The Spirit Lives in the Mind

SKU: 9780773532106

Louis Bird, Susan Elaine Gray
Grade Levels:
Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Adult Education, College, University
Cree, Subarctic
Book Type:
McGill-Queens University Press
Copyright Date:

Sale price$40.95


The Spirit Lives in the Mind: Omushkego Stories, Lives, and Dreams is a collection of traditional stories and oral traditions compiled for over forty years by Omushkego Cree (Swampy Cree) musician, storyteller and scholar, Louis Bird. The stories and traditions he has collected are from the traditional Cree communities along the west coast of Hudson and James Bay. They are organized for the reader's understanding of Cree spiritual worldview. Chapter 1 covers the Water, Earth and Skies as the foundation and includes specific stories about sacred places, and the important celestial bodies and universe in Cree cosmology. The chapter called Intruders and Defenders contains stories about significant human interactions that include the history of the Omushkego. Pakaaskokan, an ancient legend of mystery tells of the mysterious flying skeleton in Cree tradition. Values for Life and Survival contains stories about prophesy, power, morality, and the consequences of behaviours in relation to the animals and the environment. Mitewiwin Heroes and Villains covers the understandings about shamans, dream quests, and dreaming as these relate to Cree worldview. The remaining four chapters include stories about Wisakaychak, wihtigos, and powerful women. The interaction of traditional and Christian values and beliefs are discussed because the author sees a definite connection despite the problems of the missionaries and residential schools. The editor Susan Elaine Gray is a research associate at the University of Winnipeg. She provides details for the process of organizing the traditional stories and should be commended for allowing the voice of Louis Bird to remain the heart and soul of these traditional Cree teachings. The book contains an extensive index, bibliography and photographs.

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