Serpents and Other Spiritual Beings is a collection of traditional Ojibwe/Anishinaabe stories transcribed directly from Murdoch’s oral storytelling, preserving the style and rhythm of the storyteller’s voice. These are stories of tradition, history, morality and object lessons, involving powerful spirit-beings in Serpent form. All of the stories appear in both English and Anishinaabemowin, with translations by Patricia BigGeorge. Murdoch’s traditional-style Ojibwe artwork provides beautiful illustrations throughout. Serpents and Other Spiritual Beings is the second book in the Ojibwe History Series by renowned Ojibwe storyteller Bomgiizhik Isaac Murdoch. Volume 1,The Trail of Nenaboozhoo and Other Creation Stories (2019), has been one of our best selling titles.
“’When the Thunderbirds and Serpents fight, they feed off each other, you know great medicine gets cast across the land. We get our life from that.’ So writes storyteller Isaac Murdoch as he shares his Elders’ stories about tunnels beneath the earth, rich laws, philosophies, teachings, power from up there, down there, and all around us, until we too hear the thunders as they bring us into the world of wahkotowin, all our relations. How privileged and blessed we are to be able to read the Ahtyokaywina of our people.”
—Maria Campbell, author of Halfbreed
“This writing gives an account of the reality of the Anishinaabe and how the elements of earth, water, air and fire play a sacred role and is bought to life by the language of the people, a language containing a depth of knowledge and blessed by our relatives KIISIS & TIBIIKI KIISIS.”
—PAWAMI NIKITITICIKIW (the Dream Keeper), Wilfred Buck, author of I Have Lived Four Lives
“What is that voice I hear in these stories? Resonant with memory, my body leans in to hear better. What is that voice? Why, it’s Granpa’s voice I heard as a child by the old stove so long ago. That well beloved voice that instructed us gently with feeling, wonder, and good humour and carried the stories into our lives so we could grow strong and upright. Miigwetch Isaac, for touching that quiet place in the spirit that, despite all this time and all that has happened, still knows, still remembers.”
—Bonnie Devine, Founding Chair of OCAD University’s Indigenous Visual Culture program.
“Gather around, for here are oral stories transcribed so they retain the flavour of a narrative spoken aloud, and translated into Anishinaabemowin; perfect for language-learners. I love the way these stories infuse the spirit world into an every-day context, these are not dusty old legends, but a living way of seeing the world around us in the here and now.”
—Nathan Niigan Noodin Adler, author of Ghost Lake