“The Song of Hiawatha” as Amerindian Lore

Really great post Micheline well researched and written. 👌

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HiawathaThe Song of Hiawatha,” The Children’s Own Longfellow, 1908 (Photo credit: Gutenberg #9080)


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (27 February 1807 – 24 March 1882), could create characters that would seem real to his readers. For Acadians who were deported (see Deportation of the Acadians), Longfellow’s fictional Évangéline, the heroine of an epic poem he published in 1847, is real. She spent years seeking Gabriel, her fiancé. When she found him, he was one of the dying she was attending to as a Sister of Mercy. Longfellow gave Acadians a heroic past that elevated them. Longfellow’s Song of Hiawatha would not return their homes to North-American Indians, but it would mythicize them by giving them the obligatory glorious past in the person of Hiawatha, a Noble Savage.

The plight of Amerindians was greater than that of Acadians. The Removal Act of 1830 and the Cherokee Removal Act of 1838 deprived a large number of North…

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