Conte Ojibwé : Chi Ca Go

Le terme Ojibwé vient de Outchibou, nom donné au XVIIe siècle à un groupe qui vivait au nord de ce qui est aujourd’hui Sault Ste. Marie, en Ontario.Voici un de leur conte : Chi Ca Go (en anglais).

Les Ojibwés faisaient partie d’une série de groupes très proches, mais distincts, occupant un territoire situé entre le nord-est de la baie Géorgienne et l’est du lac Supérieur. Ces peuplades qui se rassemblent près de la ville actuelle de Sault Ste. Marie sont aussi appelées Saulteaux, un terme qui désigne aujourd’hui principalement les peuples ojibwés du nord-ouest de l’Ontario et du sud-est du Manitoba.

Ojibwé Chi Ca Go

Chi Ca Go

Once an Ottawan hunter and his wife lived on the shores of Lake
Michigan. Then the hunters went south, toward the end of the lake,
to hunt. When he reached the lake where he had caught Beaver the
year before, it was still covered with ice. Then he tapped the ice
to find the thinner places where the Beaver families lived. He broke
holes at these weaker points in the ice, and went to his wigwam
to get his traps.

Now the hunter’s wife chanced to pass one of these holes and saw
a Beaver on the ice. She caught it by the tail and called to the
hunter to come and kill it quickly, before it could get back into
the water. « No, » said the hunter, « if I kill this
Beaver, the others will become frightened. They will escape from
the lake by other openings in the ice. »

Then the woman became angry, and they quarreled. When the sun was
near setting, the hunter went out on the ice again, to set more
traps. When he returned to his tepee, his wife had gone. He thought
she had gone to make a visit. The next morning she had not returned,
and he saw her footprints. So he followed her trail to the south.

As he followed her trail, he saw that the footprints gradually
changed. At last they became the trail of a skunk. The trail ended
in a marsh, and many skunks were in that marsh. Then he returned
to his people. And he called the place, « The Place of the Skunk. »
Between Milwaukee and Chicago, going south where Chicago now stands.