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Thursday, 31 January 2013

One Million Page Views

I had gone to the hospital for a routine checkup earlier in the day and so I missed it when the numbers rolled over. But the Frontiers of Zoology Blog has now had over One Million Page Views!

                                     A tip of the hat in gratitude to our many viewers out there!

Bigfoot Museum Big Tooth

This was posted on a Facebook group I belonged to several days ago and I immediately send a notice to Dr Don Jeffrey Meldrum about it. I shall let the original publication tell the story as it was reprinted  below: February 17, 2008 Volume 3 Number 10

Message from the Curator

Now that we have our first bit of potential “physical evidence” I felt inspired to share it here even though we have not yet determined exactly what it is. Our newest member, Matt, came in and donated a tooth to the museum collection. It appears to be an unusually large human molar with the enamel cap worn down to the pulp. About 1/3 of the tooth is missing and both of the roots are broken off; one more so than the other. It appears to be old and fossilized and when I searched online for an image that matches there were only two that came close so far: one was a bear tooth, the other a Neanderthal tooth (Emphasis added). He found the tooth in 2002 in Scotts Valley where people dig for shark’s teeth. It was laying on the ground in the woods above the sand cliff where people normally dig. So far I’ve sent an email to paleoanthropologist Dennis Etler asking him to stop by and take a look at it. He has not come in yet, although he said he would. We’ve received quite a number of encounter stories since the museum opened three years ago. I receive reports on almost a weekly basis in the museum; it literally adds up to an average of a little over one story per week. I say “story” rather than “report”to differentiate between something we can follow-up on (report) and other anecdotes that cannot be further researched (stories). The situation here is such that sometimes I’m dealing with several visitors at once; hearing a story while ringing up a sale at the same time, for example. Frequently the visitor is hurried for time or being tugged on by companions or children and the story is truncated or sketchy. For these and various other reasons, including my own mistakes, I occasionally don’t catch their name and phone number, and/or the notes I took can’t be understood when I read them again months later. I’m working on making this happen less often, as some of the best stories I have are anonymous, although I did look the person in the eye when hearing the story (except the time or two I’ve heard a story over the phone).

My opinion is that the tooth does NOT resemble a bear's molar closely but it IS avery good match for a Neanderthal molar. Neanderthal crowns are usually worn very flat and their roots are also unusually expanded or inflated, a condition known as Taurodontism (Bull-toothed)

The Scotts Valley (California) tooth exhibits this diagnostic condition exactly.

A Neanderthal molar tooth from a recent internet news article on Neanderthal diet for comparison

A selection of Neanderthal teeth
 A penny just happens to be almost an exact centimeter in diameter. Measure it yourself and see!
That means the size of the big tooth in the museum and the Neanderthal tooth are very comparable.

Petra co Oase "Early modern" & Shanidar Neanderthal
It would appear from this much alone that there was genetic exchange between the early European modern peoples and Neanderthals: African early moderns do not have a braincase anywhere near this shape in profile.

"Missing Loch Ness Underwater Photo"

Scott Mardis sent this in to me a while back and said it was "Rumoured to be a missing photo out of the 1975 set of underwater photos taken at Loch Ness by Dr Rines". I told him I had seen the photo before but had heard nothing definite about it, and I assumed it could be a more recent fake using a small toy dinosaur. At this point, thats about what I know about this one.

I have subsequently been informed (By Scott Mardis) that this photo is a fake and Dr Rines' son is quite upset about it, and he wants to have the photo pulled. If he does wish to have it pulled he may contact me about it: I am not in any position to contact him about it. However, just saying that Dr Rines' son declares this to be a fake ands it is in no way associated with his father should be enough.

I must apologise for the way that Scott Mardis expressed this matter to me in his communications on Facebook, he spoke to me as if he were in communication with Dr Rines himself but it subsequently came out he actually meant his son.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

1855 Nova Scotia Sea Serpent Sighting

From the Facebook page Strange World,!/strngeworld

Beadle’s Monthly carried a startling feature in November 1866: two drawings of a “great sea-monster” witnessed by the author, Jesse H. Lord, during a visit to Green Harbor, Nova Scotia, in August 1855. Lord recalled that he had just arrived... in town when he found the townspeople in a great commotion over “the snake.” Presently he saw a monster emerge from the sea, pursuing boats through a channel and into the harbor:
Near what might be the head, rose a hump, or crest, crowned with a waving mass of long pendulous hair like a mane, while behind, for forty or fifty feet, slowly moved, or rolled, the spirals of his immense snake-like body. The movement was in vertical curves, the contortions of the back alternately rising and falling from the head to the tail, leaving behind a wake, like that of a screw-steamer, on the glassy surface of the ocean. … In a moment he raised his head, from which the water poured in showers, and opening the horrid jaws he gave utterance to a noise resembling nothing so much as the hissing sound of steam from the escape-pipe of a boiler.
The beast withdrew, but Lord glimpsed it again beneath his rowboat the following morning:
The tide was ‘making,’ and the serpent lay head to the current, which was flowing into the harbor, keeping up an undulatory movement just sufficient to retain his position. The shell-like head was just abaft the stern of the boat and the immense mane flowed wavingly, either by the motion of the current or the convolutions of the body. … Hethcote moved silently to the stern and cut the rope that held the ‘kilick,’ and we drifted quietly with the tide into the harbor.
Lord was a journalist, not a short story writer, and Beadle’s presented his tale without a wink. But it seems most likely a simple hoax — why would a newsman withhold such a sensational story for 11 years? Unfortunately, we’ll never know the whole story: A few days after the article appeared, Lord shot himself on his wife’s grave.

Heuvelmans does not include this report in his book In The Wake of the Sea-Serpents, but he does mention several other repots around Nova Scotia in the 1850s. One of them was the very unusual "Marine Dimetrodon" that Heuvelmans could not classify, and another was a "Water Horse" no more than 16 feet long and 2 feet thick, seen by a father and son as it was coming on to the land. (William and Henry Crooks, page 232). It was thought to be propelled by four limbs underneath. Heuvelmans counts this as a "Longneck" (same as the Loch Ness Monster) but in fact a moose can be in the range of 12 feet long and 2 1/2 to 3 feet thick at the belly, and that part would have been harder to judge on a swimming animal. I am willing to say that all of these sightings except the problematic "Marine Dimetrodon" were swimming mooses, typically generating a wake of 50 feet long as a "String-of-buoys." The "Marine Dimetrodon" was probably a kind of fish and exaggerated (as Heuvelmans notes there are contradictory aspects to the description) and perhaps it is better to assume it is an Oarfish until and unless better evidence is uncovered.
Lord's sea-serpent would have been unrecognisable except that the illustration clearly and prominently shows the beard or "Bell" characteristic of the moose under its lower jaw.
Advertisement for sculpture, very good for scale.

Moose in Grand Teton National Park. I had mentioned earlier in reference to the Von Ferry sighting of 1746 that a moose could have a contrasting white mane, and here is a photo of one such example.

Scott Mardis: the "Pictish Beast" as a Short-Necked Plesiosaur


Pictish Beast

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Pictish Beast (sometimes Pictish Dragon or Pictish Elephant) is an artistic representation of an animal, and is depicted on Pictish symbol stones. It is not easily identifiable with any real animal, but resembles a seahorse, especially when depicted upright. Suggestions have included a dolphin, a kelpie (or each uisge) and even the Loch Ness Monster.
Recent thinking is that it may be related to the design of dragonesque brooches, S-shaped pieces of jewelry from the mid-1st to 2nd century CE that depict double-headed animals with swirled snouts and distinctive ears. These have been found in southern Scotland and northern England. The strongest evidence for this is the presence on the Mortlach 2 stone of a symbol very similar to such a brooch, next to and in the same alignment as a Pictish Beast.
The Pictish Beast comprises roughly 2 in 5 of all Pictish animal depictions, and so was obviously of great importance.
It is thought that it was either an important figure in Pictish mythology, and/or a political symbol.

See also

  • Celtic art
  • Jones, Duncan, A Wee Guide to The Picts, (Musselburgh, 2003)
  • Cessford, Craig, The Heroic Age: A Journal of Medieval Northwestern Europe, issue 8 (2005) ISSN 1526-1857

External links


Scott Mardis' interpretation is that the "Pictish Beast" is possibly a short-necked Plesiosaur, or alternatively possibly a kind of a dolphin (below). I argued against this, saying that it was obviously meant as a sort of a quadruped, and I thought the feet even relared specifically to the style of showing certain animal's hoofs (moreover I thought they were cloven hoofed, artiodactyl feet because they had obvious side toes shown.

 The Pictish Dragon has a quite different design and it seems to be a Sirrush-derived design like the Beasts of Nodens, also shown as opposing a twinned version of itself commonly.
 These animal signs include depictions of certain animals otherwise thought to be extinct in Scotland , such as reindeer. It seems that it is admitted that reindeer and elk survived in Scotland at least as late as 1000 (an illustration of an Elk published in Scotland in the 1700s was printed earlier on this blog) The spirals as denoting hoofs are shown on the horse at right.I would draw attention to the fact that the "Head of the Beast" design here (11) seems to be a head-of the Hippocampus (15a) which does appear to be equipped with the proper Loch Ness Monster Flippers: I would opine that 11 represents a Euryapsid (hence a longnecked Plesiosaur)
The originating site included the comment "Doesn't (#11) Look familiar eh? Nessy is that you? "

Pictish Beast

§9. The symbol usually referred to as either the "Pictish Beast" or the "swimming elephant" is a sinuous animal with a long snout, spiralled feet and a drooping, typically spiral-ended tail. It is one of the most common symbols in the Pictish repertoire, occurring twenty-nine times on Class I stones, twenty-five times on Class II stones, and five times on the walls of caves. Various origins and identifications have been suggested for this symbol. It has been argued that it is derived from the ornamental repertoire of eighth century Insular art; is based upon some unknown type of object (Mack 1997, 8-9); is a depiction of a deer (Thomas 1963, 49-52); a mythical animal such as the kelpie, eich uisge (water horse), or tarve uisge (water bull) of later Scottish folklore (Foster 1996, 74; G. Murray 1986, 243; Sutherland 1997, 86-88); or a sea mammal such as a dolphin (Foster 1996, 74; Thomas 1986, 166) or beaked whale (Macleod and Wilson 2001).
§10. The most coherent argument for it being a dolphin is that advanced by Carola Hicks (1996). She identifies a number of recurrent features that support the identification as a dolphin, including its diagonal posture as if plunging upwards, the head lappet indicated by a single or double line, a long snout curling outwards at the tip, limbs which end in coiled scrolls not feet and a rudimentary tail shown by a single line (Hicks 1996, 49-50). Whilst this identification of certain elements of the Pictish Beast as dolphin-based appears credible, Hick's view is perhaps a little simplistic and requires modification. Isabel Henderson (1996, 15) has argued that the Pictish Beast is "manifestly . . . an imaginative composite made up of parts of animals including horned and marine creatures, but essentially a pure hybrid with no core species." The view that this is a composite beast with dolphin elements has found support Carver 1999, 18). The more recent suggestion that it is a beaked whale rather than a dolphin (Macleod and Wilson 2001) is intriguing, but this argument is based largely on the shape of the head and does not explain the whole symbol.
§11. When attempting to identify the origins of Pictish symbols, it is important to remember that although the surviving examples, mainly carved in stone, date to the second half of the first millennium AD, it is likely that they were initially developed several centuries earlier, possibly around the first and second centuries AD, for utilisation on organic materials that have not survived. This means that the symbols that survive are relatively late and developed forms that do not necessarily have a particularly close relationship to the earliest forms, so even if it is possible to recognise typological developments (e.g., Henderson 1958, 51-52; G. Murray 1986, 243-49) these are not particularly helpful. Elements of the head of the Pictish Beast are apparently derived from the crested heads of dragonesque brooches of the first and second centuries AD, which it has been argued were then grafted on to the body of a quadruped or hippocamp (Laing and Laing 1993, 120-21). This raises the possibility that the Pictish Beast is based upon the dragonesque brooch.
Simplified illustration of dragonesque brooches from Scotland
Simplified illustration of some dragonesque brooches from Scotland, the Mortlach 2 symbol and some Pictish Beast symbols (based mainly upon Allen and Anderson 1903, vol. III and Kilbride-Jones 1980). [It should be noted that the older stylization left off the forelegs but definitely showed a more moose-like  palmate set of antlers on the head and a thick shoulder hump-DD]
§12. This idea receives support from a number of pieces of evidence. The most basic is that in general terms of shape and appearance the main elements of the Pictish beast are a reasonably close approximation of a dragonesque brooch. As a piece of high status metalwork of the first and second centuries AD the dragonesque brooch is a likely candidate for the origin of a Pictish symbol as many other symbols appear to be based on metalwork of this date (Thomas 1963; Cessford forthcoming). The body of the Pictish Beast is infilled with interlace, fretwork, or spirals; this makes it similar to symbols that are either based on objects or are abstract rather than animal symbols (Allen and Anderson 1903, vol. I:lxiii). This makes it almost certain that those who carved the symbols did not think of the Pictish Beast as an animal-based symbol.
§13. Another possible piece of supporting evidence is a symbol on the Mortlach 2 stone, described as "hitherto unrecorded and I am unable to hazard even a conjecture as to what it may represent" (Simpson 1926, 274-78). This symbol was so unusual that Henderson failed to list it in her catalogue of symbols, recording only the Pictish Beast on the stone above it (Henderson 1958, 58) and the RCAHMS catalogue(1994, 13) describes it simply as a "curvilinear symbol." This symbol has been identified as either a dragonesque brooch (Thomas 1963, 57) or a uniquely shaped version of a symbol known as the ogee (Mack 1997, 103). This identification as an ogee appears unlikely and Thomas's identification is more plausible. The striking thing about the symbol on Mortlach 2 is its similarity in alignment and overall form to the Pictish Beast symbol above it, with projections corresponding to the head, tail and upper and lower limbs of the Pictish Beast identifiable. The relationship is so close that it seems impossible to escape the conclusion that the carver of the Mortlach 2 stone is depicting the Pictish Beast symbol and its origins.
§14. Dragonesque brooches are S-shaped pieces of jewellery depicting double-headed animals with large upstanding ears and curled snouts that appear to date from between the mid-first and later second centuries AD (Bulmer 1938; Feachem 1951; Johns 1996, 151-53; Kilbride-Jones 1980, 170-83; MacGregror 1976, vol. 1:127-29). Their distribution is concentrated in northern England and southern Scotland, with the closest examples to the area of the Pictish symbols being six from Traprain Law. Although none have been found further north, several other types of artifact that Pictish symbols are based upon, such as mirrors (Cessford 1997) or cauldrons (Cessford 2001a), are also completely or largely absent from the area where the symbols are found. If dragonesque brooches are the origin of the Pictish Beast symbol then this raise the question what animal do the brooches depict? Unfortunately it is impossible to tell if they are based on a real or mythical creature, although if it is a real animal then the most likely candidate is thought to be a hare (Johns 1996, 152).
§15. It seems likely the Pictish Beast symbol originated as a depiction of a dragonesque brooch and subsequently acquired elements based upon sea mammals such as dolphins and beaked whales. Why this should have happened is uncertain. Dolphins were an attribute of Neptune and Venus in the Classical world and were frequently shown on funerary monuments, including some in Northern Britain. Later on they were adopted as a Christian symbol because of their role on pagan funerary monuments. In Early Christian art they have a dual nature, with a fish element symbolising Christians and Christ and a whale element relating to Jonah, whose story prefigures Christ's death and resurrection. It could therefore be argued that as dragonesque brooches went out of use and faded from memory the general form of the symbol was enough to suggest dolphins, and that either the Classical or Christian overtones of this animal were appropriate to the meaning of the symbol. It is also possible that dolphins had a pre-existing local significance in the beliefs of northern Scotland that could have played a role. Certainly there is evidence from bones recovered from archaeological sites that various sea mammals were known to the inhabitants of the area (Mulville 2002).
§16. If the Pictish Beast is originally a depiction of a dragonesque brooch then although it appears to incorporate marine elements it cannot be considered a strong piece of sea related symbolism in Pictish art.

I personally think the Pictish Beast illustrates a swimming Moose or Elk, ie, the Water Horse, and that the continuing usage of the symbol is a confirmation of the survival of the Elk in Scotland beyond the Roman age and lasting up into the Viking Age, at least. The Pictish Beast is a specific stylisation of a swimming quadruped animal, and the head shows antlers laid back along the spine and also perked up ears at the base of the antlers. From the apparent scale it is a large animal, 6 feet high at the shoulder (=the height of a human figure)

This photo of a cow moose's profile shows how the moose can have
a most elongated snout such as the "Pictish Beast" is shown with.
The eye  prominently placed on the top of the head is also featured.
This one is more obviously an Elk (Moose), probably from ca 700

 BTW, this appears to represent a Pictish Wudewasa or Wild Man (=Urisk?)

American Master-Otter

This is a video said to have been taken on Lake Iliamna and said to be an ordinary river otter. As I make out the scale, it is at least twice the size of an ordinary river otter (it is also quite specifically NOT a sea otter). I think this type has been filmed several times inThe UK (not for certain at Loch Ness so far), Scandinavia and Russia near the Baltic sea, and possibly in other places, possibly including Lake Champlain. Generally it is like a common otter but at least twice the dimensions.  Below are some comparisons with other typical "Water Monsters"as they are commonly reported.

I imagine the stretch between the head and the tail part is in the realm of five to six feet. And this is not two otters in a line either: the head is too big and the head end and tailend are proportionate to each othe. The whole creature is verthe swimming moose with its hump-train, but as we shall see it is a common thing for the two to be confounded and called the same creature. Below: the traditional creature called a water panther or underwater cat, it seems comparable to the Master-Otter but with the occasional addition of the large rack of antlers (as below). Those antlers would really be because of mistakenly lumping them in with Swimming Mosse sightings, at such times when the two types of sightings occurred together in the same geographic area.(the otter below has a broadened tail)

Underwater panther, Great Lynx, The fabulous night panther, Great under-water wildcat, Great underground wildcat, Gitche-anahmi-bezhe, Gichi-anami'e-bizhiw, Mishibizhiw, Mishipizhiw, Mishipizheu, ...

The Underwater panther is powerful creature in the native American folklore.

Underwater panthers are described as water monsters that live in opposition to the Thunderbirds, masters of the powers of the air.

Underwater panther was an amalgam of features from many animals: the body of a wild feline, often a mountain lion or lynx; the horns of deer or bison; upright scales on its back; occasionally bird feathers; and parts from other animals as well, depending on the particular legend.

Underwater panthers are represented with exceptionally long tails, occasionally with serpentine properties.

The creatures are thought to roar or hiss in the sounds of storms or rushing rapids...


Native American Indian Animal Spirits: Night Panther

Water Panther (or Underwater Panther)

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Tribal affiliation: Ojibwe, Algonquin, Ottawa, Menominee, Shawnee, Cree

Native names: Mishibizhiw, Mishibizhii, Mishipeshu, Mishipizheu, Mishibijiw, Mishipizhiw, Mshibzhii, Mshibzhiw, Mishipizhiw, Misipisiw, Mishipiishiiw, Messibizi, Missipissy, Mitchipissy, Michipichi, Mishibizhi, Michipizhiw, Mishupishu, Mishepishu, Michipeshu, Misibizhiw, Michipichik, Msipissi, Msi-Pissi, Msipessi, Missibizi, Michi-Pichoux, Gichi-anami’e-bizhiw, Gitche-anahmi-bezheu, Nampeshiu, Nampèshiu, Nampe’shiu, Nambi-Za, Nampeshi’kw, Nambzhew, Naamipeshiwa, Namipeshiwa, Nah-me-pa-she, Peshipeshiwa, Manetuwi-Rusi-Pissi, Manetúwi Msí-Pissí, Maeci-Pesew, Matc-Piseo, Wiä’bskinit Mätc Pis’eu

Pronunciation: Varies by dialect: usually mih-shih-bih-zhew or mih-shih-bih-zhee in Anishinabe, and nahm-bee-zhuh in Potawatomi

Also known as: Great Lynx, Water Lynx, Night Panther, Matchi-Manitou, Underground Panther, Underneath Panther

Type: Monster, water spirit, panther

Related figures in other tribes: True Tiger (Miami-Illinois)

The Water Panther is a powerful mythological creature something like a cross between a cougar and a dragon. It is a dangerous monster that lives in deep water and causes men and women to drown. The legends of some tribes describe Water Panther as the size of a real lynx or mountain lion, while in others, the beast is enormous. Water Panther has a very long prehensile tail which is often said to be made of copper[or else horns said to be made of copper-DD]. Details of the monster vary from community to community, but in many stories, Water Panthers are described as furry with either horns or deer antlers and a sharp saw-toothed back

Source: native-languages

Below is a gallery of representations for the Water-Panther(from a google photo search): the basic animal is reasonable enough, an otter the size of a big cat. The representation of Horns probably was another description of the ears(Costello would certainly agree with that) and the appearance of (Armoured) scales on the body and spines along the back are probably due to locks of fur sticking together. This description also occurs in Iceland and in Africa with the Dingonek. These features can also occur  in South American Water Tiger reports probably based on the (known) Giant river otter. Note that some depictions include the longitudinal leaf-shaped tail fin and occasionally a stinger in the tail. I imagine actually the ("Alligator") mound, 2nd down,  representation comes closest to depicting the real beast's proportions.

This last imporssion of an enormous beast with antlers is doubtless based on the Water-Horse: ie, a swimming moose with a "String of buoys" in its wake causing the observer to believe it is the prolonged body of a serpentine animal.

Just for reference, here is the track of the South American Giant otter:

-Which roughly match the description of the tracks attributed to some African "Water-Lions" and "Water-leopards"

Monday, 28 January 2013

Neanderthal Skull from Florida

These are two skulls from the Crystal Springs area of Florida, age unknown but of a type prior to the historical tribes of the region. This came out of a series of newspaper articles to be posted at the Frontiers of Anthropology as soon as I can manage to arrange them: the photograph was posted in the Miami Daily News of Sunday, September 2, 1934. The cranium on the right is low and broad with a heavy brow ridge and represents a Neanderthal type: it is a male. The other skull is the more modern type, a female. Both of them may have been killed and thrown into the water as a sacrifice: the bottom of the male skull is broken open, presumably so the brain could be eaten. The Neanderthal type might well correspond to the more human kind of "Skunk Ape", which is also extremely similar to some reports from Texas.

Skunk Ape-More Human Type (AKA Florida Bigfoot)

Skunk Ape, More Apelike type (Myakka Ape, Swamp Ape)
(Statue outside of Skunk Ape Information center in Florida)

Giant Beaver Document Provided by Scott Mardis

Castoroides reconstruction in museum diorama at left,  The fossil animal compared to a modern beaver at right. Below is a full mounted skeleton at the Field Museum of Natural History.

This document was submitted by Scott Mardis as providing part of the doicumentation for the possibility of the survival of the Pleistocene Giant beaver or Castoriodes.

The American Society for Ethnohistory  The Giant Beaver: A Prehistoric Memory?
Author(s): Jane C. BeckReviewed work(s):Source: Ethnohistory, Vol. 19, No. 2 (Spring, 1972), pp. 109-122Published by: Duke University Press
 URL: .Accessed: 28/01/2013 17:34

THE GIANT BEAVER: A PREHISTORIC MEMORY? by Jane C. Beck Middlebury, Vermont ABSTRACT An examination of the giant beaver tale among various northeastern Algonkian tribes (such as the Montagnais, Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micmac and Malecite) and a study of the nature and distribution of the Pleistocene giant beaver, Castoroides ohioensis, lead to the tentative conclusion that elements in these tales represent a kind of fossil memory of this long-extinct rodent. When it can be established that a folktale is anchored in fact it may very Well be as revealing about a people's past as any archaeological discovery. Not only does it retain the memory of an actual occurrence but it may better illuminate cultural attitudes than would be possible through an archaeological find. The problem, of course, is to determine the facts that lie behind the shape of the tale in its oral form. With this in mind, I would like to discuss the giant beaver tale of the Northeastern Algonkian as a possible prehistoric memory holding a key for archaeologists and historians alike. The tale of the giant beaver is usually related as an episode in the Gluskap cycle, Gluskap being the culture hero and transformer of most of the tribes of the Northeast. As Frank Speck tells us, he is also a trickster. Some of his performances are of a trifling nature, and while Gluskabe is the great supernatural wonder, he is not spoken of with reverencen or is he feared. While we gather from the myths that he was often the helper of mankind, he does not seem to have been profoundly concerned with human beings. His own personal interests, his success against rivals were his prime motives. The extolling of ethical principles and provision for his "descendants" do not appear at the beginning of his career; a mission develops only with the course of events (Speck 1935c:6). Gluskap's adventures are usually localized within the bounds of each tribe's habitat. However, it is generally agreed by the Indians that the majority of the transformer's feats were located on the St. John River (Speck 1935c:8). [ 109] ETHNOHISTORY19 /2 (Spring1 972)

110 JANE C. BECK For example, the Penobscot believe that "after leaving the main seats of his labors in New Brunswick he came down the coast to their river in the last stages of his earthly sojourn" (Speck 1935c:8). The giant beaver was a character which from folktale evidence appears to have been almost unique to the Northeastern Algonkian Indians. Of monstrous size, this creature wrought great damage with its huge dams, causing Gluskap to set out to destroy the beast. The most complete version of this tale, found among the Malecite (Beck 1966:61), attempts to explain the great size of the beaver, blaming its creation on the transformer. It was Gluskap who fashioned all the animals and gave them breath. Lastly, he created his favorite creature, man, and presented him to the other animals. Those which did not show due respect, the culture hero reduced in size simply by stroking them with his hand. One beaver escaped this treatment and found its way to St. John, New Brunswick, where it built a dam that was so high that "all the land behind it was flooded, and in attempting to reach the ocean, the waters were forced to run uphill (north)." Eventually this dam brought great hardship to the local Indians and in desperation they sent a messenger to Gluskap who immediately set off to dispatch the troublesome monster. After many days he finally reached the site of the dam and with a great blow from his axe he smote it completely through at the spot which is known today as Reversing Falls. Gluskap then called to the beaver, intending to pet him down to a smaller size, but remembering the fate of his companions, the monster ran off in the opposite direction. Furious with this defiance, the transformer began a headlong pursuit. But the beaver was an equal match for him, and as the creature fled upstream the Indian hero had all he could do to keep up with him on his snowshoes. Periodically he saw the shadow of the beaver beneath the ice. Striking at it with his axe he tore down into the mud, thus forming islands which are still to be seen in the St. John River. Day and night the flight and the pursuit continued until they reached Fredericton. At this point the beaver emerged from the river and fled atop the ice. Gluskap, having become disgusted with the whole affair, gave up the chase at Kingsclear and with one final outburst of frustration, pulled off his snowshoes and flung them after the fleeing monster. There they remain today in the form of two large islands in the river. The beaver meanwhile continued its flight and made its way to the St. Lawrence River where it built a great dam which created the Great Lakes. Swimming across these the monster disappeared forever into the land beyond. This Malecite version is the most explicit text we have. Very often the giant beaver tale is told as an incident in the Gluskap cycle, but seldom is it made so clear as to how the beaver came to be of such large proportions. In other texts varying features of the countryside are attributed to the struggle between Gluskap and his giant adversary, and we find that the Reversing Falls

The Giant Beaver: A Prehistoric Memory? 111 is not always the scene of his great dam, nor, for that matter, does the giant beaver always build a dam. Frank Speck tells us that this tale was known from the Montagnais south to the Wabanaki people, west to the Ojibwa and east to the Micmac (Speck 1925:2). Unfortunately, it seems that only a few of these texts have found their way into print, the Montagnais, Malecite, Micmac, and Passa-maquoddy versions alone being represented. A. I. Hallowell expressed some doubt to me whether the Ojibwa actually possessed this tale and has stated that he has never heard it among them. There seems to be no such Ojibwa tale in print. Instead, the tale appears to be centered farther to the east, and if such a story was ever in oral tradition among the Ojibwa it probably diffused across the St. Maurice River westward and would be found in a version similar to that of the Montagnais. At this point it would be worthwhile to examine some of the extant texts. There are a number of Malecite versions that differ slightly from the tale already given. These variations are minor and usually relate to different topographical features. For example, in another text collected by Horace Beck, as the beaver tried to make its escape, Gluskap threw a rock at it. It missed the beaver and you can still see the rock he threw at St. John. The beaver swam up the river and Gluskap threw another stone which you can still see at Oromocto. He threw another one which you can still see at Fredericton.T hat one has his fingerprintsi n it where he squeezed the rock. He threw another one which landed at Kingsclear (Horace P. Beck, unpublished manuscript, copy on file with the author). In a still different version the Tobique Rocks are supposed to have been thrown by Gluskap at the beaver, and a few miles below these two rocks the exhausted creature is said to have crawled up the north bank of the St. John River, breathed his last and turned to stone. He may still be observed in this condition today (Mechling 1914:1-3). Another text reported by Edward Jack seems to be a further reduced tale. When Glooscap came out of the woods to the St. John River, he found that there was a dam at its mouth. . . He found the beaver very big and very dangerous. He killed the whole family, the old ones and the young ones, so he broke the dam and killed the beaver by spearing. Looking up the river he saw a young beaver going up, so he threw two stones up to the Tobique to frighten him back. These are the Tobique Rocks. Where the dam stood, where the falls are, it flowed back to Hampton Ferry and above Fredericton. There is an island in Kennebecasis Bay, which was the beaver house. It is called in Indian, "Qua-beet-wo-sis" (beaver house) (Jack 1895: 193). Again the emphasis seems to be on the explanation of certain topographical features. However, it is interesting to note that here the beaver is only described as "very big" - not as a colossus. This may well be a rationalization
 to bring the tale in harmony with the conditions of the times. In other texts we will find that the giant size of the beaver is forgotten entirely. Rather than a monster we have a kind of large freak of the modem species. South of the Malecite lived the Passamaquoddy people who tell a similar story about Gluskap, and the giant beaver most probably derived from their Malecite neighbors since once more we hear of the Tobaic rocks. Glooskap was no friend of the Beavers; he slew many of them. Up on the Tobaic are two salt-water rocks (that is, rocks by the ocean-side, near a fresh-water stream.) The Great Beaver, standing there one day, was seen by Glooskap miles away, who had forbidden him that place. Then picking up a large rock where he stood by the shore, he threw it all that distance at the Beaver, who indeed dodged it, but when another came, the beast ran into a mountain, and has never come forth to this day. But the rocks which the master threw are yet to be seen (Leland 1884:20). In contrast to the above, the Micmac have localized their variants of the giant beaver tale to explain certain portions of their topography. Leland (1884:63-64) tells us: It came to pass in those days that the Beavers had built a dam across from Utkoguncheek or Cape Blomidon, to the opposite shore, and thereby made a pond that filled all the valley of Annapolis. Now in those times the Beavers were monstrous beasts, and the Master, though kind of heart, seems to have had but little love for them ever since the day when Quah-beetsis, son of the Great Beaver, tempted Malsum to slay his brother. Now the bones of these Beavers may be found to this day, and many there are on Oonamangik, and their teeth are six inches across, and there are no such qwah-beet today. And these are the remains of the Beavers who built the dam at Cape Blomidon and forded the Annapolis valley. Gluskap broke the monster beaver's dam. And when the dam was cut from where it joined the shore there was a mighty rush of many waters, so that it swung round to the westward, yet it did not break away from the other shore. Therefore the end of it lodged with a great split therein where the flood had found a free course, and the hole may be seen there still, even to this day, and may be seen by all of those who pass up the bay; and this point, or Cape Split, is called by the Micmacs Pleegun, which being interpreted, means the opening of a beaver dam. Then to frighten the Beaver, Glooscap threw at it a few handfuls of earth, and these falling somewhat to the eastward of Partridge Island, became the five islands. And the pond which was left was the Basin of Minas. Rand (1894:236) had a very similar version from the Micmacs, which is included here as it offers a few different explanations for other parts of the landscape.
The GiantB eaver:A PrehistoricM emory? 113
 In former days, water covered the whole Annapolis and Cornwallis valley. Glooscap cut out a passage at Cape Split and at Annapolis Cut, and thus drained off the pond and left the bottom dry; long after this the valley became dry land. Aylesford bog was a vast lake; in this lake there was a beaver-house; and hence to this day, - Cobeetek (the beaver's home). Out of this beaver house Glooscap drove a small beaver, and chased it down to the Bras d'Or Lake in Cape Breton, - pursuing it in a canoe all the way. There it ran into another beaver house, but was killed; and the house was turned into a high-peaked island; Glooscap feasted the Indians there. Furthermore, the Indians told Rand that: A few years ago a heavy freshet tore up the earth in those regions, and laid bare the huge bones of the beaver upon whose flesh Glooscap and his guests had feasted, - monstrous thigh-bones, the joints being as big as a man's head, and teeth huge in proportion. This anecdote gives no indication that Gluskap is dealing with a giant beaver - we are specifically told that it was a "small beaver" - until we learn of the "monster thigh bones." The same is true in the following text collected by Frank Speck (1925:23), which gives an account of Gluskap working in the reverse direction - chasing the beavers from Bras d'Or Lake west. "At Middle River he killed a young beaver, whose bones are still to be seen there." In a footnote Speck gives the tradition of these bones: A Micmac named Tamekian (Tom Stevens) a long while ago is said to have found some of these bones, - ribs eight feet long, - some of which, with a hip-joint of monstrous size, he is said to have brought out. The Indians claim that these remains are now in the Museum at Halifax. Returning to the text we find: Then Gluskap followed the big beaver [who he had started at the same time as the young one] until he lost track of him for a while. He stood at Wisik (Indian Island), and took a piece of rock and threw toward the place where he thought the beaver was. This rock is now Red Island. This started the beaver up, and he ran back through St. Peter's Channel and burrowed through underneath, which is the cause of the crooks and windings there now. Then the chase continued outside in the ocean, when the beaver struck out for the Bay of Fundy. Here at Split Point, Gluskap dug out a channel with his paddle, forming Minas Basin, Nova Scotia. There he killed the beaver. Near here is a small island, which is the pot in which he cooked the beaver. Near where he killed the beaver are still to be seen the bones turned into rock. When he broke the channel here in Minas Basin to drain the water out, in order to uncover the beaver, he left it so that to-day the water all drains out at each tide. So Gluskap caused the Bay of Fundy tides. Among the Montagnais the giant beaver tale takes on a little different twist. Here it is not a contest between the culture hero and the monster beast


but between a contrary individual the Montagnais call "Mistabeo" (Big Man) (Speck 1915:59-60). The beavers had a great dam at the headwaters of the Mistassini River which Mistabeo broke so he could kill them. Lying down across the dam he awaited their attempt to escape. But the beavers bided their time and made counsel. Three times .they sent muskrat to spy on Mistabeo before he returned to say he was asleep. Quietly they jumped over the sleeping enemy and as the last beaver, the mother, escaped, "she took an armful of mud and daubed it all over his face, eyes, nose, and ears." Instantly Mistabeo awoke, but before he could pursue the fleeing beaver he had to wash the mud off his face. The chase was a long one - over two hundred miles to Lake St. John, and then across it to the Grand Discharge. Here the pursuer tried to stop the beaver family, but all escaped by swimming around and between his legs except the female who: . . .dove back into the lake toward MistassiniP oint. Mistobeot ook one step and reached the point. Then she dived again before he could seize her. She came up at Pointe Bleue and he missed her again. Then she dove and passed down the Grand Discharge and escaped. Swimming down the Saguenay, they all reached the sea safely and we are told "The falls are now called Kastsegau, 'where the rocks are cut down.' " Along the Saguenay River a sitting station where the giant beaver rested after his escape from Mistabeo is pointed out to this day and, indeed, much of the change of contour in the region is attributed to the giant beaver. A case in point is the opening up of the outlet at Grand Discharge which is seen as causing the drainage of the Lake St. John basin to its present level (Speck 1935b: 112). Although this tale accounts for certain changes in the topography of the region its chief purpose seems to be to explain the final departure of the giant beaver from the country. He was thought of as the master of all other beavers, and with his departure he drew his followers after him. Before his exit the Indians believed that the Lake St. John region had abounded with beaver, but since his expulsion only a few of these creatures remained (Speck 1935b: 112). In the Montagnais version of this tale it is significant that the roles have been reversed. Unlike Gluskap, Mistabeo is causing harm to man by driving the giant beaver from the land. It is this beaver who is the friend of man. Although in one Malecite version Gluskap drove the beaver out of the country and across the Great Lakes where he disappeared into the land beyond, there is apparently no sense of loss, but rather the feeling that the riddance of the monster beaver is a boon for man. With the Passamaquoddy text we come the closest to the possibility of a sense of loss. Here we are not told that the giant beaver is particularly destructive, but just that Gluskap
The Giant Beaver: A Prehistoric Memory? 115 dislikes him and that he is where he shouldn't be. Escaping into the mountain, he has failed to return. Nevertheless, this tale still appears to be in the tradition of the other Malecite texts and it is doubtful that we should read more into it. In discussing this tale, it is important to see it in a cultural context, remembering the prominent place the hunt occupied among the Northeastern Algonkian. As Frank Speck says, "No other regular activity occupied spirit, mind, and body so incessantly. It furnished the dominant food supply" (Speck 1940:34). As hunting was so important to the red man he took many precautions to prevent anything from going wrong. He believed in many different: spirits or departmental deities, which were not sharply distinguished from other manitos since any might become a guardian spirit on occasion. Notable among these were the elder brothers of the animals which were larger than the actual animals but which resembled them in every respect (Bailey 1937:136). The elder brother of a particular species was not only of large size but was also possessedw ith great supernatural powers( Hyde 1962:6). He was the protector of his breed and it was he who held the strings of success in the red man's hunting ventures. Hence when an animal was killed it was all important that its elder brother be duly propitiated and thanked so that he would continue to smile with favor upon the native. It was an attitude of "hope for his generosity and obligation of his [the Indian's] part to observe the rules for disposing of the remains of the slain animals" (Speck 1935b: 112) which the Northeastern Algonkian held for the animal's elder brother. At the same time the slain creature itself must be asked forgiveness so that its soul would not return to bring bad luck to the hunter. This was particularly the case with bear and beaver among the northeastern tribes. Not only was there a particular kind of ritual surrounding the death of one of these creatures but there were other beliefs too. For instance, as the beaver was thought to be sensitive to the mention of his death: When the hunter returned from beaver killing he did not tell how many he had taken but silently threw chips of wood, corresponding to the number of animals killed, to his wife or companion to inform of his success (Speck 1940:44). Among the Montagnais the beaver were believed to possess supernatural powers, enabling them to transform themselves into other animal forms or to disappear "by penetrating the ground, by rising aloft into the air, or by diving into the depths of lake or stream and remaining any length of time desired" (Speck 1935b: 112). Thus the beaver in the Northeast played an important part in the red man's beliefs as well as in his diet. Moreover, beaver skins were sewn together  
116 JANE C. BECK to make robes - practically the only article of clothing these Algonkians wore (Bailey 1937:34). And one of the native's most necessary possessions, his curved hunting knife, was made from beaver teeth. The beaver's shoulder blades, its pelvic bones or its patella were used in divination (Speck 1935b: 116). In all, this creature proved to be very significant economically to the Northeast tribes. With the establishment of New France and the Europeans' thirst for skins, the beaver gained a new importance while the introduction of firearms enabled many more to be killed. Beaver were brought to the trading posts by the score. The result of such intensive hunting was inevitable and soon there was a very real depletion of the beaver population. They were the Montagnais bands who inhabited the region from Tadoussac to Quebec who probably were the first to be denuded of beaver because they had been trading extensively with the French from the time of Cartier (Bailey 1937:34). With all this in mind it is surprising to find, according to Frank Speck, that the episode of the giant beaver is apparently "lacking among the Penobscot" (Speck 1935c:8). Perhaps this was because, like the Passama-quoddy, the Penobscot didn't localize this tale and it has been forgotten because the place names are insignificant to them. Despite the lack of the giant beaver tale among the Penobscot, they do possess a number of tales concerning the modern beaver - for example, "Beaver and Muskrat Change Tails" (Speck 1935c: 105-106). Indeed, this is true among all the tribes of the Northeast. It is interesting to note that one of these tales, "Glooscap and the Beaver" (Fauset 1925:304-305), appears among the Micmac to be very similar to variants of their giant beaver tale. More likely than not this indicates a "forgetting" of the original tale. The destructive giant beaver no longer had any meaning for the Micmac and thus they told the tale about the creature with which they were familiar, the modern beaver. In contrast, the Montagnais have maintained the monster beaverb y transferringt o it the charactero f the elder brother. It is further notable that: The Montagnais-Nascopi show more resemblances to the eastern Algonkian with respect to tales lying outside the culture-hero type than within it, and that in the culture hero cycle the similarities with the central Algonkian tales are more pronounced than they are with the Wabanaki cycle (Bailey 1937:1 57). This might well explain the absence of Gluskap. He was not the culture hero of the Montagnais and they did not show him the corresponding affection that the other Northeastern Algonkian tribes did. As a result, the switch between Gluskap and Mistabeo is possible. Thus the Montagnais tale has come to have a new meaning in its attempt to explain the disappearance of the  
The GiantB eaver:A PrehistoricM emory? 117 beaver - the disappearance that resulted from the concentrated hunting of this creature to gain skins to trade with the white man. Although the apparent meaning of the Montagnais version is different from other texts of the giant beaver tale, there is one element that all the variants have in common - they are all explanatory tales. Yet it is generally theorized that the explanatory element in a tale is not of primary significance. More often than not the explanation has been reinterpreted to fit numerous conditions (Waterman 1914:1-54). Often what appears to be an actiological tale is really a narrative with an explanation grafted on to prove its truth. Such appears to be the case with our giant beaver tale. As Waterman suggests, "The story is the original thing, and the explanation an after-thought." In this light it is simply the monster's experience with Gluskap or Mistabeo that is the significant element of the tale. But why such a tale? What lies behind it? Most folktales, to a greater or lesser extent, preserve something notable for the people who tell them. Often they "contain memories of features that no longer exist." And this seems originally to have been the chief function of the giant beaver tale. More and more credence is being given to a lengthy span of memory preserved by oral tradition (Montagu 1944:569-70; Pendergast and Meighan 1959:128-133). For many years archaeologists had no proof that man and the mastodon or any other paleolithic creatures had been in association. Folklorists long ago suggested that such had been the case from evidence presented in certain tales still told among the Indians of great stiff-legged beasts who could not lie down or of the creature who had a fifth arm coming out of its head (Beck 1949:294-301; Speck 1935a: 159-163; Strong 1934:81-88). Recently, specific finds have settled the question. The remains of mammoths have been discovered with man-made spear heads embedded in them. Thus it seems more credible than ever that the tales the Indians tell of the great beast that cannot lie down but must sleep leaning against trees are fossilized memories of the mammoth. Likewise, it seems plausible that the monster beaver tales might stem from early times and be a memory of the giant beaver that once roamed the face of this continent. This species of beaver, known scientifically as Castoroides ohioensis, was the largest rodent ever known in North America. It is thought to have appeared at about the dawn of the Pleistocene and to have vanished in sub-recent or very early recent times (Powell 1948:11). About the size of the black bear, specimens have been discovered ranging from six to nine feet in length and it is estimated that it would have weighed somewhere between three hundred and five hundred pounds (Powell 1948:3). From observation, "all of the larger features bespeak its relation to the modern beaver," (Powell 1948:3). However, a close study of the vertebrae reveals that 118 JANE C. BECK

such creatures probably had round tails (letter from Claude W. Hibbard, Curator of Vertebrates at the Museum of Paleontology, University of Michigan. [This is of course uncertain since the fleshy part of the tail is not preserved in fossils, and Hibbard was known to poseidosyncratic views-DD]). Apparently the giant beaver lived in extensive marsh land along large rivers and lakes. It is not certain whether or not they ever built dams and lodges (letter from Hibbard). One report exists that a specimen was found in a lodge, but no one has found or recorded trees cut by the giant beaver. Because its upper incisors grew to four times as large as those of the modern beaver, its teeth marks on wood would be most evident. But such a lack by no means settles the question. Today it is conceded that man had reached North America when the last of these monster creatures were extant (Martin 1967:32-38). Although there are no Carbon-14 dates, specimens have been found in Michigan in deposits that are no older than 15,000 B.P. Further, it is thought that they are probably much younger inasmuch as some of the mammoths that lived in Michigan and with which the giant beaver was an exact contemporary date from 9,000 to 6,000 years B.P. (letter from Hibbard). Alfred Romer tells us that Castoroides ohioensis was "common in the northeast" and "absent only in the southwest" (Romer 1933:53). However, it appears from fossil evidence that the giant beaver was most abundant in the region of Indiana (Cahn 1932:237). Remains have been found "throughout the central part of the United States and along the Atlantic coast from Florida to New York. In the far West its remains are rare, but a single occurrence in Oregon shows that it did cross the Rockies" (Simpson 1930:311). There is no positive evidence in the way of fossil discoveries that the giant beaver ever reached the Maritime provinces, but it is thought to be more than probable. However, in such early times it is extremely doubtful that the ancestors of the Northeastern Algonkian inhabited this region. Evidence is very scanty concerning the different prehistoric Indian migrations, but the general consensus is that the progenitors of the Northeastern Algonkian probably came from farther west, possibly the northwest (Griffin 1952:23, 33). Thus their associations with the giant beaver could very well have occurred at- this time, the memory of this monster creature being pre-served in oral tradition and becoming a kind of legacy of the northeastern tribes. But let us return to the tales themselves. W. D. Strong (1934:81) has said: Myths or traditions purporting to refer to extinct animals formerly numerous in certain areas usually fall into one of two classes. Tales of the first class suggest an easy mythical rationalization based on the observation of fossil bones, objects which would appear to have always
The GiantB eaver:A PrehistoricM emory? 119 excited human interest. Such may be termed "myths of observation" and, being based in part on actual phenomena, are often very puzzling as to the modicum of truth they do contain. The second class, which may be called "historical traditions," seem to embody a former knowledge of the living animals in question, perhaps grown hazy through long oral transmission. We appear to have both "myths of observation" and "historical traditions" represented in the giant beaver tales. The first class seems to be illustrated by the Micmac variants. The tales are "proven" to be true by the remains of huge bones. Whether paleontologists are in agreement with the aborigine on his identification of these bones (which is seldom the case) is not the point. What is significant is that the Indians believe that certain bones are the remnants of particular creatures. In this case the beaver tale is proven to be true by the evidence of concrete bones which are claimed by some to be in the museum of Halifax (although, in fact, there is no record of such). Did the tales then grow up simply from the observation of these huge bones? I think not. It appears that this "proof" has been grafted on at a later time. The fact that the Malecite seem to have the most comprehensive text suggests that the Micmac may have first learned the tale from them and adapted it to their own region. It is also notable that all Malecite versions include the incidents of the breaking of the dam and the chase. In only one Micmac text is the giant beaver's dam mentioned. The Malecite variants seem to come under Strong's second category, "historical traditions." The historical tradition would simply be the fossilized memory of the giant beaver and perhaps also of its dam. (If we were to go on folktale evidence we might say that the giant beaver did build dams.) As we turn to the Montagnais text we find the spotlight once more on the giant beaver. But here, as previously mentioned, the monster creature seems to be an embodiment of the belief in the elder brother overlord. If the giant beaver tales are a memory of this extinct creature we might expect to find other tales concerning it. These are by no means abundant. In fact, to date I have been able only to find one other, and this among the Beaver Indians who occupy the region of the Peace River in British Columbia. This does not mean categorically that there are no other giant beaver tales, but it does point to a paucity of them. There is apparently no relation between the western tale and those of the Northeast as can be seen by the following: At first they say there was a large man who chiseled for a large beaver. He worked in vain for he could not kill it. He could not find its track anywhere nearby. He went out on the large frozen lake and saw the beaver walking along under the ice. He tapped on the ice and drove the beaver back into its house where he killed it. She had young ones in her and because of that the ice would not remain quiet. He cut the mother 120 JANE C. BECK
 open, took out the young ones, and put them in the water. The ice then became quiet. That was why he did it. They say both the man and the beaver were giants. The beaver house is still standing (Goddard 1916:257). According to tradition this incident took place on Great Slave Lake and the beaver house which is said to be still standing is exemplified by a local hill. Unlike the Montagnais, the giant beaver here does not appear to be revered as an elder brother, nor like the other variants is the giant beaver considered to be harmful to man. Probably once a conservation legend, this tale seems to be in a state of decay and it seems that the explanation which is suggested is almost certainly an afterthought. But why the giant beaver? Goddard explains in a footnote that among the Beaver Indians, "stories of giants in the north are common" (Goddard 1916:257). Then is the beaver just another form of giant? In the modern Beaver Indian tale this seems to be his plight - but I suggest that this tale holds a remnant of a former memory - the memory of the Pleistocene beaver. There are several other beaver tales among these western Indians, but none indicate a monster creature. All these suggestions may seem a bit tenuous. Let me point, however, to one more tested theory. The periphery is the best place to go for remnants of an archaic culture. Thus wouldn't we expect that if a memory of the monster beaver survived, it would be at the very edges of where the giant beaver was once known? And, indeed, the Beaver Indians and the Northeastern Algonkian are on this periphery. In conclusion, then, we cannot offer a water-tight case for this tale's being the vestigial remnant of a memory from a prehistoric age; but we can suggest, and this suggestion seems plausible. Certainly if man were in association with such a beast as the giant beaver, particularly if there were just one or two of these monsters left, such an unusual creature would make a deep impression on him - an impression and memory that he would want to nurture and preserve. Further, we can argue by analogy: if the mammoth was fossilized in folktales, why not the giant beaver? It may reasonably be asked that if this is such an ancient memory why was it preserved in a number of texts in the Northeast while there is such a paucity of giant beaver tales throughout the rest of the country? There are probably two reasons for this. First, if every tale was collected from each tribe we might find a few more memories of the giant beaver; and second, and more significant, the monster beaver became associated with Gluskap in the Northeast. As the culture hero, tales concerning him would be carefully preserved. The skeptic might point to the Montagnais variant, but I think it is fairly obvious that this version has been adapted from the Gluskap tale and probably diffused to the Montagnais relatively late. Having no other tradition of the giant beaver they interpreted it in terms of the elder brother belief. It The GiantBeaver:A PrehistoricMemory? 121

is also notable that Gluskap's entanglement with the giant beaver is told early in the cycle of his adventures, suggesting that such a conflict happened in very early times. Thus it seems that all evidence points to the giant beaver tale being a folk memory of a prehistoric creature. Actual proof is not yet possible, but it is important to look to the future and suggest a road that the archaeologist and historian might well follow.  REFERENCES Bailey, Alfred G. 1937 The conflict of European and eastern Algonkian cultures, 1504-1700. Publications of the New Brunswick Museum, Saint John, N.B., Monograph Series, no. 2. Sackville, N. B., The Tribune Press. Beck, Horace P. 1949 The animal that cannot lie down. Journal of the Washington Academy of Sciences, Vol. 39, no. 9 (September 15), pp. 294-301. Baltimore, Washington Academy of Sciences. 1966 Gluskap the liar & other Indian tales. Freeport, Maine, B. Wheelwright Company. Cahn, Alvin R. 1932 Records of distribution of the fossil beaver, Castoroides Ohioensis. Journal of Mammalogy, Vol. 13, no. 3 (August), pp. 229-241. Baltimore, American Society of Mammalogists. Fauset, Arthur H. 1925 Folklore from the half-breeds in Nova Scotia. Journal of American Folk-Lore, Vol. 38, no. 148 (April-June), pp. 300-315. New York, American Folk-Lore Society. Goddard, Pliny E. 1916 The Beaver Indians. Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History, Vol. 10, part 4. New York, The Trustees. Griffin, James B., ed. 1952 Archaeology of eastern United States. Chicago, University of Chicago Press. Hyde, George E. 1962 Indians of the woodlands. Norman, University of Oklahoma Press. Jack, Edward 1895 Maliseet legends. Journal of American Folk-Lore, Vol. 8, no. 30 (July- September), pp. 193-208. Boston and New York, American Folk-Lore Society. Leland, Charles G. 1884 The Algonquin legends of New England. Boston and New York, Houghton, Mifflin and Company. Martin, Paul S. 1967 Pleistocene overkill. Natural History, Vol. 76, no. 10 (December), pp. 32-38. New York, American Museum of Natural History. Mechling, W. H. 1914 Malecite tales. Memoirs of the Geological Survey of Canada, no. 49, Anthropological Series, no. 4. Ottawa, Government Printing Bureau. Montagu, Ashley 1944 An Indian tradition relating to the mastodon. American Anthropologist, Vol. 46, no. 4 (October-December), pp. 568-571. Menasha, Wisconsin, Ameri-can Anthropological Association.  Pendergast, David M., and Clement W. Meighan 1959 Folk tradition as historical fact. A Paiute example. Journal of American Folk-Lore, Vol. 72, no. 284 (April-June), pp. 128-133. Montpelier, Vermont, The American Folk-Lore Society. Powell, Louis H. 1948 The giant beaver Castoroides in Minnesota. Science Bulletin, no. 2. St. Paul, Minnesota, Science Museum, St. Paul Institute. Rand, Silas T. 1894 Legends of the Micmacs. New York and London, Longmans, Green and Company. Romer, Alfred S. 1933 Pleistocene vertebrates and their bearing on the problem of human antiquity in North America. In The American aborigines, their origin and antiquity, edited by Diamond Jenness, pp. 47-83. Toronto, University of Toronto Press. Simpson, George G. 1930 Rodent giants. Natural History, Vol. 30, no. 3 (May-June), pp. 305-313. New York, American Museum of Natural History. Speck, Frank G. 1915 Some Micmac tales from Cape Breton Island. Journal ofAmerican Folk-Lore, Vol. 28, no. 107 (January-March), pp. 59-69. New York, American Folk-Lore Society. 1925 Montagnais and Naskapi tales from the Labrador peninsula. Journal of American Folk-Lore, Vol. 38, no. 147 (January-March), pp. 1-32. New York, American Folk-Lore Society. 1935a Mammoth or "stiff legged bear." American Anthropologist, Vol. 37, no. 1 (January-March), pp. 159-163. Menasha, Wisconsin, American Anthropological Association. 1 935bNaskapi, the savage hunters of the Labrador peninsula. Norman, University of Oklahoma Press. 1935c Penobscot tales and religious beliefs. Journal of American Folk-Lore, Vol. 48, no. 187 (January-March), pp. 1-107. New York, American Folk-Lore Society. 1940 Penobscot man. Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press; London, H. Milford, University of Oxford Press. Strong, William D. 1934 North American Indian traditions suggesting a knowledge of the mammoth. American Anthropologist, Vol. 36, no. 1 (January-March), pp. 81-88. Menasha, Wisconsin, American Anthropological Association. Waterman, T. T. 1914 The explanatory element in folk-tales of the North American Indians. Journal of American Folk-Lore, Vol. 27, no. 103 (January-March), pp. 1-54. New York, American Folk-Lore Society.
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