Wakantanka: The Breath Giver

by Wambdi Wicasa Many, many seasons ago, Wakantanka, the Breath Giver, the Holy one, walked in the trees of the Paha Sapa, the Black Hills. The trees were cool and the music of the streams made him happy. Over the high hard rock the Eagle soared on great wings. Deer looked at Wakantanka, and their delicate feet were full of beauty and grace. Moose and Elk dipped their great heads into the water to pull the sweet lake grasses. The great Black Bears, afraid of nothing, padded toward the honey trees. Antelope stood deep in the meadow grasses. But with all this beauty around Him, Wakantanka was uneasy. He was happy and loved the Hills He had made, but there was no one He could talk to. There was no one He could love. No one who could return His love. To all his creatures He had given something […] Read More

THE YOUNG GIRL WHO BECAME A WOLF

It had been a long and cold winter. Food was scarce. Many of the old ones and the babies died before spring arrived. As spring came, the animals became more active in the woodlands and forests and the men went out on many hunts to find food, to make the people strong again. The men found little. They often saw a pack of wolves on these journeys and some of the men said it was because of the wolves that game had become so scarce. During the winter, when the snows were too deep, the wolves could go where man could not, and could easily take down the deer and the moose. The deer and moose gave the people not only food to live, but their fur and hides were a necessity as well. Nothing was wasted in a successful hunt. “It is not the wolves.” Four Steps said. […] Read More

MEDICINE OF PLANTS

Once, in the beginning…  animals, and people lived together in harmony and talked with each other. However, when mankind began to increase at a rapid pace,  the animals were pushed and crowded into forests and deserts. Man began to kill four-footed’s for their skins and furs,  not just for food that was much needed. The animals… angry at such treatment by those whom they had befriended…  decided they must punish such greedy mankind. The Bear tribe met in council. This was led by Chief Old White Bear. After many Bears had spoken against humankind and their bloody ways,  war was agreed upon. But what kind of weapons would the Bears use? Chief Old White Bear suggested that the human’s weapon,  the bow, and arrow, should be used against him. The council all agreed. While the Bears worked and made bows and arrows,  they wondered what to use for bowstrings. One […] Read More

The Alligator And The Hunter

A Choctaw Legend There once was a man who had very bad luck when he hunted. Although the other hunters in his village were always able to bring home deer, this man never succeeded. He was the strongest of the men in the village and he knew the forest well, but his luck was never good. Each time he came close to the deer, something bad would happen. A jay would call from the trees and the deer would take flight. He would step on dry leaves and the deer would run before he could shoot. His arrow would glance off a twig and miss the deer. It seemed there was no end to his troubles. Finally the man decided he would go deep into the swamps where there were many deer. He would continue hunting until he either succeeded or lost his own life. The man hunted for […] Read More

Koasati – Bead-Spitter

Two girls living in an Indian village wanted beads and said, “Let us travel to see Upward-shooter who throws down beads.” They started on. As they were going they came to an Owl by the trail hunting for something in a water hole. “Where are you going?” he said. “To the home of Upward-shooter,” they said. “Where is the trail to Upward-shooter’s house?” “This good trail goes to my house,” he said to them. “Go along the bad trail.” “What are you hunting for,” they said. “I have lost in the water a sapia which I always carry on my back,” he said. Then they started along the bad trail. The Owl flew around ahead, reached his house, broke a necklace of beads that was about his sister’s neck, and threw the beads on the ground. Then he picked up some of the beads, put them into his mouth, […] Read More

How Rabbit Fooled Wolf

Two pretty girls lived not far from Rabbit and Wolf. One day Rabbit called upon Wolf and said, “Let’s go and visit those pretty girls up the road.” “All right,” Wolf said, and they started off.  When they got to the girls’ house, they were invited in, but both girls took a great liking to Wolf and paid all their attention to him while Rabbit had to sit by and look on. Rabbit of course was not pleased by this, and he soon said, “We had better be going back.”  “Let’s wait a while longer,” Wolf replied, and they remained until late in the day. Before they left, Rabbit found a chance to speak to one of the girls so that Wolf could not overhear and he said, “The one you’ve been having so much fun with is my old horse.”  “I think you are lying,” the girl replied. […] Read More