This research paper “Significance of Anishinaabe Literature ” examines a superior long-lasting tale. There can be various contributing factors; such as, presence of a suspenseful plot, passionate account of a love story, engaging description of a setting, interesting portrayal…
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No matter what the content is, any piece of literature can only survive the test of time, and gradually transforms into a legend, if it fulfills the criteria of relevancy and righteousness. A fable, poem, play, or an anecdote, will have a continuing impact if it contains a moral lesson, which not only relates to the readers’ life, but also fills them with a sense of hope, and acts as a guide during tough patches of life. This is the reason Anishinaabe, also referred as Ojibwe, folklore, especially the short stories, had been, and is still famous among the Native American and general population. Long before Ojibwe had a written language, storytellers kept ‘Books’ of the tales, where few raconteurs were responsible for compiling the historical incidents, another group of narrators accumulated cultural myths, and the last group gathered religious traditions (Dunn, 20). Majority of these stories were transferred orally from an older generation to a younger generation, to convey the underlying moral messages, and to teach the wisdom within. Anishinaabe literature plays a crucial role in the life of indigenous people, as it richly portrays their dynamic history, guides their troubled and disillusioned younger generation, and serves as a moral support during turbulent times; whilst constantly depicting their abounding values, and their interconnected world of man and nature.Their accepted wisdom, regarding the initial development of life, is clearly delineated in the ‘stories of creation....
Historically it is believed that the process of creation took place in four sequences; first of all the physical world came into being, followed by the plant, and animal worlds, and lastly human race was formed (Johnston, 21). Johnston further describes that traditionally in Anishinaabe historical stories, the ‘Kitche Manitou’, the Great Spirit, and their equivalent of Christian God, had a vision of the world as it is today, and proceeded to create all four types of life, out of nothing. Kitche Manitou also bestowed special and distinct powers to each living being, for example, the sun was given the power of ‘light and heat’, the earth was bestowed with ‘growth and healing’ capacities, so that they all can effectively carry out their functions of life in this world, and also live in harmony with other creatures (12). An important fact here is that, in Anishinaabe historical accounts, the human race was created at the end, and is considered the weakest of all types of living beings. It can also be said that this belief was meant to keep the mankind, known for his arrogance, and pride, humble and considerate of those around him. Bird quotes an Anishinaabe elder claiming that “If the waters stop flowing, there will be no life; if the plants die, there will be no life; if all the animals die, there will be no life; if, however, humanity ceased, life will flourish” (4). This statement eloquently captures the perceived interdependence of human race on other forms of life, and again strengthens the initial argument that to realize one’s rightful position in the world, one needs to recognize the value of other beings, and be grateful of what is
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