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The spectacular beauty of Georgian Bay







The Huron Legend of Kitchikewana

Once upon a time, so goes a legend of the Huron Indians of Northern Ontario, there was a giant god by the name of Kitchikewana who stood guard over the whole of Georgian Bay.
The legend says he was a violent good, prone to frequent tantrums - and his size made him a feared figure among the Ouendat (Huron) pantheon. He was taller than two huge mountains (the giant pine trees came only up to his knees) and wore a necklace of tree stumps, He also wore a headdress which had thousands of bird feathers and his robe was made from 600 beaver pelts.
Kitchikewana was the son of the Great Spirit Manitou
The assembly of Huron Gods one day decided the enourgh is enough and it was time to get Kitchikewana to calm down. A strategy was devised.- the gods will find a suitable consort for Kitchikewana. So they gathered togegther all the beautiful girls of the surronding regions. One of them was almost celestial in appearance and Kitchikewana liked her a lot. Her name was Wanakita, daughter of Musquakie, a northern chief, and Kitchikewana proposed to her.

Wanakita's reply was a resounding "N0" - to the dismay of the gods. She sayd she had already given her to a wrrair in her tribe Kitchikewana was shocked - his anger rose and bubbled over.
It is said that the earth shook and the skies darkened and the world cowered in fear. Kitchikewana slammed the palm of his hand onto the ground - a thunderous explosion - picked up a massive clump of dirt and threw it in a rage. The dirt scattered and thus was born the the 30,000 Islands.
The five finger marks in the ground became the five famous bays of the north - Midland Bay, Penetang Bay, Hog Bay, Sturgeon Bay and Matchedash Bay.
Then, hearbroken and tired, Kitchikewana lay down on the ground and fell into a deep and eternal sleep.
The legend continues: Kitchikewana is still in slumber and his massive form is what visitors to the area see as the Giant's Tomb. A poignant side-tale to the main legend tells of how Kitchikewana accidently killed a girl who liked him - Wahsoona, the daughter of an Indian area chief. The gods then decided that silver birch will be made to grow forever in Wahsoona's memory on Beausoleil Island.
Wanakita married her warrior and later came to Penetanguishene to ask for Kitchikewana's forgiveness. Kitchikewana became a great pine-filled island. She told the story to her children and the story came down through the generations.

A variation of the Huron legend

The giant god Kitchi-Kiwana was the last of a race of mega gods. One day, Kitchi-Kiwana t fell with a mountain in his arms which then shattered to form the 30 000 islands. The marks which his shoulders left can be seen his favourite island of Beausoleil, which was where he returned to sleep each night.

When he died, the natives covered him with trees and rocks to form what is now called Giant's Tomb Island. The flickering northern lights (Aurora Borealis) can be seen whenever his spirit visits the islands and the Great God Manitou lights fires to guide him on...

Georgian Bay Islands National Park of Canada
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