Page 69 - "The Man Who Married the Beaver" / Lewis Parker
ISSUE : Issue 43
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1986/8/1
drag out the beavers, he grabbed hold of the hind leg by the ankle. He thought it was a very large leg for a beaver, and he said to the other men, "Watch out now, for I am going to throw it out on the snow. Get ready to grab it, but do not strike it down or hurt it." So the men stood around and he pulled it out of the hole and threw it on the snow. Of course the young Indian tried to get away, but they grabbed him, and then they saw that he was a young man, the young man who had been lost for so long a time. They knew him before he was lost, and he knew them. When they had tamed him down a little they reached in and threw out the other beaver onto the snow and killed it before his eyes, and it was his wife! They took the young man with them. They saw that he was naked and that hair grew all over his body. The men happened to have some extra clothes so they dressed him and brought him home with them. That is the end and it was the young Micmac him? self who told this story to the men after they got home. "The Man Who Married the Beaver" was written in English by Chief Nicholas Jerome, St. Anne de Restigouche, P. Q., in 1910. It was published by Truman Michelson as part of "Micmac Tales," The Journal of American Folklore, Vol. 38, No. 147, 1925. The above design is from Rock Drawings of the Micmac Indians by Marion Robertson (Nova Scotia Museum). Lewis Parker historical illustration-- which is a very specialized field. It's got nothing to do with art or gallery paint? ing or anything like that. This only has to do with il? lustrating incidents of the past. It's a painting that supplements something else, either history or some inci? dent which is beyond its in? tegrity as a painting or for the self, which is for a gal? lery. So this stuff is his? torical illustration, and it has to be true to history, has to be absolutely true to what went on. If you don't do it truthfully, then you're not illustrating properly. (So what happens to your im? agination?) The imagination comes in. It's just like how a conductor is given a piece of music and what he does with it • So I consider my? self a conductor or a choreographer, stage manager. The organization of the first mur- al--the Micmac painting--at first I had de? cided to do montages for all the paintings. In other words, take incidents out of the lives of the people in Cape Breton, and show various activities. Well, when I was working out this first one, it naturally fell into one general scene--if I could get away with distorting the environment. Well, I've distorted space and I've dis? torted time in this one. I've congested Malagawatch and the Whycocomagh area for the foreground to show detiails of costume, of artifacts--I've brought them closer to the viewer than they would normally be. And I've thrown the background further a- Lewis Parker working on "Charles Robin at Ari? chat"; with John Gillis and Terry MacDonald CONTINUED FROM INSIDE FRONT COVER
Cape Breton's Magazine