Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Gitchi Manitou or Sugar Loaf Rock

Gitche Manitou (Gitchi Manitou, Kitchi Manitou, etc.) means "Great Spirit" in several Algonquian languages. The term was also utilized to signify God by Christian missionaries, when translating scriptures and prayers, etc. into the Algonquian languages.
Manitou is a common Algonquian term for spirit, mystery, or deity.
In more recent Anishinaabe culture, the Anishinaabe language word Gichi-manidoo means Great Spirit, the Creator of all things and the Giver of Life, and is sometimes translated as the "Great Mystery." Historically, Anishinaabe people believed in a variety of spirits, whose images were placed near doorways for protection.
According to Anishinaabe-Ojibwa tradition, what became known as Mackinac Island in Michigan was the home of Gitche Manitou. The people would make pilgrimages there for rituals devoted to the spirit… In addition to the Algonquian Anishinaabeg, many other tribes believed in Gitche Manitou. References to the Great Manitou by the Cheyenne and the Oglala Sioux (notably in the recollections of Black Elk), indicate that belief in this deity extended into the Great Plains, fully across the wider group of Algonquian peoples. {http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gitche_Manitou}

Hand-tinted print of Gitchi Manitou, east side of Mackinac Island, by William H. Gardiner.
(No explaination of ladder given)

Sugar Loaf: Sugar Loaf is a dramatic breccia formation that rises 75 feet above the ground and is the largest of Mackinac Island’s many limestone stacks.  Centuries ago, Lake Algonquin covered all but the center of Mackinac Island, leaving only Sugar Loaf protruding from the water.  When the water receded, the rock formation remained standing as a tower of rock.  Ojibwe legend says that Sugar Loaf was the dwelling of the Great Creator or Great Spirit Gitchie Manitou.

 The Face of Gitchie Manitou in the Limestone:

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