Collected by Dr. Frank G. Speck, anthropologist, in 1913 during his two weeks stay on Bear (Makominising) island in Lake Te-mee-ay-gaming(Temagami), homeland of Teme-Augama Anishnabe - People of Deep Water
...It is not proper to tell stories in summer, lest one die; but, if stories are told, they must be told for ten successive evenings in order to prevent the evil...
In order to foretell the sex of the child about to be born, the first verterbra of a moose or deer may be used. The appearance of one sideof this bone resembles a man's face, while the ohter resembles a woman's. The seeker for information may place this bone on top of his head and let it drop to the ground. Whichever face turns upward like a die indicates the sex of the child. This bone is called uta'backo`k'e, "back neck-bone".
A little device to bring rain: suck the flat side of a green leaf until it snaps, or slap one hand with the palm of the other, holding the leaf in the fist of the first.
Northern Lights: Wase'tibik'an, "light of the night".
Bine's'i'wi'mi`'k`'an, "birds' path".
This is Milky Way, which is believed to be the guide to the birds in their spring and autumn migrations.
Wota'gwanobi`'s`an, "mist from the water".
This is the rainbow, which is thought to be caused by mist generated in the air by waves of some great sea.
The Matachewan Indians of Montreal river call the rainbow Ani'miki'unujea'bi, "thunder's legging string"
The whippoorwill (wa'hone`'s`i), is very rarely heard on Bear Island, although the bird frequents some parts of the lake.
Its cry is considered as omen of ill fortune or of death.
Another idea is that it is the signal cry of the Iroquois , Ma'djina`dowes`i , "bad Iroquois", referring to the tribes of the League as distinct from those of Caughnawaga and that it indicates the proximity of enemies.
To kill blue-bottle flies will bring rain.
If anyone finds or sees a live mole it is a sign that some member of the family will die soon.
Moles are very rare in the Timagami neighbourhood and quite a stir is raised when one is encountered.
Hiccoughing is a sign that the victim has been stealing something.
If it is true and the victim is accused of it, he will stop hiccoughing from fright.
If a child is born feet first he is gifted with curing powers for people with sore backs.
They let him jump on patient's back.
The method of cooking squirrels (dji`'temo) has an influence upon the weather forces. Squirrels are usually cooked by splitting the carcass, after it has been skinned, and roasting it in the flames until done.
Should the animal however, be boiled instead, it will bring rain. When rain is needed, squirrels are boiled purposely to bring it.
To bring on a snowstorm an infant is allowed to make its moccasin print in the snow.
If an infant warms its hands before the fire, it is a sure sign of cold weather coming.
A red sunset with red clouds is a sign of wind.
A whirling buzzer, made by spinning a bone or wooden disk on a string operated by the two hands, will cause the wind to rise.
A divination device is used before the hunt to foretell what kind of game is going to be killed. It is as follows. The metacarpal bone of a beaver's hind leg, with its sinew covering, is taken and cut nearly through, so that it will break easily.
This is struck upright in the ground near the fire and a series of lines radiating from it are traced in the ashes or ground, each line being named for some game animal: moose, beaver, caribou, deer, bear, otter, martin, fisher,etc. Then, as the heat shrinks the sinew, it breaks the bones at the cut and upper piece points along one of the lines marked. This answers what kind of game is going to be gotten. The lines sometimes also are used to denote the direction to be followed to get the animals designated.
This is a personification of a human skeleton without the flesh, which wanders about the country. When he travels, he goes as fast as he thinks. When he wishes himself to be in a place, he is there as soon as he thinks of it. When he is heard by the people, it is a sign that someone will die. It is thought that he is heard occasionally three times in succession, making his pecular noise, once at the horizon, once at the zenith, and again at the opposite horizon.
A species of creature which lives in the high remote ledges. They are small and have hair growing all over their bodies. The Indians think they are like monkeys, judging from specimen of the latter they have seen in the picture-books. These dwarf-like creatures have ugly faces and seek to hide them when they meet with people.
A little narrative of a meeting with these creatures is told by some who had been to lake Timiscaming.
The Indians where passing the high ledge of rock a few miles below Haileybury, where the water was very deep and where they had set their nets. They found that somebody had been stealing fish. They proceeded to watch the nets and soon saw three Me`'megwe`'s`i come out astride of an old log for a canoe, using sticks for paddles. The Indians pursued them, the fairies meanwhile hiding their faces. Finally the Indians caught one. Then one Indian said, "Look behind!" When the fairy turned quickly they got a glimpse of how ugly he was. The Indians then took a knife from this fairy and the rest dissappeared, riding their log through the rock wall to the inside, where they could be heard crying, as this was where they lived. The Indians then threw the knife at the rock and it went right through to the inside to its owner.