Thursday, July 10, 2014

Manitous at Work

I just read "Native American Legends of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi Valley". This is a compilation of over a hundred legends and myths from oral traditions collected by Katharine B. Judson and originally published in 1914. Very interesting to read about the relationships between the spirits of man, animals, nature, earth, sky, water, fire, and weather. One of their beliefs addressed unknown spirits called Manitou or Manito*. Like many religious beliefs, there were good spirits and bad spirits. The job of the bad spirit was to come behind the Good Manitou and undo all the good they did for the day.

I sometimes feel that evil Manitous follow me when I write. I get motivated, write, am excited and happy, then the next day is a downer. I wonder if anyone will ever read what I am working on, will I find an agent, will the book sell? So, prayers to the Good Manitous, Holy Spirit, angels, saints, the Earth-Maker himself and undertaken to restore the good. Maybe I should burn incense or sage as well  :-)

*A term by the Algonquian tribe referring to the mysterious and unknown powers of life in the universe (p 195, Bruce Grant, "Concise Encyclopedia of the American Indian," Wings Books, New York, 1958.

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