CM Archive
CM Archive Book Review line

Joyce Barkhouse.
Illustrated by Daphne Irving.

Charlottetown, Ragweed Press, c1983.
48pp, paper, $8.95.
ISBN 0-920304-26-5.

Grades 5 and up.
Reviewed by Elizabeth Lockett.

Volume 12 Number 3
1984 May

This Micmac legend is still told in many versions, and this is a chilling one. Long ago Glooscap warns a Micmac chief named Kiotsaton that he should not camp beside or enter the waters of a beautiful lake called Minnewauken. Kiotsaton refuses to move, and the evil lake spirit takes the life of his son and daughter. Glooscap allows the spirit of his daughter to live on in a healing stone hidden in the deepest part of the lake. Hundreds of years later, a beautiful Basque girl, La Belle Marie, becomes engaged to a Micmac brave Kaktoogasses. She is wounded by other Indians, and Kaktoogasses heals her with the magic stone, which then crumbles to dust. Kaktoogasses is killed on his wedding day, and La Belle Marie is burned as a witch.

This depressing story misses the magic we have come to expect of folktales. It might be used to discuss Indian beliefs and customs and Indian relationships with early settlers.

The prologue discusses the sources for the text. The paintings, in soft colours, are appropriate to the story.

Elizabeth Lockett, Niagara South Board of Education, Welland, ON.
line indexes


1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995


The materials in this archive are copyright © The Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission Copyright information for reviewers

Young Canada Works