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Native American Legends

Manabozho's Wolf Brother

A Menomini Legend

When Manabozho had accomplished the works for which Kishä' Ma'nido sent him down to the earth, he went far away and built his wigwam on the northeastern shore of a large lake, where he took up his abode.

As he was alone, the good manidos concluded to give him for a companion his twin brother, whom they brought to life and called Naq'pote (which signifies an expert marksman). He was formed like a human being, but, being a manido, could assume the shape of a wolf, in which form he hunted for food.

Manabozho was aware of the anger of the bad manidos who dwelt beneath the earth, and warned his brother, the Wolf, never to return home by crossing the lake, but always to go around along the shore.

Once after the Wolf had been hunting all day long he found himself directly opposite his wigwam, and being tired, concluded to cross the lake. He had not gone halfway across when the ice broke, so the Wolf was seized by the bad manidos, and destroyed.

Manabozho at once knew what had befallen his brother, and in his distress mourned for four days. Every time that Manabozho sighed the earth trembled, which caused the hills and ridges to form over its surface. Then the shade of Moquaio, the Wolf, appeared before Manabozho, and knowing that his brother could not be restored Manabozho told him to follow the path of the setting sun and become the chief of the shades in the Hereafter where all would meet. Manabozho then secreted himself in a large rock near Mackinaw.

Here his uncles, the people, for many years visited Manabozho, and always built a long lodge, the mitä'wiko'mik, where they sang; so when Manabozho did not wish to see them in his human form he appeared to them in the form of a little white rabbit, with trembling ears, just as he had first appeared to Nokomis.

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