Koluskap Meets the Imposter's Uncle

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Dangerous Animal

Koluskap went up river to kill dangerous animals and break dams and Mikumwesu, his brother, decided to continue his journey southward. Koluskap arrived at a place with many people called, KchikpihigAnuk (1), or big dam, which was near where a great city is today. The first camp Koluskap entered belonged to an old woman named Owl who said to him, “You are the man called Koluskap.” Koluskap answered yes and he had come to fix everything. “That’s good,” said Owl, “because the dam’s foul water has done damage and some of the false Koluskap’s serpents came here and has eaten the fish.” Koluskap told Owl not to worry because he and Mikumwesu had destroyed the imposter.


The old woman then said, “Good, but his uncle is here, and he’s the same. He takes our game and the people are starving. The only thing left to eat is myself.” Koluskap told her that wasn’t necessary and she could have two beavers he had killed on his journey. He instructed Owl to go to his canoe and retrieve the beavers along with his paddle and weapons. He also told Owl not to tell anyone that he was there. Owl did as Koluskap instructed but was so happy she couldn’t stop singing. She fetched water, prepared one of the beavers and cooked it. The imposter’s uncle wondered why she sang, so he sent Skunk to spy. Skunk saw Owl and Koluskap feasting while the other huge beaver hung from the wigwam poles. He reported back to the uncle who decided to get the beaver by having the skunk spray Koluskap until he killed him.

Bark Torch

Koluskap had seen Skunk, so waited for him with a bark torch. Owl asked, “What’s that for?” Koluskap explained that he planned to scorch Skunk as soon as he appeared. Owl warned Koluskap against this because Skunk was the favourite of the imposter’s uncle. But Koluskap waved aside Owl’s fears and told her not to worry.

Skunk arrived at Owl’s camp but it wasn’t long before he was scurrying back to the uncle’s camp, burning and yelling for help. The imposter’s uncle was furious and sent Mink back to Owl’s camp to discover who had harmed Skunk in such a bad way.


By the time Mink got to Owl’s camp, Koluskap had gone to set a trap and Groundhog had arrived to visit Owl. Mink listened as the two old woman talked. When Groundhog asked about who had brought the beaver meat, Owl told her it was the great chief, Koluskap, who had come from afar in his canoe. Owl went on to tell Groundhog about how Koluskap intended to destroy the false Koluskap’s uncle just as he had the imposter. Then the two old woman began to argue about who would make a better wife for Koluskap, depending upon whether he had a wife already!

Mink slinked back to the imposter’s uncle and reported all that he had heard about the great man Koluskap. The uncle was enraged when he heard about the destruction of his nephew and angrier still that Koluskap planned to destroy him as well.

Fur Stretcher

Nothing took place that night, but the next morning, Koluskap went to check his traps and found two beavers. When the imposter’s uncle found out about Koluskap catching game so abundantly and easily, he determined to put an end to it. The uncle went in person to Owl’s camp and just as he was removing the beaver meat from the wigwam poles, Koluskap entered. Koluskap grabbed the uncle and forced him to the ground and then ordered Owl to fetch the Chief and all of the people. Owl did as she was commanded.

Sweat House

Koluskap told the people to go to the uncle’s camp and take all of the meat he had stored and distribute it to the people. He declared he had no intention of destroying the imposter’s uncle right away but intended to starve him. On Koluskap’s instruction, the people built a sweat-house that was so tight no heat could possible escape. They put the imposter’s uncle in the sweat-house and Koluskap kept throwing hot stones and water into the house, increasing the intense heat. He also kept asking the uncle, “So, where is your power now?”

Little Thunder

On the horizon appeared a thunder cloud and it drew very close. It had a low rumble and Koluskap thought he recognized the voice of Mikumwesu’s son, his nephew, Little Thunder. Soon the young thunder descended and was very excited to see Koluskap after such a long time. Koluskap then described to Little Thunder his desire to destroy the imposter’s uncle. He also told his nephew that the dam needed to be broken to clear up the water and that all of the dangerous animals along the river needed to be killed.

Koluskap's Journey Back to Grandmother

All of these things Little Thunder promised to do. Koluskap then departed, intending to visit his grandmother, whom he had left many years ago when he had first set out on his wanderings.

1. Lachine Rapids and Montréal