The Higher Jeesukawin or Sacred Prophetic Art
Pictorial Devices employed in communicating the Responses of the Deity; The
Symbols of the Prophet Chusco; Vision of Catherine, the Prophetess of
Chegoimegon, recorded in Symbolic Characters; Narrative of the Origin of these
Devices, and why adopted, as given by herself; Visit of an Orbicular Spirit to
the Lodge of Fasting; Results of the first Instance of the exercise of her Art;
Specimens of the Hieratic or higher Prophetic Songs; Hymns to the Sun.
Sacred Jeesukawin. There is no art of higher pretensions to supernatural or
divine power, among the professors of the Indian mysteries, than those which are
made in the exhibitions of the sacred Jeesukawin. It is the ancient art of the
seer or prophet, which has been noticed as existing among all these tribes, from
the earliest period of their discovery. To jeesuká, in the language of the
Odjibwas, is to mutter or peep. The word is taken from the utterance of sounds
of the human voice, low on the ground. This is the position in which the
response is made by the seer or prophet, who is called jossakeed. Powwow was a
term of precisely the same import, used in the respective eras of the settlement
of Virginia and of New England. Every tribe has a word to denote the same act,
or art, and this term is inflected or varied according to the principles of the
different languages, to distinguish the actor from the act, and from the place
of the act, or lodge. Thus, jeesuká, (to prophesy,) in the language above
denoted, is rendered a noun by the inflection win, making jeesukáwin (prophecy)
. To denote the actor, the sound of the letter d is added to the first person
singular of the infinitive, and, by a rule of the permutation of the vowels, in
making nouns personal from nouns impersonal, the long sounds of e and a are
changed to o and e, making jossakeed, a prophet or seer. To describe the lodge,
the first person of the infinitive singular is inflected by un, at the same time
the sound of a is changed to au, rendering the word jeesukaun (a prophet's
To prepare the operator in these mysteries, for answering questions, a lodge is
erected by driving stout poles, or saplings, in a circle, and swathing them
round tightly from the ground to the top with skins, drawing the poles closer at
each turn or wind, so that the structure represents a rather acute pyramid. The
number of poles is prescribed by the jossakeed, and the kind of wood. There are,
some times, perhaps generally, ten poles, each of a different kind of wood. When
this structure has been finished, the operator crawls in, by forcing his way
under the skin at the ground, taking with him his drum, and scarcely anything
beside. He begins his supplications by kneeling and bending his body very low,
so as almost to touch the ground. When his incantations and songs have been
continued the requisite time, and he professes to have called around him the
spirits, or gods, upon whom he relies, he announces his readiness to the
assembled multitude without, to give responses. And no ancient oracle of heathen
mysticism not even "Diana of the Ephesians," ever more completely riveted the
popular belief, than do these modern oracles among the North American tribes.
The following pictographic signs, used in this art, represented in
Plate 49, B,
comprise the spirits, or gods, relied upon by a noted prophet of the Ottowas,
called Chusco.1 They were drawn on paper from his description, at a period when
he had, in his own words, "thrown these symbolic devices away," and united
himself to a Christian mission church. They do not, therefore, fully show, but
rather imitate the Indian method of drawing, are not intended to copy it, and
are only given as exhibiting the mode of denoting power or divinity. He was, at
this time, nearly 70; he did
not hesitate to declare that he supplicated the great impersonation of the power
of Evil, in these mysteries; he was not pressed for the actual words of his
songs, and he did not, voluntarily, repeat them.
Number 1 represents the turtle, an object held in great respect, in all Indian
reminiscence. It is believed to be, in all cases, a symbol of the earth, and is
addressed as a mother. Number 2 is the swan, a bird whose noble shape and
motions, commend it, as the impersonation of a spiritual power. The woodpecker
(number 3,) the crow (number 4,) and the crane (number 5,) were each addressed
as objects of a peculiar and benign influence, and, with the two preceding, were
the objects of his incantations and supplications. The figure of the hand
(number 6,) is emblematic of the prophetic art. Half-Circles denote the
universality of the power of the bird or animal figured. The Indians are not
acquainted with the true figure of the globe, but depict the sky as a
Chusco practised the prophet s art, for a great number of years, at his native
village of L'Arbre Croche, on Lake Michigan, and also at Michillimackinac, where
he died, at an advanced age, in 1838. There also came to reside in the vicinity
of the latter place, a prophetess, from Chegoimegon, on the shores of Lake
Superior. She was a descendant, in a direct line, from one of the principal
Chippewa families, the noted Wabojeeg, who was the ruling chief in that quarter.
Pictorial devices, which refer to the Jeesukawin, have been less easily
accessible than any other branch. There is a feeling of sacredness and secrecy
connected with them, which prevents their being revealed, even to the
uninitiated Indians. It is the only branch of their art of picture writing,
which is withheld from common use. Signs of the medáwin, and the wábeno; of
hunting, sepulture, war, and other objects, are more or less known to all, and
are accessible to all, who are admitted to the secret societies. But the
prophetic art exists by itself. It is exclusive, peculiar, personally
experimental. It was owing to the same fact, which had brought Chusco within the
pale of inquiry, that also revealed the gods of OGEE-WY-AHN-OQUT-O-KWA, or the
prophetess of Chegoimegon. She had felt and acknowledged the truth of the
exhortations of one of the native preachers from the shores of Lake Ontario, in
Canada, the noted John Sunday, and had united herself to a missionary church. At
this period, she was baptized, and subsequently married an Indian convert,
called Wabdse, or the Hare, on which occasion she relinquished her former name
of Ogeewyahnoquot Okwa, and assumed that of Wabose.
Plate 55 exhibits the gods of Catherine Wabose, as drawn by herself, and
carefully transcribed from a larger sheet. This curious pictograph depicts the
objects of a sacred vision, to which she looks back as the date of her
revelations, and it reveals, at once, a singular chapter in the art of symbolic
writing, and of Indian superstitions. The figures, which will be more fully
explained by the narrative which she gave of her early devotion to this art. are
as follows: Number 2. Ogeewyahnoquot Okwa, the Prophetess. The marks at Number 3
denote the number of days of her initiatory fast, the day of her vision being
marked with a cross. Number 4 represents the path of her aerial visit. Number 6,
the moon, with a lambent flame. Number 9, the everlasting standing woman. Number
10, the Little Man-spirit. Number 11, Osha-wanegeezhig, or the bright blue sky.
Number 12, the upper heavens. Number 15, the trial of prickles. Number 13, a
kind of fabulous fish. Number 8, the sun. Number 18, an orbicular spirit
resembling a flying woodpecker. Number 19 is the symbol of her present name.
Number 20, a kind of fish. Number 16, a symbol of harm.
Catherine "Wabose, the name prefigured by Number 19, was still living at the
last accounts. She is a female of a good natural intellect, great shrewdness of
observation, and some powers of induction and forecast, living amid mixed clans
who are not characterized by either. She was far superior, in these respects, to
the aged Ottowa prophet, Chusco, whose secret devices are given above. In order
to understand the force and character of her delineations, it was deemed
important to obtain the history of the operations of her mind under the
influence of her primary periodical fast. This she related in the Indian tongue
to Mrs. Schoolcraft, who took it down from her lips in the following words. The
name of Catherine, it may be premised, was given to her on her being baptized as
a member of the Methodist church. It is owing to this act, indeed, and her being
convinced of the error of the Jeesukawin in all its forms, that we are indebted
for the revelation of her prophetical experience.
"When I was a girl," she said, "of about twelve or thirteen years of age, my
mother told me to look out for something that would happen to me. Accordingly,
one morning early, in the middle of winter, I found an unusual sign, and ran off
as far from the lodge as I could, and remained there until my mother came and
found me out. She knew what was the matter, and brought me nearer to the family
lodge, and bade me help her in making a small lodge of branches of the spruce
tree. She told me to remain there, and keep away from every one, and, as a
diversion, to keep myself employed in chopping wood, and that she would bring me
plenty of prepared bass-wood bark to twist into twine. She told me she would
come to see me in two days, and that, in the mean time, I must not even taste
"I did as directed. At the end of two days she came to see me. I thought she
would surely bring me something to eat, but, to my disappointment, she brought
nothing. I suffered more from thirst than hunger, though I felt my stomach
gnawing. My mother sat quietly down and said, (after ascertaining that I had not
tasted any thing, as she directed,) My child, you are the youngest of your
sisters, and none are now left me of all my sons and children, but you four,
alluding to her two elder sisters, herself, and a little son, still a mere lad.
Who, she continued, will take care of us poor women? Now, my daughter, listen to
me, and try to obey. Blacken your face and fast really, that the Master of Life
may have pity on you and me, and on us all. Do not in the least deviate from my
counsels, and in two days more I will come to you. He will help you, if you are
determined to do what is right, and tell me whether you are favored or not, by
the true Great Spirit; and if your visions are not good, reject them. So saying,
"I took my little hatchet and cut plenty of wood, and twisted the cord that was
to be used in sewing ap-puh-way-oon-un, or mats, for the use of the family.
Gradually I began to feel less appetite, but my thirst continued; still I was
fearful of touching the snow to allay it, by sucking it, as my mother had told
me that if I did so, though secretly, the Great Spirit would see me, and the
lesser spirits also, and that my fasting would be of no use. So I continued to
fast till the fourth day, when my mother came with a little tin dish, and
filling it with snow, she came to my lodge, and was well pleased to find that I
had followed her injunctions. She melted the snow, and told me to drink it. I
did so, and felt refreshed, but had a desire for more, which she told me would
not do, and I contented myself with what she had given me. She again told me to
get and follow a good vision; a vision that might not only do us good, but also
benefit mankind, if I could. She then left me, and for two days she did not come
near me, nor any human being, and I was left to my own reflections. The night of
the sixth day I fancied a voice called to me, and said, Poor child! I pity your
condition; come, you are invited this way; and I thought the voice proceeded
from a certain distance from my lodge. I obeyed the summons, and, going to the
spot from which the voice came, found a thin shining path, like a silver cord,
which I followed. It led straight forward, and, it seemed, upward (No. 5). After
going a short distance, I stood still, and saw on my right hand the new moon,
with a flame rising from the top like a candle, which threw around a broad light
(No. 6). On the left appeared the sun, near the point of its setting (No. 8). I
went on, and I beheld on my right the face of Kau-ge-gay-be-qua, or the
everlasting standing woman, (No. 5,) who told me her name, and said to me, I
give you my name, and you may give it to another. I also give you that which I
have, life everlasting. I give you long life on the earth, and skill in saving
life in others. Go, you are called on high.
"I went on, and saw a man standing, with a large circular body, and rays from
his head, like horns. (No. 6.) He said, Fear not; my name is Monido-Wininees, or
the Little Man-spirit. I give this name to your first son. It is my life. Go to
the place you are called to visit. I followed the path till I could see that it
led up to an opening in the sky, when I heard a voice, and standing still, saw
the figure of a man standing near the path, whose head was surrounded with a
brilliant halo, and his breast was covered with squares. (No. 11.) He said to
me, Look at me; my name is O-Shau-wau-e-geeghick, or the Bright Blue Sky. I am
the veil that covers the opening into the sky. Stand and listen to me. Do not be
afraid. I am going to endow you with gifts of life, and put you in array that
you may withstand and endure. Immediately I saw myself encircled with bright
points, which rested against me like needles, but gave me no pain, and they fell
at my feet. (No. 9.) This was repeated several times, and at each time they fell
to the ground. He said, Wait, and do not fear, till I have said and done all I
am about to do. I then felt different instruments, first like awls, and then
like nails, stuck into my flesh, but neither did they give me pain, but, like
the needles, fell at my feet as often as they appeared. He then said, That is
good, meaning my trial by these points; you will see length of days. Advance a
little farther, said he. I did so, and stood at the commencement of the opening.
You have arrived, said he, at the limit you cannot pass. I give you my name; you
can give it to another. Now, return! Look around you. There is a conveyance for
you. (No. 13.) Do not be afraid to get on its back, and when you get to your
lodge, you must take that which sustains the human body. I turned, and saw a
kind of fish swimming in the air, and getting upon it as directed, was carried
back with celerity, my hair floating behind me in the air. And as soon as I got
back, my vision ceased.
"In the morning, being the sixth day of my fast, my mother came with a little
bit of dried trout. But such was my sensitiveness to all sounds, and my
increased power of scent, produced by fasting, that before she came in sight I
heard her while a great way off; and when she came in I could not bear the smell
of the fish, or herself either. She said, I have brought something for you to
eat, only a mouthful, to prevent your dying. She prepared to cook it, but I
said, Mother, forbear, I do not wish to eat it the smell is offensive to me. She
accordingly left off preparing to cook the fish, and again encouraged me to
persevere, and try to become a comfort to her in her old age and bereaved state,
and left me.
"I attempted to cut wood as usual, but in the effort I fell back on the snow
from exhaustion, and lay some time; at last I made an effort and rose, and went
to my lodge and lay down. I again saw the vision, and each person who had before
spoken to me, and heard the promises of different kinds made to me, and the
songs. I went the same path which I had pursued before, and met with the same
reception. I also had another vision, or celestial visit, which I shall
presently relate. My mother came again on the seventh day, and brought me some
pounded corn boiled in snow water, for, she said, I must not drink water from
lake or river. After taking it I related my vision to her. She said it was good,
and spoke to me to continue my fast three days longer. I did so: at the end of
which she took me home, and made a feast in honor of my success, and invited a
great many guests. I was told to eat sparingly, and to take nothing too hearty
or substantial; but this was unnecessary, for my abstinence had made my senses
so acute, that all animal food had a gross and disagreeable odor.
"After the seventh day of my fast, (she continued,) while I was lying in my
I saw a dark round object descending from the sky, like a round stone, and enter
my lodge. As it came near I saw that it had small feet and hands like a human
It spoke to me, and said, I give you the gift of seeing into futurity, that you
may use it for the benefit of yourself and the Indians your relations and
tribes-people. It then departed, but as it went away it assumed wings, and
looked to me like the redheaded woodpecker in flight.
"In consequence of being thus favored, I assumed the arts of the Jeesukawin, and
a prophetess, but never those of a Wabeno. The first time I exercised the
prophetical art was at the strong and repeated solicitations of my friends. It
was in the winter season, and they were then encamped west of the Wisacoda, or
Brule river of Lake Superior, and between it and the plains west. There were,
besides my mother s family and relatives, a considerable number of families.
They had been some time at the place, and were near starving, as they could find
no game. One evening the chief of the party came into my mother s lodge. I had
lain down, and was supposed to be asleep, and he requested of my mother that she
would allow me to try my skill to relieve them. My mother spoke to me, and after
some conversation, she gave her consent. I told them to build the Jee-suk-aun,
or prophet s lodge, strong, and gave particular directions for it. I directed
that it should consist of ten posts or saplings, each of a different kind of
wood, which I named. When it was finished, and tightly wound with skins, the
entire population of the encampment assembled around it, and I went in, taking
only a small drum. I immediately knelt down, and holding my head near the ground
in a position, as near as may be, prostrate, began beating my drum, and reciting
my songs or incantations. The lodge commenced shaking violently, by supernatural
means. I knew this by the compressed current of air above, and the noise of
motion. This being regarded by me and by all without as a proof of the presence
of the spirits I consulted, I ceased beating and singing, and lay still, waiting
for questions, in the position I had at first assumed.
"The first question put to me was in relation to the game, and where it was to
be found. The response was given by the orbicular spirit, who had appeared to
me. He said, How shortsighted you are! If you will go in a west direction you
will find game in abundance. Next day the camp was broken up, and they all moved
westward, the hunters, as usual, going far ahead. They had not proceeded far
beyond the bounds of their former hunting circle when they came upon tracks of
moose, and that day they killed a female, and two young moose nearly full-grown.
They pitched their encampment anew, and had abundance of animal food in this new
"My reputation was established by this success, and I was afterwards noted in
the tribe in the art of a Meda-woman, and sung the songs which I have given to
you. About four years after, I was married to Mush Kow Egeezhick, or the Strong
Sky, who was a very active and successful hunter, and kept his lodge well
supplied with food; and we lived happy. After I had had two children, a girl and
a boy, we went out, as is the custom of the Indians in the spring, to visit the
white settlements. One night, while we were encamped at the head of the portage
at Pauwating, (the Falls of St. Mary's,) angry words passed between my husband
and a half-Frenchman named Gaultier, who, with his two cousins, in the course of
the dispute, drew their knives and a tomahawk, and stabbed and cut him in four
or five places, in his body, head, and thighs. This happened the first year that
the Americans came to that place, (1822.) He had gone out, at a late hour in the
evening, to visit the tent of Gaultier. Having been urged by one of the trader s
men to take liquor that evening, and it being already late, I desired him not to
go, but to defer his visit till next day; and, after he had left the lodge, I
felt a sudden presentiment of evil, and I went after him, and renewed my efforts
in vain. He told me to return, and as I had two children in the lodge, the
youngest of whom, a boy, was still in his cradle, and then ill, I sat up with
him late, and waited and waited, till a late hour, and then fell asleep from
exhaustion. I slept very sound. The first I knew was a violent shaking from a
girl, a niece of Gaultier s, who told me my husband and Gaultier were all the
time quarrelling. I arose, and went up the stream to Gaultier s campfire; it was
nearly out, and I tried to make it blaze. I looked into his tent, but all was
dark, and not a soul there. They had suddenly fled, although I did not, at the
moment, know the cause. I tried to make a light to find my husband, but could
find nothing dry, for it had rained very hard the day before. After being out a
while my vision became clearer, and, turning toward the riverside, I saw a dark
object lying near the shore, on a grassy opening. I was attracted by something
glistening, which turned out to be his earrings. I thought he was asleep, and in
stooping to awake him I slipped, and fell on my knees. I had slipped in his
blood on the grass, and, putting my hand on his face, found him dead. In the
morning the Indian agent came with soldiers from the fort to see what had
happened, but the murderer and all his bloody gang of relatives had fled. The
agent gave orders to have the body buried in the old Indian burial-ground below
"My aged mother was encamped about a mile off at this time. I took my two
children in the morning, and fled to her lodge. She had just heard of the
murder, and was crying as I entered. I reminded her that it was an act of
Providence, to which we must submit. She said it was for me and my poor helpless
children that she was crying that I was left, as she had been years before, with
nobody to provide for us. With her I returned to my native country at
Chegoimegan on Lake Superior."
The preceding narrative is taken from the verbal relation of Catherine Wabose,
or Ogeewyahnackwut Oquay, who is now in about the forty-first year of her age. A
few facts may be added to indicate the steps by which she finally renounced a
reliance on these mystical ceremonies, and was led to communicate the
information, together with the kekenowin of her visions, and songs subjoined. In
the third year after the assassination of her first husband, she married
Minanockwut, or the Fair Cloud, his half-brother, by whom she had two children,
both daughters. He was in a few years attacked with a complaint of the head,
which affected his reason, and of which he died. It was in the winter season
that this happened, and as they were inland at their sugar camp, she, with the
aid of her children, placed the corpse on a hand-sled, and drew it many miles
through the woods to the river s banks, that he might be buried with his tribe.
She was still called to bear other trials in the course of a few years, which
would have broken down a mind of less native strength than hers. Her son, by
Strong Sky, sickened at an age when he began to be useful, and after lingering
for a time, died. A day or two before his departure, he related to her such a
dream of the Great Spirit, as He is known and worshipped by the whites, and of
his being clothed by him with a white garment, that her mind was much affected
by it, and led to question in some measure, the soundness of her religious
views. Not long afterwards one of her little daughters was also removed by
death, and according to her own apt interpretation of a "part of her virginal
vision, she seemed, indeed, to be pricked with metallic points. While these
dispensations rested deeply on her mind, and she felt herself to be the subject
of afflictions which appeared to have an ulterior object, the Odjibwa
evangelist, John Sunday, visited that part of the country, and explained to her
the doc trine of a better revelation which came, indeed, " from above," and
under his teaching, she renounced the calling of a prophetess, which she had so
long practised, and became a member of the Methodist Episcopal church, and was
baptized by the name of Catherine. She says, that the wine she partook of at the
communion-table at that time, and at subsequent times, is the only form of
spirits she has ever tasted. Her trials were not, however, at an end, though
they were mitigated by reflections of a consolatory character. The spring of
1836 developed, in the constitution of her eldest daughter and child, Charlotte
Jane, a rapid consumption, which brought her in the month of April to her grave,
in her seventeenth year. This young girl exhibited very amiable traits of
character, united with an agreeable person. She was taken into my family, after
the assassination of her father, in 1822, and educated and instructed under the
personal care of Mrs. Schoolcraft, who cherished her as a tender plant from the
wilderness. When she had mastered her letters, her catechism, and the
commandments, at an early age, she was led on by degrees, from one attainment to
another in moral knowledge, till she had acquired the intelligence and
deportment, which fitted her to take her place in civilized life. She united
with the Presbyterian Church at Michillimackinac, and is buried in its
precincts, having exhibited to the end of her life very pleasing and increasing
proofs of her reliance upon, and acceptance by a crucified Redeemer.
Prior to the death of her daughter, Catherine had married her third husband, in
Nau-We-Kwaish-kum, alias James Wabose, an Odjibwa, who was also, and continues
to be a member of the Methodist society. By this marriage she had two children,
both males, the loss of one of whom has been added to the number of her trials.
But the only effect of this bereavement was to strengthen her faith, and by
daily renewals of her confidence in the Savior to establish herself in piety.
These particulars, it is conceived, will afford a clear and satisfactory chain
of evidence of the truth of her narrative, and the reasons why she has been
willing to impart secrets of her past life which have heretofore been studiously
concealed, as she remarks, even from her nearest friends.
The following comprises an explanation of her Kekenowin (Plate 55), which have
been mentioned in the account of her vision:
Figure 1. A lodge of separation and fasting.
Figure 2. Ogeewyahn akwut oquay.
Figure 3. Denotes the number of days she fasted.
Figure 4. The day on which the vision appeared.
Figure 5. The point from which the first voice proceeded, and the commencement
of the path she pursued.
Figure 6. The new moon, with a lambent flame.
Figure 7. The sun, near its approach to the horizon.
Figure 8. The figure of a man in the sun, holding some object which she did not
recognize, but supposes to have been a book.
Figure 9. The head of a female spirit called Kaugegaybekwa, or the Everlasting
Figure 10. A male spirit, called Monedowininees, or the Little Spirit Man.
Figure 11. The principal spirit revealed to her, called Ozhawwunuhkogeezhig, or
the Blue Sky.
Figure 12. An orifice in the heavens, called Pug-un-ai-au-geezhig.
Figure 13. A nondescript fish prepared to carry her back.
Figure 14. Ogeewyahn ackwut oquay, sitting on the fish.
Figure 15. The ultimate point attained by her in her bright path leading to the
sky, where she underwent the trial of symbolical prickles.
Figure 16. A magic arrow.
Figure 17. Symbol of a woodpecker.
Figure 18. Symbol of her husband s name.
Figure 19. Symbol of the catfish.
The subjoined specimens of her hieratic songs and hymns are taken down verbatim.
It is a peculiarity observed in this and other instances of the kind, that the
words of these chants are never repeated by the natives without the tune or air,
which was full of intonation, and uttered in so hollow and suspended, or inhaled
a voice, that it would require a practised composer to note it down. The chorus
is not less peculiarly fixed, and some of its guttural tones are startling.
These hymns are to be read from top to bottom.
At the place of light
At the end of the sky
I (the Great Spirit)
Come and hang
(Chorus of strongly accented and deeply uttered syllables.)
Lo! with the sound of my voice,
(The prophet s voice)
I make my sacred lodge to
(By unseen hands my lodge to shake,)
My sacred lodge.
||Haih! the white bird of omen,
He flies around the clouds and skies
Around the clouds and skies
By his bright eyes I see I see I
The following chants embody the responses of the Deity invoked. They
sufficiently denote a fact, which has indeed obtruded itself in other instances,
that the sun is not only often employed as a symbol of the Great Spirit, but is
worshipped, also, as the Great Spirit himself.
1. Chants to the Deity.
Och auw naun na wau do
Och auw naun na wau do
Och auw naun na wau do
naun na wau do.
Heh! heh! heh ! heh !
I am the living body of the Great Spirit above,
(The Great Spirit, the
Ever-living Spirit above,)
The living body of the Great Spirit,
(Whom all must
(Sharp and peculiar chorus, untranslatable.)
Mish e mon dau kwuh
Mish e mon dau kwuh
Ne maun was sa hah kee
Ne maun was sa
Way, ho! ho! ho! ho!
I am the Great Spirit of the sky,
The overshadowing power,
I illumine earth, I illumine heaven.
(Slow, hollow, peculiar chorus.)
Ah wauh wa naun e dowh
Ah wauh wa naun e dowh
Ah wauh wa naun e dowh
Ah wauh wa
naun e dowh.
Way, ho! ho! ho! ho!
Ah say! what Spirit, or Body, is this Body?
(That fills the world around, Speak,
man!) ah say!
What Spirit, or Body, is this Body?
(Chorus as in the preceding, with voice and drum.)
2. Hymns to the Sun.
Kee zhig maid wa woash kum aun
Kee zhig maid wa woash kum aun. (Repeat four times.)
A! a! a! ha! aha!
The sky or day I tread upon, that makes a noise.
(I Ge Zis Maker of light.)
Wain je gwo dow aid, gee zhick o ka
Ap pe wain ah ge me e go yaun.
A! a! a! ha! aha!
The place where it sinks down the maker of day.
When I was first ordained to be.
(I Ge Zis.)
3. In the Medáwin.
Nim ba na see wa yaun e
Nim ba na see wa yaun e. (Repeat four times.)
A! a! a! ha! aha!
My bird's skin my bird s skin, &c.
Ning ga kake o wy aun a
Ning ga kake o wy aun a (Repeat" four times.)
Ap pee i aun je ug wa.
A! a! a! ha! aha!
My hawk's skin my hawk's skin,
The time I transformed it, &c.
4. To the Great Spirit.
In ah wau how mon e do
In ah wau how mon e do
I au au jim ind
Gee zhik oong a bid. (Repeat four times.)
A! a! a! ha! aha!
Look thou at the Spirit. It is he that is spoken of who stays our lives who
abides in the sky.
Such is the Indian system of the higher Jeesukáwin. To speak, as it were, from
the secrecy of the Indian mind, the symbols illustrative of its superstitions,
requires perseverance of investigation, under the most favorable circumstances.
Questions which are resisted in one form, or in a particular frame of mind, on
the part of the respondent, may be successfully replied to, under other phases
of feeling, or caution, or suspicion. Pride of opinion, and of consistency, is
as obstinate in the Indian as in the European mind, but is more difficult to
conquer, in proportion as it is left in its original state of darkness, or
error. Even where Christianity has apparently given new grounds to hope, and
modified its original views of life, if not radically changed them, there is
still a bias in favor of these superstitious rites, which is very perceptible.
1 A term derived from Wazhusk, a muskrat.
Archives Of Aboriginal
Knowledge, Henry R. Schoolcraft, 1860
Archives Of Aboriginal Knowledge