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> Issue 25 > Page 12 - Ben Christmas: Chants and Customs

Page 12 - Ben Christmas: Chants and Customs

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1980/6/1 (1130 reads)
 

these chants may never have had specific meaning. (You don't find words in the Feast Song that equal English words.) Oh no, no. You can't even say with absolute certainty that the chant is even Micmac for that matter. It could be from any cul? ture... it's just a sound. (In Rand's book of legends, he points to exchanges of chants with the Mohawks • some chants have come down and may not be Micmac.) Sure. In the Feast Song, Ben Christmas has a part there I think is from the Mohawk nation. It's called E'ko'. I don't know that for sure. Those are the stories I hear. (You were saying that sometimes it may on? ly be a sound or group of sounds and we wrongly read it as a word.) That's right. Particularly for people who haven't been involved with old, old culture such as the Micmac. It's a highly advanced culture spiritually. The Indian people, a lot of them today, still live in that other world. When an Indian prays--not the Indian per? son who relates himself to the modern-day religions--when he prays, he really prays, he does not recite. Sometimes, if there is spiritual guidance necessary for a partic? ular individual, if something is not going just right with his daily life, particu? larly at one time when an Indian person lived a life of prayer--it wasn't just a Sunday thing; he lived a life of trying to be very close to his creator--when things weren't going just right, he would feel the need to chant and would go off by him? self and chant for a long period, in hopes of some kind of divine intervention and that he would be put back on the right track. (But by the time a chant gets to the point where it's a performance, do you think that's different from this kind of chant we've been talking about?) That depends on just how advanced the chanter is in being able to communicate with the supreme be? ing. Sometimes a chanter can be so in tune with that other world that he has no prob? lem ??whether he be in the middle of Grand Central Station--he can chant and have that chant come from the soul. In Issue 24 of Cape Breton's Magazine we offered Calvin Martin's article, "The Four Lives of a Micmac Copper Pot," and we recommended to our readers Mr, Martin's excellent new book, KEEPERS OF THE GAME (which deals in a large part with the Mic? macs prior to white contact and during the fur trade). We have since learned that KEEPERS OF THE GAME has won the American Historical Association's Albert J. Beve- ridge Award for "the best book on history of the United States, Canada or Latin America" for 1979. Available from U. of California Press, Berkeley, $10.95 NOW 210 YEARS OLD ROBIN, JONES & WHITMAN, LIMITED Cheticamp 224-2022 Inverness 224-3125 Natural whole foods in bulk The Harvest Bin Enjoy good taste and quality 200 Charlotte St., Sydney, 564-84&1 . BE SURE TO VISIT North Highlands Community IVIuseum CAPE"' NORTH SHEEP SKINS GAIN FAVOUR Auckland. • New Zealanders in large numbers are rediscovering a remedy as old as the father of medicine, Hippocrates. He recommended animal skins for the prevention of bedsoreso In New Zealand especially treated sheejp skins are coming into favor for many purpo.
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