American Indian languages
Native American Indian cultures
Legendary Native American Figures: Great Fisher
Name: Great Fisher
Tribal affiliation: Ojibway, Algonquin
Native names: Gitchi Odjig, Gichi Ojiig, Gitchie Ojig
Pronunciation: varies by dialect: usually gih-chee oh-jeeg
Also known as: Fisher Star, Odjig-Anung, Ojigwanung, Ojiig'anang, Ochekatak
Type: Hero, fisher, stars
Related figures in other tribes: Abistanooj (Mi'kmaq)
Great Fisher is a hero of the mythic age and a friend (in some stories, the adopted elder brother) of the culture hero
href="http://www.native-languages.org/nanabozho.htm">Nanabozho. He has magical powers and is distinguished
by his bravery against large and dangerous monsters. Like many Native American heroes, Gitchi Odjig is portrayed
sometimes as an animal (in this case a kind of weasel called a
fisher) and other times
as a man. After bringing summer to the world, Great Fisher became the constellation commonly known as
the Big Dipper; according to some tellings his son Little Fisher also became the Little Dipper.
Great Fisher Stories
Origin of Constellation Fisher (Ursa Major):
Algonquin legend telling how Fisher brought summer to the people.
How Fisher Went to the Skyland:
Ojibwe story about Great Fisher and the origin of the Big Dipper.
Recommended Books of Related Native American Legends
Nanabosho and Kitchie Odjig:
A nice picture book for kids based on a story about Great Fisher and the culture hero.
Myths and Folk-lore of the Timiskaming Algonquin and Timagami Ojibwa:
Classic collection of Algonquin legends including the story of Skunk and Fisher.
Living Our Language:
Ojibwe legends and oral histories.
The Mishomis Book: Voice of the Ojibway:
Excellent book by a Native author exploring Ojibway legends and traditions.
Excellent anthology of stories, songs, and oral history from the Ojibway and other Algonquian tribes.
Medicine Water: Menominee And Chippeway Indian Legends And Myths:
Great collection of American Indian tales about animals, told by Abenaki storyteller Joseph Bruchac.
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