Cultures, Message

From The Mishomis Book, by Edward Benton-Banay, 7th degree Midewiwin Elder

From The Mishomis Book, by Edward Benton-Banay, 7th degree Midewiwin Elder:

Waynaboozhoo dozed off but soon awoke with a start as if someone or something had prodded him. He looked around slowly. Even though he did not see anything, he knew he was not alone. Suddenly he noticed that just out of his direct eyesight was a being, a huge, dark figure with red eyes that peered out of the shadowy face… The shadowy being spoke:

”I am Bug-way-jinini (wild man). Some of the people who follow you will know me as Sasquatch or Yeti, but they will seldom see me. It will be forbidden for them to look into my eyes. Some will not ever know of me. Many will not believe that I exist. I am your oldest brother!”

”I have been with you on your journey. I have been ahead of you at times and behind you at times. Sometimes I have watched you walk by. The Creator sent me here to guide and care for those who become lost. I am to watch over those who go into the forest, swamps, hills and mountains to gather medicines and other things. If those who seek the medicine roots, bark, and berries will ask me in a good way, if their thoughts are good, and their concern is for others, I will help them to find the medicines they seek.”

”I shall know their thoughts. Also I am to help those who choose to meditate, pray, and fast in the bug-way-ji (wild and natural places). I am the caretaker of all these places, the deep forests, swamps, mountains, and deep valleys.”

”I am natural man. I am to be the different one, different in all ways. I shall not build a home or gather in o-day-nah-wing (towns). Nor will I assemble with my own kind in tribes or nations. I will make no trails. Nor will I build ji-mon-nug (canoes). I am to be alone in the quiet solitude and majesty of the natural world of the Creator. I shall know of man’s presence, and I will know his thoughts. But only the Anishnabe will know me. I am not to desire the companionship of Anishnabe or others… but only the Anishnabe shall know and honor me.”

”Little brother, I have watched your journey and have known your thoughts. I will tell you of some but not all of the things you have wondered about.”

”First, you must always treat the natural Creation with respect. When you must come through my territory, honor those places with Tobacco and good thoughts. Be not in fear. In that way you shall not become lost or confused and no harm will befall you. Be always in wonder and awe of all these natural works that you see; they are the hand and thoughts of the Creator, Gitchi Manito. These works, whether they be mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, the deepest swamps, or the wildest places, should never be changed, diverted, or disturbed. They are to remain as they are now just as I am to remain in my natural way.”

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