November 28, 2010


Came across this article today, there are some of us who have St Castin in our lines and the indian chief Madockawando, I found this interesting.

Madockawando is remembered as "a great chief of the Penobscots". His village was at Pentegoet (modern day Castine, Maine) and his daughter, Pidianiski, baptized Molly Mathilde, married Baron de St. Castin (1652-1707).

Among the nomadic Wabanacki - the tribes of the Maritimes, Maine and the rest of northern New England - Shamanism was commonly attributed to the greater chiefs to whom supernatural power would give authority in the absense of a strong social organization

Madockawando as chief and Shaman was a soothsayer, clairvoyant, necromancer, exorcist and was in a position to act as a middleman between his people and the powers that meddle with life. He is a "wonder-worker", whose magic was derived from the spiritual and animal world. Indeed, the very ending of his name means mysterious, magical, powerful, miraculous, enabling things to be done supernaturally. He could lead them to game; he could drive out the devils of disease and circumvent the magic of enemies. Ordinary men could fight, but only the man with magic could content with the unseen powers and work out destiny.

Among his descendants was Lt. Governor John Neptune (1767-1865) who inherited the Shamanistic power of Madockawando. As with his forbear, he was regarded as a peculiarly gifted "Medeoulinwak" (magician) "who could make his voice heard 100 miles away, who could walk in hard ground sinking up to his knees at every step, who could find green corn in winter and tobacco in the forest where there was none and who had fought and overcome that slimy, devouring monster, the dreadful Wiwiliamecq.*"

"Old John Neptune and Other Maine Indian Shamans"
by Fannie Hardy Eckstrom (1938)

Thanks to Aline Cormier for this information.

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