Friday, January 13, 2012

More about the language

I am very interested in language and now more than ever, I want to be able speak at least a few words in Mi'kmaw. The M.A.C. site (Mi'kmaq Association for Culture) has a good overview of how the language has fared over the years. There are apparently on-line courses as well; I'll have to look into this!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Amazing Inventions and Innovations

Looks like a great book for school! A Native American Thought of It, Amazing Inventions and Innovations. by Rocky Landon with David MacDonald. 

"Guess who came up with the idea for diapers, hair conditioner and hockey? Find out more about the innovations by Native Americans for what are now everyday objects such as syringes, kayaks, maple syrup and even insect repellent."

Monday, January 9, 2012

Collection of Legends

I came across this facsimile of a collection of Mi'Kmaq legends transcribed by the Reverend Silas T. Rand. He lived for years among the Mi'Kmaq of Nova Scotia and spoke the language. While the introduction to his book reflects a Eurocentric view of the world, his transcriptions are a window into the culture.

Mi'kmaq Music

Leo Crema
The Beaton Institute of Cape Breton has a collection of Mi'kmaq music on their site as well  as an easy to follow overview of the culture.  Here's an excerpt from the site:

The selections chosen to showcase Mi'kmaw culture on this website fall into four broad categories: traditional songs, Catholic hymns, fiddle traditions, and contemporary works. The traditional songs largely draw upon the Ko'jua repertoire, a genre of dance music. The Catholic hymns can be divided into "old" and "new" traditions, where "old" refers to songs from the Gregorian chant tradition and "new" refers to more recent repertoire, such as "Immaculate Mary," that has been translated into Mi'kmaq.

The Mi'kmaw fiddle tradition demonstrates a diversity of playing styles and repertoires, including tunes from the standard repertoire, as well as the adaptation of traditional song to fiddle (as in Lee Cremo's playing of Ko'jua).

I know my son Nathan would be very interested in the fiddle connection as he plays a wide variety of traditional fiddle music. Here's a link to Leo Cremo page with him playing.

I've embedded a player below so you can listen without leaving the blog if you prefer.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The Stone Canoe

Here's a great short animated film the tells in image and music the Mi'kmaq story of the Stone Canoe.