by Basil Johnston
The Manitous were jusr as much a reality as were trees, valleys, hills, and winds.
From the strong oral culture of his own Ojibway Indian heritage, Basil Johnston presents the first collection by a Native American scholar of legends and tales depicting manitous, mystical beings who are divine and essential forces in the spiritual life of his people. These lively, sometimes earthy stories teach about manitous who lived in human form amoung the Ojibway in the early days, after Kitchi-Manitou (the Great Mystery) created all things and Muzzu-Kummik-Quae (Mother Earth) revealed the natural order of the world. With depth and humor, Johnston tells how lasting tradition was brought to the Ojibway by four half human brothers, such as Nana'b' oozoo (the beloved archetypal being who means well but often blunders), and how people are helped and hindered by other entities including the manitous of the forests and meadows, personal manitous and totems, mermen and merwomen, Pauguk (the cursed Flying Skeleton), and the Weendigoes, famed and terrifying giant cannibals.
"The stories are rich in detail and cultural meaning, and quite literally cast a spell"-Books in Canada
"Both exemplary original scholarship and a delightfully, even charmingly written set of stories that, although written for adults, can be appreciated by those of any age, for, based in oral tradition, they read as if they have voices."- Booklist
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