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  • Writer's picturezhaawano

Stories and Teachings from the Earth, part 4: Wenabozho and the Evil Spirit of the White Mountain

Updated: Nov 20, 2021

Manidoo-Giizis (Spirit Moon), January 17, 2021


Aaniin! Biindigen miinawaa nindaadizooke wigamigong; enji-zaagi'iding miinawaa gikendaasong. Ninga-aadizooke noongom giizhigad! (Hi! Welcome back in my Storytelling Lodge where legends and teaching stories are told.)

Today's story is an aawechigan (parable) told in the traditional Anishinaabe storytelling tradition, about our hero Wenabozho who sets things straight with the guy who lives on the big white hill and who's been making a lot of wind (noise) for the past 4 years. The moral of the story is that one big wind outblowing all others causes disharmony in the world ...

Wiinabozho and the Wind Maker Native Woodland artist
Wenabozho Miinawaa Nodinaam ("Wiinabozho and the Wind-Maker Spirit"), © 2021 by Zhaawano Giizhik.

Ahaaw, ningad aawechige. Now, I will tell a story …

At one time in his life, the Great Hare Wenabozho stayed with his grandmother.

Now one summer Wenabozho could not fish during the whole summer because of the high winds. The winds had been blowing for four summers in a row! The people almost starved and Wenabozho became very angry. His anger was against Noodinaam (Wind-Maker Spirit) for blowing so much. Wind-Maker, who lived on top of a big white mountain in the west, blew all the time - and tayaa! he blew hard! His mighty breath spread a terrible stench across the land!

As soon as winter approached, Wenabozho said to his grandmother, "I am going west. I'll make Noodinaam cease blowing in this way."

Grandmother said, "Eye, Nanabozh, but don't kill him. Tell him to let the wind blow awhile, and then stop. Then everything will be all right."

"I'll be back soon," said Wenabozho. "And I'll end this constant wind."

So Wenabozho went away. He steered his wiigwaasi-jiimaan (birchbark canoe) toward Ningaabi'anong the Darkening Land, and there he found his brother, who guarded the white hill where Wind-Maker Spirit resided. Now this was the bearded brother with the two horns and the red, white, and blue facial war paint, and he was not friendly toward Wenabozho. He refused to stop the blowing of his ogimaa (leader), and at last they fought about it. From his canoe Wenabozho shot an arrow in his brother's leg. Next, he leaped out of his canoe and ran up the mountain. He hammered his brother hard with a club and at last broke one of his horns.

Then he said, "Tell that Big White Wind-Maker Spirit not to blow so hard any more. Grandmother and all the Anishinaabeg will starve if the wind always blows so hard."

Then Wenabozho went home.

So things went much better. Wenabozho went fishing and found it was very calm, with only a little puff …

Giiwenh. So the aawechigan goes about the Great Hare Wenabozho and how he stopped the Big White Wind-Maker Spirit from terrorizing the land.

Mii sa ekoozid. Ahaw miigwech bizindawiyeg noongom. Thank you very much for listening to me today. Mi’iw akawe. That’s it for now.

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