The Defeat of Great Glooskap - an Algonquin Native American folktale

The Defeat of Great Glooskap - an Algonquin Native American folktale

  The Defeat of Great Glooskap Folktale from Algonquin Native Americans Characters Narrator - a voice offstage or another puppet Glooskap - mighty, b...

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The Defeat of Great Glooskap Folktale from Algonquin Native Americans Characters Narrator - a voice offstage or another puppet Glooskap - mighty, brave, and fierce Wife - patient wife of Glooskap and mother of Wasis Wasis - baby son of Glooskap and his wife

Scene 1 Before the curtain opens Narrator sets the scene. Narrator: This is a story of Great Glooskap. The Algonquin tribes tell many stories about Glooskap. He is many heroes all rolled into one. He created much of the world, was a great warrior, he was master over ghosts and spirits, and he was the Lord of Men and Beasts. He wandered the world for a long time performing great feats. At last one day he decided to return home. Upon arriving home he finds his wife's complete attention on a creature he had never seen before anywhere during his long travels.

The curtain opens on the home of Glooskap with his wife engrossed with Wasis. Glooskap: (thunders) Why do you not greet me upon my return? What manner of creature has your attention? Wife: It is the mighty Wasis. Take care not to bother him or it will be trouble. He is my master day and night. Glooskap: (arrogant) I will not be dominated by this insignificant creature. Wife: He holds the past in one hand and the future in his other hand. He is our master! Glooskap: (walking up to Wasis) You are not my master. I am the Lord of Men and Beasts. You do not bring fear to my heart. Wasis: (looks at Glooskap, smiles and coos) Coo... Glooskap: (ready to fight) You can not defeat me. Wasis: (sucks on his fingers) Glooskap: (shouts) I'll play no games with you. On your feet and fight! Wasis: (screams, cries) Yowl! Yowl! ... (Glooskap holds his head in pain at the noise.) Wasis: (screams, cries) Yowl! Yowl! ... Glooskap: (shouts) Stop making that noise! Wasis: (screams, cries) Yowl! Yowl! ... Glooskap: I'll quiet you with the dances that quiet spirits and ghosts. (Glooskap dances while Wasis continues to scream. Glooskap dances and dances until he has no more energy.) Wasis: (looks at Glooskap, smiles and coos) Coo... (Glooskap is so exhausted he can no longer stand.) Wasis: Coo... Narrator: So it was that Wasis defeated Glooskap. Even to this day babies rule the world.

(Curtain drops. The End.) The Defeat of Great Glooskap—from a fable of Algonquin Na ve Americans 

©2011 All rights reserved / Page 1 


About the Play - The Defeat of Great Glooskap

Glooskap is the hero of many tales told by Native American tribes in the northeastern part of North America. He is part creator, part warrior, master of ghosts and spirits, and the Master of All Beasts and Men. This story is a favorite of Algonquin women, but anyone who has ever spent a sleepless night with a wailing baby can understand Glooskap's exhaustion. The Algonquin women also like to tell it to men who are too full of themselves. There is a final Glooskap story. It has him leaving the Algonquin people just before the arrival of Europeans on the shores of North America. They were greatly saddened by his departure and grew smaller and weaker. Glooskap promised to return one day to defeat evil and restore happiness.

Puppets Make Glooskap, Wife and Wasis puppets from the Animated Stick Puppets project at Make two Wasis puppets -- one happy and one crying. Or make one puppet with the happy face and stick the crying face over the happy face when needed. (Use removable tape or non-permanent glue on the back of the crying face.) For young child, skip taping the sticks on the arms. The arms can be left in one position or be moved by hand.

Sets You will need a backdrop for the inside of a hut. Start with a tan sheet of construction paper and draw wood supports and a door. Decorate it with cooking items, baskets and blankets—these could be cut from colored cut and glued on the backdrop.

Props No props are needed for this play.

Staging Tips 

This play requires at least three puppeteers -- one for each puppet onstage at any time.  The Narrator can simply be a voice from offstage or it can be another puppet. Make a Narrator puppet of your own design or use another puppet from this project or another to be a narrator.

The Defeat of Great Glooskap—from a fable of Algonquin Na ve Americans 

©2011 All rights reserved / Page 2