Izignapogos, the Half-Stone Man

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told by Gwen Bear (.wav, 1.1 mb)

Up the Wolastoq

A long time passed and Koluskap and Mikumwesu, Koluskap's brother, left grandmother and went up the Wolastoq in their canoe. They crossed over the watershed and paddled on to salt water, stopping at an old Groundhog’s camp.

“Grandmother!” they said. “Why are you crying?”


“Izignapogos, the half-stone man, is camping down below. He took all my food and I have nothing to give you.” Koluskap replied angrily, “Go tell him the Chief of the Chiefs is here and must have something to eat.”

Groundhog delivered Koluskap’s message but laughing, Izignapogos said, “Give him this old meat, it’s good enough for him. He’s no better than I am. If he refuses, tell him come himself and try to get something better.”

Groundhog took the bad meat back to Koluskap and told him what happened. Now even angrier, Koluskap told Groundhog to return and demand good meat. When the old woman returned to Izignapogos, he only laughed again and said, “That’s good enough for him.” Groundhog threw the old meat at half-stone man and told him Koluskap will come himself if he does not get better meat. Izignapogos laughed again and said, “Let him.”

Hearing this, Koluskap started immediately for Izignapogos’s camp. “Wait,” Mikumwesu said, “You’re too quick. Devise a plan to kill him.”


“No, brother, you’re wrong. I could kill the entire world’s people,” Koluskap replied. Mikumwesu advised Koluskap against using all of his power until necessary. The brothers continued to plan what to do with half-stone man. “Izignapogos will try to anger you by flaunting his fresh meat. Think about this for a while,” Mikumwesu said. When they saw Izignapogos returning in his canoe, Mikumwesu suggested Koluskap use the little brother’s small bow and arrow to kill half-stone man. An annoyed Koluskap exclaimed, “But my stone bow is the most powerful of all!” Mikumwesu explained that Izignapogos could dodge Koluskap’s large arrows. If Koluskap distracted Izignapogos, however, then Mikumwesu could shoot half-stone man. After seeing Mikumwesu’s powerful arrow pierce a rock, Koluskap was satisfied.


Izignapogos sat with his stone axe and club when Koluskap arrived. “Why did you give me bad meat?” asked Koluskap. “Because you sent me nothing for it,” answered Izignapogos. “Even the Great Chief must pay because I am the Chief here. I can keep all of the food if I want to.” With that he clubbed a boulder to dust. Koluskap looked to the wigwam’s smoke hole and smelled Mikumwesu’s smoking herb, their sign to start fighting. Mikumwesu, standing where the poles of the wigwam crossed, shot his arrow, which pinned Izignapogos to the rock. Mikumwesu came down from the wigwam and happily cried, “Everyone come share the food.” The starving animals came and Groundhog rejoiced. Koluskap had taken away her fear and sadness and she had plenty to eat.