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The Algonquin Legends of New England by Charles Godfrey Leland

The Algonquin Legends of New England by Charles Godfrey Leland

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Published by John Gamesby
The Algonquin Legends of New England by Charles Godfrey Leland
The Algonquin Legends of New England by Charles Godfrey Leland

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Published by: John Gamesby on Nov 28, 2013
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04/18/2014

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THE ALGONQUIN LEGENDS OF NEW ENGLAND
OR 
 Myths and Folk Lore of the Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot Tribes
BY CHARLES G. LELAND
From a scraping on birch bark by Tomak Josephs, Indian Governor at Peter Dona's Point, Maine. The Mik um ees a!ays ears a red cap !ike the  "orse Gob!in.#
PREFACE.
$hen I began, in the summer o% &(, to co!!ect among the Passama)uoddy Indians at *ampobe!!o, "e +runsick, their traditions and %o!k!ore, I e-pected to %ind very !itt!e indeed. These Indians, %e in number, surrounded by hite peop!e, and thorough!y converted to oman *atho!icism, promised but scanty remains o% heathenism. $hat as my ama/ement, hoever, at discovering, day by day, that there e-isted among them, entire!y by ora! tradition, a %ar grander mytho!ogy than that hich has  been made knon to us by either the *hippea or Iro)uois 0iaatha 1egends, and that this as i!!ustrated by an incredib!e number o% ta!es. I soon ascertained that these ere very ancient. The o!d peop!e dec!ared that they had heard %rom their progenitors that a!! o% these stories ere once sung2 that they themse!ves remembered hen many o% them ere poems. This as %u!!y proved by discovering mani%est traces o% poetry in many, and %ina!!y by receiving a !ong Micmac ta!e hich had been sung by an Indian. I %ound that a!! the re!aters o% this !ore ere positive as to the anti)uity o% the narratives, and distinguished accurate!y beteen hat as or as not pre*o!umbian. In %act, I came in time to the opinion that the origina! stock o% a!! the 3!gon)uin myths, and perhaps o% many more, sti!! e-isted, not %ar aay in the $est, but at our very doors2 that is to say, in Maine and "e +runsick. It is at !east certain, as the reader may convince himse!%, that these $abanaki, or "ortheastern 3!gon)uin, !egends give, ith %e e-ceptions, in %u!! and coherent!y, many ta!es hich have on!y reached us in a broken, imper%ect %orm, %rom other sources.This ork, then, contains a co!!ection o% the myths, !egends, and %o!k!ore o% the principa! $abanaki, or "ortheastern 3!gon)uin, Indians2 that is to say, o% the Passama)uoddies and Penobscots o% Maine, and o% the Micmacs o%  "e +runsick. 3!! o% this materia! as gathered direct!y %rom Indian
 
narrators, the greater part by myse!%, the rest by a %e %riends2 in %act, I can give the name o% the aborigina! authority %or every ta!e e-cept one. 3s my chie% ob4ect has been simp!y to co!!ect and preserve va!uab!e materia!, I have said !itt!e o% the !abors o% such critica! riters as +rinton, 0a!e, Trumbu!!, Poers, Morgan, +ancro%t, and the many more ho have so ab!y studied and set %orth red Indian ethno!ogy. I% I have rare!y ventured on their %ie!d, it is because I be!ieve that hen the Indian sha!! have passed aay there i!! come %ar better ethno!ogists than I am, ho i!! be much more ob!iged to me %or co!!ecting ra materia! than %or cooking it.To or three sub4ects have, it is true, tempted me into occasiona! commenting. The mani%est, I may say the undeniab!e, a%%inity beteen the myths and !egends o% the "ortheastern Indians and those o% the 5skimo cou!d hard!y be passed over, nor at the same time the identity o% the !atter and o% the 6haman re!igion ith those o% the Finns, 1ap!anders, and 6amoyedes. I be!ieve that I have contributed materia! not devoid o% va!ue to those ho are interested in the study o% the re!ations o% the aborigines o% 3merica ith the Mongo!oid races o% the 7!d $or!d. This is a sub4ect hich has been very !itt!e studied through the re!ations o% these $abanaki ith the 5skimo.3 %ar more ha/ardous venture has been the indicating points o% simi!arity  beteen the myths or ta!es o% the 3!gon)uins and those o% the "orsemen, as set %orth in the 5ddas, the 6agas, and popu!ar ta!es o% 6candinavia. $hen e, hoever, remember that the 5skimo once ranged as %ar south as Massachusetts, that they did not reach Green!and ti!! the %ourteenth century, that they had %or three centuries intimate re!ations ith 6candinavians, that they ere very %ond o% !egends, and that the $abanaki even no ming!e ith them, the marve! ou!d be that the "orsemen had not !e%t among them traces o% their ta!es or o% their re!igion. +ut I do not say that this as  positive!y the case2 I simp!y set %orth in this book a great number o% curious coincidences, %rom hich others may dra their on conc!usions. I con%ess that I cannot account %or these resemb!ances save by the soca!!ed 8historica! theory8 o% direct transmission2 but i% any one can otherise e-p!ain them I shou!d e!come the so!ution o% hat sti!! seems to be, in many respects, a  prob!em.I am, in %act, o% the opinion that hat is given in this ork con%irms hat as con4ectured by David *rant/, and hich is thus e-pressed in his 0istory o% Green!and 91ondon, &:;:<= 8I% e read the accounts hich have been given o% the most norther!y 3merican Indians and 3siatic Tartars, e %ind a  pretty great resemb!ance beteen their manner o% !i%e, mora!s, usages, and notions and hat has been said in this book o% the Green!anders, on!y ith this di%%erence= that the %arther the savage nations andered toards the  "orth, the %eer they retained o% their ancient conceptions and customs. 3s

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