Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Tracking Doctor Lonecloud: Showman to Legend Keeper

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

Tracking Doctor Lonecloud: Showman to Legend Keeper

Article excerpt

Ruth Holmes Whitehead, Tracking Doctor Lonecloud: Showman to Legend Keeper (Fredericton: Goose Lane Editions, 2002), 183pp. Paper. $19.95. ISBN 0-86492-356-2.

Jerry Lonecloud was a Mi'kmaw herbalist, hunter and storyteller. By the 1880s he was known as Doctor Lonecloud and participated in several Wild West shows of the period, as well as running his own business, the Kiowa Medicine Company, with his Maliseet wife. Lonecloud valued Mi'kmaw cultural histories and ways, and was an advocate for the rights of Mi'kmaw communities. He also believed in sharing and preserving his knowledge and collaborated with the curator of the Provincial Museum of Nova Scotia, to create an extensive artefact collection and detailed records reflecting Mi'kmaw social customs, now available within the Museum and online [http://museum.gov.ns.ca/resources]. Towards the end of his life, Lonecloud worked with journalist Clara Dennis, to record his life story. Dennis recorded his words as accurately as she could, and it is her notebooks that form the basis of Whitehead's fascinating book.

The book, which expertly weaves together Lonecloud's autobiography, Mi'kmaw stories, the research process and the historical and cultural background with which Whitehead has been able to contextualise her subject, is divided into three sections: The Life of Jerry Lonecloud; Here's What I Remember: the memoir of Jerry Lonecloud; and Stories Without End. The final, and lengthiest section, comprises a'tukwaqn - teaching stories passed down through the generations - and Whitehead provides some useful explanatory notes to allow the reader to appreciate that Lonecloud would have attempted to interpret his versions of these legends in a manner that Clara Dennis would have understood. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.