Tales from Temagami - Land of Deep Water

Old Missabie - a medicine man

from Moose To Moccasins: The Story of Ka Kita Wa Pa No Kwe. 1992.

Old Misabi

He was a very pleasant man, very tall and slim. A wonderful man! He was a great medicine man and had cured many sick people and had travelled to so many different homes to cure the sick. He knew so many different kinds of herbs, roots and barks of different trees, medications for all kinds of illnesses.

I remember another time when we were living at Diamond Lake.

Diamond lake picture

My great uncle, John Katt, was with us, before he went to serve in World War I for three whole years. Anyway, one day my grandfather was splitting firewood outdoors. As he was chopping a block, he missed the wood and split his big toe with the full blade of his axe. The closet neighbour we had for help was twenty five miles away on foot, the same Missabie family living in Obabika Lake. So John Katt decided to go and get Mr. Missabie. He knew the old man was a great doctor, but he was getting very old and not able to walk much. Anyways we had only one sleigh dog. My great uncle took the dog and he and the dog pulled the sleigh back with the old man in it.

When they arrived back at our place Missabie went to the back of our yard to cut a young birch sapling. He brought it indoors, peeled the bark off this pole and stewed it. The liquid he used to soak the sore foot and the stewed bark he used as a poultice for the wound. This was repeated every day for a whole week. Shortly after, healing began and before long, Grandpa was able to get around again, thanks to Mr. David Missabie. His work completed the old man was taken back home again by John.


The drawing of Diamond Lake was done by friends of Alex Mathias from Belgium
the End