Lore of the Great Turtle: Indian Legends of Mackinac Retold
Collection of Native American legends at Mackinac and their significant role in the heritage of this region.
from the book: “For countless years Mackinac Island, Michigan was viewed with awe by the Chippewa, Huron, and Ottawa … Approaching the island in their canoes they were filled with superstitious wonder at the tall rocks each bearing the spirit of a mighty Man-i-tou. And it was here that the Great Spirit, Git-chi Man-i-tou, who had formed the island, dwelt alone except for the giants in the rocks. Here he accepted the sacrifices and offerings. Here also were buried the dead chiefs and their families that they might be forever under his protection. . . . But one day the white man came. Then, seeing the harm wrought upon his people, Git-chi Man-i-tou fled in anger and sorrow to the frozen north as the caribou had done before him, to live forever in the flickering flames of the Northern Lights.
This is only one legend collected by the famous Henry Rowe Schoolcraft . . . [he] gained an international reputation for his collection of legends of the American Indian, a collection which served as the base for the epic poem, “Hiawatha” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. . . . . Many of the following collection of legends are retold from his [Schoolcraft’s] works.”