Chahkapas : A Naskapi Legend
2 October 2021
Châhkâpâs: A Naskapi Legend shares the story of Châhkâpâs, a heroic figure in First Nations storytelling, who performs feats of strength and skill in spite of his diminutive size.
The book shares this traditional legend as originally recorded in the Naskapi community in northern Quebec in 1967 when it was narrated by John Peastitute, a Naskapi Elder and accomplished storyteller. Transcribed in the Naskapi language and syllabic orthography, the book offers a literary resource for the Naskapi language community, and the English translation enables those unfamiliar with the language, or the story, to discover this important legend.
The book also contains extensive analysis of stories about Châhkâpâs, notes about the provenance of the recordings, a biography of the storyteller, and a history of the Naskapi people. Lavish illustrations from Elizabeth Jancewicz—an artist raised in the Naskapi community—provide a sensitive and accurate graphical account of the legend, which has also been approved by Naskapi speakers themselves.