Crane Lake Origin

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There are no official records on how Blackstone got named hence it is not likely named by surveyors or by other official visits. From Walter Beatty 's field notes of 1871, created as he surveyed some timber limits, the lake was already named and hence this is a second indication that naming via official routes is unlikely. The original names of the surrounding lakes, such as Crane, Otter, Horseshoe and Rankin all have known native names. It is thus seems likely that Blackstone is also a native name. But what would be the story behind it? Crane Lake is named after the most important totem of the Ojibwe and the otter is also a totem. Rankin which was Cook and before that, Che-pah-gua-ne-ne-ha, Anishinabe for 'a place of portage ' is clearly…show more content…
As with all peoples through history, most Ojibwe would know of some myths, legends and tales explaining natural phenomena, ceremonies, life and death etc. However, the Ojibwe Grand Medicine Society or Midéwiwin kept many details secret of these explanations from the common people so as to confer belief, respect and wisdom to those with this knowledge. There are four different levels or degrees in the Midéwiwin of seniority and hence levels of details in the stories. The following origin description is from the highest or fourth level and contains a spirit or Manitou called Black Stone or Black Rock. It is told by the high midé shaman, Alec Everwind (b 1898) at the Red Lake Penemah village in Minnesota, translated and recorded in about 1960 and involves the trickster Manitou, Nehnehbush (or Nanabush), an important go between the highest spirit Gitche Manitou and man. The source of this version of the origin narrative is Ojibwa Religion and the Midéwiwin, pp 92-93,…show more content…
In the second assembly the fate and nature of the first native would be decided. As it is a long tale only the part of the story between the first and second assembly of the Manitous is reproduced. (Writing between square brackets [] are helpful comments from the cultural anthropologist and author, Ruth Landes.)
Nehnehbush wondered how the system would work. He waited until the first humans had four children when he journeyed all over Earth to discover its size. Thus he concluded that if Indians lived perpetually, the continent could not float them all, for the population 's weight would sink it. So he determined to destroy the principles established by the first assembly. But how to do this?

He sought out a particular Character who felt slighted by not having received an invitation to this assembly. Reaching the location of this Character, Nehnehbush found him gone and went over the world in search, weeping from fatigue as he traveled. [Tears are the prime tool for wresting Supernaturals ' pity, in Ojibwa thought.] Towards the rising sun, he met a Character who helped, speaking but invisible, asking why he wept. Nehnehbush said, “I seek the one who was neglected at the Spirits ' council.” The Character directed him towards the other 's tracks, explaining that, unaided, “You won 't be able to
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