The civilized (self-supporting) Indians of Maine, counted in the general census, number 559 (299 males and 260 females), and are distributed as follows: Aroostook County, 24; Penobscot County, 387; Piscataquis County, 37; Washington County, 89; other counties (9 or less in each), 22. The United States has no dealings with the Indians of Maine as
Passamaquoddy Indians (Peskěděmakâdi ‘plenty of pollock.’) A small tribe belonging to the Abnaki confederacy, but speaking nearly the same dialect as the Malecite. They formerly occupied all the region about Passamaquoddy bay and on the St. Croix river and Schoodic lake, on the boundary between Maine and New Brunswick. Their principal village was Gunasquamekook, on
The Passamaquoddies, no doubt, in old times, had many dances, sacred and secular. Some of these were very different from what they now are, and in consequence it is not easy to recognize their meaning. Indians declare that in their youth dances were much more common. Possibly some of these will never be danced again.
A story of the old time. In winter, while traveling, Leux met a number of wolves, which were going in the same direction that he was. At nightfall the old wolf built a fire and gave Leux supper. He gave him skins to cover himself while he slept, but Leux said that the fire was
Trade Dance – I have been told that there is an old custom among the Micmacs, still remembered by many now alive, which is probably a remnant of a ceremony with which was connected an old dance. To this custom is given the name of the “Trade Dance,” for reasons which will appear. The account
The following are a few of the mythological characters which play a part in many of the stories of the Passamaquoddies. They are all given on one of the cylinders of the phonograph: Leux. Mischief-maker. In certain stories, simple fellow. Kewok. A formless being with icy heart, and when mentioned regarded as a terrible one.
The study of aboriginal folk-lore cannot reach its highest scientific value until some method is adopted by means of which an accurate record of the stories can be obtained and preserved. In observations on the traditions of the Indian tribes, the tendency of the listener to add his own thoughts or interpretations is very great.
The translation of the following tale of Pogump, or Black Cat and the Sable, was given me by Mrs. W. Wallace Brown. The original was told into the phonograph in Passamaquoddy by Peter Selmore, in the presence of Noel Josephs. A bark picture of Pookjinsquess leaving the island, representing the gulls, and Black Cat on
A story of old times. There was once a woman who traveled constantly through the woods. Every bush she saw she bit off, and from one of these she came to be with child. She grew bigger and bigger until at last she could travel no longer, but built a wigwam near the mouth of
Passamaquoddy Folklore – Read about a variety of folklore and dances passed down by the Passamaquoddy Tribe – includes a few songs with notes.