Stories Told by Maggie Wilson
A collection of stories of Ojibwe men and women as told by traditional Ojibwe storyteller, Maggie Wilson (1879-1940).
"Rainy River Lives" is the long-lost collection of stories of Ojibwe men and women as told by a hitherto unpublished, traditional Ojibwe storyteller, Maggie Wilson (1879-1940). Wilson lived on the Manitou Rapids Reserve on the Rainy River, which flows along the Ontario-Minnesota border. When anthropologist Ruth Landes arrived at Rainy River to conduct her doctoral research in 1932, Wilson often worked with the young scholar, telling her many stories. Their relationship continued after Landes returned to Columbia University. During the following decades, however, the letters and stories Wilson had sent Landes, which Landes had carefully collected, were lost. Only recently were they discovered in the basement of the Smithsonian Institution, where they had been misfiled with papers of another anthropologist. This rich set of narratives takes us inside the intimate world of Ojibwe families at the turn of the twentieth century, a time of great upheaval when the Ojibwes were being relocated onto reserves and required by the government to abandon their seasonal migrations and subsistence activities.; These remarkably detailed stories of ordinary Native people, precisely through their everyday character, reveal much about Ojibwe cultural beliefs and paint a nuanced ethnographic portrait of Ojibwe life. In the distinctive voice of an exceptional and highly creative individual, the stories address both the culturally specific world of the Ojibwes and universal human themes of love, loss, and perseverance.
List of Illustrations; Preface Part I: Introduction Storytelling for Courage; The Storyteller, Maggie Wilson (1879-1940); The Stories; Editing the Stories; Re-signifying the Traditional; Notes to the Introduction; The Historical Context; Glossary of Terms as They are Used in the Stories; Bibliography Part II: Of Lives and Loves A. Men and Women 1. She Got In With Him Again After They Were Widows; 2. Why Didn't You Take Good Care of Her While I Was Away?; 3. You Can Have Him All To Yourself; 4. He Made Up His Mind To Look After Her; 5. The Wind Took the Canoe Right Across The Lake B. Parents and Children 6. We Will Take You and Love You As Our Very Own Daughter; 7. Her Father Was Sitting With His Head Down With Tears In His Eyes; 8. I'll Show That Man That Stole My Daughter Away From Me; 9. A Very Young Man Adopted Them For Parents; 10. They Moved On To Different Places C. Siblings 11. Oh, Can't You Find A Place In Your Heart For Me?; 12. They Made Up Their Mind Not To Let Their Son-in-Law Go; 13. If You Stop Along, I Will Give Youse A Lunch; 14. She Liked Him As A Brother Part III: Women Alone 15. Cloud Woman, The Fast Runner; 16. Her Dead Grandmother Told Her To Straighten Up; 17. She Was Left There To Starve But She Was Too Smart For That; 18. Let Them Stay Single All They Want To; 19. Why Do I Have To Die Now When I Have A Man and Children To Live For?; 20. Leave Me Here To Starve Alone; 21. The Old Woman Doctor; 22. She Used to Make All Kinds of Little Things For Her Boy Part IV: Friends and Foes 23. I Have a Pawahgun That Gives Me The Power; 24. It Won't Be Her That Will Know; 25. I Knew I Could Go There And Bring Home A Man For Myself; 26. He Gave Her A Folded Birchbark Map; 27. The Moose Was Wise Enough To Bring The Boy Back; 28. She Knew The Bear Wanted Her To Go Someplace; 29. She Knew That This Woman She Dreamed Was The Bear; 30. I Want To Be Your Pawahgun Notes to the Stories; Appendix; Acknowledgements