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Monday, 8 December 2014

Three stories from the Soux

Three stories from the Soux
Hi dear friends and followers.

North Dakota is the ancestral home of more than one Sioux Peoples: the Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota. They are related by language, customs, and political alliances.

The Sioux lived on the Great Plains and were hunters that followed the buffalo and other animals in their annual migrations. This lifestyle made them rather nomadic in comparison to successful farmers, like the Iroquois or the Powhatan, who cultivated the land and hunted or fished when game was in-season.

The stories presented here are taken from Myths and Legends of the Sioux by Marie L. McLaughlin, published in 1916. To the best of my knowledge the copyright of this work has expired.

A brief note concerning the mention of the Arikara People in the first line of the story of the Forgotten Ear of Corn: During the sedentary seasons, the Arikara lived primarily in villages of earth lodges. While traveling or during the seasonal bison hunts, they erected portable tipis as temporary shelter. They were primarily an agricultural society, whose women cultivated varieties of corn (or maize). The crop was such an important staple of their society that it was referred to as "Mother Corn".


THE FORGOTTEN EAR OF CORN

An Arikara woman was once gathering corn from the field to store away for winter use. She passed from stalk to stalk, tearing off the ears and dropping them into her folded robe. When all was gathered she started to go, when she heard a faint voice, like a child's, weeping and calling:

"Oh, do not leave me! Do not go away without me."

The woman was astonished. "What child can that be?" she asked herself. "What babe can be lost in the cornfield?"

She set down her robe in which she had tied up her corn, and went back to search; but she found nothing.

As she started away she heard the voice again:

"Oh, do not leave me. Do not go away without me."

She searched for a long time. At last in one corner of the field, hidden under the leaves of the stalks, she found one little ear of corn. This it was that had been crying, and this is why all Indian women have since garnered their corn crop very carefully, so that the succulent food product should not even to the last small nubbin be neglected or wasted, and thus displease the Great Mystery.


THE LITTLE MICE

Once upon a time a prairie mouse busied herself all fall storing away a cache of beans. Every morning she was out early with her empty cast-off snake skin, which she filled with ground beans and dragged home with her teeth.

The little mouse had a cousin who was fond of dancing and talk, but who did not like to work. She was not careful to get her cache of beans and the season was already well gone before she thought to bestir herself. When she came to realize her need, she found she had no packing bag. So she went to her hardworking cousin and said:

"Cousin, I have no beans stored for winter and the season is nearly gone. But I have no snake skin to gather the beans in. Will you lend me one?"

"But why have you no packing bag? Where were you in the moon when the snakes cast off their skins?"

"I was here."

"What were you doing?"

"I was busy talking and dancing."

"And now you are punished," said the other. "It is always so with lazy, careless people. But I will let you have the snake skin. And now go, and by hard work and industry, try to recover your wasted time."


THE PET RABBIT

A little girl owned a pet rabbit which she loved dearly. She carried it on her back like a babe, made for it a little pair of moccasins, and at night shared with it her own robe.

Now the little girl had a cousin who loved her very dearly and wished to do her honor; so her cousin said to herself:

"I love my little cousin well and will ask her to let me carry her pet rabbit around;" (for thus do Indian women when they wish to honor a friend; they ask permission to carry about the friend's babe).

She then went to the little girl and said:

"Cousin, let me carry your pet rabbit about on my back. Thus shall I show you how I love you."

Her mother, too, said to her: "Oh no, do not let our little grandchild go away from our tepee."

But the cousin answered: "Oh, do let me carry it. I do so want to show my cousin honor." At last they let her go away with the pet rabbit on her back.

When the little girl's cousin came home to her tepee, some rough boys who were playing about began to make sport of her. To tease the little girl they threw stones and sticks at the pet rabbit. At last a stick struck the little rabbit upon the head and killed it.

When her pet was brought home dead, the little rabbit's adopted mother wept bitterly. She cut off her hair for mourning and all her little girl friends wailed with her. Her mother, too, mourned with them.

"Alas!" they cried, "alas, for the little rabbit. He was always kind and gentle. Now your child is dead and you will be lonesome."

The little girl's mother called in her little friends and made a great mourning feast for the little rabbit. As he lay in the tepee his adopted mother's little friends brought many precious things and covered his body. At the feast were given away robes and kettles and blankets and knives and great wealth in honor of the little rabbit. Him they wrapped in a robe with his little moccasins on and buried him in a high place upon a scaffold.

Thank you again for dropping by and taking a few minutes to read the Native American Legends and myths I would appreciate knowing what your thoughts are on it. Thank you and have a wonderful Saturday.

ڰۣIn Loving Light from the Fairy Ladyڰۣ


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