In Ojibwe Stories from the Upper Berens River Jennifer S. H. Brown presents the dozens of stories and memories that A. Irving Hallowell recorded from Adam (Samuel) Bigmouth, son of Ochiipwamoshiish (Northern Barred Owl), at Little Grand Rapids in the summers of 1938 and 1940. The stories range widely across the lives of four generations of Anishinaabeg along the Berens River in Manitoba and northwestern Ontario.
In an open and wide-ranging conversation, Hallowell discovered that Bigmouth was a vivid storyteller as he talked about the eight decades of his own life and the lives of his father, various relatives, and other persons of the past. Bigmouth related stories about his youth, his intermittent work for the Hudson's Bay Company, the traditional curing of patients, ancestral memories, encounters with sorcerers, and contests with cannibalistic windigos. The stories also tell of vision-fasting experiences, often fraught gender relations, and hunting and love magic-all in a region not frequented by Indian agents and little visited by missionaries and schoolteachers.
With an introduction and rich annotations by Brown, a renowned authority on the Upper Berens Anishinaabeg and Hallowell's ethnography, Ojibwe Stories from the Upper Berens River is an outstanding primary source for both First Nations history and the oral literature of Canada's Ojibwe peoples.
Jennifer S. H. Brown is professor emerita of history at the University of Winnipeg and fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Among her many publications she is the coeditor of A. Irving Hallowell's Contributions to Ojibwe Studies: Essays, 1934-1972 (Nebraska, 2010), Memories, Myths, and Dreams of an Ojibwe Leader, and other books.
List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Introduction Glossary of Ojibwe Personal Names Appearing in the Text Map of the World of Adam Bigmouth Prologue: Adam Declines to Conjure, 1932 1. Boyhood Memories 2. Working for the Hudson's Bay Company 3. Dream Experiences 4. Curing, Helping, Love Medicine, and an Old Man's Jealousy 5. Northern Barred Owl, Man of Many Powers 6. Gender, Power, and Incest 7. The Challenges and Risks of Being Female 8. Bad Medicine and Old Men's Threats 9. Starvation Threatened and Real 10. Encounters and Contests with Windigos 11. Human Beings Made into Windigos 12. The Curing of Windigos 13. The Costs of Mockery and Cruelty 14. Magical Medicines and Powers Afterword: Cousins and Connections, Power and Succession, Seeking Life References Index