Forty-third Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, 1925-1926, Government Printing Office, Washington, 1928, pages 165-198
The texts are published with the permission of the Division of Anthropology, National Museum of Canada 166
|Gluskα̨be´ the Transformer||180|
|Gluskα̨be´ creates himself and competes with the Creator||180|
|The Turtle insults the chief of the Birds; Gluskα̨be´ helps him to escape; mountains are created; and again Turtle escapes by getting his captors to throw him into the water, but is finally killed||181|
|Gluskα̨be´ becomes angry with the birch tree and marks it for life||185|
|Gluskα̨be´ the Transformer (free translation)||186|
|How a hunter encountered Bmule´, visited his country and obtained a boon||190|
|How a hunter encountered Bmule´, visited his country and obtained a boon (free translation)||193|
|The origin and use of wampum||195|
|The origin and use of wampum (free translation)||196|
|Wawenock drinking song||197|
|Plate 13. François Neptune, the last speaker of the Wawenock dialect||169|
WAWENOCK MYTH TEXTS FROM MAINE
By Frank G. Speck
It is one of the laments of ethnology that the smaller tribes of the northern coast of New England faded from the scene of history before we were able to grasp the content of their languages and culture. At this late day practically all have dwindled below the power of retaining the memory of their own institutions—their link with the past. Nevertheless, some few groups along the coast have maintained existence in one form or another down to the present. In regions somewhat more remote, the tribes of the Wabanaki group, hovering within the shelter of the northeastern wilderness, successfully struggled through the trials of the transition period, preserved their oral inheritance, and even, to a considerable degree, the practices of their early culture. Here on native soil still dwell the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy. On the western and southern boundaries of Maine the Wabanaki bands escaped extinction only by fleeing to Canada, where their descendants now live at the village of St. Francis. Of the tribal names included in this group, however, one in particular, the Wawenock, has long been reckoned among the obsolete, though several times the suggestion had appeared in print that the Indians residing at Becancour, Province of Quebec, might be its survivors. In 1912 my interest in possibilities of the sort culminated in the intention to follow up this source myself. The results were extremely gratifying, for during the winter’s visit traces were uncovered of those eternal values of native language and tradition, which happily were still preserved in the memory of François Neptune (pl. 13), one of the Wawenock men. My object in the following pages is to present part of the literary material obtained from him, to which I have prefixed a sketch of the tribe’s history.
The proper name of the tribe is, however, Wali·na´kiak, “People of the Bay country.”1 The term is current among the Wawenock survivors of to-day, as well as among their neighbors and former allies, the affiliated tribes originally from southern Maine, which now constitute the St. Francis Abenaki.
1 J. A. Maurault, Histoire des Abenakis, Quebec, 1866, p. VII, gives Wolinak as the native name of Becancour, offering his idea of its meaning as “river which makes many detours.”
Notwithstanding the fact that we have nowhere any definite information on the exact boundaries of the Wawenock in their old home, it is evident from Penobscot sources that the Wawenock territory began where the Penobscot family claims2 ended, a short distance west of the waters of Penobscot Bay. This would give the Wawenock the environs of St. George’s Harbor and River, and all the intervening coast as far as the mouth of Kennebec River, since the latter is mentioned as their western boundary. A difficulty confronts us, however, when we try to determine how far northward into the interior the Wawenock claims extended. From geographical considerations, since the region which is typical of the coast extends inland about 30 or 40 miles, we might infer that the hunting grounds of the tribe extended at least as far. The additional fact that the Penobscot territory spread out westward as we go toward the interior, and that they knew the Norridgewock and Aroosaguntacook as their immediate western neighbors, would then leave the general tract from the headwaters of St. Georges, Medomac, Damariscotta and Sheepscot Rivers and Togus Stream, all east of the Kennebec River, and southward to the coast, to be regarded as Wawenock territory. The Wawenock have been already definitely assigned to the Sheepscot and Pemaquid,3 which would seem to have been at about the center of their habitat. That their territory was also known as Sagadahock (Sαŋkəde´łαk, Penobscot) is shown by a statement giving different local names to parts of the Kennebec River—names which corresponded more or less to the names of local bands—as follows: “Aransoak, Orantsoak,4 Kennebec River from the lake (Moosehead Lake) to Norridgewock. Below Skowhegan it was called Canebas or Kenebas5 to Merrymeeting Bay, thence to the sea, Sagadahock.”6
2 These were the Penobscot families of Mitchell (Lobster) and Susup (Crab), who held the immediate shores and surroundings of Penobscot Bay.
3 Maine Historical Society Collections, Vol. IV, p. 96, 1858. “The Abnaquies occupied country between Penobscot Bay and Piscataquis River and were divided into four principal tribes, viz, (1) the Sokokis on the Saco River, (2) the Anasagunticook on the Androscoggin, (3) the Carribas or Kenabes on the Kennebec, (4) the Wawenocks on the Sheepscot, Pemaquid, etc.”
4 Norridgewock, Nalα´djəwak, “Rapids up the river” (Penobscot); Nawαdzwa´ki (St. Francis Abenaki); Nawi´·djəwak (Malecite), Nashwaak River, N. B.; and also what may be evidently another form of the name Newichewanock in New Hampshire. The proper name for the band is Nalαdjwa´kiak (Penobscot), Nawαdzəwakia´k (St. Francis). A. E. Kendall (Travels through the Northern Parts of the United States in 1807-8, Vol. III, N. Y., 1809) gives the term as “Nanrantawacs” (p. 52), which he says implies “still water between two places at which the current is rapid.” J. D. Prince (Some Passamaquoddy Documents, Annals New York Academy of Science, XI, no. 15, 1898, p. 376) translates nanrantsouack as “stretch of still water.”
5 Kwun·i·begᵂ “Long water” (Penobscot). The form of the proper name would be Kwun·i·begwiak “people of the long water,” but we do not encounter this in the documents. Maurault (op. cit., p. IV and 89) has an interesting and very probable opinion on this term. He suggests as an origin Kanibesek, “qui conduit au lac,” chaque année au temps de la grande chasse de l’hiver les Canibas se rendaient en grande nombre au “lac à l’original” (Moosehead Lake) en suivant la rivière Kénébec. C’est pour cela qu’ils appelaient cette rivière “le chemin qui conduit au lac.”
6 Sαŋkəde´łak, “where the river flows out” (Penobscot). See also Father Rasles (Jesuit Relations, 1716-27, vol. 67, p. 197), Sankderank. Kendall, who traveled this country in 1807 (E. A. Kendall, op. cit., pp. 143-144), gives the same names Schunkadarunk and Zaughe’darankiac and translates them correctly as “mouth of the river” and “people of the mouth of the river.” Maurault (op. cit., p. 77) differs from others in giving the form “‘sakkadaguk’ à l’endroit où le terrain est plat et uni.” The proper name Sαŋkədeławiak, “people of where the river flows out,” is known among the Penobscot to-day and has been frequently used by authors in referring to Indians at the mouth of the Kennebec and Androscoggin Rivers, or better, as Kendall states, to “the people of the common mouth of Kennebec and Amariscoggin, that is the Sagahoc of the early colonists.” (Kendall, op. cit., vol. III, p. 144.)
Bearing upon this is the fact that part of the St. Francis band residing near Durham, Province of Quebec, until recently preserved the local name kwən·a·´mwiak, “long point people.” This has been thought to be possibly connected with the term just given. Joseph Laurent7 assigns the same name (Kwanahômoik) to Durham and gives the meaning “where the turn of the river makes a long point.” It is evidently, however, a later name acquired by these St. Francis families after they had settled at Durham.
7 New Familiar Abenakis and English Dialogues, Quebec, 1884, p. 210.
In ancient times the tribes on the coast of Maine extended into the interior, but were more or less locally identified with the mouths of the rivers and the large bays. The Wawenock were then located southwest of the Penobscot, whose proper territory on the coast only surrounded Penobscot Bay. According to tradition among the Penobscot, their nearest relatives, the Wawenock, as we shall henceforth call them on preferred authority,8 are definitely remembered as Wα̨li·´naki·ak, “People of the bay country,” because they were located on the shores and in the country back of what is now known as Sagadahoc. This country lies southwest of Penobscot Bay and includes a number of smaller bays from St. George’s Bay, in Knox County, westward to the mouth of the Kennebec River, embracing Lincoln and part of Sagadahoc Counties. The Penobscot also refer to the inhabitants of this region as Sα̨ŋkədeła´wiak, “People of the mouth of the river” (Sagadahoc), the term being evidently another name for the Wawenock. At the present time, not having held any contact with the Wawenock since their removal to Canada early in the eighteenth century, they know the tribe only by name. There is some evidence, however, in one of the family names, Neptune, which occurs among both the Penobscot and Wawenock, that during this period some of the latter may have joined the Penobscot or vice versa.
8 Various spellings for the tribal name have been given at different times by different authors, occasionally even in the same work. Among these occur such forms as Weweenock, Wewoonock, Wewenock, Wewonock; the differences being evidently due to illegible handwriting in the manuscripts and to the usual whims of orthography.
From these sources we can derive a fairly definite idea of the Wawenock habitat and also two of the tribal synonyms.9 Sagadahoc seems to have been a commonly used designation for both the country and people.
9 It seems a bit strange in passing along over the literature of this region to note that Maurault, who seems to have known Wabanaki history and ethnology very well, did not mention anything of the term Wawenock in his chapter on the establishment of the Abenaki at Becancour. (Maurault, op. cit., chap. 7.) He does, however, say that the Indians at Becancour were Abenaki and Sokokis who came previously from Damisokantik, which term he correctly derives from Namesokântsik, “place where there are many fish,” later changed to Megantic, the present name of a large lake near the Canadian boundary. It may be remarked that tradition supports this assertion, for the Wawenock informant, François Neptune, says that his grandmother knew that some of her people came from there, and that the families at Becancour formerly had hunting grounds there.
In the matter of the first European contact with the tribe it is probable that Captain Waymouth in 1609, when he encountered the Indians while riding at anchor off the coast of Maine, in what 172 is now thought to be George’s Harbor, encountered men of the Wawenock. The chances are, however, about even that they were Wawenock or Penobscot. We may assume in either case, nevertheless, that some of the descriptions, which the scribe of the expedition, James Rosier, left us, refer to the Wawenock, because subsequently during his sojourn in the neighborhood he met a great many natives, concerning some of whom he has given considerable information.10
10 A True Relation of the Voyage of Captain George Waymouth (1609), By James Rosier, p. 67 et seq. (Early English and French Voyages (1534-1608) in Original Narratives of Early American History.)
Subsequent historical literature contains nothing, so far as I could find, until about a century later when the Wabanaki tribes of Maine had become hostile to the English colonists in Massachusetts. Father Rasles, the Jesuit missionary who took charge of a mission in 1690, founded at Norridgewock several years before, mentions the tribe as the Warinakiens.11 An estimate for this year states that the Sheepscot (a local name for the Wawenock) had 150 men and the Pemaquid 100.12 The Wawenock were one of the tribes to be represented in the mission at Norridgewock, which was some 50 miles from the heart of their country.13 During this period the Wawenock appear to have gradually drifted northward toward the interior, probably in order to associate more closely with the Christian proselytes of the Norridgewock and Aroosaguntacook.14
11 Mass. Hist. Soc. Colls., 2d ser., Vol. VIII, p. 263 (1819).
12 New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1866, p. 9.
13 Rasles, in a letter to his brother written at Norridgewock in 1723 (Jesuit Relations, 1716-1727, vol. 67, pp. 183-195), speaks of a tribe of “Amalingans,” who evidently lived near the sea, whom he converted. Is it possible that he meant the “Warinakiens”?
14 That the Indians at the mouth of Kennebec River were not always on the best of terms with the bands up river appears from a reference in Jesuit Relations for 1652, quoted by Maurault (op. cit., p. 8), saying that the latter had been on the point of declaring war on them.
Mention is made of a withdrawal of some of the Indians in 1713 to Becancour, Province of Quebec, which probably refers to the Wawenock.15 Another notice, dated 1717, gives under the name of Wawenock, a total of 15 men; the same source stating that in 1726 those at “Sheepcut” numbered 3 and at “Pemaquid” 10.16
15 Handbook of American Indians, Bull. 30, Bur. Amer. Ethn., part 1, p. 881.
16 New England Historical and Genealogical Register, 1866, p. 9.
As regards the mission at Norridgewock, Father Rasles was accused of attaching the tribes so warmly to the French cause that they soon became regarded as dangerous enemies of the English colonists. In 1724 an expedition was sent against the Norridgewock, which resulted in the destruction of their village, the dispersion of the tribe, and the death of Rasles.17
17 Handbook of American Indians, Bull. 30, Bur. Amer. Ethn., part 2, p. 83.
Much has been written, both by English and French historians, showing that Father Rasles was murdered and mutilated by the English in this unfortunate massacre,18 but another version of the 173 affair is related by the Wawenock informant. In this it is claimed that Rasles secretly betrayed the mission to the English.19
18 The original account of this event is by Father de la Chasse, Quebec, 1724, cf. Jesuit Relations, 1716-1727, vol. 67, pp. 231-238. Maurault (op. cit., pp. 403-404) also gives an account of the same based on Charlevoix, Histoire Général de la Nouvelle France, vol. iv, pp. 120-121, and Bancroft, History of the United States, vol. ii, p. 122, and Chiètien Le Clercq, “First Establishment of the Faith in New France,” translated by J. G. Shea, New York, 1881.
19 The legend runs as follows: When the English came to Norridgewock the French priest sold the Indians to the English. The English gave him a bag of gold and they promised that he should not be killed when the attack was made. On that day he called the Indians into the church, but one of the old women (the Malecite call her Pukdji´nskwes·) warned them not to go, as she had had a presentiment of trouble. Her folks ridiculed her, saying that she was silly with old age. When they had gathered in the church the English attacked and the old woman was the only one to escape, taking with her her grandchild on a cradle board and swimming Kennebec River. The rest of the people were killed. During the massacre one of the Indians tomahawked or shot Rasles in revenge. The same story, strange to say, is well known among the Penobscot and the Malecite. Among the Penobscot there are supposed descendants of this grandchild, whose name was Bámzi·, according to an historical legend.
After this unfortunate event the Wawenock who still dwelt there moved from Norridgewock with their relatives, the Aroosaguntacook20 allies, who became known thereafter as the St. Francis Abenaki. The Wawenock never became so thoroughly incorporated with the St. Francis Indians as to lose their identity as did the other bands from southern Maine. They did, however, share in the general term Abenaki, and were designated in later accounts as the Abenaki of Becancour.
20 The original form of this term is alsiga´ntαgwi·ak, for which the following three meanings, depending upon the translation of the first two syllables, have been assigned by different authorities. The Indians of St. Francis, the Aroosaguntacook themselves, suggest in explanation (1) “people of the river abounding in grass,” deriving the first part of the term from a´lsiàl, “river grasses,” and -gan, “abundance of,” and (2) “people of the river abounding in shells,” from als, “mollusk shell.” The related Penobscot generally render the name (3) “people of the empty house river,” taking alsigan to mean “empty house.” There seems to be on etymological grounds about equal reason for all the suggestions, so far as can be shown. Different writers, according to their extent of knowledge or opinion on the matter, have favored one or the other of these interpretations. For instance, Maurault (op. cit., pp. 272-273 and p. VII) inclines to interpretation (1). Prof. J. D. Prince (American Anthropologist, n. s. Vol. IV, p. 17 (1902)) favors the third, and quotes Gill (Notes sur les Vieux Manuscrits Abenakis, Montreal, 1866, p. 13) as showing the same opinion. The second interpretation receives favor from Joseph Laurent (Lola), “New Familiar Abenakis and English Dialogues,” Quebec, 1884, p. 206.
According to their own traditions of the removal,21 the Wawenock informant says, they reached the St. Lawrence River opposite the mouth of St. Maurice River, having probably come down the St. Francis River from the south. The place is known in Wawenock as Noda´wαŋgαŋk, “Place of the dance.”22 The exiles, who were of course obliged to recognize the territorial hunting rights of the Algonquin proprietors,23 are said to have asked if they could hunt with them. In response, it is claimed, the Algonquin gave the Abenaki a concession extending 2 leagues above Three Rivers, down to the St. Lawrence to the mouth of a river on the south side where there is an island called Mαtasu̹´, a corruption of the name of the Seigneur Montesson who held the title to it.24 There the Wawenock separated from the Abenaki allies and located on what is now Becancour River. Maurault25 says that in the move of 1679 the Sokoki (Sako´ki·ak “Saco River people”) in part settled at Becancour.26
21 Maurault (op. cit., p. 284) states that the Indians first began their settlement at Becancour as early as 1680.
22 Our informant, François Neptune, says that the site is near the railroad bridge at Three Rivers.
23 Maurault (op. cit., pp. 109-112) speaks of friendly relations existing between the Algonquins and the Wabanaki tribes as early as 1613.
24 Maurault (op. cit., p. 290) mentions the same and has something to say about the identity of the owner of the name.
25 Op. cit., p. 174.
26 Kendall (op. cit., pp. 143-144) also states that Sakokiak settled at Becancour.
They evidently played a considerable part in the Indian wars that devastated southern Maine at this time, and in 1726, when the first serious attempt was made by the Massachusetts government to secure peace, the Wawenock receive frequent mention in the records of the proceedings. At the treaty of Falmouth, Casco Bay, in 1726, before Gov. W. Dummer, of Massachusetts, “Wenemovet answered that they had full power to act for them (the Norridgewock) and for the Wewenocks and for the ‘Arresuguntenocks’ and (St.) François.”27
27 Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll., 4th ser., Vol. V, 353 (1861).
In speaking of Governor Dummer’s treaty, the “Norridgwocks, St. François, and Wowenock Indians” are again mentioned as being in Canada, whither the bulk of the allies must have moved by this year (1726).28 Also Loron,29 a Penobscot chief, explained to the Governor how he was entitled to make peace for the “Norrigwock, St. François, and Wowenocks,” who were not present at the treaty, by reason of having received a wampum belt from them empowering the Penobscot to speak in their behalf.30 Loron also said that the Norridgewock Indians were scattered among the “Arresaguntecook” Wewonock or St. François tribes.31 It is interesting to observe the names of some of the native treaty delegates in these accounts because some of them have survived in the tribe until the present day, as we shall see later. They also have some ethnological value. It seems that, owing to the absence of some of the tribes from the occasion of the first treaty in 1726, it became necessary to hold another the following year to ratify it. Accordingly in the conference of that year (1727) held again at Falmouth, the following sachems subscribed to the ratification of the treaty made through the Penobscot in the year preceding. “Toxeus,32 Sagamore of Nerridgawock, Ausummowett,33 Sagamore of Arresaguntacook, Woosszurraboonet,34 Sagamore of Wowenock” are mentioned.35 Later again we learn of “Memmadgeen and Woosszaurraboonet, Captains and Councillors, two of the chiefs of the Wowenock Tribe and delegated by them, accompanied by Auwemmonett, the chief sachem’s son, Wenerramett, Paterramett,36 Saawerramet, Quinoise,37 chiefs and others of the said tribe of Wowenock.” The conference was attended by “40 Nerridgawocks 175 and 15 Wawenocks.”38 The fact that these tribal groups were fairly independent politically is shown by th”eir desire to have “separate seals of the treaty,” one for each tribe. Some more Wawenock personal names were given by Quinoise, one of the above-mentioned delegates, when he enumerated Indians whom he knew held some English captives. They were Wauhaway, Acteon, Omborowess, Maneerhowhaw, Pier, Sungehaugundo, some of whom were St. François, some Wawenocks and some Scattacooks (from Connecticut).39
28 Ibid., p. 365.
29 This is from the French Laurent, its Indian form being Lola among the St. Francis and Penobscot, where it is still a family surname.
30 Mass. Hist. Soc. Coll., 4th ser., Vol. V (1861), pp. 386, 387.
31 Ibid., p. 390.
32 Toxus (Taksu´s) was until lately represented among the family patronyms of the St. Francis people.
33 This name may be the same as Wasámemet, Wasawánemet, which still survives as a family name at St. Francis, where it is thought to mean, “He talks against some one.”
35 Maine Hist. Soc. Coll., vol. III (1853), p. 411.
37 Maine Hist. Soc. Coll., vol. III (1853), p. 412. Possibly the French rendering of Kwun·a´wαs, “Long Hair,” a personal name in Penobscot mythology (F. G. Speck, Penobscot Transformer Tests, International Journal of American Linguistics, vol. 1, no. 3, 1918, p. 188).
38 Maine Hist. Soc. Coll., vol. III (1853), p. 413.
39 Ibid., p. 440. Among these names, Acteon for Attean (Etienne), Omborowess for Amblowess (Ambroise), and Pier for Piel (Pierre) are recognizable as present day Wabanaki family names. The name Omborowess was a Wawenock patronym. (See p. 176.)
But the peace did not last long and war again broke out between the English and Wabanaki tribes. Another treaty was consummated at Falmouth in 1749. In this compact, which finally brought an end to the Indian troubles in southern Maine, the “Arresuguntoocooks and Weweenocks” were represented by “Sawwaramet, Aussaado, Waannunga, Sauquish, Wareedeon, Wawawnunka.”40 From this time on the Abenaki relinquished their attempts to retain their claims in Maine and retired to Canada, where the Wawenock came into possession of land at Becancour on Becancour River, while the Norridgewock and Aroosaguntacook, together with survivors of the other smaller tribes, settled permanently about 30 miles away at St. Francis, on St. Francis River. Maurault in 186641 asserted that only 10 families remained at Becancour, though they were of purer blood than the Abenaki at St. Francis. He says that in 1708 the Indians at Becancour numbered 500, having come from Lake Megantic, with others from the Androscoggin and Chaudiere Rivers. The number probably included Sokoki who had joined them in 1679 (see p. 173).
40 Maine Hist. Soc. Coll., Vol. IV, p. 164 (1856).
41 Maurault, op. cit., pp. 288 and 294.
Although the Indians forming the St. Francis village and the Wawenock had many interests in common they remained independent of each other, not only in dialect but in political respects, in having their own reservations, chiefs, and administration, both religious and civil. The same conditions hold to-day. At St. Francis the Wawenock from Becancour are regarded as friendly strangers.
This brings us down to recent times. Politically the Wawenock have now about lost their name, being known in occasional reports as the Abenaki of Becancour. In 1910 they numbered 26,42 including absentees, upon their reservation of 135⅔ acres. Most of them have scattered, some having gone to the French towns, while I 176 encountered several families who have migrated to Lake St. John and live with the Montagnais as hunters and trappers.43
42 In 1914 when I visited them they numbered 23.
43 In traveling among the Montagnais of the Province of Quebec I have encountered some of the dispersed Wawenock families and descendants from whom the following information was secured.
In about 1870 Charles Neptune and his sister of Becancour, in company with some Abenaki from St. Francis (Aimable Gille, Obomsawin family), and relatives, came to Lake St. John by way of Chicoutimi. They migrated to Metabetchouan by canoe from Chicoutimi, and settled near the Hudson Bay Co.’s post, long since abandoned. Here they appropriated hunting territories with the permission of the Montagnais. Charles Neptune died in 1907. He spoke the Wawenock language. Six sons and three daughters survived him, his wife having been a Canadian. Their descendants are now living among the Montagnais at Lake St. John, under the family names of Neptune, du Chêne, and Phillippe. Another Wawenock from Becancour, Louis Philip, lives at Lake St. John. His father came from Lake Megantic on the border between Maine and the Province of Quebec. He was probably the last Wawenock to have been born in Maine. Philip has descendants at Lake St. John. He knows a few words and expressions which indicate the dialect of his father to have been really Wawenock. Of the 23 Wawenock descendants at Lake St. John, as enumerated by Noah Neptune in 1915, none know anything distinctive of their ancestral language or customs.
Again on the lower St. Lawrence there are Wawenock descendants. At Tadousac and Chicoutimi, the Nicola families have become admitted to land rights with the Montagnais of these places. At Escoumains is another named Jacques. Four children of old Joseph Nicola who migrated many years ago from Trois Rivières, and settled also at Chicoutimi, also have numerous offspring by either Montagnais or Canadian wives. Possibly these emigrants came to the Saguenay with the ancestors of the Gille, Neptune, and Phillippe families at Lake St. John. At Tadousac, Joseph Nicolar remembered the text of a Wawenock song which his father used to sing. This is given with the other texts in this paper (see p. 197).
I should add, that with few exceptions among the older people, these Wawenock descendants have become so merged either with the Canadian or the Montagnais that they know almost nothing of their own people. In the family names, however, we can see the survival of influences which began in Maine when the ancestors of the Wawenock were close to the Penobscot with whom they have some family names in common.
The following are the family names of the tribe. Some are still in existence (marked *); others have recently become extinct.
|Pabi·welə mα´t||“He is thought small.” The family name of the grandmother of François Neptune, our informant. This name may be the original of “Paterramett” mentioned in the treaty of 1727 (cf. p. 174).|
|*Metsałabα̨lα´t||“Lost his Breath” (?) This name is undoubtedly the original of “Wooszurraboonet” of 1727 (cf. p. 174).|
|Sezawegwu´n||“Feather in the hair.”|
|Abələwe´s·||French “Ambroise.” The same as “Omborowess” in 1727 (cf. p. 175).|
|*Obä̦´||French, (St.) Urbain.|
|*Neptα´n||Neptune, doubtful origin. This is also a Penobscot family name.|
|*Nicola´||Nicholas, also a Penobscot family name.|
So far as can be said at present the material culture of the Wawenock was practically identical with that of the Penobscot and St. Francis Abenaki. Not much of this is preserved by the survivors at the present day. The tribe, however, still keeps its organization under a chief. In the traditions of the Wabanaki Confederacy, as far as we know them, the Wawenock are not mentioned, though they had been represented in the alliance at an earlier time.
As for social organization no knowledge is preserved of the family hunting territories, for it seems that at Becancour hunting has not 177 been a practicable occupation for several generations. Neither dances nor ceremonies have been performed within the memory of the old people, so we only have the names of several dances which are remembered through tradition. The term alnαk`hadi´·n denotes the common dance (Penobscot alnαba´gan) performed as a part of the marriage ceremony which, like that of the Penobscot, is proposed by means of wampum. Several strings of wampum, which were given to the parents of his grandmother by her husband when he proposed marriage, were fortunately obtained from François Neptune. Nawadəwe´·, “song and dance” (Penobscot, Nawa´dəwe), was a war dance in which the men carried tomahawks, and skogogwəga´n, “snake dance,” was similar to the Penobscot ma`tagi´posi·, “moving in a serpentine manner.”
In the field of folk lore, medicinal lore and shamanism much still remains to be done with the informant. The culture hero and transformer Gluskα̨be´, “the Deceiver,” is the same as that of the Penobscot, and shares generally the same characteristics. A comparative study of the transformer (Gluskap) cycle in Wabanaki mythology is being prepared by the writer, so it does not seem essential to refer just now to cognate elements in the mythology of the other tribes of the group.
Within the last generation the Wawenock dialect has gone completely out of use. Most of the survivors are half-breeds and speak French. The only person I found who knows the dialect is François Neptune, supposedly a full blood, in his sixties (1914), the oldest man at Becancour, whose acquaintance I had the good fortune to make in 1914 during a trip of reconnaissance among the Abenaki in company with Mr. Henry Masta of this tribe.44 Neptune’s interest in his dialect, which he knew to be on the verge of extinction, made work with him quite easy, although the state of his health prevented our doing more at the time. The following few myths in text will, I think, enable us to form some idea of its intermediate position between Penobscot and St. Francis Abenaki when more of the texts already collected in both of these dialects are published.45 It seems hardly necessary to remark that, in the scanty material on this region so far available in print, there exists absolutely nothing in the Wawenock dialect.
44 It might be added that Mr. Masta has given considerable time to the study of his people, and he is quite satisfied as to the identity of the Abenaki of Becancour with the Wawenock of early Maine history.
45 Comparative linguistic and mythological material in Penobscot, which the Wawenock most closely resembles may be found in the writer’s “Penobscot Transformer Texts,” International Journal of American Linguistics, vol. I, no. 3, 1918, while Doctor Michelson has given the position of Penobscot among the eastern Algonkian dialects in his Preliminary Report on the Linguistic Classification of Algonquian Tribes, Twenty-eighth Ann. Rep. Bur. Amer. Ethn., 1913, pp. 280-288.
Although closely related with the Penobscot and the St. Francis dialects, Wawenock has some distinctive qualities of its own. The list of sounds is as follows:
|p, b, m||are normal as in English.|
|n, l||alveolar-dental in position.|
|ł||alveolar-dental lateral surd.|
|t, d||alveolar-dentals, somewhat indeterminate in quality.|
|k, g||medial palatals, indeterminate in quality. k`ᵂ is k followed by aspiration and lip closure; gᵂ also occurs.46|
|tc||affricative medial surd.|
|dj||affricative medial sonant.|
|s, z||in position same as in English, indeterminate in sonant quality.|
|ŋ||palatal nasal, like ng of English sing.|
|h, w, y||as in English.|
|a, i, o, u||normal, medium length.|
|e||open, as e in English met.|
|ε||long, between e and ä, as in North German bär.|
|i·||long closed vowel like English ee.|
|ᴐ||longer than o, almost like au in English taut.|
|α||short a, like u of English but.|
|ə||short obscure vowel of uncertain quality.|
|,||denotes nasalized vowels (α̨, ą, ǫ́).|
|`||denotes aspiration following sound.|
|·||denotes lengthened vowel or consonant.|
Two stop consonants coming together have a slight vocalic pause, sometimes amounting to ə, between them.
The vowels e, i, a, o, u before stops have a tendency to show a slight aspiration following them. This quality, however, is hardly noticeable in Wawenock in comparison with Penobscot or Malecite.
Where words differ in spelling in different places it is because they were recorded as they were pronounced each time.
Wawenock appears to have been intermediate dialectically as well as geographically between Penobscot and St. Francis Abenaki (Aroosaguntacook and Norridgewock). In phonetic make-up it has the predominating e, ε, vowel where in St. Francis a and in Penobscot e occurs, though resembling Penobscot more. Wawenock Gluskα̨bε, St. Francis Gulskα̨ba´, Penobscot Gluskα̨´be; Wawenock be·´nαm, St. Francis p`ha´nαm, Penobscot p`he´nαm. “woman.” The dental quality of the alveolar consonants (n, t, d, l) is something of an individuality to Wawenock. It is totally foreign to Penobscot and the dialects eastward, while the St. Francis pronunciation 179 shows it in t, d, and the affricatives. Wawenock, like St. Francis Abenaki, has the final syllable stress. Like St. Francis it also lacks the distinct aspiration following vowels preceding stops and affricatives so noticeable in Penobscot. Syntactically Wawenock uses more independent word forms than Penobscot but it is not quite so analytic as the St. Francis dialect. In vocabulary Wawenock employs some nouns and verbs which are found in Penobscot and not in St. Francis and vice versa—perhaps more of the former. Modal and adverbial forms are more like those of St. Francis. There is nothing in grammar, so far as I could ascertain, that is really distinct from both the two related dialects; consequently the intermediate position of the dialect seems well established. Its intermediate complexion has led to an anomalous classification among the Indians themselves. The Penobscot associate Wawenock with the St. Francis dialect, while the latter reciprocate by classing it with Penobscot. As a final consideration it might be added that intercourse with the St. Francis people has been too irregular to have influenced the idiom in recent years, hence the intermediary characteristics of the dialect seem genuine properties, not of a kind acquired since the migration of the tribe from its old home in Maine.
GLUSKα̨Bε´ CREATES HIMSELF AND COMPETES WITH THE CREATOR
THE TURTLE INSULTS THE CHIEF OF THE BIRDS; GLUSKABE HELPS HIM TO ESCAPE; MOUNTAINS ARE CREATED; AND AGAIN TURTLE ESCAPES BY GETTING HIS CAPTORS TO THROW HIM INTO THE WATER, BUT IS FINALLY KILLED
51 Given as “eagle” by Neptune, but, in Penobscot, Newell Lyon identified this with the extinct “auk.”
52 A secondary chief, from English “captain.”
53 In a monotonous singsong tone.
54 This accounts for the mountain ridges and valleys of to-day.
55 Said by the informant to have been the ridge dividing the waters flowing into the St. Lawrence from those flowing southward into the Atlantic.
56 A mythical character common to the Malecite, Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, and Wawenock. She is described as having a figure like a “jug,” who lives alone in the remote forests.
57 A common concept among the Wabanaki, “to know a thing by intuition.”
GLUSKABE BECOMES ANGRY AT THE BIRCH TREE AND MARKS IT FOR LIFE
58 Some kind of a hollowed-out canoe.
Here begins Gluskabe. When the Owner made the first man then when the first man was made Gluskabe created himself out of the left-over material, out of this earth left over, this earth sprinkled.59 That is why Gluskabe was so strong. Well, this Gluskabe was able to create himself. Then he moved about in a sitting position. Upon seeing this the Owner was astonished and he said, “How happened you to be here?” and Gluskabe told him, “Well, because I formed myself from the waste pieces of earth out of which you made the first man.” Then the Owner told him, “You are indeed a very wonderful man.” And Gluskabe answered, “I am a wonderful man, because you sprinkled me, and on account of being so near to you.” Then Owner said to him, “So, then, you and I shall roam about from now on.” Accordingly, they started out. They went up a hill, they went up a mountain, and when they got on top of the mountain, when they began to gaze all around with open eyes, so great a distance around could they see the lakes, the rivers, and the trees, and all the lay of the land of the country. Then the Owner said, “Look at this; behold such is my wonderful work, all created by my wish of mine. The earth, the water, the ocean, the rivers, the basins, the lakes.” Then he said to Gluskabe, “What might you have brought into existence?” Then he answered him, this Gluskabe. “I can not bring a thing into existence, but, then, one thing maybe I can accomplish.” Then he said, “Well, I could perhaps do one thing, make the wind.” Then said the Owner, “Well, then, make it; whatever you can do, according to how powerful you are.” Then, accordingly, he made the wind. It began to blow. Then it increased so strong, the rising wind, and then it blew harder until those trees were torn out by the roots and blown over. Then said the Owner to Gluskabe, “That is enough; I have seen your power, even what you can do.” Then said the Owner, “Now, I for my part. I will make a wind.” Then, accordingly, it commenced to blow in return. Then it blew so hard that they could not hold on where they were standing(?); and it blew so hard that the hair on the head of Gluskabe became all tangled up. Then when he tried to smooth it out, the hair of his head, all of it blew off and the head of hair that he had was all blown off by the wind. That is the end of this story.
59 The Owner here corresponds to the Creator. The sprinkling evidently refers to the Roman Catholic idea of holy water.
Well, then, as he wandered along the shore of the ocean, Gluskabe killed a whale and when he had killed the whale he went to inform his uncle, the Turtle. Then he said to him, “Great luck! Killed a whale.” So he told his uncle, “And also we will go and get it, the whale meat.” So accordingly they went, went to the ocean; and when they arrived there where the whale lay they took as much of it as they wanted; and when they had taken it they placed it to one side for a while and that Turtle called together the birds, as many kinds as there were in all the world, and they came along flying in droves. On account of their number the ground fairly shook and, moreover, they fairly covered up the sun by their numbers. Then they all came flying together and ate because they were invited to the feast. Then the Eagle was the chief of the birds, and close by here where he sat was the Turtle. Then that Turtle took out his knife and he cut the buttocks off from the Eagle, this chief. Even then the chief did not feel that his buttocks had been cut off. Then this man, the second chief, a captain, said to his chief, “Who then has done such a deed to you, belittling you? We are all insulted.” Then they all became angry and they laid a plan what to do to the Turtle so as to kill him. Thereupon, immediately they (prepared to) attack him. Then the Turtle took the feathers of the bird and fanned himself, for which he said, “Wing is his fan, wing is his fan,” because he was using a wing as a fan. Then Gluskabe said to his uncle, “By so doing you have done wrong, indeed, cutting the buttocks of the chief. For soon they will attack us.” Then he said, “On account of it, what shall we do?” So he said, “In the meanwhile I will build a nest in this tree.” Then Gluskabe built a nest and he said to his uncle, “You shin up the tree.” Then the Turtle tried to shin up, but he was not able to do it; not able to shin up; so he said, “Dull are my heel claws.” Then Gluskabe took hold of him, the Turtle, and he tossed him up into the nest. And when they were in the nest they sat down to pass off water. Then the Turtle said, “How am I going to urinate up here?” Then Gluskabe said to him, “Extend your buttocks over the edge of the nest.” Then, accordingly, Turtle urinated water, which ran down below. Now the warriors discovered it (where Gluskabe and his uncle were hiding) and their captain looked up and he saw Turtle in the nest. Thereupon, he shot an arrow at him and brought him down. Then he said, “Bad stooping coward, bad stooping coward.” But where the Turtle fell on the ground there he disappeared, and they made a search for him but could not find him. And the captain hunted all about. Soon he saw a bark vessel upside down. Then he kicked it over, and found the Turtle. Thereupon they held a council over him and it was decided that he should die. Then said the captain, 188 “What, then, shall we do with you?” The second chief spoke and said, “We shall have to cut him up in pieces.” Then said the Turtle, “Not me; that will not kill me.” Then he said (the captain), “Then we shall burn him up.” Then again said the Turtle, “Not me; that will not kill me.” Then they all said, “Then we shall drown him.” Then that Turtle said again, “That will kill me.” Immediately they grabbed him to kill him. Well, in a little lake they were going to throw him. From the place where they dragged him the earth was torn up and furrowed, where they hauled him. But at last, here in the lake, they threw him into the water, that Turtle; then he sank, his back down and belly up, like a dead animal. But he riled up the water with his paws, and then when it was all muddy he poked his head out of his shell from the water and then he cried out, “Oh ho! as for you all, your earth kills you, but as for me my land does not kill me.” Then the birds heard him, that Turtle, by the noise of his screeching, and they rushed upon him, these warriors, and they chose one that was an expert diver. They selected the loon. Then this one dove down for him. When he had done this the second and the third time he found the Turtle. And thereupon they threw him ashore out upon the ground, and they knocked him dead, the Turtle, and that is the end of my story.
Then Gluskabe went away from there to the ocean. And he followed a river up as far as the great divide (the frontier between New England and Canada). There he started up a moose and this moose started to make away among the rivers in the direction of Penobscot Valley. Pukdjinskwessu knew that he was coming, for she could sense it, being a magic woman. Then she wanted to plague Gluskabe, for she wanted to scare away from him the moose so that he could not kill him. But that Gluskabe knew it, that Pukdjinskwessu, how she wanted to plague him. So he thought, “On account of this, you will not see me passing by.” Accordingly, that Pukdjinskwessu wandered all about to see if she could find out whether anyone had gone by. But she could see nothing except how the tracks of his snowshoes were left on the bare ledge. For a long time she followed the tracks, but at last she lost the tracks of Gluskabe, because he commanded, in his mind, that she could not find him. Then Gluskabe went down to a river, and he saw the very moose he was following; and he shot at it, and there it fell, the moose. And while he was falling he went up and skinned it, and after he had skinned it he took out its intestines. Then he threw them to his dog. He threw them where the moose was killed. That is now called “moose buttocks” by the people. And as the intestines of that moose were stretched out there they showed white underneath 189 the water. And even, now and forever until the end of the world, they will be white.60 That is as far as my story goes.
60 Neptune stated that Gluskabe threw the moose’s head to a place which became known as “Musα̨dáp,” “Moosehead,” but he did not know where this was. This is also the native name of Moosehead Lake, which may have been the place indicated in the story. (Cf. Jos. Laurent, New Familiar Abenakis and English Dialogues, Quebec, 1884, p. 216, and Maurault, op. cit. p. IV.) Gov. Newell Lyon, of the Penobscot tribe, added that this is probably the upper end of Islesboro (formerly Long Island) in Penobscot Bay. This still has the name We·ni·α̨ŋgánik “Has a head” in the Malecite language, probably having been named by some Malecite. At Castine Head, where the lighthouse is now, is a place called Madə´ŋgαmαs, “Old homely snowshoe.” The Indians claim that this is where Pukdjinskwessu gave up her chase, the same story occurring in the Penobscot. In several large crevices in the ledge here are the marks of two snowshoes, one a regular one, the other a woman’s shoe, short and round.
Here comes my story of that Gluskabe. Then wandering about the ocean he started in a canoe and when he had worn this out, his canoe, he thought “I shall stop until I build another canoe.” And accordingly he looked for a birch tree, a straight one. Then he cut it down, and when it fell down, that tree, apparently it nearly fell upon him. He had difficulty in being able to run away from under it. So he thought, “Never again will you fall on and kill anybody.” That big branch he took hold of it and switched this birch tree right away along its whole length. He kept on switching it and now it will forever be marked while there are people living in the world. This is the end of my story.61
61 The “eyes” in the bark of the white birch are the blisters caused by Gluskabe’s switching. Such an explanation is very common in northern and northeastern Algonkian mythology. (Cf. S. T. Rand, Legends of the Micmacs, p. 67, and F. G. Speck, Myths and Folk-Lore of the Temiskaming Algonquin and Timagami Ojibwa, Memoir Anth., Series No. 8, Geological Survey of Canada, p. 83.)
62 Used in a somewhat humorous sense.
63 Lit. “yellow money,” mani´, “money” borrowed during early English contact.
64 Literally “once move (sun)” referring to division of portions of the day.
Once there was a man who went hunting but he could not find anything. Soon he came to a river and as he had become thirsty, he sat down and after he had sat down, he was about to drink. While he stooped down toward the water, there in the water he saw some one’s reflection really resembling a human being, but one whom he did not know but of whom he had heard. Behold he was like Bmulε´, and at once the man got up and hid himself and after he had hidden, he watched to see what the other, his friend Bmulε´, would do. Then he climbed into a tree. Then the other, whose reflection he had seen in the water while lying on his face, that one in his turn was about to come down and drink. He had a piece of gold in his mouth and he took it out and laid it on the ground. Then the man, when he saw where Bmulε´ had hidden it after taking it from his mouth, thought that he would go and steal it. Accordingly, the man started to crawl flat on his belly so that his friend would not see him, and when he came near, crawling slyly along, he took the gold.
65 A St. Francis Abenaki tale, given by C. G. Leland and J. D. Prince (Kuloskap The Master, New York 1902, p. 236), rather closely follows this narrative, though in the St. Francis story “P’mula” gives magic eye-rings of a snake to the hunter.
Pəmu´la seems to be known locally among the western Wabanaki. To the St. Francis Abenaki he is a bird-like monster which flies from one end of the world to the other in one day. He can hear the merest mention of his name if anyone calls him. (Cf. Maurault, op. cit., p. 574.) In Penobscot mythology, Pəmu´le, “Comes flying,” is believed to heed the appeal of men. Once a year he flies across the sky, propelling himself with bull-roarers, giving three cries; one at the horizon; one at the zenith, and one at the other horizon. He may be stopped by an ascending column of smoke and will then grant supplications for aid.
The concept is interesting as an element of religious and social fabric among related western Algonkian. Among the Algonquin and Ojibwa of Ontario, the creature is known under the name Pa·´guk` (Timiskaming) (cf. F. G. Speck, Myths and Folk-Lore of the Timiskaming, Algonquin, and Timagami Ojibwa, Memoir 70, Anthropological Series No. 9, Geological Survey of Canada, 1915, p. 22) and Pa·´gαk (Timagami) (ibid., p. 81). The beliefs regarding him are similar to those of the Wabanaki; though the Timagami believe his appearance to be an omen of death. With the Menomini “Paˣkaˣ is a flying skeleton ... corresponding to the western Ojibway Pägûk” (A. B. Skinner, Social Life and Ceremonial Bundles of the Menomini Indians, Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History (1913), Vol. XIII, pt. 1, p. 83).
On the northern plains, however, among the Plains Ojibwa, “Pägûk, a skeleton being with glaring eyes which is sometimes seen flitting through the air,” is the dream patron of a cannibal cult (Windigokan), the members of which perform in a mask costume and blow on whistles. The functions of the society are to heal disease and to exorcise demons. Taboo associations have become centered about the society. (A. B. Skinner, Political Organization, Cults, and Ceremonies of the Plains Ojibway and Plains Cree Indians, ibid., Vol. XI, Part VI, pp. 500-505.) The Plains Cree had the same society (Skinner, ibid., p. 528-529) and so do the Assiniboine (R. H. Lowie, The Assiniboine, ibid., Vol. IV, Part I (1909), pp. 62-66), who also designate the dance by a cognate term Wiᵂtgō´gax. This series of cases makes me feel that we have here a case of more recent elaboration from a common Algonkian idea, the result of a tendency toward socialization on the Plains, where the cannibal cult evolving out of the flying-head conception has taken on the characteristics of the crazy dance of the Arapaho, Gros Ventre and the others of this region.
Then when Bmulε´ had finished drinking, returning for his gold, behold he could not find it and, thinking about it, he reached a conclusion. “So it is evidently stolen from me.” Now that Bmulε´ 194 was a sorcerer, and so right there he spoke aloud into the air and said, “My friend, please do give me back that, my gold, for you can not make any use of it. That is my life. Moreover, I can not stay long in any one place. Pray do give it back to me quickly and if you give it to me you will have good luck, for that you will always have an abundance of money and you will not lack in hunting.” Then the man spoke to him and said, “Then I will give you back your gold, but then don’t cheat me.” And he, Bmulε´, said, “I can not cheat you. If you are afraid of me so now mount upon my back and hold tight to me for very fast we shall go.” Accordingly the man mounted upon the back of Bmulε´ and the great magician started off traveling so fast, because that Bmulε´ could even rise in the air, and then they came to the end where he brought him, Bmulε´’s country, as it is called. Great magicians lived there. Just at noon time these magicians assembled at that place and slept together. Then this Bmulε´ bringing him right to this country put him down and said to him, “Here you may hunt beavers and otters. So hurry and get ready. Just until 1 o’clock you can stay, and after you have hunted, skin your game quickly and bundle up your hides. Until then I must go somewheres. It shall not be for a long time and I shall come back before the great magicians wake up, and carry you back again to the place where I got you.” Accordingly at once the man did as his friend told him and he hurried on with it and he hunted beavers and otters and after he had killed them he cut off some meat and skinned them, quickly he proceeded with haste and then bundled up his hides, and after he was ready he thought to himself, “It must now be about 1 o’clock surely.” And he thought again, “My friend said what was true.” But he did not know how far his friend had to come from, forasmuch as he could not stop anywhere since he was always traveling in the air. Suddenly then a great trembling he heard arise from the earth and he thought on account of so much disturbance that the world was about to come to an end. But behold it was this his friend coming along. Then Bmulε´ came bounding up and Bmulε´ said, “Quickly jump upon my back, it is already time for the magicians to wake up.” Accordingly then the man jumped upon his friend’s back with his hides that he had secured, and Bmulε´ started off going so fast that one could only imagine it. Then he brought him to where he had been formerly. After he had warmed up his belly and his head, he said, “Never again will we see each other, but nevertheless you will forever have good fortune and besides you will live long.” And here my story is ended.
66 The narrator added that some old woman would catch the beads in a receptacle as they fell from the magician’s mouth.
Accordingly, then, whenever they held a council there were shamans there. And according to their strength among these shamans it was known who was the most powerful. After they held their council they lighted their pipes and smoked. In the case of an exceedingly great shaman every time he drew upon his pipe, wampum fell from his mouth. If the wampum was white, then it denoted that the shaman was of medium power. If the wampum was half white and half reddish it denoted the least powerful shaman. But if, in the case of a shaman, his wampum was almost black, then he would win over these shamans, the others who had the most wampum, after the shamans had smoked their pipes. And so whenever these two nations wanted to make a treaty they gave wampum to each other as a payment, the beads woven into a belt designed with two hands, meaning that they had agreed to the treaty and would fight no more and forever would not hunt one another down again. And that is all.
In the following text, obtained at Tadousac from Joseph Nicolar, a Wawenock descendant affiliated with the Montagnais, we have a type of song common among the Penobscot and the other Wabanaki tribes and known as “Lonesome songs.” Owing to his unfamiliarity with the language the informant has used some forms which are not very clear.
67 For the want of a better explanation it seems that the song refers to some place called “Long Town” (gwenodana´, “long-town"), probably in Canada. The expression gwe nǫ da nǫ may, however, be a verse ending having a value similar to Kuwenodinu, “It is long O,” occurring in a Passamaquoddy song recorded by Professor Prince. (Cf. The Morphology of the Passamaquoddy Language of Maine, Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. LIII, No. 213 (1914), pp. 115-116-117.) In still another Passamaquoddy song given by Leland and Prince (Kuloskap, The Master, pp. 308-309), there is an untranslated stanza ending anigowanotenu. These independent occurrences of the burden in question seem to attest to its antiquity in the Northeast.