Previous Index Next

 

NATURAL HISTORY, TORONTO REGION

 

then a celebrated place for spearing salmon, and the Indians annually camped at that spot for the purpose. When indisposed, the Indians of the Credit, in the early days, are said to have resorted to what is now " The Island," fronting the city of Toronto, to take advantage of its health-giving atmosphere. The Credit Indians made sacrifices to the lake as well as to the river, the forest, etc. When overtaken by storm on Lake Ontario, they were accustomed to appease the angry spirit of the waters by the sacrifice of a black dog, around whose neck they tied a stone and cast him into the lake. Caves in the hills around Burlington Bay and the head of Lake Ontario were thought to be the abodes of spirits,—one of these was called Manitoa wigwam, "the devil's house." A spirit, who used often to sing and beat his drum, was said to live in a deep hole in the water, at the foot of a hill near the Credit village, but, soon after the coming of the white man, the spirit raised a great flood, and went down the river into Lake Ontario. The east bank of the Credit, about a mile from its mouth, was reputed to be the dwelling-place of the " Mamagwasewug," or " fairies," who used to paddle a stone canoe, disappearing into the solid rock on the shore when closely pursued. These " fairies " were the good genii of the huntsman, and to them were made offerings of bits of cloth, tobacco, etc. They often used to steal fish out of the Indians' nets. " Fairies " were to be met with also all over Burlington Bay.

48


Previous Index Next