Attean finds his Manitou by Mrs. Kynigou


Today we were reading how Attean has to go through a” rite of passage”, a test where he must stay alone in the forest without food for days and days until he discovers his manitou or personal spirit. I found a link to a site which explains more about this tradition of the Illinois people here.

Choose a response:
If you were Attean, what would you do? How do you think you would feel during this ordeal? Can you create a magnified moment in a comment, writing as if you were Attean?
When Attean returns to his village, having found his manitou, he is given a new warrior name, such as Strong Wolf. What name would suit him best given what you know of his character from the story? Explain your thinking supporting your ideas with evidence from the book.
Click hereto join our poll for the best fit warrior name for Attean.
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Credits: Thank you to Mr Gallis for this idea. Image courtesy of what'

19 thoughts on “Attean finds his Manitou by Mrs. Kynigou

  1. Dear Mrs.Kynigou,
    If I was Attean I would probably start loosing control over myself after 2…3 days because I am used to eating and I wouldn’t be able to stand it. Also if I couldn’t find it for too long I would go back to the tribe saying that I found it.

    1. Dear Everyone,
      What do you think about this idea that you could lie about finding your manitou as an Native American warrior? Do you agree or disagree with this solution to Attean’s test to become a man?
      I’m very interested to hear your feedback on this. To join this conversation, reply to this comment to create what is called a thread.

      1. Dear Mrs. Kynigou,
        I think that if I were to lie I would not be able to do or tell very much because I am sure everyone would want to know what/who my manitou was. Also, what do you think Attean’s manitou really was?

      2. I think you would always doubt yourself because you would know that you had cheated. The thing about facing challenges and overcoming them is that you become stronger, and you can draw on that strength to face the next challenge.
        As for Attean’s manitou, my guess would be a hawk: observant, decisive and lethal.

  2. Dear Mrs. Kinigou,
    If I were the decision maker on what names Indians should have after finding their Manitou, I would name Attean, Emotionless Hawk. I would name him Emotionless Hawk because he has no feelings or pretends to have no feelings.
    Ex: Page 98 para 6.
    Hawk because when there was a bear, he stopped Matt the minute he heard a suspicious sound.
    Ex: Page 71 para 3.

  3. If I was Attean I would lie in the grass, looking up at the sky going from light blue to the painted colors of evening. I would be listening to the activity happening in the forest. Maybe the chirping of new born baby owls high up in a tree that I can’t see because the sun is blinding my eyes. Or maybe the sound of the hustle and bustle of squirrels bouncing from tree to tree. Or perhaps the sound of water in a nearby creek. I will be feeling the cool breeze as it sways the grass from left to right. But if it is a cold night I would grab some twigs and create a fire (knowing how to do that since I am a Native American boy) in order to keep myself warm enough to last the night. The only thing I would not be thinking of is if I will ever find my Manitou? And if so what will he look like? I will let my Manitou come when my Manitou thinks it is time.

  4. Dear Mrs. Kynigou,
    A name I would give Attean, is the Wild Hunter. I would choose this name because Attean always catches animals for his family and his relatives and all Indians to eat. Also, since he always go into the wild, and hunts with his bow and arrow, I think it’s the most appropriate name to give him. The Wild Hunter.

  5. Dear Mrs. Kynigou,
    I think he should be called rapid fox because he acts very fast and he is also very fast on his feet. He is very quiet and doesn’t make a sound so he doesn’t get seen. That is why I would call him a rapid fox.

  6. Dear Mrs.Kynigou,
    I would call Attean Clever Hawk. I would call him Clever Hawk because he knows many things about the forest. For example, he knows a plant that makes stew tastier. He also knows a weed that makes the insect bites stop stinging. He knows plants that people should never eat. He also knows how to make snares instead of killing the actual animal himself. I think he should be Clever Hawk because he is clever and smart and quick as a hawk, for example when he killed the bear.

  7. Dear Mrs. Kynigou,would have went to find my Manitou because it would make me a smarter and more responsible hunter and man. During this ordeal I would feel afraid. What would happen if I had been trying to find my manitou and stayed there for months or years? What would happen if I couldn’t find my manitou? Now I will write you a magnified moment of me being Attean and finding my manitou.
    I was walking in the dark, scary, woods. The trees were covering my head and the sky was very misty. I was exhausted. I found a pile of wood and used it as my pillow. I took out a beaver skin my grandpa Saknis had gave me and put it on my freezing body. The woods were silent. You couldn’t even hear a needle falling on the muddy ground. Then my head sank to my rough pillow. I had fallen to a deep sleep. Then while I was dreaming ,my manitou came and spoke to me. ” Attean you are a great hunter and very good Indian boy. You follow your grandparents rules and you are very helpful. You deserve a rifle because you will help the Indians in your village a lot.” The next morning I was a man. I went back to the Indian village were everyone was shouting out of excitment. I will never forget this day.
    Your student,

  8. Dear Mrs. Kynigou,
    It is dark. The woods are quiet. Only one animal awake: an owl. As I stand in my wooden room, I pray, hoping to see my manitou. Afraid, I concentrate on my pray. Suddenly, I fall. My eyes are covered with fog. Slowly, a creature appears. I can not tell what it is. As my eyes start feeling better, I realize it is a bear. With a strange language it shows me moves. I then understood my manitou came. I had found my own spirit.

  9. Dear Mrs Kynigou
    If I were Attean I would stay more in nature because I enjoy being alone and exploring things.I would feel happy if I were waiting for my manitou to come. I would be having dreams and visions. If the moose came I would have a personal spirit to guide me with my hunting, fishing and protecting my people. I would name Attean Brave Bear, because he is very brave and wants to honor his family.

  10. I think that Attean’s manitou is Bear Wolf why? Because Attean showed bravery,strength,power,and cleverness. Attean is brave because he is maybe the first one to speak English and read as well. Attean is clever because he takes Matt to his cabin and he is trying to teach Matt how to know his way in the forest.

  11. Dear Mrs. Kinigou,
    I believe that the best name for Attean is “The Black fox” because he wants to be the leader in the relationship between him and Matt. Also, he wanted Matt to follow his directions and he was making tricky tricks to Matt because he wanted to prove that he was better than him. Like the times when Attean asked Matt to do something that he couldn’t, for example to catch a fish with a sharp stick, only to prove that Matt wasn’t that good.
    Your student Pandelis

  12. Dear Mrs. Kynigou,
    I would name Attean the Forestknower because he knows all the secrets of the forest
    like when he cut the bark of a tree and he made gum somehow or when he showed Matt
    how to make a bow and arrows, to use specific wood. Also, when he made an animal
    trap so Matt could know how to get meat whenever he wanted. Attean also knows
    the forest like the back of his hand. That’s why I would call him the Forestknower, because he knows everything about the forest.
    Your student,

  13. Dear Mrs.Kynigou,
    I believe Atteans warrior name should be mighty Bear loyalist .I believe this because he killed a bear with just a handmade bow and arrow.What Im trying to say is if colonist was in that situation he would just go bang!But,Attean spent the time to make a bow.He also is loyal beavers and bears not just beavers.

  14. Dear Mrs. Kynigou,
    I believe Attean should be called the Running Beaver because, first he
    lives in the beaver territory and, second he is always on the move
    either hunting, trapping, or going to fetch Matt.
    PS: I think it would be a good idea to vote amongst us, to see who’s warrior
    name fits him the best.

  15. I am walking around in the forest. I find a good clearing to build my wooden wigwam and start a fire. The grass is a green carpet, covering up the bare earth’s soil. I build my wigwam, wondering about what my manitou will look like. It might be a creature, it might be a bird or a tree, who knows. The best would be a bear. That would make me a real hunter. Thinking gets me tired. My eyes feel heavy. I am starting to fall asleep. I crawl into my wigwam. In my dream, is my manitou, I see it. “Wake up”, it yells. It’s a woman. A few seconds later, I see Mrs. Kynigou, standing in front of my desk.
    This isn’t my manitou, I was sleeping during class again! I guess my manitou will have to wait for later… So long, recess…

    – Anna Louise #3

  16. Dear Attean,

    Personally, I would have given you the warrior name of Brave Bear! I admired your courage and bravery when you found the big bear in the woods. You did not panic. You acted quickly, and saved your friend and yourself. I found you fascinating as you aimed your arrow at the bear and shot the bear right between the eyes. You then got even more power and courage and stabbed your knife into the bear’s skin as well. That is a brave and unselfish thing you did in order to save yourself and your friend. I admire you very much and I hope that one day, I can be as courageous as you.

    Love, Nina

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