Old Indian Legends
OLD INDIAN LEGENDS - STORIES FROM THE DAKOTAS
This book was especially republished to raise funds for these charities & many more...
33% of the publishers profit from the sale of this book will be donated to charities.
A GREAT READ FOR "CHILDREN" OF ALL AGES
IN THIS volume you will find fourteen stories from the Dakotas. Stories of Iktomi and the Ducks, the badger and the bear, Iktomi and the coyote, the toad and the boy, the shooting of the red eagle and more.
The legends contained herein are relics of the USAs once virgin soil. These and many others are the tales the American Indians loved so much to hear beside the night fire. For these people the personified elements and other spirits played in a vast world right around the center fire of the wigwam. Iktomi, the snare weaver, Iya, the Eater, and Old Double-Face are not wholly fanciful creatures.
Under an open sky, nestling close to the earth, the old Dakota story-tellers have told these legends time and again. While it is easy to recognise such legends without difficulty, the renderings may vary in little incidents. Here, Zitkala-Sa has tried to transplant the native spirit of these tales -- root and all -- into the English language, since America in the last few centuries has acquired a second tongue.
The old legends of North America now belong quite as much to the blue-eyed little patriot as to the lands black-haired aborigine. And when they are grown tall may they, in their wisdom, not lack interest in a further study of American Indian folklore. A study which so strongly suggests the USAs near kinship with the rest of humanity and points a steady finger toward the great brotherhood of mankind, and by which one is so forcibly impressed with the possible earnestness of life as seen through the teepee door! If it be true that much lies "in the eye of the beholder," then in the American aborigine, as in any other race, sincerity of belief, though it were based upon mere optical illusion, demands a little respect. After all, at heart, they are much like other peoples.
So settle down in a comfy chair and journey back to a time when these stories were told around campfires, to the delight of young and old alike.
33% of the net sale from this book will be donated to the American Indian Education Fund.
YESTERDAY'S BOOKS RAISING FUNDS FOR TODAY'S CHARITIES
Excerpt from OLD INDIAN LEGENDS - STORIES FROM THE DAKOTAS
THE WARLIKE SEVEN
ONCE UPON A TIME seven people went out to make war, -- the Ashes, the Fire, the Bladder, the Grasshopper, the Dragon Fly, the Fish, and the Turtle. As they were talking excitedly, waving their fists in violent gestures, a wind came and blew the Ashes away. "Ho!" cried the others, "he could not fight, this one!"
The six went on running to make war more quickly. They descended a deep valley, the Fire going foremost until they came to a river. The Fire said "Hsss -- tchu!" and was gone. "Ho!" hooted the others, "he could not fight, this one!"
Therefore the five went on the more quickly to make war. They came to a great wood. While they were going through it, the Bladder was heard to sneer and to say, "He! you should rise above these, brothers." With these words he went upward among the tree-tops; and the thorn apple pricked him. He fell through the branches and was nothing! "You see this!" said the four, "this one could not fight."
Still the remaining warriors would not turn back. The four went boldly on to make war. The Grasshopper with his cousin, the Dragon Fly, went foremost. They reached a marshy place, and the mire was very deep. As they waded through the mud, the Grasshopper's legs stuck, and he pulled them off! He crawled upon a log and wept, "You see me, brothers, I cannot go!"
The Dragon Fly went on, weeping for his cousin. He would not be comforted, for he loved his cousin dearly. The more he grieved, the louder he cried, till his body shook with great violence. He blew his red swollen nose with a loud noise so that his head came off his slender neck, and he was fallen upon the grass.
"You see how it is, said the Fish, lashing his tail impatiently, "these people were not warriors!" "Come!" he said, "let us go on to make war."
Thus the Fish and the Turtle came to a large camp ground.
"Ho!" exclaimed the people of this round village of teepees, "Who are these little ones? What do they seek?"
Neither of the warriors carried weapons with them, and their unimposing stature misled the curious people. The Fish was spokesman. With a peculiar omission of syllables, he said:
"Shu . . . hi pi!"
"Wan! what? what?" clamored eager voices of men and women.
Again the Fish said: "Shu . . . hi pi!" Everywhere stood young and old with a palm to an ear. Still no one guessed what the Fish had mumbled!
From the bewildered crowd witty old Iktomi came forward. "He, listen!" he shouted, rubbing his mischievous palms together, for where there was any trouble brewing, he was always in the midst of it.
"This little strange man says, 'Zuya unhipi! We come to make war!'"
"Uun!" resented the people, suddenly stricken glum. "Let us kill the silly pair! They can do nothing! They do not know the meaning of the phrase. Let us build a fire and boil them both!"
"If you put us on to boil," said the Fish, "there will be trouble."
"Ho ho!" laughed the village folk. "We shall see."
And so they made a fire.
"I have never been so angered!" said the Fish. The Turtle in a whispered reply said: "We shall die!" When a pair of strong hands lifted the Fish over the sputtering water, he put his mouth downward. "Whssh!" he said. He blew the water all over the people, so that many were burned and could not see. Screaming with pain, they ran away.
"Oh, what shall we do with these dreadful ones?" they said.
Others exclaimed: "Let us carry them to the lake of muddy water and drown them!"
Instantly they ran with them. They threw the Fish and the Turtle into the lake. Toward the center of the large lake the Turtle dived. There he peeped up out of the water and, waving a hand at the crowd, sang out, "This is where I live!"
The Fish swam hither and thither with such frolicsome darts that his back fin made the water fly. "E han!" whooped the Fish, "this is where I live!"
"Oh, what have we done!" said the frightened people, "this will be our undoing."
Then a wise chief said: "Iya, the Eater, shall come and swallow the lake!"
So one went running. He brought Iya, the Eater; and Iya drank all day at the lake till his belly was like the earth. Then the Fish and the Turtle dived into the mud; and Iya said: "They are not in me." Hearing this the people cried greatly.
Iktomi wading in the lake had been swallowed like a gnat in the water. Within the great Iya he was looking skyward. So deep was the water in the Eater's stomach that the surface of the swallowed lake almost touched the sky. "I will go that way," said Iktomi, looking at the concave within arm's reach.
He struck his knife upward in the Eater's stomach, and the water falling out drowned those people of the village. Now when the great water fell into its own bed, the Fish and the Turtle came to the shore. They went home painted victors and loud-voiced singers.
Table of Contents for OLD INDIAN LEGENDS - STORIES FROM THE DAKOTAS
|IKTOMI AND THE DUCKS|
|IKTOMI AND THE MUSKRAT|
|IKTOMI AND THE COYOTE|
|IKTOMI AND THE FAWN|
|THE BADGER AND THE BEAR|
|SHOOTING OF THE RED EAGLE|
|IKTOMI AND THE TURTLE|
|DANCE IN A BUFFALO SKULL|
|THE TOAD AND THE BOY|
|IYA, THE CAMP-EATER|
|MANSTIN, THE RABBIT|
|THE WARLIKE SEVEN|
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