Conte Ojibwé : Three Sisters

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 : The three sisters (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 The three sisters

The three sisters

Mariners find three islands laying in the waters of Thunder Bay,
a safe shelter from the storms that lash Lake Superior. According
to legend, the aptly named « Welcome Islands » had a strange origin.

Of the six children of a great Ojibway chieftain, only the youngest
was of tender and dreamy nature, constantly relating her communication
with spirits of the forest to her family. Endeared to her father
by her sweet nature, the girl was ridiculed by the elder sisters.

One day, the young maiden heard the great and kindly voice of Nanna
Bijou say he had chosen her to be the bride of his son, North Star.
That evening she related the story and told of the God’s instructions
of when and where she was to meet the Great Spirit’s son. The sisters
laughed mockingly and accused her of being sick in the head. The
chief, angered by their cruel treatment of his youngest daughter,
beat the daughters with a strip of deer hide. Full of hate because
of their punishment, the sisters planned the younger girl’s death.

Recalling the place and time of the meeting, they followed their
sister into the woods. North Star, being a spirit, could not be
seen by the elder sisters, thus as the young sister embraced North
Star and they shot their arrows into her heart, the arrows also
pierced North Star’s heart. Instead of falling, their sister was
borne gently upwards to the sky by the spirit. Frightened at what
they saw, the sisters ran wildly through the woods. Nanna Bijou,
furious at their deed, turned them into stone and hurled their into
the waters of Thunder Bay.

There today, lay the three islands, and who can tell. »truth
is often stranger than fiction ».