“The Song of Hiawatha,” completed

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Manabozho in the flood. (Illustration by R.C. Armour, from his book North American Indian Fairy Tales, Folklore and Legends, 1905)Manabozho in the flood. (Illustration by R. C. Armour, from his book North American Indian Fairy Tales Folklore and Legends, 1905) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pictured above, for the second time in this little series on North American Indians, is Manabozho or Nanabozho and his “brothers:” the beaver, the otter and the muskrat. We know that Manabozho, a Objiwa, who lived near Lake Superior, Longfellow’s “Gitche Gumee,” was swallowed by the king-fish whom he killed by pounding on his heart. Manabozho is a “Culture Hero:” he “made land.”

The Historical Hiawatha

Hiawatha, “the hero of these legends [Longfellow’s legends],” was not Hiawatha (who was a historical Iroquois leader of the sixteenth century”), but Manabozho[1] who “joined Huron (the Wyandot people) Deganawida in a plan to end warfare among Native Americans in what is now New York State.”[2]

In fact, as a follower of the Great Peacemaker, Deganawida, the historical Hiawatha did as “

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