Innu Cosmogony

Shaking Tent

6:21 min. - The shaking tent is a place of energy where it is possible to encounter entities from the other worlds and try to improve a situation.

Transcription

Jean-Baptiste Bellefleur - With regards to the shaking tent, those who guided it acted differently. They did not sing, since the power was inside the tent. We only practiced the shaking tent when there was a state of negativity, a bad spirit, one might say. We only used it in such moments. As soon as we felt the presence of a bad spirit, we set up a shaking tent that very night.
Narrator - I received this gift while walking in the forest. A tree spoke to me and I knew I could do it.
The shaking tent is a place of energy where it's possible to meet entities from other worlds and try to improve the situation. If this situation is related to the earthly animals, like the caribou, we'll want to meet Papakassiku. If the situation is related to water animals like kukumess, the lake trout, for example, then we want to encounter Messenak, the master of the water animals.
The person officiating makes a request to Papakassiku or Messenak. Mestapeo, an interpreter of the dream world, translates the Innu's request. We try to agree and improve the situation.
Another object from the dream world, the medicine bag, is also used. It is conceived in the dream world, meaning you dream about an object, ask someone to make it and then use it. The ally from the dream world will inhabit the object.
Matthiew Penashue - "When the hunt is difficult, when you have trouble catching the animal, use this", his grandfather told him. This string came from my father-in-law. You must take the string outside and spread it out. The ally who accompanies it, is always there in the bush, and the hunter knows this. Sometimes I see him, sometimes I dream about him. He talks to me. He protects those he has always protected. Since I've been here in the village, he can no longer come near me. It seems like he's afraid to come here, as if there were obstacles preventing him from approaching.
Narrator - One of the Innu strategies for increasing energy is the use of the sweat lodge, the matitushan. It's a place of energy where we can ask the mineral world for help, first to purify ourselves, to eliminate everything that is not useful in our quest for energy. We must eliminate everything that pushes us towards appearances rather than simply being. The Innu culture has evolved within this system organized around the notion of respect. Out of a desire to save energy, we are nomads, free to follow the planet's great movements, such as glaciations, the cycle of the seasons and migratory movements. This has resulted in methods of organization, of helping each other and communicating with other worlds that make up the universe. It has also resulted in a series of unique tools particularly well-adapted, and inspired by Innu aitun, the Innu soul. This knowledge has allowed the Innu nation to feed, clothe, heal itself and develop, for more than 10,000 years. The caribou is largely responsible for this fact and we dedicate these documents to him.
Music - Kathia Rock, Joranne

Objects from a medicine bag
You need the Adobe Flash Player to view the above movie. Adobe Flash Player can be downloaded from Adobe.

3 Comments

Fernand Rivard 7 years, 11 months ago

Vraiment très impressionnant. Vous me donnez plusieurs belles leçons de vie.

Suite à votre passage chez-nous à l'école du Triolet à Sherbrooke, j'ai compris autrement mon travail d'animateur à la vie spirituelle et à l'engagement communautaire.

Je deviens plutôt, un éveilleur de vie spirituelle et mes engagements iront maintenant vers la commune-eau-terre dans le très grand respect et le fait d'en prendre soins.
Merci de m'aider à devenir un véritable Innu ( un être humain ).
Fernand Timinuatiten !

Fernand Rivard 7 years, 11 months ago

Vraiment très impressionnant. Vous me donnez plusieurs belles leçons de vie.

Suite à votre passage chez-nous à l'école du Triolet à Sherbrooke, j'ai compris autrement mon travail d'animateur à la vie spirituelle et à l'engagement communautaire.

Je deviens plutôt, un éveilleur de vie spirituelle et mes engagements iront maintenant vers la commune-eau-terre dans le très grand respect et le fait d'en prendre soins.
Merci de m'aider à devenir un véritable Innu ( un être humain ).
Fernand Timinuatiten !

Norm Anderson 8 years, 6 months ago

Do the Innu still practice the shaking tent ritual? How can i get more info on this ritual? Can this ritual save this planet? When was the first shaking tent ritual recorded?


(*) Field mandatory





or

4 Related Video to Innu Cosmogony

3 Related words or expressions

akutakanu eshkanat
we hang the antlers on a tree
kushapatshikan
shaking tent
natshi-minu-akutau ushkanima
out of respect for the caribou, he’ll place the bones in an elevated spot



Top of page