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Leonard Paul Drawings
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Legends, summarized by Peggy MacKinnon
1. The History of Celebrated Chief, Ulgimoo
In ancient times the Kwedeches and the Miíkmaq were friends. This changed when two young sons of the respective chieftains quarrelled, and one killed the other. Many battles ensued, which the Miíkmaq usually won because there were more of them.
During those wars a celebrated chief named Ulgimoo arose among the Miíkmaq. He was a great magician, a clairvoyant, and lived to be 103 years old. One day he had a vision that a war party was coming to attack his village. He was very feeble and bent with age, but just before the attack was expected he tricked his warriors into leaving the village by giving them false information on where it was to take place. All the men left and Ulgimoo waited. The enemies arrived and took him prisoner. They tied the old man up, bound him to a tree, and attempted to burn him alive. As soon as the fire began to blaze, Ulgimoo transformed into a strong, young warrior and sprang free. One by one he struck them all dead, taking only three prisoners. After cutting their ears and slitting their noses and cheeks he sent the three back to their village with instructions to tell their people that an entire army had been slain by one elderly Miíkmaq.
Rand, Rev. Silas Tertius, The History of the Celebrated Chief, Ulgimoo Legends of the Micmacs (New York and London: Longmans, Green & Co., 1894) 294-297
Artistís legend synopses.
A brother and sister lived together in a wigwam. The brother had magical powers that enabled him to become invisible. The sister tested prospective wives for her brother by challenging them to see him. No one succeeded except one, who became his wife. The couple had one son who caused his fatherís leg to be broken by breaking the leg bone of a moose. The wife and son were sent back to the wifeís village. Then the brother instructed his sister to kill him and he would transform into a moose. He told her to skin the dead mooseís head and make it into a medicine bag, warning her to always keep the bag in her possession so that he could guard and protect her.
The sister followed his instructions and made plans to travel to a nearby village the next day. In the morning a Kukwes Ė an ogre — visited her and warned her about two giant dragons blocking the way to the village. She began the journey and came to what seemed to be two mountains, but were in reality two huge serpents. Protected by the medicine bag, she eluded the dragons and safely reached the village.
Rand, Silas Tertius, The Invisible Boy. Team and Oochigeaskw, Legends of the Micmacs (New York and London: Longmanís Green & Co., 1894) 101-109.
Whitehead, Ruth Holmes, Tiaím and Tiaímiískw, Stories from the Six Worlds (Halifax: Nimbus, 1988) 217.
Artistís legend synopses.