Michipeshu's Tail (Or; What Happens When You Slap the Water with a Stick in November)

Timothy Norris and Patricia Opel

An Ojibwa folktale tells of a shaman who tempted the spirit world. As instructed in a dream, he goes to the lakeshore and slaps the water's surface with a stick and sings a song to receive special medicine. Immediately the lake erupts into a huge whirpool and Michipeshu the giant water panther rises up. The shaman greedily asks the monster for the medicine to make him healthy and rich. Surprisingly, Michipeshu agrees. But the medicine comes with a terrible price: as the shaman's own prosperity increases, his wife and children weaken and die. In our version of this story, ships of all kinds are pulled into Michipeshu's vortex as they too tempt the gods with one last profitable haul before the onset of winter.

Entry Details
  • Art form: 2-D
  • Depth: 3 inches
  • Medium: acrylic on canvas
  • Width: 76 inches
  • Year created: 2010
  • Height: 76 inches