. The Ojibwe went through a great search throughout all of the waters to seek this island. “At last, a woman who was carrying a child had a ba-wa-zi-gay-win (a dream) in which she found herself standing on the back of a turtle in the water. The tail of the turtle pointed to the direction of the rising Sun and its head faced the West. The turtle was in a river that ran into the setting Sun. Such an island was found in the St. Lawrence River, near modern day Montreal. This was the first stopping place.
    The italicized part is from Eddie Benton Benay as reported on this site: http://www.ojibwe.org/home/pdf/episo...cher_guide.pdf

    This site also says the second stopping place was near the place of water and thunder, Niagara Falls. At this place, peace was achieved with the Iroquois people.

  12. #62

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    The Third Fire:

    The third prophet said to the people. "In the Third Fire, the Anishinabe will find the path to their chosen ground, a land in the west to which they must move their families. This will be the land where food grows on water. "

    Interpretation:

    My recollection is that food growing on the water means wild rice, which was abundant in the land south and west of Lake Superior. Note, we were only to 'find the path,' not actually arrive at our chosen ground.

    From Lindala:

    The move from the east took over five hundred years, taking the Anishinaabe through what is now New York, lower Michigan, Ontario and eventually to Moningwunakauning – place of the golden-breasted woodpecker – what is understood today to be near the Red Cliff reservation in Wisconsin.

    [Madeline Island is known as the Island of the Golden Breasted Woodpecker and has been the spiritual center of the Anishinaabe nation.]

  13. #63

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    The Fourth Fire:

    The Fourth Fire was originally given to the people by two prophets. They come as one. They told of the coming of the Light Skinned race.

    One of the prophets said, "You will know the future of our people by the face the Light Skinned race wears. If they come wearing the face of brotherhood then there will come a time of wonderful change for generations to come. They will bring new knowledge and articles that can be joined with the knowledge of this country, in this way, two nations will join to make a mighty nation. This new nation will be joined by two more so that four will form the mightiest nation of all. You will know the face of the brotherhood if the light skinned race comes carrying no weapons. If they come bearing only their knowledge and a hand shake."

    The other prophet said," Beware if the Light Skinned race comes wearing the face of death. You must be careful because the face of brotherhood and the face of death look very much alike. If they come carrying a weapon...beware. If they come in suffering... They could fool you. Their hearts may be filled with greed for the riches of this land. If they are indeed your brothers, let them prove it. Do not accept them in total trust. You shall know that the face they wear is one of death if the rivers run with poison and the fish become unfit to eat. You shall know them by these many things"

    This one isn't too hard to figure out. We now realize the light-skinned race came wearing the face of death. Most of our early contact with the French seemed to indicate the face of brotherhood, but with the British it was different.
    Last edited by gazhekwe; September-09-09 at 03:56 PM.

  14. #64

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    The Fifth Fire:

    The Fifth Prophet said, "In the time of the Fifth Fire there will come a time of great struggle that will grip the lives of all Native people. At the warning of this Fire there will come among the people one who holds a promise of great joy and salvation. If the people accept this promise of a new way and abandon the old teachings, then the struggle of the Fifth Fire will be with the people for many generations. The promise that comes will prove to be a false promise. All those who accept this promise will cause the near destruction of the people."

    My recollection:

    During this time, we faced the choice to assimilate and abandon our teachings. We have indeed been struggling with this for many generations.

    From Lindala:

    It is the fifth stop that is pivotal to our discussion. The place is known as Bahweting - rapids in a river - known as Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. Here at this stop, the Ojibwe found the Megis Shell.

    Benton-Banai writes, “There was a small island here where powerful ceremonies were held. There was so much food in the village that this place came to support many families. Many years later, in the time of the fifth fire, Ba-wa-ting would become a big trading center between the Anishinaabe and the Light-skinned Race.” (100 & 101) This fifth locale split the migrating Ojibwe into two groups; one group took the northern route over Lake Superior and one group traveled the southern route into what is now known as Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

    With a sacred medallion used to count the generations living at Madeline Island, Benton-Banai speculates, “If we took the lifetime of an Ojibwe in these old days to be 50 years, counting backwards it would put the coming of the news of the Light-sknned Race to this area at 1544 and the settlement of the Ojibwe on Madeline Island at 1394.” [Going through the prophecies, we have not yet reached Madeline Island by the Fifth Fire, but not everyone went on from Bahweting. The first contact with the French at Bahweting was in the very early 1600s. Nicolet and Brule reached LaPointe in 1610 (Madeline Island. Brule was also credited with visiting Bahweting that year, and some historians credit Nicolet for being the first white contact in 1634,]
    Last edited by gazhekwe; September-09-09 at 04:18 PM.

  15. #65

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    It is said the Anishinaabe people began their migration around 900 AD and continued for 500 years.

  16. #66

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    Very interesting reading Gaz - thank you so much for sharing I keep popping in for your next installment.

  17. #67

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    Thanks, eriedearie! I have the last two prophecies cued up. They are quite complex so I think I will just post one tomorrow and the last one on Thursday.

  18. #68

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    Cool - I like how you are doing this in installments. You're giving a lot of information to someone that is not very familiar with this subject. I have a map I've put to use to follow along with the stories to make it come alive to me. That's just the way I like to learn about history.

  19. #69

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    There is a great article I found that gives the route and locations of the Fires. I will post those at the end. It is fascinating to me, too. It is so amazing that this history has survived without being written down in a way that we would understand it today. There were definitely records kept, in various ways. Some accounts were written on scrolls most of which are said to be hidden, awaiting a boy to be born to show the way to them. The generation count at Madeline Island was kept on a medallion that a designated member wore around his neck. A follow up member would be selected, and when the wearer walked on, the medallion would be marked with a notch and passed along to the new wearer. Every notch counted a generation on Madeline. The oral tradition continued at least til now, but I am so thankful Eddie Benton Benay wrote it down for us to remember and pass along. With all we have going on today to distract us, it is harder to remember the stories in the kind of detail needed to tell them properly.

  20. #70

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    On to the Sixth Fire, encompassing much of the time of written history. Remember the prophecies date to before 900 AD, more than 1000 years ago.

    The prophet of the Sixth Fire said, "In the time of the Sixth Fire it will be evident that the promise of the Fifth Fire came in a false way. Those deceived by this promise will take their children away from the teachings of the ELDERS, grandsons and grand-daughters will turn against the ELDERS. In this way, the ELDERS will lose their reason for living... they will lose their purpose in life. At this time a new sickness will come among the people. The balance of many people will be disturbed. The cup of life will almost be spilled. The cup of life will almost become the cup of grief."

    My recollection:
    Our people were suffering with alcoholism and discrimination. Boarding schools had taken their toll, turning us into a people without culture, without family structure, yet we were welcome nowhere but our home community. We were clearly in a time of grief. Faith in the church remained strong, and fear of speaking the language or practicing religion was prevalent. I remember one of my uncles bringing back the powwow to our community in the 50s, and the joy that people took in that, as well as a bit of paranoia that we could get in trouble. I remember stories about a little boy who would show us where the ancient teachings were hidden, when we were ready.

    From http://www.think-aboutit.com/native/..._of_the_an.htm

    When the Sixth Fire came to be, the words of the prophet rang true as the children were taken away from the teachings of the ELDERS. The boarding school era of "civilizing" Indian Children had begun. The Indian language and religion were taken from the children. The people started dying at an early age... they had lost their will to live and their purpose in living.

    In the confusing times of the Sixth Fire, it is said that a group of visionaries came among the Anishinabe. They gathered all the priests of the Midewiwin Lodge. They told the priests that the Midewiwin Way was in danger of being destroyed. They gathered all the sacred bundles. They gathered all the scrolls that recorded the ceremonies. All these things were placed in a hollowed out log from the ironwood tree. Men were lowered over a cliff by long ropes. They dug a hole in the cliff and buried the log where no one could find it. Thus the teachings of the ELDERS were hidden out of sight but not out of memory. It was said that when the time came that the Indian people could practice their religion without fear that a little boy would dream where the Ironwood log, full of the Sacred Bundles and Scrolls were buried. He would lead his people to the place.

    From Lindala:

    The policy of assimilation was taking hold in Michigan and in no time, children could not speak with parents or grandparents. In 1887 and 1889, the Catholic Church opened schools in Baraga and in Harbor Springs. The federal government’s Mt. Pleasant Boarding School operated until 1933. In addition to the standard curriculum of reading, writing, grammar, composition, arithmetic, and geography, “Commissioner Thomas J. Morgan in 1889 encouraged Indian schools across the country to teach patriotism.” (Danziger 106)

    In twenty-five years, the boarding schools accomplished what armed force, starvation, disease, loss of land, and Christianity could not – a major and irreversible disruption of Indian culture. It also effectively prepared Indian young people, not for assimilation into middle-class America, but as laborers in American fields and factories. (Cleland 245)

  21. #71

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    The Seventh Prophet:

    The Seventh Prophet that came to the people long ago was said to be different from the other prophets. He was young and had a strange light in his eyes.

    He said, " In the time of the Seventh Fire, New People will emerge. They will retrace their steps to find what was left by the trail. Their steps will take them to the ELDERS who they will ask to guide them on their journey. But many of the ELDERS will have fallen asleep. They will awaken to this new time with nothing to offer. Some of the ELDERS will be silent out of fear. Some of the ELDERS will be silent because no one will ask anything of them. The New People will have to be careful in how they approach the ELDERS. The task of the New People will not be easy.

    If the New People will remain strong in their Quest, the Water Drum of the Midewiwin Lodge will again sound its voice. There will be a Rebirth of the Anishinabe Nation and a rekindling of old flames. The Sacred Fire will again be lit.

    It is at this time that the Light Skinned race will be given a choice between two roads. If they choose the right road, then the Seventh Fire will light the Eighth and final Fire, an eternal Fire of peace, love, brotherhood and sisterhood. If the light skinned race makes the wrong choice of roads, the destruction which they brought with them in coming to this country will come back at them and cause much suffering and death to all the Earth's people. "

    My take:
    We are now in the time of the Seventh Fire, and heaven help us all. Our preparations have been slow and difficult, and seem so inadequate for the task at hand. Clearly we have much yet to do. Although no time is specified, looking at the world events and the potential of economic collapse or global war, it seems the prophet’s vision is coming true. As you can see from the last paragraph, the biggest challenge will be to influence the light skinned race to make a choice for peace and love. Suffering lies ahead for all if we do not succeed. Please Gichemanido we have the time.

    From askaboutit.com
    Traditional Mide people from other Nations have interpreted the two roads that face the Light Skinned race as the road to technology and the other to spiritualism. They feel that the road to technology represents a continuation of Head-Long rush to technological development. This is the road that has lead to modern society, to a damaged and seared Earth. Could it be that the road to technology represents a rush to destruction? The road to Spirituality represents the slower path that traditional Native People have traveled and are now seeking again. The Earth is not scorched on this trail. The grass is still growing there.

    The prophet of the Fourth Fire spoke of a time when "two Nations will join to make a Mighty Nation". He was speaking of the coming of the Light Skinned race and the face of brotherhood that the Light Skinned Brother could be wearing. It is obvious from the history of this country that this was not the face worn by the Light Skinned race as a whole. That the Mighty Nation spoken of in the Fourth Fire has never been formed.

    If the Natural People of the Earth could just wear the face of brotherhood, we might be able to deliver our society from the road to destruction. Could we make the two roads that today represents two clashing world views come together to form a mighty Nation? Could a Nation be formed that is guided by respect for all living things? Are we the New People of the Seventh Fire?

    From Lindala:
    Today, the Ojibwe make up the second largest tribal nation in North American with a total of 20 bands in the United States scattered from Michigan to Montana and over 130 bands from western Quebec to eastern British Columbia in Canada.

    There are four Ojibwe communities, all with federal recognition...located in the Upper Peninsula: Bahweting (Sault Ste Marie), Ketegitigaaning (Lac Vieux Desert near Watersmeet), Gnoozhekaaning (Bay Mills), and Gichi-wiikwedong (Keweenaw Bay). A fifth reservation community exists just west of Escanaba and is home to the Potawatomi of the Hannahville Indian Community.

    Cultural perseverance and Anishinaabe language preservation is foremost on the minds of today’s tribal leaders (elected or recognized). This is what Benton-Banai identifies as the Seventh Fire. “The prophet of the Seventh Fire of the Ojibway spoke of an Osh-ki-bi-ma-di-zeeg (New People) that would emerge to retrace their steps to find what was left by the trail.” (111)

    Many believe that our people of today are those New People as more and more the young are seeking wisdom from elders who still have knowledge, who have not forgotten the old ways. It is believed that if the New People “remain strong in their quest, the Waterdrum of the Midewiwin lodge will again sound its voice. There will be a rebirth of the Anishinaabe nation.” (Benton-Banai 93)



  22. #72

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    Thank you for taking all the time to post these stories Gaz. This is very interesting reading to me. I will run copies off so my husband can read them. He never sits at the computer!

  23. #73

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    I have enjoyed sharing these stories very much. I am glad you like them, erie dearie. I have one more installment that summarized the journey. I would love to hear what others are thinking about these stories. Any thoughts, questions, discussion?

    Meantime, I thought it would be fun to share some pronunciation and meanings for the tribal place names. First, -inong, -kaaning, -waating, -ong, all indicate a place where something or someone is.

    Bahweting -- Bah way' or wah' ting Gathering place -- Sault Ste.Marie

    Gnoozhekaaning -- Gno' zheh kon' ing Place of the Pike -- Bay Mills

    Kategitigaaning -- Kah' tay kit' ti gon ing -- Old garden place -- Lac Vieux Desert

    Gichi-wiikwedong -- Gchih' week way' dong -- Big bay -- Keweenaw Bay
    Last edited by gazhekwe; September-12-09 at 10:33 AM.

  24. #74

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    Thanks so much for sharing. I love reading your stories and history. Awestruck might be a good approximation to how I felt reading the predictions.

    I have a mystic side to me and your stories are rich and beautiful.

    I enjoy this thread since it has not been contaminanted by weird posters. I can not convey in mere words how much I appreciate this sharing of culture and cultural view points. So thank you and keep posting.

  25. #75

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    Sumas, I dropped your name over on the Garwood thread. I fell into it just as there were some questions about a massacre in the area of the Gar Wood mansion. I have since posted a little more info there about Bloody Run and the Pontiac Rebellion. I couldn't help with location since I don't know where the Mansion is, but I think they were confusing the two, calling Bloody Run a massacre, which it wasn't.

    I will post the summary segment of the Seven Fires here a little later.
    Last edited by gazhekwe; September-13-09 at 07:07 PM.

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