The Spiritual World of the Ojibway
by Basil Johnson
Recommended by Tamarack Song
From the strong oral culture of his own Ojibway Indian heritage, Basil Johnson presents the first collection by a Native American scholar of legends and tales depicting manitous, mystical beings who are divine and essential forces in the spiritual life of his people. These lively, sometimes earthy stories teach about manitous who lived in human form among the Ojibway in the early days, after Kitchi-Manitou (the Great Mystery) created all things and Muzzu-Kummik-Quae (Mother Earth) revealed the natural order of the world. With depth and humor, Johnson tells how lasting tradition was brought to the Ojibway by four half-human brothers, including Nana'b'oozoo (the beloved archetypal being who means well but often blunders), and how people are helped and hindered by other entities such as the manitous of the forests and meadows, personal manitous and totems, mermen and merwomen, Pauguk (the cursed Flying Skeleton) and the Weendigoes, famed and terrifying giant cannibals.
About the author: Basil Johnson is an Ojibway scholar who lives in Ontario, Canada, on the Cape Croker Indian Reserve, where he spent part of his childhood. A recipient of the order of Ontario and an honorary doctorate from the University of Toronto, he speaks and writed in both Ojibway and English, and is the author of numerous books, including Indian School Days, Ojibway Ceremonies, Ojibway Heritage, Ojibway Tales, The Bear-Walker and Other Stories, Mermaids and Medicine Women: Native Myths and Legends, and Crazy Dave. As he writes in this book, "The manitous were just as much a reality as were trees, valleys, hills, and winds." Paperback. 271 pages. Minnesota Historical Society Press.2001. ISBN: 0873514114.
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