they were very powerful. Their medicine was so
strong that they could not be killed. They were
different in appearance from the Yar-Ons as well.
Some were ugly, with yellow hair like Whitemen
and eyes the color of the sky. Others were not so
disgusting, having brown skin.
As soon as the Yar-Ons learned they could not
kill these Shining People, they made friends. The
strangers were wise in council and also very great in
singing and dancing and making love.
When they arrived, these visitors spoke many
strange languages which were impossible to un-
derstand, but they must have been very intelligent
people, for they soon learned the language of the
They lived among us for many years before I was
born. How many years? This many?
That many? Who can say? They had no generations, because they
did not die. It was a grave misfortune for them never
to die, never to pass over into the Land of the An-
cestors, and they must have done something very bad
once to be cursed in such a way. †
It was said that other Shining People had come
across the water, too; some in big canoes, some flying
on the wind or in other magic ways, to live in the lands
north and south and west of the Yar -Ons. It was some
of these Shining People were tall as jack pines,
some had skin the color of gold, and so forth, but I did
not believe it. Why should people live in the north
with the Micmacs on their cold rock island? Why
*The Indian use of the word “grandfather” sometimes means simply “old man” or
“wise man.” It is also used in legends to signify a spirit, as of wind, or cloud, and in this
sense means ”memory.”
**Possibly “Huron,” the Quebec-based tribe all but exterminated in 1649.
† The Hurons considered death a cause for rejoicing, and held feasts to wish the dead
man a happy journey to “the village in the sky.