Elinor Benjamin, Storyteller

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“Keep calm. Be Brave. Watch for the Signs”

Casper Friendly Bear aka Thomas King

 

Cousin Silas and the Moose Woman

This one hour show was many years in my thoughts, and emerged into the light of day in 2016. It covers a little Nova Scotia history;  three stories collected and translated from the Mi'kmaq by Silas Tertius Rand (1810 - 1889) the Baptist Missionary, who sought to convert the Mi'kmaq from Roman Catholicism to his faith, learned the Mi'kmaq language (and 11 others) and who brought the stories of Glooscap to the English-speaking world. Included are three songs discovered by "happy accident" during my research on "Cousin Silas", my second cousin, five times removed (on my mother's side), including a sing-along of the once-famous Missionary Hymn "From Greenland's Icy Mountain" - harmony welcome. It wouldn't pass the political correctness test today! It was a different time - a time when fewer people understood how heavily the white man's burden was oppressing the world. I include it to help us place the events in the context of the time. I dedicate this show to all people who have been forced from their homes and their cultures. Nothing changes. Tout Passe!

Listen to a 30 minute interview with Dale Jarvis from 2016    Living Heritage Podcast from St. John's, NL

Photos from Jan 10, 2019 performance at the Halifax Storytellers Circle gathering at historic Wright House 

Tambourine in hand, ready to tell the story of Silas Tertius Rand, Baptist Missionary 1810-1889

“Tout Passe” -  an ancient French hymn sung by the Acadians as they were being loaded aboard the ships that were to take them into exile. Clara Dugas helps with sub-titles -  19th Century style.


19th Century karaoke: "From Greenland's Icy Mountains" written in 1819 by Reginald Heber with tune by Lowell Mason, and well-known by Silas. Two centuries later it expresses unattractive sentiments and disappeared from hymnbooks in the 20th Century.

 

​​​​​​Cousin Silas has appeared in various forms at the

  • St. John's Storytelling Festival Oct 2016
  • Women for Music, Halifax Oct 2016
  • Maritime Conservatory for Performing Arts, Sep 2016
  • Rotary Centre for the Arts, Corner Brook, Mar 2016
     
Full programme from 2016 show with sources, bibliography
and some credits

The Missionary Hymn - Sheet Music






Jan 2019