Ojibway story tellers inform us of a time in the beginning, a time when
the world in which we live in now did not exist. The Great Spirit, Kitchi
Manitou, had a dream of a world made of mountains, valleys, rivers, lakes,
plants, animals and humans. In his wisdom Kitchi Manitou realized he was
to bring these things into being and he did so by creating a world of
four primary elements; water, wind, rock and fire.
To the sun he gave the power to heat and light the earth,
To the earth he gave the power of growth and healing,
To the water he gave purity and renewal,
To the wind he gave music and the breath of life itself,
After these, Kitchi Manitou created human kind and to them he gave the
power to dream.
These Ojibway people had a lot to learn in their new world and Kitchi
Manitou took pity on them. He sent them a teacher, whose name was Nanabush.
As the son of a human mother and the West Wind spirit father, Nanabush
was sent to earth to teach his people about healing plants, kindness,
generosity, and honesty. One of his first tasks was to name the trees,
waters, mountains, animals, birds and plants of the land. As Nanabush
was gifted with great powers of magic, he was able to give special attributes
to plants and animals.
Nanabush also had a reputation of being a prankster, but found that many
of his tricks backfired on him. He was continually trying to make humans
look silly even though pictures carved in stone by the Ojibway portrayed
him as having rabbit-like ears.