Volume 11 Number 6.
Born on the Parry Island Indian Reserve in 1929, the author is now a member of the Cape Croker Reserve. Educated in Ontario and Montreal he has taught Ojibway language, history, and mythology, and currently works in the department of ethnology of the Royal Ontario Museum. Published works include essays on a number of native issues, and books: The Only Good Indian (1970), Ojibway Heritage,* and in a lighter vein Moose Meat & Wild Rice,** as well as How the Birds Got Their Colours*** for children.
Recounted in the style of the tribal storyteller, this book is a fictional account of the life of Mishi-Waub-Kaikaik (Great White Falcon), a boy born before the entrenchment of European settlers in Ontario and the Great Lakes region. The story begins with the Naming ritual performed by the medicine man and proceeds through the Tobacco Offering and Drum Ceremony, initiation rites, and war and marriage ceremonies. As previously foretold in a vision, he is initiated into the secret society of the medicine man after serving a long apprenticeship in learning mythical origins, rituals, and chants. Throughout are interesting descriptions of ceremonial offerings and their purpose, death and burial customs, and the book closes with a council meeting that authorizes the chiefs to sign a treaty exchanging their traditional lands for reservations.
Ojibway Ceremonies is a useful resource for grades 7 and up concerning Ojibway customs and folklore. While written as fiction, the rituals and ceremonies are authentic. It is prefaced by'a list of place names, and three appendices give the Ojibway language text of various Petitions and the Invocation to Council.
*Reviewed vol. V/l Winter 1977 p.29.
Lillian M. Turner, York Memorial C. I., Toronto, ON.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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