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The information itself was gathered from Native American
elders on reservations in northern Wisconsin and Minnesota and published as The Mishomis
Book by Edward Benton-Banai. Though the material is in story form, it was given as fact,
not as folklore, as many anthropologists would prefer to view it. The value of the story is
that it gives the reader an Indian perspective, keeping in mind that some tribes have a
different view of Bigfoot and what it culturally means to them. Note how some of the statements
in the story parallel many of the experiences witnessed by contactees in this book. In the
story, a classic scene is depicted involving a young brave named Waynaboozhoo going out into
the wilderness on a spiritual quest in search of himself:
"Waynaboozhoo dozed off but soon awoke with a start as if someone or something had prodded him. He looked around slowly. Even though he did not see anything, he knew he was not alone. Suddenly he noticed that just out of his direct eyesight was a being - a huge, dark figure with red eyes that peered out of a shadowy face. Again he felt his fear rising to an uncontrollable level. He wanted to run. He thought fleetingly of defending himself - of fighting - but violence was unknown to the world at that time. He was able to control both his fear and terror but still he felt a new, strange sensation. What was this strange feeling that possessed him? For the first time in many years, violence was evident on the Earth. But with Waynaboozhoo it was only a thought. He was able to put it aside. Violence, which is the twin of peace, must always be secondary and subservient to peace just as it was with Waynaboozhoo.Every time the beings told me something about nature and how disgusted they are with "people in the outer world," I could not help thinking of how surprisingly similar Amerindian religio-philosophy is to what the Bigfoot believe and frequently talk about.
"The shadowy being spoke:
" 'I am Bug-way'-jinini [wildman]. Some of the people who follow you will know me as Sasquatch or Yeti, but they will seldom see me. It will be forbidden for them to look into my eyes. Some will not ever know of me. Many will not believe that I exist. I am your oldest brother!
" 'I have been with you on your journey. I have been ahead of you at times and behind you at times. Sometimes I have watched you walk by. The Creator sent me here to guide and care for those who become lost. I am to watch over those who go into the forests, swamps, hills and mountains to gather medicines and other things. If those who seek the medicine roots, bark, and berries will ask me in a good way, if their thoughts are good, and their concern is for others, I will help them to find the medicines they seek. I shall know their thoughts. Also I am to help those who choose to meditate, pray, and fast in the bug-way-ji' [wild and natural places]. I am the caretaker of all theses places - the deep forests, swamps, mountains, and deep valleys. I am natural man. I am to be the different one, different in all ways, I shall not build a home or gather in o-day-nah-wing' [towns]. Nor will I assemble with my own kind in tribes or nations. I will make no trails. Nor will I build ji-mon'-nug [canoes]. I am to be alone in the quiet solitude and majesty of the natural world of the Creator. I shall know of man's presence, and I will know his thoughts. But only the Anishinabe will know me. I am not to desire the companionship of Anishinabe or others...but only the Anishinabe shall know or honor me.
" 'Little brother, I have watched your journey and have known your thoughts. I will tell you of some but not all of the things you have wondered about. First, you must always treat the natural Creation with respect. When you must come through my territory, honor those places with Tobacco and good thoughts. Be not in fear. In that way you shall not become lost or confused and no harm will befall you. Be always in wonder and awe of all these natural works that you see; they are the hand and thought of the Creator, Gitchi Manito. These works, whether they be mountains, glaciers, waterfall, the deepest swamps, or the wildest places, should never be changed, diverted, or disturbed. They are to remain as they are now just as I am to remain in my natural way.'
"Waynaboozhoo did not need to voice his thoughts as he visited with Bug-way'-jinini and they conversed through the night. Bug-way'-jinini continued to tell him many things that he had previously wondered about.
" 'Here upon the Earth is a plane - a place marked by time. Nowhere else in the Universe is time necessary. Remember that time belongs to the Creator and to none other. It is the one thing that is beyond the reach of man. None shall ever see it. Very few shall ever get to know it. Do not concern yourself with it. If you do, it will become an obsession, and in the end you will be a slave to it.
" 'I know of many things that have puzzled you: the time you looked into the sky and wondered about the clouds; the time you felt rain drops on your face and looked into the distance to see rain falling in torrent; the time you felt warm and cold drafts of air sweep across your face; the time when you saw the heat dancing in waves over the plains.
" 'Here upon the lap of our Mother the Earth is a place and time that hangs between eight levels of elements. These elements are unseen but are as real and necessary for life as the water you drink. Of these eight elements, four are above the Earth and four are below the Earth. These elements are the things that must work together if life itself is to be. All these things working together lift the water into the clouds. Your oldest uncle Noo'-din [the wind] then blows this water to where it is needed. There it falls to the ground to nourish the grasses, flowers, and other beings who are dependent on it for life. Beyond this, there are elements that work together to change the seasons. The seasons are the evidence of time.
" 'Someday, when the time comes according to the Creator's plan, the cup of life will be measured by time. But even though time will be a part of life, life cannot exist without the other things we have spoken of. Remember, the cup of life is water and the cup is measured by time.
" 'If you should climb to the highest place, you will feel the absence of the air which is necessary to draw into your body in order to live. Likewise, if you would go into the Earth, soon it would get pitch black and there would be only poisons to breathe and draw into your body.
" 'As you walk on your journey, remember that there is a purpose to all things. There is a reason for the gentle rains and gentle winds as well as their opposites.
" 'Accept these things I give you. The evidence is all around you. See it, know it, accept it! Accept this knowledge as a 'Way of Knowing.' Accept it as you accept the knowledge of your own shadow. When your shadow is cast on the ground you are able to see it. But even though you do not see it at times, you know that your shadow is still there. Your shadow represents your relationship to Grandfather Sun and the Four Directions and thus to the Universe.
" 'It is time for you to continue on your journey. I will be with you, little brother, wherever your steps may take you. There is one last thing I wish to leave you and then we shall never talk again.
" 'You have a twin brother whom you have wondered about and whom you would seek. This I tell you: He is your other side in all things and in all ways. He is with you...do not seek him. Do not wish to know him, but understand him.
" 'You will walk the path of peace...he would not.
" 'You are kind...he is not.
" 'You are humble...he is not.
" 'You are generous...he is not.
" 'You seek the good in things...he does not.
" 'You shall respect others...he will not.
" 'You will seek the goodness in others...he will not.
" 'You are the light...he is the darkness.
" 'Know that he is with you, understand him,
" 'But do not seek him!'
"With that, Bug-way'-jinini left Waynaboozhoo and vanished like a shadow into the woods."
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