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Program 8: People of the Dawn

More Creation Stories : Edward Bassett Jr.


Edward Bassett Jr., Member of the Passamaquoddy tribe
at Sipayik (Pleasant Point)

Glooscap came to this land, had special powers, had special abilities and a lot of knowledge. When he came here the people were living in kind of like a darkness of some sort, psychologically. And very primitive in some ways, I guess. And his purpose was to teach and enlighten and he, along with canoes, taught other things to the Wabanaki and one of them was the canoe and, you know he did other things too, like transforming animals that were, at the time dinosaurs, into other animals that would not harm mankind. To him mankind was precious and he wanted to leave mankind with gifts and one of them was a canoe and then other gifts would be how to live properly and how to hunt, how to fish, making baskets and all kinds of different things in native life was brought to the native people by Glooscap. So that's the story basically, I don't know if I can remember the other one.

It just stated I think that Glooscap brought the birch bark canoe building, oh yeah, it was like kind of more detailed, the other story was more detailed where Glooscap came in a said you make a container and you build into it with wood going one way and wood the other way and you lash it, just a general type of description of a canoe and his instructions was enough at the time, I guess detailed enough to be able to build a canoe at the time.

The story I read is that Glooscap taught to native people how to build a canoe, basically you build the container first, you build the birch bark first, you shape the bark into a container of some sort. He even said the ends have to be together I guess, narrow, there were narrow ends at both ends. You would sew that up and he said that you would put in wood in one direction lengthwise and then you would put wood in the other direction crosswise, which would be the ribs, and then you would sew them together, sew that into the bark container and that would be the canoe and that was the instruction, it was a very short story or a piece of a story that I read.

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