"Voyaging through strange seas of thought, alone ..." William Wordsworth

14 October 2022

Enchanted.




W. M. Beauchamp's "Indian Corn Stories and Customs", from The Journal of American Folklore, July- September, 1898 ...
The great magician called Masswaweinini, or the Living Statue, remained on the Manitoulin Islands after his friends had left. While hunting one day, he came suddenly to a wide prairie, across which he proceeded. There he met a small man, wearing a red feather on his head, and they smoked together. A wrestling match followed, with doubtful fortunes, but at last the small man was thrown. As directed, the victor cried out, "I have thrown you; wa ge me na;" and his opponent at once disappeared. In his place there lay on the ground a crooked ear of mondamin, or Indian corn, with a red hairy tassel at the top. A voice was heard, directing him to strip the body and throw the fragments all around. The spine, which gave these parts support, was also to be broken up and scattered near the edge of the wood. In one moon he was to return. This he did, and found the plain filled with growing corn. From the broken cob grew luxuriant pumpkin vines. At the end of summer he was on the wrestling ground again, where the corn was in full ear and the pumpkins of great size. Of these he gathered a good store, and the voice was heard again: "Masswaweinini, you have conquered me, and thus saved your own life. Victory has crowned your efforts, and now my body shall forever nourish the human race." Thus came the gift of corn and pumpkins, and the gift of wampum followed closely, brought about by the good fairies of that enchanted land. 

CONNECT

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