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How Glooskap Is Making Arrows, And Preparing For A Great Battle
by [?]

How Glooskap Is Making Arrows, and Preparing for a Great Battle. The Twilight of the Indian Gods.


Is Glooskap living yet?” “Yes, far away; no one knows where. Some say he sailed away in his stone canoe beyond the sea, to the east, but he will return in it one day; others, that he went to the west. One story tells that while he was alive those who went to him and found him could have their wishes given to them. But there is a story that if one travels long, and is not afraid, he may still find the great sagamore (sogmo). Yes. He lives in a very great, a very long wigwam. He always making arrows. One side of the lodge is full of arrows now. They so thick as that. When it is all quite full, he will come forth and make war. He never allows any one to enter the wigwam while he is making these arrows.”

And on whom will he make war?” “He will make war on all, kill all; there will be no more world,–world all gone. Dunno how quick,– mebbe long time; all be dead then, mebbe,–guess it will be long time.”

Are any to be saved by any one?” “Dunno. Me hear how some say world all burn up some day, water all boil all fire; some good ones be taken up in good heavens, but me dunno,–me just hear that. Only hear so.”

It was owing to a mere chance question that this account of the Last Day was obtained from an Indian. It was related to Mrs. W. Wallace Brown, of Calais, Maine, by Mrs. Le Cool, an old Passamaquoddy Indian. It casts a great light on the myth of Glooskap, since it appears that a day is to come when, like Arthur, Barbarossa, and other heroes in retreat, he is to come forth at a new twilight of the gods, exterminate the Iglesmani, and establish an eternal happy hunting-ground. This preparing for a great final battle is more suggestive of Norse or Scandinavian influence than of aught else. It is certainly not of a late date, or Christian, but it is very much like the Edda and Ragnarok. Heine does not observe, in the Twilight of the Gods, that Jupiter or Mars intend to return and conquer the world. But the Norsemen expected such a fight, when arrows would fly like hail, and Glooskap is supposed to be deliberately preparing for it.

A very curious point remains to be noted in this narration. When the Indians speak of Christian, or white, or civilized teachings, they say, “I heard,” or, “I have been told.” This they never do as regards their own ancient traditions. When Mrs. Le Cool said that she “had heard” that some were to be taken up into good heavens, she declared, in her way, that this was what Christians said, but that she was not so sure of it. The Northeastern Algonquin always distinguish very accurately between their ancient lore and that derived from the whites. I have often heard French fairy tales and Aesop’s fables Indianized to perfection, but the narrator always knew that they were not N’Karnayoo, “of the old time.”

Glooskap is now living in a Norse-like Asa-heim; but there is to come a day when the arrows will be ready, and he will go forth and slay all the wicked. Malsum the Wolf, his twin brother, the typical colossal type of all Evil, will come to life, with all the giant cannibals, witches, and wild devils slain of old; but the champion will gird on his magic belt, and the arrows will fly in a rain as at Ragnarok: the hero will come sailing in his wonderful canoe, which expands to hold an army. Thus it will be on