Wisakyjak and the New World

Penumbra PressSKU: 0921254342

Author:
Adam Ballantyne
Grade Levels:
Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve
Nation:
Cree, Subarctic
Book Type:
Paperback
Publisher:
Penumbra Press

Price:
Sale price$9.95

Description

Wisakyjak and the New World is the retelling of the Cree story about Wisakyjak, the giant lynxes, and the making of the new world after the great flood. Cree Elder Adam Ballantyne from Pelican Narrows, Saskatchewan told this story to Prentice Downes in the late 1930s. The trickster, known as Wisakyjak, plays an important part in the way the earth and animals have developed. As a trickster, he has supernatural powers and often uses his powers for good and bad purposes. In this story about the creation of the world we know today, Wisakyjak is travelling with his brother, the Wolf. Wolf warns Wisakyjak not to cross any bodies of water during their travels. But Wisakyjak disobeys when he thinks four large lynxes have killed his brother. The result is a massive flood and Wisakyjak must use his ingenuity to survive. He builds a raft and saves many of the animals and birds. When the muskrat brings up a pawful of mud from the depths, Wisakyjak blows on the earth and it grows bigger and bigger. Finally, there is enough land for all the animals. In the end, Wisakyjak defeats the giant lynxes with his powers. This is an important Woodland Cree traditional story about one aspect of creation. The collector's daughter illustrates the story with a series of woodcuts reproduced in stark black and white images. A brief introduction about the storyteller, Adam Ballantyne, and the collector, Prentice Downes, is provided. Discussion questions: http://www.penumbrapress.com/kids/storyofchakapascreation.php.

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