Algonquin Indian Tales

Algonquin Indian Tales

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Algonquin Indian Tales by Egerton Ryerson Young

Published:

1903

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Algonquin Indian Tales

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For thirty years or more we have been gathering up these myths and legends.Sometimes a brief sentence or two of one would be heard in somewigwam--just enough to excite curiosity--then years would elapse ere thewhole story could be secured. As the tribes had no written language, andthe Indians had to depend entirely upon their memory, it is not to bewondered at that there were, at times, great divergences in the recital ofeven the most familiar of their stories. We have heard the same legendgiven by several story-tellers and no two agreed in many particulars.Others, however, were told with very slight differences.

Book Excerpt

swung them to their shoulders, and then, without a word of salutation or even a glance at the parents, they noiselessly passed out of that narrow door and disappeared in the virgin forest. They were pagan Saulteaux, by name Souwanas and Jakoos.

The Indian names by which these two children were called by the natives were "Sagastaookemou," which means the "Sunrise Gentleman," and "Minnehaha," "Laughing Waters."

To the wigwam of Souwanas, "South Wind," these children were being carried. They had no fear of these big Indians, though the boy was only six years old, and his little sister but four. They had learned to look with laughing eyes even into the fiercest and ugliest of these red faces and had made them their friends.

So even now, while being carried away among the dense trees, they merrily laughed and shouted to each other. The bright patches of sunshine on the ground, the singing birds, and the few brilliant-hued summer flowers, brought forth their exclamations of delight, while all

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