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into four kinds, — the grunt, the yell, the doggerel, and the chant; for all of these appear to be dignified by them with the name of singing.

When the inhabitants of a village knew that an enemy was about to make an attack upon them, they would sometimes prepare a feast and invite the hostile party to partake with them. In this way a party of the Kwedechk were entertained by the Micmacs. When the feasting was over, a Kwedech warrior sprang up and commenced the war dance, brandishing his tomahawk and singing,

Hō ēgānu !

Hō ēgānu! the Micmacs responding with a contemptuous grunt, heh eh! When the dancer had finished, a Micmac warrior took his turn, singing,

Kwědâlooktanoo ! *

Kwědâlooktanoo ! the Kwedech responding, and the battle commenced. These songs are preserved by them with great care; and it is the belief among the Micmacs that if one of them were to sing their war-song among the Kwedechk, he would be immediately killed

They seem to be able to throw their words into a kind of measure with no great difficulty, and the songs thus produced are not unmusical. I observed, however, that there was a frequent lengthening and dividing of words, and the introduction of unnecessary syllables to make the lines of the requisite length. Here is a scalping song which a Micmac woman told me she had heard sung by the old people. A schooner from Port Royal was detained at the Strait of Canso, and while waiting for a favorable wind was attacked by a party of Indians, who surprised, killed, and scalped the crew, consisting of four men. As the old warrior who led the attacking party came to the shore, the women crowded round his canoe, and when they saw his bloody trophies, danced back and forth on the shore, singing,


Tooēgunuk o leeudoógunuk o Bâdâloodik 7 lelâdâloodoogunak

* I must slaughter.

Wejee chēnumool nemeeâdek
He was going to the Strait of Canso,
He was eating at a table, *
When he saw a man his equal,
Then he saw his blood.

The tune of this is slow and cruel, well suiting the subject.

On festive occasions there seems to have been a great deal of singing and dancing. Nothing of importance could be done without a feast, but the wedding seems to have been the occasion on which the Micmac most fully gave himself up to jollity, If the parties to be married were of importance in the village, the preparations made were very extensive. A large wigwam was erected, and in this, besides the relatives of the bride and bridegroom, the chief, his subordinates, and all the principal men of the village were assembled. Although word was sent round, no special invitation was necessary; every one was free to come, and the guests who could not be accommodated inside feasted without. The ceremonies commence in the afternoon, and are kept up till the following morning. The bride comes in and takes her place, and for the first time eats with her husband. The men eat first, and when their meal is finished the women come in and remove the food. Then an old woman very quaintly dressed enters the wigwam, followed by a young girl. The old woman sings and the girl dances. This is the song :

Uksakumå meenuk,
Let us thank our lords,
They have fed us
Till we were satisfied.

The bride makes her a present of some article of clothing, and every one present is expected to do the same. Then the chief makes a speech expressing his good wishes, and this is followed by singing and dancing. One of the warriors is called upon for a song and responds as follows:


* This seems to have been considered by them a mark of consummate arrogance, and the fall of a man who had eaten at a table must be great indeed.


Koonâleeo kwanoodānā

H5 yeegu wanoodegeenu The crowd outside, not restrained by the dignified presence of the chief and his subordinates, enjoy themselves to the full. Immense fires are lighted, and one man placed in the centre of a level space to beat the cheegumakun and sing while the others dance round in a circle. The songs are such as this: Wellâmâjul à

He speaks kindly to her,
Kesalajul o,

He loves her,
Unkumâjul a,

He looks at her,
Kesâlâbun 7,

He did love her, and many more, and the dancers keep up a shout of Matamalee-ā-hā!

They have many of these songs, and some have evidently been composed at no very remote date. One of them is in praise of a village beauty, Catherine. The burden of it is:

Wen 7 Kâdâlincheech,

Mâlee Kâdâlincheech. The wife of my first tutor in Micmac sang me a chant of considerable length which she called her death-song. She had been making a journey for several miles, and was overtaken by a snow-storm while yet some distance from home ; wearied out and bewildered she sat down to die. She thought of her father Peale sitting in his wigwam, ignorant of the fate of his favorite daughter Susā'ncheech, and thinking of this, put her thoughts into measure.

Many of their amusing stories are connected with some catch which embodies the joke. Notwithstanding the general gravity of the Indians, they are very merry among themselves, and very eager for intelligence respecting their own people in other places. The visit of a stranger is hailed with delight, and he is immediately plied for agunoodumâkun.*

Some knowledge of the ancient religious beliefs of the Micmacs may be gained from the legends and stories still told among them, and from the traditions which have been handed down from generation to generation. They seem to have given much less thought to the question of a First Cause and Supreme Ruler of the world than to the various beings possessed of a higher or lower degree of magical power, in whom they firmly believed. Their stories are filled with the wonderful exploits of the latter, while the former is very rarely referred to. One of their legends mentions the case of a little boy who prayed to Kesoolk to allow him to grow up to manhood at once, and the request was granted. Their ideas of God have been much modified by Christianity, but their faith in fairies and magic seems unshaken. One old lady — the daughter of a famous hunter— told me that their ancestors knew no more about God than the bears, and other members of the tribe hold the same opinion. I am informed, however, by a gentleman well acquainted with their language, manners, and traditions, that there was anciently a belief in the existence of two great beings whom they called Manitoos or Menedoos, — the one a good spirit, the other an evil spirit. Since their conversion to Christianity this name has been used to denote the evil spirit only. There seems to have been also some idea of God as a creator, in which sense they applied to him the name Kesoolk. Nixkâm, another name for God, denotes that he is our father. Concerning their ideas of worship we know little. They appear to have had no idols, but were accustomed to make offerings, especially to the new moon. Some article which they prized --- generally food -- was presented to testify their joy at its reappearance; and if the offering disappeared, this was taken as a favorable sign.

* News.

They believe in fairies, whom they call wiggul-adum-moóchkik, - very little people. They live in the woods and are friendly to mortals, unless they are molested. They come out to dance and sing; and if you go far into the woods on a fine day and listen very attentively, you may distinctly hear the low sweet voices of these tiny immortals. They can sometimes even be heard shouting to each other across from cliff to cliff. If a mortal ventures to mock them, a cry is heard, “Toss him this way!” and the luckless wight is seized and hurled back and forth till he is bruised to pieces. The only way to escape them, when their wrath has been aroused, is to run to the nearest brook or river, for “a running stream they dare na cross," – they are afraid of wetting their feet.


Many of their great warriors in ancient times are believed to have possessed magical powers. One of these, called a booõin, could raise a storm, cause excessive cold, increase or decrease his own size, take the form of some animal, his téeõmul, and do many other things quite beyond the power of ordinary mortals. There were generally several of these in each village. Their exploits are recorded in the legends and traditions, and form the most important part of the accounts of battles and skirmishes. When asleep or taken by surprise, they might be killed like other men ; but when they had time to get their magical powers in play, they were almost invulnerable. The belief in the existence of such men in past times is still very strong among them. “ Something helped those fellows,” said a well-informed Indian who had been telling me about them.

Still greater power was possessed by the megumoowesoos, who seem, however, not to have differed in appearance from ordinary Indians. They dwelt sometimes in the village, sometimes alone in the woods. They could endow others with supernatural powers, either permanently or transiently, and those who came in their way were generally well treated, un less there existed some strong reason for acting otherwise. On one occasion a youth, who had been ugly, lazy, and poor, received from one of these a valuable present, and was changed into a very handsome and athletic man and endowed with supernatural powers. What was his surprise, however, on reaching home to find that he was not only not recognized, but after he had made himself known, was told that he had been absent a whole

year instead of the one night he thought he had spent in the wigwam of the hospitable stranger. When two megumoowěsoos met, there would, of course, be a feeling of rivalry, and each would try all his might to destroy the other; and if a young man went to a distant part of the country on some expedition, seeking a wife, for example, he might expect the most determined opposition from the magicians of the land to which he went. On the whole, these men possessed so much power for harm, that an Indian would much prefer never to meet with one of them. There was one remarkable feat some of them could perform, – that of taking out their soul, or life, and

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