Page 14 - The First Priest and the Indians
ISSUE : Issue 8
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1974/6/1
The First Priest and the IncJians When the priests first came 'most all the Indians were witches. Some were will? ing to be christened, some were unwill? ing. They asked the priest, "What is christening for?" • "If you are not christened, you are lost for good." • "Lost, in the woods?" • "No, in hell." • "Where is hell?" • "Black place, fire there burns the soul." • "How do you go there, by road?" • "No, your soul goes there." • "Where is my soul?" • "You might sicken and die. After you die, you might see your soul." • "How can a soul go out from the birch-bark cover around the dead body, tightly bound?" • "You should dig a hole and put the dead in it." • "That would be harder to get out of, couldn't go anywhere then." • "Yes, you could go to Heaven." • "Heaven? what is Heaven?" • "Nice band (of music) in Heaven, nice berries there." • "How go there?" • "If you do not fight, do not talk bad, you can go there. If you murder, steal, you will go to Hell, for your sin." • "Sin? WTiat is sin?" They knew nothing. Finally, very few refused to be chris? tened, and afterwards, as the priest wanted, to come to confessing. But three men would not go to be christened, among them the biggest witch of them all. He was very much against the priests. He said, "No Heaven, no Hell. When you die, you gone, can't speak." He was the worst fellow of all. Ke was about forty-five. Old lady (that is, his wife) coaxed him. "Better go get christen', like the rest." At last he went. "What name do you like?" they asked him. "Best name, the Lord," The priest said, "Nobody can have that name, only one Lord. What other name?" • "I'll be named the Devil," • "No, you can't have that name," • "Well, I'll be named Swallow (tum'hatol-nes)." • "No, You can't have that name, That's a bird's name," • "I have proposed three names. You refuse them all, I am going home." • "No, you can't go," Then the friend he went hunting with said he would give him a name--Gabrio (Gabriel). "All right," he agreed to that, "that's a nice Indian name." N N He was a heavy witch, he had a bag of lit? tle bone animals. If he wanted anybody to be sick he sent an animal to him, if he wanted you well, he sent an animal to you. They wanted to take away his bag (bu'owi? ng ' di , that is, the whole outfit). "All right," he said, "since I am going to be christened you can take my bu*owino'di to the priest," The priest told some men, "Tie this bag with rope, put hooks on it and great big stones. Put it in a canoe, go to the deepest water and sink the bag, so it never comes back to him," Two men did this, they sunk the bags in deep wa? ter, deeper than their long poles. The man was lonesome after he lost his bag. He took his pipe and smoked. He thought, "Sometimes my bag did me good. When I asked him to send me moose down here, moose came." • The old woman said. We feature (beside what you would find in any complete drug store and souvenir center) these items: Mukluks Staplers Toys Foot Rot Remedy Brass Cuspidors Rubber Worms CoWf calf, horse9 pig China and chicken medicine Ant Traps Records 10' Ice Cream Salmon eggs Cones Muskrat Pelt Stretchers Insense Kerosene Lamps Horoscopes Fishing Gear Hunting Knives PRESCRIPTIONS FILLED WHILE YOU WAIT STONE'S in BADDECK
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