Turns out Connecticut’s very own rock formation isn’t as exclusive as we thought. Because I found Sleeping Giant’s twin!
I’m dead serious. There’s another one.
So, in the Canadian city of Thunder Bay, you can find Sleeping Giant 2.0. This particular geological phenomenon rests comfortably along Lake Superior. Honestly, it’s an extremely gorgeous sight. No amount of zoom could do it justice, though.
Anyways, you’re probably wondering how do I know this? Or, more specifically, why do I have these photos? Well, my friends, it’s because I went to Canada last week. Specifically: Thunder Bay.
What? I have friends there. Yes, I also have friends. Shocker!
So, the second the plane touched down, my eyes immediately went to Canada’s version of Sleeping Giant. For a second I honestly thought I accidentally boarded a flight back home. Or that Sleeping Giant 1.0 followed me to Thunder Bay.
For the record: Porter Airlines hooks its passengers up with complementary booze. I took advantage of the offer.
Hey, I had wine at a high altitude. Talk about a head trip.
Anyways, a couple days later I got on a sail boat with a couple of friends who regaled me with the legend of Sleeping Giant.
It’s a pretty fascinating native Native American legend.
So, the Ojibwe claim that the under the sheets of rocks and dirt lies their divine being: Nanabijou. Basically, a good-ish divine entity of water with a wicked sense of humor.
AKA: Trickster god.
Anyways, the Ojibwe earned the favor of Nanabijou for their loyalty and he rewarded them with a rich silver mine. However, he warned them that should the White Man ever learned of the mine, they will lose it forever.
So, the Ojibwe promised to keep the secret only to themselves and went about making silver crafts, which earned them insurmountable fortunes.
Obviously, their wealth attracted jealousy from the neighboring Sioux warriors, who wanted the silver for themselves. But the Ojibwe were proud people and no amount of torture and death from the Sioux could make them speak.
So, the warriors hatched another plan: infiltration. Soon enough, a warrior disguised himself as Ojibwe and eventually learned of the mine’s location. He stole several pieces of silver and ran off to tell his people.
But, along the way, the warrior encountered the White Man, who took notice of the silver and wanted to learn where to find more. After plying the warrior with alcohol, the Sioux agreed to lead them to the mine.
Another version claims the Sioux wanted to destroy the mine and he deliberately led the White Man to it. You know, the age old “If I can’t have it… NO ONE will!”
Anyways, this is where the legend breaks off into several endings. My favorite, however, is Nanabijou being a giant salty divine being. Basically, he saw the White Man coming and flopped on top of the silver mine, turning into stone so no one could access it ever again.
Other legends say that Nanabijou warned the Ojibwe that should the mine ever fall into the wrong hands, he’d be turned into stone. So, he either turned by choice or by a broken promise: take your pick.
Fascinatingly enough, the mine does actually exist! If you get close enough to the island, you can still see its flooded entrance.
No one’s ever been able to pump the water out of it, which means Nanabijou is still salty about what happened. I mean, if a divine being can live forever, they sure can hold their grudges for that long, too.
Either way, that’s the legend of Sleeping Giant of Thunder Bay.
Which vastly differs from ours. Because OUR Sleeping Giant is a total jerk.
Damned Connecticut says that the Quinnipiac Indians say that the giant Hobbomock rests beneath the rocks. Hobbomock supposedly carried and contained the souls of the dead.
But, he wasn’t really nice about it. Actually, this guy acted like a toddler by throwing constant temper tantrums and did only what pleased him.
Naturally, lots of people died whenever he had a meltdown.
So, after falling into an oyster-induced coma, Keihtan the creator-god, cast a sleeping spell on the giant. He couldn’t kill Hobbomock because he’s a divine being, so putting him in a never-ending sleep happened to be the next best thing.
So, as the years went on, the early slowly reclaimed the area Hobbomock rested upon and covered him with trees, dirt, and rock.
Does this mean Nanabijou and Hobbomock are related? Probably not, but I bet the Native American gods joke among themselves about “who wore it better?”