Le Petit Jean

phil cash cash pasxapu at DAKOTACOM.NET
Fri Mar 5 02:51:33 UTC 1999

Ineptúsis(seven faces) The Seven Headed Monster

  In the early days there was a chief who owned all kinds of property.
He found the seven-headed monster running with his horses and
cattle.  This kept up for several years, and the monster grew bigger
and bigger.  The chief thought it gave him a big name to have such
an animal running with his stock, so he did not molest it.  Finally
the monster began to kill off the stock.  Then the chief wanted to
kill the monster, but he did not know just how to go about it.  Then
the chief thought to himself, "To-morrow I shall take half this band of
Indians, and we shall go and kill this moster.
  So they went out to kill it; but when they came in sight of the
monster, and fired at it, the monster attacked in turn, and began
killing the Indians.  It killed all those who had gone out against it,
except the chief himself.  After this, the chief was afraid to attack a
second time, and resigned himself to the loss of his stock.  Then the
moster stopped killing his stock, and took to killing off Indians.  It
attacked the people in the village, and the chief made every effort
to fond a man who would win over the moster.
  Now, there was a poor man in this band named Laptissa'n.  This
Laptissa'n told the chief he would kill the monster if only the chief
would furnish him a mule.  So the chief gave him the mule, and
Laptissa'n went out.  He did not know exactly what to do, but he
began by riding round and round the monster on the mule.  Finally
he rode so many times, that the monster grew weary watching,
and fell asleep.  Then Laptissa'n got down off the mule, and cut the
throat of the monster where the seven heads were joined into the neck.

Laptissa'n.  (fn) 1. Le Petit Jean, the hero of many French-Canadian

Tiet, James A., Livisingston Farrand, Marian K. Gould, and Herbert J.
Spinden.  1917.  Folk Tales of the Salishan and Sahaptin Tribes.
Memoirs of the American Folk-Lore Society, Vol. XI.  

terry and everybody,

here it is.  as you can see it is not that long so as to type it right in.
unfortunately, it will take some digging to find the Nez Perce original
recorded by H.J. Spinden.  facinating story and character.  the temporal
frame of the story is unlike many of the Nez Perce stories that i have
come across.  

also, a note passed my way says to look at Melville Jacobs's "Kalapuya
Texts" (University of Washington Publications in Anthropology 11, 1945),
find a section labeled "Kalapuya Tales of European Origin" where there are
a number of (mainly brief) 'Petit Jean' stories, recorded by Frachtenberg,
Jacobs, et al., in various Kalapuya dialects. (thanks rob)

phil cash cash
cayuse/nez perce

At 10:37 PM 3/3/99 -0800, terry glavin wrote:
>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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