Orion has been very prominent in our evening sky! He has been speaking loudly this season to me, and I have been doing lots of research on the indigenous cultures and their star lore and constellations.
Orion takes Sasquatch form among the tribes of Ontario, Canada. In Anishinabe (Ojibway) and Cree, he has several names; Nanabush Anung, Wesakaychack, Misabe, and Mistapiw, all of which loosely translate to the Giant. They say he is a teacher, but also a trickster and shapeshifter; often taking the form of a furry giant.
Orion is “The Giant One” - with lots of interpretations, including Wesakechak, The ShapeShifting Trickster, as well as The Tall Giant & Sasquatch
“Wesakechak is a trickster and stories begin, move forward and end with him. Stories about Wesakechak are to be told only in the winter when he stands tall in the sky. Today we call that constellation Orion. In the Ininewuk or Cree language, he’s called Mistapiw, also translated as the Giant. The stories of Wesakechak are tales about a shape shifter who can be a big furry creature or sometimes are rock or small animal. He teaches through his mistakes and many of his stories are very funny. “
There's more than one way to see the constellations. Here's a look through Native American eyes.
Biboonkeonini, The Wintermaker (also known to us as Orion)
“We know and love the traditional constellations. Many of us have formed lifelong associations with their seasonal arrivals and departures. But sometimes it's nice to switch lenses and see how others see the sky. It's not only fun to connect the dots to make new patterns; at the same time, we broaden our understanding of another culture. No matter Greek, Polynesian, Chinese, or Ojibwe, each civilization imbues the starry heavens with their own unique vision of life. Instructive stories, moral guidance, and lessons in human fallibility have been heaped upon the stars for you and I to ponder on the next clear night.”