The Origin of Ne-naw-bo-zhoo
This story was related by Andrew J. Blackbird or Mack-aw-de-be-nessy (Black Hawk) of the Odawa Nation, in his 1897 book Indians of Michigan: The Ottawa and Chippewa.
From Chapter IX
Some of the legends of the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians Respecting the Great Flood of the World -- A Person Swallowed Up Alive Like a Prophet Jonah.
As to the origin of Ne-naw-bo-zhoo, the legend says, that once upon a time there lived a maiden with her grandmother, who was a very dutiful and obedient child, observing every precept which was taught her by her grandmother, and she spent much time fasting; during which time she had wonderful dreams which she related to her grandmother every morning during her fast days. She very often had a vision of holding conversation with some deities and finally she was assured in a vision that her children would be terrible and would redeem all the inhabitants of the earth from their various calamities; and accordingly, she bore two sons. The first born was like any other human child, but the last one was a monster which caused the death of its mother and, although shaped like a human being, as soon as born ran off in the wilderness and was never again seen by any person; but the first child was nourished and reared by the grandmother. When this child grew to be playful and talkative by the side of its grandmother, he was so strange that very often she would say to him, "Your actions are like a Ne-naw-bo-zhoo." Then the child would reply, "I am the great Ne-naw-bo-zhoo on the earth." The meaning of this word in the Algonquin language is "a clown" and therefore he meant that he was the great clown of the world.