Grace Islet Home On Sacred Aboriginal Cemetery To Be Demolished

Originally posted on RED POWER MEDIA:

The Canadian Press,Posted: Aug 10, 2015

Cultural workers will be at the site to ensure that 16 cairns are not disturbed

Crews will soon deconstruct a partially built home on a sacred burial site off Salt Spring Island, B.C., after a multimillion-dollar deal with the landowner.

Construction on a Grace Islet house started last fall after the landowner got the necessary permits, but First Nations raised concerns about the historical significance of the area.

Work stopped in December, and the land was transferred to the Nature Conservancy of Canada after the B.C. government paid the landowner $5.45 million.

Linda Hannah, the nature conservancy’s regional vice-president, said Monday that the house was at the framing stage when the order to stop work was issued.

She said cultural workers will be at the site to ensure that 16 cairns beneath the foundation are not disturbed.
Hannah said elders from eight First…

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First Nations Seek Injunction To Stop Site C Dam Work, Destruction Of Eagle Nests

First Nations Seek Injunction To Stop Site C Dam Work, Destruction Of Eagle Nests

Originally posted on RED POWER MEDIA:

Capture Eagle

By Judith Lavoie / DeSmog Canada

Two Treaty 8 First Nations have applied for an injunction to prevent BC Hydro from cutting down trees containing eagle nests in preparation for construction of the controversial Site C Dam.

Several legal challenges to the $8.8-billion dam are pending, but the nest removal is scheduled to start September 1, according to a letter from BC Hydro to the Treaty 8 Tribal Association that gives notice of the “planned removal and destruction of Bald Eagle nests from construction areas of the Site C Clean Energy Project.”

Applications to the B.C. Supreme Court for an injunction and a judicial review have been made by the Prophet River First Nation and West Moberly First Nations. In a separate case, both bands are also seeking to overturn provincial approval for the dam.

The petition asking for an injunction says that Treaty 8 First Nations will suffer irreparable harm that cannot be mitigated…

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Jay Tavare is it true?

Mr. Jay Tavare is the “Iron Eyes Cody” of the 21st century. But unlike Espero Oscar de Corti Nader Janani is not of Italian but Iranian descent. His father´s name is Mahmoud Janani and his extended family lives in Sweden and the U.K.. He is not a White Mountain Apache nor a Navajo nor Latin Amarican. Furthermore he was never born on the Navajo reservation, but in Tehran, Iran. His family left Persia and now lives in Sweden and the U.K. were he was attending a boarding school. He is not Native American, not by blood or circumstance. Why he has faked his vita is unbenownst.

jayphoto Credit: pinterus

*** The message was sent to me by a concerned viewer who claims to have been Jay’s neighbor when they were children… I normally don’t believe this sort of thing but this facebook follower is positive and contacted me directly. He is monitoring this post for Jay’s response.

Be proud of who you are!

Feather Prayer

A feather represents the winged creatures, carriers of individual spiritual messages. Fill the feather with your prayer, blow on it yourself or let the wind whisper upon it. It carries your hopes and dreams and the prayer you made to Creator.

We believe Feathers are symbols of power, strength, and spirituality. The feathers are symbols of prayers being taken up to the heavens.

The air currents of feathers are carried up to the heavens with attached prayers and then brought to the upper spirit world so they could receive the message of those down below.

Feathers are good protection. Often Hawk, Eagle, Raven and Owl feathers can be seen hanging outside our homes.

Allow your spirit to be receptive in a universe gift of feathers, let it speak to you, pray to it and send your your prayers to Creator…and so it is AHO!!

Blessings,

blessedthatday

Prayer from:
Kalpulli Teocalli Ollin

The Ice Man

Once when the people were burning the woods in the fall the blaze set fire to a poplar tree, which continued to burn until the fire went down into the roots and burned a great hole in the ground.

It burned and burned, and the hole grew constantly larger, until the people became frightened and were afraid it would burn the whole world. They tried to put out the fire, but it had gone too deep, and they did not know what to do.

At last some one said there was a man living in a house of ice far in the north who could put out the fire, so messengers were sent, and after traveling a long distance they came to the ice house and found the Ice Man at home. He was a little fellow with long hair hanging down to the ground in two plaits.

The messengers told him their errand and he at once said, “O yes, I can help you,” and began to unplait his hair. When it was all unbraided he took it up in one band and struck it once across his other hand, and the messengers felt a wind blow against their cheeks. A second time he struck his hair across his hand, and a light rain began to fall.

The third time he struck his hair across his open hand there was sleet mixed with the raindrops, and when he struck the fourth time great hailstones fell upon the ground, as if they had come out from the ends of his hair. “Go back now,” said the lee Man, “and I shall be there to-morrow.” So the messengers returned to their people, whom they found still gathered helplessly about the great burning pit.

The next-day while they were all watching about the fire there came a wind from the north, and they were afraid, for they knew that it came from the lee Man. But the wind only made the fire blaze up higher. Then a light rain began to fall, but the drops seemed only to make the fire hotter. Then the shower turned to a heavy rain, with sleet and hail that killed the blaze and made clouds of smoke and steam rise from the red coals.

The people fled to their homes for shelter, and the storm rose to a whirlwind that drove the rain into every burning crevice and piled great hailstones over the embers, until the fire was dead and even the smoke ceased.

When at last it was all over and the people returned they found a lake where the burning pit had been, and from below the water came a sound as of embers still crackling.

giveushearts

Legend Credit:
A Cherokee Legend
James Mooney, 1900

Photo Credit:

Crossing the Red Sea

Many thousands of years ago the Cheyenne inhabited a country in the far north, across a great body of water. For two or three years they had been overpowered by an enemy that outnumbered them.

They were about to become the enemy’s slaves, and they were filled with sorrow.

Among their number was a great medicine-man who possessed a wooden hoop, like those used in the games of to-day. On one side of the hoop were tied magpie feathers, while opposite them, on the other side of the hoop, was a flint spear head, with the point projecting toward the center of the hoop. One night the great chief told the people to come to a certain place.

When they were assembled he led them away. He kept in advance of them all the time, and in his left hand he held a long staff, and in his right hand he held his hoop horizontally in front of him, with the spear head of the hoop pointing forward. No one was allowed to go in front of him. On the fourth night of their journey they saw, at some distance from the ground, and apparently not far in front of them, a bright light. As they advanced the light receded, and appeared always a little farther beyond. They traveled a few more nights, and the fire preceded them all the way, until they came to a large body of water. The medicine-man ordered the Cheyenne to form in a line along the edge of the water, and they obeyed. He then told them that he was going to take them across the water to another land, where they would live forever. As they stood facing the water the medicine-man asked them to sing four times with him, and he told them that as they sang the fourth time he would lead them across the water.

As he sang the fourth time he began to walk forwards and backwards and the fourth time he walked directly into the water. All the people followed him. He commanded them not to look upward, but ever downward. As they went forward the waters separated, and they walked on dry ground, but the water was all around them. Finally, as they were being led by night the fire disappeared, but they continued to follow the medicine-man until daylight, when they found themselves walking in a beautiful country.

In the new country they found plenty of game to live on. The medicine-man taught the Cheyenne many things, but they seemed to be of weak minds, though they were physically strong. Out of these Cheyenne there sprang up men and women who were large, tall, strong, and fierce, and they increased in number until they numbered thousands.

They were so strong that they could pick up and carry off on their backs the large animals that they killed. They tamed panther and bear and trained them to catch wild game for them to eat. They had bows and arrows, and were always dressed in furs and skins, and in their ignorance they roamed about like animals. In those days there were very large animals. One variety of these animals was of the form of a cow, though four times as large; by nature they were tame and grazed along the river banks; men milked them.

Boys and men to the number of twenty could get upon their backs without disturbing them. Another variety of these large animals resembled in body the horse, and they had horns and long, sharp teeth. This was the most dangerous animal in the country. It ate man, had a mind like a human being, and could trail a human being through the rivers and tall grasses by means of its power of scent. Of these there were but few. In the rivers there were long snakes whose bodies were so large that a man could not jump over them.

The Cheyenne remained in the north a long time, but finally roamed southward, conveying their burdens by means of dogs. While they were traveling southward there came a great rain and flood all over the country. The rivers rose and overflowed, and still the rain kept falling. At last the high hills alone could be discerned. The people became frightened and confused.

On a neighboring hill, and apart from the main body of the Cheyenne, were a few thousand of their number, who were out of view, and had been cut off from the main body by the rising water. When the rains ceased and the water subsided the part who were cut off looked for their tribesmen, but they found no sign of them; and it has ever since been a question among the Cheyenne whether this band of people was drowned, or whether it became a distinct tribe.

Long afterward the Cheyenne met a tribe who used many of their words, and to-day they believe that a part of their people are still living in the north. Nearly all the animals were either drowned or starved to death. The trees and fruit upon which the people had formerly subsisted were destroyed. A few large gray wolves escaped with them, for they had crossed with the tame dogs. The dogs were so large that they could carry a child several miles in a day.

After the flood had subsided the senses of the Cheyenne seemed to be awakened. They became strong in mind but weak in body, for now they had no game to subsist on. They lived on dried meat and mushrooms, which sustained them for a long time.

Legend Credit:
A Cheyenne Legend
Dorsey, Field Museum:
Anthropological Series, ix, 37, No. 15

Photo Credit:

The Migration of the Water People

In the long ago, the Snake, Horn, and Eagle people lived here (in Tusayan) but their corn grew only a span high and when they sang for rain, the Cloud god sent only a thin mist. My people lived then in the distant Pa-lat Kwa-bi in the South.

There was a very bad old man there. When he met any one he would spit in their faces. He did all manner of evil. Baholihonga got angry at this and turned the world upside down. Water spouted up through the kivas and through the fire places in the houses. The earth was rent in great chasms, and water covered everything except one narrow ridge of mud. Across this the Serpent-god told all the people to travel. As they journeyed across, the feet of the bad slipped and they fell into the dark water.

The good people, after many days, reached dry land.

While the water was rising around the village, the old people got on top of the houses. They thought they could not struggle across with the younger people. But Baholihonga clothed them with the skins of turkeys.

They spread their wings out and floated in the air just above the surface of the water, and in this way they got across.

There were saved of us, the Water people, the Corn people, the Lizard, Horned-toad, and Sand peoples, two families of Rabbit, and the Tobacco people. The turkey tail dragged in the water.

That is why there is white on the turkey’s tail now. This is also the reason why old people use turkey-feathers at the religious ceremonies.fallfrom

 

Legend credit:

A Walpi Legend (Arizona)
Katharine Berry Judson, 1912

Photo Credit:
unknown

The Man in the Moon

The three Frog sisters had a house in a swamp, where they lived together. Not very far away lived a number of people in another house. Among them were Snake and Beaver, who were friends.

They were well-grown lads, and wished to marry the Frog girls.

One night Snake went to Frog’s house, and, crawling up to one of the sisters, put his hand on her face. She awoke, and asked him who he was. Learning that he was Snake, she said she would not marry him, and told him to leave at once. She called him hard names, such as, “slimy-fellow,” “small-eyes,” etc. Snake returned, and told his friend of his failure.

Next night Beaver went to try, and, crawling up to one of the sisters, he put his hand on her face. She awoke, and, finding out who he was, she told him to be gone. She called him names, such as, “short-legs,” “big-belly,” “big-buttocks.” Beaver felt hurt, and, going home, began to cry. His father asked him what the matter was, and the boy told him. He said, “That is nothing. Don’t cry! It will rain too much.” But young Beaver said, “I will cry.” As he continued to cry, much rain fell, and soon the swamp where the Frogs lived was flooded. Their house was under the water, which covered the tops of the tall swampgrass. The Frogs got cold, and went to Beaver’s house, and said to him, “We wish to marry your sons.” But old Beaver said, “No! You called us hard names.”

The water was now running in a regular stream. So the Frogs swam away downstream until they reached a whirlpool, which sucked them in, and they descended to the house of the Moon. The latter invited them to warm themselves at the fire; but they said, “No. We do not wish to sit by the fire. We wish to sit there,” pointing at him.

He said, “Here?” at the same time pointing at his feet. They said, “No, not there.” Then he pointed to one part of his body after another, until he reached his brow. When he said, “Will you sit here?” they all cried out, “Yes,” and jumped on his face, thus spoiling his beauty. The Frog’s sisters may be seen on the moon’s face at the present day.

Legend Credit:
A Lillooet Legend

Photo Credit: unknown

The Bag Of Winds

Long ago the Wind did much damage, blowing violently over the country of the Indian. Moreover, it often killed many people and destroyed much property. At that time there was a man who lived near Spences Bridge, and who had three sons.

The youngest was very ambitious, and fond of trying to do wonderful things. One day he said to his father and brothers, “I will snare the Wind”; but they laughed at him, saying, “How can you do that? The Wind is unseen.” However, he went out and set a snare.

He did not succeed for several nights, as his noose was too large. He made it smaller every night, and, on visiting his snare one morning, found he had caught the Wind. After great difficulty, he succeeded at last in getting it into his blanket, and made for home with it, where he put it down. He told his people that he had at last captured the Wind. They laughed at him. Then, to verify his statements, he opened one corner of the blanket, and immediately it began to blow fiercely, and the lodge itself was almost blown over.

The people cried to him to stay the force of the Wind, which he did by again tying up the corner of the blanket. At last he released the Wind on the condition that he would never blow strongly enough to hurt people in the Indian country again, which promise he has kept.

Legend credit: A Thompson Legend
photo credit: Unknown

The Creation

In the beginning there was no sun, no moon, no stars. All was dark, and everywhere there was only water. A raft came floating on the water. It came from the north, and in it were two persons; Turtle and Father-of-the-Secret-Society.

The stream flowed very rapidly. Then from the sky a rope of feathers, was let down, and down it came Earth-Initiate.

When he reached the end of the rope, he tied it to the bow of the raft, and stepped in. His face was covered and was never seen, but his body shone like the sun. He sat down, and for a long time said nothing.

At last Turtle said, “Where do you come from?” and earth Initiate answered, “I come from above.”

Then Turtle said, “Brother, can you not make for me some good dry land so that I may sometimes come up out of the water?”

Then he asked another time, “Are there going to be any people in the world?” Earth-Initiate thought awhile, then said, “Yes.”

Turtle asked, “How long before you are going to make people?”

Earth-Initiate replied, “I don’t know. You want to have some dry land: well, how am I going to get any earth to make it of?”

Turtle answered, “If you will tie a rock about my left arm, I’ll dive for some.” Earth-Initiate did as Turtle asked, and then, reaching around, took the end of a rope from somewhere, and tied it to Turtle. When Earth-Initiate came to the raft, there was no rope there: he just reached out and found one.

Turtle said, “If the rope is not long enough, I’ll jerk it once, and you must haul me up; if it is long enough, I’ll give two jerks, and then you must pull me up quickly, as I shall have all the earth that I can carry.” Just as Turtle went over the side of the boat, Father-of-the- Secret-Society began to shout loudly.

Turtle was gone a long time. He was gone six years; and when he came up, he was covered with green slime, he had been down so long. When he reached the top of the water, the only earth he had was a very little under his nails: the rest had all washed away. Earth-Initiate took with his right hand a stone knife from under his left armpit, and carefully scraped the earth out from under Turtle’s nails.

He put the earth in the palm of his hand, and rolled it about till it was round; it was as large as a small pebble. He laid it on the stern of the raft. By and by he went to look at it: it had not grown at all. The third time that he went to look at it, it had grown so that it could be spanned by the arms. The fourth time he looked, it was as big as the world, the raft was aground, and all around were mountains as far as he could see.

The raft came ashore at Ta’doikö, and the place can be seen to-day.

When the raft had come to land, Turtle said, “I can’t stay in the dark all the time. Can’t you make a light, so that I can see?”

Earth-Initiate replied, “Let us get out of the raft, and then we will see what we can do.” So all three got out. Then Earth-Initiate said, “Look that way, to the east! I am going to tell my sister to come up.” Then it began to grow light, and day began to break; then Father-of-the-Secret-Society began to shout loudly, and the sun came up.

Turtle said, “Which way is the sun going to travel?” Earth-Initiate answered, “I’ll tell her to go this way, and go down there.” After the sun went down, Father-of-the-Secret-Society began to cry and shout again, and it grew very dark.

Earth-Initiate said, “I’ll tell my brother to come up.” Then the moon rose. Then Earth- Initiate asked Turtle and Father-of-the-Secret-Society, “How do you like it?” and they both answered, “It is very good.” Then Turtle asked, “Is that all you are going to do for us?”

Earth-Initiate answered, “No, I am going to do more yet.” Then he called the stars each by its name, and they came out.

When this was done, Turtle asked, “Now what shall we do?”

Earth-Initiate replied, “Wait, and I’ll show you.” Then he made a tree grow at Ta’doikö,– the tree called Hu’kiimtsa; and Earth-Initiate and Turtle and Father-of-the-Secret-Society sat in its shade for two days. The tree was very large, and had twelve different kinds of acorns growing on it.

After they had sat for two days under the tree, they all went off to see the world that Earth-Initiate had made. They started at sunrise, and were back by sunset. Earth-Initiate traveled so fast that all they could see was a ball of fire flashing about under the ground and the water. While they were gone, Coyote and his dog Rattlesnake came up out of the ground. It is said that Coyote could see Earth-Initiate’s face.

When Earth-Initiate and the others came back, they found Coyote at Ta’doikö. All five of them then built huts for themselves, and lived there at Ta’doikö, but no one could go inside of Earth-Initiate’s house. Soon after the travelers came back, Earth-Initiate called the birds from the air, and made the trees and then the animals. He took some mud, and of this made first a deer; after that, he made all the other animals.

Sometimes Turtle would say, “That does not look well: can’t you make it some other way?”

Some time after this, Earth-Initiate and Coyote were at Marysville Buttes. Earth-Initiate said, “I am going to make people.” In the middle of the afternoon he began, for he had returned to Ta’doikö. He took dark red earth, mixed it with water, and made two figures,– one a man, and one a woman. He laid the man on his right side, and the woman on his left, inside his house. Then he lay down himself, flat on his back, with his arms stretched out. He lay thus and sweated all the afternoon and night.

Early in the morning the woman began to tickle him in the side. He kept very still, did not laugh. By and by he got up, thrust a piece of pitch-wood into the ground, and fire burst out. The two people were very white. No one to-day is as white as they were. Their eyes were pink, their hair was black, their teeth shone brightly, and they were very handsome. It is said that Earth-Initiate did not finish the hands of the people, as he did not know how it would be best to do it. Coyote saw the people, and suggested that they ought to have hands like his. Earth-Initiate said, “No, their hands shall be like mine.”

Then he finished them. When Coyote asked why their hands were to be like that, Earth- Initiate answered, ” So that, if they are chased by bears, they can climb trees.” This first man was called Ku’ksuu; and the woman, Morning-Star Woman.

When Coyote had seen the two people, he asked Earth-Initiate how he had made them. When he was told, he thought, “That is not difficult. I’ll do it myself.” He did just as Earth- Initiate had told him, but could not help laughing, when, early in the morning, the woman poked him in the ribs.

As a result of his failing to keep still, the people were glass-eyed. Earth-Initiate said, “I told you not to laugh,” but Coyote declared he had not. This was the first lie. By and by there came to be a good many people. Earth-Initiate had wanted to have everything comfortable and easy for people, so that none of them should have to work. All fruits were easy to obtain, no one was ever to get sick and die. As the people grew numerous, Earth-Initiate did not come as often as formerly, he only came to see Ku’ksuu in the night.

One night he said to him, “To-morrow morning you must go to the little lake near here. Take all the people with you. I’ll make you a very old man before you get to the lake.” So in the morning Ku’ksuu collected all the people, and went to the lake. By the time he had reached it, he was a very old man. He fell into the lake, and sank down out of sight. Pretty soon the ground began to shake, the waves overflowed the shore, and there was a great roaring under the water, like thunder. By and by Ku’ksuu came up out of the water, but young again, just like a young, man.

Then Earth-Initiate came and spoke to the people, and said, “If you do as I tell you, everything will be well. When any of you grow old, so old that you cannot walk, come to this lake, or get some one to bring you here. You must then go down into the water as you have seen Ku’ksuu do, and you will come out young again.” When he had said this, he went away. He left in the night, and went up above.

All this time food had been easy to get, as Earth-Initiate had wished. The women set out baskets at night, and in the morning they found them full of food, all ready to eat, and lukewarm. One day Coyote came along. He asked the people how they lived, and they told him that all they had to do was to eat and sleep.

Coyote replied, “That is no way to do: I can show you something better.” Then he told them how he and Earth-Initiate had had a discussion before men had been made; how Earth-Initiate wanted everything easy, and that there should be no sickness or death, but how he had thought it would be better to have people work, get sick, and die.

He said, “We’ll have a burning.” The people did not know what he meant; but Coyote said, “I’ll show you. It is better to have a burning, for then the widows can be free.” So he took all the baskets and things that the people had, hung them up on poles, made everything all ready. When all was prepared, Coyote said, “At this time you must always have games.” So he fixed the moon during which these games were to be played.

Coyote told them to start the games with a foot-race, and every one got ready to run. Ku’ksuu did not come, however. He sat in his hut alone, and was sad, for he knew what was going to occur. just at this moment Rattlesnake came to Ku’ksuu, and said, “What shall we do now?

Everything is spoiled!” Ku’ksuu did not answer, so Rattlesnake said, “Well, I’ll do what I think is best.” Then he went out and along the course that the racers were to go over, and hid himself, leaving his head just sticking out of a hole.

By this time all the racers had started, and among them Coyote’s son. He was Coyote’s only child, and was very quick. He soon began to outstrip all the runners, and was in the lead. As he passed the spot where Rattlesnake had hidden himself, however, Rattlesnake raised his head and bit the boy in the ankle. In a minute the boy was dead. Coyote was dancing about the home-stake. He was very happy, and was shouting at his son and praising him. When Rattlesnake bit the boy, and he fell dead, every one laughed at Coyote, and said, “Your son has fallen down, and is so ashamed that he does not dare to get up.” Coyote said, “No, that is not it. He is dead.”

This was the first death. The people, however, did not understand, and picked the boy up, and brought him to Coyote. Then Coyote began to cry, and every one did the same. These were the first tears. Then Coyote took his son’s body and carried it to the lake of which Earth-Initiate had told them, and threw the body in. But there was no noise, and nothing happened, and the body drifted about for four days on the surface, like a log. On the fifth day Coyote took four sacks of beads and brought them to Ku’ksuu, begging him to restore his son to life. Ku’ksuu did not answer. For five days Coyote begged, then Ku’ksuu came out of his house bringing all his bead and bear-skins, and calling to all the people to come and watch him. He laid the body on a bear-skin, dressed it, and wrapped it up carefully.

Then he dug a grave, put the body into it, and covered it up. Then he told the people, “From now on, this is what you must do. This is the way you must do till the world shall be made over.”

About a year after this, in the spring, all was changed. Up to this time everybody spoke the same language. The people were having a burning, everything was ready for the next day, when in the night everybody suddenly began to speak a different language.

Each man and his wife, however, spoke the same. Earth-Initiate had come in the night to Ku’ksuu, and had told him about it all, and given him instructions for the next day. So, when morning came, Ku’ksuu called all the people together, for he was able to speak all the languages. He told them each the names of the different animals, etc., in their languages, taught them how to cook and to hunt ‘ gave them all their laws, and set the time for all their dances and festivals.

Then he called each tribe by name, and sent them off in different directions, telling them where they were to live. He sent the warriors to the north, the singers to the west, the flute-players to the east, and the dancers to the south. So all the people went away, and left Ku’ksuu and his, wife alone at Ta’doikö.

By and by his wife went away, leaving in the night, and going first to Marysville Buttes. Ku’ksuu staid a little while longer, and then he also left. He too went to the Buttes, went into the spirit house, and sat down on the south side. He found Coyote’s son there, sitting on the north side. The door was on the west. Coyote had been trying to find out where Ku’ksuu had gone, and where his own son had gone, and at last found the tracks, and followed them to the spirit house.

Here he saw Ku’ksuu and his son, the latter eating spirit food. Coyote wanted to go in, but Ku’ksuu said, “No, wait there. You have just what you wanted, it is your own fault. Every man will now have all kinds of troubles and accidents, will have to work to get his food, and will die and be buried. This must go on till the time is out, and Earth-Initiate comes again, and everything will be made over. You must go home, and tell all the people that you have seen your son, that he is not dead.”

Coyote said he would go, but that he was hungry, and wanted some of the food. Ku’ksuu replied, “You cannot eat that. Only ghosts may eat that food.” Then Coyote went away and told all the people, “I saw my son and Ku’ksuu, and he told me to kill myself.”

So he climbed up to the top of a tall tree, jumped off, and was killed. Then he went to the spirit house, thinking he could now have some of the food; but there was no one there, nothing at all, and so he went out, and walked away to the west, and was never seen again.

Ku’ksuu and Coyote’s son, however, had gone up above.

Legend Credit:
A Maidu Legend
Dixon, Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, xvii, 39, No. 1

Photo credit:
unknown

The Shooting of Red Eagle

A man in buckskins sat upon the top of a little hillock. The setting sun shone bright upon a strong bow in his hand. His face was turned toward the round camp ground at the foot of the hill. He had walked a long journey hither. He was waiting for the chieftain’s men to spy him.

Soon four strong men ran forth from the center wigwam toward the hillock, where sat the man with the long bow. “He is the avenger come to shoot the red eagle,” cried the runners to each other as they bent forward swinging their elbows together. They reached the side of the stranger, but he did not heed them.

Proud and silent he gazed upon the cone-shaped wigwams beneath him. Spreading a handsomely decorated buffalo robe before the man, two of the warriors lifted him by each shoulder and placed him gently on it. Then the four men each took a corner of the blanket and carried the stranger, with long proud steps, toward the chieftain’s teepee. Ready to greet the stranger, the tall chieftain stood at the entrance way. “How, you are the avenger with the magic arrow!” said he, extending to him a smooth soft hand. “Hau, great chieftain!” replied the man, holding long the chieftain’s hand.

Entering the teepee, the chieftain motioned the young man to the right side of the doorway, while he sat down opposite him with a center fire burning between them.

Wordless, like a bashful Indian maid, the avenger ate in silence the food set before him on the ground in front of his crossed shins. When he had finished his meal he handed the empty bowl to the chieftain’s wife, saying, “Mother-in-law, here is your dish!” “Han, my son!” answered the woman, taking the bowl.

With the magic arrow in his quiver the stranger felt not in the least too presuming in addressing the woman as his mother- in-law. Complaining of fatigue, he covered his face with his blanket and soon within the chieftain’s teepee he lay fast asleep.

“The young man is not handsome after all!” whispered the woman in her husband’s ear. “Ah, but after he has killed the red eagle he will seem handsome enough!” answered the chieftain.

That night the star men in their burial procession in the sky reached the low northern horizon before the center fires within the teepees had flickered out. The ringing laughter which had floated up through the smoke lapels was now hushed, and only the distant howling of wolves broke the quiet of the village. But the lull between midnight and dawn was short indeed.

Very early the oval-shaped door-flaps were thrust aside and many brown faces peered out of the wigwams toward the top of the highest bluff. Now the sun rose up out of the east. The red painted avenger stood ready within the camp ground for the flying of the red eagle.

He appeared, that terrible bird! He hovered over the round village as if he could pounce down upon it and devour the whole tribe.

When the first arrow shot up into the sky the anxious watchers thrust a hand quickly over their half-uttered “Hinnu!”

The second and the third arrows flew upward but missed by a wide space the red eagle soaring with lazy indifference over the little man with the long bow. All his arrows he spent in vain.

“Ah! my blanket brushed my elbow and shifted the course of my arrow!” said the stranger as the people gathered around him.

During this happening, a woman on horseback halted her pony at the chieftain’s teepee. It was no other than the young woman who cut loose the tree-bound captive! (see The Tree-bound)

While she told the story the chieftain listened with downcast face. “I passed him on my way. He is near!” she ended.

Indignant at the bold impostor, the wrathful eyes of the chieftain snapped fire like red cinders in the night time. His lips were closed. At length to the woman he said: “How, you have done me a good deed.” Then with quick decision he gave command to a fleet horseman to meet the avenger.

“Clothe him in these my best buckskins,” said he, pointing to a bundle within the wigwam. In the meanwhile strong men seized Iktomi and dragged him by his long hair to the hilltop. There upon a mock-pillared grave they bound him hand and feet. Grown-ups and children sneered and hooted at Iktomi’s disgrace. For a half-day he lay there, the laughing-stock of the people.

Upon the arrival of the real avenger, Iktomi was released and chased away beyond the outer limits of the camp ground.

On the following morning at daybreak, peeped the people out of half-open door-flaps. There again in the midst of the large camp ground was a man in beaded buckskins. In his hand was a strong bow and red-tipped arrow.

Again the big red eagle appeared on the edge of the bluff. He plumed his feathers and flapped his huge wings.

The young man crouched low to the ground. He placed the arrow on the bow, drawing a poisoned flint for the eagle.

The bird rose into the air. He moved his outspread wings one, two, three times and lo! the eagle tumbled from the great height and fell heavily to the earth. An arrow was stuck in his breast! He was dead!

So quick was the hand of the avenger, so sure his sight, that no one had seen the arrow fly from his long bent bow. In awe and amazement the village was dumb. And when the avenger, plucking a red eagle feather, placed it in his black hair, a loud shout of the people went up to the sky.

Then hither and thither ran singing men and women making a great feast for the avenger.

Thus he won the beautiful Indian princess who never tired of telling to her children the story of the big red eagle.

Legend Credit:A Lakota Legend Zitkala Sa, Old Indian Legends, 1901

Photo Credit:

The Theft of Fire

Along, long time ago, the people became tired of feeding on grass, like deer and wild animals, and they talked together how fire might be found. The Ti-amoni said, “Coyote is the best man to steal fire from the world below,” so he sent for Coyote.

When Coyote came, the Ti-amoni said, “The people wish for fire. We are tired of feeding on grass. You must go to the world below and bring the fire.” Coyote said, “It is well, father. I will go.”spiritfire

So Coyote slipped stealthily to the house of Sussistinnako. It was the middle of the night. Snake, who guarded the first door, was asleep, and he slipped quickly and quietly by. Cougar, who guarded the second door, was asleep, and Coyote slipped by. Bear, who guarded the third door, was also sleeping. At the fourth door, Coyote found the guardian of the fire asleep. Slipping through into the room of Sussistinnako, he found him also sleeping.

Coyote quickly lighted the cedar brand which was attached to his tail and hurried out. Spider awoke, just enough to know some one was leaving the room. “Who is there?” he cried. Then he called, “Some one has been here.” But before he could waken the sleeping Bear and Cougar and Snake, Coyote had almost reached the upper world.

Legend Credit:
A Legend of the Sia of New Mexico Katharine Berry Judson,
Legends of California and the Old Southwest, 1912

photo credit: unknown

The Bound Children

There once lived a widow with two children; the elder a daughter and the younger a son. The widow went in mourning for her husband a long time. She cut off her hair, let her dress lie untidy on her body and kept her face unpainted and unwashed. There lived in the same village a great chief. He had one son just come old enough to marry. The chief had it known that he wished his son to take a wife, and all of the young women in the village were eager to marry the young man. However, he was pleased with none of them.

Now the widow thought, “I am tired of mourning for my husband and caring for my children. Perhaps if I lay aside my mourning and paint myself red, the chief’s son may marry me.”

So she slipped away from her two children, stole down to the river and made a bathing place thru the ice. When she had washed away all signs of mourning, she painted and decked herself and went to the chief’s teepee. When his son saw her, he loved her, and a feast was made in honor of her wedding.

When the widow’s daughter found herself forsaken, she wept bitterly. After a day or two she took her little brother in her arms and went to the teepee of an old woman who lived at one end of the village. The old woman’s tumble down teepee was of bark and her dress and clothing were of old smoke-dried tent cover. But she was kind to the two waifs and took them in willingly.

The little girl was eager to find her mother. The old woman said to her: “I suspect your mother has painted her face red. Do not try to find her. If the chief’s son marries her she will not want to be burdened with you.”

The old woman was right. The girl went down to the river, and sure enough found a hole cut in the ice and about it lay the filth that the mother had washed from her body. The girl gathered up the filth and went on. By and by she came to a second hole in the ice. Here too was filth, but not so much as at the previous place. At the third hole the ice was clean.

The girl knew now that her mother had painted her face red. She went at once to the chief’s teepee, raised the door flap and went in. There sat her mother with the chief’s son at their wedding feast.

The girl walked up to her mother and hurled the filth in her mother’s face. “There,” she cried, “you who forsake your helpless children and forget your husband, take that!”

And at once her mother became a hideous old woman.

The girl then went back to the lodge of the old woman, leaving the camp in an uproar. The chief soon sent some young warriors to seize the girl and her brother, and they were brought to his teepee. He was furious with anger.

“Let the children be bound with lariats wrapped about their bodies and let them be left to starve. Our camp will move on,” he said. The chief’s son did not put away his wife, hoping she might be cured in some way and grow young again.

Everybody in camp now got ready to move; but the old woman came close to the girl and said, “In my old teepee I have dug a hole and buried a pot with punk and steel and flint and packs of dried meat. They will tie you up like a corpse. But before we go I will come with a knife and pretend to stab you, but I will really cut the rope that binds you so that you can unwind it from your body as soon as the camp is out of sight and hearing.” And so, before the camp started, the old woman came to the place where the two children were bound. She had in her hand a knife bound to the end of a stick which she used as a lance. She stood over the children and cried aloud, “You wicked girl, who have shamed your own mother, you deserve all the punishment that is given you. But after all I do not want to let you lie and starve. Far better kill you at once and have done with it!” and with her stick she stabbed many times, as if to kill, but she was really cutting the rope.

The camp moved on; but the children lay on the ground until noon the next day. Then they began to squirm about. Soon the girl was free, and she then set loose her little brother. They went at once to the old woman’s hut where they found the flint and steel and the packs of dried meat.

The girl made her brother a bow and arrows and with these he killed birds and other small game.

The boy grew up a great hunter. They became rich. They built three great teepees, in one of which were stored rows upon rows of parfleche bags of dried meat.

One day as the brother went out to hunt, he met a handsome young stranger who greeted him and said to him, “I know you are a good hunter, for I have been watching you; your sister, too, is industrious. Let me have her for a wife. Then you and I will be brothers and hunt together.”

The girl’s brother went home and told her what the young stranger had said. “Brother, I do not care to marry,” she answered. “I am now happy with you.” “But you will be yet happier married,” he answered, “and the young stranger is of no mean family, as one can see by his dress and manners.”

“Very well, I will do as you wish,” she said. So the stranger came into the teepee and was the girl’s husband.

One day as they were in their tent, a crow flew overhead, calling out loudly, “Kaw, Kaw, They who forsook the children have no meat.”

The girl and her husband and brother looked up at one another.

“What can it mean?” they asked. “Let us send for Unktomi (the spider). He is a good judge and he will know.”

“And I will get ready a good dinner for him, for Unktomi is always hungry,” added the young wife.

When Unktomi came, his yellow mouth opened with delight at the fine feast spread for him. After he had eaten he was told what the crow had said.

“The crow means,” said Unktomi, “that the villagers and chief who bound and deserted you are in sad plight. They have hardly anything to eat and are starving.”

When the girl heard this she made a bundle of choicest meat and called the crow. “Take this to the starving villagers,” she bade him.

He took the bundle in his beak, flew away to the starving village and dropped the bundle before the chief’s teepee. The chief came out and the crow called loudly, “Kaw, Kaw! The children who were forsaken have much meat; those who forsook them have none.” “What can he mean?” cried the astonished villagers.

“Let us send for Unktomi,” said one, “he is a great judge; he will tell us.” They divided the bundle of meat among the starving people, saving the biggest piece for Unktomi.

When Unktomi had come and eaten, the villagers told him of the crow and asked what the bird’s words meant.

“He means,” said Unktomi, “that the two children whom you forsook have teepees full of dried meat enough for all the village.”

The villagers were filled with astonishment at this news. To find whether or not it was true, the chief called seven young men and sent them out to see. They came to the three teepees and there met the girl’s brother and husband just going out to hunt (which they did now only for sport).

The girl’s brother invited the seven young men into the third or sacred lodge, and after they had smoked a pipe and knocked out the ashes on a buffalo bone the brother gave them meat to eat, which the seven devoured greedily. The next day he loaded all seven with packs of meat, saying, “Take this meat to the villagers and lead them hither.” While they awaited the return of the young men with the villagers, the girl made two bundles of meat, one of the best and choicest pieces, and the other of liver, very dry and hard to eat.

After a few days the camp arrived. The young woman’s mother opened the door and ran in crying: “Oh, my dear daughter, how glad I am to see you.” But the daughter received her coldly and gave her the bundle of dried liver to eat. But when the old woman who had saved the children’s lives came in, the young girl received her gladly, called her grandmother, and gave her the package of choice meat with marrow.

Then the whole village camped and ate of the stores of meat all the winter until spring came; and withal they were so many, there was such abundance of stores that there was still much left.

Legend Credit:
A Sioux Legend
Marie L. McLaughlin, 1913

Photo Credit:

The Butterfly Legend

One day the Creator was resting, sitting, watching some children playing in a village. The children laughed and sang, yet as he watched them, the Creator’s heart was sad. He was thinking: “These children will grow old. Their skin will become wrinkled. Their hair will turn gray. Their teeth will fall out. The young hunters arm will fail. The lovely young girls will grow ugly and fat. The playful puppies will become blind, mangy dogs. And those wonderful flowers – yellow, red, blue, and purple – will fade. The leaves from the trees will fall and dry up. Already they are turning yellow.” Thus the Creator grew sadder and sadder. It was in the Fall, and the thought of the coming winter, with its cold and lack of game and green things, made his heart heavy.

Yet it was still warm and the sun was shining. The Creator watched the play of sunlight and shadow on the ground, the yellow leaves being carried here and there by the wind. He saw the blueness of the sky, the whiteness of some cornmeal ground by the women. Suddenly he smiled. “All those colors, they ought to be preserved. I’ll make something to gladden my heart, something for these children to look at and enjoy.”

The Creator took out his bag and started gathering things: a spot of sunlight, a handful of blue from the sky, the whiteness of the cornmeal, the shadow of playing children, the blackness of a beautiful girls hair, the yellow of the falling leaves, the green of the pine needles, the red , purple, and orange of the flowers around him. All these he put into his bag. As an afterthought, he put the songs of the birds in too.

Then he walked over to the grassy spot where the children were playing. “Children, little children, this is for you,” and he gave them his bag. “Open it; there is something nice inside,” he told them. The children opened the bag, and at once hundreds and hundreds of colored butterflies flew out, dancing around the children’s heads, settling on their hair, fluttering up again to sip from this or that flower. And the children, enchanted, said that they had never seen anything so beautiful. The butterflies began to sing and the children listened smiling.

But then a songbird came flying, settling on the creators shoulder, scolding him, saying: “It’s not right to give our song to these new, pretty things. You told us when you made us that every bird would have his own song. And now you’ve passed them all around. Isn’t it enough that you gave them all the colors of the rainbow?”

“You’re right,” said the Creator. “I made one song for each bird, and I shouldn’t have taken what belongs to you.” So the Creator took the songs away from the butterflies, and that’s why they are silent. “They are beautiful even so!” he said.

butterfly

Legend Credit:
Papago (retold from many versions)

Photo Credit: