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The story of the first mother -- Wabanakis ( Children of the dawn-country) tribe
a little story which I dedicate to my mother's heart... RW WOODEN INDIAN HEAD, CARVED OUT OF JACARANDA-WOOD, BRAZIL
Joseph Nicolar, a Penobscot indian, compiled and wrote the legends of his people, and published them himself in the year 1893, in a small volume entitled THE RED MAN. "THE STORY OF THE FIRST MOTHER," is adapted from the book.
Long ago, when K═oskurbeh, the great teacher, lived in the land, and there were as yet no other men, there came to him one day at noon a youth; and the youth stood before K═oskurbeh and called him "mother's brother', and said: "I was born of the foam of the waters; for the wind blew, and the waves quickened into foam, and the sun shone on the foam and warmed it, and the warmth made life, and that life is I. See , I am young and swift, and I haven come to abide with you and be your help in all things." Again on a day at noon there came a maiden and stood before the two and called them "my children", and the maiden said: "I haven come to abide with you, and I have brought with me love; I will give it to you, and if you will love me and grant my wish, all the world will love me well, even the very beast. Strenght is mine, and I give it to whoeoever may get me; comfort also; for though I am young my strenght shall be felt over all the earth. I was born of the beautiful plant of the earth; for the dew fell on the leaf, and the sun warmed the dew, and the warmth was life, and that life is I." Then K═oskurbeh, lifted up his hands towards the sun and praised the Great Spirit, and afterwards the young man and the maid were man and wife, and she became the first mother. Kioskurbeh taught their children and did great works for them, and when his works were finished he went away to live in the Northland until it should be time for him to come again. But the people increased until they were very many, and there came a famine among them; and then the first mother grew more and more sorrowfull. Every day at noon she left her husband's lodge and stayed from him until the shadows were long. And her husband that dearly loved her was sad because of her sorrow, and one day he followed her trail as far as the ford of the river, and there he waited for her to return. When she came, she sang as she began to ford the river, and as long as her feet were in the water she seemed glad, and the man saw something that trailed behind her right foot, like a long green blade. But when she came out of the water she stooped and cast off the blade and she appeared sorrowful. The husband followed her home as the sun was going down, and he bade her come out and look at the beautiful sun. And while they stood side by side, there came seven litlle children that stood in front of them and looked into the woman's face, saying, "We are hungry, and the night will soon be there. Where is the food?" The husband reached out his hand and wiped away her tears and said, "My wife, what can I do to make you happy?" And she ansered, "Take my life." Then the husband went away to the Northland to take counsel with K═oskurbeh, and with the rising of the seventh sun he came again and said, "O wife, Kioskurbeh has told me to do the thing you wish." Then the woman was glad and said, "When you have slain me, let two men lay hold of my hair and draw my body all around the field, and when they have come to the middle of the field, there let them bury my bones. Then they must come away; but when seven moons have passed let them go again to the field and gather all that they find, and eat; it's my flesh; but you must have save a part of it to put in the ground again. My bones you cannot eat, but you may burn them, and the smoke will bring peace to you and to our children." On the morrow when the sun was rising he slew his wife; and, as she had bidden, men drew her body all about an open field, untill the flesh was worn away, and in the middle of the field they buried the bones. But when sven moons had gone by, and the husband came again to that place, he saw it all filled with beautiful tall plants; and he tasted the fruit of the plants and found it sweet, and he called it "Skar-mu-nal," corn. And on the place where her bones were buried he saw a plant with broad leaves, bitter to the taste, and he called it "Utar-Mur-wa-yeh," tobacco. Then the people were glad in their hearts, and they came to his harvest; but when when it was all gathered in, the man did not know how they should divide it, and he sent to K═oskurbeh for counsel. When K═oskurbeh came and saw the great harvest, he gave thanks to the Great Spirit and said, "Now have the first words of the first mother come to pass, for she said she was born of the leaf of the beautiful plant, and that her power should be felt over the whole world, and that all men should love her. And now that she is gone into this substance, take care that this, the second seed of the first mother, be always with you, fot it is her flesh. Her bones also have been given for your good; burn them; and the smoke will bring freshness to the mind. And since these things came from the goodness of a woman's heart, see that you hold her always in memory; remember her when you eat, remember her when the smoke of her bones rises before you. And because you are all brothers, divide among you her flesh and her bones - let all shares be alike - for so will the love of the first mother haven been fulfilled."