Wisakedjak

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Wisakedjak (Wìsakedjàk in Algonquin, Wīsahkēcāhk(w) in Cree and Wiisagejaak in Oji-cree) is the Crane Manitou found in northern Algonquian and Dene storytelling, similar to the trickster Nanabozho in Ojibwa aadizookaanan (sacred stories), Inktonme in Assiniboine lore, and Coyote or Raven from many different tribes. His name is found in a number of different forms in the related languages and cultures he appears in, including Weesack-kachack, Wisagatcak, Wis-kay-tchach, Wissaketchak, Woesack-ootchacht, Vasaagihdzak, and Weesageechak.

In mythology[edit]

As with most mythological characters, Wisakedjak is used to explain the creation of animals or geographical locations. He is generally portrayed as being responsible for a great flood which destroyed the world. In other stories he is also one of the beings who created the current world, either on his own, or with magic given to him by the Creator for that specific purpose.[1]

In contemporary indigenous literature and art[edit]

  • In 2010, two-spirit artist Kent Monkman (Cree) created a painting called Weesageechak Teaches Hermes How to Trick the Four-Leggeds showing Wisakedjak as a naked man wearing purple, high-heeled boots.[3]

In other literature, film and popular culture[edit]

  • Wisakedjak is a character in the book American Gods by Neil Gaiman, where he is frequently referred to as "Whiskey Jack" (a corruption of this figure's traditional name). In the book, he appears as an old Native man, who lives in a mobile home, somewhere near a Lakota reservation in the badlands with Johnny Appleseed.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A Cree Flood Story".
  2. ^ Kiss of the Fur Queen review at Quill & Quire, September 1998.
  3. ^ Weesageechak Teaches Hermes How to Trick the Four-Leggeds at kentmonkman.com
  4. ^ Clearcut (1991) Quotes at IMDb
  5. ^ American Gods list of Gods