Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 34 > Page 30 - The Magical Dancing-Doll

Page 30 - The Magical Dancing-Doll

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1983/8/1 (383 reads)

flayed, and a door blanket is made of his skin. One more adventure and the story ends. The old chief himself is a great boooin ("med? icine man" or "wizard"), whose tutelar de? ity is a chepechcalm (a huge horned ser? pent or dragon, fabulous of course, but a- bout the existence of which few doubts are entertained by the Indians). He is cha? grined to find himself outdone by his son- in-law. So he makes one more effort to rid himself of him. He says quietly to him one day, "I want you to bring me the head of a chepechcalm for my dinner." "I will do so," he replies. The dancing-doll is commanded to bring one of these frightful monsters to the village. He does so. The inhabi? tants see the danger, and they scream and fly in every direction. Our hero walks out boldly to meet him, and gives battle; the fight is long and fearful, but finally vic? tory declares for the man, and he severs the dragon's head from his trunk. He takes this head in his hand, and walks over to the chief's lodge and tosses it in. He finds the chief alone, weak and exhausted, and sitting bent nearly double; he walks up to him and pounds him on the head with the dragon's head. The old necromancer's magic is gone; his teomul, his "medicine," his "tutelary deity," is destroyed, and he falls and dies. "The Magical Dancing-Doll" is one of over 80 stor? ies collected by Rev. Silas Tertius Rand (1810- 1889) during the 40 years he served as a Baptist missionary among the Catholic Micmac Indians. Be? sides the book Legends of the Micmacs and his Dic? tionary of the Language of the Micmac Indians (both available from the Johnson Reprint Corpora? tion, Ul Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10003), he wrote tracts in Micmac and English, translations of the New Testament into Micmac, lectures on Indi? an life and lore, and a good deal more. Despite an obviously close relationship with at least some of the Indians, in his 40 years of missionary work it is said he managed to convert only one Indian, and that that single conversion did not last very long. What did last is the research and the tales, and while we can find in them some of his own moral asides or clarification, he is generally strict a- bout conveying to us what the Indians shared with him. As an afterword to "The Magical Dancing-Doll," he wrote: "Here the story abruptly ends. One feels strongly inclined to supply what may be supposed to be a 'missing page' in the history, and to install the young son-in-law in the old chief's place, and to give him a long, peaceful, and prosperous reign, numerous progeny, and a good time generally. I shall take no liberties of that kind. I simply translate the story as it lies before me, • not translating literally certainly, which would be gross injustice to my original; but faithfully, as I wrote it down from the mouth of a Micmac Indian in his own language." The petroglyph of the Horned Serpent is taken from Rock Drawings of the Micmac Indians by Marion Rob? ertson, available for $3.00 from the Nova Scotia Museum, 1747 Summer St., Halifax, N. S. B3H 3A6. Lobster Kettle, Whar'fside Restaurant > Steamed Clams, Boiled Lobsters. Chowdei Seafood at Its Best Havenside Road * Louisbourg, Nova Scotia * Phone 733-2877 Look for us enroute to the Lighthouse! fbra's''ift Shop Loccited 2 miles south ot Cheticamp at POINT CROSS. |'')))) The shop with the two fishing boats. s'fiv Largest display of Cheticamp Hooked Rugs Art Gallery with oil paintings by local artists Coasters • Chair Seats Other Handcraftb Wall hangings Knitted Sweaters, Socks & Mitts Sceneries • Rugs Shaw/Is,' Ponchos and Placemats If we don't have it, Quilts, Souvenirs we'll make it. Large parking for campers and buses OP??N 7:30 AM • 9 PM DAILY Cheticamp, Cabot Trail, N.S. 902-224-3139 DON'S FLOWERS p. 0. Box 179, Port Hawkesbury, N. S. BOE 2V0 Serving Port Haod, Judique, Inverness, and sur? rounding areas. Telephone 625-2215 or 625-2717. DOWN NORTH Special Christmas Offer! See Page 22 GRANT QUALIFIES FOR $800 FOR HOME OWNERS FIND OUT WHY WE'RE #1 IN THE WORLD! ', • • • ' • • Adds on to your existing Hot Water Heating System. • Cast Iron Construction. • Wet Base. • ASME • Bums Wood or Coal • Converts to Oil or Gas. • Residential, Coiranercial, Industrial. CONTACT: J.W.RudderhamLtd 885 Victoria Rd., Sydney, N.S Ph. 902-539-6200 (30)
Cape Breton's Magazine
  View this article in PDF format Print article

Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to the PDF version of this content. Click here to download and install the Acrobat plugin
Acrobat Reader Download