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"Readbacks" or Tradition? The Kluskap Stories among Modern Canadian Mi'kmaq

Publiceringsår: 2002
Språk: Engelska
Sidor: 9-16
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: European Review of Native American Studies
Volym: 16
Nummer: 1
Dokumenttyp: Artikel i tidskrift
Förlag: Pallas


When ethnographers in the 1950s and 1960s did fieldwork among the Canadian Mi’kmaq Indians, they were worried about the future of Mi’kmaq culture. Not many Mi’kmaq in the thirties had heard about their traditional culture hero Kluskap, and if they had, it was through books or the television series “The Adventures of Glooscap”.

Thirty years later, in 1989, the Mi’kmaq strongly rejected the plans to establish a superquarry at Kelly’s Mountain on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. Their main reason was that the mountain with its cave is believed to be the dwelling place of Kluskap and the place from where he is expected to return to his people. Is the modern Mi’kmaq knowledge about Kluskap only their readbacks of texts by non-native authors? This paper seeks to examine the Mi’kmaq relation to that Kluskap tradition which had been depicted by non-Native authors in television series, theatre plays, and books. How do the modern Mi’kmaq evaluate mainstream society’s texts about their culture hero?


  • History of Religions
  • Canadian Mi'kmaq Indians
  • “Read-back”
  • inter-generational transmissions of essentialized tradition vs. constructionism
  • Kluskap tradition


  • ISSN: 0238-1486

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