Royal Canadian Mint

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LEGEND OF NANABOOZHOO Silver Coin 20$ Canada 2014


A celebration of the time-honoured tradition of Aboriginal storytelling through a series of beautifully detailed coins that depict a beloved Ojibwa tale: the legend of Nanaboozhoo. This coin captures a pivotal scene within the story, in which the hero is pursued by angry Thunderbirds after he has taken feathers from their young.

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Legend of Nanaboozhoo
Nanabozho is the benevolent culture hero of the Anishinaabe tribes. His name is spelled so many different ways partially because the Anishinabe languages were originally unwritten (so English speakers just spelled the name however it sounded to them at the time), and partially because the Ojibway, Algonquin, Potawatomi, and Menominee languages are spoken across a huge geographical range in both Canada and the US, and the name sounds different in the different languages and dialects they speak.
Stories about Nanabozho vary considerably from community to community. Nanabozho is usually said to be the son of either the West Wind or the Sun, and since his mother died when he was a baby, Nanabozho was raised by his grandmother Nokomis. In some tribal traditions Nanabozho is an only child, but in others he has a twin brother or is the eldest of four brothers. The most important of Nanabozho's brother figures is Chibiabos or Moqwaio, Nanabozho's inseparable companion (often portrayed as a wolf) variously said to be his twin brother, younger brother, or adopted brother. Nanabozho is associated with rabbits and is sometimes referred to as the Great Hare (Misabooz), although he is rarely depicted as taking the physical form of a rabbit. Nanabozho is a trickster figure and can be a bit of a rascal, but unlike trickster figures in some tribes, he does not model immoral and seriously inappropriate behavior-- Nanabozho is a virtuous hero and a dedicated friend and teacher of humanity. Though he may behave in mischievous, foolish, and humorous ways in the course of his teaching, Nanabozho never commits crimes or disrespects Native culture and is viewed with great respect and affection by Anishinabe people.

  • CountryCanada
  • Year2014
  • Face Value20 Dollars
  • MetalSilver
  • Fineness (purity)999/1000
  • Weight (g)31.39
  • Diameter (mm)38
  • QualityProof
  • Mintage (pcs)8.500
  • Certificate (COA)Yes
  • Presentation case (box)Yes
A key scene from the legend of Nanaboozhoo is depicted in a reverse image designed by Canadian artist Cyril Assiniboine, who is Ojibwa. Nanaboozhoo has climbed the highest cliff to get to the Thunderbirds’ nest, where he has plucked feathers from the young birds (seen in the upper right side of the image). But the fully grown Thunderbirds have since returned to the nest and are angered by Nanaboozhoo’s actions. With lightning flashing from a Thunderbird’s eye and thunder rolling from its beak, Nanaboozhoo quickly flees from the Thunderbird’s wrath while clutching the feather-adorned arrow in his right hand. The colour of the coin is amazing. The coin is encapsulated and presented in a Royal Canadian Mint-branded maroon clamshell with custom beauty box featuring the original painting.