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A collection of legends and spiritual teachings that depict the mysterious manitous, mystical beings who are divine and essential forces in the spiritual life of the Ojibway. From the rich oral culture of his own Ojibway Indian heritage, Basil Johnston presents a collection of legends and tales depicting manitous, mystical beings who are divine and essential forces in the spiritual life of his people. In this collection, the first by a Native American scholar, these lively, sometimes earthy stories teach about manitous who lived in human form among the Ojibway in the early days, after Kitchi-Manitou (the Great Mystery) created all things and Muzzu-Kummik-Quae (Mother Earth) revealed the natural order of the world. With depth and humour, Johnston tells how lasting tradition was brought to the Ojibway by four half-human brothers, including Nana'b'oozoo, the beloved archetypal being who means well but often blunders. He also relates how people are helped and hindered by other entities, such as the manitous of the forests and meadows, personal manitous and totems, mermen and merwomen, Pauguk (the cursed Flying Skeleton), and the Weendigoes, famed and terrifying giant cannibals.
Basil Johnston is an Ojibway scholar who lives in Ontario, Canada, on the Cape Croker Indian Reserve. A recipient of the Order of Ontario and an honorary doctorate from the University of Toronto, he speaks and writes in both Ojibway and English, and is the author of numerous books, including 'The Manitous: The Spiritual World of the Ojibway', 'Indian School Days', 'Ojibway Ceremonies', 'Ojibway Heritage', and 'Ojibway Tales'.