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A Dialect of Dreams in Anishinaabe Language and Literature

Margaret Noodin

Publication Year: 2014

Bawaajimo: A Dialect of Dreams in Anishinaabe Language and Literature combines literary criticism, sociolinguistics, native studies, and poetics to introduce an Anishinaabe way of reading. Although nationally specific, the book speaks to a broad audience by demonstrating an indigenous literary methodology. Investigating the language itself, its place of origin, its sound and structure, and its current usage provides new critical connections between North American fiction, Native American literatures, and Anishinaabe narrative. The four Anishinaabe authors discussed in the book, Louise Erdrich, Jim Northrup, Basil Johnston, and Gerald Vizenor, share an ethnic heritage but are connected more clearly by a culture of tales, songs, and beliefs. Each of them has heard, studied, and written in Anishinaabemowin, making their heritage language a part of the backdrop and sometimes the medium, of their work. All of them reference the power and influence of the Great Lakes region and the Anishinaabeakiing, and they connect the landscape to the original language. As they reconstruct and deconstruct the aadizookaan, the traditional tales of Nanabozho and other mythic figures, they grapple with the legacy of cultural genocide and write toward a future that places ancient beliefs in the center of the cultural horizon.

Published by: Michigan State University Press


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pp. C-C

Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. i-viii


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pp. ix-x

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N’digo: Preface

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pp. xi-xii

With the simplest act of translating this starting point I am reminded of the distance between two languages. N’digo is the phrase used to share identity; it signals an act of self–translation; it stands as the personal preface to a narrative. N’digo Giiwedinoodin, waabzheshiinh debendagoziyaanh, Minnesota...

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pp. xiii-xiv

Baatiinag bimaadizijig gii naadamawigoog. N’gii zhawenimigoog kina gikinaamawiwaad, zaagiwaad. Gaagige n’gii minotanan zaaga’iganan, mitigoog, nengawan miinwaa asiniig miidash gii gashkitooyaanh nakinigeyaanh ezhi-enendamoyaanh. I have been blessed with many lessons. In addition to the lakes and the trees and...

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Ziibaaskobiige: To Set a Written Net

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pp. xv-xxii

Aanii ezhikidoying . . . ? How do we say . . . ? Two words or four words, it is the same incessant question that haunts the students and teachers of language. Many, many times on the journey of learning Anishinaabemowin I have repeated that question, first in English, then in Anishinaabemowin without knowing exactly...

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Chapter One: Anishinaabemowin:The Anishinaabe Language

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pp. 1-18

Although the Anishinaabe people are oft en called a “woodland” culture, there is much more to Anishinaabe identity. Th e center of Anishinaabewakiing, or Anishinaabe country, is the life-giving gaming, the “vast water.” The roll of “g” against “m” is still heard when people speak of Lake Superior as Gichi Gumee, the...

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Chapter Two: Anishinaabebiige: Anishinaabe Literature

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pp. 19-38

Anishinaabe literary history is both ancient and imminent, traceable to the sound of stones and adaptive as white winter fur, evolving in order to survive. Today Anishinaabe authors move from one language to another by choice and necessity. The language of the original stories is now endangered, but translations...

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Chapter Three: Gikenmaadizo miinwaa Gikenmaa’aan: Patterns of Identity in the Writing of Louise Erdrich

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pp. 39-78

Giishpin Anishinaabemoying (“If we all spoke Anishinaabemowin”) . . . Nanapush imagines this possibility and by doing so in Anishinaabemowin forces a speaker to choose an ending because Anishinaabemo is not a noun like “English”; it is a verb that requires one to say who speaks. Even the choices are unlike those in...

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Chapter Four: Zhaabwii’endam: Conscious Survivalin the Writing of Jim Northrup

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pp. 79-110

In Anishinaabemowin, the way to say “holy” or “sacred” is chitwaa, which is also the equivalent of “fancy.” Another option is manidoo, which oft en becomes a prefix to emphasize the spiritual nature of something. For example, a “sacred song” is a manidoo-nagamon, and God, the Creator, is Gichi Manidoo, the Great Spirit. One...

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Chapter Five: Giizhigomaadiziwin: Universal Life in the Writing of Basil Johnston

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pp. 111-146

Speaking of a time when Anishinaabemowin was the primary language of the Great Lakes and stories were the best and only means of transferring them from one generation to the next, Basil Johnston has said that “words and stories carried meanings and teachings drawn from Mother Earth and meant to instruct,

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Chapter Six: Waninawendamowinan:Stirred Thoughts in the Writing of Gerald Vizenor

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pp. 147-180

Like the jiisakaawininiwag who built tents of twigs and spirit for their ceremonies, Vizenor builds tents of language and calls forth the voices, words, and stories that others oft en do not hear. In one of his earliest books, Vizenor writes about the time of night when the shadows fall and “the jiisakaawininiwag commune...

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Chapter Seven: Ziiginibiige: Poured Writing

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pp. 181-186

Many words have been poured into these pages: bimaadizi (to live), bwaajige (to dream), jichakaan (one soul), jibwaam (the other soul), waabaamaa (to see someone), waamdaan (to see something), Anishinaabeakiing (the place of the Anishinaabe), Anishinaabebiigeyaanh (I write in Anishinaabe) . . . I have tried to...

Maziniaganan Gii Gindanaanan: Works Cited

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pp. 187-206

Nanaandawaabanjigan: Index

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pp. 207-212

E-ISBN-13: 9781609173968
E-ISBN-10: 1609173961
Print-ISBN-13: 9781611861051
Print-ISBN-10: 1611861055

Page Count: 234
Publication Year: 2014

Edition: 1st

OCLC Number: 873984790
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Bawaajimo

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Subject Headings

  • Ojibwa language -- Dialects -- North America.
  • Ojibwa language -- Folklore.
  • Ojibwa literature -- History and criticism.
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