Friday, September 7, 2012

Driftwood Beach, Advocate, Nova Scotia

 In the upper Bay of Fundy near Advocate, Nova Scotia, there is a
4km stretch of beach that collects driftwood from all over the world. The unique occurrence of ocean currents and the highest tides continually deposit vast amounts of driftwood on this beach. To this day, this debris or "collection of driftwood" is known as the remains of "Kopit's Broken Dam."
 There is a Mi'kmaq legend that tells of a meeting requested by all the animals living in the Bay of Fundy - a meeting with Kluskap (Kluskap was a mythical hero of the Wabanaki peoples. He was created from a bolt of lightning that hit the surface of Mother Earth.
He was made of the elements of the earth - feathers, bone, skin, dirt, grass, sand, pebbles and water). Kluskap - also spelled Glooskap, Gluskabe, Gluskabi, Kloskomba or Gluskab.
This giant statue outside interpretive centre in Truro, Nova Scotia 
The animals living at the mouth of the Bay said the water levels were getting higher, flooding the fields and swelling the brooks and streams. The animals living in the upper Bay were saying, "There is no water in the Bay - it's too dry!"
Upon investigating, Kluskap found the dam of Kopit (beaver) across the Bay. Kluskap told Kopit what was happening on both sides of the dam and asked him to remove it. Kopit said that what happened to other animals was of no concern to him. Kluskap said that it was of concern to him and that he had promised to correct it.

Kluskap enlisted the help of Putup (whale) to take down the dam. When Putup did so, the tidal water levels in the Bay Of Fundy returned to normal, as did the way of life for all animals - thus creating "Kopit's Broken Dam".
Kluskap was said by the Mi'kmaq to be great in size and in powers and to have created natural features such as the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia.
In carrying out his feats, he often had to overcome his evil twin brother, who wanted rivers to be crooked and mountain ranges to be impassable - eventually Kluskap in another story turns his evil twin into stone.
Native Mi'kmaq legend has it that the Five Islands (Moose, Diamond, Long, Egg and Pinnacle) were created when their God Kluskap threw mud, sticks and stones at the giant beaver who dammed his medicine garden in Advocate, Nova Scotia. The mud, sticks and stones that formed the islands are said to have trapped the beaver in one of the islands and turned it into gold.
Another legend says that when Kluskap finished painting the splendor of Eastern Canada, he dipped his brush into a blend of all colours and created "Abegweit", meaning "Cradled on the Waves" - his favourite island (Prince Edward Island).
It is rumoured that when Kluskap slept, Nova Scotia was his bed, and Prince Edward Island his pillow.



Anonymous said...

This was very interesting - thanks for a good read

Red said...

Awesome story. I've heard of Glooskap before but hadn't heard the story. Indian legends are interesting as they explain so much about Indian culture.

Red said...

Forgot to say that you did a fantastic job with pictures to illustrate the story.

DJan said...

I enjoyed this very much. Since I've moved to the Pacific Northwest, I've gotten familiar with lots of Indian names, like Nooksack and Klipsun, which sound a lot like these names. Love the story of the creation of Nova Scotia!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Thanks for the info and photos. Lots of Indian history in these parts as well, the VA eastern shore. We owe much to the early settlers no matter where. Live.

Red Nomad OZ said...

What a fascinating story! I wonder did anyone ever go looking for the golden beaver?? Or, more importantly, did anyone ever find it??!! Have a great weekend!!

Gail said...

I would love to see that with my own eyes. Such beauty and wonderful legend you have shared.

I would be as happy as a pig in a mud wallow on that beach of driftwood.