If you have ever been to Canada, Maine or Chicago, you have probably heard tales involving Glooscap. Glooscap is a legendary figure that is treated as a creator god by the Wabanaki people.
Are these stories real? There are many different myths surrounding it. Here’s a closer look at the truth behind this legend.
WHAT DOES GLOOSCAP MEAN?
The name Glooscap has a few different translations. Some tribes translate the name as “man that came from nothing.” Others translate the name as “man created from speech alone.” There is a common thread in both translations — that Glooscap was not created in the way a human was.
WHAT IS THE STORY?
As with many myths and legends, there isn’t a single story. Instead, there are many different stories that involve Glooscap in some way.
Once he was finished, the dust from his body gave shape to two gods: Glooscap and Malsumis. Glooscap was given the desire to do good, while Malsumis seeks to do evil.
Glooscap is an essential part of the Mi’kmaq creation myth. The legend says that Glooscap spent a year stretched out on his back and that eventually, other gods like Nataoa-nsen and Nogami were born alongside him.
The Mi’kmaq people also believe that Glooscap protected the world from a giant frog-like monster. The frog had swallowed all of the water in the world, leaving the people with nothing to drink. Glooscap fought and killed the creature, and the water that he swallowed was released.
Many other tribes have a similar story about Glooscap battling a frog. It is true that these regions experienced drought, and that water came back to the area after a massive earthquake. This could be the source of this particular story.
Another popular story has Glooscap transforming himself into a giant beaver. Once he had fully transformed, he set to work creating bodies of water, as well as the five islands that are a party of the Bay of Fundy. The powers that Glooscap possesses seem to vary from one tribe to another.
The Penobscot people believe that Glooscap created the first people from mud. Also, it created the animals during this time. After he had been done filling the world with creatures, Glooscap went to live in the mountains, where he continued to protect the people in the land below.
Many tribes believed that they could communicate with Glooscap. They translated the sounds that he made into symbols so that they were easier for people to understand.
Tribes believe that it brought them a great deal of knowledge. Some tribes credit Glooscap with teaching them how to make earthenware, while others believe that Glooscap showed them how to fish with nets.
While there are a lot of legends about Glooscap, Glooscap is also a symbolic figure for a large number of people. A lot of people see Glooscap as an essential part of their regional identity.
This is especially true in the Bay of Fundy region in Northwest Maine. There are all kinds of things named after Glooscap in this region, from trains to schools to hiking trails. The people in this region believe it is important to remember Glooscap’s name, regardless of whether or not they believe in the myths surrounding them.
ARE THESE STORIES REAL?
As with every myth, it is impossible to discern whether or not these stories are real. What we can say is that the legends surrounding Glooscap have a long history behind them. People have been telling stories about Glooscap for centuries.
Because so many tribes have been wiped out, it is all the more important that these stories be recorded and spread. If people remember the legends surrounding Glooscap, the tribes that once spoke of him will be able to retain their place in our nation’s history.
Now that you have a better understanding, you can start to take a closer look at some of these stories. You may be surprised when you take the time to read some of these legends. There are many different stories involving and every one of them is uniquely fascinating.