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The Coming of Gluscabi

A Native American story told by Joseph Bruchac

Joseph Bruchac
Joseph Bruchac

After Tabaldak had finished making human beings, he dusted his hands off and some of that dust sprinkled on the Earth. From the dust Gluscabi formed himself. He sat up from the Earth and said, “Here I am.” So it is that some of the Abenaki people call Gluscabi by another name, “Odzihozo,” which means, “the man who made himself from something.” He was not as powerful as Tabaldak, The Owner, but like his grandchildren, the human beings, he had the power to change things, sometimes for the worse. When Gluscabi sat up for the Earth, The Owner was astonished. “How did it happen now that you came to be?” he said. Then Gluscabi said, “Well, it is because I formed myself from this dust left over from the first humans that you made.” “You are very wonderful,” The Owner told him…. “I am wonderful because you sprinkled me,” Gluscabi answered…Then the Owner said, “Behold here how wonderful is my work. By the wish of my mind I created all this existing world, oceans, rivers, lakes.” And he and Gluscabi gazed open-eyed.

— From “The Coming of Gluscabi” in Native American Stories told by Joseph Bruchac

Joseph Bruchac (b. 1942) is an American writer and anthologist with a particular focus on northeastern Native American and Anglo-American lives and folklore. The author of poetry, novels, and short stories, Bruchac is descended from the Abenaki, one of the Algonquian-speaking peoples, and also has English and Slovak ancestors. Coauthor with Michael J. Caduto of the Keeper of the Earth series, from which the above selection was culled, Bruchac has also been instrumental in helping many Native American writers find publishers.

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Joseph Bruchac
Joseph Bruchac

After Tabaldak had finished making human beings, he dusted his hands off and some of that dust sprinkled on the Earth. From the dust Gluscabi formed himself. He sat up from the Earth and said, “Here I am.” So it is that some of the Abenaki people call Gluscabi by another name, “Odzihozo,” which means, “the man who made himself from something.” He was not as powerful as Tabaldak, The Owner, but like his grandchildren, the human beings, he had the power to change things, sometimes for the worse. When Gluscabi sat up for the Earth, The Owner was astonished. “How did it happen now that you came to be?” he said. Then Gluscabi said, “Well, it is because I formed myself from this dust left over from the first humans that you made.” “You are very wonderful,” The Owner told him…. “I am wonderful because you sprinkled me,” Gluscabi answered…Then the Owner said, “Behold here how wonderful is my work. By the wish of my mind I created all this existing world, oceans, rivers, lakes.” And he and Gluscabi gazed open-eyed.

— From “The Coming of Gluscabi” in Native American Stories told by Joseph Bruchac

Joseph Bruchac (b. 1942) is an American writer and anthologist with a particular focus on northeastern Native American and Anglo-American lives and folklore. The author of poetry, novels, and short stories, Bruchac is descended from the Abenaki, one of the Algonquian-speaking peoples, and also has English and Slovak ancestors. Coauthor with Michael J. Caduto of the Keeper of the Earth series, from which the above selection was culled, Bruchac has also been instrumental in helping many Native American writers find publishers.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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