Word of the Week: Ti-Jean

Word of the Week…en Français

Ti-Jean /tee-zhawn/ folklore figure

Petit Jean – “little Jean”: A teller of tall tales, accomplisher of mighty feats, Ti-Jean is the boy folk hero of French Canada. He combines a naïve sense of security with an overwhelming energy to astound those around him by his daring and deeds. He is associated in Metis culture with Nanabozho, the trickster/hero of the Ojibwa people and with Wisakechak, the traditional Cree figure. Also known as Chi-Jean. Ti-Jean was Jack Kerouac’s nickname as a boy. See also: Three Cousins, Ti-Jean Goes Lumbering (NFB film), and A Language of Our Own: The Genesis of Michif the Cree-French Language of the Canadian Metis (p69).

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