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Native American Legends: Apistanewj (Marten)
Tribal affiliation: Mi'kmaq
Alternate spellings: Apistanéwj, Apistne'wj, Abistanooj, Abistanooch, Abistanaooch
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.
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.
Excellent anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Mi'kmaq and other Algonquian tribes.
We Were Not the Savages
Nova Scotia Indian
Native American animal spirits
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