Koluskap and Mikumwesu Heal the Scarred Girls

audio Listen to story
told by Gwen Bear (.wav, 630k)


After Koluskap destroyed Akwulabemu and freed the water, he and Mikumwesu passed time at Groundhog’s camp. Mikumwesu filled his pipe and began to smoke, the smoke filling the entire village in a short while. He returned to Akwulabemu’s camp and saw the burned and scarred girls. Remembering the serpent that sprang out of Akwulabemu’s head and how Koluksap killed it to free the water, Mikumwesu went to the river and put pieces of the dead snake’s brain in a bark dish. He then placed pieces of the brain on the head of each scarred girl. Filling the bark dish with clear water, he washed the faces of the girls and each acquired a beauty that far surpassed that which they had before Akwulabemu’s torturing.

Young Girls

One girl, the Chief’s daughter, was particularly attractive but did not realize that she was suddenly beautiful. Returning home, her astounded father asked, “Who made you so beautiful? Who freed the water?” When she replied that Koluskap and Mikumwesu were responsible, the Chief left to find them. He found them with Groundhog.


Groundhog invited the Chief in. The old woman was very excited and happy, thinking that Koluskap or Mikumwesu would marry one of her now beautiful granddaughters. The Chief asked the two brave men to come to his camp, hoping they might marry one of his daughters. But they yielded to the old woman’s appeal to stay with her. The Chief then returned to his own camp and sent out his men to hunt game for a great pre-marriage feast. The men caught several bears which were immediately cooked, with the intestines taken out and filled with grease and maple-sugar. The people then assembled for the feast.