Le Petit Jean

terry glavin transmontanus at GULFISLANDS.COM
Thu Mar 4 06:37:28 UTC 1999

i must know more about this nez perce story.

 if it is the same as i believe, then it is an important contribution to the
perplexing indian/settler t-jean story in british columbia.

the identity of this character is obscured in nomenclature - ti-jean,
tete-jaune, tay-john. there are several identities involved here, forged
into a personality in a classic of british columbia literature, the 1939
novel by howard o'hagan, `tay john.'

the story in shuswap country involves a boy who crawls from the grave of his
mother, who died in pregnancy. he becomes a culture-hero to the people of
the eastern shuswap territories. it is a very, very long oral-tradition

it is not ti-jean - a common quebecois/joual term-of-affection from petit
jean ("little john"), but rather tete jaune ('yellow haired"). the shuswap
"myth" has become entwined with a pierre hatsinaton, a blond-haired iroquois
trapper and hunting guide, one of several iroquois freeman who is
known to have settled in the rocky mountains near jasper, alberta.
hatsinaton and his family were killed by a party of beaver indians in the
area in 1827.

there is yellow head pass - the northern portal through the rockies - and
also to tete jaune cache, in the b.c. rockies. this placenames are believed
to be associated with hatsinaton, the yellow-haired. but - to complicate
matters, "tete jaune" may also have been francois decoigne,
who was known for his bright blond hair, (and who is remembered only in the
placename decoigne, just west of jasper), almost certainly a metis, and
almost a contemporary of hatsinaton's.

so, you gotta lemme know more.

 hyas mahsie.

terry glavin.

-----Original Message-----
From: phil cash cash <pasxapu at DAKOTACOM.NET>
Date: 28 February 1999 11:11
Subject: Le Petit Jean

>I recently came across this in the 1917 publication, "Folk
>Tales of the Salishan and Sahaptin Tribes," whereas in
>a Nez Perce story "The Seven Headed Monster," mention
>is made on the main character named Laptissa'n.  A foot-
>note states that it is derived from the French hero
>"Le Petit Jean".
>Although it may appear unrelated to CJ, the French influence
>is just as well.  So I was curious if others may be familiar
>of this French character.  Does it appear elsehwere?
>phil cash cash
>cayuse/nez perce

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