Conte Ojibwé : Northern Lights

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 : Northern Lights (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 Northern Lights

Legend of the Northern Lights

Many of us who live in the Northern areas of the American Continent
have had the delightful experience of watching the magnificent display
of moving multi-coloured, misty lights, as they flash across the night skies.

A number of theories and explanations have been advanced for this
natural phenomenon known as the « Aurora Borealis » or « Northern
lights », but let us travel in our minds, back through the eons
of time and discover how they really came into being. We are in
a world that spins in a perfect vertical position upon its axis.
The moderate temperature is about the same all over its surface
and beautiful vegetation is everywhere.

As we return through time, we witness the great Flood where everything
becomes submerged and finally lost. As the waters gradually recede
their tremendous weight throws our planet off its balance and it
now tilts to one side, thus causing long dark periods in the North and South.

Not quite all is lost however, for in the North lived a simple
and God-fearing race of people, known to us now as the « Mongols »,
whom the Great Manitou (their name for God) had spared from this great deluge.

When they could no longer see the Sun and feel its warmth, fear
came upon them and they prayed to the Great Manitou to save them.
In his compassion, the Great Spirit decided to take them to the
warm and fertile plains of this Continent and he bade them gather
together their families and ‘what goods they could carry and trek
across the barren North to the « New Land ».

Because there was no daylight many became lost and perished within
the deep crevices caused by the flood waters.

Again they prayed for help and the Great Manitou devised a plan.
Covering the Northern cap of the world with great crystals of ice,
some as high as mountains, he was able to capture the rays of the
hidden sun and reflect them up into the sky, thus providing light
for his people to see by. Onward these stalwart people trekked,
and became the forerunners of our many Indian tribes.

The great ice prisms split the sun’s rays into all the beautiful
colors of the spectrum and because of this, people for thousands
of years have witnessed this wonderful miracle, the Northern Lights!