The Old Man Told Us: Excerpts from Micmac History, 1500-1950

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Nimbus Pub., Jan 1, 1991 - History - 385 pages
2 Reviews
The Mi'kmaq people have been living in what is now Atlantic Canada for two thousand years or more, yet written history has largely ignored them, presenting them merely as a homogeneous mass or as statistics. Renowned Micmac specialist Ruth Holmes Whitehead, formerly staff ethnologist and assistant curator in history at the Nova Scotia Museum, tries to redress that omission by restoring to the collective memory a true sense of the Mi'kmaq. In this rich collection, oral and written, Mi'kmaq accounts juxtapose contemporary European perceptions of native peoples, as documented in letters, journals, court cases, and much more. Above all, The Old Man Told Us is a historical jigsaw puzzle, a display of fragments of broken mirror in which one can capture moments in the lives of particular people. It is a book of excerpts from whatever scattered documentation has survived over the centuries.

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Review: The Old Man Told Us

User Review  - Craig - Goodreads

A bit difficult to read but it was meaningful. Chief Sherry Pictou gave me her personal copy. It is the book that the Micmacs refer to. I was lucky enough to work with Bear River several years ago. Read full review

Review: The Old Man Told Us

User Review  - louis - Goodreads

i am mi'kmaq obsessed. especially with our stories. though i gotta say that it's super weird and pretty boring that a lot of our stories have been written down by white folks. it's gettin kinda old. Read full review



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About the author (1991)

Ruth Holmes Whitehead is a renowned Mi'kmaq specialist and staff ethnologist and assistant curator in history at the Nova Scotia Museum in Halifax. Her publications include Six Micmac Stories, The Mi'kmaq, How Their Ancestors Lived Five Hundred Years Ago, Micmac Quillwork, and Elitekey.

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