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A DINNER AND ITS CONSEQUENCES – A Nimpuc American Indian folktale from Massachusetts: Baba Indaba Children’s Stories Issue 42
 
In Issue 42 of the Baba Indaba Children’s Stories, Baba Indaba narrates the American Indian legend from Massachusetts of “A Dinner and it’s Consequences” which teaches that good manners and politeness always pays dividends.
 
This issue also has a “Where in the World – Look it Up” section, where young readers are challenged to look up a place on a map somewhere in the world. The place, town or city is relevant to the story, on map. HINT – use Google maps.
 
Baba Indaba is a fictitious Zulu storyteller who narrates children’s stories from around the world. Baba Indaba translates as “Father of Stories”.
 
 
It is believed that folklore and tales are believed to have originated in India and made their way overland along the Silk and Spice routes and through Central Asia before arriving in Europe. Even so, this does not cover all folklore from all four corners of the world. Indeed folklore, legends and myths from Africa, Australia, Polynesia, and some from Asia too, are altogether quite different and seem to have originated on the whole from separate reservoirs of lore, legend and culture.
 
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We should consider the daily life of Philip very monotonous. It was the same, day by day, year in and year out, with very little change. The little village where he lived contained fewer than one hundred inhabitants. Everybody was thoroughly acquainted with everybody else.

There was no society such as we have to-day. Philip’s squaw did not dress herself up in the afternoon, and make calls on the other squaws. If she wished to talk with them she went where they were, whether it was morning, afternoon, or evening.
There were no parties, no receptions, no theaters, no art museums, no libraries, no books, no music, no fireworks, no holidays, no Sabbath. The Indians believed in a good and a bad spirit, but they had no churches or temples or service or worship or priests.

So we cannot think of Philip sitting in the best pew in church, and listening to a grand sermon, preached by the most famous minister in the country. Philip knew nothing of sermons.

He played no games that instructed his mind. He cared for only such games as would strengthen his body, increase his power of endurance, or develop his muscle or his craftiness. With the other Indians he played football, tossed quoits, wrestled, ran, and jumped.

Occasionally he engaged with them in the war dance. This was performed in a very solemn manner. It represented a war campaign, or a sham battle, as we say. First, the Indians came together from different directions. Then they marched forward stealthily and quietly, lay in ambush, awaited the coming of the enemy, suddenly jumped out and rushed upon them, slaughtered them, retreated, and finally went home. The dance ended with the reception at home, and the torturing and killing of the prisoners.

These were his amusements. His occupations were two in number: hunting and fishing.

In the fall of the year, and again in the spring, he spent about three months in hunting. In company with his brother or some close friend, he went in search of a supply of meat for the use of the family, and of skins to sell to the white men or to use for clothing.

After reaching the hunting-grounds, they built a big wigwam where they stayed at night. There also they stored the skins of the animals they had captured.

Many stories might be told of the exciting adventures they had with bears and wolves. The woods of New England contained many moose and other wild animals, and generally Philip returned to his little village with meat enough to last all winter. Frequently he brought home as many as one hundred beaver skins.

But Philip, like others, had bad luck sometimes. Now and then he lost his way in the woods, and on one or two occasions the raft on which he was taking his skins across the river upset and the results of his winter’s labor were lost.

He captured his game by shooting or snaring, or by catching it in pitfalls. When the hunting season was over he spent his time in fishing. Generally he caught his fish in nets, although occasionally he used a hook and line.

When not engaged in hunting or fishing, or attending a meeting of Indian princes, he was generally to be found near his wigwam, asleep or watching his squaw at work.

All the work around the wigwam was done by his wife or squaw. According to the Indian view she was his slave. She covered and lined the wigwam, plaited the mats and baskets, planted, tended, and harvested the corn and vegetables, cooked the food, ate the leavings, and slept on the coldest side of the wigwam.
Many Indians did not care very much for their squaws, and made their lives miserable by treating them badly, and showing them no sympathy nor love in any way whatever. But we are told that Philip was better than the other Indians in this respect. He loved his wife and treated her as a companion instead of as a slave.

Philip had no pots and kettles like ours. His wife roasted his meat by placing it on the point of a stake. She broiled it by laying it on hot coals or hot stones. She boiled it in rude vessels made of stone, earth, or wood, and heated the water by throwing hot stones into it.

Philip’s only garden tool was a hoe, made of clam shells or of a moose’s shoulder-blade fastened to a wooden handle. He also had a rude axe or hatchet made of a piece of stone, sharpened by being scraped on another stone, and tied to a wooden handle. His arrows and spears were tipped with bone or with triangular pieces of flint. These were all home-made, for Philip, like other Indians, was obliged to make his own hatchets and arrows.

Finally, Philip never went to the store to buy things to be used at home, for the Indians kept no stores. His wife raised the corn, squashes, and pumpkins, and he caught his own fish and game. These, with nuts, roots, and berries, gave him all the food he needed.

Native American Women at Work

The 26 American Indian stories herein, have been, time out of mind, in their original form, recited around the lodge-fires and under the trees, by the Indian story-tellers, for the entertainment of the Native American children of the West. <br>

Here you will find the stories of The Celestial Sisters, The Boy Who Set A Snare For The Sun, Strong Desire And The Red Sorcerer, Wunzh. The Father Of Indian Corn, White Feather And The Six Giants, Sheem, The Forsaken Boy and many, many more.

 

They were originally interpreted from the old tales and legends by the late Henry R. Schoolcraft, and then re-interpreted and developed by the Editor, so as to enable them, as far as worthy, to take their place amongst classics like the Arabian Nights, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and other world-renowned tales of Europe and the East, to which, in their original conception, they bear a resemblance in romantic interest and quaint extravagance of fancy.

 

The Editor hopes that these beautiful and sprightly legends of the West will repay, in part at least, the glorious debt which we have incurred to the Eastern World for her magical gifts of the same kind.

 

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. THE CELESTIAL SISTERS

II. THE BOY WHO SET A SNARE FOR THE SUN

III. STRONG DESIRE, AND THE RED SORCERER

IV. THE WONDERFUL EXPLOITS OF GRASSHOPPER

V. THE TWO JEEBI

VI. OSSEO, THE SON OF THE EVENING STAR

VII. GRAY EAGLE AND HIS FIVE BROTHERS

VIII. THE TOAD-WOMAN

IX. THE ORIGIN OF THE ROBIN

X. WHITE FEATHER AND THE SIX GIANTS

XI. SHEEM, THE FORSAKEN BOY

XII. THE MAGIC BUNDLE

XIII. THE RED SWAN

XIV. THE MAN WITH HIS LEG TIED UP

XV. THE LITTLE SPIRIT, OR BOY-MAN

XVI. THE ENCHANTED MOCCASINS

XVII. HE OF THE LITTLE SHELL

XVIII. MANABOZHO, THE MISCHIEF-MAKER

XIX. LEELINAU, THE LOST DAUGHTER

XX. THE WINTER-SPIRIT AND HIS VISITOR

XXI. THE FIRE-PLUME

XXII. WEENDIGOES AND THE BONE-DWARF

XXIII. THE BIRD LOVER

XXIV. BOKWEWA, THE HUMPBACK

XXV. THE CRANE THAT CROSSED THE RIVER

XXVI. WUNZH. THE FATHER OF INDIAN CORN

 

ISBN: 978-1-907302-65-5

URL: http://abelapublishing.com/the-american-indian-fairy-book–26-native-american-tales-and-legends_p26555202.htm

American_Indian_Fairy_Book_Cover_wp

Once upon a time, the Ojibways were a great nation whom the fairies loved. Their land was the home of many spirits, and as long as they lived on the shores of the great lakes the woods in that country were full of fairies. Some of them dwelt in the moss at the roots or on the trunks of trees. Others hid beneath the mushrooms and toadstools. Some changed themselves into bright-winged butterflies or tinier insects with shining wings. This they did that they might be near the children they loved and play with them where they could see and be seen.

But there were also evil spirits in the land. These burrowed in the ground, gnawed at the roots of the loveliest flowers and destroyed them. They breathed upon the corn and blighted it. They listened whenever they heard men talking, and carried the news to those with whom it would make most mischief. It is because of these wicked fairies that the Indian must be silent in the woods and must not whisper confidences in the camp unless he is sure the spirits are fast asleep under the white blanket of the snow.

The Ojibways looked well after the interests of the good spirits. They shielded the flowers and stepped carefully aside when moss or flower was in their path. They brushed no moss from the trees, and they never snared the sunbeams, for on them thousands of fairies came down from the sky. When the chase was over they sat in the doorways of their wigwams smoking, and as they watched the blue circles drift and fade into the darkness of the evening, they listened to the voices of the fairies and the insects’ hum and the thousand tiny noises that night always brings.

One night as they were listening they saw a bright light shining in the top of the tallest trees. It was a star brighter than all the others, and it seemed very near the earth. When they went close to the tree they found that it was really caught in the topmost branches.

The wise men of the tribe were summoned and for three nights they sat about the council fire, but they came to no conclusion about the beautiful star. At last one of the young warriors went to them and told them that the truth had come to him in a dream.

While asleep the west wind had lifted the curtains of his wigwam and the light of the star fell full upon him. Suddenly a beautiful maiden stood at his side. She smiled upon him, and as he gazed speechless she told him that her home was in the star and that in wandering over all the earth she had seen no land so fair as the land of the Ojibways. Its flowers, its sweet-voiced birds, its rivers, its beautiful lakes, the mountains clothed in green, these had charmed her, and she wished to be no more a wanderer. If they would welcome her she would make her home among them, and she asked them to choose a place in which she might dwell.

The council were greatly pleased; but they could not agree upon what was best to offer the Star Maiden, so they decided to ask her to choose for herself. She searched first among the flowers of the prairie. There she found the fairies’ ring, where the little spirits danced on moonlight nights. “Here,” thought she, “I will rest.” But as she swung herself backwards and forwards on the stem of a lovely blossom, she heard a terrible noise and fled in great fear. A vast herd of buffaloes came and took possession of the fairies’ ring, where they rolled over one another, and bellowed so they could be heard far on the trail. No gentle star maiden could choose such a resting-place.

She next sought the mountain rose. It was cool and pleasant, the moss was soft to her dainty feet, and she could talk to the spirits she loved, whose homes were in the stars. But the mountain was steep, and huge rocks hid from her view the nation that she loved.

She was almost in despair, when one day as she looked down from the edge of the wild rose leaf she saw a white flower with a heart of gold shining on the waters of the lake below her. As she looked a canoe steered by the young warrior who had told her wishes to his people, shot past, and his strong, brown hand brushed the edge of the flower.

“That is the home for me,” she cried, and half-skipping, half flying down the side of the mountain, she quickly made her way to the flower and hid herself in its bosom. There she could watch the stars as well as when she looked upward from the cup of the mountain rose; there she could talk to the star spirits, for they bathed in the clear lake; and best of all, there she could watch the people whom she loved, for their canoes were always upon the water.

ISBN: 978-1-907256-15-8

http://abelapublishing.com/american-indian-fairy-tales_p23332602.htm

Here is a tale from Yaqui Myths and Legends which I have yet to replublish as a book. The Yaqui are an American Indian people.

It is titled THE KU BIRD.

AMONG the Yaquis there was once a bird who, from birth, was very poor. So poor was this little one that he had not one single feather on his whole body. Often he sighed, especially in the winter time, because of his lack of protecting feathers. Many years passed, until one day he spoke to the Owl, saying,
“My brother, do me a favor and I will help you as long as I live. Help me to dress myself by lending me just a few of your feathers, even if they should cover only a part of my body. With the cold weather, I suffer.”
And the Owl answered him. “Have no worry about my helping you. I am going to ask all the birds to lend you one feather. In that way, you may clothe your whole body.”
“You speak well,” said the Ku Bird to the Owl. “When I have many feathers, I shall return a feather to each who lent me one.”
“Good,” said the Owl, “I shall send messengers to all the birds both large and small, to every single bird, in order that not one shall fail to attend the council. By early tomorrow morning we shall all be gathered to consider the matter of your clothes.”
“Many, many thanks,” answered the Ku Bird.
“Good-by for a while,” said the Owl. And he went away to make arrangements with the other birds.

Immediately they all wanted to see Ku Bird. At their petition, although with great shame, he presented himself.
Everyone was very sorry for him. And each bird presented him with one feather. Everyone contributed until Ku’s costume, was complete.
After thanking them all, Ku said, “To brother Owl I shall return all of the loaned feathers. He will return them to each of you in one year.”
A few days later the Ku Bird visited a spring filled with crystal-clear water. Here, many birds with beautiful plumes often came to visit. When the Ku Bird arrived all the birds surrounded him and looked at him in admiration and joy. They believed that he was a prince, and all rendered him homage. They did not recognize him beneath his beautiful, unusual plumage. He looked like a garden of flowers. Some called him the bird of a thousand colors, for he was wonderfully colorful with all his many feathers.

But within a year Ku was lost completely. He was never again seen, although all the birds searched for him, even in distant regions. Never again did he appear.
To this day, the Owl is still hunting for him. He searches and he calls. That is why Owl sings: “Ku, Ku, Ku, Ku,” nothing more. He is not able to say Ku Bird, but he can sing “Ku Ku Ku.”

Many centuries have passed and no one has ever heard anything about Ku. It is said that he is enchanted, that he now dwells in a waterhole which lies west of Potam near the sea. Yaquis say they have been there and heard him singing.
Ku never paid for his shirt, the Ku Bird, the bird of a thousand colors.

So ends the tale.

THE Ojibways were a great nation whom the fairies loved. Their land was the home of many spirits, and as long as they lived on the shores of the great lakes the woods in that country were full of fairies. Some of them dwelt in the moss at the roots or on the trunks of trees. Others hid beneath the mushrooms and toadstools. Some changed themselves into bright-winged butterflies or tinier insects with shining wings. This they did that they might be near the children they loved and play with them where they could see and be seen.

But there were also evil spirits in the land. These burrowed in the ground, gnawed at the roots of the loveliest flowers and destroyed them. They breathed upon the corn and blighted it. They listened whenever they heard men talking, and carried the news to those with whom it would make most mischief.

It is because of these wicked fairies that the Indian must be silent in the woods and must not whisper confidences in the camp unless he is sure the spirits are fast asleep under the white blanket of the snow.

The Ojibways looked well after the interests of the good spirits. They shielded the flowers and stepped carefully aside when moss or flower was in their path. They brushed no moss from the trees, and they never snared the sunbeams, for on them thousands of fairies came down from the sky. When the chase was over they sat in the doorways of their wigwams smoking, and as they watched the blue circles drift and fade into the darkness of the evening, they listened to the voices of the fairies and the insects’ hum and the thousand tiny noises that night always brings.

One night as they were listening they saw a bright light shining in the top of the tallest trees. It was a star brighter than all the others, and it seemed very near the earth. When they went close to the tree they found that it was really caught in the topmost branches.

The wise men of the tribe were summoned and for three nights they sat about the council fire, but they came to no conclusion about the beautiful star. At last one of the young warriors went to them and told them that the truth had come to him in a dream.

While asleep the west wind had lifted the curtains of his wigwam and the light of the star fell full upon him. Suddenly a beautiful maiden stood at his side. She smiled upon him, and as he gazed speechless she told him that her home was in the star and that in wandering over all the earth she had seen no land so fair as the land of the Ojibways. Its flowers, its sweet-voiced birds, its rivers, its beautiful lakes, the mountains clothed in green, these had charmed her, and she wished to be no more a wanderer. If they would welcome her she would make her home among them, and she asked them to choose a place in which she might dwell.

The council were greatly pleased; but they could not agree upon what was best to offer the Star Maiden, so they decided to ask her to choose for herself.

She searched first among the flowers of the prairie. There she found the fairies’ ring, where the little spirits danced on moonlight nights. “Here,” thought she, “I will rest.” But as she swung herself backwards and forwards on the stem of a lovely blossom, she heard a terrible noise and fled in great fear. A vast herd of buffaloes came and took possession of the fairies’ ring, where they rolled over one another, and bellowed so they could be heard far on the trail. No gentle star maiden could choose such a resting-place.

She next sought the mountain rose. It was cool and pleasant, the moss was soft to her dainty feet, and she could talk to the spirits she loved, whose homes were in the stars. But the mountain was steep, and huge rocks hid from her view the nation that she loved.

She was almost in despair, when one day as she looked down from the edge of the wild rose leaf she saw a white flower with a heart of gold shining on the waters of the lake below her. As she looked a canoe steered by the young warrior who had told her wishes to his people, shot past, and his strong, brown hand brushed the edge of the flower.

“That is the home for me,” she cried, and half-skipping, half-flying down the side of the mountain, she quickly made her way to the flower and hid herself in its bosom. There she could watch the stars as well as when she looked upward from the cup of the mountain rose; there she could talk to the star spirits, for they bathed in the clear lake; and best of all, there she could watch the people whom she loved, for their canoes were always upon the water.

 

From American Indian Fairy Tales

ISBN: 978-1-907256-15-8

URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_aift.html

 

 

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 took, each, 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.

 

“How, 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!

 

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 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.

——-

From “Old Indian Legends” an Iktomi Legend of the Dakotas told by Zitkala Sa

ISBN: 978-1-907256-25-7

URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_oil.html

 

 

 

AUTUMN nights on the upper Missouri river in Montana are indescribably beautiful, and under their spell imagination is a constant companion to him who lives in wilderness, lending strange, weird echoes to the voice of man or wolf, and unnatural shapes in shadow to commonplace forms.

 

The moon had not yet climbed the distant mountain range to look down on the humbler lands when I started for War Eagle’s lodge; and dimming the stars in its course, the milky-way stretched across the jewelled sky. “The wolf’s trail,” the Indians call this filmy streak that foretells fair weather, and to-night it promised much, for it seemed plainer and brighter than ever before.

 

“How — how!” greeted War Eagle, making the sign for me to be seated near him, as I entered his lodge. Then he passed me his pipe and together we smoked until the children came.

 

Entering quietly, they seated themselves in exactly the same positions they had occupied on the previous evenings, and patiently waited in silence. Finally War Eagle laid the pipe away and said: “Ho! Little Buffalo Calf, throw a big stick on the fire and I will tell you why the Kingfisher wears a war-bonnet.”

 

The boy did as he was bidden. The sparks jumped toward the smoke-hole and the blaze lighted up the lodge until it was bright as daytime, when War Eagle continued:

 

“You have often seen Kingfisher at his fishing along the rivers, I know; and you have heard him laugh in his queer way, for he laughs a good deal when he flies. That same laugh nearly cost him his life once, as you will see. I am sure none could see the Kingfisher without noticing his great head-dress, but not many know how he came by it because it happened so long ago that most men have forgotten.

 

“It was one day in the winter-time when Old-man and the Wolf were hunting. The snow covered the land and ice was on all of the rivers. It was so cold that Old-man wrapped his robe close about himself and his breath showed white in the air. Of course the Wolf was not cold; wolves never get cold as men do. Both Old-man and the Wolf were hungry for they had travelled far and had killed no meat. Old-man was complaining and grumbling, for his heart is not very good. It is never well to grumble when we are doing our best, because it will do no good and makes us weak in our hearts. When our hearts are weak our heads sicken and our strength goes away. Yes, it is bad to grumble.

 

“When the sun was getting low Old-man and the Wolf came to a great river. On the ice that covered the water, they saw four fat Otters playing.

 

“‘There is meat,’ said the Wolf; ‘wait here and I will try to catch one of those fellows.’

 

“‘No! — No!’ cried Old-man, ‘do not run after the Otter on the ice, because there are air-holes in all ice that covers rivers, and you may fall in the water and die.’ Old-man didn’t care much if the Wolf did drown. He was afraid to be left alone and hungry in the snow — that was all.

 

“‘Ho!’ said the Wolf, ‘I am swift of foot and my teeth are white and sharp. What chance has an Otter against me? Yes, I will go,’ and he did.

 

“Away ran the Otters with the Wolf after them, while Old-man stood on the bank and shivered with fright and cold. Of course the Wolf was faster than the Otter, but he was running on the ice, remember, and slipping a good deal. Nearer and nearer ran the Wolf. In fact he was just about to seize an Otter, when SPLASH! — into an air-hole all the Otters went. Ho ! the Wolf was going so fast he couldn’t stop, and SWOW! into the airhole he went like a badger after mice, and the current carried him under the ice. The Otters knew that hole was there. That was their country and they were running to reach that same hole all the time, but the Wolf didn’t know that.

 

“Old-man saw it all and began to cry and wail as women do. Ho! but he made a great fuss. He ran along the bank of the river, stumbling in the snowdrifts, and crying like a woman whose child is dead; but it was because he didn’t want to be left in that country alone that he cried — not because he loved his brother, the Wolf. On and on he ran until he came to a place where the water was too swift to freeze, and there he waited and watched for the Wolf to come out from under the ice, crying and wailing and making an awful noise, for a man.

 

“Well — right there is where the thing happened. You see, Kingfisher can’t fish through the ice and he knows it, too; so he always finds places like the one Old-man found. He was there that day, sitting on the limb of a birch-tree, watching for fishes, and when Old-man came near to Kingfisher’s tree, crying like an old woman, it tickled the Fisher so much that he laughed that queer, chattering laugh.

 

“Old-man heard him and — Ho! but he was angry. He looked about to see who was laughing at him and that made Kingfisher laugh again, longer and louder than before. This time Old-man saw him and SWOW! he threw his war-club at Kingfisher; tried to kill the bird for laughing. Kingfisher ducked so quickly that Old-man’s club just grazed the feathers on his head, making them stand up straight.

 

“‘There,’ said Old-man, ‘I’ll teach you to laugh at me when I’m sad. Your feathers are standing up on the top of your head now and they will stay that way, too. As long as you live you must wear a head-dress, to pay for your laughing, and all your children must do the same.

 

“This was long, long ago, but the Kingfishers have not forgotten, and they all wear war-bonnets, and always will as long as there are Kingfishers.

 

“Now I will say good night, and when the sun sleeps again I will tell you another story. Ho!”

 

From “Indian Why Stories”

ISBN: 978-1-907256-26-4

URL: http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_iws.html

 

 

 

Today we journey to the American Sout West, to Arizona and the Hopi people. Our tale comes from the Mesas and is tale 26 in the book “Traditions of the Hopi” which contains 100 Hopi folk tales and legends. It is titled:

THE PÖ’OKONGS AND THE BÁLÖLÖOKONG (1)

 

Alíksai! In Mishóngnovi where now are the ruins, the people lived, and there lived a family consisting of a father, mother, a youth, and a maiden. One day at noon the latter went after water to Toríva. There was a great deal of water in the spring at that time. As she was dipping out the water it began to move and a Bálölöokong came out. He at once began to draw the maiden with strong inhalations towards him, embraced her, and disappeared with her into the water. Her mother was waiting for her to return, but she did not come. When she did not return the mother began to worry and said she would go and look for her. Following her tracks and not meeting her on the way, she went down to the spring. There she hunted for her tracks but only found them descending to the water. The jug was standing there, but the daughter could not be found, so she finally picked up the jug and the old blanket in which the jug had been carried and went home. “I have found the tracks,” she said to her husband, “but they simply lead to the edge of the water, and cannot find our child anywhere.” “Oh!” the father replied; so the father bestirred himself and made a ball and an arrow: to the latter he tied some blue-bird feathers. These he took to the house of Pöokónghoya and his younger brother Balö’ongahoya, who lived somewhat higher up, north of the village.

 

When he arrived at their house the two youths were romping about. “Be quiet,” their grandmother, Spider Woman, said, “be quiet, somebody has come here.” So they were quiet. “Sit down, sit down,” she said to the man, and then set some hurúshiki 2 before him, of which he ate. It was just a small ball, but as he ate from it it kept increasing again. When he was done she said to him, “Now why do you come? What is the matter?” “Yes,” he said, “yes, yesterday our daughter went after water and she did not return. Her foot tracks only lead to the edge of the stream, and now I came here, as you have a strong heart, and thought that may be you could do something for us.” Hereupon he handed two bows to the youths and an eagle nakwákwosi, which he had also prepared, to Spider Woman. They were all happy over these things. “Askwalí,” she said, “yes, these, my youths, know about it, for they have seen it. Bálölöokong dragged your daughter into the water, and to-morrow we will bestir ourselves and we shall go there. Now, you go back and invite your friends and you must also go to work making nakwákwosis.” Spider Woman also instructed him that they should then dress up the brother of the maiden.

 

So he went home, invited his friends, and they made many nakwákwosis which they placed into a handsome tray. Early the next morning Spider Woman and the two youths repaired to the village. When they had arrived there they dressed up the brother of the lost maiden, putting a kilt, sash, bunch of breath feathers, numerous strands of beads, and ear pendants on him. He took a ball in his right hand, and the taláwayi (a stick with two eagle feathers and a string of horse hair attached to it) in his left hand. The father took the tray with prayer-offerings, and the chief of the village also went along. Spider Woman told the young man not to be afraid. While the Pö’okong and his younger brother would sing at the spring he should dance, and if the Bálölöokong pitied them and would come out With his sister, he should not be afraid and he should not cry, but should grab his sister and then strike the Bálölöokong with the tonípi (a club with a stone attached to it), which the Pö’okongs had handed to him.

 

When they had arrived at the spring they stood there. “Now we are ready,” the young man said. Hereupon the Pö’okongs sing the following song:

 

Slowly: Aha’naha vuyuna ha
Aha’naha yuyuna ha
Aha’naha yuyuna ha hahahaia
 
Fast: Ahainahai vuyuna ha
Ahainahai vuyuna ha
Ahainahai vuyuna ha hahahaina.
(Words are all archaic)

 

While they were singing the young man was shaking his ball and holding the taláwayi in his left arm, dancing at the edge of the spring to the time of the singing. All at once the water began to move and the Bálölöokong came out holding the maiden in his left arm. She was still nicely dressed, having her turquoise ear-pendants still in her ears. “My elder brother,” she said, to her brother, “take me. ”Yes, you go nearer now, and have a big heart, but do not cry,” Spider Woman urged him. So he approached the edge of the spring and reached for his sister. But as he did so he began to cry and immediately the Bálölöokong disappeared in the water with the maiden. “Oh!” they all said. “Now let us try it again,” Spider Woman suggested. “Let us try, it once more, but you must not be afraid; you must have a big heart; you must not cry. I did not tell you you must do this way, but have a big heart this time.” And now they were ready again.

 

As they were singing the same song that they had sung before, the young man again shaking his ball and dancing at the edge of the water, the water again began to move and the Bálölöokong once more came out, again holding the mána in his left arm. ”Now go nearer, close to the edge,” Spider Woman urged him, “do not be afraid now” So he danced slowly to the edge of the water and again his sister reached out her hands towards him and said: “My elder brother, take me.” So when he was still dancing he held out his hand, grasped the maiden and struck the Bálölöokong on the head with the club. Immediately the serpent released the maiden and only his skin was floating on the water like a sack. “Thanks the maiden said, “thanks! You were slow in taking me, you cried.” Hereupon he drew her out of the water. “Thanks!” Spider Woman said, “thanks that you were not too late.” Hereupon they put other clothes on the maiden and laid a pûhu of red feathers for her on the path. 3 The tray with all the nakwákwosis they threw into the spring for the maiden, because with this price they had purchased the mána back from the water serpent. And they threw the prayer-offerings into the spring that nothing further should befall the mána.

 

They then returned to the village, but it seems that Bálölöokong just left his skin and slipped back into the water when he was struck, because he is still there and is occasionally seen by women, and whoever sees him becomes sick. Only lately, the narrator continued, he was seen by a woman, Corn-Ear (Káö), but the women that have seen him say that he now is just small. One time he was also seen by a man. Sometimes those who see him get sick, because he is dangerous.

 

After they had returned to the village Spider Woman and the two Pö’okongs returned to their house. And so that way they were in time to save the mána.


Footnotes

1 Told by Sik’áhpiki (Shupaúlavi).

2 Prepared of corn-meal and water and sometimes formed into balls.

3 A pû’hu (road or path) consists of one or more small feathers–usually eagle feathers-to the stub end of which are fastened a single and a twisted string. These feathers are placed near springs, in front of shrines, altars, on paths and near graves, as paths for clouds, spirits, deities, etc., Whom the Hopi wish to follow the paths.


From “Traditions of the Hopi” collated and edited by H R Voth (1905)

ISBN 978-1-907256-39-4

URL http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_toth.html

 

 

In the north, it is said, there were many first people. One house was full of people, and they went hunting. One man went off and did not return by night. Then next day his brother went to look for him. And he went off, going along the ridge; and in the morning, again he had not come back. Then again someone went to look for him; and he, not returning, they ceased (going off).

 

“I don’t know what is the trouble! I again (also) will go and look for him,” said one. And he, in the morning, after he had had his breakfast and made ready his bow, went off. And he did not return. “What can be the trouble?” said one. “Do you go and look for him, taking good care.” Then (another) went.

 

Again he did not come back. “They are trying to destroy us,” they said; and again one went to search, and did not return at night. Then, “You must be careful,” said his father. Again one went off, and did not return at night. The people were half gone.

 

“Do the best you can, live through it,” said he. “Whatever can be the trouble? I will go and see,” he said. “If I do not get back, do the best you can, ye people. What can be the trouble? While we are out hunting for food, for game, (someone) I don’t know who it is, sees us, and troubles us. What man can it be?” he said.

 

So he went off, and did not return. Another one went off afterwards, and he also did not return. Then the old man said, “I will go last. Do you go first,” said he. So the last and only one left alive went. And at night again he was not apparent. Then again the old man went. “Do ye stay,” said he. “Don’t let the child run about.” So (the latter) and his elder sister staid there. The old man did not come back. Then they two remained there alone. “You must remain without crawling outside,” said she. “What is it that is destroying us people? Do you know “Do not go out! You must play about close by here, not going far away,” said she. Then be replied, “Very well.”

 

Then she said, “Bring some wood!” and he went to bring it. By and by he brought some back. He carried a large piece, although he was small, he carried a large piece. She sent him again. “You must not carry a large piece! It might hurt you,” she said.

 

Then he went for wood. “Do not go far,” she said. But he went a little farther, and brought back a very large, very pitchy (log). “Didn’t I tell you not to carry (such a large one)?” said she. “You might hurt yourself in the chest. That is what I told you,” she said.

 

He had big eyes, they say; and, “Although (I am) small, I am going to see,” he thought. “What, I wonder, does this!” he said. “Look here, my sister! I want to go and look.”–“I have told you not to say such things,” she said. Next morning she sent him to get wood, and he went. He brought back a pitch stump, a whole one. Then, “I wonder how it is that carrying such loads . . .,” thought his sister. “Although he is indeed very small, (yet) he carries great loads,” she thought.

 

Next morning he went off. He went, going along the ridge, and came to a great flat place. And human bones were many there. Standing there, he looked all about. By and by a man approached. “What are you doing?” said he. “Nothing,” (the boy) replied. “Do you want to fight?” said he. “Yes,” said the boy. Thereupon they two wrestled, and the boy killed Lizard-Man.

 

Thereupon he returned, and arrived at the house. He bathed in warm water, and then spoke. “I am going off above,” said he. “You must remain, you must stay here. Rising from here, I shall go over up to the Above-Valley; and when I reach there, I will thunder,” said he. “I shall roar, and you shall hear me.”

 

Whereupon, having finished speaking to his sister, he started and went off. And a while after he had gone, it thundered. He was roaring, they say. He it was who was to be the Thunder-Man. His sister recognized him again. At that time he said, “I shall have my country there. You must remain here. Meanwhile I shall be continually travelling about in the Above-Valley.” So he spoke. That is all. “There are many squinting women gathering tules.” 1

 

 

 


Footnotes

1 This is a common way of ending a tale. The sentence has no application to the rest of the story.


 

From “Maidu Texts” – Maidu folklore and legends

The Maidu are an American Indian tribe who traditionally live in the central Sierra Nevada of California, to the north of Yosemite.

 

URL – http://www.abelapublishing.com/cg_mt.html

 

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