Topic: Folklore

Waltes Bowl and Sticks

Micmac Customs And Traditions

My information about the customs and traditions of the Micmac Indians of Nova Scotia has been derived almost entirely from Abram and Newell Glode, the first a man of seventy-three years, the latter somewhat younger and of exceptionally pure blood for a time when none are wholly so. These two Indians have justly achieved a reputation among their tribe for intelligence and knowledge of their native lore. During the many days I have spent with them at Digby and elsewhere I have invariably found them as eager and interested in being questioned as I was in catechizing them. However, in

Passamaquoddy Mythological Characters

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. Pedogiic. Thunder. Pesok que tuk. Lightning. Ooargamess. Small beings who live about rocks and chatter in unknown tongue. Have been seen in late times. Lumpagonosis. Water beings. Kelphit. A shapeless (medicine) being who is turned over twice each year. Under him are found flowers. Pogumpt.

The Passamaquoddy Snake Dance

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. That the Micmacs, neighbors of the Passamaquoddies, had dances in which elaborate masks were worn, seems to be indicated by pictographs found on the rocks in Nova Scotia. Mrs. Brown has in her possession a head-band made of silver, similar to those worn in ancient

A Passamaquoddy Story of Leux

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 so warm that he did not need or wish a covering. At midnight Leux awoke and was almost frozen with cold. The next morning Leux was obliged to part with the wolves. 1It would seem, from Leland’s account, that the wolf admired Leux greatly because

Passamaquoddy Trade Dance and More

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 of the custom was given by Peter Selmore, who witnessed it not many years ago. It is said to be more common among the Micmacs than among the Passamaquoddies. The participants, one or more in number, go to the wigwam of another person, and when

How a Medicine Man Was Born, and how He Turned Man into a Tree

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 a stream. The woman gave birth to a child in the night. She thought it best to kill the child, but did not wish to murder her offspring. 1By combining this story with some given by Leland it would seem that the child was Glooscap.

Passamaquoddy Aboriginal Folklore

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. Moreover, no two Indians tell the same story alike. These are sources of error which cannot be eliminated, but by giving the exact words of the speaker it is possible to do away with the errors of the translator. I believe that the memory of

The Tomb of Puupehe

A Legend of Lanai From “The Hawaiian Gazette” One of the interesting localities of tradition, famed in Hawaiian song and story of ancient days, is situate at the southwestern point of the island of Lanai, and known as the Kupapau o Puupehe, or Tomb of Puupehe. At the point indicated, on the leeward coast of the island, may be seen a huge block of red lava about eighty feet high and some sixty feet in diameter, standing out in the sea, and detached from the mainland some fifty fathoms, around which centers the following legend. Observed from the overhanging bluff

A Visit to Spirit Land or The Strange Experience of a Woman in Kona, Hawaii

By: Mrs. E. N. Haley Kalima had been sick for many weeks, and at last died. Her friends gathered around her with loud cries of grief, and with many expressions of affection and sorrow at their loss they prepared her body for its burial. The grave was dug, and when everything was ready for the last rites and sad act, husband and friends came to take a final look at the rigid form and ashen face before it was laid away forever in the ground. The old mother sat on the mat-covered ground beside her child, brushing away the intrusive

The Punahou Spring

By: Mrs. E. M. Nakuina There formerly lived on the Kaala Mountains a chief by the name of Kahaakea. He had two children, a boy and a girl, twins, whose mother had died at their birth. The brother was called Kauawaahila (Waahila Rain), and the girl Kauakiowao (Mountain Mist). Kahaakea was very tenderly attached to his motherless children, and after a while took to himself a wife, thinking thus to provide his children with a mother’s care and love. This wife was called Hawea and had a boy by her former husband. This boy was deformed and ugly, while the

The Shark-Man, Nanaue

The Shark-Man, Nanaue Mrs. E. M. Nakuina Kamohoalii, the King-shark of Hawaii and Maui, has several deep sea caves that he uses in turn as his habitat. There are several of these at the bottom of the palisades, extending from Waipio toward Kohala, on the island of Hawaii. A favorite one was at Koamano, on the mainland, and another was at Maiaukiu, the small islet just abreast of the valley of Waipio. It was the belief of the ancient Hawaiians that several of these shark gods could assume any shape they chose, the human form even, when occasion demanded. In

Snaring the Sun

Maui was the son of Hina-lau-ae and Hina, and they dwelt at a place called Makalia, above Kahakuloa, on West Maui. Now, his mother Hina made kapas. And as she spread them out to dry, the days were so short that she was put to great trouble and labor in hanging them out and taking them in day after day until they were dry. Maui, seeing this, was filled with pity for her, for the days were so short that, no sooner had she got her kapas all spread out to dry, than the Sun went down, and she had

Stories of the Menehunes

Hawaii the Original Home of the Brownies By: Thos. G. Thrum Students of Hawaiian folk-lore find much of coincident interest with traditional or more historic beliefs of other and older lands. The same applies, in a measure, to some of the ancient customs of the people. This is difficult to account for, more especially since the Hawaiians possessed no written language by which such knowledge could be preserved or transmitted. Fornander and others discovered in the legends of this people traces of the story of the Flood, the standing still of the sun, and other narratives of Bible history, which

Moke Manu’s Account

The Menehunes were supposed to have been a wonderful people, small of stature and of great activity. They were always united in doing any service required of them. It was their rule that any work undertaken must be completed in one night, otherwise it would be left unfinished, as they did not labor twice on the same work; hence the origin of the saying: “He po hookahi, a ao ua pau,”—in one night, and by dawn it is finished. There is no reliable history of the Menehunes. No one knows whence they came, though tradition says they were the original

Oahunui

By: Mrs. E. M. Nakuina On the plateau lying between Ewa and Waialua, on the island of Oahu, and about a mile off, and mauka of the Kaukonahua bridge, is the historical place called Kukaniloko. This was the ancient birthplace of the Oahu kings and rulers. It was incumbent on all women of the royal line to retire to this place when about to give birth to a child, on pain of forfeiting the rank, privileges, and prerogatives of her expected offspring, should that event happen in a less sacred place. The stones were still standing some years ago, and

The Origin of Fire

Maui and Hina dwelt together, and to them were born four sons, whose names were Maui-mua, Maui-hope, Maui-kiikii, and Maui-o-ka-lana. These four were fishermen. One morning, just as the edge of the Sun lifted itself up, Maui-mua roused his brethren to go fishing. So they launched their canoe from the beach at Kaupo, on the island of Maui, where they were dwelling, and proceeded to the fishing ground. Having arrived there, they were beginning to fish, when Maui-o-ka-lana saw the light of a fire on the shore they had left, and said to his brethren: “Behold, there is a fire

Pele and the Deluge

Pele and the Deluge Rev. A. O. Forbes All volcanic phenomena are associated in Hawaiian legendary lore with the goddess Pele; and it is a somewhat curious fact that to the same celebrated personage is also attributed a great flood that occurred in ancient times. The legends of this flood are various, but mainly connected with the doings of Pele in this part of the Pacific Ocean. The story runs thus: Kahinalii was the mother of Pele; Kanehoalani was her father; and her two brothers were Kamohoalii and Kahuilaokalani. Pele was born in the land of Hapakuela, a far-distant land

A Lava Cascade

Pele and Kahawali

From Ellis’s “Tour of Hawaii” In the reign of Kealiikukii, an ancient king of Hawaii, Kahawali, chief of Puna, and one of his favorite companions went one day to amuse themselves with the holua (sled), on the sloping side of a hill, which is still called ka holua ana o Kahawali (Kahawali’s sliding-place). Vast numbers of the people gathered at the bottom of the hill to witness the game, and a company of musicians and dancers repaired thither to add to the amusement of the spectators. The performers began their dance, and amidst the sound of drums and the songs

A Grass House of the Olden Time

This Land is the Sea’s – Traditional Account of an Ancient Hawaiian Prophecy

Traditional Account of an Ancient Hawaiian Prophecy Translated from Moke Manu by Thos. G. Thrum It is stated in the history of Kaopulupulu that he was famed among the kahunas of the island of Oahu for his power and wisdom in the exercise of his profession, and was known throughout the land as a leader among the priests. His place of residence was at Waimea, between Koolauloa and Waialua, Oahu. There he married, and there was born to him a son whom he named Kahulupue, and whom he instructed during his youth in all priestly vocations. In after years when