THE WHITE TRAIL IN THE SKY

Shoshone No one can remember anymore exactly how it came about that the black bear Wakini overpowered the strong grey grizzly Wakinu. The black bears say that Wakini was just feeding on the contents of an anthill when Wakinu came up to him and quite rudely stuck his paw in as well. A great fight ensued, with grey and black hairs flying on every side. Wakini was, of course, in the right, for no animal may ever touch another’s prey. Wakinu thus received a just punishment; but that was by no means all – like a defeated warrior, he had to leave his tribe forever. Wakinu wailed and lamented, but the Indian laws are inexorable. And so he had to go, wading through familiar streams, taking a last look at the familiar pines, and saying farewell to the valley he had lived in all of his life. He could […] Read More

Coyote keeps his Name

(OKANANAGON) One time the Great Spirit called all the Animal people together.  They came from all over the earth to one camp and set up their lodges.  Spirit Chief said there was going to be a change; there was to be a new kind of people. He told all the Animal people they would now each have a name. “Some of you have names already; some have no names.  Tomorrow, however, everyone will have a name.  This name will be yours forever, for all your descendants.  In the morning you must come to my lodge and choose a name for yourself.  The first one to come may choose any name he wants.  The next person will take any other name.  That is how it will go.  And to each person, I will give a responsibility.” All the Animal people wanted to have powerful names and to be well-known. They wanted to be first at Old Man’s […] Read More

Mashkussuts: Bear cubs

When spring finally came to the country, the bear woke from hibernation. She got out of her den and said “The spring has arrived again.” She went for a walk to the place where most of the snow had melted so that she could eat berries. She left her children behind where they were still asleep. After she had finished eating, she went back to her den and took a nap. While she was sleeping, her children woke up and saw that their mother’s mouth was purple from eating berries. One cub said to the other, “Look, what’s that in mother’s mouth, sticking to her teeth?” The other replied, “Let’s get them out.” And they took the berries out that had been sticking in mother bear’s mouth, and ate them. The first cub said, “They taste very good. Let’s follow her footprints and see if we can find the […] Read More