Conte Ojibwé : The Peeping Squaw

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 peeping squaw (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 peeping squaw

The peeping squaw

A quaint legend explains the origin of an optical illusion as those
cruising the waters of Thunder Bay approach the Sleeping Giant.

Looking west-ward, as the boat passes Pie Island, one can see for
a short distance only, what appears to be the figure of a woman
peeping from behind the plateau. It is the Peeping Squaw.

The Indian Spirit, ‘Nanna Bijou, resented the influx of the White
Man and sought to frighten them away. With his giant Thunder Bird
he would sweep down the shores of the Great Lakes and cause terrible
thunder storms whenever the White Man’s camps appeared. As the camps
grew more numerous, Nanna Bijou spent more and more of his time
away from his home and wife.

To pass the time the wife would spend many hours hunting. While
away on one of her hunting trips, Nanna Bijou returned home tired
and hungry. Angered by her absence he went in search of his wife.
Upon finding her, he raged at her for her neglect of him. When she
upbraided him for leaving her he raised his great hands and struck
her down. Later, filled with grief over his actions, he went to
find her but Manitou, greatest of all Indian Gods, had turned her
to stone and placed her upon Pie Island so that Nanna Bijou could
not harm her again. There, today, she peeps out at everyone approaching
hoping it is her beloved husband.

If some day Nanna Bijou should come again and Manitou forgives
him, legend tells us she will disappear and if she does, she will
never leave his side again.