Onaiazo The Sky-walker A Legend Of A Visit To The Sun


A long time ago, there lived an aged Odjibwa and his wife, on the

Shores of Lake Huron. They had an only son, a very beautiful boy, whose

name was O-na-wut-a-qut-o, or he that catches the clouds. The family

were of the totem of the beaver. The parents were very proud of him,

and thought to make him a celebrated man, but when he reached the

proper age, he would not submit to the We-koon-de-win, or fast. When

this time arrived, they gave him charcoal, instead of his breakfast,

but he would not blacken his face. If they denied him food, he would

seek for birds' eggs, along the shores, or pick up the heads of fish

that had been cast away, and broil them. One day, they took away

violently the food he had thus prepared, and cast him some coals in

place of it. This act brought him to a decision. He took the coals and

blackened his face, and went out of the lodge. He did not return, but

slept without; and during the night, he had a dream. He dreamed that he

saw a very beautiful female come down from the clouds and stand by his

side. "O-no-wut-a-qut-o," said she, "I am come for you--step in my

tracks." The young man did so, and presently felt himself ascending

above the tops of the trees--he mounted up, step by step, into the air,

and through the clouds. His guide, at length, passed through an

orifice, and he, following her, found himself standing on a beautiful


A path led to a splendid lodge. He followed her into it. It was large,

and divided into two parts. On one end he saw bows and arrows, clubs

and spears, and various warlike implements tipped with silver. On the

other end were things exclusively belonging to females. This was the

home of his fair guide, and he saw that she had, on the frame, a broad

rich belt, of many colors, which she was weaving. She said to him: "My

brother is coming and I must hide you." Putting him in one corner, she

spread the belt over him. Presently the brother came in, very richly

dressed, and shining as if he had points of silver all over him. He

took down from the wall a splendid pipe, together with his sack of

a-pa-ko-ze-gun, or smoking mixture. When he had finished regaling

himself in this way, and laid his pipe aside, he said to his sister:

"Nemissa" (which is, my elder sister), "when will you quit these

practices? Do you forget that the Greatest of the Spirits had commanded

that you should not take away the child from below? Perhaps you suppose

that you have concealed O-no-wut-a-qut-o, but do I not know of his

coming? If you would not offend me, send him back immediately." But

this address did not alter her purpose. She would not send him back.

Finding that she was purposed in her mind, he then spoke to the young

lad, and called him from his hiding-place. "Come out of your

concealment," said he, "and walk about and amuse yourself. You will

grow hungry if you remain there." He then presented him a bow and

arrows, and a pipe of red stone, richly ornamented. This was taken as

the word of consent to his marriage; so the two were considered husband

and wife from that time.

O-no-wut-a-qut-o found everything exceedingly fair and beautiful around

him, but he found no inhabitants except her brother. There were flowers

on the plains. There were bright and sparkling streams. There were

green valleys and pleasant trees. There were gay birds and beautiful

animals, but they were not such as he had been accustomed to see. There

was also day and night, as on the earth; but he observed that every

morning the brother regularly left the lodge, and remained absent all

day; and every evening the sister departed, though it was commonly but

for a part of the night.

His curiosity was aroused to solve this mystery. He obtained the

brother's consent to accompany him in one of his daily journeys. They

travelled over a smooth plain, without boundaries, until

O-no-wut-a-qut-o felt the gnawings of appetite, and asked his companion

if there were no game. "Patience! my brother," said he, "we shall soon

reach the spot where I eat my dinner, and you will then see how I am

provided." After walking on a long time, they came to a place which was

spread over with fine mats, where they sat down to refresh themselves.

There was, at this place, a hole through the sky; and O-no-wut-a-qut-o,

looked down, at the bidding of his companion, upon the earth. He saw

below the great lakes, and the villages of the Indians. In one place,

he saw a war party stealing on the camp of their enemies. In another,

he saw feasting and dancing. On a green plain, young men were engaged

at ball. Along a stream, women were employed in gathering the a-puk-wa

for mats.

"Do you see," said the brother, "that group of children playing beside

a lodge? Observe that beautiful and active boy," said he, at the same

time darting something at him, from his hand. The child immediately

fell, and was carried into the lodge.

They looked again, and saw the people gathering about the lodge. They

heard the she-she-gwun, of the meeta, and the song he sung, asking that

the child's life might be spared. To this request, the companion of

O-no-wut-a-qut-o made answer: "Send me up the sacrifice of a white

dog." Immediately a feast was ordered by the parents of the child, the

white dog was killed, his carcass was roasted, and all the wise men and

medicine men of the village assembled to witness the ceremony. "There

are many below," continued the voice of the brother, "whom you call

great in medical skill, but it is because their ears are open, and they

listen to my voice, that they are able to succeed. When I have struck

one with sickness, they direct the people to look to me; and when they

send me the offering I ask, I remove my hand from off them, and they

are well." After he had said this, they saw the sacrifice parcelled out

in dishes, for those who were at the feast. The master of the feast

then said, "We send this to thee, great Manito," and immediately the

roasted animal came up. Thus their dinner was supplied, and after they

had eaten, they returned to the lodge by another way.

After this manner they lived for some time; but the place became

wearisome at last. O-no-wut-a-qut-o thought of his friends, and wished

to go back to them. He had not forgotten his native village, and his

father's lodge; and he asked leave of his wife to return. At length she

consented. "Since you are better pleased," she replied, "with the cares

and the ills, and the poverty of the world, than with the peaceful

delights of the sky, and its boundless prairies, go! I give you

permission, and since I have brought you hither, I will conduct you

back; but, remember, you are still my husband, I hold a chain in my

hand by which I can draw you back whenever I will. My power over you is

not, in any manner, diminished. Beware, therefore, how you venture to

take a wife among the people below. Should you ever do so, it is then

that you shall feel the force of my displeasure."

As she said this, her eyes sparkled--she raised herself slightly on her

toes, and stretched herself up, with a majestic air; and at that

moment, O-no-wut-a-qut-o awoke from his dream. He found himself on the

ground, near his father's lodge, at the very spot where he had laid

himself down to fast. Instead of the bright beings of a higher world,

he found himself surrounded by his parents and relatives. His mother

told him he had been absent a year. The change was so great, that he

remained for some time moody and abstracted, but by degrees he

recovered his spirits. He began to doubt the reality of all he had

heard and seen above. At last, he forgot the admonitions of his spouse,

and married a beautiful young woman of his own tribe. But within four

days, she was a corpse. Even this fearful admonition was lost, and he

repeated the offence by a second marriage. Soon afterwards, he went out

of the lodge, one night, but never returned. It was believed that his

Sun-wife had recalled him to the region of the clouds, where, the

tradition asserts, he still dwells, and walks on the daily rounds,

which he once witnessed.

Olelbis And Mem Loimis One Woman In Deceit And Craft Is More Than A Match For Eight Men facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail