The Fear of Monkeys - The Best E-Zine on the Web for Politically Conscious Writing The Spider Monkey - Issue One
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Spider Monkey

The Spider Monkey is pot - bellied, spider - limbed, worried - faced and independent. They have very long legs and tails and are extremely agile. In the tropical rainforest of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil, they live in communities that can break into sub-groups of 3-4 individuals. Spider monkeys live in trees up to 35 metres above the ground. Probably only gibbons exceed spider monkeys in agility in the trees. Acrobatic and swift, spider monkeys move through the trees, with one arm stride covering up to 12 metres. They have a prehensile tail, which acts as a fifth limb, able to grasp objects or hold their entire body weight for long periods.
They eat fruit, nuts, seeds or leaves but they will take insects or small animals if they are readily available. Maturity is reached at around four years, with females coming into season every four weeks. Gestation is 7-8 months. Newborns cling to their mothers' abdomen and then travel on her back until independence. The average life span for a Spider monkey is around 20 years. They are closely related to the other monkeys in the family cebidae, including capuchins and howler monkeys.
They have been known to shake a vine occupied by a predator to cause them to fall. They have also been seen breaking off dead branches weighing nearly 5kg and dropping them on the predator.
Reasons for their decline include hunting for food by locals, the use of infants as pets, and habitat loss due to clearing of forests for agriculture and human habitation. They are vulnerable because they have low maturation and reproduction rates. Their habitat, mature rain forests, is being lost to farming at the rate of 35,000 acres a day. Preserving the rainforest in South America will help save them from extinction.


  Niizhin Manijooshan or The Two Bugs

told by

Solomon Wawatie

awedi godag aadisookaan
this other story

aadidog ge-izhi-atoowaabaan
I don't know where I would classify it

ge-izhi-etig giizhaachigaadegoban entaagok
where it would be classified by its content

debwe aadisookaan goni goj niigaanajimowin
as a true story or as a prophecy

goni goj gaa-bi-zhebag ge-ani-zhebag
or a historical fact, foreseen possibilities

aadidog ge-ezhichigaadegoban
I don't know how it would be classified

nga-aadisooke [ngaadisooke] dash nimishoomezhiban gaa-gii-aadisookepan
I will tell the story my late uncle told

e-ma'oji-dinaaniwag giji-maamidinendag anishinaabe
at a meeting so that the Anishinaabe would think about it

ezhi-maaji-aadisookenaaniwan [aatsookenaanyon] dash wedi
where the story begins

ogwedog anishinaabeg nigodin ogii-waabadaanaawaa gichi-ziibiikaag edi
these Anishinaabe once they saw, on the St Laurence River,

ogii-waabadaan e-dazhi-waase'aabikidenig niizhin gegooni
they saw two things

so they went to get them by canoe

apiich edi gaa-oditig
when they arrived there

azhi odooji-waabamaan manijooshan [minjooshan] niizhiwan agaasheshiwan
they saw two small bugs (note word order and form here)

bezhig ozaawazhooniyaawi [ozaawazhooniyaawi]
one was golden

miiniwaaj godag waabizhooniyaaw
the other was silvery

it was silvery

gaa-izhi-bi-giiwanaajin dedigoo
they truly brought them back home

mega ogii-gichi-minoshiwaan
because they were pretty

they brought them back

gaa-izhi-waabidi'aajin anishinaaben
and showed the people

ooo ogii-zaagiwaan dash
they loved it

they loved them

gaa-ashamaawaajin dash niitam gaa-ashamaawaajin manijooshan anoj igoj manijooshan
when they fed them the first time, when they fed the bugs with other bugs

gegapiich bi-giijiishig gii-maajibiyoog
soon they grew a little

azhi ogashkiyaan omagakiishan waabagozhiishan e-agaasheshinjin awesiizan
they were now able to eat frogs and mice and little animals

ogashkiyaan giji-amwaajin
they could eat (them)

gaabaj gii-maajigi
they grew more

gegapiich ajijimooshan bineshiizhan
soon (they were eating) squirrels and birds

ajijimoosh igoj gaa-ani-nigiwaaj awesiizag iyenan gaa-gii-amwaajin
they would eat any animal the size of a squirrel

gaabaj ge-ana-midido
they grew bigger

azhi dash wiin ojishkoon binewan waaboozan giigoozan
soon (they were eating) muskrat, partridge, rabbit and fish

gaabaj gii-maajigi a'a manijoosh
those bugs grew more

gegapiich amikoon nigiigoon waagoshan giyenog goj gaa-ani-iniginwaaj awesiizag
soon they were eating animals the size of beaver, otter and fox

mii ena gaa-gii-amwaajin
that's what they ate

apiich ana-midiowan dedigoo
soon they became really big

so they built a fence for themselves

mii imaa gaa-izhi-ginendaagozinjin
that's where they were kept

gegapiich dash azhi moozan mokoon mweganan waabidiyan adikoon
soon moose, bear, wof, elk and caribou

gegapiich iyenan ogashki'aan giji-amwaajin
soon they could eat these

gek dedigoo gii-midido
they really got big

nigodin dash igoj mii gaa-izhi-maajaawaaj igi manijooshag
one day those bugs left

wiinshikenawaa gii-maajaawag
they left by themselves

dibi dash igoj e-babaa-izhaawaaj
and wherever they'd go

gakina gegoon odana-miijinawaa
they'd eat everything in their path

gek dedigoo midido
they got really big

gek neta goj igoj odani-miijin
soon they were eating everything in their path

odani-amwaan mitigoon
they ate trees

odana-miikanashkaan dedigoo magideyaani ezhi-miijig
they left very wide tracks where they'd eaten

gegapiich kina goj gegooni
soon (they'd eaten) everything

azhiwaabketaaj ziibiini
they would lay across a river

they would ruin it

nibowan [niboon] giigoozan
the fish would die

dibi ezhi-maabkeshig
wherever they'd lay

kina dash gegoon ogii-gidaanaawaan edi
they ate everything there

gaan dash azhii gegoonii odeyaasiinaawaa ge-miijimwaaj
they had nothing left to eat

mii dash azhii e-bi-gii'ej anishinaaben e-biinda-amowaajin
so they came back home to eat the Anishinaabe

(mi)shoomes dash awedi gii-wezhibaabidam
this old man had a dream

ogii-waabadaan wiin niigan iyeni
he saw the future of this

"azhi gii-biindamogonaan manijooshag odanishinaaben"
"the bugs are coming back to eat their Anishinaabe"

gii-wiidamwaaganii dash awedi shomes ge-doojigaadeg
the old man was told what to do

mii dash iyeni gaa-ozhitowaaj
so that's what he did

"baanimaa gichi-mitigwaabe giga-ozhi'aa [gigoozhiyaa] maamwii gichi-bikook [bokook]
"you all have to build a giant bow and a giant arrow

niizhin igoj
two of them

apiich dash giga-wiikobinaa
then you will draw it

zesibii ge-aabajitoowin gijoozesibiimiyin (zesibii OR sesibii)
the string you will use as your bowstring

gibikook gizhitakobanij
to tie your arrow (your bow)

baanimaa ikwe omiinisis gidaabajichigaadeni
you must use a woman's hair

apiich dash giga-wiikobinaa gibookook
after you will draw your arrow (your bow)

baanimaa dash giga-bii'aa abinoojiish" gii-inaaganii
then you will have to wait for a child" he was told

mii debwe gaa-doodamwaaj
so that is what they did

azhii awiik na ogii-waabamaan manijooshan e-biizhaanjin e-biidamosenjin
so someone spotted the bugs coming, walking towards them

azhii e-biinda-indawamagwaajin
coming for them

azhi wiikobinaan naa obikookoon
so they drew their arrow (bow)

dedigoo azhi beshinaagoziwan na manijooshan
those bugs were really close

gegaat igoj imaa ekwaa kisenjin ne obikookoon [obkookoon]
almost at the tip of his arrow

mii imaa azhi e-biidej
that's where they've landed already

"baanimaa dash giga-bii'aa abinoojish" inaaganiiwag idash
"now you must wait for the child" they are told

baanimaa giga-bii'aanaan abinoojiish
so we must wait for the child

mii dash debwe gaa-doodaamwaaj
so that is what they did

ogii-dazhi-majiminaawaan dash bikookan
so they held the arrow

dedigoo geshkam beshooj awedi a'a manjoosh
the bug(s) was soon very close

odazhi-baabii'aan [baabiiwaan] abinoojiishan
so they're waiting for the child

mii dash eta ekwaabiigosig aadisookaan iyedi
so that is how long this story is

igiyedpg idash iyedi dash ikidomagag wedi aadisookaan
what it means, what this story says

daabishkooj ozaawazhooniyaa manijoosh awedi mii naa gaa-bashtineg
the golden bug is the Americans

waaazhooniyaa manijoosh zhaganaash maamwii dash amitigoozhii gaa-dazhiikewaaj omaa
the silvery bug is the English and the French who live here

niitam gaa-dagoshinwaaj gaan gii-oji-maanesiiwag
when they first arrived, there were not many of them

gii-nitawgiiyaaganiiwag gii-ashamaaganiiwag
they were cared for, they were fed

gaa-bi-izhiyebag sa goj awdi ishkwiiyaag
all the things that have happened in the past

apiich gaa-dagoshinwaaj waabishkiiyeshch
when the whites (lit. white-eyes) arrived

gaan dash azhi dogosiini ge-gidamwaaj ge-miiji'ig
now they have nothing left to eat up, to eat

gizhigaadam niibii gaa-e-doodamwaaj
look at what they have done to the water

ogii-gabonaanaawaa oji-anamikiishkodeni
they have dammed it (blocked it) for electricity

giji-mishiboonchigiwaaj mitigoon ogii-bakobiiwaan
to drive the logs they put trees in the water

ogii-onaajiyaan giigoozan
they spoiled the fish

miniggig goj gaa-biinikemagizij odinoonashtoon
everything they have done they destroy

apiich gaa-gidamwaaj gaan azhi gegooni ge-miijig anishinaaben eta
after they ate everything up, there was nothing to eat, except the Anishinaabe (Indians)

mish igiyendoon gaa-biinda-amwaajin
so that is who they came to eat

mii imaa ekoseg ezhi-ishkwaaseg i'i aadisookaan iyedi
and that is as far as this story goes (where it ends)

mish iyedi anishinaabe ezhi-maamidinendag ezhi-debwetag
that is the way the Anishinaabe (Indians) think and believe

that's what they were taught

mii dash o'o noogom wedi
so this is the time

gichi-manijoosh azhi ezhi-biindamwaan anishinaaben
the big bug is coming to eat the Anishinaabe (Indians)

megwaaj dash dazhoozhiyaaganii
this is being put together now

bikook goni azhii gii-ozhi'aaganiidog
the arrow has likely already been made

goni gii-wiikobiinaaganidog
perhaps it has been drawn

megwaaj dazhi-ozhochigaade iyedi
while all this is happening

mii azhi imaa e-mademagig aadisookaan
that's where the story is up to

mii e-oji-ikidoyaan aadidog ge-izhaatowaa'aaban awedi adisookaan
that is why I say I don't know where to classify this story

giinawaa dash igojwaa-izhaatoweg ge-doodamig
so it is up to you (all) where you put it, what you'll do.

the end


(Translated by Christiano Artuso)

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