Conte Ojibwé : Sea Lion of Silver Islet

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 sea Lion of Silver Islet (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 sea Lion of Silver Islet

The sea Lion of Silver Islet

Silver Islet is not only beautifully picturesque, but leaves one
with the sense of having « rubbed shoulders » with the chiefs
and braves that once roamed its shores.

It is here that the great legend of the Sea Lion originated. A
pet and constant companion of Nanna Bijou, spirit of the Deep Sea
Water, was the giant Thunder Bird. Nanna Bijou had another great
companion in Nagochee, the great Lion. Nagochee was no ordinary
animal, for he was credited with having the wings of an ease and
the feet of a duck. His speed was that of the wind and he could
swim faster than any great fish.

One day the Spirit God was called upon to go on a long journey.
He hurriedly departed on the back of his beloved Lion, completely
forgetting to take his Thunder Bird. jealous at being left behind,
the Thunder Bird planned to destroy the Lion.

As Nanna Bijou returned, the Thunder Bird’s screeching voice shook
the heavens and a terrific storm broke, striking the Lion and rider.
A great wind snapped off one of Nagochee’s wings and he was twisted
over, throwing his master into the Big Sea Water. The Lion could
not swim the storm tossed waters, but ‘Nanna Bijou made it to shore.
Thinking his beast had failed him, he placed a curse on the Lion
and turned him to stone.

There today, the faithful old Lion looks solemnly out over the
water, waiting for his Master to return.