The Abenaki are a tribe of Native American and First Nations people belonging to the Algonquian peoples of northeastern North America. Their language is in the Eastern Algonquian languages, which is called the "Wabanaki" (Dawn Land) Region, known by English speakers as New England, Quebec and the Maritimes. The Abenakis were one of the five members of the Wabanaki Confederacy.
The folklore of Native American tribes is very spiritual in context. Each tribe has their own Creation stories. In the Abenaki legends, Glooskap, the mythical spirit or god, is portrayed as a creator or helper of the Creator. He is a transformer of the Wabanaki Peoples. His name, means Man that came from nothing. Malsumis, twin brother of Glooskap, is also a spirit or god in the Abenaki mythology. Legend has it that Tabaldak, Creator, when creating humans, made Glooskap from the dust in His right hand and made Malsumis from the dust in His left hand.
Tabaldak gave Glooskap the power to create a good world. Malsumis, on the other hand, contained the opposite abilities, or evil. There we have the balance of good and evil, which is evident in all of life.
Here is one story of the twins.
GLOOSKAP AND MALSUMIS
The great Earth Mother had two sons, Glooskap and Malsumis. Glooskap was good, wise, and creative; Malsumis was evil, selfish, and destructive. When their mother died, Glooskap went to work creating plants, animals, and humans from her body.
Malsumis, in contrast, made poisonous plants and snakes. As Glooskap continued to create wonderful things, Malsumis grew tired of his good brother and plotted to kill him. In jest, Malsumis bragged that he was invincible, although there was one thing that could kill him: the roots of the fern plant. He badgered Glooskap for days to find the good brother's vulnerability.
Finally, as Glooskap could tell no lies, he confided that he could be killed only by an owl feather. Knowing this, Malsumis made a dart from an owl feather and killed Glooskap. The power of good is so strong, however; that Glooskap rose from the dead, ready to avenge himself. Alive again,
Glooskap also knew that Malsumis would continue to plot against him.
Glooskap realized that he had no choice but to destroy Malsumis in order that good would survive and his creatures would continue to live. So he went to a stream and attracted his evil brother by loudly saying that a certain flowering reed could also kill him. Glooskap then pulled a fern plant out by the roots and flung it at Malsumis, who fell to the ground dead.
Malsumis's spirit went underground and became a wicked wolf spirit that still occasionally torments humans and animals, but fears the light of day.
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