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Kwai everyone,

Hope you are enjoying our Abenaki stories.  I am not the author.  They have come down through our oral history.

 

Your friend, Elie 



In the beginning, my people walked on Turtle Island.  They saw great beauty every where, and gave thanks to the Creator.  There was nothing for them to eat.  To show their appreciation to the Creator, they would take nothing from the Creation.  My people, who were great and strong, were becoming small and weak.

Chibaiskwa, (Spirit Woman), took great pity on my people.  She knelt down and dug a hole.  She began to pull something from the ground.  These creatures had four legs and antlers.  She pulled out so many that it was impossible to count them all.  These creatures were everywhere on
Turtle Island.

Chibaiskwa, told my people to eat the meat of these animals.  She told my people to take their life in a sacred manner, and to not take their spirit. She told my people to give these animals great respect.  My people did as they were instructed.

When our people ate the strong Deer they became strong.  They ate until all the strong Deer were gone.  Then they ate the sick and lame Deer.  My people became sick and lame.  They were no longer big and strong.

Once again Chibaiskwa took great pity upon my people.  She knelt down upon the ground and dug a hole next to the other hole.  She pulled out something by the ears.  It was a Wolf.  She pulled out many these.  They ran among the Deer.  The Wolf was strong and nothing could make them sick.  They ate the sick and lame Deer.  They left the strong and big Deer for our people to eat.  To this day, the Wolf, the Deer, and the Abenaki are one.

Chibaiskwa told our people to preserve the population of the Deer.  She told us to offer prayers to the Deer.  This would encourage the Deer to offer his physical life to us. This is why our hunters do not take the first
Deer they see.  It might be the spirit Deer. 

Our hunters must show that they are not greedy, and that their heart is right.

When the right Deer is taken, the hunter must take a handful of soil and eat it.  This soil is the flesh of our Mother Earth who nourished the Deer.  The Deer's blood comes from the waters Mother Earth provided.  The Deer's bones are the rocks and mountains, the bones of
Turtle Island.  When we eat the meat of the Deer, we also eat something the Deer would like to eat.  You see we do not kill the Deer's spirit.

Chibaiskwa told us to use every part of the Deer to make something useful, something worthy of the Deer's life.  She told us clothing should be made from his skin, tools from his bones, antler, and teeth.  She told us to use the sinew from the legs to make thread.  She told us to use the brain of the Deer to tan and soften his skin so that it is comfortable for us to wear.

Chibaiskwa ordered us not to eat the Heart.  She told us that within the Deer's Heart lies his spirit.  We were directed to bury his Heart in the land of his Mother Earth.  She told us to do this in a place where his Heart will be warmed by his Father the sky. She told us that the heart will be the seed of a new Deer.