Ojibwa Tale: Rainbow Path

The term Ojibwe comes from Utchibou, name given to the XVIIe century to a group that lived north of what is now Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Here is one of their stories: The Rainbow path.

The Ojibway were part of a series of very close, but distinct groups, occupying a territory located between the northeast of the bay Georgian and eastern Lake Superior. These peoples who gathered near present-day Sault Ste. Mary are also called Saulteaux, a term that today refers primarily to the Ojibway peoples of northwestern Ontario and southeastern Manitoba.

Ojibway The Rainbow path

The Rainbow path

As we pause to think of today's space achievements and the deeds
of astronauts, it is interesting to learn what the Iroquois Indians
thought of the heavenly bodies 2,000 years ago.

They believed the blue sky was a rich, fertile land where everything
for man and animal grew in abundance. The Sun and Moon were man
and wife had come down through a hole in the sky each morning and
returned back through another hole to better land at night.

Heng, the Thunder God, grew angry at the Sun as he watched the
Moon grow thinner and fade away. Believing the Sun was mistreating-
his wife, the-God cast a great black cloud across the Sun's shining
face, not realizing the heat would melt the cloud and drops of rain
would result in a magnificent rainbow.

Upon seeing, the vari-coloured rainbow, the animals were anxious
to travel via the path to the beautiful land above. They went to
Old Turtle. king of the animals, and begged to ascend the path.
Ignoring warning of possible danger, they ran up the rainbow. Tea
animals did not realize that once the »rain stopped the rainbow
would disappear, and when that happened, they were all left in the
sky. The Iroquois claimed the gods outlined the animals' bodies
in stars and some of our constellations are still known for the
animal shapes they represent.