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Monday, 13 October 2014

Glooscap Turns Bad Into Good

Hi dear friends and followers., I welcome you again to another legend of the Native American Abenaki people. Enjoy the story 


This is an outline map of the State of Vermont with notations of the Native American Peoples that once populated the area. They were forced out by the colonial expansion that took place during the 1600s in America. Most went into Canada.

The Abenaki were the dominant People in the region but there was a population of Mahican and Pennacook as well. Today's offerings are from the Legends of Glooscap. The following introduction to those legends is from the book titled

“Glooscap Legends” by Stanley T. Spicer.


The land of the Wabenaki, the land nearest to the sunrise, comprises the area along the Atlantic seaboard inhabited by numerous Indian tribes, including the Micmacs, Malecites, Penobscots, and Passamaquoddies. Through the years one great legendary figures among these peoples has been the god-man, Glooscap.

Glooscap was endowed with supreme powers. He was credited with the creation of many wild creatures and the change in form of others. Even the land was not immune and structures of land and sea were attributed to his handiwork.

The stories of Glooscap and his works often have variances. Claimed by several tribes over a wide geographical area, each tribe passed on legends of its own. If he is known as Glooscap in the Maritime Provinces, elsewhere he bore such names as Glooskap, Gluskap, Kuloskap, and Klotescarp. There were, however, consistencies. Always he was portrayed as kind, benevolent, a warrior against evil, and the possessor of magical powers.

Glooscap Turns Bad Into Good
When Glooscap came in from the sea, he was riding in his canoe, which was made from stone. He ran aground near what we now call St. John. He had been chasing two giant beavers. He was trying to stop them from making any trouble.

He tried to stop them right there, where the Reversing Falls is today. He built a dam so they could not go up the river. But still, the beavers managed to get past Glooscap, and traveled up the Beautiful River, which is now called the St. John River.

Glooscap took two stones and threw them at the two beavers. One stone landed a long way up the river and became Grand Falls.

The other stone hit a beaver and landed in a rocky area, which is now called Plaster Rock. To this day, you can see the red clay on the river bank. They say it comes from the blood of the beaver.

Glooscap often used animals who were bad to make something good. He paddled up and down this Beautiful River (St. John River) many times.

Even near Kingsclear, where Glooscap came up, long before the Mactaquac Dam was built, he used the ledges to hold onto when he fell. Glooscap even left his image on those rocks. And where he left his snowshoes is where they were transformed and turned into the Snowshoe Islands.

These are all sacred places. Even the little people lived near the village of Kingsclear.

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Gluskabe Changes Maple Syrup

Long ago, the Creator made and gave many gifts to man to help him during his life. The Creator made the lives of the Abenaki People very good, with plenty of food to gather, grow, and hunt. The Maple tree at that time was one of these very wonderful and special gifts from the Creator. The sap was as thick and sweet as honey. All you had to do was to break the end off a branch and the syrup would flow out.

In these days Gluskabe would go from native village to village to keep an eye on the People for the Creator. One day Gluskabe came to an abandoned village. The village was in disrepair, the fields were overgrown, and the fires had gone cold. He wondered what had happened to the People.

He looked around and around, until he heard a strange sound. As he went towards the sound he could tell that it was the sound of many people moaning. The moaning did not sound like people in pain, but more like the sound of contentment. As he got closer he saw a large stand of beautiful maple trees. As he got closer still, he saw all the people were lying on their backs under the trees with the end of a branch broken off and dripping maple syrup into their mouths.

The maple syrup had fattened them up so much and made them so lazy that they could barely move. Gluskabe told them to get up and go back to their village to re-kindle their fires and to repair the village. But the people did not listen. They told him that they were content to lie there and to enjoy the maple syrup.

When Gluskabe reported this to the Creator, it was decided that it was again time that man needed another lesson to understand the Creator's ways. The Creator instructed Gluskabe to fill the maple trees with water. So Gluskabe made a large bucket from birch bark and went to the river to get water. 

He added water, and added more water, until the sap was like water. Some say he added a measure of water for each day between moons, or nearly 30 times what it was as thick syrup. After a while the People began to get up because the sap was no longer so thick and sweet.

They asked Gluskabe, “Where has our sweet drink gone?” He told them that this is the way it will be from now on. Gluskabe told them that if they wanted the syrup again, that they would have to work hard to get it. The sap would flow sweet only once a year before the new year of spring.

The People were shown that making syrup would take much work. Birch bark buckets would need to be made to collect the sap. Wood would be needed to be gathered to make fires to heat rocks, and the rocks would be needed to be put into the sap to boil the water out to make the this, sweet syrup that they were once so fond of. He also told them that they could get the sap for only a short time each year so that they would remember the error of their ways.
And so it is still to this day, each spring the Abenaki people remember Gluskabe's lesson in honoring Creator's gifts and work hard to gather the maple syrup that they love so much. Nialach!

Thank you for coming and taking interest in this story. You are also invited to share your thoughts and comments, they are valued and greatly appreciated. Thank you and have a wonderful day

ڰۣIn Loving Light from the Fairy Ladyڰۣ

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