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Native American Legends: Apistanewj (Marten)

Name: Apistanewj
Tribal affiliation: Mi'kmaq
Alternate spellings: Apistanéwj, Apistne'wj, Abistanooj, Abistanooch, Abistanaooch
Pronunciation: ah-bist-ah-nayo-ch
Also known as: Marten
Type: Hero, marten
Related figures in other tribes: Great Fisher (Anishinabe)

In Mi'kmaq legends, Apistanewj is the best friend and adopted brother of the Wabanaki culture hero Glooskap. Like many characters from Mi'kmaq mythology, Apistanewj shifts back and forth between human and animal form-- in his case, the form of a marten, a type of weasel which was considered sacred by some Mi'kmaq bands.

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Apistanewj Stories

*Nukumi and Fire: * The Coming of Nukumi:
    The story of how Marten became Glooskap's brother, by sacrificing himself to feed grandmother Nukumi.
*The Kidnapping of Glooskap's Family * A Wizard Carries Off Glooscap's Housekeeper * Glooskap and Winpe:
    Three versions of a Mi'kmaq legend in which a giant kidnaps Glooskap's adopted brother Marten.

Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends

On the Trail of Elder Brother:
    Great collection of traditional stories told by a Mi'kmaq author and illustrator.
Giants of the Dawnland:
    Another good collection of Wabanaki legends, this one told by a Penobscot Indian author.
Algonquian Spirit:
    Excellent anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Mi'kmaq and other Algonquian tribes.

Additional Resources

 We Were Not the Savages
 Mi'kmaq stories
 Mikmaq language
 Mikmaq words
 Nova Scotia Indian
 Eastern Woodlands
 Algonquian
 Native American animal spirits



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