Ojibwa - Night Messages Illustration

Daily Life in Olden Times
for Kids

Woodland Ojibwa
(Chippewa) Indians
Night Messages

 
 

Children were taught bravery, patience, and self control from the time they were born.

Sometimes, like everyone, they needed reminders of good behavior. The Ojibwa had an interesting way of giving reminders. They used night messages.

At night, when the camp was quiet, grandfather (an old man) walked around the circle of wigwams. He called out messages. No names were ever mentioned, and everyone could hear him. His messages were a mix of announcements, instructions, and warnings.

For example, he might announce that the men would meet at a certain place to go hunting when the sun came up. Or, he might say that if a certain young man was still visiting a certain young girl, it was time to go back to his wigwam. Or, he might say something like this: "A little boy told a lie to his mother today. If it happens again, he will be punished. We cannot have little boys telling lies."


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