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Smokyriversongs' Look At Indian Life And The Lore
Arikara - Chinook













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Arikara Indian Lore:

 


The First to know Maize


A young Arikara man was the first to discover maize. While hunting atop a high hill he scouted a large bull buffalo standing at the confluence of two rivers. While deciding how to best approach the buffalo the young man was forced to look around him closely, and was taken with the beauty of his surroundings.

Though the banks of the river were nice and timbered, the buffalo was facing north, so the young man could not take a shot from either side. He decided he would wait until the buffalo moved nearer the timbered banks or wandered into the hills or ravines where the young man could hide in shrubs.

By sundown, the buffalo had not moved at all, so the young man returned to camp disappointed. His night was not easy. He spent it thinking about how scarce food was among the people, and how much good he could have done if he had taken the buffalo.

Just before dawn the young man got up and went back to the place he left the buffalo to see if it was still nearby, had it moved at all. As the sun rose, from his spot on the high hill, the young man saw the buffalo was still in the same spot but now it faced the east. And so it stood again, all day.

Disappointed again, the young man spent another sleepless night wondering why the buffalo would stand so steadfastly in one spot without eating, drinking or lying down to rest.

The next day was the same, except the buffalo faced south and the next day west. Now the young man was determined to know why the buffalo acted in this way. He settled in to watch, and told himself the buffalo was behaving this way for some mysterious purpose, and that he, too now, was under the same mystery. He went home to sleep and yet again spent the entire night wondering.

The next day he rose before dawn and ran to his mysterious scene. The buffalo was gone! Where it had stood there was a small bush. The young man approached with disappointment, but also curiosity and awe. The plant was nothing familiar to him, surrounded by buffalo tracks, north to east and south to west. In the center was a single buffalo track from which this strange plant grew. No buffalo tracks led away from the plant.

He ran back to camp and told the chiefs and elders of his strange experience. They all traveled to the spot and found what he told them to be true. They saw the tracks of the buffalo at the spot, but no tracks coming or going from the site of the strange plant.

Now while all these men believed this plant had been given to the people by Wakanda for their use, they were not sure what that use might be.

Thinking it might need time to ripen like other plants they knew, they posted a guard to wait and see if more information would come. Soon a spike of flowers appeared, but they knew from other plants this was a flower and not the fruit. Soon a new growth appeared. First it appeared as if it had hair at its top, soon turning from green to brown.

They determined this growth was the fruit of the plant, and approached with caution and although they wanted to know what it would provided no one dared touch it. The young man finally spoke:

"Everyone knows how my life since childhood has been useless, that my deeds among you more evil than good. So, since no one would regret should any evil befall me, I will be first to touch the plant and taste its fruit."

The young man gave thanks and prayer and grasped the plant. He told the people it was firm and ripe and inside the husk it was red. He took a few kernels, showed them to the people and then carefully replaced the husks. When the youth suffered no ill effects, the people were then convinced the plant was given to them as food so they would never be hungry.

The kernels were dispersed among the people and a great, fruitful harvest was gathered in the fall. The Arikaras decided to hold a feast and they invited many tribes and six came. The Arikaras shared the kernels with their guests, and so the knowledge of maize was spread among all.



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Athapascan Indian Lore:

 


The Raven

There once lived an old couple who wished to see their only daughter married to a rich man. When anyone arrived at their camp, the old man sent his son down to the landing to count the bone beads on the stranger's clothing, so that he could be received according to his rank.

One day the boy came running in saying that a man had come who would make a good brother-in-law, for he had a number of fine beads.
The mother went down to the riverbank and saw a richly dressed stranger whom she also thought would make a suitable husband. She noticed that the shore was wet and muddy, so she got some bark and tore it into strips for the stranger to walk upon.
She invited him to enter their tipi and seated him next to the girl.
The visitor pointed to a dog that was tied in the corner of the lodge and said,
"I can't eat while that animal is in here."
Thinking that only a very great personage would be so particular, the woman took the dog out into the forest and killed it.

The next morning as she went for wood, she noticed that the earth around the dog's body was marked with bird tracks and that its eyes had been picked out.
She returned to the camp and insisted that all the people take off their moccasins and show their feet, because she had heard that Raven could deceive people by appearing in human form.
The stranger, who was indeed Raven, took his moccasins off and slipped them on again so quickly that his scaly bird feet were not noticed.

The girl had agreed to marry Raven, and he demanded that she leave with him at once, before he could be found out. Promising that they would return in a few days, he took his bride down to his canoe.

As soon as the couple set off down the river, it began to rain. Raven was seated in front of the woman, who noticed that the rain was washing something white off his back. This made her suspicious, and she resolved to escape.
Reaching forward, she succeeded in tying the tail of Raven's coat to a crossbar of the canoe. Then she asked to be set ashore for a minute, saying that she would come right back. Her husband told her not to go far, but she started to run for home as soon as she was out of sight among the trees.

After a while Raven decided to follow her. He found that his tail was tied, and to get free he had to resume his true form. As he flew over the girl, he cried out,
"Once more I cheat you," then caw-cawed and glided away.

The girl got home safely and told her mother that her rich husband was Raven, who had come to them covered with lime, which the rain had melted.

Raven was always cheating the people, so they finally took his beak away from him.
After a time he went up the river and made a raft, which he loaded with moss. Floating down to the camps on it, he told the people that his head was sore where his beak had been torn off, and that he was lying in the moss to cool it.
Then he went back upriver and made several more rafts.
When the people saw these floating down toward them, they thought that a large group of warriors was coming to help Raven regain his beak. They held a council and decided to send a young girl to take the beak to an old woman who lived alone at some distance from the camp.

Raven, who had concealed himself among them and heard the council's plans, waited until the girl came back.
Then he went to the old woman and told her that the girl wanted her to return the beak to him.
Suspecting nothing, the old woman gave him his beak. He put it on and flew away, cawing with pleasure at his success.
The warriors who had been on the rafts proved to be nothing but the tufts of hummocks of bog moss which are commonly known as "tetes de femmes".



 


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Blackfoot Indian Lore:

 

How A Pagan Warrior Found The First Horses

 

A long time ago a warrior of the pagan Blackfoot dreamed about a lake far away where some large animals lived. A voice in the dream told him the animals were harmless and that he could use them for dragging travois and carrying packs in the same way the people then used dogs. "Go to this lake," the dream voice told him,"and take a rope with you so that you can catch theses animals."

When the warrior awoke he took a long rope made from strips of a buffalo hide and traveled many miles on foot to the shore of the lake. He dug a hole in the sandy beach and concealed himself there. While he watched, he saw many animals come down to the lake to drink, coyotes, elk, and buffalo all came to quench their thirst.

After a while the wind began to blow. Waves rose on the lake and began to roll and hiss along the beach. At last a heard of large animals, unlike any the Pagan had ever seen before, suddenly

appeared before him. they were as large as elks and had small ears and long tails hanging to the ground. Some were white, some were black, and some were red and some were spotted. The young ones were smaller. When they reached the waters' edge and bent to drink, the voice, the Pagan had heard in his dream, whispered to him: "Throw your rope and catch one."

And so the warrior threw his rope and caught one of the largest of the animals. It struggled and pulled and drug the man about, and the warrior was not strong enough to hold the animal. Finally the animal pulled the rope out of the warriors' hands and the whole heard ran into to the lake and sank out of sight beneath the water.

Feeling very sad, the warrior returned to camp. He went into his lodge and prayed for help to the voice he had heard in his dream. The voice answered him: "Four times you may try to catch these animals. If in four times you do not catch them, you will never see them again."

Before he went to sleep that night the warrior asked Old Man to help him, and while he slept Old Man told him he was not strong enough to catch one of the big animals. "Try to catch one of the young animals," Old Man said, "and then you can hold it."

The next morning the warrior went back to the shores of the big lake, and again he dug a hole in the sand and lay hidden there while the deer, the coyotes, the elk and the buffalo came to drink. At last the wind began to rise and the waves rolled and hissed upon the beach. this time he caught one of the young animals and was able to hold it.

One by one he caught all the young animals and led them back to his village. After they had been there for a little while, the mares, the mothers of these colts, came trotting into the village. Soon after the mares came the stallion and the other males of the heard followed them into the village. At first the people were afraid of these new animals and would not go near them. but the warrior who caught them told everybody that the animals would not hurt them. After a while the animals

became so tame that they followed the people whenever they moved their camp from placeto place. then the people begun to put packs on them, and they called the animals Po-No-Kah- Mita, or elk dog, because they were big and shaped like an elk and could carry a pack like a dog.

that is how the Blackfoot got horses. Or so this story goes.

 



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How The Worm Pipe Came To The Blackfoot

There was once a man who was very fond of his wife. After they had been married for some time, they had a little boy. After that the woman fell sick and did not get well. The young man loved his wife so dearly that he did not wish to take a second wife. His wife grew worse and worse. doctoring did not seem to do her any good, and she died.

the man used to take his baby on his back and travel out from the camp, walking over hills crying. He kept away from the village. After some time he said to his child, "My little boy, you will have to go and live with your grandmother. I am going to try to find your mother and bring her back."

He took the baby to his mother's lodge and asked her to take care of him. Then he started off to look for his wife, not knowing where he was going nor what he was going to do.

He traveled toward the land of the dead; and after a long journey, with help from those who had spiritual powers, he reached it. the old woman who helped him get there told him how hard it was to penetrate to the ghosts country, and made him understand that the shadows would try to scare him by making fearful noises and showing him strange and terrible things. At last he reached the ghosts camp, and as he passed through it the ghosts tried to scare him by all kinds of fearful sounds and sights, but he kept up a brave heart.He reached a lodge, and the man who owned it came out and asked him where he was going. The man said, "I am looking for my dead wife. I mourn her so much that I can not rest. My little boy, too, keeps crying for his mother. They have offered to give me other wives, but I do not want them. I want only the one for whom I am searching.The ghost said to him, "it is a fearful thing that you have come here. It is very likely that you will never get away. There never was a person here before." but the ghost asked him to come into the lodge. and he entered.

Then this chief ghost said to him, "You shall stay here for four nights, and you shall see your wife; but you must be very careful or you will never go back. You will die right here."

then the chief went outside and called for a feast, inviting this man's father in law and the other relations who were in the camp, saying, "Your son in law invites you to a feast," as if to say that their son in law was dead, and he became a ghost and arrived at the ghost camp. Now when these invited people, the relation and some of the principal men of the camp, had arrived at the lodge, they did not like to go in. they called out, "There is a person here!"

it seemed that there was something about him that they could not bear the smell of. The ghost chief burned sweet pine in the fire, which took away this smell, and the people came in and sat down.

Then the host said to them: "Now pity this son in law of yours, he is seeking his wife. Neither the great distance nor fearful sights that he has seen here have weakened his heart. You can see for yourselves he is tender hearted. He not only mourns for his wife, but mourns also because his little boy is now alone, with no mother, so pity him and give back his wife."

After consultation the ghosts determined that they would give him back his wife, who should become alive again. They also gave him a sacred pipe. And at the last, after many difficulties, the man and his wife reached home.



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The Story Of Poia


Once during the summer in the earliest times, when it was too hot to sleep indoors, a beautiful maiden named Feather-woman slept outside in the tall prairie grass.


She opened her eyes just as the Morning Star came into view, and she began to look on it with wonder. She mused in her heart how beautiful it was, and she fell in love with it.

When her sisters got up, she told them that she had fallen in love with the Morning Star. They told her that she was insane! Feather-woman told everyone in her village about the Morning Star and soon she was an object of ridicule among her people.

One day she left the village to draw some water out of a creek. There she saw the most handsome young man she had ever imagined. At first she thought that he was a young man of her own tribe who had been hunting, and she coyly avoided him. But he then identified himself as the Morning Star.


He said, "I know that you were watching me and fell in love with me. Even as you were looking up at the sky, I was looking down at you. I watched you in the tall prairie grass and knew that it was only you that I wanted for my wife. Come with me to my home in the sky."

Feather-woman was stricken with awe and paralyzed with fear. She knew that this was a god standing before her. She told Morning Star that she would need time to say good-bye to her parents and sisters. However, he told her that there was no time for this.

He then gave her a magic yellow feather in one hand and a juniper branch in the other. Then he told her to close her eyes. When she opened them again, she was in the Sky-Country, standing before the lodge of Morning Star, home of his parents, the Sun and the Moon, where they were married. As it was daytime, the Sun was out doing his work, but the mother, the Moon, was at home doing chores. She immediately took a liking to the girl and gave her fine robes to wear.

Feather-woman loved her husband and his parents, and in time she gave birth to a little boy whom they named Star Boy. But Feather-woman needed to find things to do in her new home. So the Moon gave her a root-digging stick to work with, carefully instructing her not to dig up the Great Turnip that grew near the home of the Spider Man, warning that terrible ills would be unleashed if she did so.

Feather-woman was fascinated by the Great Turnip and wondered why it was feared. After all, it looked like any other turnip, only much larger. She walked closely around it, being careful not to touch it.. She took Star Boy off her back and placed him on the ground. As she was digging, two great cranes flew overhead. She asked the cranes to help her and they obliged her, singing a secret magic song that made light work of digging the Great Turnip.

Now, the Moon had been very wise in warning Feather-woman not to dig around the Great Turnip, for it plugged the hole through which Morning Star had brought Feather-woman into the Sky-Country. With a loud plop she pulled the Great Turnip out. Looking down through the hole, she saw a camp of the Blackfoot Indians, perhaps her own village, far below her.

As she saw the mortals doing their daily chores below, she became homesick and began to weep. In order to conceal what she had done, she rolled the turnip loosely into place and returned to the lodge where she lived with her husband and son.

When Morning Star returned to the lodge, he was very sad. He said nothing, then, "How could you have been disobedient and dug up the Great Turnip?" Moon and Sun were also sad and asked her the same question.

At first Feather-woman did not answer, then she admitted her disobedience. Her in-laws had known that she would dig up the Great Turnip, despite their warnings. The reason for the sadness was that they knew that she had disobeyed them and must now be banished forever from the Sky-Country.

The next day, Morning Star took his wife to Spider Man, who built a web from the hole of the Great Turnip down to earth. When Feather-woman descended down the web, it looked to the people below like a star falling from the sky.

When Feather-woman arrived on earth with her child, she was welcomed by her parents and the people of their village. But she was never happy. Early in the morning, she looked up at the sky to speak with Morning Star, but he didn't answer her.

After many months had passed, Morning Star finally did speak to her. "You can never return to the Sky-Country," he warned. "You committed a great sin and brought unhappiness and death into the world." Hearing this was too much for Feather-woman to bear; soon she died of her unhappiness.

The orphaned Star Boy lived with his human grandparents until they died. He was a shy boy who ran as soon as he heard the approach of a stranger's footsteps. The most notable thing about him was a scar on his face, which led to his nickname, Poia, meaning "scar face." As he grew into manhood, people cruelly ridiculed him because of his scar and his pretension to be the son of the Morning star.

Thus mal treated, Poia was heartbroken by the further indignity of being rejected by the daughter of a chief. His life growing unbearable, Poia consulted with an old medicine woman. She told him that there was only one way for the scar to be removed: He would have to return to the Sky-Country and have his grandfather, the Sun, take it off.

Knowing that his mother had been banished from the Sky-Country, this was bad news to Poia. How could he return to the land of his birth? The old woman said that there was a way back to the Sky-Country, but that Poia must find it himself. Feeling sorry for the boy, she gave him some food for the journey.

Poia traveled for days and days, over mountains, through forests, through snow, and across deserts, until he reached the Great Water that the white man calls the Pacific Ocean, for this is the farthest west, where the sun goes at night. For three days, Poia fasted and prayed. On the third day, he saw rays reflecting on the Great Water, forming a path to the Sun. He followed the path and arrived at the home of his grandparents, the Sun and the Moon.

Upon finding Poia asleep on their doorstep, the Sun was at first prepared to kill the mortal, as no earth-dweller could enter the Sky-Country. But the Moon persuaded him not to do so; she recognized the scar and told the Sun that it was their grandson. Soon, Moon, Sun, and Morning Star all welcomed Poia. At the request of his grandson, the Sun removed the scar.

The Sun also taught Poia great magic and the truths of the world. Poia's grandfather explained that the people on earth were suffering as a result of Feather-woman's disobedience. The Sun had a message for the Blackfoot people: If they would honor him but once a year by doing the Sun dance, all the sick would be healed.

Poia himself learned the Sun dance quickly, and his grandfather grew to love him very much. His grandparents gave him a magic flute to charm women into falling in love with him. But, because of his mother's disobedience, Poia had to return to earth, which he did by walking down the Milky Way.

When Poia returned to the Blackfoot people, they honored him. He taught them the wisdom he had learned from the Sun and, most important, he taught them how to do the Sun dance, which indeed healed the sick. Because of Poia's great deeds, the Sun and Moon allowed him to bring his new wife, the chief's daughter who had once rejected him, to the Sky-Country, where they remained forever. Now Poia himself is a star that rises with the Morning Star.



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Sacred Otter

Chill breezes had long forewarned the geese of the coming cold season, and the constant cry from about of "honk, honk," told the Indians that the birds' migration was in progress.

The buffalo-hunters of the Blackfoot, an Algonquin tribe, were abroad with the object of procuring the thick robes and the rich meat which would keep them warm and provide good fare through the desolate winter moons.

Sacred Otter had been lucky. Many buffaloes had fallen to him, and he was busily occupied in skinning them. But while the braves plied the knife quickly and deftly they heeded not the dun, lowering clouds heavy with tempest hanging like a black curtain over the northern horizon.

Suddenly the clouds swooped down from their place in the heavens like a flight of black eagles, and with a roar the blizzard were upon them. Sacred Otter and his son crouched beneath the carcass of a dead buffalo for shelter, but he knew that they would quickly perish unless they could find some better protection from the bitter wind.

So he made a small tepee, or tent, out of the buffalo's hide, and both crawled inside. Against this crazy shelter the snow quickly gathered and drifted, so that soon the inmates of the tiny lodge sank into a comfortable drowse induced by the gentle warmth. As Sacred Otter slept he dreamed.

Away in the distance he saw a great tepee, crowned with a color like the gold of sunlight, and painted with a cluster of stars symbolic of the North. The ruddy disc of the sun was pictured on the back, and to this was affixed the tail of the Sacred Buffalo. The skirts of the tepee were painted to represent ice, and on its side had been drawn four yellow legs with green claws, typical of the Thunder-bird. A buffalo in glaring red frowned above the door, and bunches of crow-feathers, with small bells attached, swung and tinkled in the breeze.

Sacred Otter, surprised at the unusual nature of the paintings, stood before the tepee lost in admiration of its decorations, when he was startled to hear a voice say: "Who walks around my tepee? Come in---come in!"

Sacred Otter entered, and beheld a tall, white-haired man, clothed all in white, sitting at the back of the lodge, of which he was the sole occupant. Sacred Otter took a seat, but the owner of the tepee never looked his way, smoking on in stolid silence. Before him was an earthen altar, on which was laid juniper, as in the Sun ceremony.

His face was painted yellow, with a red line in the region of the mouth, and another across the eyes to the ears. Across his breast he wore a mink-skin, and round his waist small strips of otter-skin, to all of which bells were attached.

For a long time, he kept silence, but at length he laid down his black stone pipe and addressed Sacred Otter as follows: "I am Es-tonea-pesta, the Lord of Cold Weather, and this, my dwelling, is the Snow-tepee, or Yellow Paint Lodge. I control and send the driving snow and biting winds from the Northland. You are here because I have taken pity on you, and on your son who was caught in the blizzard with you. Take this Snow-tepee with its symbols and medicines. Take also this mink-skin tobacco-pouch, this black stone pipe, and my supernatural power. You must make a tepee similar to this on your return to camp."

The Lord of Cold Weather then minutely explained to Sacred Otter the symbols of which he must make use in painting the lodge, and gave him the songs and ceremonies connected with it. At this juncture Sacred Otter awoke.

He observed that the storm had abated somewhat, and as soon as it grew fair enough he and his son crawled from their shelter and tramped home waist-high through the soft snow. Sacred Otter spent the long, cold nights in making a model of the Snow-tepee and painting it as he had been directed in his dream.

He also collected the "medicines" necessary for the ceremony, and in the spring, when new lodges were made, he built and made the Snow-tepee. The power of Sacred Otter waxed great because of his possession of the Snow-lodge which the Lord of Cold had vouchsafed to him in dream.

Soon was it proved

Once more while hunting buffalo he and several companions were caught in a blizzard when many a weary mile from camp. They appealed to Sacred Otter to utilize the "medicine" of the Lord of Cold.

Directing that several women and children who were with the party should be placed on sledges, and that the men should go in advance and break a passage through the snow for the horses, he took the mink tobacco-pouch and the black stone pipe he had received from the Cold, maker and commenced to smoke. He blew the smoke in the direction whence the storm came and prayed to the Lord of Cold to have pity on the people.

Gradually the storm-clouds broke and cleared and on every side the blue sky was seen. The people hastened on, as they knew the blizzard was only being held back for a space. But their camp was at hand, and they soon reached it in safety.

Never again, however, would Sacred Otter use his mystic power. For he dreaded that he might offend the Lord of Cold. And who could afford to do that?

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The Legend Of The Sun Dance

Poia was a Blackfoot Indian lad, His mother and grandparents had died and he was alone, poor, and unhappy. His greatest trouble was that he had a dreadful scar on his face, which became worse as he grew older. He went to an old medicine woman and begged her to tell him how the scar might be removed.

"The scar," she said. "has been placed there by the Sun, and only the Sun can remove it. You must go to the lodge of the Sun and ask him to remove the scar.

It was a long journey to the lodge of the Sun, but Poia decided he would go and ask the Sun. The old medicine woman gave him some food and a pair of moccasins, and he set forth.

Poia traveled for many days, over mountains and through forests he made his way. Finally he came to the Big Water (the Pacific Ocean) he sat on the shore at sunset praying to be guided to the lodge of the Sun. Then he saw a bright shinny pathway across the waves. The pathway led straight to the home of the Sun in the sky country. Now he knew how to get to the Sun, He followed the pathway for a long time, Finally he arrived at the lodge of the Sun.

By this time Poia was so tired that all he could do was throw himself down by the door and sleep. When the Sun arose in the morning to begin his daily journey, he found the ragged traveler on his doorstep. He knew that the stranger was from the Earth country, So he decided to kill him. But the Sun's wife, the Moon, begged that the stranger's life be spared. Their son Morning Star also asked that the stranger's life be spared. So Poia was allowed to live.

All this time know one knew that Poia was really the son of Morning Star and the grandchild of the Sun and Moon. When Poia was a baby, his mother had disobeyed a law of the sky gods and had been sent back to her people, the Blackfoot Indians. Poia had been sent with her.

For a time, Poia lived very happily at the lodge of the Sun. Then one day, seven fierce birds attacked Morning Star. By killing the birds, Poia saved Morning Star's life.

When the Sun asked him what reward he wished for his brave deed, Poia begged that the scar be removed from his face. The Sun removed the scar, and Poia was more handsome then any of the other Blackfoot braves. Now he could return to his people in the Earth country.

Morning Star gave Poia a beautiful flute. He taught Poia how to play a song of enchantment which would win the heart of the maid he loved, and Poia left. the Sun asked him to take a message to the people in the Earth country. He said to Poia, "Tell the people in the Earth country that I will keep sickness from them if they will dance in my honor once a year.

The dance they must do will be known as the Sun Dance. I will the you how to do it, so you can teach the people."

The Sun told Poia how to do the Sun Dance, The Sun placed two ravens' feathers in Poias' hair, as he said good bye to him. Poia came down to earth by the Milky Way, or Wolf Trail as he called it. He told the Blackfoot Indians what the Sun had promised to do for them and he taught them the Sun Dance.

After this was done, Poia played the song of enchantment on his magic flute and won the heart of the maid he loved. With his lovely bride, he returned to the Sky country, Here they both lived happily. and Poia traveled through the heavens with his father Morning Star.

 

 

 

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The Origin Of The Sweat Lodge

A girl of great beauty, the chief's daughter, was worshiped by many young handsome men of the Pagan tribe. but she would not have any of them for her husband.

One young tribesman was very poor and his face was marked with an ugly scar.

Although he saw rich and handsome men of his tribe rejected by the chief's daughter, he decided

to find out if she would have him for her husband. When she laughed at him for even asking. he ran away toward the south in shame.

After traveling several days, he dropped to the ground, weary and hungry, and fell asleep.

From the heavens, Morning-Star looked down and pitied the young unfortunate youth, knowing his trouble.

To Sun and Moon his parents, Morning-Star said. There is a poor young man lying on the ground with no one to help him. I want to go after him for a companion."
"Go get him," said his parents. Morning-Star carried the young man, Scarface into the sky.

Sun said, "Do not bring him into my lodge yet, for he smells ill. Build four sweat lodges."

When this was done, Sun led Scarface into the first sweat lodge. He asked Morning-Star to bring a hot coal on a forked stick. Sun then broke off a bit of sweet grass and placed it upon the hot coal. As the incense arose, Sun began to sing. "Old Man is coming in with his body; it is sacred."

repeating it four times.

Sun passed his hands back and forth through the smoke and rubbed them over the face, left arm and side of Scarface. Sun repeated the ceremony on the boys right side, purifying him, and removing the orders of earthly people.

Sun took Scarface into the other three sweat lodges, performing the same healing ceremony. The body of Scarface changed color and he shone like a yellow light.

Using a soft feather, Sun brushed the youth's face. Magically wiping away the scar. with a final touch to the young man's long yellow hair. Sun caused him to look exactly like Morning-Star. The two young men were led by Sun into his own lodge and placed side by side in the position of honor.

"Old Woman," called the father. "Which is our son?"

Moon pointed to Scarface, " That is our son."

"You do not even know your own child." answered Sun.

" He is not our son. We will call him Mistaken-for-Morning-Star," as they all laugh heartily at the mistake.

The two boys were together constantly and became close companions. One day they were on an adventure when Morning-Star pointed out some large birds with very long, sharp beaks.

"Foster brother, I warn you not to go near those dangerous creatures," said Morning-Star. "They killed my other brothers with their sharp beaks."

Suddenly the birds chased the two boys. Morning-Star fled toward his home, but Foster brother stopped, picking up a club and one by one struck the birds dead.

Upon reaching home, Morning-Star excitedly reported to his father what had happened. Sun made a victory song honoring the young hero. In gratitude for saving Morning-Star's life, Sun gave him the forked stick for lifting hot embers and a braid of sweet grass to make incense. these scared elements necessary for making the sweat lodge ceremony were gifts of trust.

"And this my sweat lodge I give you." said Sun. Mistaken-for-Morning-Star observed very carefully how it was constructed, in his mind preparing himself to one day return to earth.

When Scarface did arrive at his tribal village, all his people gathered to see the handsome young man in their midst. At first they did not recognize him as Scarface

"I have been to the sky," he told them. "Behold me, Morning-Star looks just like this. The sun gave me these things used in the sweat lodge healing ceremony. That is how I lost my ugly scar."

Scarface explained how the forked stick and the sweet grass were used. then he set to his work showing the people how to make the sweat lodge. This is how the first medicine sweat lodge was built upon earth by the pagan tribe.

Now that Scarface was so very handsome and brought such a great blessing of healing to his tribe, the chief's daughter became his wife.

 

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The Piqued Buffalo Wife

Once a young man went out and came to a buffalo cow stuck fast in the mire. He took advantage of he situation. After a time she gave birth to a boy.

When he could run about, this boy would go into the Indian camps and join the games of the children, but would always mysteriously disappear in the evening. One day this boy told his mother that he intended to search among the camps for his father.

Not long after this he was playing with the children of the camps as usual, and went into the lodge of a head man in the company of the boy of the family. He told this man that his father lived somewhere in the camp, and that he was anxious to find him.

The man took pity on the boy and sent out a message to call into his lodge all the old men in the camp. When the old men were assembled the head man requested the boy to pick out his father. The boy looked the men over, and then told the head man that his father was not among them. Then the head man sent out a message to call in all the men next in age, but when they were assembled, the boy said his father was not among them.

Again the head man sent a message to call all the men of the next age. When they were assembled, the boy looked them over as before and announced that his father was not among them. So once again the head man sent a message to call in all the young unmarried men of the camp.

As they were coming into the head man's lodge, the boy ran to one of them, embracing him, he said, "Here is my father."

After a time the boy told his father that he wished to take him to see his mother. "When we come near her, she will run at you and hook you four times, but you are to stand perfectly still.

The next day the boy and his father started out on their journey. As they were gong along they saw a buffalo cow, which immediately ran at them as the boy had said. The man stood perfectly still. and the fourth time, as the cow was running forward to hook him, she became a woman. then she went home with her husband and child.

One day shortly after their return, she warned her husband that whatever he might do he must never strike her with fire.

They lived happily for many years. She was a remarkably good woman.

One evening when the husband had invited some guest, the woman expressed a dislike to prepare food for them. he became very angry and catching up a stick from the fire, he struck her. As he did so, the woman and her child vanished, and the people saw a buffalo cow and her calf running from the camp.

Now the husband was very sorry and mourned for his wife and child. After a time he went out to search for them. In order that he might approach the buffalo without being discovered, he rubbed himself with filth from a buffalo wallow.

In time he came to a place where some buffalo were dancing. He could hear them from a distance, As he was approaching. he met his son, who was now as before a buffalo calf. The father explained to the boy that he was mourning for him and his mother and that he had come to take them home.

The calf boy explained that this would be very difficult, for his father would be required to go through an ordeal. The calf boy explained to his father that when he arrived among the buffalo and inquired for his wife and son, the chief of the buffalo would order that he select his child from among all the buffalo calves in the herd. Now, the calf boy wished to assist his father and told him that he would know his child by a sign, because when the calves appeared before him, his own child would hold up his tail.

The man proceeded until he came to the place where the buffalo were dancing. Immediately he was taken before the chief of the buffalo herd. The chief required that he first prove his relationship to the child by picking him out from among all the calves. The man agreed to this and the calves were brought before him. He readily picked out his own son by the sign.

The chief of the buffalo, however,was not satisfied with this proof and said that the father could not have the child until he identified him four times. While the preparations were being made for another test, the calf boy came to his father and explained that he would be known this time by closing one eye.

When the time arrived, the calves were brought in as before, and the chief of the buffalo directed the father to identify his child, which he did by the sign. Before the next trial the calf boy explained to his father that the sign would be one ear hanging down.

Again the calves were brought to for the father to choose, and he again identified his child. Now, before the last trial, the boy came again to his father and notified him that the sign would be his holding one leg up.

Calve boy had a friend among the calves and when the calves were called to before the chief so that the father might select his son, the friend saw calf boy begin to dance holding up one leg., and he thought to himself, "He is doing some fancy dancing." So he also danced in the same way.

Now the father observed that there were two calves giving the same sign and realized he had to make a guess and he did so, but the guess was wrong. Immediately the herd rushed the man and trampled him into dust.

Then they all ran away except the calf boy, his mother and an old bull. These three mourned together for the fate of the unfortunate man. After a time the old bull requested that they examine the ground to see if they could find a piece of bone.

After a long and careful search they succeeded in finding one small piece that had not been trampled by the buffalo. The bull took this piece, made a sweat house, and finally restored the man to life.

When the man was restored, the bull explained to him that he and his family would receive some power,

some songs, some head dresses and some crooked sticks, such as he had seen the buffalo carry in the dance at the time when he attempted to pick out his son.

The boy and his mother then became human beings, and returned with the man. It was this man who started the Bull and the Horn societies, and it was his wife who started the Matoki.

 












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The Story Of The Buffalo Dance

When the buffalo first came to be upon the land, they were not friendly to the people.

When the hunters tried to coax them over the cliffs for the good of the villages, they were reluctant to offer themselves up. They did not relish being turned into blankets and dried flesh for winter rations. They did not want their hooves and horn to become tools and utensils nor did they welcome their sinew being used for sewing.

"No, no," they said. "We won't fall into your traps. And we will not fall for your tricks."

So when the hunters guided them towards the abyss, they would always turn aside at the very last moment. With this lack of cooperation, it seemed the villagers would be hungry and cold and ragged all winter long.

One of the hunters had a daughter who was very proud of her father's skill with the bow. During the fullness of summer, he always brought her the best of hides to dress, and she in turn would work the deerskins into the softest, whitest of garments for him to wear. Her own dresses were like the down of a snow goose, and the moccasins she made for the children and the grandmothers in the village were the most welcome of gifts.

But now with the hint of snow on the wind, and deer becoming more scarce in the willow breaks, she could see this reluctance on the part of the buffalo families could become a real problem.

Hunters Daughter decided she would do something about it.

She went to the base of the cliff and looked up. She began to sing in a low, soft voice, "Oh, buffalo family, come down and visit me. If you come down and feed my relatives in a wedding feast, I will join your family as the bride of your strongest warrior."

As she stopped and listened, she thought she heard the slight rumbling sound of thunder in the distance.

Again she sang, "Oh, buffalo family, come down and visit me. Feed my family in a wedding feast so that I may be a bride."

The thunder was much louder now. Suddenly the buffalo family began falling from the sky at her feet. One very large bull landed on top of the others, and walked across the backs of his relatives to stand before hunter's daughter.

"I am here to claim you as my bride," said Large Buffalo.

"Oh, but now I am afraid to go with you," said Hunters Daughter.

"Ah, but you must," said Large Buffalo, "For my people have come to provide your people with a wedding feast. As you can see, they have offered themselves up."

"Yes, but I must run and tell my relatives the good news," said Hunters Daughter.

"No," said Large Buffalo. No word need be sent. You are not getting away so easily."

And with that said, Large Buffalo lifted her between his horns and carried her off to his village in the rolling grass hills.

The next morning the whole village was out looking for Hunters Daughter. When they found the mound of buffalo below the cliff, the father, who was in fact a fine tracker as well as a skilled hunter, looked at his daughter's footprints in the dust.

"She's gone off with a buffalo, he said. I shall follow them and bring her back."

So Hunter walked out upon the plains, with only his bow and arrows as companions. He walked and walked a great distance until he was so tired that he had to sit down to rest beside a buffalo wallow.

Along came Magpie and sat down beside him.

Hunter spoke to Magpie in a respectful tone, "O knowledgeable bird, has my daughter been stolen from me by a buffalo? Have you seen them? Can you tell me where they have gone?"

Magpie replied with understanding, "Yes, I have seen them pass this way. They are resting just over this hill."

"Well," said Hunter, would you kindly take my daughter a message for me? Will you tell her I am here just over the hill?"

So Magpie flew to where Large Buffalo lay asleep amidst his relatives in the dry prairie grass. He hopped over to where Hunters Daughter was quilling moccasins, as she sat dutifully beside her sleeping husband. "Your father is waiting for you on the other side of the hill," whispered Magpie to the maiden.

"Oh, this is very dangerous," she told him. These buffalo are not friendly to us and they might try to hurt my father if he should come this way. Please tell him to wait for me and I will try to slip away to see him."

Just then her husband, Large Buffalo, awoke and took off his horn. "Go bring me a drink from the wallow just over this hill," said her husband.

So she took the horn in her hand and walked very casually over the hill.

Her father motioned silently for her to come with him, as he bent into a low crouch in the grass. "No," she whispered. The buffalo are angry with our people who have killed their people. They will run after us and trample us into the dirt. I will go back and see what I can do to soothe their feelings."

And so Hunters daughter took the horn of water back to her husband who gave a loud snort when he took a drink. The snort turned into a bellow and all of the buffalo got up in alarm. They all put their tails in the air and danced a buffalo dance over the hill, trampling the hunter to pieces.

His daughter sat down on the edge of the wallow and broke into tears.

"Why are you crying?" said her buffalo husband.

"You have killed my father and I am a prisoner, besides," she sobbed.

"Well, what of my people?" her husband replied. We have given our children, our parents and some of our wives up to your relatives in exchange for your presence among us. A deal is a deal."

But after some consideration of her feelings, Large Buffalo knelt down beside her and said to her, "If you can bring your father back to life again, we will let him take you back home to your people."

So Hunters Daughter started to sing a little song. "Magpie, Magpie help me find some piece of my father which I can mend back whole again."

Magpie appeared and sat down in front of her with his head cocked to the side.

"Magpie, Magpie, please see what you can find," she sang softly to the wind which bent the grasses slightly apart. Magpie cocked his head to the side and looked carefully within the layered folds of the grasses as the wind sighed again.

Quickly he picked out a piece of her father that had been hidden there, a little bit of bone.

"That will be enough to do the trick," said Hunters Daughter, as she put the bone on the ground and covered it with her blanket.

And then she started to sing a reviving song that had the power to bring injured people back to the land of the living. Quietly she sang the song that her grandmother had taught her. After a few melodious passages, there was a lump under the blanket.

She and Magpie looked under the blanket and could see a man, but the man was not breathing. He lay cold as stone. So Hunters Daughter continued to sing, a little softer, and a little softer, so as not to startle her father as he began to move. When he stood up, alive and strong, the buffalo people were amazed.

They said to Hunters Daughter, "Will you sing this song for us after every hunt? We will teach your people the buffalo dance, so that whenever you dance before the hunt, you will be assured a good result. Then you will sing this song for us, and we will all come back to live again."

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The Theft From The Sun

Once Old Man was traveling around, when he came to the Sun's lodge, and the Sun asked him to stay awhile.

Old Man was very glade to do so.

One day the meat was all one and the Sun said, "kyi! Old Man, what say you, we go and kill some deer?"

"You speak well." replied Old Man. "I like deer meat."

The Sun took down a bag and took out a beautiful pair of leggings. They were embroidered with porcupine

quills and bright feathers. "These," said the Sun, "are my hunting leggings. they are great medicine. All I have

to do is put them on and walk around a patch of bush, and the leggings set it on fire and drive the deer out so I can shoot them.

"Hai-yah!" exclaimed Old Man. "How wonderful!" He made up his mind he would have those leggings, even if he had to steal them.

They went out to hunt, and the first patch of bush they came to, the Sun set on fire with his leggings. A lot of white tail deer ran out, and they each shot one. That night, when they went to bed, The Sun pulled off his leggings and placed the to one side.

Old Man saw where he put them, and in the middle of the night, when everyone else was asleep. he stole them and went off. He traveled a long time, until he had gone far and was very tried and then making a pillow of the leggings,

lay down and slept.

In the morning, he heard someone talking. The Sun was saying, "Old Man, why are my leggings under your head?"

Old Man looked around and saw he was still in Sun's lodge. and thought he must have wandered around and got

lost, and returned there. Again Sun spoke, and said. "What are you doing with my leggings?"

"Oh," replied Old Man, "I couldn't find anything for a pillow, so I just put these under my head."

Night came again, and again Old Man stole the leggings and ran off. This time he did not walk at all. he just kept

running until pretty near morning, and then lay down and slept.

You see what a fool he was. he did not realize that the whole world is Sun's lodge, that no matter how far he ran, he could not get out of Sun's sight.

When morning came, he found himself still in Sun's lodge. But this time the Sun said "Old Man, since you like my leggings so much, I will give them to you. " Then Old Man was very glade and went away.

One day Old Man's food was all gone, so he put on the leggings and set fire to a bush. He was just going to kill one deer that was running out when he saw that the fire was getting close to him. He ran away as fast as he could but the fire gained on him and begun to burn his legs. His leggings were on fire.

he came to a river and jumped in, and pulled the leggings off as soon as he could. They were burned to pieces.

Perhaps the Sun did this to him because he tried to steal the leggings.







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Water Spirits' Gift Of Horses

In the days before horses a poor orphan boy lived among the Blackfoot . Because he was so poor he knew that he could never obtain the things he wanted without the secret power of the gods.

One day he left his camp to seek a vision that would tell him what he must do. He slept alone on a high mountain, he prayed near some great rocks, he fasted beside a river, but no vision came to him,

no voice spoke to him. He traveled beyond the Sweet grass Hills to a large lake, and because no sign of any kind had come to him he bowed down and wept.

In that lake lived a powerful water spirit, a very old man, and he heard the crying of the poor orphan boy.

The water spirit sent his young son to find the boy and ask why he was crying. The son went to the weeping boy and told him that his father who lived in the lake wished to see him.

"but how can I go to him if he lives under the lake?" the poor boy asked.

"Hold on to my shoulders and close your eyes," replied the water spirits' son. "Don't look until I tell you to do so."

They started into the water. As they moved along, the water spirits' son said to the boy." My father will offer you your choice of animals in this lake. When he does so, be sure to choose the oldest mallard of the ducks and all it's young ones."

As soon as they reached the underwater lodge of the water spirit, the son told the boy to open his eyes. He did so, and found himself standing before an old man with long white hair.

"Sit beside me." the water spirit said and then asked; "My boy, why do you come to this lake crying?

I am a poor orphan," the boy replied." I left my camp to search for secret powers so that I may be able to make my way in the world.

"Perhaps I can help you," the water spirit said.

"You have seen all the animals in the lake. They are mine to give to whom I wish, What is your choice?Remembering the advice of the water spirits' son, the boy replied. "I should thank you for the oldest mallard of the ducks and all it's young ones.

Don't take that one, the water spirit said, shaking his head. "It is old and of no value."

but the boy insisted. Four times he asked for the mallard and then the water spirit smiled and said:

"you are a wise young man. When you leave my lodge my son will take you to the edge of the lake,

After it is dark he will catch the mallard for you. But when you leave the lake don't look back!"

The boy did as he was told. The water spirits' son gathered some marsh grass from the edge of the lake and braided it into a rope. With the rope he caught the old mallard and led it ashore. He placed the rope in the boy's hand and told him to walk on, but not to look back until sunrise.

As the boy walked on towards his camp in the darkness, he heard the ducks' feathers flapping on the earth behind him, and from time to time the strange cry of an animal. The braided marsh turned into a rawhide rope in his hand.

But he did not look back until daybreak. he turned around and saw a strange animal at the end of the rope, a horse. A voice told him to mount the animal and he did so, using the rawhide rope as a bridle. By the time he reached camp, he saw many other horses following him.

The people of the camp were frightened by these strange animals, but the boy told them to have no fear. He dismounted and gave everybody horses from the herd that had followed him. There were plenty for everyone, and he had a large number left over for himself.

Until that time, the people had only dogs for carrying their packs and dragging their travois. The boy now showed them how to use the horses for packing, how to break them for riding, and gave the horse it's Blackfoot name, Elk Dog.

One day the men asked him:

"These Elk Dogs, would they be of any use in hunting buffalo?"

"Yes let me show you," the boy replied, and as soon as they were mounted he led them out to a bluff where he showed them how to chase buffalo on horseback. He also showed them how to make bridles, saddles, hackamores, whips and other gear for their horses.

"Once when they came to a river, the men asked him: "These Elk Dogs, are they of any use in the water?"

He replied "That is where they are the best. I got them from the water." And he showed them how to use horses in crossing streams.

When the boy grew older his people made him a chief and since that time every Blackfoot chief owned many horses.

 

 

 



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When the World was Young
Let us decide how things will be," Old Man Coyote Said.

"That would be good," said Old Woman Coyote. "How shall we do it?"

"It was my idea so I'll have the first say" said Old Man Coyote.

"That is fine ," said Old Woman Coyote ."Just as long as I have the last say."

So for a while they walked around looking at things. Finally Old Man Coyote said something.
"The men will be the hunters. Any time they want to shoot an animal they will call it and it will come."

"I too think men should be the hunters," said Old Woman Coyote. "But if the animals come so easily then life will be too easy for the people. The animals shall run away and hide. This will make it harder for the hunters but it will make them smarter and stronger."

"You have the last say," said Old Man Coyote.

They walked around some more and again Old Man Coyote said something.
"I've been thinking about how people will look. They will have eyes on one side of their face and their mouth on the other. Their mouths will go up and down. They will have ten fingers on each hand."

"I too think that people should have their eyes and their mouth on their faces, but their eyes will be at the top of their face and their mouth at the bottom and they will be across from each other." Said Old Woman Coyote "and I agree they should have fingers, but ten on each hand will be too awkward. They will have 5 fingers on each hand."

"You have the last say," said Old Man Coyote.

They continued to walk and finally they were by the river when Old Man Coyote spoke.
"Let us decide about life and death. I will do it this way. I will throw this buffalo chip into the river. If it floats then when people die they will come back to life after 4 days and live forever."

Old Man Coyote threw the chip in and it floated.

"I too think we should decide this way," Old Woman Coyote said. "But I we will use a stone instead of a buffalo chip. I will throw this stone in the river. If it floats then people will come back in 4 days and live forever. If it sinks then people will not come back to life after they die."

Old Woman Coyote threw the stone in the river and it sank.

"That is the way it should be," Old Woman Coyote said. "If people lived forever the Earth would get to crowded and there would not be enough food. This way people will learn compassion."

Old Man Coyote said nothing.

Some time passed. Old Woman Coyote had a child. She and Old Man Coyote loved the child a lot and they were happy.
One day, the child became ill and died. Then Old Woman Coyote went to Old Man Coyote.

"Let us have our say again about death," she said.

But Old Man Coyote shook his head." No, you had the last say."


 


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Caddo Indian Lore:

 

Buffalo Woman, A Story of Magic

Snow Bird, the Caddo medicine man, had a handsome son. When the boy was old enough to be given a man's name, Snow Bird called him Braveness because of his courage as a hunter. Many of the girls in the Caddo village wanted to win Braveness as a husband, but he paid little attention to any of them.

One morning he started out for a day of hunting, and while he was walking along looking for wild game, he saw someone ahead of him sitting under a small elm tree. As he approached, he was surprised to find that the person was a young woman, and he started to turn aside.

"Come here," she called to him in a pleasant voice. Braveness went up to her and saw that she was very young and very beautiful.

"I knew you were coming here," she said, "and so I came to meet you."

"You are not of my people," he replied. "How did you know that I was coming this way?"

"I am Buffalo Woman," she said. "I have seen you many times before, from afar. I want you to take me home with you and let me stay with you."

"I can take you home with me," Braveness answered her, "but you must ask my parents if you can stay with us."

They started for his home at once, and when they arrived there Buffalo Woman asked Braveness's parents if she could stay with them and become the young man's wife. "If Braveness wants you for his wife, we will be pleased," said Snow Bird, the medicine man. "It is time that he had someone to love."

And so Braveness and Buffalo Woman were married in the custom of the Caddo people and lived happily together for several moons. One day she asked him, "Will you do whatever I may ask of you, Braveness?"

"Yes," he replied, "if what you ask is not unreasonable."

"I want you to go with me to visit my people."

Braveness said that he would go, and the next day they started for her home, she leading the way. After they had walked a long distance they came to some high hills, and all at once she turned round and looked at Braveness and said: "You promised me that you would do anything I say."

"Yes," he answered.

"Well," she said, "my home is on the other side of this high hill. I will tell you when we get to my mother. I know there will be many coming there to see who you are, and some may provoke you and try to make you angry, but do not allow yourself to become angry with any of them. Some may try to kill you."

"Why should they do that?" asked Braveness.

"Listen to what I am about to tell you," she said. "I knew you before you knew me. Through magic I made you come to me that first day. I said that some will try to make you angry, and if you show anger at even one of them, the others will join in fighting you until they have killed you. They will be jealous of you. The reason is that I refused many who wanted me."

"But you are now my wife," Braveness said.

"I have told you what to do when we get there," Buffalo Woman continued. "Now I want you to lie down on the ground and roll over twice."

Braveness smiled at her, but he did as she had told him to do. He rolled over twice, and when he stood up he found himself changed into a Buffalo.

For a moment Buffalo Woman looked at him, seeing the astonishment in his eyes. Then she rolled over twice, and she also became a Buffalo. Without saying a word she led him to the top of the hill. In the valley off to the west, Braveness could see hundreds and hundreds of Buffalo.

"They are my people," said Buffalo Woman. "This is my home."

When the members of the nearest herd saw Braveness and Buffalo Woman coming, they began gathering in one place, as though waiting for them. Buffalo Woman led the way, Braveness following her until they reached an old Buffalo cow, and he knew that she was the mother of his beautiful wife.

For two moons they stayed with the herd. Every now and then, four or five of the young Buffalo males would come around and annoy Braveness, trying to arouse his anger, but he pretended not to notice hem. One night, Buffalo Woman told him that she was ready to go back to his home, and they slipped away over the hills.

When they reached the place where they had turned themselves into Buffalo, they rolled over twice on the ground and became a man and a woman again. "Promise me that you will not tell anyone of this magical transformation," Buffalo Woman said. "If people learn about it, something bad will happen to us."

They stayed at Braveness's home for twelve moons, and then Buffalo Woman asked him again to go with her to visit her people. They had not been long in the valley of the Buffalo when she told Braveness that the young males who were jealous of him were planning to have a foot-race. "They will challenge you to race and if you do not outrun them they will kill you," she said.

That night Braveness could not sleep. He went out to take a long walk. It was a very dark night without moon or stars, but he could feel the presence of the Wind spirit.

"You are young and strong," the Wind spirit whispered to him, "but you cannot outrun the Buffalo without my help. If you lose, they will kill you. If you win, they will never challenge you again.

"What must I do to save my life and keep my beautiful wife?" asked Braveness.

The Wind spirit gave him two things. "One of these is a magic herb," said the Wind spirit. "The other is dried mud from a medicine wallow. If the Buffalo catch up with you, first throw behind you the magic herb. If they come too close to you again, throw down the dried mud."

The next day was the day of the race. At sunrise the young Buffalo gathered at the starting place. When Braveness joined them, they began making fun of him, telling him he was a man buffalo and therefore had not the power to outrun them. Braveness ignored their jeers, and calmly lined up with them at the starting point.

An old Buffalo started the race with a loud bellow, and at first Braveness took the lead, running very swiftly. But soon the others began gaining on him, and when he heard their hard breathing close upon his heels, he threw the magic herb behind him. By this time he was growing very tired and thought he could not run any more. He looked back and saw one Buffalo holding his head down and coming very fast, rapidly closing the space between him and Braveness. Just as this Buffalo was about to catch up with him, Braveness threw down the dried mud from the medicine wallow.

Soon he was far ahead again, but he knew that he had used up the powers given him by the Wind spirit. As he neared the goal set for the race, he heard the pounding of hooves coming closer behind him. At the last moment, he felt a strong wind on his face as it passed him to stir up dust and keep the Buffalo from overtaking him. With the help of the Wind spirit, Braveness crossed the goal first and won the race. After that, none of the Buffalo ever challenged him again, and he and Buffalo Woman lived peacefully with the herd until they were ready to return to his Caddo people.

Not long after their return to Braveness's home, Buffalo Woman gave birth to a handsome son. They named him Buffalo Boy, and soon he was old enough to play with the other children of the village. One day while Buffalo Woman was cooking dinner, the boy slipped out of the lodge and went to join some other children at play. They played several games and then decided to play that they were Buffalo. Some of them lay on the ground to roll like Buffalo, and Buffalo Boy also did this. When he rolled over twice, he changed into a real Buffalo calf. Frightened by this, the other children ran for their lodges.

About this time his mother came out to look for him, and when she saw the children running in fear she knew that something must be wrong. She went to see what had happened and found her son changed into a Buffalo calf. Taking him up in her arms, she ran down the hill, and as soon as she was out of sight of the village she turned herself into a Buffalo and with Buffalo Boy started off toward the west.

Late that evening when Braveness returned from hunting he could find neither his wife nor his son in the lodge. He went out to look for them, and someone told him of the game the children had played and of the magic that had changed his son into a Buffalo calf.

At first, Braveness could not believe what they told him, but after he had followed his wife's tracks down the hill and found the place where she had rolled he knew the story was true. For many moons, Braveness searched for Buffalo Woman and Buffalo Boy, but he never found them again.

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Coyote And The Origin Of Death

In the beginning of this world, there was no such thing as death. Everybody continued to live until there were so many people that the earth had no more room for anyone.

The chiefs held a council to determine what to do. One man rose and said he thought it would be a good plan to have people die and be gone for a little while, and then return.

As soon as the man sat down, Coyote jumped up and said he thought people should die forever. He pointed out that this little world was not large enough to hold all the people. and that if the people who died came back there would not be enough food for all.

All the other men objected. They said that they did not want their friends and relatives to die and be gone forever, for then they would grieve and worry and there would be no happiness in the world.

Everyone except Coyote decided to have people die and be gone for a little while, and then come back to life again, The medicine men built a large grass house facing east. When they had completed it, they called the men of the tribe together and told them that the people who died would be restored to life in the medicine house, The chief medicine man explained that they would sing a song calling the spirit of the dead to the grass house, When the spirit came, they would restore it to life.

All the people were glade, because they were anxious for the dead to come and live with them again.

When the first man died, the medicine men assembled in the grass house and sang.

In ten days a whirlwind blew from the west and circled about the grass house. Coyote saw it, and as the whirlwind was about to enter the house, he closed the door. the spirit of the whirlwind, finding the door closed, whirled by.

In this way Coyote made death eternal, and from that time on, people grieved over their dead and were unhappy.

Now whenever anyone hears a whirlwind or hears the wind whistle, he says, "Someone is wandering about." Ever since Coyote closed the door, the spirits of the dead have wandered over the earth trying to find some place to go, until at last they discovered the road to the spirit land.

Coyote ran away and never came back, for when he saw what he had done, he was afraid. Ever after that he has run from place to place. always looking back over one shoulder and then over the other to see if anyone is pursuing him. And since then he has been starving, for no one will give him anything to eat.

 



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Sacred Medicine Water

The favor of the Great Spirit rested on the abundant forest, flowers, song birds, and small animals of these quiet hills. Then a fierce dragon devastated the land, bringing disease and hunger on the people.

The Indian Nations pleaded with the Great Spirit to subdue the dragon, and the might of all the heavenly forces contrived to bury it deep under the mountain, where it shakes the earth even today.

Once the Great Spirit had reclaimed his beautiful resting spot, he caused pure water to gush from the earth, and asked that is favorite place be held neutral ground, so all can share in the healing waters.


 


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The Twin Brothers

Many, many winters ago, there lived a young man who had learned the secrets of plant and animal lore. He knew which plants and herbs cured illness, which could be used to purify the body and spirit, and which could help the People see more clearly their thoughts and dreams. He came to be known as Medicine Man.

Medicine Man loved a young girl named Clay Pot Woman, and she loved him. She chose him as her husband, and they were married in a ceremony witnessed by their entire village. They built their grass house outside the village, near the river.

One winter later, Clay Pot Woman was going to have a baby. But she grew ill, and the birth of the baby was a difficult time for her. Medicine Man was very afraid for Clay Pot Woman.

Medicine Man went out and gathered all the good herbs and plants to make the strongest medicine he could for both body and spirit. He made a drink from some of the herbs. He burned some of the other plants in the fire to make a good smell and purify the air in the grass house. Other plants he placed at the head of Clay Pot Woman's bedding, to give her spirit comfort and strength.

After a difficult birth, Clay Pot Woman presented Medicine Man with a new baby son. Medicine Man gathered up all the herbs and what was left of the drink, the dirty bedding with all the things left over from the birth and threw them on the midden pile, where garbage and broken pots were thrown. The medicine mixed with the things left over from birth and a magic event occurred: up from the midden pile sprang another baby boy, larger than the one inside the grass house.

Because the medicine was so strong, the second boy born was larger and seemed older already. According to Indian custom, that would make him the older brother. Because he was not born in the grass house, he ran away into the forest and grew up with the wild animals.

Winters came and went, and the young boy born in the hut grew up. Medicine Man and Clay Pot Woman loved him and taught him well. He was known by a boyhood name, but he looked forward to the day when he would be a hunter or warrior and earn himself a manhood name. For that day, Medicine Man made the boy a strong bow and many straight arrows, and the boy spent many happy days practicing his bowman ship.

One day in summer, Medicine Man went out to hunt and Clay Pot Woman took one of her pots to the nearby river to get water for the day. The boy played in the bare yard that his tribe always cleared around their grass houses.

The boys mother did not return as the shadows of evening grew long across the grass house, she did not return as the sun went down behind the trees. Medicine Man came home, but not Clay Pot Woman.

Fearing for his wife's safety, Medicine Man took his son with him to the river's edge. There they saw the footprints of Clay Pot Woman, they saw her pot lying broken by the riverbank. Two sets of footprints went into the river. No footprints came back out.

Medicine Man knelt in the clay at the river's edge and wept. "The orges from across the river have come and taken her away," he said. "The tribe of creatures that lives over there eats people for supper. My wife, your mother, is gone forever." The boy also knelt and wept with his father.

Medicine Man and his son went back to the grass house, built a fire, and stayed inside and mourned for six days. On the seventh, with all their food gone, Medicine Man prepared to go hunting again.

The next morning he said goodbye to the boy and told him to stay near the clearing that was their yard, near the protection of the village. Medicine Man promised to return before sundown.

The boy played in the yard as usual and shot his arrows into a wooden target. Suddenly, when the sun was high in the sky, another boy stepped out of the forest and greeted him. The other boy was taller and stronger and appeared older than the younger son of Medicine Man, but he resembled their father, and he looked very much like the younger boy's reflection in the water. The Wild Boy had a nose just a little bit too long, like an animal's snout, and his hair was long and unkempt. He wore no clothing at all, but he spoke gently and the two boys played together.

They laughed and joked, and shot the bow in turn, each trying to better the other's aim. They became fast friends. At last, the Wild Boy revealed his secret.

"I am your older brother," he said, "born out of Father's magic. But you must not tell Father about me, I choose to live in the forest."

As the sun was setting, the Wild Boy left quickly. Medicine Man came home with game for supper.

For four days it was the same. Each day, Medicine Man left the grass house to hunt or to go into the village. The Wild Boy came, and the twin brothers played together. At sunset, the Wild Boy left, saying, "You must not tell Father about me, I choose to live in the forest."

Each night, missing the companionship of his new found brother, the younger son moped about the grass house and stared vacantly into the fire. His father noticed, and asked what was troubling him. The boy, who would never lie to his father, told him all about the Wild Boy.

"We must capture him," said Medicine Man joyfully, "and bring him into our house to become part of our family! When you see him tomorrow, walk to him, and pretend that you see a little bug crawling in his long hair. Tell him you will remove the bug, but instead tie four knots in a hank of his hair. By this magic we will capture him, and bring him into our family. I will transform myself into a flying insect, and hide in the grass nearby.

The next day, Medicine Man became an insect and sat on a blade of grass at the edge of the yard. The Wild Boy came.

"Where is our father?" he asked, suspiciously. "He is not here," said the younger brother, for in fact, their father was not present in his usual form.

"Then who is that man on that blade of grass?" asked the Wild Boy, and he ran into the forest.

Four more times they tried to fool the Wild Boy. Medicine Man became a bird, he became a dog, he became a crawling bug and hid behind the fire. Every time, the Wild Boy saw him. Finally, the father told the younger boy, "Today I must go hunting. But if your brother should come, try to tie the magic knots anyway."

Medicine Man took his bow and arrows and left the grass house, but a short walk away from the yard he stopped and hung his weapon on a tree limb. He transformed himself into a insect and returned to the yard without his younger son's knowledge.

The Wild Boy came again. "Where is our father?" he asked.

"He is not here," said the Village Boy, unaware of their father's presence.

The Wild Boy smiled, came into the yard, and they played together.

"Brother," said the Village Boy, "you have a bug in your hair. I will take it out." With that, he tied four knots in a hank of the long hair. Just then, Medicine Man became himself again, and he and the Village Boy took the Wild Boy by the arms and led him into the grass house.

Medicine Man took a sharp shell and snipped off the excess nose from the Wild Boy and cut his hair like the boys of the village wore it. He gave the Wild Boy a robe made of buffalo calfskin to wear.

Later, their father gave the boys supper, and while they ate, he went for his bow and arrows. When he returned, to show the Wild Boy that he was welcomed into the family, Medicine Man presented him with a very special arrow, blackened from the smoke of herbs burned in the medicine fire.

To show his love for his younger son as well, Medicine Man gave a blue arrow to the younger boy, painted with juice and oil of many medicinal plants.

The Wild Boy, now dress and behaving as a proper village brother should, cut bark from an elm tree and made a wheel of bark for the two boys to shoot at. They painted the target in two colors, black and blue. They spent many happy hours in target practice, sometimes rolling the wheel of bark along the ground to test their skill with a moving target.

One day the wheel rolled in to the forest without either boy hitting it. When they went to look for it, it was gone.

"Someone has been here, watching us," said the Wild Boy, "and he has taken our target wheel!"

The twin brothers grew stronger and taller as the winters came and went, and the three were very happy as a family. One day in the spring, while their father was away for many days, the Wild Boy said to the Village Boy, "The time has come for us to take our manhood names. Let us go on a long journey."

Each took his own bow, made from the wood of the bois d`arc tree, and his arrows, and parched corn to eat on the journey. The Wild Boy also carried his black arrow, the special gift from their father.

The twin young men walked the path deep into the forest, along the river. The Wild Boy led the way, and they left the path to go into the dense woods. There they met a great squirrel, larger than a dog, who was a friend of the Wild Boy.

The great squirrel gave the twins two pecans that had unusual power within them. The great squirrel told the Wild Boy that his many friends in the forest remembered him and missed him. This gift was a remembrance from the animals and birds in the deep woods.

When night came, the twins made camp and planted one of the pecans in the soft earth. When they awoke the next morning, a great pecan tree had grown overnight. It was so tall that its upper branches were among the clouds, up in the World of Dreams.

The Wild Boy explained to his younger brother, "The Great Father Above has special gifts to give us as we reach manhood. He promised me the gifts when I was a very little boy living in the forest. Now I will climb high in this tree and see a vision, a dream. All my bones will drop out of my body and fall to the ground. The head bone will fall last of all. You will think that I am dead, but it will not be so."

"Take my bones and put them in a pile, with the head bone on top. Cover the pile with my buffalo calf robe and shoot the black arrow into the air. Then, just as we did when we played together and shot our arrows into the air to watch them turn and fall to earth, call out to me, Look out, Brother, for the arrow is coming straight toward you!'"

The younger boy was afraid to look up as the Wild Boy climbed, and just as he had said, soon the bones began to fall, the head bone last of all. The Village Boy gathered the bones, covered them, and shot the arrow. He called out, "Look out, Brother, for the arrow is coming straight toward you!"

The Wild Boy ran out from under the calf robe whole and healthy as ever, just before the arrow struck the buffalo hide.

"Now," said the older boy, "you must also climb up and see your vision, your dream, and receive the powers the Great Father Above has reserved for you. I shall do as you did for me, and we will meet here below afterwards."

The Village Boy was fearful as he climbed into the clouds, but soon he felt warm and comfortable, as if he were asleep, and he saw a vision of power. He felt no pain as his fell out of the cloud and struck the earth.

But he did hear his brother call out to him, and he ran out from under the buffalo robe, whole and healthy as ever. The arrow struck the hide and trembled upright.

"What gift did you receive?" asked the older brother.

"Listen," said the younger brother, delighted. And he opened his mouth and spoke a word that rumbled like a earthquake and echoed off the trees and rocks.

"We will call you by the name Thunder," said the older brother.

"What powers did you receive?" asked Thunder.

"Look," said the older boy, and he opened his mouth and spoke a word that lashed out of his mouth like a snakes tongue, and flashed like flames reaching across the sky.

"We will call you by the name Lighting," said Thunder.

The long day was ending, but strengthened by their new powers and their new manhood names, Lighting and Thunder walked together to the edge of the great river that also ran past their village. As they laid down to sleep for the night, they planted the second pecan.

By daybreak, when they awoke, another great pecan tree had grown overnight. Its long branches drooped across the river, giving them a way to pass over.

Lighting and Thunder climbed up the second great pecan tree and walked down its drooping branches to the opposite side of the river. There, after walking only a short distance, they came to the village of the ogres, creatures that ate people for supper. They saw piles of bones here and there in the grass.

"Look!" cried Lighting, pointing at a pile of bones. "These are the bones of our mother!" How he knew this, Thunder could not imagine, but he trusted his brother's wisdom.

Quickly they piled all the bones in a heap, and the head bone last of all. They put the buffalo robe over the bones and Lighting shot the black arrow into the air.

"Look out Mother," called Thunder, "for the arrow is coming toward you!"

The black arrow flew higher and higher in the sky shot by the greatest strength Lighting could gather, it turned slowly, and fell to earth, faster and faster. Suddenly Clay Pot Woman ran out from under the robe, and the black arrow struck the ground so hard it pierced deep through the calf robe and shattered into splinters.

Despite the many years she had been gone from among the People, Clay Pot Woman knew both her sons the moment she saw them. They embraced and wept with happiness.

Just as they hugged each other, the Great Chief of the orges came from the grass house nearby. He was very ugly and very cruel. As he approached, Thunder drew his blue arrow and notched it into his bowstring.

As the ogre chieftain drew closer, the brothers saw he was wearing their target wheel as an ornament on his right side. By this, they knew he was the orge that has crossed the river, that had watched them, and had taken their mother so long before.

Taking aim at the ogre's side, Thunder sent the blue arrow at its target and the great beast-man fell dead.

Before the rest of the ogre village was aroused, the three People ran back to the pecan branch and crossed the river. As they were on the branch, the first of the ogre warriors came running out of the village and came at the People, throwing spears. Thunder turned back and spoke his word, and the great roaring rumbled rolled out across the water and frightened the ogres from ever coming across the river.

Once Thunder had helped their mother down the tree trunk, Lighting turned back and spoke his word. A great white bolt of lighting writhed out of his mouth and split the great pecan tree so that its drooping branches fell into the river and washed away. No People would cross the river to the land of the ogres out of curiosity.

Soon the three People were back at the village, and they came into the grass house and greeted Medicine Man. He embraced them all, and they were a family again.

They lived happily for many years, but finally the day came when Medicine Man, old and having lived a good life, died quietly. Clay Pot Woman did not stay long in this world without her husband, she soon was also dead.

Lighting and Thunder, now grown men, took the bones of their mother and father, wrapped them in buffalo robes, and buried the bundles as their People had always done.

Then, no longer wanting to be in this world, Thunder and Lighting went back down the forest path they had traveled so many years before, climbed the first great pecan tree, and stepped off into the clouds. The old tree fell away beneath them and became a long log in the forest.

Thunder and Lighting lived thereafter in the sky and came and went with the wind and the storms, the People below looked up and remembered. When they gathered around the fires at night, they told the wonderful story of the Twin Brothers.

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The Voice, The Flood, And The Turtle

Once there was a chief whose wife, to the fear and wonder of the people, gave birth to four little monsters.
The elders said: "These strange children will bring great misfortune. It would be better to kill them right now, for the sake of the tribe."
"No way will we kill them," said their mother. "These children will turn out alright, by and by."
But they didn't turn out all right.

The small monsters grew fast, much faster than ordinary children, and became very big. They had four legs and arms each. They hurt other children; they upset tepees; they tore up buffalo robes; they befouled people's food.
A wise man, who could see things in his mind which had not yet happened, said:
"Kill these strange bad things before they kill you."
But their mother said: "Never. They'll be fine young men some day."

They never became fine young men; instead they started killing and eating people. At that point all the men in the village rushed at them to do away with them, but by then it was too late. The monsters had become too big and too powerful to be killed. They grew taller and taller.

One day they went into the middle of the camp and stood back to back, one facing east, one facing south, one facing west, and one facing north. Their backs grew together, and they became one.
As they grew higher and higher, most people took refuge near the monsters' feet, where the huge creatures could not bend down to catch them. But people who stayed farther off were seized by mile-long arms, killed, and eaten.
The four monsters, now grown together, rose up to the clouds, and their heads touched the sky.

Then the man who could see into the future heard a voice telling him to set up a hollow reed and plant it in the ground. The man did, and the reed grew bigger and bigger very fast. In no time it rose to touch the sky.
The man heard the voice again, saying:
"I will make a great flood. When the signs of bad things coming appear, you and your wife climb up inside this hollow cane. Be naked as you were born, and take with you a pair of all the good animals in order to save them."

The man asked: "What sign will you be sending?"
"When all the birds in the world - birds of the woods, the sea, the deserts, and the high mountains - form up into a cloud flying from north to south, that will be the sign. Watch for the cloud of birds."

One day the man looked up and saw a big cloud made up of birds traveling from north to south. At once he and his wife moved up into the hollow reed, taking with them all the animals they wished to save.
Then it began to rain and did not stop. Waters covered the earth and kept rising until only the top of the hollow cane and the heads of the monsters were left above the surface.

Inside the hollow reed, the man and his wife heard the voice again:
"Now I shall send Turtle to destroy the monsters."

The monster's heads were saying to each other:
"Brothers, I'm getting tired. My legs are weakening. I can't keep standing much longer."
The floods swirled around them with strong currents that almost swept them away.
Then the Great Turtle began digging down underneath the monster's feet. It uprooted them, and they could not keep their footing but broke apart and toppled over. They fell down into the waters, one sinking toward the north, one toward the east, one toward the south, and one toward the west.
Thus the four directions came into being.

After the monsters had drowned, the waters subsided. First the mountaintops reappeared, then the rest of the land. Next came hard-blowing winds that dried the earth.
The man climbed down to the bottom of the hollow reed and opened the hole at it's foot. He looked out. He stuck out his hand and felt around.
He said to his wife:
"Come out. Everything is dry."
So they emerged, followed by all the animals.

They left the reed, which collapsed and disappeared. But when they stepped out on the earth, it was bare; nothing was growing.
The wife said: "Husband, there's nothing here and we are naked. How shall we live?"
The man said: "Go to sleep."

They lay down and slept, and when they woke the next morning, all kinds of herbs had sprung up around them.
The second night while they slept, trees and bushes grew. Now there was firewood to keep them warm, and all kinds of woods for making bows and arrows.
During the third night green grass covered the earth, and animals appeared to graze on it.

The man and his wife went to sleep a fourth time and woke up inside a grass hut. They stepped out and found a stalk of corn.
Then they heard the voice say:
"This will be your holy food."
It told the woman how to plant and harvest the corn and ended with:
"Now you have everything you need. Now you can live. Now you will have children and form a new generation. If you, woman, should plant corn, and something other than corn comes up, then know that the world will come to it's end."

After that, they never heard the voice again.




 

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Cheian Indian Lore:

 

Creation of the First Indians

This story is told by the Chelan Indians, who live beside a long lake in the central part of the state of Washington. The lake is called Lake Chelan (pronounced sha- lan), meaning "Beautiful Water".

Long, long ago, the Creator, the Great Chief Above, made the world. Then he made the animals and the birds and gave them their names--Coyote, Grizzly Bear, Deer, Fox, Eagle, the four Wolf Brothers, Magpie, Blue jay, Hummingbird, and all the others.

When he had finished his work, the Creator called the animal people to him. "I am going to leave you," he said. "But I will come back. When I come again, I will make human beings. They will be in charge of you."

The Great Chief returned to his home in the sky, and the animal people scattered to all parts of the world.

After twelve moons, the animal people gathered to meet the Creator as he had directed. Some of them had complaints. Blue jay, Meadow lark, and Coyote did not like their names. Each of them asked to be some other creature.

"No," said the Creator. "I have given you your names. There is no change. My word is law.

"Because you have tried to change my law, I will not make the human being this time. Because you have disobeyed me, you have soiled what I brought with me. I planned to change it into a human being. Instead, I will put it in water to be washed for many moons and many snows, until it is clean again."

Then he took something from his right side and put it in the river. It swam, and the Creator named it Beaver.

"Now I will give you another law," said the Great Chief Above. "The one of you who keeps strong and good will take Beaver from the water some day and make it into a human being. I will tell you now what to do. Divide Beaver into twelve parts. Take each part to a different place and breathe into it your own breath. Wake it up. It will be a human being with your breath. Give it half of your power and tell it what to do. Today I am giving my power to one of you. He will have it as long as he is good."

When the Creator had finished speaking, all the creatures started for their homes--all except Coyote. The Great Chief had a special word for Coyote.

"You are to be head of all the creatures, Coyote. You are a power just like me now, and I will help you do your work. Soon the creatures and all the other things I have made will become bad. They will fight and will eat each other. It is your duty to keep them as peaceful as you can.

"When you have finished your work, we will meet again, in this land toward the east. If you have been good, if you tell the truth and obey me, you can make the human being from Beaver. If you have done wrong, someone else will make him."

Then the Creator went away.

It happened as the Creator had foretold. Everywhere the things he had created did wrong. The mountains swallowed the creatures. The winds blew them away. Coyote stopped the mountains, stopped the winds, and rescued the creatures. One winter, after North Wind had killed many people, Coyote made a law for him: "Hereafter you can kill only those who make fun of you."

Everywhere Coyote went, he made the world better for the animal people and better for the human beings yet to be created. When he had finished his work, he knew that it was time to meet the Creator again. Coyote thought that he had been good, that he would be the one to make the first human being.

But he was mistaken. He thought that he had as much power as the Creator. So he tried, a second time, to change the laws of the Great Chief Above.

"Some other creature will make the human being," the Creator told Coyote. "I shall take you out into the ocean and give you a place to stay for all time."

So Coyote walked far out across the water to an island. There the Creator stood waiting for him, beside the house he had made. Inside the house on the west side stood a black suit of clothes. On the other side hung a white suit.

"Coyote, you are to wear this black suit for six months," said the Creator. "Then the weather will be cold and dreary. Take off the black suit and wear the white suit. Then there will be summer, and everything will grow.

"I will give you my power not to grow old. You will live here forever and forever."

Coyote stayed there, out in the ocean, and the four Wolf brothers took his place as the head of all the animal people. Youngest Wolf Brother was strong and good and clever. Oldest Wolf Brother was worthless. So the Creator gave Youngest Brother the power to take Beaver from the water.

One morning Oldest Wolf Brother said to Youngest Brother, "I want you to kill Beaver. I want his tooth for a knife."

"Oh, no!" exclaimed Second and Third Brothers. "Beaver is too strong for Youngest Brother."

But Youngest Wolf said to his brothers, "Make four spears. For Oldest Brother, make a spear with four forks. For me, make a spear with one fork. Make a two-forked spear and a three-forked spear for yourselves. I will try my best to get Beaver, so that we can kill him."

All the animal persons had seen Beaver and his home. They knew where he lived. They knew what a big creature he was. His family of young beavers lived with him.

The animal persons were afraid that Youngest Wolf Brother would fail to capture Beaver and would fail to make the human being. Second and Third Wolf Brothers also were afraid. "I fear we will lose Youngest Brother," they said to each other.

But they made the four spears he had asked for.

At dusk, the Wolf brothers tore down the dam at the beavers' home, and all the little beavers ran out. About midnight, the larger beavers ran out. They were so many, and they made so much noise, that they sounded like thunder. Then Big Beaver ran out, the one the Creator had put into the water to become clean.

"Let's quit!" said Oldest Wolf Brother, for he was afraid. "Let's not try to kill him."

"No!" said Youngest Brother. "I will not stop."

Oldest Wolf Brother fell down. Third Brother fell down. Second Brother fell down. Lightning flashed. The beavers still sounded like thunder. Youngest Brother took the four-forked spear and tried to strike Big Beaver with it. It broke. He used the three- forked spear. It broke. He used the two-forked spear. It broke. Then he took his own one--forked spear. It did not break.

It pierced the skin of Big Beaver and stayed there. Out of the lake, down the creek, and down Big River, Beaver swam, dragging Youngest Brother after it.

Youngest Wolf called to his brothers, "You stay here. If I do not return with Beaver in three days, you will know that I am dead."

Three days later, all the animal persons gathered on a level place at the foot of the mountain. Soon they saw Youngest Brother coming. He had killed Beaver and was carrying it. "You remember that the Creator told us to cut it into twelve pieces," said Youngest Brother to the animal people.

But he could divide it into only eleven pieces.

Then he gave directions. "Fox, you are a good runner. Hummingbird and Horsefly, you can fly fast. Take this piece of Beaver flesh over to that place and wake it up. Give it your breath."

Youngest Brother gave other pieces to other animal people and told them where to go. They took the liver to Clearwater River, and it became the Nez Perce Indians. They took the heart across the mountains, and it became the Methow Indians. Other parts became the Spokane people, the Lake people, the Flathead people. Each of the eleven pieces became a different tribe.

"There have to be twelve tribes," said Youngest Brother. "Maybe the Creator thinks that we should use the blood for the last one. Take the blood across the Shining Mountains and wake it up over there. It will become the Blackfeet. They will always look for blood."

When an animal person woke the piece of Beaver flesh and breathed into it, he told the new human being what to do and what to eat.

"Here are roots," and the animal people pointed to camas and kouse and to bitterroot, "You will dig them, cook them, and save them to eat in the winter.

"Here are the berries that will ripen in the summer. You will eat them and you will dry them for use in winter."

The animal people pointed to choke cherry trees, to service berry bushes, and to huckleberry bushes.

"There are salmon in all the rivers. You will cook them and eat them when they come up the streams. And you will dry them to eat in the winter."

When all the tribes had been created, the animal people said to them "Some of you new people should go up Lake Chelan. Go up to the middle of the lake and look at the cliff beside the water. There you will see pictures on the rock. From the pictures you will learn how to make the things you will need."

The Creator had painted the pictures there, with red paint. From the beginning until long after the white people came, the Indians went to Lake Chelan and looked at the paintings. They saw pictures of bows and arrows and of salmon traps. From the paintings of the Creator they knew how to make the things they needed for getting their food.

Note: The paintings (or pictograph) on the lower rocks have been covered by water since a dam was built at the foot of the lake. Surprisingly high on the rocks that are almost perpendicular walls at the north end of the lake, the paintings remained for a long, long time. Then white people with guns and little respect for the past ruined them--for fun.

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Cheyenne Indian Lore:

 

 

Arrow Boy

After the Cheyenne had received their corn, and while they were still in the north, a young man and woman of the tribe were married.
The woman became pregnant and carried her child in the womb for four years. The people watched with great interest to see what would happen, and when the woman gave birth to a beautiful boy in the fourth year, they regarded him as supernatural. Before long the woman and her husband died, and the boy was taken in by his grandmother, who lived alone.

He learned to walk and talk very quickly. He was given a buffalo calf robe and immediately turned it inside out so that the hair side was outward, the way medicine men wore it.
Among the Cheyenne there were certain medicine men of extraordinary wisdom and supernatural powers. Sometimes they would come together and put up a lodge. Sitting in a large circle, they chanted and went through curious rituals, after which each man rose and performed wonders before the crowd.

One of these magic dances were held when the boy was about ten. He made his grandmother ask if he could take part, and the medicine men let him enter the lodge.
"Where do you want to live?" the chief of the medicine men asked, meaning "Where do you want to sit?"

Without ceremony the boy took his seat beside the chief. To the man who had ushered him in, the child gave directions to paint his body red and draw black rings around his face, wrists, and ankles.
The performance began at one end of the circle. When the boy's turn came, he told the people what he was going to do. He used sweet grass to burn incense. Then he passed his buffalo sinew bowstring east, south, west, and north through the smoke. He asked two men to assist him and told them to tie his bowstring around his neck, cover his body with his robe, and pull at the ends of the string.

They pulled with all their might, but they could not move him. He told them to pull harder, and as they tugged at the string, his head was severed. It rolled out from under the robe, and the men put it back.
Next the men lifted the robe up. Instead of the boy, a very old man was sitting in his place.
They covered the old man with the robe and pulled it away again, this time revealing a pile of human bones with a skull.
A third time they placed the robe over the bones and lifted it. Nothing at all was there.
But when for a fourth time they spread the robe over the empty space and removed it, the wonderful boy sat in his place as if nothing had happened.

After the magic dance, the Cheyenne moved their camp to hunt buffalo. When a kill had been made, the wonderful boy led a crowd of boys who went hunting for calves that might return to the place where they last saw their mothers. The boys found five or six calves, surrounded them, and killed a two-year-old with their arrows.
They began to skin it very carefully with bone knives, keeping the hide of the head intact and leaving the hooves on, because the wonderful boy wanted the skin for a robe.

While they worked, a man driving a dog team approached them. It was Young Wolf, head chief of the tribe, who had come to the killing ground to gather what bones had been left.
He said,
"My children have favored me at last! I'll take charge of this buffalo; you boys go on off."

The children obeyed, except for the wonderful boy, who kept skinning as he explained that he wanted only the hide for a robe. The chief pushed the wonderful boy aside, but the boy returned and resumed skinning.
Then the chief jerked the boy away and threw him down. The boy got up and continued his work. Pretending that he was skinning one of the hind legs, he cut the leg off at the knee and left the hoof on.

When the chief shouldered the boy out of the way and took over the work, the wonderful boy struck him on the back of the head with the buffalo leg.
The chief fell dead.
The boys ran to the camp and told the story, which caused great excitement. The warriors assembled and decided to kill the wonderful boy.

They went out to look for him near the body of their chief, but the boy had returned to camp. He was sitting in his grandmother's lodge while she cooked food for him in an earthen pot, when suddenly the whole tipi was raised by the warriors.
Quickly the wonderful boy kicked the pot over, sending the contents into the fire. As the smoke billowed up, the boy rose with it. The old woman was left sitting alone.
The warriors looked around and saw the boy about a quarter of a mile away, walking off toward the east. They ran after him but could not seem to draw closer. Four times they chased him with no success, and then gave up.

People became afraid of the wonderful boy. Still, they looked for him everyday and at last saw him on top of a nearby hill. The whole camp gathered to watch as he appeared on the summit five times, each time in a different dress.
First he came as a Red Shield warrior in a headdress made out of buffalo skin. He had horns, a spear, a red shield. and two buffalo tails tied to each arm.
The second time he was a Coyote warrior, with his body painted black and yellow and with two eagle feathers sticking up on his head.
The third time he appeared as a Dog Men warrior wearing a feathered headdress and carrying an eagle-bone whistle, a rattle of buffalo hoof, and a bow and arrows.
The fourth time he was a Hoof Rattle warrior. His body was painted, and he had a rattle to sing by and a spear about eight feet long, with a crook at one end and the shaft at the other end bent in a semicircle.
The fifth time his body was painted white, and on his forehead he wore a white owl skin.

After this the wonderful boy disappeared entirely. No one knew where he went, people thought him dead, and he was soon forgotten, for the buffalo disappeared and famine came to the Cheyenne.
During this time the wonderful boy traveled alone into the highest ranges of the mountains. As he drew near a certain peak, a door opened in the mountain slope.

(read "The Gold Of The Gods" by Erich Von Daniken, - such door actually exists! - Even though Von Daniken talks a lot of crap desperately trying to prove that "aliens" exist, nevertheless - his archaeological discoveries are still rocking the many foundations of what we have held to be "world history", and completely tears it to pieces,..
but you have to be strong minded enough to ignore his mad ramblings and read on!
Might this also be the reference made by the Sioux as to where the buffalo disappeared when they "went inside a mountain"?
Note that almost ALL tribes have legends of a mountain or mountains with a "door" in it - that leads to other places. It, and some of the connecting tunnels - some of which are literally HUNDREDS of miles long, extend underground to various places all over South America, and may also be the place to which Montezuma alluded, when he told his people to take the remaining gold to other lands by going "inside the mountains", after the Spanish broke their promises, and then later killed him,...
they never did solve the mystery though, of where such enormously huge quantities of gold disappeared to in such a short time!!!).

He passed through into the earth, and the opening closed after him. There inside the mountain he found a large circle of men. Each represented a tribe and was seated beneath that tribe's bundle.

They welcomed the wonderful boy and pointed out the one empty place under a bundle wrapped in fox skin.
"If you take this seat, the bundle will be yours to carry back to the Cheyenne," the head man said. "But first you will remain here four years, receiving instruction in order to become your tribe's prophet and counselor."
The wonderful boy accepted the bundle, and all the men gave thanks.
When his turn came to perform the bundle ceremony, they took it down and showed him its sacred ceremonies, songs, and four medicine arrows, each representing certain powers.

Then for four years under the mountain peak, they taught him prophecies, magic, and ceremonies for warfare and hunting.
Meanwhile the Cheyenne were weak with hunger, threatened by starvation. All the animals had died, and the people ate herbs.

One day as the tribe was traveling in search of food, five children lagged behind to look for herbs and mushrooms.
Suddenly the wonderful boy, now a young man bearing the name of Arrow Boy, appeared before them.
"My poor children, throw away those mushrooms," he said. "It is I who brought famine among you, for I was angry with your people when they drove me from their camp. I have returned to provide for you; you shall not hunger in the future. Go and gather some dried buffalo bones, and I will feed you."

The children ran away and picked up buffalo bones, and the wonderful boy, Arrow Boy, made a few passes that turned them into fresh meat. He fed the children with fat, marrow, liver, and other strengthening parts of the buffalo. When they had eaten all they wanted, he gave them fat and meat.

"Take this to your people," he said. "Tell them that I, Motzeyouf, Arrow Boy, have returned."
Though the boys ran to the camp, Motzeyouf used magic to reach it first. He entered the lodge of his uncle and lay down to rest, for he was tired. The uncle and his wife were sitting just outside, but they did not see Arrow Boy pass by.
The boys arrived in camp with their tale, which created great excitement. The uncle's wife went into the lodge to get a pipe, and it was then that she saw Arrow Boy lying covered with a buffalo robe. The robe, and his shirt, leggings, and his moccasins, all were painted red. Guessing that he was Motzeyouf, the men went into the lodge, asked the stranger to sit up, and cried over him.

They saw his bundle, and knowing that he had power, they asked him what they should do. Motzeyouf told the Cheyenne to camp in a circle and set up a large tipi in the center.
When this had been done, he called all the medicine men to bring their rattles and pipes. Then he went into the tipi and sang the sacred songs that he had learned. It was night before he came to the song about the fourth arrow.

In the darkness the buffalo returned with a roar like thunder. The frightened Cheyenne went in to Arrow Boy and asked him what to do.
"Go and sleep," he said, "for the buffalo, your food, has returned to you."
The roar of the buffalo continued through the night as long as he sang. The next morning the land was covered with buffalo, and the people went out and killed all they wanted. From that time forth, owing to the medicine arrows, the Cheyenne had plenty to eat and great powers

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Case Of The Severed Head

Once in a lonely lodge there lived a man, his wife, and two children a girl and a boy. In front of the lodge, not far off, was a great lake, and a plain trail leading from the lodge down to the shore where the family used to go for water.

Every day the man went hunting, but before starting he would paint the woman red all over, coating her face, her arms, and her whole body with this sacred medicine to protect her from harm.
After he departed, she would leave the children alone in the lodge and go for water; when she returned with it, the red paint was always gone and her hair was unbraided. She would manage to get back with her water just before her husband arrived. Not being a good hunter, he never brought any meat.

Though he asked her no questions, her husband thought it strange that every night the paint he had put on his wife in the morning had disappeared. One day he said to his daughter,
"What does your mother do every day? When I go out, I paint her, and when I get back, she has no paint on."
The girl replied,
"Whenever you start out hunting, she goes for water, and she is usually away for a long time."

The next day, the man painted his wife as usual and then took his bow and arrows and left the lodge.
But instead of going off hunting, he went down to the lake shore, dug a hole in the sand, and buried himself, leaving a little place where he could look out.

The man had not been hidden long when he saw his wife coming with a bucket. When she was near the water's edge, she slipped off her dress, unbraided her hair, sat down on the shore, and said,
"Na shu eh', I am here."
Soon the man saw the water begin to move, and a mih'ni, a water spirit, rose from it, crawled out on the land, crept up to the woman, wrapped itself about her, and licked off all the red paint that was on her body.

The man emerged from his hiding place and rushed down to the pair. With his knife he cut the monster to pieces and cut off his wife's head.
The pieces of the monster crept and rolled back into the water and were never seen again. The man cut off the woman's arms at the elbow and her legs at the knees. Saying,
"Take your wife!" he threw these pieces and her head into the water. Then he opened the body, extracted a side of her ribs, and skinned it.

Returning to the lodge, he said,
"Ah, my little children, I have had good luck; I have killed an antelope and brought back some of the meat. Where is your mother?"
The children answered,
"Our mother has gone to bring water."
"Well," he said, "since I killed my meat sooner than I thought, I carried it back to camp. Your mother will be here pretty soon. In the meantime I'll cook something for you to eat before I go out again."

He cooked a kettle of meat and took it to the children, who both ate.
The little boy, who was the younger and the last one to suckle, said to his sister,
"This tastes like mother!"
"Oh," said his sister, "keep still; this is antelope meat."

After the children had finished, the little girl saved some of the meat for the mother to eat when she returned.
The father got his moccasins and other things together and started off, intending never to come back. He was going to look for his tribe's camp.

After he had gone, the children were sitting in the lodge, the girl making moccasins and putting porcupine quills on them.
Suddenly they heard a voice outside say,
"I love my children, but they don't love me; they have eaten me!"
The girl said to her brother,
"Look out the door and see who is coming."
The boy looked out and then cried, very much frightened,
"Sister, here comes our mother's head!"
"Shut the door," cried the girl.
The little boy did so. The girl picked up her moccasins and her quills - red, white, and yellow - rolled them up, and seized her root digger.

Meanwhile the head had rolled against the door.
"Daughter, open the door," it called.
The head would strike the door, roll part way up the lodge, and then fall back again.
The girl and her brother ran to the door, pushed it open, and stood to the side. The head rolled into the lodge and clear across to the back.
The girl and boy jumped out, the girl closed the door, and both children ran away as fast as they could. As they ran, they heard the mother calling to them from the lodge.

They ran, and they ran, and at last the boy called,
"sister, I'm tired; I can't run any longer."
The girl took his robe and carried it for him, and they ran on.

At last they reached the top of the divide, they looked back, and there they could see the head coming, rolling over the prairie.
Somehow it had gotten out of the lodge.
The children kept running, but at last the head had almost overtaken them. The little boy was frightened nearly to death, as well as exhausted.
The sister said,
"This running is almost killing my brother. When I was a little girl playing, sometimes the prickly pears were so thick on the ground that I couldn't get through them."
As she said this, she scattered behind her a handful of the yellow porcupine quills. At once there appeared a great bed of tall prickly pears with great yellow thorns. This cactus patch was strung out for a long way in both directions across the trail they had made.

When the head reached that place, it rolled up on the prickly pears and tried to roll over them, but kept getting caught in the thorns. For a long time it kept trying and trying to work its way through, and at last it did get loose from the thorns and passed over. But by this time the girl and the boy had gone a long distance.

After a while, however, they looked back and again saw the head coming. The little boy almost fainted. He kept calling out,
"Sister, I'm tired; I can't run any longer."
When the sister heard him, she said while she was running,
"When I was a little girl, I often used to find the bullberry bushes very thick."
As she said this, she threw behind her a handful of the white quills, and where they touched the ground a huge grove of thick, thorny bullberry bushes grew up. They blocked the way, and the head stopped there for a long time, unable to pass through the bushes.

The children ran on and on, toward the place where the tribe had last been camped. But at length they looked back and saw the head coming again.
The little boy called out,
"Sister, I'm tired; I can't run any longer."
Again the girl threw quills behind - this time the red ones - and a great thicket of thorny rosebushes sprang up and stopped the head.

Again the children went a long way, but at last they saw the head coming, and the boy called out:
"Sister, I'm tired."
Then the sister said,
"When I was a little girl playing, I often came to small ravines that I couldn't cross."
She stopped and drew the point of her root digger over the ground in front of her. This made a little groove in the dirt, and she placed the root digger across the groove.
Then she and her brother walked over on the root digger, and when they had crossed, the furrow became wider and wider and deeper and deeper.

Soon it was a great chasm with cut walls, and at the bottom they could see a little water trickling.
"Now," said the girl, "we will run no longer; we will stay here."
"No, no," said the boy, "let's run."
"No," said the girl, "I will kill our mother here."

Presently the head came rolling up to the edge of the ravine and stopped.
"Daughter," it said, "where did you cross? Place your root digger on the ground so that I can cross too."
The girl attempted to do so, but the boy pulled her back every time. At last she managed to lay the root digger down, and the head began rolling over. But when it was halfway across, the girl tipped the stick, the head fell into the ravine, and the ravine closed on it.

After this the children started on again to look for the people. At last they found the camp and drew near it. Before they arrived, however, they heard a man's loud voice. As they came closer, they saw that it was their father speaking. He was walking about the camp and telling everyone that while he was out hunting, his two children had killed and eaten their mother. He warned the people that if the children came to the camp, they should not be allowed to enter.

When they heard this, the children were frightened. Still, they didn't know what else to do but go on into the camp.
The people immediately caught them and tied their hands and feet. And the next day the whole tribe moved away and left the children there, still tied.

In the camp there was an old, old dog who knew what had happened and took pity on the children. The night of their arrival, she went into a lodge, stole some sinew, a knife, and an awl, and took them into a hole where she had her pups.

The next day after all the people had gone, the children heard a dog howling. Presently the old, old dog approached them.
"Grandchildren," she said, "I pity you and have come to help you."
The girl said,
"Untie me first, and I can untie my brother."
So the old dog began to gnaw at the rawhide strings around the girl's hands. The animal had no teeth and could not cut the cords, but they became wet and began to slip.
The girl kept working her hands and at last got them free. She untied her legs and then freed her brother.

That evening they walked about through the camp and picked up old moccasins to wear. Both children were crying, and so was the dog.
They all sat on the hill near the camp and cried bitterly, for they had nothing to eat, no place to sleep, and nothing to cover themselves with, and winter was coming. The girl and the dog sat weeping with their heads hanging down, but the boy was looking about. Presently he said,
"Sister, see that wolf; it's coming straight toward us!"
"It's useless for me to look," said the girl. "I couldn't kill him by looking at him, so we can't eat him."
"But look, Sister," said the boy, "he's coming right up to us."
At last the girl raised her head, and when she looked at the wolf, it fell dead. Then the dog brought the tools that she had stolen before the tribe left. With the knife they cut the wolf up, and from its skin they made a bed for the dog.

The children stayed in the abandoned camp, living well now, while the people in the new camp were starving. The children kept a large fire burning day and night and used big logs so that it never went out.

But after they had eaten the wolf, they began to feel hungry again. The girl became very unhappy, and one day as she sat crying, with the dog sitting beside her and the boy standing and looking about, he said,
"Sister, look at that antelope coming!"
"No," said the girl, "it's useless for me to look; looking will do no good."
"But look even so," said the boy. "Perhaps it will do as the wolf did."
The girl looked, and as with the wolf, the antelope fell dead.
They cut it up and used its skin to make a bed for themselves. They ate the flesh and fed the old dog on the liver. The girl would chew pieces up fine for the toothless animal.

At last the antelope was all eaten, and again they grew hungry. Again the boy saw a strange-looking animal - this time an elk, which fell dead before the girl's look.
She stretched the elk hide, which they used for a shelter. With the sinews the dog had stolen, they sewed their moccasins and mended their clothing.

When the elk ran out, the boy saw a buffalo coming straight to their shelter, and the girl killed it by a look. They cut up the meat and used the hide to make a larger and better shelter, where they stayed until winter came and snow began to fall.

One night when the girl went to bed, she said,
"I wish that I might see a lodge over there in that sheltered place in the morning. I could sleep there with my brother and the dog, on a bed in the back of the lodge. I could make a bow and some arrows, so that my brother could kill the buffalo close to the camp when they gather in the underbrush during bad weather."
She also wished that her brother might become a young man, and that they might have meat racks in the camp and meat on them.

In the morning when the boy got up and looked out, he said,
"Sister, our lodge is over there now."
It was in the very place the girl had wished. They moved their possessions and their fire over to it, and when the boy entered the lodge, he was a young man.
That winter he killed many buffalo and they had plenty of meat.

One night as she was going to bed, the girl made another wish.
"Brother," she said, "our father has treated us very badly. He caused us to eat our mother, and he had us tied up and deserted by the people. I wish we knew how to get word to the camp, and I wish that we had two bears that we could tell to eat our father."

Next morning when the girl got up, two bears were sitting in the lodge on either side of the door.
"Hello, my animals," she said. "Arise and eat."

After giving them food, she went out to one of the meat racks and pulled off a piece of bloody fat. She called to a raven that was sitting in a tree nearby:
"Come here; I want to send you on an errand."
When the raven had flown to her, she said,
"Go and look for the camp of my people. Fly about among the lodges and call them. And when the people come out and ask each other, `What's that raven doing? And what is he carrying?' drop this piece of fat into the thick of the crowd. Then tell them that the people you came from have great scaffolds of meat."

The raven took the piece of fat in his bill and flew away. He found the camp and flew about, calling and calling, and a number of men sitting here and there began to say to each other,
"What's that raven carrying?"
The raven dropped the meat, and someone who picked it up said,
"why, it's fresh fat."
Then the raven said, "Those people whom you threw away are still in the old camp, and they have scaffolds of meat like this."
Then the raven flew back to the girl.

An old man began crying out to the people as he walked through the camp:
"Those children whom we threw away have plenty of meat! They are in the old camp, and now we must move back to it as quickly as we can."
The people tore down their lodges, packed up, and started back.
Some of the young men went ahead in little groups of threes and fours, and when they reached the children's camp, the girl fed them and gave them meat to carry back to the others. All the trees about the lodge were covered with meat, and buffalo hides were stacked in great piles.

After a while the whole village arrived and camped not far from the children's lodge, and everyone began to come to the lodge for food.
The girl sent word to her father to hold off until all the rest had been fed, so that he could come and take his time instead of eating in a hurry.
She said to the bears,
"I'm going to send for your food last. After that person gets here and has eaten, I'll say, `There's your food,' as he goes out of the lodge. Then you may eat him up."

In the evening when the last of the people was leaving the lodge, she said to her brother,
"Tell everyone not to come anymore tonight; it is my father's turn now."

When the father came and they fed him, he said happily,
"Oh, my children, you're living well here; you have plenty of meat and tongues and back fat."
He did not eat everything his daughter had set before him.
"I'll take all this home for my breakfast," he said.

After he had left the lodge, the girl said to the bears,
"There's your food; eat him up!"
The bears sprang after the father and pulled him down. He called to his daughter to take her animals away, but they killed him and began to drag him back to the lodge.
The girl said,
"Take him off somewhere else and eat him, and what you don't eat, throw into the stream."

What the bears did not eat they threw into the creek, and then they washed their hands, and no one ever knew what had become of the father.
Since that time, bears have eaten human flesh when they could.

The boy and the girl returned to the camp, and always afterward lived well there.

 


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Coyote Dances With a Star

Because the Great Mystery Power had given Coyote much of his medicine, Coyote himself grew very powerful and very conceited. There was nothing, he believe that he couldn't do. He even thought he was more powerful than the Great Mystery, for Coyote was sometimes wise but also a fool. One day long ago, it came into his mind to dance with a star. "I really feel like doing this," he said. He saw a bright star coming up from behind a mountain, and called out: "Hoh, you star, wait and come down! I want to dance with you."

The star descended until Coyote could get hold of him, and then soared up into the sky, with Coyote hanging on for dear life. Round and round the sky went the star. Coyote became very tired, and the arm that was holding onto the star grew numb, as if it were coming out of its socket.

"Star," he said, "I believe I've done enough dancing for now. I'll let go and be getting back home."

"No, wait; we're too high up" said the star. "Wait until I come lower over the mountain where I picked you up."

Coyote looked down at the earth. He thought it seemed quite near. "I'm tired, star; I think I'll leave now; we're low enough," he said, and let go.

Coyote had made a bad mistake. He dropped down, down, down. He fell for a full ten winters. He plopped through the earth clouds at last and when he finally hit ground, he was flattened like a tanned stretched deerskin. So he died right there.

Now, the Great Mystery Power had amused himself by giving Coyote several lives. It took Coyote quite a few winters, however, to pull himself up again and into his old shape. He had grown quite a bit older in all that time, but he had not grown less foolish. he boasted: "Who besides me could dance with stars, and fall out of the sky for ten long winters, and be flattened out like a deer hide, and live to tell the tale? I am Coyote. I am powerful. I can do anything.

Coyote was sitting in front of his lodge one night, when from behind the mountain here rose a strange kind of star, a very fast one, trailing a long, shining tail. Coyote said to himself: "Look at that fast star, what fun to dance with him!" He called out: "Ho, strange star with the long tail! Wait for me; come down; let's dance!"

The strange, fast star shot down, and Coyote grabbed hold. The star whirled off into the vastness of the universe. Again Coyote had made a bad mistake. Looking up from his lodge into the sky, he had had no idea of that star's real speed. It was the fastest thing in the universe. It whirled Coyote around so swiftly that first one and then the other of his legs dropped off. Bit by bit, small pieces of Coyote were torn off in this mad race through the skies, until at last only Coyote's right had was holding onto that fast star.

Coyote fell back down to earth in little pieces, a bit here and a bit there. But soon the pieces started looking for each other, slowly coming together, forming up into Coyote again. It took a long time--several winters. At last Coyote was whole again except for his right hand, which was still whirling around in space with the star. Coyote called out: "Great Mystery! I was wrong. I'm not as powerful as you. I'm not as powerful as I thought. Have pity on me!"

Then the Great Mystery Power spoke: "Friend Coyote. I have given your four lives. Two you have already wasted foolishly. Better watch out!"

"Have pity on me," wailed Coyote. "Give me back my right hand."

"That's up to the star with the long tail, my friend. You must have patience. Wait until the star appears to you, rising from behind the mountain again. hen maybe he will shake your hand off."

"How often does this star come over the mountain?"

"Once in a hundred lifetimes," said the Great Mystery.

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Doing a Trick With Eyeballs

 

One day Veeho met a medicine man with great powers. This man thought to amuse Veeho--and himself--with a little trick. "Eyeballs, he shouted, "I command you to fly out of my head and hang on that tree over there." At once his eyeballs shot out of his head and in a flash they were hanging from a tree branch. Veeho watched open-mouthed. "Ho! Eyeballs!" cried the medicine man, "now come back where they ought to be.

"Uncle," said Veeho, "please give me a little of your power so that I too can do this wonderful trick." To himself Veeho was thinking, "Then I can set up as a medicine man; then people will look up to me, especially good-looking girls, then people will give me many gifts."

"Why not?" said the medicine man. "Why not give you a little power to please you? But, listen, Veeho, don't do this trick more than four times a day, or your eyeballs won't come back."

"I won't," said Veeho.

Veeho could hardly wait to get away and try out this stunning trick. As soon as he was alone, he ordered: "Eyeballs, hop on that ledge over there. Jump to it!" And the eyeballs did.

Veeho couldn't see a thing. "Quickly, eyeball, back into your sockets!" The eyeballs obeyed. "Boy, oh boy," Veeho said to himself, "what a big man I am. Powerful, really powerful." Soon he saw another tree, "Eyeballs, up into that tree, quick!" For a second time the eyeballs did as they were told. "Back into the skull!" Veeho shouted, snapping his fingers. And once more the eyeballs jumped back. Veeho was enjoying himself, getting used to this marvelous trick. He couldn't stop. Twice more he performed it. "Well, that's it for today, " he said.

Later he came to a big village and wanted to impress the people with his powers. "Would you believe it, cousins," he told them, "I can make my eyeballs jump out of my head, fly over to that tree, hang themselves from a branch, and come back when I tell them." The people, of course, didn't believe him; they laughed. Veeho became very angry. "It's true, it's true!" he cried. "You stupid people, I can do it."

"Show us," said the people.

"How often have I done this trick?" Veeho tried to remember. "Four times? No, no. The first time was only for practice; it doesn't count. I can still show these dummies something." And he commanded: "Eyeballs, hang yourself on a branch of that tree!" The eyeballs did, and a great cry of wonder and astonishment went up. "There, you louts, didn't I tell you?" said Veeho, strutting around and puffing himself up. After a while he said: "All right, eyeballs, come back!" But the eyeballs stayed up in the tree. "Come back, come back, you no-good eyeballs;" Veeho cried again and again, but the eyeballs stayed put. Finally a big fat crow lighted on that tree and gobbled them up. "Mm, good," said the crow, "very tasty." The people laughed at Veeho, shook their heads, and went away.

Veeho was blind now. He didn't know what to do. He groped through the forest. He stumbled. He ran into trees. He sat down by a stone and cried. He heard a squeaking sound. It was a mouse calling other mice. "Mouse, little mouse," cried Veeho, "I am blind. Please lend me one of your eyes so that I can see again."

"My eyes are tiny," answered the mouse, "much too tiny. What good would one of them do you? It wouldn't fit." But Veeho begged so pitifully that the mouse finally gave him an eye, saying: "I guess I can get along with the other one.

So Veeho had one eye, but it was very small indeed. What he saw was just a tiny speck of light. Still, it was better than nothing.

Veeho staggered on and met a buffalo. "Buffalo brother," he begged, "I have to get along with just this tiny mouse eye. How can a big man like me make do with that? Have pity on me, brother, and lend me one of your big, beautiful eyes."

"What good would one of my eyes do you?"asked the buffalo. "It's much too big for your eye hole." But Veeho begged and wept and wheedled until the buffalo said: "Well, all right, I'll let you have one. I can't stand listening to you carrying on like that. I guess I can get by with one eye."

And so Veeho had his second eye. The buffaloes eye was much too big. It stuck out of it's socket like a shinny ball boys like to play with. It made everything look twice as big as his own eyes had. And since the mouse eye saw things ten times smaller, Veeho got a bad headache. But what could he do? It was better than being blind. "It's a bad mess, though," said Veeho.

Veeho went back to his wife and lodge. His wife looked at him. "I believe your eyes are a little mismatched," she told him. And he described all that had happened to him. "You know," she said, "I think you should stop fooling around, trying to impress people with your tricks."

"I guess so," said Veeho.

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Falling Star
One day in the long ago, two young girls were lying on the grass outside their tipi on a warm summer evening. They were looking up into the sky, describing star-pictures formed by their imaginations.

"That is a pretty star. I like that one," said First Girl.
"I like that one best of all--over there," Second Girl pointed.

First Girl pointed to the brightest star in the sky and said,
"I like the brightest one best of all. That is the one I want to marry."

That evening they agreed to go out the next day to gather wood.

Next morning they started for the timbered area. On their way they saw a porcupine climb a tree.
"I'll climb the tree and pull him down," said First Girl. She climbed but could not reach the porcupine.
Every time she stretched her hand for him, the porcupine climbed a little higher. Then the tree started growing taller.
Second Girl below called to her friend,
"Please come down, the tree is growing taller!"
"No," said First Girl as the porcupine climbed higher and the tree grew taller.

Second Girl could see what was happening, so she ran back to the camp and told her people. They rushed to the tree, but First Girl had completely disappeared!

The tree continued to grow higher and higher. Finally, First Girl reached another land. She stepped off the tree branch and walked upon the sky!
Before long she met a kindly looking middle-aged man who spoke to her. First Girl began to cry.
"Whatever is the matter? Only last night I heard you wish that you could marry me. I am the Brightest-Star," he said.

First Girl was pleased to meet Brightest-Star and became happy again when she got her wish and married him. He told her that she could dig roots with the other star-women, but to beware of a certain kind of white turnip with a great green top. This kind she must never dig. To do so was "against the medicine"--against the rules of the Sky-Chief.

Every day First Girl dug roots. Her curiosity about the strange white turnip became so intense that she decided to dig up one of them. It took her a long, long time.
When she finally pulled out the root, a huge hole was left. She looked into the hole and far, far below she saw the camp of her own people.

Everything and everyone was very small, but she could see lodges and people walking. Instantly she became homesick to see her own people again. How could she ever get down from the sky?
She realized it was a long, long way down to earth. Then her eyes fell upon the long tough grass growing near her. Could she braid it into a long rope? She decided to try, every day pulling more long grass and braiding more rope.

One time her husband Brightest-Star asked, "What is it that keeps you outdoors so much of the time?"
"I walk a great distance and that makes me tired. I need to sit down and rest before I can start back home."

At last she finished making her strong rope, thinking by now it must be long enough. She tied one end of the rope to a log that she rolled across the top of the hole as an anchor. She let down the rope. It looked as though it touched the ground.
She lowered herself into the hole, holding onto the braided rope. It seemed to take a long time as she slowly lowered herself until she came to the end of the rope. But it did not touch the earth!
For a long while she hung on dangling in midair and calling uselessly for help. When she could hold on no longer, she fell to the ground and broke into many pieces.
Although she died, her unborn son did not die, because he was made of star-stone and did not break.
A meadowlark saw what happened and took the falling-star baby to her nest. There the lark kept him with her own baby birds.

When they were older, Falling-Star crept out of the nest with the little birds. The stronger the birds grew, the stronger grew Falling-Star. Soon all of them could crawl and run. The young birds practiced their flying while Falling-Star ran after them.
Then the young birds could fly anywhere they wished, while Falling-Star ran faster and faster to keep up with them.
"Son, you had better go home to your own people," said Mother Meadowlark. "It is time for us to fly south for the winter. Before long, the weather here will be very cold."
"Mother Meadowlark," asked Falling-Star. "Why do you want me to leave you? want to go with you."
"No, Son," she replied. "You must go home now."
"I will go if Father Meadowlark will make me a bow and some arrows."

Father Meadowlark made a bow and pulled some of his own quills to feather the arrows. He made four arrows and a bow for Falling-Star. Then he started Falling-Star in the right direction toward his home, downstream.

Falling-Star traveled a long time before he reached the camp of his people. He went into the nearest lodge owned by an old grandmother.
"Grandmother," he said. "I need a drink of water."
"My grandson," she said to him, "only the young men who are the fastest runners can go for water. There is a water-monster who sucks up any people who go too close to it."
"Grandmother, if you will give me your buffalo-pouch and your buffalo-horn ladle, I will bring you water."
"Grandson, I warn you that many of our finest young men have been destroyed by the water-monster. I fear that you will be killed too."

But she gave him the things he asked for. He went upstream and dipped water, at the same time keeping watch for the monster.

At the very moment Falling-Star filled his bucket, the Water- monster raised its head above the water. His mouth was enormous. He sucked in his breath and drew in Falling-Star, the bucket, water, and the ladle.
When Falling-Star found himself inside the monster's stomach, he saw all the other people who had ever been swallowed. With his Star-stone, he cut a hole in the animal's side. Out crawled all the people, and Falling-Star rescued his pouch and ladle for his grandmother, taking her some cool, fresh water.

"My grandson, who are you?" she asked, marveling at his survival.
"Grandmother, I am Falling-Star. I killed the monster who has caused our people much suffering, and I rescued all the people who had been swallowed."

The old woman told the village crier to spread the good news that the monster was dead. Now that Falling-Star had saved the camp people there, he asked the grandmother,
"Are there other camps of our people nearby?"
"Yes, there is one farther downstream," she said.

Falling-Star took his bow and arrows and left camp. The fall of the year had now arrived.

After traveling many days, he reached the other camp. Again he went into an old woman's lodge where she sat near her fire.
"Grandmother, I am very hungry," he said.
"My son, my son, we have no food. We cannot get any buffalo meat. Whenever our hunters go out for buffalo, a great white crow warns the buffalo, which drives them away.
"How sad," he said. "I will try to help. Go out and look for a worn-out buffalo robe with little hair. Tell your chief to choose two of his fastest runners and send them to me."

Later, the old woman returned with the robe and the two swift runners. Falling-Star told them his plan.
"I will go to a certain place and wait for the buffalo. When the herd runs, I will follow, disguised as a buffalo in the worn-out robe. You two runners chase me and the buffalo for a long distance. When you overtake me, you must shoot at me. I will pretend to be dead. You pretend to cut me open and leave me there on the ground."

When the real buffalo arrived, the white crow flew over them screaming,
"They are coming! They are after you! Run, run!"
The buffalo herd ran, followed by a shabby-looking bull. The two swift runners chased the old bull according to plan. All kinds of birds, wolves, and coyotes came toward the carcass from all directions. Among them was the white crow. As he flew over Falling-Star in disguise, he called out shrilly,
"I wonder if this is Falling-Star?"

Time after time the crow flew over the carcass, still calling,
"I wonder if this is Falling-Star?"

He came closer and closer with each pass. When he was close enough, Falling-Star sprang and grabbed the legs of the white crow. All of the other birds and animals scattered in every direction.

When Falling-Star brought the captive white crow home to the grandmother, she sent word for the chief.
"I will take the white crow to my lodge. I will tie him to the smoke hole and smoke him dead," said the chief.

From that moment on, the good Cheyennes were able to kill many buffalo and they had plenty of buffalo meat for all their needs.

The people in gratitude gave Falling-Star a lovely lodge-home and a pretty Indian maiden waiting there to become his wife. They remained all of their lives with the Northern Cheyenne Indian tribe.



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How He Got Tongue

Wihio was living in his home, not far away was a camp of people. One day he had nothing to eat, and no way to kill anything, so he paid a visit to one of his neighbors, hoping that he would be asked to eat with them.

When Wihio stepped into the lodge he saw that there was plenty of food there, dried meat and back fat and tongues. Every time the man went out he killed an elk, and when he did so he took the tongue out and saved it, so there were tongues hung all about his lodge. Wihio longed for the tongues but the man did not offer him any; he just gave him some dried meat. As Wihio was returning to his lodge, he saw a Coyote not far off, and called to him asking him to come in.

When the Coyote had sat down, Wihio told him about what he had seen in the man's lodge, and he asked the Coyote to go there with him again, so they might eat there.

The Coyote thought the man would not let im in, because everyone knows that coyotes always steal meat.

"Well," said Wihio, "let us arrange some kind of plan by which you can come, What can we do? How can we get in?" The Coyote said, " You dress up like a woman, and tie me up like a baby, and carry me there. Give me good things to eat when you get the meat."

"Ah," said Wihio, "it is good, I will give you part of everything that is given to me." Then he began to tie up the Coyote like a baby, so that he could carry him. After he had done so, he took up the Coyote like a baby and went back to the lodge dressed like a woman, and said to the man, "my child is crying for food. "Wihio whispered to the Coyote to cry for tongue, and he did so. The man asked Wihio what the baby wanted, and Wihio said, "He is crying for tongue." The man took a tongue and put it in water and boiled it.

After the tongue was cooked the man gave it to Wihio, who began to eat, and gave the Coyote only just a taste of it. Wihio ate all he could for he was hungry. The Coyote kept whispering to him, "Give me some too, I am hungry," but Wihio continued to eat, and just dipped his fingers in the soup and let the Coyote lick them. At last the Coyote grew angry and said, "I'm going to tell him about you, that you have dressed me up like a baby in order to get some tongue."

Wihio kept eating very fast, and gave the Coyote none of the tongue, and at last went out of the lodge, carrying the baby. He went to the river, and said to the Coyote, "You were going to tell about me, were you? You ought to keep quiet when I'm eating; you trouble me too much." Then he threw the Coyote, all tied up into the river. and the Coyote floated down the stream.

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How The Buffalo Hunt Begun

 

The buffalo formerly ate man. The magpie and the hawk were on the side of the

people, for neither ate the other or the people. These two birds flew away from a council between animals and men. They decided that a race would be held, the winners to eat the losers.

The corse was long, around a mountain. the swiftest buffalo was a cow called

Neika," swift head." She believed she would win and entered the race. On the other hand, the people were afraid because of the long distance. They were trying to get medicine to prevent fatigue.

All the birds and animals painted themselves for the race, and since that time

they have all been brightly colored. Even the water turtle put red paint around his eyes. The magpie painted himself white on the head, shoulders, and tail. At last all were ready for the race. and stood in a row for the start.

They ran and ran, making some loud noises in place of singing to help

themselves to run faster. All small birds, turtles, rabbits, coyotes,wolves, flies, ants, insects, and snakes were soon left far behind.

when they approached the mountain the buffalo-cow was ahead; then came the magpie, hawk, and the people; the rest were strung out along the way. The

dust rose so quickly that nothing could be seen.

All around the mountain the buffalo-cow led the race, but the two birds knew they could win, and merely kept up with her until they neared the finish line, which was back to the starting place. Then both birds whoosh-ed by her and won the race for man. As they flew the corse, they had seen fallen animals and

birds all over the place, who had run themselves to death, turning the ground and rocks red from the blood.

The buffalo then told their young to hide from people, who were going out to hunt them: and also told them to take some human flesh with them for the last time. The young buffaloes did this and stuck the meat in front of their chests, beneath the throat. Therefore, the people do not eat that part of the buffalo, saying it is part human flesh.

From that day forward the Cheyennes began to hunt buffalo. Since all the friendly animals and birds were on the people's side, they are not eaten by people, but they do wear and use their beautiful feathers for ornaments.

her version adds that when coyote, who was on the side of buffalo finished the race, the magpie who even beat the hawk, said to coyote, " We will not eat you, but only use your skin."

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Sun Teaches Veeho A Lesson

Sun had beautiful, wonder working leggings which could set the prairie on fire and drive game toward the hunter's bow. Veeho, The clever trickster, greatly admired them, and one day when he came to visit, he sneaked off with them when Sun was not looking.

Chuckling Veeho said to himself, "Now I can work many miracles and be the world's greatest hunter.

Toward evening he was tired of running fast and hard. "Sun can't catch up with me now," he decided. rolling up the magic leggings and placing them under his head for a pillow, he lay down to sleep, He slept well. but in the morning he found himself back in Sun's tipi. Veeho is so stupid, that he didn't know that all the world is Sun's lodge. But though he was surprised to wake up there after having run so hard, fast and far, he is hard to embarrass.

Sun smiled and said, "What are you doing with my leggings?"
Veeho may be stupid, but he is never at a loss for an answer. he said, "I put my head on them to sleep, I knew you wouldn't mind."

"I don't mind," said Sun. "You can use them as a pillow if you want to." Sun knew very well that Veeho was lying as usual, and meant to steal the magic leggings. But Sun only said, "Well I must go walk my daily path."

"Don't hurry back," said Veeho. "I'll keep an eye on your lodge."

Once he could no longer see Sun, Veeho ran off with the leggings again, this time he ran twice as fast and far. Again he went to sleep and again he woke to find himself back inside Sun's tipi.

Sun laughed and said if your that fond of my leggings, you may have them.

Veeho was overjoyed. "I never meant to steal these beautiful leggings, friend Sun. You know me... I'm always up to some trick; I was only fooling. But now that you have given them to me of your own free will, I glady accept."

Veeho could hardly wait to get away from Sun's lodge and put on the leggings. Wearing them, he ran over the prairie and ignited the grass to drive the buffalo toward him. But Veeho did not have Sun's power, he couldn't handle such a big fire. and it scorched his soles and blistered his feet.

"Friend Sun, come and help me!" he cried. "Help your poor friend! Where are you Sun? Come put the fire out!"

but Sun pretended not to hear, and soon Veeho's leggings were on fire. Crying from pain, he plunged into the nearest stream. By then it was to late; the leggings were ruined and Veeho's legs blistered.

When Veeho begged the Sun to make him a new pair of leggings, Sun said, "Even I can't make magic leggings but once. I'm sorry friend. Be more careful in the future."

Sun could have easily made another pair of course. but then Veeho wouldn't have learned a lesson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Girl Who Married A Dog

A chief had a fine looking daughter. She had a great many admirers. At night she was visited by a young man, but she did not know who he was. She worried about this and determined to discover him. She put red paint next to her bed. When he crawled on her bed, she put her hand in the paint, When they embraced, she left red marks on his back.

the next day she told her father to call all the young men to a dance in front of his tent. They all came. and the whole village turned out to see them. She watched all that came, looking for the red marks she had made. As she turned about, she caught sight of one of her father's dogs with red marks on his back. This made her so unhappy and she went straight into her tent. this stopped the dance.

The next day she went into the woods near the camp, taking the dog on a string. She hit him. He finally broke loose. She was very unhappy,and several months later she bore seven pups. She told her mother to kill them, but her mother was kind to them and built them a little shelter. They began to grow, and sometimes at night the old dog came to them. After a time, the woman began to take an interest in them and sometimes played with them. When they were big enough to run, the old dog came and took them away.

When the woman went to see them in the morning they were gone. She saw the large dog's tracks and several little ones, and followed them at a distance. She was sad and cried. She returned to her mother and said, "Mother, make me seven pairs of moccasins. I am going to search for the little ones." her mother made seven pairs of moccasins, and the woman started out, tracking them all the way. Finally, in the distance, she saw a tent. the youngest one came to her and said, "Mother, Father wants you to go back. We are going home. You can not come." She said, "No! Wherever you go. I go." She took the little one and carried him to the tent. She entered and saw a young man, who took no notice of her. He gave her a little meat and drink, which did not grow less no matter how much she ate. She tied the little pup to her belt with a string. Next morning, she was left alone and the tent had vanished. She followed the tracks and again came upon them. Four times this happened in the same way. but the fourth time the tracks stopped.

She looked up in the sky. There she saw her seven pups. They had become seven stars, the Pleiades.

 

 

 

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The Old Woman Of The Spring
When The Cheyenne were still in the north, they camped in a large circle at whose entrance a deep, rapid spring flowed from a hillside.
The spring provided the camp with water, but food was harder to find.
The buffalo had disappeared, and many people went hungry.

One bright day some men were playing the game of ring and javelin in the center of the camp circle. They used a red and black hoop and four long sticks, two red and two black, which they threw at the hoop as it rolled along.
In order to win, a player had to throw his stick through the hoop while it was still moving.
A large audience had already gathered when a young man came from the south side of the camp circle to join them. He wore a buffalo robe with the hair turned outward. His body was painted yellow, and a yellow-painted eagle breach-feather was fastened to his head.
Soon another young man dressed exactly like the first came from the north side of the circle to watch the game. They were unacquainted, but when the two caught sight of each other they moved through the crowd to talk.

"My friend," said the man from the south side, "you're imitating my dress. Why are you doing it?"
The other man said,
"It's you who are imitating me. Why?"
In their explanations, both men told the same story.

They had entered the spring that flowed out from the hillside, and there they had been instructed how to dress.
By now the crowd had stopped watching the game and gathered around to listen, and the young men told the people that they would go into the spring again and come out soon.

As the crowd watched, the two approached the spring. The man from the south covered his head with his buffalo robe and entered. The other did the same. The young men splashed through the water and soon found themselves in a large cave.
Near the entrance sat an old woman cooking some buffalo meat and corn in two separate earthen pots. She welcomed them:
"Grandchildren, you have come. Here, sit beside me."

They sat down, one on each side of her, and told her that the people were hungry and that they had come to her for food.
She gave them corn from one pot and meat from the other. They ate until they had had enough, and when they were through the pots were still full.
Then she told them to look toward the south, and they saw that the land in that direction was covered with buffalo.
She told them to look toward the west, and they saw all kinds of animals, large and small, including ponies, though they knew nothing of ponies in those days.
She told them to look toward the north, and they saw corn growing everywhere.
The old woman said to them,
"All this that you have seen shall be yours in the future. Tonight I cause the buffalo to be restored to you. When you leave this place, the buffalo will follow, and your people will see them coming before sunset. Take this un cooked corn in your robes, and plant it every spring in low, moist ground. After it matures, you can feed upon it."
"Take also this meat and corn that I have cooked," she said, "and when you have returned to your people, ask them to sit down to eat in the following order:
- first, all males, from the youngest to the oldest, with the exception of one orphan boy;
- second, all females, from the oldest to the youngest, with the exception of one orphan girl.
When all are through eating, the rest of the food in the pots is to be eaten by the orphan boy and the orphan girl."

The two men obeyed the old woman. When they passed out of the spring, they saw that their entire bodies were painted red, and the yellow breach- feathers on their heads had turned red.
They went to their people, who ate as directed of the corn and meat. There was enough for all, and the contents of the pots remained full until they were passed to the two orphan children, who ate all the rest of the food.

Toward sunset the people went to their lodges and began watching the spring closely, and in a short time they saw a buffalo leap out. The creature jumped and played and rolled, then returned to the spring.
In a little while another buffalo jumped out, then another and another, and finally they came so fast that the Cheyenne were no longer able to count them.
The buffalo continued to emerge all night, and the following day the whole country out in the distance was covered with buffalo. The buffalo scented the great camp.

The next day the Cheyenne surrounded them, for though the men hunted on foot, they ran very fast. For a time the people had an abundance of buffalo meat.

In the spring they moved their camp to low, swampy land, where they planted the corn they had received from the medicine stream. It grew rapidly, and every grain they planted brought forth strong stalks bearing two to four ears of corn. The people planted corn every year after this.

One spring after planting corn, the Cheyenne went on a buffalo hunt.
When they had enough meat to last for a long time, they returned to their fields. To their surprise, they found that the corn had been stolen by some neighboring tribe. Nothing but stalks remained - not even a kernel for seed.
Though the theft had occurred about a moon before, the Cheyenne trailed the enemies' footprints for several days. They even fought with two or three tribes, but never succeeded in tracing the robbers or recovering the stolen crop. It was a long time before the Cheyenne planted any more corn.

 

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The Origin Of The Buffalo

Long ago, a tribe of Cheyenne hunters lived at the head of a rushing stream, which emptied into a cave.

because of the great need for a new food supply for his people, the chief called a council meeting.

"We should explore the large cave," he told his people. "How many brave hunters will offer to go on the venture? Of course it may be dangerous, but we have brave hunters." No one responded to the chief's request.

Finally, one young brave painted himself for hunting and stepped forward, replying to the chief, "I will go and sacrifice myself for our people." He arrived at the cave, and to his surprise, First Brave found two other Cheyenne hunters near the opening , where the stream rushed underground.

"Are they her to taunt me?" First Brave wondered, "Will they only pretend to jump when I do?"

But the other two braves assured him they would go. "No you are mistaken about us, We really do want to enter the cave with you." they said.First Brave then joined hands with them and they jumped into the huge opening of the cave together. because of the darkness, it took some time for their eyes to adjust. They then discovered what looked like a door, First Brave knocked, but there was no response, he knocked again, louder.

"What do you want my brave ones?" asked an old Indian grandmother as she opened the door.

"grandmother, we search for a new food supply for our tribe, " First Brave replied. "Our people never seem to have enough food to eat."

"Are you hungry now?" she asked.

"oh yes, kind Grandmother, we are very hungry," all three braves answered.

the old Grandmother opened her door wide, inviting the young braves to enter.

"Look out there!" she pointed for them to look through her window.

A beautiful wide prairie stretched before their eyes. Great herds of buffalo were grazing contentedly. the young hunters could hardly believe what they saw!

The old Grandmother brought them each a stone pan full of buffalo meat. How good it tasted, as they ate and ate until they were full. to their surprise, more buffalo meat remained in their stone pans!

"I want you to take your stone pans of buffalo meat back to your people," she said. "Tell them that soon I will send some live buffalo."

"Thank you, thank you, kind Grandmother," said the three young Cheyenne braves.

When the young braves returned to their tribe with the gift of buffalo meat, their people rejoiced over the new good food. Their entire tribe ate heartily from the old Grandmother's three magic pans, and were grateful.

When the Cheyennes woke at dawn the next day, herds of buffalo had mysteriously appeared,

surrounding their village! They were truly thankful to the old Indian Grandmother and to the Sky Spirits for their good fortune.

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Yellowstone Valley And The Great Flood

"I have heard it told on the Cheyenne Reservation in Montana and the Seminole camps in the Florida Everglades, I have heard it from the Eskimos north of the Arctic Circle and the Indians south of the equator. The legend of the flood is the most universal of all legends. It is told in Asia, Africa, and Europe, in North America and the South Pacific." Professor Hap Gilliland of Eastern Montana College was the first to record this legend of the great flood.

This is one of the fifteen legends of the flood that he himself recorded in various parts of the world:

He was an old Indian. his face was weather beaten, but his eyes were still bright. I never knew what tribe he was from, though I could guess. Yet others from the tribe whom I talked to later had never heard his story.

We had been talking of the visions of the young men. He sat for a long time, looking out across the Yellowstone Valley through the pouring rain, before he spoke. "They are beginning to come back," he said.

"Who is coming back?" I asked.

"The animals," he said. "It has happened before."

"Tell me about it.'

He thought for a long while before he lifted his hands and his eyes. "The Great Spirit smiled on this land when he made it. There were mountains and plains, forests and grasslands. There were animals of many kinds--and men."

The old man's hands moved smoothly, telling the story more clearly than his voice.

The Great Spirit told the people, "These animals are your brothers. Share the land with them. They will give you food and clothing. Live with them and protect them.

"Protect especially the buffalo, for the buffalo will give you food and shelter. The hide of the buffalo will keep you from the cold, from the heat, and from the rain. As long as you have the buffalo, you will never need to suffer."

For many winters the people lived at peace with the animals and with the land. When they killed a buffalo, they thanked the Great Spirit, and they used every part of the buffalo. It took care of every need.

Then other people came. They did not think of the animals as brothers. They killed, even when they did not need food. They burned and cut the forests, and the animals died. They shot the buffalo and called it sport. They killed the fish in the streams.

When the Great Spirit looked down, he was sad. He let the smoke of the fires lie in the valleys. The people coughed and choked. But still they burned and they killed.

So the Great Spirit sent rains to put out the fires and to destroy the people.

The rains fell, and the waters rose. The people moved from the flooded valleys to the higher land.

Spotted Bear, the medicine man, gathered together his people. He said to them, "The Great Spirit has told us that as long as we have the buffalo we will be safe from heat and cold and rain. But there are no longer any buffalo. Unless we can find buffalo and live at peace with nature, we will all die."

Still the rains fell, and the waters rose. The people moved from the flooded plains to the hills.

The young men went out and hunted for the buffalo. As they went they put out the fires. They made friends with the animals once more. They cleaned out the streams.

Still the rains fell, and the waters rose. The people moved from the flooded hills to the mountains.

Two young men came to Spotted Bear. "We have found the buffalo," they said. "There was a cow, a calf, and a great white bull. The cow and the calf climbed up to the safety of the mountains. They should be back when the rain stops. But the bank gave way, and the bull was swept away by the floodwaters. We followed and got him to shore, but he had drowned. We have brought you his hide."

They unfolded a huge white buffalo skin.

Spotted Bear took the white buffalo hide. "Many people have been drowned," he said. "Our food has been carried away. But our young people are no longer destroying the world that was created for them. They have found the white buffalo. It will save those who are left."

Still the rains fell, and the waters rose. The people moved from the flooded mountains to the highest peaks.

Spotted Bear spread the white buffalo skin on the ground. He and the other medicine men scraped it and stretched it, and scraped it and stretched it.

Still the rains fell. Like all rawhide, the buffalo skin stretched when it was wet. Spotted Bear stretched it out over the village. All the people who were left crowded under it.

As the rains fell, the medicine men stretched the buffalo skin across the mountains. Each day they stretched it farther.

Then Spotted Bear tied one corner to the top of the Big Horn Mountains. That side, he fastened to the Priors. The next corner he tied to the Bear Tooth Mountains. Crossing the Yellowstone Valley, he tied one corner to the Crazy Mountains, and the other to Signal Butte in the Bull Mountains.

The whole Yellowstone Valley was covered by the white buffalo skin. Though the rains still fell above, it did not fall in the Yellowstone Valley.

The waters sank away. Animals from the outside moved into the valley, under the white buffalo skin. The people shared the valley with them.

Still the rains fell above the buffalo skin. The skin stretched and began to sag.

Spotted Bear stood on the Bridger Mountains and raised the west end of the buffalo skin to catch the West Wind. The West Wind rushed in and was caught under the buffalo skin. The wind lifted the skin until it formed a great dome over the valley.

The Great Spirit saw that the people were living at peace with the earth. The rains stopped, and the sun shone. As the sun shone on the white buffalo skin, it gleamed with colors of red and yellow and blue.

As the sun shone on the rawhide, it began to shrink. The ends of the dome shrank away until all that was left was one great arch across the valley.

The old man's voice faded away; but his hands said "Look," and his arms moved toward the valley.

The rain had stopped and a rainbow arched across the Yellowstone Valley. A buffalo calf and its mother grazed beneath it.

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Chickasaw Indian Lore:

 

Ghost of White Deer

 

A brave, young warrior from the Chickasaw Nation fell in love with the daughter of a chief. The chief did not like the young man, who was called Blue

Jay. So the chief invented a price for the bride that he was sure that Blue Jay could not pay.

"Bring me the hide of the white deer ,: said the chief. The Chickasaws believed that all white were magical.

"The price for my daughter is one white deer." Then the chief laughed. The chief knew that an all white deer, albino, was very rare and would be very hard to find. White deerskin was the best material to use in a wedding dress, and the best white deer skin came from the albino deer.

Blue Jay went to his beloved, whose name was Bright Moon. " I will return with your bride price in one moon, and we will be married. This I promise you." Taking his best bow and his sharpest arrows Blue Jay began to hunt.

Three weeks went by, and Blue Jay was often hungry, lonely, and scratched by briars. Then, one night during a full moon, Blue Jay saw a white deer that seemed to drift through the moonlight. When the deer was very close to where Blue Jay hid, he shot his sharpest arrow. The arrow sank deep into the deers heart. But instead of sinking to his knees to die, the deer began to run. and instead of running away, the the deer began to run toward Blue Jay, his eyes

glowing, his horns sharp and menacing.

A month passed and Blue jay did not return as he had promised Bright Moon. As the months dragged by, the tribe decided that he would never return.

But Bright Moon never took any other young man as a husband, for she had a secret. When the moon was shinning as brightly as her name, Bright Moon

would often see white deer in the smoke of the campfire, running, with an arrow in his heart. She lived hoping the deer would finally fall, and Blue Jay would return.

To this day the white deer is sacred to the Chickasaw People, and the white deerskin is still the favorite material for the wedding dress.

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Chilcotin Indian Lore:

 

The Stretching Tree

Once an old man and a young man and two women lived together. The two women were the young man's wives. Now the young man needed some feathers for his arrows, and one day, seeing a hawks' nest in a high tree, he started to climb it to get to the hawks' feathers. Now, the old man was jealous of the young man and followed him, and when he saw him climbing the tree, he used his magic and made the tree grow higher and higher, and at the same time peeled off all the bark so that the trunk was slippery; and so the young man could not come back down.

When the young man failed to appear that night, the old man said he wished to move camp and that the women should go with him. They started out the next morning. Now one of the women liked the old man, but the other one who had a baby, disliked him, and when they camped for the night, She would take her baby and make a fire for herself away from the old man. So they went on for several days.All this time the young man was stuck up in the tree. and it was cold he took his hair which was very long and wove feathers in it and so made a blanket for himself to protect against the cold.
The little birds who make their homes in the sticks of the hawks' nest tried their best to carry him down to the ground, but they could not lift him.

One day he saw and Old woman bent over with a stick in each hand coming. She came to the bottom of the tree where the young man was. and began to climb until she reached the young man. Then she turned into a Spider. The Spider then spun a web for him, and out of the web the young man made a rope. and climbed down to the ground.

When he got back to his camp, he found it deserted, but discovered the trail of the others and started to follow. He trailed them a long time, and finally saw them in the distance. Now the woman who did not like the old man was following behind with her little boy, and the child , looking back saw his father and cried out, "Why, there is my father!" But the mother replied, "What do you mean? Your father has been dead a long time." But looking back herself, she saw her husband and waited for him to come up, and they stopped together.

 

 

 

 

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Chinook Indian Lore:

 


Creation Story

Chinook oral legend has it that the first MEN of the tribe came from the sky because they were the offspring of Thunderbird. The men then found and plucked women (who were in various stages of development) from the valley floor. This was the first Chinook tribe.

Also, the rock where the first Chinook woman was plucked still exists. It has a hole all the way through it where her arms passed right through the middle of the rock. I've never seen it but have been told how to get there and where it is. Very few people know about this place (until now), and I'm not at liberty to tell of its whereabouts.

The Chinook creation story centers in Oregon, on Saddle Mountain. That's where Thunderbird laid its eggs. Thunderbird was part man, part spirit being. An Ogress rolled five of Thunder bird's eggs down Saddle Mountain, and five men, each of different color, were born. They found their women growing in various states of development in the valley below. The chief man plucked his wife from a rock. Her arms went through the rock, as if she was hugging it. There is a rock with this feature in the Pacific Northwest.

This group formed the first tribe split up as they kept moving further and further along the Columbia River.



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Blue Jay Finds A Wife

Blue Jay was a trickster who enjoyed playing clever tricks on everyone, especially his sister Loi. As she was the eldest sister, Blue Jay was supposed to obey her. But he deliberately misinterpreted what she said, excusing himself by saying, "Loi always tells lies."

Loi decided that it was high time for Blue Jay to quit his playful life of trickery and settle down with a wife. She told him that he must select a wife from the people of the land of the dead, who were called the "Supernatural People." Loi recommended that Blue Jay choose an old woman for a wife and suggested the recently deceased wife of a chief.

But Blue Jay balked; he wanted a young and attractive woman. He found the corpse of a beautiful young girl and took it to Loi, who advised him to take the body to the land of the dead to be revived.

Blue Jay set out on this journey and arrived at the first village of the Supernatural People.

They asked him, "How long has she been dead?"

"Only a day," he answered.

The Supernatural People of the first village then informed him that there was nothing they could do to help him; he must go on to the village where people who were dead for exactly one day were revived.

Blue Jay arrived at the second village the next day and asked the people to revive his wife. The people here too asked him how long she had been dead.

"Two days now," he replied. "There is nothing we can do; we only revive those who were dead exactly one day." So Blue Jay went on.

He reached the third village on the day after that and asked the people to revive this wife.

"How long has she been dead?" they asked.

"Exactly three days now."

"Most unfortunate," they replied. "We can only revive those who have been dead exactly two days."

And so it went on from village to village until Blue Jay finally came to the fifth village, where the people could at last help him. The people of the fifth village liked Blue Jay and made him a chief. But the trickster tired of the Underworld and wanted to take his newly revived wife back to the land of the living.

When Blue Jay arrived at home with his wife, her brother saw she was alive once more and ran to tell their father, an old chief, who demanded that Blue Jay cut off all of his hair as a gift to his new in-laws.

When there was no response from Blue Jay, the chief became angry and led a party of male relatives to find him. Just as they nearly caught him, Blue Jay assumed the form of a bird and flew off again to the land of the dead.

At this, his wife's body fell to the ground, lifeless. She went to meet her husband in the land where he was now an exile.

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Loi and the Ghost Husband

The ghosts went in search of a wife and one of them fell in love with Blue Jay's sister Loi. They brought animal teeth as gifts and the night after the wedding feast they disappeared, taking Loi with them.
Blue Jay did not hear from Loi for an entire year. He then decided to visit the land of ghosts in order to see her again. He went about the villages and among the animals asking for directions, but none would answer him. Finally, he found someone who would guide him there in return for payment.
In the land of ghosts, he found Loi standing amid piles of bones that were introduced to him as Loi's in-laws. At times the bones would leap into normal human form, but they would return to piles of bones when a loud noise was made.
Loi asked Blue Jay to take her young brother-in-law fishing. The boats of the ghost people looked terrible; they were full of holes and covered with moss. Finding that a shout would turn his fishing companion into a pile of bones, Blue Jay had great fun.
Among his many pranks, Blue Jay took the bones and mixed them up, placing the skull of a child on an adult torso, then laughing when the strange thing came to life.
The next time Blue Jay went fishing with Loi's young brother-in-law, they kept what they caught, which looked to Blue Jay like branches but which were actually fine salmon in the ghost world.
Another time the ghost people became very excited: A "whale" had been found beached. But to Blue Jay's eyes it did not look like a whale, but rather like a large log. The ghost people began stripping the bark off the log, praising it as the richest whale blubber they had ever had.
Knowing that by shouting he could reduce them all to bones, he did so, and then took the blubber for himself-but in his hands it still looked like tree bark.
The ghost people tired of Blue Jay's pranks at their expense, and Loi's husband begged her to send the trickster home. So Loi sent her brother up to the world of the living to put out five prairie fires.
She gave him five pots of water, but-as usual-he ignored his sisters instructions, claiming, "Loi always tells lies." So he poured the water on the fires without taking care to see how much was needed for the job.
By the time Blue Jay reached the fifth fire, there was no water left. The fire consumed him and he died. But the dead don't know that they are dead right away. Upon arriving in the land of the dead, Blue Jay did not believe that he was dead. When Loi sent her canoe to greet him-a canoe that had looked before to Blue Jay as miserable and full of holes.
He said, "What a fine canoe! I have never seen one this fine."
When the people brought him fine salmon, which had seemed before to Blue Jay to be mere tree branches-he said, "What excellent salmon; I have never seen any so fine."
The people in the land of the dead tried to convince Blue Jay that he was actually dead, but he refused to believe it, saying, "Loi always tells lies."
Remembering his tricks with the ghost people, Blue Jay shouted. However, now the ghosts did not reduce to piles of bones; in fact, nothing happened.
Still not convinced that he was actually dead, Blue Jay went to pester the medicine men in the land of the ghosts. They became annoyed with him and made him insane. When Loi found him, he was dancing on his head.
Loi told the people, "My brother is now very dead, he has lost his mind."

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