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Re:long and boring
Tim Wallace-Murphy seem to have hit the essence of our famous Prince Henry. Henry is not responsible for everything and the link is thin indeed between Mik'Maq legend and the Prince. If Henry went to North America, a matter which has an element of doubt, why would he become entangled in the creation of man the apotheosis of the Glooscap saga. Under noted is the legend it is rather long and the unfamiliar names play ticks with my eyes as I write. I am confidant that some of these names are misspelled. Hopefully this doesn't detract from the legend. The only similarity that I see between Gillascop Scrymgeour, hereditary bannerman of the Scottish monarchy, was Glooscap of the Mi'mag is that both their names begin with G.
The name Scymgeour is derived from Old French via the Middle English "skrymsher" or "skirmisour" meaning a fencer. The family traces its lineage back to Aodh O'Neill, King of the North of Ireland in the 11th century. The first recording of the name in Scottish records occurs in 1293 when "Alexander called Schyrmeshur" was granted a track of lands. In 1298 two documents issued on behalf of the crown by Sir William Wallace, Guardian of the Kingdom, confirmed on the same Alexander Schyrmeschur the honourable, but highly dangerous, privilege of bearing the King's banner in war, along with the hereditary office of Constable of the Castle of Dundee, and certain lands in the Dundee area named Upper Dudhope.
Jackson, Kenneth, The Gaelic Notes in the Book of Deer Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1972
After the Mik'Maq world was created and after the animals, birds and plants were placed on the surface, Gisoolg caused a bolt of lightening to hit the surface of Ootsitgamoo. This bolt of lightning caused the formation of an image of a human body shaped out of sand. It was Glooscap who was first shaped out of the basic element of the Mik'Maq world, sand.
Gisoolg unleashed another bolt of lightening which gave life to Glooscap but yet he could not move. He was stuck to the ground only to watch the world go by and Nisgam travel across the sky everyday. Glooscap watched the animals, the birds and the plants grow and pass around him. He asked Nisgam to give him freedom to move about the Mik'Maq world.
While Glooscap was still unable to move, he was lying on his back. His head was facing the direction of the rising sun, east, Oetjgoabaniag or Oetjibanoog. In Mik'Maq these words mean "where the sun comes up " and "where the summer weather comes from" respectively. His feet were in the direction of the setting sun or Oetgatsenoog. Other Mik'Maq words for the west are Oeloesenoog, "where the sun settles into a hallow" or Etgesnoog "where the cold winds come from". Glooscap''s right hand was pointed in the direction of the north or Oatnoog. His left hand was in the direction of the south or Opgoetasnoog. So it was the third big blast of lightening that caused Glooscap to become free and to be able to stand on the surface of the earth.
After Glooscap stood up on his feet, he turned around in a full circle seven times. He then looked toward the sky and gave thanks to Gisoolg for giving him life. He looked down to the earth or the ground and gave thanks to Ootsigamoo for offering its sand for Glooscap's creation. He looked within himself and gave thanks to Nisgam for giving him his soul and spirit.
Glooscap then gave thanks to the four directions east, north, west and south. In all he gave his heartfelt thanks to the seven directions.
Glooscap then travelled to the direction of the setting sun until he came to the ocean. He then went south until the land narrowed and he came to the ocean. He then went south until the land narrowed and he could see two oceans on either side. He again travelled back to where he started from and continued towards the north to the land of ice and snow. Later he came back to the east where he decided to stay. It is where he came into existence. He again watched the animals, the birds and the plants. He watched the water and the sky. Gisoolg taught him to watch and learn about the world. Glooscap watched but he could not disturb the world around him. He finally asked Gisoolg and Nisgam, what was the purpose of his existence. He was told that he would meet someone soon.
Gisoolg is the Great Spirit Creator who is the one who made everything. The work Gisoolg in Mik'Maq means " you have been created ". It also means " the one credited for your existence".
The word does not imply gender. Gisoolg is not a He or a She, it is not important whether the Great Spirit is a He or a She.
The Mik'Maq people do not explain how the Great Spirit came into existence only that Gisoolg is responsible for everything being where it is today. Gisoolg made everything
While Glooscap was sitting near a fire, Nogam was making clothing out of animal hides and Netaoansom was in the woods getting food. A woman came to the fire and sat beside Glooscap. She put her arms around Glooscap and asked "Are you cold my son?" Glooscap was surprised he stood up and asked the woman who she is and where did she come from. She explained that she was Glooscap's mother. Her name is Neganogonimgooseesgo. Glooscap waited until his grandmother and nephew returned to the fire then he asked his mother to explain how she arrived to the Mik'Maq world.
Neganogonimgooseesgo said that she was a leaf on a tree which fell to the ground. Morning dew formed on the leaf and glistened while the sun, Nisgam, began its journey towards the midday sky. It was at midday when Nisgam gave life and a human form to Glooscap's mother. The spirit and strength of Nisgam entered into Glooscap's mother.
Glooscap's mother said that she brings all the colours of the world to her children. She also brings strength and understanding. Strength to withstand earth's natural forces and understanding of the Mik'Maq world; its animals and her children, the Mik'Maq. She told them that they will need understanding and co-operation so they all can live in peace with one another.
Glooscap was so happy that his mother came into the world and since she came from a leaf, he called upon his nephew to gather nuts, fruits of the plants while Nogami prepared a feast. Glooscap gave thanks to Gisoolg, Nisgam, Ootsitgamoo, Nogami, Netaoansom and Neganogonimgooseesgo. They all had a feast in honour of Glooscap's mother''s arrival to the world of Mik'Maqs.
The story goes on to say that Glooscap, the man created from the sand of the earth, continued to live with his family for a very long time. He gained spiritual strength by having respect for each member of the family. He listened to his grandmother' s wisdom. He relied on his nephew' s strength and spiritual power. His mother' s love and understanding gave him dignity and respect. Glooscap' s brothers and sisters of the wood and waters gave him the will and the food to survive. Glooscap now learned that mutual respect of his family and the world around him was a key ingredient for basic survival. Glooscap's task was to pass this knowledge to his fellow Mik'Maq people so that they too could survive in the Mik'Maq world. This is why Glooscap became a central figure in Mik'Maq story telling.
One day when Glooscap was talking to Nogami he told her that soon they would leave his mother and nephew. He told her that they should prepare for that occasion. Nogami began to get all the necessary things ready for a long journey to the North. When everyone was sitting around the Great Fire one evening, Glooscap told his mother and nephew that he and Nogami are going to leave the Mik'Maq world. He said that they will travel in the direction of the North only to return if the Mik'Maq people were in danger. Glooscap told his mother and nephew to look after the Great Fire and never to let it go out.
After the passing of seven winters, "elwigneg daasiboongeg", seven sparks will fly from the fire and when they land on the ground seven people will come to life. Seven more sparks will land on the ground and seven more people will come into existence. From these sparks will form seven women and seven men. They will form seven families. These seven families will disperse into seven different directions from the area of the Great Fire. Glooscap said that once the seven families their place of destination, they will further divide into seven groups.
Each group will have their own area for their subsistence so they would not disturb the other groups. He instructed his mother that the smaller groups would share the earth's abundance of resources which included animals, plants and fellow humans.
Glooscap told his mother that after the passing of seven winters, each of the seven groups would return to the place of the Great Fire. At the place of the fire all the people will dance, sing and drum in celebration of their continued existence in the Mik'Maq world. Glooscap continued by saying that the Great Fire signified the power of the Great Spirit Creator, Gisoolg. It also signified the power and strength of the light and heat of Nisgam, the sun. The Great Fire held the strength of Ootsitgamoo the earth. Finally the fire represented the bolt of lightening which hit the earth from which Glooscap was created. The fire is very sacred to the Mik'Maqs. It is the most powerful spirit on earth.
Glooscap told his mother and nephew that it is important for the Mik'Maq to give honour, respect and thanks to the seven spiritual elements. The fire signifies the first four stages of creation, Gisoolg, Nisgam, Oositgamoo and Glooscap. Fire plays a significant role in the last three stages as it represents the power of the sun, Nisgam.
In honour of Nogamits arrival to the Mik'Maq world, Glooscap instructed his mother that seven, fourteen and twenty-one rocks would have to be heated over the Great Fire. These heated rocks will be placed inside a wigwam covered with hides of moose and caribou or with mud. The door must face the direction of the rising sun. There should be room from seven men to sit comfortably around a pit dug In the centre where up to twenty-one rocks could be placed. Seven alders, seven wild willows and seven beech saplings will be used to make the frame of the lodge. This lodge should be covered with the hides of moose, caribou, deer or mud.
Seven men representing the seven original families will enter into the lodge. They will give thanks and honour to the seven directions, the seven stages of creation and to continue to live in good health. The men will pour water over the rocks causing steam to rise in the lodge to become very hot. The men will begin to sweat up to point that it will become almost unbearable. Only those who believe in the spiritual strength will be able to withstand the heat. Then they will all come out of the lodge full of steam and shining like new born babies. This is the way they will clean their spirits and should honour Nogami's arrival.
In preparation of the sweat, the seven men will not eat any food for seven days. They will only drink the water of golden roots and bees nectar. Before entering the sweat the seven men will burn the sweetgrass. They will honour the seven directions and the seven stages of creation but mostly for Netawansom's arrival to the Mik'Maq world. The sweet grass must be lit from the Great Fire.
Glooscap's mother came into the world from the leaf of a tree, so in honour of her arrival tobacco made from bark and leaves will be smoked. The tobacco will be smoked in pipe made from a branch of a tree and a bowl made from stone.
The pipe will be lit from sweetgrass which was lit from the Great Fire. The tobacco made from bark, leaves and sweetgrass represents Glooscap's grandmother, nephew and mother. The tobacco called "spebaggan" will be smoked and the smoke will be blown in seven directions.
After honouring Nogami's arrival the Mik'Maq shall have a feast or meal. In honour of Netawansom they will eat fish. The fruits and roots of the trees and plants will be eaten to honour Glooscap's mother.
Glooscap's final instruction to his mother told her how to collect and prepare medicine from the barks and roots of seven different kinds of plant. The seven plants together make what is called "ektjimpisun". It will cure mostly every kind of illness in the Mik'Maq world. The ingredients of this medicine are: "wikpe"(alum willow), "waqwonuminokse"(wild black-cherry), "Kastuk"(ground hemlock), and "kowotmonokse"(red spruce). The Mik'Maq people are divided into seven distinct areas which are as follows:
3.Epeggoitg a, Pigtog
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