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Arts & Récits Autochtones - Wisakedjak and the Moon

Wisakedjak and the Moon

2014 - Lauréat d’art

Jordan Stranger

Winnipeg, MB
Peguis First Nation
Âge 25

Une note d'auteur

There are many myths, creatures and legends in all Aboriginal cultures. Some have great importance, others don't. It is up to us as individuals to decide which has more value.

So with that I chose a myth to illustrate. It is the one of Wisakedjak (Wee-sah-kay-jak). He is believed to be the spirit that began the great flood long ago, and the one who watches over us. He is looked at as spirit of mischief, and also deception. But there are many variations of this spirit, and many different ways each story is told.

I decided to choose one I believe.

This story starts with a family. There were three of them, a Son, a Daughter and a Father. This family lived above the sky watching over all of us on earth and their responsibility was to take care of the Sun, to light it in the mornings and turn it off at night.

The father of the family always knew one day that he would eventually die, and he knew that day would come soon. So, he told his children that when he passes one of them would have to take care of the Sun. When the day came and their father died they were heartbroken, and that turned into anger and frustration. They quarrelled at who would take care of the Sun. The son said, "I will take care of the Sun, I am the man, a warrior.", but the daughter replied, "No, I am the woman, a caregiver".

While they argued, daytime came but there was no sunlight for the people of earth. That is when Wisakedjak took notice. He wondered, "Why there was no sun for the people?". So he went up into the sky, above the clouds and confronted the son and daughter. He then asked, "Why is there no sunlight? The people need the sun to survive? Why are you both being selfish?". The brother and sister both pleaded their case to Wisakedjak but he had heard enough.

Wisakedjak, frustrated at them both, told them, "Because you are both undecided I will make a decision. For the daughter, because of this you will be given a new task. I will create a Moon for you to take care of to use in the night, and your brother will watch over the Sun. This way you will both have to wait a whole year to see one another".

And so it was said. Wisakedjak did create a moon for the daughter, and their story goes on. As it is practiced in aboriginal cultures, the moon has a great significance with the women of the world. Some say this is the purpose of this story.

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