Cherokee Morning Song

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Native Stories 5

Big Man-Eater and the Persimmon Tree

A Creek / Alibamo Legend

Six brothers lived together. While five of them were out hunting the last 
one remained at home as cook. He spent his time digging wild potatoes close to the water and washing them. He took one white wild potato and was trying to wash it when it fell into the water and disappeared. He hunted about in the water for it for a while and pulled out a baby tied to a baby board. He brought it to camp and laid it down. When the others came back he said, "I 
have a little something to show you." Bringing something out, he took out a baby on a baby board.

They kept the child, which was a girl, and when she grew up and they were 
gone hunting she stayed there and cooked. At that time a Sharp- buttocks came in a canoe, landed, and brought fish. He said (in Choctaw), "Very good niece of the six men, roast it for me." "How shall I roast it?" "Stick your finger into it, put it close to the fire and it will be done." "How shall I 
set it down for you?" she said. "Stoop over and lie down," he answered. And when she stooped over and lay down, he ate it up on her back and it killed her, and he went off in his canoe. Afterwards she returned to life.

The next time her brothers went hunting the Sharp-buttocks brought fish and 
said, "Roast it for me," and she roasted it for him with the same result as before.

"Next time say to him, 'You roast it for me'" her brothers said to her, and 
they stayed near by. When he came, he said, "Roast this for me," but she answered, "You roast it for me." They remained a little while, saying to each other, "You roast it for me," when the brothers all exclaimed, "Roast it for me," and came in. Sharp-buttocks said, "How shall I roast it?" "Stick 
it on your buttocks," they said, and he stuck it on his buttocks. 

After he had stooped down for a little while, it was cooked. "How shall I set it out for you to eat?" he said. ["Stoop over and lie down," they said.] He stooped over and lay down, they ate off of his back, and killed him. Then they took him back, put him into the canoe, pushed it off, and it started away. It went on, turning about as it went, and presently remained circling about in one 
spot. One of the brothers went to discover why this was so and did not come back. Another went and did not return. The next went and did not return. The fourth went and did not return. Another went and did not return.

Then the last one started off. Going on for a while he came to where a 
persimmon tree stood, climbed up into it and ate some of the fruit. The stem of this tree was smooth on one side as if someone had climbed it frequently. While he was standing there, a female Big Man- eater came underneath carrying a basket in which was a club (atasi). She looked up and saw him. She said, "Get down and let us wrestle, hee, hee, hee, hee."

So the man came down and when he got to the ground the Big Man-eater laid 
the basket with the club to one side and stood ready. When he got down they wrestled and after a while the Big Man-eater threw him down. But he got up and they wrestled again. After they had done this for a while she threw him 
down again. He stood up again and when in wrestling around they got close to the basket, the man threw the Big Man-eater down, seized the club, killed her, and cut her head off. But when Big Man-eater said "Come together," it reunited with the body. When he cut it off again, she said, "Come together," 
and it reunited. It kept on reuniting every time, but the fourth time he cut the head off it remained that way.

When she was dead the man cut her in pieces and threw the parts away. He 
took out her heart and hit a tree with it. "Stick there and become tree fungus (bakta)," he said. The intestines he took and threw into the bushes and they hung on a tree. "Keep on
hanging as balkapitca (a long blue or black vine found in the bottoms)," he said. Her nose he cut off and carried along, and he took the club and carried that also, going in the direction 
from which the Big Man-eater had come. Presently he heard some girls pounding corn with a pestle and reached the place. When he sat down with them they saw the club and said, "This looks like our grandmother's club." 

"No," he answered, "God sent it to me." They saw her nose and said, "This looks like our grandmother's nose." "No," he answered, "It is a pipe which God sent me." "The club is to tickle people," he said, and he tried to tickle them. "If you all lie down in a straight line, I will tickle you," he said. All lay down, whereupon he stood over them holding the club and cut all of their throats.

Then he asked a boy who was there, "Do you eat human beings who are brought 
here?" "Yes," he said. "Where do you throw their bones?" he asked. "We throw them over there under that tree," he answered. "Go and point out the place." 
So he guided him and he went there. He reached the place and said "Here it is," and there were many human bones piled under that tree. Then the youth shot an arrow up and when it came down said, "Look out! It will stick into you."

"Ofhaha," said the dead man, and awoke and sat down. He shot above the next 
in the same manner and when the arrow descended he awoke and sat down. It went on that way until all came to life.

Then he took them and guided them on. "Do not turn to look behind you," he 
said. He went on, but after they had gone along for a while one looked back and turned into a wildcat. It said "W?'?, w?'?," and disappeared. The others went on for a while, when another turned and looked back. He turned into a 
crow, crying, "a' a' a'" and flew out of sight. After they had gone on for a while longer another one turned and looked back. He turned into a chicken hawk which cried "blank, blank, blank," and flew out of sight. Two others disappeared in the same way until only the first one returned to his place.

Big Owl Chops Off His Manhood
A White Mountain Apache Legend

Long ago they say. This is a story about Big Owl's manhood Up near tl'uk'a-gai (Fort Apache district), there is a big rock called tse-sizm (rock standing up, Saw Tooth Mountain). Big Owl was going along to the foot of this rock. He was carrying his manhood with him and following the trail over by ya-gogaidje-lk'id (a place). He kept on toward tse-sizin, still carrying his manhood with him. In those days it was very long, so long that he had to carry it wrapped around his body. Then he went on down to the 
river (White River). Across the river was a woman going down to 
tse-Hsan'iska-d (a place) above the river on the ridges. 

Big Owl crossed the river, carrying his manhood with him. That woman saw him then. She was very hungry and so she started down a ridge to Big Owl, because she thought that big load Big 

Owl was carrying might be something good to eat. When she got to him she said, "Big Owl, give me some of what you are carrying there." 
"What I'm carrying is no good to eat," said Big Owl.

"Anyway give me some, I'm hungry " the woman said. "You can't eat this," Big Owl said. But the woman told him, "Give me just a little." "All right, turn around, bend over and lift up your dress," Big Owl said. The woman did so, and Big Owl unwrapped his manhood from around his body. 

Then it became stiff,went way out to the woman and knocked her down on the ground. The woman got up and Big Owl wrapped his manhood around himself again.

Then he started to think about this and sat down. "This is no good, the way I can do now, no good at all." Big Owl was thinking that his manhood was too long and that he would like to cut it off. "I'll cut if off sure enough," he thought, and so he started up the side of the hill there to a big rock about the size and shape of. this wickiup. Then he got another rock and carried it up on top of the big rock. On top of the rock he unwrapped his manhood and 
let it hang down over the edge. He looked to see where would be just the right place to cut it off. 

He finally cut it off just between his legs. Now he thought it would be all right to go around this way and he liked it because it was nice and short. What he had cut off, he threw down to the foot of the rock so it was all coiled about the rock at its bottom.

Then he got down and on top of it, all around, he piled up little rocks and also some dirt so no one would see it. He was all right just as he was, good and short, he thought, and so he went on his way. Before, he had to carry a heavy load, but now he had got rid of it and twisted it round the rock. 

Pretty soon he met another man and told him what he had done. This man had a long manhood, just like Big Owl's. But Big Owl said, "I have a short manhood, so from here on that's the way all men will be, because I am that way," and from that time on men had it the way Big Owl had made himself The rock 
where Big Owl cut his manhood off is still there and is called 
mbu'bila-sida- (owl his manhood it sits) because of this story. You can still see the rock on top of the big one, with which Big Owl cut himself. 

Around the base of the big rock his manhood is still coiled and piled on top 
of it are the small rocks and dirt he put there.

Big Turtle's War Party
This version of the legend comes from Stith Thompson's 1929 collection 
Tales of the North American Indian.
A turtle went on the warpath, and as he went along, he met Coyote, who said: 
"And where are you going Grandson?" The turtle said: "I am on the warpath." 

Coyote said: "Where are you going?" "I am going to a camp where there are many people," said the turtle. "Let me see you run," the turtle said. Coyote ran. The turtle said: "You cannot run fast; I do not want you." 

The turtle went on, and he met a fox. "Well, brother," said the fox, "where are you going?" said the fox. "I am going where there are many people," said the turtle. "Can I go with you?" said the fox. The turtle said: "Let me see you run." The fox ran, and he went so fast that the turtle could hardly see him. The turtle said: "You cannot run fast; I do not want you." 

The turtle then went on, and a hawk flew by him, and the hawk heard the turtle say: "I am on the warpath; I am looking for people to join me." The hawk said: "Brother, what did you say?" "I am on the warpath," said the turtle. "Can I join you?" said the hawk. "Let me see you fly your best," said the turtle. The hawk flew so fast that the turtle could not see him for a while. When the hawk came back, the turtle said: "You cannot fly fast; I do not want you." 

Again the turtle went on, and kept crying: "I am on the warpath; I am looking for people to join me." A rabbit jumped up and said: 
"Can I go along?" Let me see you run," said the turtle. The rabbit ran, and ran fast. The turtle said: "You cannot run fast; I do not want you." 

The turtle went on saying: "I am looking for people to join me." Up jumped a flint knife and said: "Brother, can I join you?" "You may if you can run fast," said the turtle; "let me see you run." The knife tried to run, and could not. "You will do," said the turtle; "come with me." 

They went on, and the turtle was saying: "I am looking for people to go on the warpath with me." Up jumped a hairbrush. "What did you say?" said the brush. "I am on the warpath," said the turtle. "Can I go along?" said the brush. The turtle said: "Let me see you run." The brush tried to run, but could not. The turtle said: "You will do; come with us." 

They went on, and the turtle was saying: "I am on the warpath; I am looking for people to join me." Up jumped an awl, and it said: "Can I join you?" 
The turtle said: "Let me see you run." The awl tried to run, but could not. 
"You will do," said the turtle; "come with us." 

So the four went on, and they came to a big camp, and the turtle sent the knife into the camp. The knife went into camp, and one man found it, took it home, and while trying to cut meat the man cut his fingers, and threw the knife at the doorway. The knife went back to the turtle and said: "I was picked up, and while the man was trying to cut meat, I cut his hand and he threw me at he doorway, so I came back." 

The turtle said: "Very well. Now Brush, you go and see what you can do." So the brush went into camp, and a young girl picked it up and commenced to brush her hair. The brush pulled the girl's hair our, so that the girl threw 
the brush at the doorway, and it came back. It said: "Brother Turtle, there is a young girl who has lovely hair. She used me on her head, and I pulled her hair, so she threw me away. See I have her hair here." "Well done," said the turtle. 

"Now, Awl, go and be brave," said the turtle. He awl went into camp, and an old woman picked it up. She began to sew her moccasins, and all at once she stuck the awl in one of her fingers. The woman threw it away, and it came back and said: "Brother Turtle, I hurt a woman badly. She was using me while 
she was sewing her moccasins, and I stuck one of her fingers, she threw me away." "Well done, brothers, now it is my turn." said the turtle. 

The turtle went into camp, and the people saw him and said, "What does this mean? Look at Turtle; he is on the warpath. Let us kill him." So they took him, and the people said: "Let us spread hot coals and put him in there." 

"All right," said the turtle, "that will suit me for I will spread out my legs and burn some of you. People said: "True, let us then put a kettle over the fire, and when the water boils let us put him in." The turtle said: "Good! Put me in, and I will scald some of you." People said: "True! Let us throw him into the stream." 

The turtle said: "No, do not do that. I am afraid, I am afraid!" People said: "He is afraid of water; let us throw him 
in there." But the turtle hallooed the more: "I am afraid! Do not throw me in the water!" So the people threw the turtle in the water. The turtle came up to the surface and said: "I am a cheat. Heyru! Heyru!" poking his tongue out. 

The people picked up the knife, awl and brush and used them. The turtle stayed in the water, and every time the people went to the water, Turtle would say: "I cheated you; water is my home." People would throw stones at it, and it would dive.

Blackfoot Creation Story
A Blackfoot Legend

Old Man came from the south, making the mountains, the prairies, and the forests as he passed along, making the birds and the animals also. He traveled northward making things as he went, putting red paint in the ground here and there --arranging the world as we see it today.

He made the Milk River and crossed it; being tired, he went up on a little hill and lay down to rest. As he lay on his back, stretched out on the grass with his arms extended, he marked his figure with stones. You can see those rocks today, they show the shape of his body, legs, arms and hair.

Going on north after he had rested, he stumbled over a knoll and fell down on his knees. He said aloud, "You are a bad thing to make me stumble so." 

Then he raised up two large buttes there and named them the Knees. They are called the Knees to this day. He went on farther north, and with some of the rocks he carried with him he built the Sweet Grass Hills.

Old Man covered the plains with grass for the animals to feed on. He marked off a piece of ground and in it made all kinds of roots and berries to grow: camas, carrots, turnips, bitterroot, sarvisberries, bull-berries, cherries, plums, and rosebuds. He planted trees, and he put all kinds of animals on the ground.

When he created the bighorn sheep with its big head and horns, he made it out on the prairie. But it did not travel easily on the prairie; it was awkward and could not go fast. So Old Man took it by its horns, led it up into the mountain, and turned it loose. There the bighorn skipped about among the rocks and went up fearful places with ease. 

So Old Man said to it, 
"This is the kind of place that suits you; this is what you are fitted for, the rocks, and the mountains."

While he was in the mountains, he made the antelope out of dirt and turned it loose to see how it would do. It ran so fast that it fell over some rocks and hurt itself. Seeing that the mountains were not the place for it, 

Old Man took the antelope down to the prairie and turned it loose. When he saw it running away fast and gracefully, he said, "This is what you are suited to, the broad prairie."

One day Old Man decided that he would make a woman and a child. So he formed them both of clay, the woman and the child, her son.

After he had molded the clay in human shape, he said to it,"You must be people." And then he covered it up and went away. The next morning he went to the place, took off the covering, looked at the images, and said "Arise and walk." They did so.

 They walked down to the river with their maker, and 
then he told them that his name was Napi, Old Man.

This is how we came to be people. It is he who made us.

The first people were poor and naked, and they did not know how to do anything for themselves. Old Man showed them the roots and berries and said, 
"You can eat these." Then he pointed to certain trees, "When the bark of these trees is young and tender, it is good. Then you can peel it off and eat it."

He told the people that the animals also should be their food. "These are your herds," he said. "All these little animals that live on the ground -- squirrels, rabbits, skunks, beavers, are good to eat. You need not fear to eat their flesh. All the birds that fly, these too, I have made for you, so 
that you can eat of their flesh."

Old Man took the first people over the prairies and through the forests, then the swamps to show them the different plants he had created. He told them what herbs were good for sicknesses, saying often, "The root of this herb or the leaf of this herb, if gathered in a certain month of the year, is good for certain sickness."

In that way the people learned the power of all herbs.

Then he showed them how to make weapons with which to kill the animals for their food. First, he went out and cut some sarvisberry shoots, brought them in, and peeled the bark off them. He took one of the larger shoots, flattened it, tied a string to it, and thus made a bow. Then he caught one of the birds he had made, took feathers from its wing, split them, and tied them to a shaft of wood.

At first he tied four feathers along the shaft, and with this bow sent the arrow toward its mark. But he found that it did not fly well. When he used only three feathers, it went straight to the mark. Then he went out and began to break sharp pieces off the stones. 

When he tied them at the ends of his arrows, he found that the black flint stones, and some white flint, made 
the best arrow points.

When the people had learned to make bow and arrows, Old Man taught them how to shoot animals and birds. Because it is not healthful to eat animals' flesh raw, he showed the first people how to make fire. He gathered soft, dry rotten driftwood and made a punk of it. 

Then he found a piece of hard wood and drilled a hole in it with an arrow point. He gave the first man a pointed piece of hard wood and showed him how to roll it between his hands until sparks came out and the punk caught fire. Then he showed the people how to cook the meat of the animals they had killed and how to eat it.

He told them to get a certain kind of stone that was on the land, while he found a harder stone. With the hard stone he had them hollow out the softer one and so make a kettle. Thus, they made their dishes.

Old Man told the first people how to get spirit power: "Go away by yourself and go to sleep. Something will come to you in your dream that will help you.

It may be some animal. Whatever this animal tells you in your sleep, you must do. Obey it. Be guided by it. If later you want help, if you are traveling alone and cry aloud for help, your prayer will be answered. It may be by an eagle, perhaps by a buffalo, perhaps by a bear. Whatever animal hears your prayer you must listen to it."

That was how the first people got along in the world, by the power given to them in their dreams.

After this, Old Man kept on traveling north. Many of the animals that he had created followed him. They understood when he spoke to them, and they were his servants. When he got to the north point of the Porcupine Mountains, he made some more mud images of people, blew his breath upon them, and they became people, men and women. They asked him, "What are we to eat?"

By way of answer, Old Man made many images of clay in the form of buffalo. 
Then he blew breath upon them and they stood up. When he made signs to them, they started to run. Then he said to the people, 
"Those animals--buffalo--are your food."

"But how can we kill them?" the people asked.

"I will show you," he answered.

He took them to a cliff and told them to build rock piles: "Now hide behind these piles of rocks," he said. "I will lead the buffalo this way. When they are opposite you, rise up."

After telling them what to do, he started toward the herd of buffalo. When he called the animals, they started to run toward him, and they followed him until they were inside the piles of rock. Then Old Man dropped back. As the people rose up, the buffalo ran in a straight line and jumped over the cliff.

"Go down and take the flesh of those animals," said Old Man.

The people tried to tear the limbs apart, but they could not. Old Man went to the edge of the cliff, broke off some pieces with sharp edges, and told the people to cut the flesh with these rocks. They obeyed him. When they had skinned the buffalo, they set up some poles and put the hides on them. Thus they made a shelter to sleep under.

After Old Man had taught the people all these things, he started off again, traveling north until he came to where the Bow and Elbow Rivers meet. There he made some more people and taught them the same things. From there he went farther north. When he had gone almost to the Red Deer River, he was so tired that he lay down on a hill. The form of his body can be seen there yet,
on the top of the hill where he rested.

When he awoke from his sleep, he traveled farther north until he came to a high hill. He climbed to the top of it and there he sat down to rest. As he gazed over the country, he was greatly pleased by it. Looking at the steep hill below him, he said to himself, "This is a fine place for sliding. I will have some fun." And he began to slide down the hill. The marks where he 
slid are to be seen yet, and the place is known to all the Blackfeet tribes 
as "Old Man's Sliding Ground."

Old Man can never die. Long ago he left the Blackfeet and went away toward the west, disappearing in the mountains. Before he started, he said to the people, "I will always take care of you, and some day I will return."

Even today some people think that he spoke the truth and that when he comes back he will bring with him the buffalo, which they believe the white men have hidden. Others remember that before he left them he said that when he returned he would find them a different people. They would be living in a different world, he said, from that which he had created for them and had 
taught them to live in.


Blue Corn Maiden and the Coming of Winter
An Acoma Legend

Blue Corn Maiden was the prettiest of the corn maiden sisters. The Pueblo 
People loved her very much, and loved the delicious blue corn that she gave them all year long. Not only was Blue Corn Maiden beautiful, but she also had a kind and gentle spirit. She brought peace and happiness to the People of the Pueblos.

One cold winter day, Blue Corn Maiden went out to gather firewood. This was something she would not normally do. While she was out of her adobe house, 
she saw Winter Katsina. Winter Katsina is the spirit who brings the winter to the Earth. He wore his blueand-white mask and blew cold wind with his breath. But when Winter Katsina saw Blue Corn Maiden, he loved her at once.

He invited her to come to his house, and she had to go with him. Inside his house, he blocked the windows with ice and the doorway with snow and made Blue Corn Maiden his prisoner. Although Winter Katsina was very kind to Blue Corn Maiden and loved her very much, she was sad living with him. She wanted 
to go back to her own house and make the blue corn grow for the People of 
the Pueblos.

Winter Katsina went out one day to do his duties, and blow cold wind upon the Earth and scatter snow over the mesas and valleys. While he was gone, Blue Corn Maiden pushed the snow away from the doorway, and went out of the house to look for the plants and foods she loved to find in summer. Under 
all the ice and snow, all she found was four blades of yucca.

She took the yucca back to Winter Katsina's house and started a fire. Winter Katsina would not allow her to start a fire when he was in the house.

When the fire was started, the snow in the doorway fell away and in walked Summer Katsina. Summer Katsina carried in one hand fresh corn and in the other many blades of yucca. He came toward his friend Blue Corn Maiden.

Just then, Winter Katsina stormed through the doorway followed by a roar of winter wind. Winter Katsina carried an icicle in his right hand, which he held like a flint knife, and a ball of ice in his left hand, which he wielded like a hand- axe. It looked like Winter Katsina intended to fight with Summer Katsina.

As Winter Katsina blew a blast of cold air, Summer Katsina blew a warm breeze. When Winter Katsina raised his icicle-knife, Summer Katsina raised his bundle of yucca leaves, and they caught fire. The fire melted the icicle.

Winter Katsina saw that he needed to make peace with Summer Katsina, not war. 
The two sat and talked.

They agreed that Blue Corn Maiden would live among the People of the Pueblos and give them her blue corn for half of the year, in the time of Summer Katsina. The other half of the year, Blue Corn Maiden would live with Winter Katsina and the People would have no corn.

Blue Corn Maiden went away with Summer Katsina, and he was kind to her. She became the sign of springtime, eagerly awaited by the People.

Sometimes, when spring has come already, Winter Katsina will blow cold wind suddenly, or scatter snow when it is not the snow time. He does this just to show how displeased he is to have to give up Blue Corn Maiden for half of the year.

Blue Jay and Lizard and the Grizzly-Bears
An Achomawi Legend

Some Grizzly-Bears lived in a sweat-house near where Blue jay and Lizard lived. These latter had all kinds of food stored in bags of tule. The Grizzly-Bears had only acorns, and used to have to go to the other house to 
get salmon and meat. A Grizzly-Bear went over at sundown and sat down, saying, "I was sent over for scraps;" then Blue jay would say, "All right, get out some salmon," and Lizard would give Grizzly-Bear a large pile of it.

When he got back home, the others would say, "They always give us a lot." 
In the morning another Grizzly went, and came back with a huge basket of pine-nuts; and in the evening then another would go, to get a lot of sunflower-seeds. In this way Blue jay and Lizard gave away all the food they 
had, and began to get hungry. Lizard, however, had been afraid that this would happen, so he had hidden ten salmon under his pillow while Blue jay had gone after wood one day. When all the rest of the food was gone, Lizard produced this reserve supply, and the two lived on this for a time. 

The Grizzly-Bears had saved much of the food they had begged, and feasted while the others were starving. The Grizzly-Bears hoped the others would die.

Blue jay soon got very weak, but Lizard was still able to get about. One day Lizard covered up the coals with ashes in their house, closed the smoke-hole,and, taking his knife, crept over to the house where the Grizzly-Bears were, all asleep. Lizard looked in and saw all the food they had there in storage.
Then he went into the house, picked out the largest Grizzly-Bear, crawled into his anus, and cut out his heart. He brought the heart out, then skinned the body of the bear, the others meanwhile sleeping on. Lizard baked the liver quickly in the ashes, and ate it, then, leaning a pole up against the door, he walked on this, so that the Grizzly-Bears could not see his tracks. 
He took all the Grizzly-Bear meat home with him, and one basket of acorns. 

He found Blue jay almost dead; but he cooked some meat, and gave him some, and, after getting a little stronger, he was able to eat a great deal; and the two ate nearly all night.

In the morning the Grizzly-Bears woke up, and missed one of their number, but thought he had merely gone out of the house for a time. So they were not worried, but built a fire and sweated. Lizard and Blue jay kept quiet in their house, and did not move out. Every night Lizard did the same thing, killing one of the Bears until he had killed four of them, - two on each side of the door as they slept. The Grizzly-Bears did not suspect what the 
trouble was, for they thought both Lizard and Blue jay were dead. Thus Lizard and Blue jay lived through the winter.

Brave Woman Counts Coup
 White River Lakota 

Over a hundred years ago, when many of the Lakota people were still living in what now is Minnesota, there was a band of Hunkpapa at Spirit Lake under a chief called Tawa Makoce,meaning His Country.

 It was his country, too - Indian country, until they were finally driven across the Mni Shoshay: The Big Muddy, the Missouri.

 In his youth the chief had been one of the greatest warriors. Later when his fighting days were over,he was known as a wise leader, invaluable in council, and as a great giver of feasts, a provider for the poor.

 The chief had three sons and one daughter. The sons tried to be warriors as mighty as their father, but that was a hard thing to do. Again and again they battled the Crow Indians with reckless bravery, exposing themselves in the front rank, fighting hand to hand, until one by one they all were killed.

 Now only his daughter was left to the sad old chief. Some say her name was Makhta. Others call her Winyan Ohitika, Brave Woman.

 The girl was beautiful and proud. Many young men sent their fathers to the old chief with gifts of fine horses that were preliminary to marriage 

 Among those who desired her for a wife was a young warrior named Red Horn, himself the son of a chief, who sent his father again and again to ask for her hand. But Brave Woman would not marry.

 "I will not take a husband," she said, "until I have counted coup on the Crows to avenge my dead brothers."

Another young man who loved Brave Woman was Wanblee Cikala, or Little Eagle. 
He was too shy to declare his love, because he was a poor boy who had never been able to distinguish himself.

 At this time the Kangi Oyate, the Crow nation, made a great effort to establish themselves along the banks of the upper Missouri in country which the Sioux considered their own.

 The Sioux decide to send out a strong war party to chase them back, and among the young men riding out were Red Horn and Little Eagle.

"I shall ride with you," Brave Woman said.

 She put on her best dress of white buckskin richly decorated with beads and porcupine quills, and around her neck she wore a choker of dentalium shells. She went to the old chief.

 "Father," she said, "I must go to the place where my brothers died. I must count coup for them. Tell me that I can go."

 The old chief wept with pride and sorrow. "You are my last child," he said, "and I fear for you and for a lonely old age without children to comfort me. 

But your mind has long been made up. I see that you must go; do it quickly. 
Wear my war-bonnet into battle. Go and do not look back."

 And so his daughter, taking her brothers' weapons and her father's war-bonnet and best war pony, rode out with the warriors.

 They found an enemy village so huge that it seemed to contain the whole Crow nation - hundreds of men and thousands of horses. There were many more Crows than Sioux, but the Sioux attacked nevertheless.

 Brave Woman was a sight to stir the warriors to great deeds. To Red Horn she gave her oldest brother's lance and shield. "Count coup for my dead brother," she said. To Little Eagle she gave her second brother's bow and arrows. "Count coup for him who owned these," she told him. To another young warrior she gave her youngest brother's war club. She herself carried only 
her father's old, curved coup-stick wrapped in otter fur.

 At first Brave Woman held back from the fight. She supported the Sioux by singing brave-heart songs and by making the shrill, trembling war cry with which Indian women encourage their men.

 But when the Sioux, including her own warriors from the Hunkpapa band, were driven back by overwhelming numbers, she rode into the midst of the battle. She did not try to kill her enemies, but counted coup left and right, touching them with her coup-stick. With a woman fighting so bravely among them, what Sioux warrior could think of retreat? 

Still, the press of the Crow and their horses drove the Sioux back a second time. Brave Woman's horse was hit by a musket bullet and went down. She was on foot, defenseless, when Red Horn passed her on his speckled pony. She was too proud to call out for help, and he pretended not to see her.

 Then Little Eagle came riding toward her out of the dust of battle. He dismounted and told her to get on his horse. She did, expecting him to climb up behind her, but he would not.

 "This horse is wounded and too weak to carry us both," he said. 
"I won't leave you to be killed," she told him.

 He took her brother's bow and struck the horse sharply with it across the rump. The horse bolted, as he intended, and Little Eagle went back into battle on foot. Brave Woman herself rallied the warriors for a final charge, 
which they made with such fury that the Crows had to give way at last.

 This was the battle in which the Crow nation was driven away from the Missouri for good. It was a great victory, but many brave young men died. 
Among them was Little Eagle, struck down with his face to the enemy.

 The Lakota warriors broke Red Horn's bow, took his eagle feathers from him, and sent him home.

 But they placed the body of Little Eagle on a high scaffold on the spot where the enemy camp had been. 
They killed his horse to serve him in the land of many lodges.

 "Go willingly," they told the horse. "Your master has need of you in the spirit world."

 Brave Woman gashed her arms and legs with a sharp knife. She cut her hair short and tore her white buckskin dress. Thus she mourned for Little Eagle. 
They had not been man and wife; in fact he had hardly dared speak to her or look at her, but now she asked everybody to treat her as if she were the young warrior's widow.

 Brave Woman never took a husband, and she never ceased to mourn for Little Eagle.

 "I am his widow," she told everyone. She died of old age. She had done a great thing, and her fame endures.

Buffalo Woman ... a story of magic ...

Snow Bird, the Caddo medicine man, had a handsome son. When the boy was old enough to be given a man's name, Snow Bird called him Braveness because of his courage as a hunter. Many of the girls in the Caddo village wanted to win Braveness as a husband, but he paid little attention to any of them.

One morning he started out for a day of hunting, and while he was walking along looking for wild game, he saw someone ahead of him sitting under a small elm tree. As he approached, he was surprised to find that the person was a young woman, and he started to turn aside.

"Come here," she called to him in a pleasant voice. Braveness went up to her and saw that she was very young and very beautiful.
"I knew you were coming here," she said, "and so I came to meet you."
"You are not of my people," he replied. "How did you know that I was coming 
this way?"
"I am Buffalo Woman," she said. "I have seen you many times before, from afar. I want you to take me home with you and let me stay with you."
"I can take you home with me," Braveness answered her, "but you must ask my 
parents if you can stay with us."

They started for his home at once, and when they arrived there Buffalo Woman asked Braveness's parents if she could stay with them and become the young man's wife. "If Braveness wants you for his wife, we will be pleased," said Snow Bird, the medicine man. "It is time that he had someone to love."

And so Braveness and Buffalo Woman were married in the custom of the Caddo people and lived happily together for several moons. One day she asked him, 
"Will you do whatever I may ask of you, Braveness?"
"Yes," he replied, "if what you ask is not unreasonable."
"I want you to go with me to visit my people."

Braveness said that he would go, and the next day they started for her home, she leading the way. After they had walked a long distance they came to some high hills, and all at once she turned round and looked at Braveness and said: "You promised me that you would do anything I say."
"Yes," he answered.

"Well," she said, "my home is on the other side of this high hill. I will tell you when we get to my mother. I know there will be many coming there to see who you are, and some may provoke you and try to make you angry, but do not allow yourself to become angry with any of them. Some may try to kill you."
"Why should they do that?" asked Braveness.

"Listen to what I am about to tell you," she said. "I knew you before you knew me. Through magic I made you come to me that first day. I said that some will try to make you angry, and if you show anger at even one of them, the others will join in fighting you until they have killed you. They will be jealous of you. The reason is that I refused many who wanted me."
"But you are now my wife," Braveness said.
"I have told you what to do when we get there," Buffalo Woman continued. 
"Now I want you to lie down on the ground and roll over twice."

Braveness smiled at her, but he did as she had told him to do. He rolled over twice, and when he stood up he found himself changed into a Buffalo.

For a moment Buffalo Woman looked at him, seeing the astonishment in his eyes. Then she rolled over twice, and she also became a Buffalo. Without saying a word she led him to the top of the hill. In the valley off to the west, Braveness could see hundreds and hundreds of Buffalo.

"They are my people," said Buffalo Woman. "This is my home."
When the members of the nearest herd saw Braveness and Buffalo Woman coming, they began gathering in one place, as though waiting for them. Buffalo Woman led the way, Braveness following her until they reached an old Buffalo cow, and he knew that she was the mother of his beautiful wife.

For two moons they stayed with the herd. Every now and then, four or five of the young Buffalo males would come around and annoy Braveness, trying to arouse his anger, but he pretended not to notice hem. One night, Buffalo Woman told him that she was ready to go back to his home, and they slipped away over the hills.

When they reached the place where they had turned themselves into Buffalo, they rolled over twice on the ground and became a man and a woman again. 
"Promise me that you will not tell anyone of this magical transformation,
" Buffalo Woman said. "If people learn about it, something bad will happen to us."

They stayed at Braveness's home for twelve moons, and then Buffalo Woman asked him again to go with her to visit her people. They had not been long in the valley of the Buffalo when she told Braveness that the young males who were jealous of him were planning to have a foot-race. "They will challenge you to race and if you do not outrun them they will kill you," 
she said.

That night Braveness could not sleep. He went out to take a long walk. It was a very dark night without moon or stars, but he could feel the presence of the Wind spirit.
"You are young and strong," the Wind spirit whispered to him, "but you cannot outrun the Buffalo without my help. If you lose, they will kill you. 
If you win, they will never challenge you again.
"What must I do to save my life and keep my beautiful wife?" asked Braveness.
The Wind spirit gave him two things. "One of these is a magic herb," said the Wind spirit. "The other is dried mud from a medicine wallow. If the Buffalo catch up with you, first throw behind you the magic herb. If they come too close to you again, throw down the dried mud."

The next day was the day of the race. At sunrise the young Buffalo gathered at the starting place. When Braveness joined them, they began making fun of him, telling him he was a man buffalo and therefore had not the power to outrun them. Braveness ignored their jeers, and calmly lined up with them 
at the starting point.

An old Buffalo started the race with a loud bellow, and at first Braveness took the lead, running very swiftly. But soon the others began gaining on him, and when he heard their hard breathing close upon his heels, he threw the magic herb behind him.

By this time he was growing very tired and thought he could not run any more. He looked back and saw one Buffalo holding his head down and coming very fast, rapidly closing the space between him and Braveness. Just as this Buffalo was about to catch up with him, Braveness threw down the dried mud from the medicine wallow.

Soon he was far ahead again, but he knew that he had used up the powers given him by the Wind spirit. As he neared the goal set for the race, he heard the pounding of hooves coming closer behind him. 

At the last moment, he felt a strong wind on his face as it passed him to stir up dust and keep the Buffalo from overtaking him. With the help of the Wind spirit, Braveness crossed the goal first and won the race. After that, none of the Buffalo ever challenged him again, and he and Buffalo Woman lived peacefully with the herd until they were ready to return to his Caddo people.
Not long after their return to Braveness's home, Buffalo Woman gave birth to a handsome son. They named him Buffalo Boy, and soon he was old enough to play with the other children of the village. One day while Buffalo Woman was cooking dinner, the boy slipped out of the lodge and went to join some other children at play. They played several games and then decided to play 
that they were Buffalo. Some of them lay on the ground to roll like Buffalo, and Buffalo Boy also did this. When he rolled over twice, he changed into a real Buffalo calf. Frightened by this, the other children ran for their lodges.

About this time his mother came out to look for him, and when she saw the children running in fear she knew that something must be wrong. She went to see what had happened and found her son changed into a Buffalo calf. Taking him up in her arms, she ran down the hill, and as soon as she was out of sight of the village she turned herself into a Buffalo and with Buffalo Boy 
started off toward the west.

Late that evening when Braveness returned from hunting he could find neither his wife nor his son in the lodge. He went out to look for them, and someone told him of the game the children had played and of the magic that had changed his son into a Buffalo calf.

At first, Braveness could not believe what they told him, but after he had followed his wife's tracks down the hill and found the place where she had rolled he knew the story was true. For many moons, Braveness searched for Buffalo Woman and Buffalo Boy, but he never found them again.


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