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       Native American Stories,Legends & Folk Lore
'Siyo (Hello) I hope that you all enjoy these wonderful stories.  Wado (Thank you) to Blue Panter for sharing these with us. 
Hundreds of years ago, in the shelter of the Yo Semite valley, lived Tu-tok-a-nula and his tribe. He was a wise
 Chief, trusted and loved by his people, always setting the right example by preserving crops and game for the 
While he was hunting one day, he saw the lovely guardian spirit of the valley for the first time. His people called 
her Ti-sa-yac. Tu-tok-a-nula felt she was the most beautiful creature he had ever seen. Her skin was like milk, 
her hair was golden as the afternoon sun, and her eyes were bluer than the sky. Her voice, as sweet as the song 
of the thrush, drew him toward her. But as he reached out to her she rose up toward the heavens and vanished. 
From that moment, the Chief knew no peace and he no longer cared for the well-being of his people. 
Without his guidance, Yo Semite became like a desert. When Ti-sa-yac came again after a long time, she 
broke into tears. Bushes were growing where corn had once flourished, and bears foraged where the huts 
had been. On a mighty dome of rock, she knelt and prayed to the Great Spirit above, asking him to restore 
virtue to the land. 
The Great Spirit granted her pleas. Stooping from the sky, he spread new life of green on the valley floor. He
 struck a thunderous blow against the mountains and broke a pathway for all the melting snow to flow. The 
water ran and danced downward, collecting in a lake below and flowing off to gladden other land. 
The birds returned with their songs, the flowering plants began to blossom once more, and corn soon grew tall. 
When the Yo Semite people returned to their valley, they gave the name of Ti-sa-yac to what is now called 
South Dome, where the guardian spirit had knelt and prayed. 
Then the Chief came home again. When he heard what the beautiful spirit maiden had done, his love for her 
became stronger than ever. Climbing to the top of a rock that rose thousands of feet below the valley, he carved
 his likeness into the stone with his hunting knife. He wanted his tribe to remember him after he departed from 
the earth. 
Tired from his work, the Chief sat at the foot of Bridal Veil Fall. Suddenly he saw a rainbow arching over the 
figure of Ti-sa-yac, who was shining from the water. She smiled and beckoned to him. With a cry of joy, 
Tu-tok-a-nula leapt into the waterfall and disappeared with his beloved. 
The rainbow quivered on the cascading water, and the sun set. 

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. 

Cornhusk dolls - Mohawk
There was a time when all corn husk dolls had faces. They were sent by the Creator to be the playmate of the children. 
One day when they were in the woods, the Cornhusk doll discovered a pond. Looking into the pond she saw her 
reflection. She knelt down and began to admire herself and forgot about the children. Soon the children were in danger
 and the corn husk doll was no where to be found...The Creator saw her and told her, 'You were given a job to protect 
the children and you forgot your instructions!'. As punishment he took away her face and said 'from now on, corn husk 
dolls will have no face'. The lesson to be learned is that we should not be too preoccupied with our looks. It is more
 important to develop our minds and have a good heart. From that point on corn husk dolls were made without faces. 
Tammy Tarbell, 

The Spirit Of Little Deer
Traditional Cherokee Legend 
  Little Deer was the protector of the deer. The Cherokee hunters were instructed in the ways of hunting the deer and 
prayed to the Deer Spirit for pardon when they were killed for food. If a hunter killed a deer needlessly and without 
asking the Deer Spirit's pardon, Little Deer would track down the hunter and give him rheumatism so that he could 
hunt no more. 
Grief... It is understood that loneliness is common among the People. We all long for our mother... Mother Earth. 
We come from our Mother and when we shall pass on we shall return to our Mother. It is so good to know this - 
for when we do, we become related to all things... and we come home to Mother Earth for rest. Have you ever 
wondered how Mother Earth feels for her children? Well, long ago in Apache land, land that is now called Arizona
 something took place that a lot of people don't know about. It concerns those real small, black, shiny rocks called 
Apache Tears. Have you ever wondered why they are called that and where they come from? Well, here is what 
happened. The Apache people were under attack, they were out numbered, and most of them had fallen. The 
elderly, the women and children were backed up against a cliff overlooking Salt River Canyon. Rather than allow 
themselves to be taken captive they started jumping off to their death - one, by one, by one. After it wa!
s over it wasn't long before the land... the whole cliffside started to cry, weep and morn. Those little shiny black 
rock-tears fell, hit bottom, and splattered into piles. To this day the rock-tears continue to fall on Apache land 
and through out the entire Southwest... people carry them away in bottles and in their pockets but the tears still 
come. Yes, the love of Mother for her children is alive... ever growing... ever evident for us to see, know, and embrace.
The Story of The Drum
It is said that when Creator was giving a place for all the spirits 
to dwell who would be taking part in the inhabitance of Mother Earth, 
there came a sound . . . a loud BOOM, from off in the distance. As 
Creator listened, the sound kept coming closer and closer until it 
finally it was right in front of Creator.
"Who are you?" asked Creator.
"I am the spirit of the drum" was the reply. I have come here to ask 
you to allow me to take part in this wonderful thing."
"How will you take part?" Creator questioned.
" I would like to accompany the singing of the people. When they sing 
from their hearts, I will to sing as though I was the heartbeat of 
Mother Earth. In that way, all creation will sing in harmony."
Creator granted the request, and from then on, the drum accompanied 
the people's voices. Throughout all of the indigenous peoples of the 
world, the drum is the center of all songs. It is the catalyst for 
the spirit of the songs to rise up to the Creator so that the prayers 
in those songs reach where they were meant to go.
At all times, the sound of the drum brings completeness, awe, 
excitement, solemnity, strength, courage, and the fulfillment to the 
songs. It is Mother's heartbeat giving her approval to those living 
upon her. It draws the eagle to it, who carries the message to 
Creator. It changes people's lives!
Many, many years ago turtle was the designated "keeper of the waters." You could see him 
as he swam about his duties. His shell was made up of solid plates of red, black, white, or yellow
 color. He was very distinctive and visible. All the animals respected and honored the turtle... 
all except one, 'ole coyote.' One day turtle was out sunning himself and coyote came along and 
ate turtle up. Of course all the waters, ponds, streams, and rivers started to dry up and become 
stale and unclean. The animals hurriedly gathered from all four directions to coyote and pleaded, 
"Please, please bring back turtle... surely we will all perish... the waters... the cool clear water... 
please, please..." So coyote finally conceded and "threw-up" turtle. The animals immediately began 
to piece turtle back together the best they could. It worked. The shell came together to become a 
beautiful mosaic blend of many, many colors... extremely shiny and beautiful. Each plate shined with the !
remains and debris of all the colors. And sure enough turtle came back to life. And when he did, 
the water came back, too. The waters flowed again... tumbling down from the mountains and 
rippling out clear, clean, and pure.
In the beginning, the Deer had no horns, but his head was smooth just like a doe's. He was a great
 runner and the Rabbit was a great jumper, and the animals were all curious to know which could go 
farther in the same time. They talked about it a good deal, and at last arranged a match between the two,
 and made a nice large pair of antlers for a prize to the winner. They were to start together from one 
side of a thicket and go through it, then turn and come back, and the one who came out first was to 
get the horns.
On the day fixed all the animals were there, with the antlers put down on the ground at the edge of 
the thicket to mark the starting point. While everybody was admiring the horns the Rabbit said: 
"I don't know this part of the country; I want to take a look through the bushes where I am to run." 
They thought that was all right, so the Rabbit went into the thicket, but he was gone so long that at 
last the animals suspected he must be up to one of his tricks. They sent a messenger to look for him, 
and away in the middle of the thicket he found the Rabbit gnawing down the bushes and pulling 
them away until he had a road cleared nearly to the other side.
The messenger turned around quietly and came back and told the other animals. When the Rabbit 
came out at last they accused him of cheating, but he denied it until they went into the thicket 
and found the cleared road. They agreed that such a trickster had no right to enter the race at 
all, so they gave the horns to the Deer, who was admitted to be the best runner, and he has 
worn them ever since. They told the Rabbit that as he was so fond of cutting down bushes
 he might do that for a living hereafter, and so he does to this day.
The Bat
Modoc, California
Once there was war between beasts and birds. Bat was on birds' side. In the 
first battle, the birds were badly beaten. As soon as Bat saw that the battle 
was going against them, he crept away, hid under a log, and stayed there till 
the fight was over. When the animals were going home. Bat slipped in among 
them. After they had gone some distance, they saw him and asked one another: 
"How is this? Bat is one of the men who fought against us? "Bat heard them and 
he said: "Oh, no! I am one of you; I don't belong to the bird people. Did you 
ever see one of those people who had double teeth, you can say that I belong 
to the bird people. But I don't; I am one of your own people. "They didn't say 
anything more; they let Bat stay with them. Soon after, there was another 
battle; in that battle birds won. As Bat's side was getting beaten, he 
slipped away and hid under a log. When the battle was over and birds were 
going home, Bat went in among them. When they noticed him, they said: "You are 
our enemy; we saw you fighting against us." "Oh, no," said Bat, "I am one of 
you; I don't belong to those beasts. Did you ever see one of those people who 
had wings? "They didn't say anything more; they let him stay with them. So Bat 
went back and forth as long as the war lasted. At the end of the war, birds 
and beasts held a council to see what to do with him. At last they said to 
Bat: "Hereafter, you will fly around alone at night, and you will never have 
any friends, either among those that fly, or those that walk."
The Origin of Strawberries - Cherokee
When the first man was created and a mate was given to him, they lived
together very happily for a time, but then began to quarrel, until at last
the woman left her husband and started off toward "Nundagunyi" the Sun
in the east. The man followed alone and grieving, but the woman kept on
steadily ahead and never looked behind, until "Unelanunhi," the great
Apportioner (The Sun), took pity on him and asked him if he was still
with his wife. He said he was not, and "Unelanunhi" then asked him if he
would like to have her back again, to which he eagerly answered yes.
So "Unelanunhi" caused a patch of the finest ripe huckleberries to spring
along the path in front of the woman, but she passed by without paying any
attention to them. Farther on he put a clump of blackberries, but these
she refused to notice. Other fruits, one, two, and three, and then some
trees covered with beautiful red service berries, were placed beside the
path to tempt her, but she will went on until suddenly she saw in front a
patch of large ripe strawberries, the first ever known. She stooped to
gather a few to eat, and as she picked them she chanced to turn her face
the west, and at once the memory of her husband came back to her and she
found herself unable to go on. She sat down, but the longer she waited the
stronger became her desire for her husband, and at last she gathered a
of the finest berries and started back along the path to give them to him.
met her kindly and they went home together.
>From History, Myths and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees by James Mooney
(The Cherokee word for strawberry is "a-ni." The rich bottom lands of the
old Cherokee country were noted for their abundance of strawberries and
other wild fruits. Today strawberries are often kept in Cherokee homes.
remind us not to argue and are a symbol of good luck).
Dance of The Blue Blanket
by Barbara Warren 
(a contemporary story based on a true incident)
Nadia was four years old...and she loved Indians. Everything about Indians excited her. 
One day Nadia's grandmother came for a visit. Grandmother recalled those old stories the 
family told of Cherokee blood. So Grandmother decided to take Nadia, along with Nadia's 
mother and baby brother, to her first pow wow. 
Little Nadia stood at the edge of the Circle. She watched with awe as the dancers passed 
by her dressed in their beautiful clothing. She listened intently to the drum, her knees 
dipping with the beat and Nadia knew she wanted to dance. But there were so many
 kinds of dances going on. She watched the men; then the women. She lifted one foot, 
then the other, puzzled about just what she should do with her feet. 
Nadia felt a tap on her shoulder. Looking up she saw a smiling woman dressed in
 beautiful clothing holding out her hand toward Nadia. Nadia hesitated and glanced 
at her grandmother for approval. Grandmother's eyes smiled, "Yes." 
So Nadia accepted the hand of the stranger and together they danced and danced 
around the Circle. After a while, Nadia began to dance on her own. As Grandmother 
watched, Nadia started to twirl and whirl holding her arms up high in the air in imitation 
of the lovely fancy shawl dancers. 
Grandmother beckoned to Nadia. She gave her a small blue blanket belonging to 
Nadia's baby brother. Nadia placed the blanket around her shoulders and began to 
dance with it in the Circle, the blue blanket twirling and whirling about her like the 
wings of a butterfly. 
She felt another tap on her shoulder, and there stood a different woman, and in 
her out-stretched hand she held a child-sized fringed shawl. Nadia glanced at 
Grandmother for approval. Grandmother's eyes smiled, "Yes." 
So Nadia accepted the gift from the stranger. She placed the fringed shawl 
about her shoulders and then began to dance, the fringed shawl twirling and 
whirling about her like the wings of a butterfly. 
Nadia danced in honor of all those ancestors who had come before and 
with the pure joy of being a little girl at her very first pow wow. 

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.
How Mosquitoes Came To Be Tlinget Tribe 
Long time ago there was a giant who loved to kill humans, eat their flesh, 
and drink their blood. He was especially fond of human hearts. "Unless we can 
get rid of the giant," people said, "none of us will be left," and they 
called a council to discuss ways and means. One man said, "I think I know how 
to kill the monster," and he went to the place where the giant had last been 
seen. There he lay down and pretended to be dead. Soon the giant came along. 
Seeing the man lying there, he said: "These humans are making it easy for me. 
Now I don't even have to catch and kill them; they die right on my trail, 
probably from fear of me! "The giant touched the body. Ah, good, he said, 
"this one is still warm and fresh. What a tasty meal he'll make; I can't wait 
to roast his heart. "The giant flung the man over his shoulder, and the man 
let his head hang down as if he were dead. Carrying the man home, the giant 
dropped him in the middle of the floor right near the fireplace. Then he saw 
that there was no firewood, and went to get some. As soon as the monster had 
left, the man got up and grabbed the giant's huge skinning knife. Just then 
the giant's son came in, bending low to enter. He was still small as giants 
go, and the man held the big knife to his throat. "Quick, tell me, where's 
your father's heart? Tell me or I'll slit your throat! "The giant's son was 
scared. He said: "My father's heart is in his left heel. "Just then the 
giant's left foot appeared in the entrance, and the man swiftly plunged the 
knife into the heel. The monster screamed and fell down dead. Yet, the giant 
still spoke. "Though I'm dead, though you killed me, I'm going to keep on 
eating you and all the humans in the world forever! "That's what you think!" 
said the man. "I'm about to make sure that you never eat anyone again." He 
cut the giant's body into pieces and burned each one in the fire. Then he 
took the ashes and threw them into the air for the winds to scatter. 
Instantly each of the particles turned into a mosquito. The cloud of ashes 
became a cloud of mosquitoes, and from their midst the man heard the giant's 
voice laughing, saying: "Yes, Ill eat you people until the end of time. "As 
the monster spoke, the man felt a sting, and a mosquito started sucking his 
blood, and then many mosquitoes stung him, and he began to scratch himself.
Taken from "American Indian Myths and Legends" 
How the Fly Saved the River - Ojibway
  Many, many years ago when the world was new, there was a beautiful river. Fish
in great numbers lived in this river, and its water was so pure and sweet that all the 
animals came there to drink. 
  A giant moose heard about the river and he too came there to drink. But he was 
so big, and he drank so much, that soon the water began to sink lower and lower. 
  The beavers were worried. The water around their lodges was disappearing. Soon 
their homes would be destroyed. 
  The muskrats were worried, too. What would they do if the water vanished? How 
could they live? 
  The fish were very worried. The other animals could live on land if the water dried 
up, but they couldn't. 
  All the animals tried to think of a way to drive the moose from the river, but he was 
so big that they were too afraid to try. Even the bear was afraid of him. 
  At last the fly said he would try to drive the moose away. All the animals laughed 
and jeered. How could a tiny fly frighten a giant moose? The fly said nothing, but that 
day, as soon as the moose appeared, he went into action.
  He landed on the moose's foreleg and bit sharply. The moose stamped his foot harder, 
and each time he stamped, the ground sank and the water rushed in to fill it up. Then the
 fly jumped about all over the moose, biting and biting and biting until the moose was in 
a frenzy. He dashed madly about the banks of the river, shaking his head, stamping his
 feet, snorting and blowing, but he couldn't get rid of that pesky fly. At last the moose
 fled from the river, and didn't come back. 
  The fly was very proud of his achievement, and boasted to the other animals, "Even 
the small can fight the strong if they use their brains to think."


Medicine Wheel 
The Medicine Wheel is representative of
American Indian Spirituality. 
The Medicine Wheel symbolizes the individual
journey we each must take to find our own path.
Within the Medicine Wheel are The Four Cardinal
Directions and the Four Sacred Colors. The Circle
represents the Circle of Life and the Center of the
Circle, the Eternal Fire. The Eagle, flying toward the
East, is a symbol of strength, endurance and vision.
East signifies the renewal of life and the rebirth of
Cherokee unity. 
East = Red = success; triumph
North = Blue = defeat; trouble
West = Black = death
South = White = peace; happiness 
There are three additional sacred directions:
Up Above = Yellow
Down Below = Brown
Here in the Center = Green 

Winter = go-la
The color for North is Blue which represents sadness, defeat.
It is a season of survival and waiting.
The Cherokee word for North means "cold" u-yv-tlv. 
Spring = gi-la-go-ge
The color for East is Red which represents victory, power.
Spring is the re-awakening after a long sleep,
victory over winter; the power of new life.
The Cherokee word for East is ka-lv-gv 
Summer = go-ga
The color for South is White for peace, happiness & serenity.
Summer is a time of plenty.
The Cherokee word for South means "warm" u-ga-no-wa. 
Autumn = u-la-go-hv-s-di
The color for West is Black which represents death.
Autumn is the final harvest; the end of Life's Cycle.
The Cherokee word for West is wu-de-li-gv. 
How The Milky Way Came To Be - Cherokee
retold by Barbara Shining Woman Warren
Long ago when the world was young, there were not many stars in the sky. 
In those days the people depended on corn for their food. Dried corn could be made 
into corn meal by placing it inside a large hollowed stump and pounding it with a long 
wooden pestle. The cornmeal was stored in large baskets. During the winter, the ground
 meal could made into bread and mush. 
One morning an old man and his wife went to their storage basket for some cornmeal. 
They discovered that someone or something had gotten into the cornmeal during the night. 
This upset them very much for no one in a Cherokee village stole from someone else. 
Then they noticed that the cornmeal was scattered over the ground. In the middle of the 
spilt meal were giant dog prints. These dog prints were so large that the elderly couple 
knew this was no ordinary dog. 
They immediately alerted the people of the village. It was decided that this must be a 
spirit dog from another world. The people did not want the spirit dog coming to their 
village. They decided to get rid of the dog by frightening it so bad it would never return. 
They gathered their drums and turtle shell rattles and later that night they hid around the 
area where the cornmeal was kept. 
Late into the night they heard a whirring sound like many bird wings. They look up to
 see the form of a giant dog swooping down from the sky. It landed near the basket 
and then began to eat great mouthfuls of cornmeal. 
Suddenly the people jumped up beating and shaking their noise makers. The noise was 
so loud it sounded like thunder. The giant dog turned and began to run down the path. 
The people chased after him making the loudest noises they could. It ran to the top 
of a hill and leaped into the sky, the cornmeal spilling out the sides of its mouth. 
The giant dog ran across the black night sky until it disappeared from sight. But the 
cornmeal that had spilled from its mouth made a path way across the sky. Each gain of 
cornmeal became a star. 
The Cherokees call that pattern of stars, gi li' ut sun stan un' yi (gil-LEE-oot-soon stan-UNH-yee), 
"the place where the dog ran." 
And that is how the Milky Way came to be. 

Tsalagi Creation Story
Many, many moons ago, in the beginning of time, the earth was all water. 
There was no land. All the four-leggeds, all the animals, all the 
winged-ones, lived up in the sky on the clouds. They were waiting for the 
land to dry, but it would not dry. They would send one animal but he would 
come back unable to find dry land. The animals would regularly check the 
water below. Finally, after a dog had looked and reported back that it was 
still wet, they sent the water beetle. The water beetle dove into the water, 
grabbed a handful of mud at the bottom, brought it up and placed it on top 
of the water and it started to dry, started to build land. He brought more 
and more and still they waited for it to dry, still they waited and waited.
Finally, they sent grandfather buzzard, the mighty buzzard, down and 
the land was almost dry. As the buzzard flew, he'd fly down close to the 
land and every time he would flap his mighty wings, he would form a mountain 
and a valley. That's why the Cherokee land has mountains and valleys in it 
today. All the animals came down and settled on the earth.
After they did, they realized they had no light. So they called to 
Grandfather and asked would he give them light, and he did. He brought to 
them the sun. He put the sun down right by the ground, and it was too hot for 
the animals. So they pushed and pushed, till finally they got it far enough 
out that it would not burn all the time; but it was still so hot that the 
crawfish was baked. That's why, if you look at him today, he is red from the 
sun being too close.
Finally, they got the sun far enough out so it would not burn and we 
would have night. And Grandfather told them, "Now that I have done this for 
you, I ask that all the four-legged, and all the animals, and all the plants 
stay awake for seven days and for seven nights." This is why today, when a 
warrior goes to cross his manhood, he fasts and sweats for seven days.
All the animals and all the plants fell asleep except for some. The owl 
stayed awake, and that's why he has vision to hunt at night now. The plants, 
the Douglas fir, the cedar, the pine, and a few others stayed awake for 
seven nights and for seven days. That's why only these, among all the 
plants, are allowed to stay green all the year round. The other plants fell 
asleep and so must sleep part of every year.
Such was the beginning of our lands as told by a Cherokee grandmother 
to her grandson.
How the Red Bird Got His Color - Cherokee
retold by Barbara Shining Woman Warren
Cherokee Words:
  a.. wolf wa ya 
  b.. raccoon gv li 
  c.. bird tsi qua 
  d.. brown u wo di ge 
  e.. red gi ga ge 
  f.. red bird to tsu wa 
Gv li loved to tease wa ya. One day gv li teased wa ya so much that wa ya became very 
angry. Wa ya began to chase gv li through the woods. Gv li, being the clever animal that 
he is, kept ahead of wa ya. 
Gv li came to a river. Instead of jumping in the river, he quickly climbed a tall tree and 
peered over a branch to see what wa ya would do next. 
When wa ya came to the river, he saw the reflection of gv li in the water. Thinking that it 
was gv li, wa ya jumped in and tried to catch him. Wa ya continued to search for gv li for 
such a long time that he became so tired he nearly drowned. Finally, tired and exhausted, 
wa ya climbed up the river bank and fell fast asleep. 
After a while, gv li quietly climbed down the tree and slipped over to the sleeping wa ya. 
While wa ya slept, gv li began to plaster the eyes of wa ya with mud. Then when he had 
finished, gv li ran off through the woods laughing to himself thinking of the clever trick he had played. 
After a while, wa ya woke up. He began to whine, "Oh, someone please help me. I can't
 see. I can't open my eyes." But no one came to help him. 
Finally tsi qua u wo di ge heard the cries of wa ya. He flew over to wa ya and landed on 
his shoulder. He said, "What's the matter Brother Wolf? Can I help you?" Wa ya cried, 
"I can't open my eyes. Oh, please help me to see again." Tsi qua u wo di ge said, "I'm just
 a little brown bird but I will help you if I can." Wa ya said, " Tsi qua u wo di ge, if you can 
help me to see again, I will take you to a magic rock that oozes red paint. We will paint 
your feathers gi ga ge." 
Tsi qua u wo di ge began pecking away at the dried mud on the eyes of wa ya. Soon wa ya 
could open his eyes again. True to his promise wa ya said, "Thank you, my brother; now 
jump up onto my shoulder." Away they ran through the woods to the rock that oozed red paint. 
When they came to the rock, wa ya reached up and plucked a twig from a tree branch. He 
chewed the end of the twig until it was soft and pliable like the end of a paint brush. Then he 
dipped the end of the twig into the red paint and began to paint the feathers of tsi qua, gi ga ge. 
When all of his feathers were gi ga ge, tsi qua flew off to show all of his family and friends
 how beautiful he was. That is why, from that day to this, you can see to tsu wa flying 
around the woods in Cherokee country. 
Origin of the Word 'Chicago'
An Ojibwa Folk Tale 
As told by Katharine Judson 
Once an Ottawa hunter and his wife lived on the shores of Lake Michigan. Then the hunters 
went south, toward the end of the lake, to hunt. When he reached the lake* where he had 
caught beaver the year before, it was still covered with ice. Then he tapped the ice to find 
the thinner places where the beaver families lived. He broke holes at these weaker points
 in the ice, and went to his wigwam to get his traps. 
Now the hunter's wife chanced to pass one of these holes and saw a beaver on the ice. She 
caught it by the tail and called to the hunter to come and kill it quickly, before it could get back into the water. 
"No," said the hunter, "if I kill this beaver, the others will become frightened. They will 
escape from the lake by other openings in the ice." 
Then the woman became angry, and they quarreled. 
When the sun was near setting, the hunter went out on the ice again, to set more traps. When 
he returned to his teepee, his wife had gone. He thought she had gone to make a visit. The 
next morning she had not returned, and he saw her footprints. So he followed her trail to the 
south. As he followed her trail, he saw that the footprints gradually changed. At last they 
became the trail of a skunk. The trail ended in a marsh, and many skunks were in that marsh. 
Then he returned to his people. And he called the place, "The Place of the Skunk**." 
* [Between Milwaukee and Chicago, going south where Chicago now stands.] 
** Which apparently is the translation of the word Chicago... yes, the word has undergone 
some small changes in spelling and pronunciation... no, I don't have the original spelling on-hand. 
Origin of the Thunderbird
This is a legend of long, long ago times. Two Indians desired to find the 
origin of thunder. They traveled north and came to a high mountain. These 
mountains performed magically. They drew apart, back and forth, then closed 
together very quickly. One Indian said, "I will leap through the cleft before 
it closes. If I am caught, you continue to find the origin of thunder." The 
first one succeeded in going through the cleft before it closed, but the 
second one was caught and squashed. On the other side, the first Indian saw a 
large plain with a group of wigwams, and a number of Indians playing a ball 
game. After a little while, these players said to each other, "It is time to 
go." They disappeared into their wigwams to put on wings, and came out with 
their bows and arrows and flew away over the mountains to the South. This was 
how the Passamaquoddy Indian discovered the homes of the thunderbirds. The 
remaining old men of that tribe asked the Passamaquoddy Indian, "What do you 
want? Who are you?" He replied with the story of his mission. The old men 
deliberated how they could help him. They decided to put the lone Indian into 
a large mortar, and they pounded him until all of his bones were broken. They 
molded him into a new body with wings like thunderbird, and gave him a bow 
and some arrows and sent him away in flight. They warned him not to fly close 
to trees, as he would fly so fast he could not stop in time to avoid them, 
and he would be killed. The lone Indian could not reach his home because the 
huge enemy bird, Wochowsen, at that time made such a damaging wind. 
Thunderbird is an Indian and he or his lightning would never harm another 
Indian. But Wochowsen, great bird from the South, tried hard to rival Thunderbird. 
So Passamaquoddies feared Wochowsen, whose wings Glooscap once had 
broken, because he used too much power. A result was that for a long time air 
became stagnant, the sea was full of slime, and all of the fish died. But 
Glooscap saw what was happening to his people and repaired the wings of 
Wochowsen to the extent of controlling and alternating strong winds with 
Old Man at the Beginning - Crow 
A story of the Crow People of Montana and Wyoming
At the beginning of the world, there was nothing but water. It was dark in the world, 
and no one saw the water of the world. Then the Old Man of the Crow People
 came into the world, and he looked all around and said, "Is there nothing in this
 world but water?" 
Off in the distance, Old Man saw that there were two little ducks swimming 
about. These ducks had red eyes. Old Man called them to him. They came 
swimming, paddling in the world of water. 
Old Man said to them, "Is there nothing in this world but water?" 
The elder duck answered, "We have never seen anything in this world 
but water, but we think that there may be something down under the water. 
We feel it in our hearts." 
"Dive down, Younger Duck," said Old Man, and the younger of the little 
ducks dove deep under the water, looking for the bottom. He was 
gone a long time, and Old Man said, "Oh, I am afraid Younger Duck has drowned." 
"No," said the Elder Duck, "we are able to hold our breath for a long
 time. He will come back up." At about that time, Younger Duck came
 up with something in his bill. It was a root. 
"If there is a root," said Old Man, "then there must be earth as well. 
Dive down Elder Duck, and see if you find some earth." 
The elder duck dove deep, and was gone for a very long time. 
When he came up, he had a ball of mud in his bill. 
"This is what I have been looking for," said Old Man. He took
 the root and put it in the ball of wet earth, and blew three times
 on it. Once he blew, twice he blew, and again he blew on the ball 
of earth. The ball began to grow and fill the world and push the 
water aside. It grew until there was a great land, with many plants
 and animals living on it. 
The ducks, who live in water, on land, and in the sky, brought
 up the earth, and Old Man made the world for the Crow People. 
Rabbit and The Coyote
This is a story of Uncle Rabbit and the coyote. The rabbit came 
to a big rock, and there he deceived the coyote. He was leaning 
on the rock when the coyote came by. 
"What are you doing, brother?" the coyote asked the rabbit. 
"Come here quickly, brother, the sky is falling down on top of us. 
Lean against the rock and hold it up while I go for a stick. We'll 
prop it up with that," said the rabbit to the coyote. 
"All right," said the coyote and began holding it up with all his 
might. Since the coyote was so stupid, he did exactly what the
 rabbit told him to. The rabbit had said that he was going to get 
a stick, but he went and left the coyote holding up the rock. 
When the rabbit didn't return the coyote shouted: 
"Come back, brother! The weight of the rock has made me tired." 
The rabbit still didn't come back. 
"No matter, I'm going to leave even though the sky may fall down 
on top of us," said the coyote. But when he ran away he fell into 
a ravine. The rabbit never came back to the rock and the coyote was lost. 
Later the rabbit came to a pond and saw the reflection of the moon
 in there. As the rabbit was very tricky, he was always deceiving 
the coyote. The dumb coyote always followed him and didn't know
 that the rabbit was deceiving him. The coyote came to the pond 
where the rabbit was. When he saw the coyote coming he began 
to drink the water from the pond. 
"What are you doing, brother? The coyote asked the rabbit. 
"Look, brother, there's a lot of food down there," answered the rabbit. 
"What kind of food?" 
"Look," the rabbit told the coyote. 
The coyote looked in the water and said: "I see it. What is it?" 
"There's a cheese in the water," the rabbit said to the coyote. "If we 
drink all the water we can get the cheese. Drink it, you're big and 
you can finish all the water." 
"All right, brother," he said, and began to drink the water. 
"I'm going for a walk," said the rabbit, and left. 
The coyote continued to drink the water, but the rabbit was gone. 
The coyote's stomach began to hurt him, and he got the runs. 
He wasn't able to finish the water, so the coyote abandoned the effort and left.

Red man and the Uktena - Cherokee
Two brothers went bunting together, and when they came to a good camping
place in the mountains they made a fire, and while one gathered bark to
put up a shelter the other started up the creek to look for a deer. Soon
he heard a noise on the top of the ridge as if two animals were
fighting. He hurried through the bushes to see what it might be, and
when he came to the spot he found a great uktena coiled around a man and
choking him to death. The man was fighting for his life, and called out
to the hunter: "Help me, nephew; he is your enemy as well as mine." The
hunter took good aim, and, drawing the arrow to the head, sent it
through the body of the uktena, so that the blood spouted from the hole.
The snake loosed its coils with a snapping noise, and went tumbling down
the ridge into the valley, tearing up the earth like a water spout as it
The stranger stood up, and it was the Asga'ya Gi'g??the Red Man of
the Lightning. He said to the hunter: "You have helped me, and now I
will reward you, and give you a medicine so that you can always find
game." They waited until it was dark, and then went down the ridge to
where the dead uktena had rolled, but by this time the birds and insects
had eaten the body and only the bones were left. In one place were
flashes of light coming up from the ground, and on digging here, just
under the surface, the Red Man found a scale of the uktena. Next he went
over to a tree that had been struck by lightning, and gathering a
handful of splinters he made a fire and burned the uktena scale to a
coal. He wrapped this in a piece of deerskin and gave it to the hunter,
saying: "As long as you keep this you can always kill game." Then he
told the hunter that when he went back to camp he must hang up the
medicine on a tree outside, because it was very strong and dangerous. He
told him also that when he went into the cabin he would find his brother
lying inside nearly dead on account of the presence of the uktena's
scale, but he must take a small piece of cane, which the Red Man gave
him, and scrape a little of it into water and give it to his brother to
drink and he would be well again. Then the Red Man was gone, and the
hunter could not see where he went. He returned to camp alone, and found
his brother very sick, but soon cured him with the medicine from the
cane, and that, day and the next, and every day after, he found game
whenever he went for it.
The Myth of the Cherokee Tear Dress 
By : Pitter Glinda Ladd Seabaugh 
The Tear Dress is often referred to as being the style of dress that was worn on the Trail of Tears. It is said that as 
the women were taken to Indian Territory that after their arrival they were given cotton fabric but were not given 
scissors. So the material had to be torn by hand to make the dresses. I have also heard the story as to how the 
dresses were patterned after the prairie girls but that the Cherokee girls put patch work diamonds on the shoulders 
and around the bottom of the dress so the men could tell them a part from the white girls at a far glance into the 
As shocking as it may seem, these stories are only a myth. I was totally shocked and in disbelief when a few 
weeks ago as I was surfing the net and decided to see what was new on the Official Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma 
web site. To my amazement under the tidbit section they reported that the Cherokee Tear Dress was designed in 
1975. 1975!! Why thats only about 25 years old! So I quickly called the tribal office after being directed to the right 
people I was told by a young man there, that yes this is about right, that the dress is very new! The dress was made 
the official tribal dress by proclamation by the National Council around 1975. So this really got my attention and I 
found myself doing some research. I read everything I could find on this dress, and let me tell you there was not 
much to be found! The culture Center at the Cherokee Nation tells us that the dress is believed to be the style of 
dress from the Trail of Tears era and that the style of dress worn today was patterned after an actual dress stored 
for many years in a trunk, and believed to be from the Trail of Tears era. 
They go on to say that the dresses are styled from calico print material, with an appliqu?attern of diamonds on the 
yoke and around the skirt, just above the flounce with 3/4 length sleeves. 

After checking further I found out that the original Cherokee Tear Dress actually came about after the embarrassment 
of a young Cherokee woman, by the name of Virginia Stroud, who had been chosen as Miss Indian American. After 
winning this honor she was crowned wearing a Kiowa buckskin dress she had borrowed from a college friend. A group 
of Cherokee ladies was embarrassed that unlike other tribes, the Cherokee did not have a traditional dress. They felt it 
was unacceptable for a Cherokee woman who was representing the Cherokee people in public events to be dressed 
as a Kiowa. So they took the problem to the Cherokee Chief of that time, which was W.W. Keeler. They quickly 
decided to design a dress that would be historically correct, but unlike any other tribe, not wanting it to look like a 
plains dress. 
They all started searching for the right dress design that would be uniquely Cherokee and be acceptable to the Chief. 
After much research and finding nothing one of the ladies, Marie Waddle, had remembered seeing a dress in her 
grandmothers old trunk. After much discussion among the ladies and Chief, they thought yes this would work, so they 
took this dress and redesigned it somewhat and came up with the official Cherokee Tear dress. This dress would serve 
them well for the Miss Indian America to wear as a representative of the Cherokee people and also giving the Tribe a 
dress to call their own. 
After much consideration, it was decided that they needed to complete the outfit so the women made two 
calf-length white turkey feather capes, while Cherokee artist, Willard Stone designed and made a crown of copper to 
represent the style and material of the ancient Cherokee and to signify the women's importance in nurturing and 
teaching the next generation. 
Over the next ten years, each Miss Cherokee were required to wear the official copy of both the feather cape and 
crown in all public events for their reigning year. Eventually the feathered cape was retired to the Cherokee National 
Museum. The shape and style in the first cooper crown has since been copied and interpreted by many other Indian 
tribal groups for their Indian Princesses. These can be seen at many pow-wows today. 
So to sum it all up I guess we can say that the Tear dress as lovely as it is, is not an old traditional dress, the style itself 
was not even worn historically until about the 1850s long after the Trail of Tears. I talked with Lisa La Rough From the 
Cherokee Nation Cultural Center in Oklahoma, and she again verified that the dress was indeed designed in 
1975 and that the appliqu?attern of diamonds and rounded neck of the dress was added to the original square 
neck dress found in the trunk. Today, the dress has been modified to be worn floor length and sometimes worn with 
long sleeves instead of the official 3/4 length sleeves. The dress is not made with a pattern and is simply constructed of 
squares and rectangles. 
Today you will sometimes see at pow-wows a tear dress with rows of ribbons instead of the reverse appliqu?iamonds 
as in the Authentic Tear Dress, this is not an authentic Tear Dress. As stated by Wendell Cochran, National Living 
Treasurer in the Area of traditional Cherokee Clothing and enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma 
stated that this dress is like the difference between a Corvette and the official lead car at the Indy 500. They both 
started with the same basic design and assembly method, but the Lead Car is supped-up and has a lot of racing strips 
and decals plus better upholstery and gadgets inside. He summed it up by saying that the Ribbons are the lazy 
women's way of making more money by doing less work. 
As stated by Wendell, The worst Tear Dresses are those that people try to make from that wicked historical 
reproduction pattern company that seems to be available at every pow-wow I have ever attended. Tandy Leather 
Company also carried the same line. I have some choice but not printable thoughts about their other garment 
patterns too. Especially the mens Indian and Frontier garb. They should be sued for defective product liability and I 
would love to see the Cherokee Nation get damages for their fraudulent misrepresentation of the term Cherokee 
Tear Dress. By no stretch of the imagination could a person make a tear dress from the pattern or the instructions. 
Sadly, I have had to express wonder at some strange fitting garments that were proudly worn by some uninformed, 
but ethnically prideful Cherokee descendants who trotted them selves down to the Cherokee Nation Holiday from 
Kansas City or Des Moines. In not a few cases, it was maddening to find out that they paid fairly large sums to their 
local professional dressmakers to stitch their dresses up because they simply didn't understand the instructions after 
they had bought the fabric and the pattern. 
Sorry Souls that they are, I have no heart to point out the inaccuracies of the miss guided intentions to appear 
historically authentic. My heart goes to the local Cherokees who produce beautifully made tear dresses and willing to 
make them for far less than the labor and attention the detail deserve. 
Thank you Mr. Cochran, I couldn't have said it better! 
Mr. Wendell Cochran is an enrolled member of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma. In 1989, the Tribe and the 
Cherokee National Historical Society awarded Mr. Cochran the title of Master Craftsman and National Living Treasurer 
in the Area of Traditional Cherokee Clothing. 
Even though the Cherokee Tear Dress is not an Old traditional dress and has been misleading to some degree with 
all the glamorous stories being attached to it. We must still thank these ladies, Wynona Day, Marie Waddle and the 
other ladies on the Cherokee committee for giving us a much needed beautiful dress that the Cherokee ladies can 
wear today to be able to set us apart from all the other tribes! It is a very beautiful, durable Cherokee dress, one 
that we should wear with pride. 
by: Pitter
Selu the Corn Mother and the Deer
The story of Selu the Corn Mother and the Deer as the Animal 
representative of her are told to help us learn and personalize many 
of the facts in the sharings of her stories. Give and take is the 
principle point that it all comes to. The perfect balance and 
harmony. We need to see the generosity in the stories of the Deer and 
Selu. We need to be aware of the manner of man and how we continue to 
try and avoid this principal. Our generation is put to the task of 
dealing with all the generations of greed and insensitivity that man 
has evolved to. The story of Selu and the Deer help us as a people to 
keep our perspectives clear on the matter. Giving back is the natural 
order of balance; to consciously know that it works and must be 
maintained and no one is exempt from the principle. 
The old ones tell us that in the First World, Selu came with us into 
the Circle of Life. And as we began to move away from the Balance and 
Harmony of Life, we did not know her. 
In the last world, Selu lived with her two Grandsons in the 
Mountains. She was old and very wise. She sang and made the world 
around her very beautiful. 
One day, Selu watched her grandsons preparing to hunt. She thought of 
the days long ago when Man and the Creatures of the Forest all spoke 
a common language and understood each other. There was respect for 
all Life. It was a world of peace and happiness. There was abundance 
and respect. All was appreciated. Man sat in the Circle of Wisdom 
Keepers and was honored and loved by all. It was a good time in the 
Earth Mother for all Creation. Man began to have greed. The balance 
was lost. She remembered the Great Council of the last world where 
the animals had determined not to allow man to kill them all off as 
his hunting game. That his relentless hunger was a threat to their 
cycles of life. Man over-hunted and killed too many Relations in the 
food chain. Many, such as the Deer, put forth a punishment to all who 
would eat their flesh. And this was the first disease of man. And 
thus came Nuwati, medicine. Selu remembered how terrible it was for 
the animals in the forest when they could smell man and knew he had 
come to kill them. Selu's heart was heavy, It was a long time ago, 
she thought. It is time to begin again and seek the harmony and 
regain the balance. Man needs to return to the Wisdom Fires Above. 
Man needs to be honorable. Creator combined all the Creations into 
Mankind. Man holds all the patterns of principles within his body, 
mind and spirit. Selu saw how the Great Spirit had given man all the 
gifts and how man had lost them with all his greed. Selu saw her 
grandsons loading up the weapons for the kill. She knew there was 
more than enough food in their home to feed everyone. Hope leapt 
forth in her heart as she had an idea. She went to her grandson and 
spoke, "You are going out today?" The oldest replied, "Yes, we 
prepare to hunt." Selu said, "We have so much already. Let me cook 
you a wonderful dinner!" 
The younger grandson answered, "No, we must hunt. We are hunters. We 
will bring you many Wild Turkeys." 
Selu tried again, "But we have many Turkeys already and I will make 
you Corn and you will feel full and not have the need to hunt." The 
grandsons continued to get ready to hunt. "We will be back by evening 
and you will see, we will bring you fresh meat." Selu wished them 
well and asked them to respect all, and show appreciation to the 
animals. The grandsons laughed and went into the forest. Selu cooked 
and made a meal that tempted all who had senses to smell and eat. She 
sang and blessed the meal with her love. She waited. Soon her 
grandsons came into the clearing around their home. They had smelled 
the wonderful meal for miles and were happy to see it came from their 
home. Selu was happy to see them, and as she put the feast upon the 
table, she saw they had killed a boar pig. They ate and could not say 
enough about how delicious the meal was and how good it was to have 
the corn stuffing and spices, with the Turkeys. Again she said to 
them, "See, we have so much to eat, we do not need to kill the 
They said they were tired and needed to sleep, so they could get up 
early and be out before the deer. Selu listened and she asked them 
again how they liked the food she had made. They told her they loved 
the food and never had they eaten so much and tasted anything as good 
as the corn. 
They asked her where she had gotten the corn, and she did not answer. 
She was happy they loved the meal and was planning the feast for the 
next day. She sang as the night moved over the lands, "Soo Looo, Sooo 
Looooo, Soooo Loooooo, Sai." Her grandsons dreamed of bread made of 
corn and honey. 
The next morning, very early, they were up and went for their 
weapons. She watched. She went to them again and said, "We have so 
much left from yesterday, and a fresh boar from the hunt also, we 
have so much. Do you really have to go hunting?" 
"Yes," they said, "we are hunters. Today we will bring you a big 
deer." Selu looked at her grandsons. She loved them very much and she 
knew they loved her also. She would try again. They went to hunt and 
she cooked. The meal was even more wonderful than the day before. The 
smells went throughout the forest. Everyone knew Selu was cooking a 
feast. Her grandsons smelled the sweetness of corn while they were 
hunting. They remembered the taste, and that they had never tasted 
anything that good ever before. Selu was smiling. 
As evening came, the grandsons came home with their kill. It was a 
fine deer. They were very good hunters, the kill had been quick and 
the deer did not suffer. For this, Selu appreciated the skill of her 
grandsons. They followed the wonderful smells of corn and sat down to 
a feast like none ever before. They could not tell Selu how much they 
loved the food, because there were not enough words to describe it 
all. So they gave her the deer as their token of gratitude. She knew 
it was an honorable act to them. She thanked them and took the deer. 
After dark, she returned it to the forest. All were happy. Selu sang 
her song as the Men drifted into dreams of laughter and play. In the 
dreams, they saw their grandmother as a beautiful young woman, more 
beautiful then any they had seen. She sang throughout the night. They 
awakened early and felt so good. They felt strong and youthful again. 
They were laughing and felt playful as they were children. The Sun 
came up in glorious colors. As they prepared to hunt, they realized 
they were not in such a hurry to go to the forest and hunt. They 
asked Selu to make them breakfast, and she did. Fried corn mush and 
sweet honey. As they ate, it tasted so good they ate more than they 
needed and were so full, they needed to nap. They noticed that Selu 
looked younger, and was so happy, she sang and sang. The Sun was high 
by the time they were ready to go hunt. As they were leaving, Selu 
asked them not to go, "We have so much food now, more than we will 
ever be able to eat. I will feed you. I can cook everyday and you can 
do many things to help," "No", they said, "We must go hunt, we are 
hunters. Today we will hunt Turkeys." 
Selu watched as they left to go hunt and called out after them to 
remember to appreciate the animals. She was happy and began to 
prepare the meal for today. 
While out on the hunt, the youngest brother said to the older one, 
where does Selu get this corn that she is cooking? Do you know where 
it comes from?" 
The older brother said he didn't and that it did not matter to him. 
It was delicious and Selu would only feed them what was good, that 
was what he knew. 
All that day, the young man thought about the corn. As evening came, 
they returned home with the wild turkeys, the smells of the feast 
drawing them home. They were eager to sit down and again eat the 
delicious corn of Selu's feast. They told her how much they loved how 
she prepared their meal and how beautiful she was and how happy the 
home was because of her beauty and grace. She beamed as a light and 
they were in awe of her. She sang to them and they drifted into 
wonderful dreams and a sleep as peaceful as ever they could remember. 
They dreamed of happy days and abundance for everyone. The world was 
more beautiful than ever. They heard the animals speak and they heard 
the wingeds singing and they felt in right relation to all life. The 
dreams were of heaven. They awakened to the soft humming of Selu as 
she prepared the breakfast, of grits and butter, with sweet maple 
syrup. Selu looked even younger and happier than yesterday. The 
younger grandson was very curious and kept asking Selu where she got 
the corn. 
She would smile and say, "I make the corn, it is my gift to my 
Another time she answered, "I am the corn." He was not satisfied and 
he began to annoy the older brother with his questions. "Let us go 
hunt and stop all these questions now. She told you she makes the 
corn and that is enough for me. It is good and I love it." 
Selu beamed her heart upon her oldest Grandson and he felt her love. 
It gave peace to have her in his home. 
The younger brother was not satisfied. He said, " Yes, it is good, 
and yes, I have never had anything better, but I want to know where 
it comes from, and I will find out." 
Off they went to hunt and Selu sang as she cleaned and cared for the 
home and land. She gave appreciation for all the relations and sang 
to them all. 
While the men were hunting, the younger brother kept insisting that 
they needed to know where she gets the corn. The older brother ask 
him why and he said he just must know. 
"Are we not happier than ever before? Can you ask for more? Just be 
thankful and happy she has given this to us, and how fortunate we are 
to have her." 
The young man could not accept this, and said I will go watch and see 
where she goes and gets this corn. He left the older brother and 
sneaked back home to spy on Selu. He watched her take a huge basket 
and go to the root cellar. There he watched her through a small hole 
as she stood in the basket and slapped her sides. Each time she 
slapped her sides, corn would fall into the basket. She continued 
until her basket was filled to the top. He was terrified and ran to 
find his brother in the forest hunting. Selu gave some of the corn 
pollen to the bees for honey and to the Earth for some tasty roots 
and herbs and salad greens. She fed corn pollen to the birds for 
singing as she worked and was generous to all the relations. Everyone 
was happy and the world was a beauty place. She cooked for her 
Grandsons and sang of beauty and happiness. The Grandson ran back to 
the older brother and said what he saw and that the corn was Selu's 
body. The older brother was heavy in his heart. And he said to his 
brother, "If what you say is true, then it is an unsavory thing we 
do. We cannot eat our Grandmother. How is this that she can make her 
body turn to corn? This is strange and unsafe and not of this world. 
Something is not good here and I cannot understand this thing. We 
must be careful, something has taken our Grandmother." It grew dark 
and they started home. The smell was so tempting and they could feel 
their stomachs ache for the corn. They heard music all around their 
lands and Selu singing. Their hearts were in pain as they knew they 
feared her for all she was. 
At dinner, she heaped up their plates with all the delicious things 
of the lands and watched as they picked at it and ate little or 
nothing. She grew sad as she watched and realized they knew what they 
could not live with and know. The Knowledge was too much for them and 
it had destroyed the balance between them and the world. Selu asked 
them, "Do you not love me? Have I not given you all of myself? Have 
you not felt the peace and happiness in my Life with you? What would 
you ask of me?" 
As she spoke, Selu grew very old and became very ill and her life 
began to leave her body. The Earth grew cold and all was silent. A 
long night fell upon the Forest and the Grandsons cried for what had 
happened. The youngest was unhappy for his loss and asked for 
forgiveness. Selu asked them to come to her side and listen well. 
"I have much to tell you," she said, "and we have but a little time 
now as I am. I am as old as the soil, and first man. I am the Corn. I 
was given to you as your substances and as Abundance, Happiness, 
Health and Peace. I Am Selu, I Am the Corn Mother." 
She told them to take her form when she passed over to pure Spirit, 
place it in the soil, and make a circle around it. "I will return to 
you in a cycle as a plant, that grows tall and strong. I will have 
golden hair at the top, and I will have ears of golden seeds at my 
sides that will also have hair. When it turns brown, you will pick 
it, and peel back its sweet leaves and dry the seeds. There will be 
seven ears of the corn. Do not eat them, use all of them as seeds. 
When the spring comes, make mounds as the woman in her birthing 
place, and make a planting stick as your own seed planter is shaped 
and insert it into the mounds you cultivate and place two seeds in 
each hole. Go to the Old River Man and ask his children the fish, to 
come and bring the Water Spirits to the land, so the corn can grow. 
Place a fish in each hole and add the seeds. This corn you will not 
eat. You will use as offerings and seeds for the sacred ways of the 
Land and Waters." Selu told them many things to make Life good again. 
She told them when to plant and how to speak and hear the Moon. She 
told them to sing and dance and what the Ancients had given us. She 
told them she loved them and that they were to keep well and safe. 
She was given to show us how to keep the joy of life and to maintain 
the balance. The wisdom was much and the Grandsons were happy that 
Selu was their Grandmother and that her love lived in all things. 
When she passed to Spirit to wait for her return, they would not hunt 
unless they were nearly starving and they did as she had instructed. 
They became wise. When the Spring came after Selu had passed, the 
youngest brother went for a wife. When he came home, his wife was 
given the Wisdom of Selu, and she had memory of the Old One's Ways 
and they planted and harvested the corn as was given them and 
happiness was with their children. Selu says to us to come home and 
open to the Wisdoms of the First World

The Old Woman of Spring
This tale about the gifts of corn and buffalo to the Cheyenne is 
related to the legend about Arrow Boy. In the Cheyenne manner, a storyteller
 will say, "Let's tie another story to the end of this one," and go on from there. 
North, as it is spoken of at the beginning of both tales, is a nostalgic reference
 to the Cheyenne hunting grounds in north-central America, from which they 
were driven by invading tribes, probably the Ojibway.
When the Cheyenne were still in the north, they camped in a large circle at 
whose entrance a deep, rapid spring flowed from a hillside. The spring provided 
the camp with water, but food was harder to find. The buffalo had disappeared, 
and many people went hungry. One bright day some men were playing the 
game of ring and javelin in the center of the camp circle. They used a red 
and black hoop and four long sticks, two red and two black, which they 
threw at the hoop as it rolled along. In order to win, a player had to throw
 his stick through the hoop while it was still moving. A large audience had 
already gathered when a young man came from the south side of the camp 
circle to join them. He wore a buffalo robe with the hair turned outward. 
His body was painted yellow, and a yellow painted eagle breach-feather 
was fastened to his head. Soon another young man dressed exactly like 
the first came from the north side of the circle to watch the game. They 
were unacquainted, but when!
the two caught sight of each other they moved through the crowd to talk. 
"My friend," said the man from the south side, "you're imitating my dress. 
Why are you doing it?" The other man said, "It's you who are imitating me. 
Why?" In their explanations, both men told the same story. They had 
entered the spring that flowed out from the hillside, and there they were
 instructed how to dress. By now the crowd had stopped watching the 
game and gathered around to listen, and the young men told the people 
that they would go into the spring again and come out soon. As the crowd 
watched, the two approached the spring. The man from the south covered 
his head with this buffalo robe and entered. The other did the same thing.
 The young men splashed through the water and soon found themselves 
in a large cave. Near he entrance sat an old woman cooking some buffalo
 meat and corn in two separate earthen pots. She welcomed them: 
"Grandchildren, you have come. Her, sit beside me." They sat down!
, one on each side of her, and told her that the people were hungry and
 that they had come to her for food. She gave them corn from one pot 
and meat from the other. They ate until they had had enough, and when 
they were through the pots were still full. Then she told them to look
 toward the south, and they saw that the land in that direction was covered
 with buffalo. She told them to look to the west, and they saw all kinds
 of animals, large and small, including ponies, through they knew nothing
 of ponies in those days. She told them to look toward the north, and they
 saw corn growing everywhere. The old woman said to them, "All this that
 you have seen shall be yours in the future. Tonight I cause the buffalo to
 be restored to you. When you leave this place, the buffalo will follow you
, and your people will see them coming before sunset. Take this uncooked
corn in your robes, and plant it every spring in low, moist ground. After
 it matures, you can feed upon it. Take also th!
is meat and corn that I have cooked," she said, and when you have returned
 to your people, ask them to sit down to eat in the following order: First, 
all males from the youngest to the oldest, with the exception of one orphan
 boy; second, all females, from the oldest to the youngest, with the exception
 of one orphan girl. When all are through eating, the rest of the food in the pots
 is to be eaten by the orphan boy and the orphan girl. "The two men obeyed
 the old woman. When they passed out of the spring, they saw that their entire
 bodies had turned red. They went to their people who ate as directed of the
 corn and meat. There was enough for all, and the contents of the pots remained
 full until they were passed to the orphan children, who ate all the rest of the food.
 Toward sunset the people went to their lodges and began watching the spring
 closely, and in a short time they saw a buffalo leap out. The creature jumped 
and played and rolled, then returned to the spring. In a!
little while another buffalo jumped out, then another and another and finally 
they came so fast that the Cheyenne were no longer able to count them. The
 buffalo continued to emerge all night, and the following day the whole country
 out in the distance was covered with buffalo. The buffalo scented the great camp
. The next day the Cheyenne surrounded them, for thought men hunted on foot,
 they ran very fast. For a time the people had an abundance of buffalo meat.
 In the spring they moved their camp to low, swampy land, where they planted
 the corn they had received from the medicine stream. It grew rapidly and every
 grain they planted brought forth strong stalks bearing two to four ears of corn
. The people planted corn every year after this. One spring after planting corn,
 the Cheyenne went on a buffalo hunt. When they had enough meat to last for a
 long time, they returned to their fields. To there surprise, they found that the
 corn had been stolen by some neighboring tribe. No!
thing but stalks remained--not even a kernel for seed. thought the theft had 
occurred about a moon before, the Cheyenne trailed the enemy's footprints
 for several days. They even fought with two or three tribes, but never succeeded
 in tracing the robbers or recovering the stolen crop. It was a long time before
 the Cheyenne planted any more corn.
Based on a story by George A. Dorsey at the turn of the century
The loss of corn described here may symbolize how the Cheyenne abandoned planting
 for buffalo hunting in the last half of the eighteenth century. The "wings" given the Plains
 tribes by the arrival of guns and horses at this time not only allowed the to move from
 being gatherers to being hunters (the reverse of the more common cultural evolution) 
but opened up the possibility of a more elaborate--and transportable--material 
culture--hence the term, golden age of the Plains Indians.

Why the Bat has Short Legs - Apache
Long ago, Killer-of-Enemies vowed to save his people from the terror of monster
 eagles that roamed the skies and carried off children. Killer-of-Enemies tricked
 one monster eagle into carrying him up to the eagle nest on the cliff, where he killed
 the monster eagle and its family. But Killer-of-Enemies did not know how to get
 down from the cliff. Just then, he saw an old woman approaching. It was Old Woman Bat.
"Grandmother, help me. Take me down," Killer-of-Enemies said. Old Woman Bat
 looked all around, but did not see him. Killer-of-Enemies called out again, and again
 and again. Finally, Old Woman Bat saw him high in the eagle's nest. She came over
 to the cliff and began to climb.
"What are you doing here?" she asked, when she reached the top.
"Monster eagle carried me up here," he said. "Please take me down."
"Climb in my basket," Old Woman Bat said. Killer of Enemies looked at the burden
 basket on the old woman's back. Its carrying strap was made of spider's silk.
"That strap is too fine," he said. "It will break and I shall fall."
"Nonsense! I've carried a bighorn sheep in this basket," Old Woman Bat said
. "Get in and close your eyes. If you look, we will fall."
Old Woman Bat clambered down the rock, singing a strange song. Her burden
 basket swayed wildly from side to side. Killer-of-Enemies thought the spider
 thread would surely break, so he opened his eyes to look.
As soon as Kill-of-Enemies opened his eyes. He and Old Woman Bat crashed
 down from the cliff. Old Woman Bat landed first and broke her legs. 
Killer-of-Enemies fell on top of her and was safe. Old Woman Bat's broken
 legs soon mended but from that day on her legs were short. 
Retold from a myth of the Chiricahua Apache Indians of New Mexico
The Ancient One 
by Bearwalker 
Ancient One sat in the shade of his tree in front of his cave. Red People came to
 him and he said to Red People, "Tell me your vision." 
And Red People answered, "The elders have told us to pray in this manner, and that
 manner, and it is important that only we pray as we have been taught for this has
 been handed down to us by the elders." 
"Hmmmm," said the Ancient One. 
Then Black People came to him and he said to Black People, "Tell me your vision." 
And Black People answered, "Our mothers have said to go to this building and
 that building and pray in this manner and that manner. And our fathers have
 said to bow in this manner and that manner when we pray. And it is important
 that we do only this when we pray." 
"Hmmmm," said the Ancient One. 
Then Yellow People came to him and he said to Yellow People, "Tell me your vision." 
And Yellow People answered, "Our teachers have told us to sit in this manner
 and that manner and to say this thing and that thing when we pray. And it is 
important that we do only this when we pray." 
"Hmmmm," said the Ancient One. 
Then White People came to him and he said to White People, "Tell me your vision." 
And White People answered, "Our Book has told us to pray in this way and that
 way and to do this thing and that thing, and it is very important that we do this when we pray." 
"Hmmmm," said the Ancient One. 
Then Ancient One spoke to the Earth and said, "Have you given the people a vision?" 
And the Earth said, "Yes, a special gift for each one, but the people were so busy 
speaking and arguing about which way is right they could not see the gift I gave 
each one of them." And the Ancient One asked same question of Water and Fire
 and Air and got the same answer. Then Ancient One asked Animal, and Bird, 
and Insect, and Tree, and Flower, and Sky, and Moon, and Sun, and Stars, 
and all of the other Spirits and each told him the same. 
Ancient One thought this was very sad. He called Red People, Black People, 
Yellow People, and White People to him and said to them. "The ways taught 
to you by your Elders, and your Mothers and Fathers, and Teachers, and Books 
are sacred. It is good that you respect those ways, for they are the ways of your 
ancestors. But the ancestors no longer walk on the Face of the Earth Mother. 
You have forgotten your own Vision. Your Vision is right for you but no one else. 
Now each of you must pray for your own Visions, and be still enough to see them, 
so you can follow the way of the heart. It is a hard way. It is a good way. 

Big Magwis and Little Magwis - Wabanaki
Long ago, in a Wabanaki village, there lived two young braves, both 
with the name of Magwis. One was called Big Magwis, because he was 
big and rich and lived in a very large wigwam; the other was called 
Little Magwis, because he was poor and little and lived in a very 
small wigwam. 
Now Big Magwis looked down on Little Magwis because he was a pauper. 
Yet in spite of having so much himself, he was still envious of what 
little his neighbor had. In particular, he was jealous of the small 
Indian's wigwam, which was very well made and stood in a shadier spot 
than his own. In the long hot days of summer, he hated his fine big 
lodge and looked with envy and greed at his neighbor. If only there 
was some way he could have Little Magwis' wigwam as well as his own. 
Then, one day, he chuckled as he thought of a plan. 
He strolled over to Little Magwis' wigwam and kicked idly at a large 
log which lay near the fire. 
"Kwah-ee, my brother," said Big Magwis. "Tell me, could you jump over 
this log and land on both feet?" 
"Certainly," said Little Magwis in surprise. "That would be easy." 
"I bet you these two cakes of corn," said the larger Indian 
craftily, "that you can't do it and I can!" 
Little Magwis smiled. 
"That's a foolish bet, my friend. Look now--" and he jumped the log 
with the greatest of ease. 
"Well, well," said Big Magwis, appearing crestfallaid, "It's surely impossible, but I'm willing to try 
if you are." 
"Very well," said Big Magwis with a sly grin. "You go first." 
So Little Magwis ran very fast towards the river, took a flying leap 
off the bank and landed--splash--in the middle. As he swam slowly 
back to shore, he saw Big Magwis doubled over with laughter. 
"It's all very well to laugh," said Little Magwis as he came 
ashore, "but now let's see you try it." 
"Certainly," said the big fellow. "Watch me." And he jumped into his 
canoe and paddled rapidly across the river. 
"Wait!" cried Little Magwis. "That's not right!" 
But just then Big Magwis jumped out of his canoe, landing on one foot 
on the opposite shore. 
"You see?" he shouted. "I bet you I could land on one foot, and I 
did! Nothing was said about jumping over! So now your wigwam and 
everything in it is mine!" 
Poor Little Magwis. Tricked out of his home and all he owned, with 
nothing in the world but two small cakes of corn, he was so ashamed 
at being taken in by a foolish trick that he ran away from the 
village that same day. 
At sunset, weary and hungry, he sat down under a tree and prepared to 
make a poor supper of the two small cakes of corn. A sound made him 
start to his feet. There stood an old Indian in a long brown cloak, 
eyeing his cakes hungrily. 
"Oh dear," thought Little Magwis, "I haven't really enough for 
myself," but, being a kindhearted lad, he held out one cake
saying, "You seem hungry, grandfather. Eat." 
The old man thanked him and eagerly devoured the food. 
"It is clear," sighed Little Magwis, "that he is much hungrier than I 
am, and he is old." So he offered the old man the other cake. 
Now I can tell you something the little Indian did not know. The old 
man was really Glooscap. And this was his way of testing Little 
Magwis, to see if he was the sort of person who deserved his help. He 
now saw that Little Magwis was an honest, generous- hearted lad, in 
spite of the trouble he had brought upon himself. So he said: 
"Follow this path. Turn off to the right at the river, go on a little 
way, and you will see an oak tree under which the ground is dry and 
hard. When the evening star is seen in the sky, you must climb that 
tree and stay in it overnight. If you do as I say, you will have 
great good fortune." And before Little Magwis could open his mouth to 
ask any questions, suddenly the old man was not there any more! 
Little Magwis guessed at once that this was big magic and resolved to 
do as the old man had said. He found the oak tree without difficulty 
and as soon as it was dark climbed up into its branches. 
The ground underneath looked the sort of place used by travelers to 
camp overnight, for the earth was packed down hard. And sure enough, 
just as the moon rose, two boooins, or Indian wizards, came into the 
clearing and set up camp for the night. Little Magwis began to shiver 
and shake, knowing what would happen if he were discovered. Boooins 
would be sure to kill anyone who spied on them. Holding himself as 
still and small as possible, Little Magwis watched the boooins 
prepare their evening meal, and heard them talking to each other. 
"You know that blind Chief in the village at the river's bend," said 
one"Yes," said the other, "what about him ?" 
The first one laughed in an ugly sort of way. 
"How stupid those medicine men are! They are trying to cure his 
blindness with all sorts of remedies except the right one!" 
The other boooin shouted so loud with laughter that Little Magwis 
nearly fell out of the tree. 
"All he needs," said the first, "is a few drops of sweat from the 
hide of a white caribou." 
When the two boooins had done laughing and eating, they fell asleep. 
Little Magwis was still too frightened to move, so he stayed where he 
was, thinking how cruel the wizards were and how sad it was that the 
old Chief did not know their secret. He thought to himself that if he 
lived through the night and escaped the wrath of the boooins, he 
would give the blind Chief the proper remedy. Well, Little Magwis did 
live through the night without harm, though when the wizards awoke 
and went on their way, he was so stiff at first he could hardly move. 
He got down from the tree at last and set out for the village at the 
bend of the river. 
There he learned that the wizards had spoken truth. The old Chief was 
blind and the medicine men had given up hope of curing him. Now when 
Little Magwis offered to restore the Chief's sight, the medicine men 
laughed in his face, but the Chief was desperate and willing to try
any thing. 
"Help me," he said to the little Indian, "and I'll give you anything 
you ask." 
"I will help you if I can," said Little Magwis, "but I want nothing 
in return. First, bring me a white caribou." 
Today there are no caribou at all in the Maritime woodlands, only the 
deer, which were brought in some thirty or forty years ago, but in 
the Old Time they were very plentiful. However, the white ones were 
rare, and it was some time before one could be found and driven into 
the village. Little Magwis caught and held it by the antler while he 
wet his hair string in the caribou's sweat. Then he squeezed the 
moisture into the Chief's sightless eyes. 
After a long breathless moment, the Chief's staring eyes grew bright. 
"I can see!" he cried. "I can see!" 
Then all the people cheered, and the Chief ordered a large toboggan 
brought to him. He loaded it with venison and furs and fine weapons 
and decorated baskets, and gave it all to Little Magwis. 
When Little Magwis arrived home in his own village with all these 
wonderful things, Big Magwis nearly choked with jealousy. 
"How did you get it? Where--what--how?" 
Little Magwis willingly told him the whole story. 
"The oak by the camping ground?" cried Big Magwis. "I know it well!" 
That night he stole off quietly and hid himself in the tree, hoping 
to overhear something that would bring him a fortune like his 
neighbor. Crouched in the fork of the tree, hiding his big body as 
well as he could, he heard the boooins approach the spot underneath 
and listened eagerly to what they had to say. 
"You remember our talk not long ago about the blind Chief?" asked 
"I remember it well," said the other. 
"I have just learned," said the first with a scowl, "that we were 
overheard by someone up in this tree--someone who got rich by curing 
the Chief with our secret remedy!" 
"Perhaps," said the second in a hard voice, "perhaps he is up in that 
tree now, hoping to hear more of our secrets!" And he suddenly hurled 
a stone into the tree, knocking Big Magwis to the ground and killing 
him instantly. 
Little Magwis never went to the tree again. He had more sense! And he 
was content with what he had. 
There, once again, it is told.

The Origin Of The Pleiades And The Pine" - Cherokee
Long ago, when the world was new, there were seven boys who used to spend 
all their time down by the townhouse playing the gatay???ame, rolling a stone 
wheel along the ground and sliding a curved stick after it to strike it. Their mothers 
scolded, but it did no good, so one day they collected some gatay???tones and 
boiled them in the pot with the corn for dinner. When the boys came home hungry 
their mothers dipped out the stones and said, "Since you like the gatay???etter than 
the cornfield, take the stones now for your dinner."
The boys were very angry, and went down to the townhouse, saying, "As our mothers 
treat us this way, let us go where we shall never trouble them any more." They began 
to dance, some say it was the Feather Dance and went round and round the townhouse, 
praying to the spirits to help them. At last their mothers were afraid something was wrong 
and went out to look for them. They saw the boys still dancing around the townhouse, 
and as they watched they noticed that their feet were off the earth, and that with every 
round they rose higher and higher in the air. They ran to get their children, but it was to late, 
for they were already above the roof of the townhouse, all but one, whose mother managed 
to pull him down with the gatay???ole, but he struck the ground with such a force that he 
sank into it and the earth closed over him.
The other six circled higher and higher until they went up to the sky, Where we see them
 now as the Pleiades, which the Cherokee still call Ani'tsuts?The Boys). The people grieved 
long after them, but the mother whose boy had gone into the ground came every morning 
and every evening to cry over the spot until the earth was damp with tears. At last a little 
green shoot sprouted up and grew day by day until it became the tall tree that we call now 
the pine, and the pine is of the same nature as the stars and holds in itself the same bright light.

Grey Coat
At one point in time, all wolves were white. Every-single-one. There
wasn't another color. One wolf was named Tala (Native-American for
wolf). Tala hated the color white and decided to be another color. She
went to the nearby Native American village, snuck in quietly, and stole
a pot of red paint. When she found an open area, she dumped it on the
ground to make a puddle. She rolled in the puddle until she was red all
over. Then she went to the river to look at her reflection and see her
knew color.
When she got to the river, she frowned. "I look horrible in this color,"
she said. "Red is not my color." So she went back to the Native American
village and stole a pot of yellow paint. Tala went back to the open area
and dumped the pot on the ground and rolled until she was yellow all
over. She went to the river to see the results. She frowned. "I look a
dead leaf in autumn," she grumbled. "Yellow is not my color." Again she
went to Native American village a stole a pot of green paint. Then she
walked to the open area, dumped the pot of paint on the ground and
rolled in it. Again, Tala went to the river. Her reflection did not make
her happy. "I look like a rotting fruit," Tala complained. "Green is not
my color." She went back to the Native American village and stole a pot
of blue paint. She dumped it on the open area and rolled in it until
every inch of her fur was covered in blue paint. She went to the river
and sat down shaking her head. "I look like a night sky," she said. The
she asked the river, " River, will you wash the paint off my fur?"
"Certainly", said the river.
Tala jumped into the river and rolled until she was clean. "Thank you,
River," she said.
The River chuckled. "But you did not get all the paint off. All those
colors mixed to make gray. You're whole back is covered in gray paint."
"Oh, well," Tala grumbled. "It's better than white."

Creation of Summer and Winter
(Acoma tribe)
The oldest tradition of the people of Acoma and Laguna indicates that they 
lived on some island; that their homes were destroyed by tidal waves, 
earthquakes, and red-hot stones from the sky. They fled and landed on a low, 
swampy coast. From here they migrated to the Northwest, and wherever they 
made a long stay they built a "White City" (Kush-kut-ret).The fifth White 
City was built somewhere in southern Colorado or northern New Mexico. The 
people were obliged to leave it on account of cold, drought and famine. The 
first governor of Acoma had a daughter named Co-chin-ne-na-ko; she was the 
wife of Shakok, the spirit of Winter. After he came to live with them the 
seasons grew colder, colder; the snow and ice stayed longer; the corn would 
no longer mature; and the people were compelled to live on cactus leaves 
(E-mash-chu) and other wild plants. One day Co-chin-ne-na-ko went out to 
gather cactus leaves and burn off the thorns so that she could take them home 
for food. She had a leaf singed and was eating it, when upon looking up she 
saw a young man coming towards her. He had on a yellow shirt, woven of corn 
silk, a belt, and tall pointed hat; green leggings made of the green moss 
which grows in the springs and ponds, and moccasins beautifully embroidered 
with flowers and butterflies. In his hand he carried an ear of green corn. He 
came up and saluted her. She replied. Then he asked her what she was eating. 
She told him that the people were almost starved; that no corn would grow; 
and that they were all compelled to live on cactus leaves."Here," he said, 
"take this ear of corn and eat it, and I will go and bring you an armful to 
take home with you." He started and soon out of sight, going towards the 
south. In a very short time, however, he returned, bringing a large bundle of 
green corn (ken-utch), which he laid at her feet. Co-chin-ne-na-ko asked him 
where he had found the corn, and if it grew near by. He replied that he had 
brought it from his home, far to the south, where the corn grows and the 
flowers bloom all the year. "Oh, how I would like to see your country; will 
you not take me with you to your home?" she said. "Your husband, Shakok, the 
Spirit of Winter, would be angry if I should take you away," he said. She 
said, he is cold; ever since he came here no corn will grow, no flowers will 
bloom, and the people are compelled to live on prickly pear leaves.""Well", 
said he, "take the bundle of corn home with you and do not throw any of the 
husks outside the door; then come tomorrow and I will bring you more. I will 
meet you here." Then, bidding her farewell, he left again for his home in the 
south. Co-chin-ne-na-ko took the bundle of corn he had given her and started 
to go home to the town. She had not gone far when she met her sisters, for 
becoming alarmed at her long stay they had come out to look for her. They 
were very much surprised on seeing her with an armful of green corn instead 
of cactus leaves.Co-chin-ne-na-ko told them how the young man had come to her 
and brought her the corn. So they helped her carry it home. When they arrived 
their father and mother were wonderfully surprised, but pleased to see them 
bringing big ears of green corn instead of cactus leaves. They asked 
Co-chin-ne-na-ko where she had found it, and she told them, as she had 
already told her sisters, that a young man, whom she minutely described, had 
brought her the corn, and had asked her to meet him at the same place on the 
following day, and that he would accompany her home. "It is Miochin," said 
her father, "it is Miochin." "It is surely Miochin", said her mother. "Bring 
him home with you by all means." The next day Co-chin-ne-na-ko went to the 
place she had met Miochin, for he really was Miochin, the Spirit of Summer. 
He was already there waiting for her. He had big bundles of corn. Between 
them they carried it to the town, and there was enough to feed all the people 
of Acoma, and Miochin was welcomed at the house of the governor. In the 
evening, as was his custom, Shakok, the Sprit of Winter, and husband of 
Co-chin-ne-na-ko, returned from the north where he spent the days playing 
with the north wind, and with the snow and sleet and hail. He came in a 
blinding storm of snow, sleet and hail. On reaching the town he knew that 
Miochin was there, and called out to him, "Ha, Miochin, are you here?" 
Miochin advanced to meet him. "Ha, Miochin, now I will destroy you." "Ha, 
Shakok, I will destroy you," answered Miochin. Shakok stopped, and as Miochin 
advanced towards him the snow and hail melted and the fierce wind turned into 
a summer breeze. Shakok was covered with frost, icicles hung all about him, 
but as Miochin advanced towards him the frost melted, the icicles dropped 
off, and his clothing was revealed. It was made of dry bleached rushes 
(Ska-ra-ska-ru-ka). Shakok said, "I will not fight you now, but will meet you 
here four days from now and fight you till one or the other is beaten. The 
winner shall have Co-chin-ne-na-ko." With that Shakok left in a rage. The 
wind again roared and shook the very walls, but the people were warm in their 
houses. Miochin was there. Next day he left for his home in the south. 
Arriving there he made preparations for the meeting with Shakok. He first 
sent an eagle to his friend Yat-chum-me Moot, who lived in the west, asking 
him to help him in his fight with Shakok. Then he called all the birds, 
insects, and four-legged animals that live in summer lands. All these he 
called to help him. The bat (Pick-le-ke) was his advance guard and his 
shield, as the tough skin of the bat could best withstand the sleet and hail 
that Shakok would throw at him. On the third day Yat-chum-me kindled his 
fires, and heated the thin flat stones that he was names after. Then big 
black clouds of smoke rolled up from the south and covered the sky. When 
Shakok left he went to the north and called to him all the bird and the 
four-legged animals of the winter lands. He called these all to come and help 
him in the coming battle. The magpie (Shro-ak-ah) was his shield and advance 
guard. On the morning of the fourth day the two enemies could be seen coming. 
In the north the black storm clouds of winter, with snow, sleet, and hail 
were bringing Shakok to the battle. In the south, Yatchum-me piled more wood 
on his fires and great puffs of steam and smoke arose and formed into clouds. 
These were coming fast towards Acoma, and the place where the fight was to 
take place, and were bringing Miochin, the Spirit of Summer. The thick smoke 
of Yat-chum-me's fires blackened all the animals Miochin had with him, and 
that is why the animals of the south are black and brown. Forked blazes of 
lightning shot out of the clouds that were bringing Miochin. Each came fast. 
Shakok from the north; Miochin form the south. At last they reached the town, 
and the flashes from the clouds singed the feathers and hair on the birds and 
animals that came with Shakok, turning them white; that is the reason why all 
the animals and birds that live in the north are white, or have some white 
about them. Shakok and Miochin were now close together. From the north Shakok 
threw snowflakes, sleet, and hail that hissed through the air a blinding 
storm. In the south the big black clouds rolled along, and from Yat-chum-me's 
fires still rose up great puffs of smoke and steam that heated the air and 
melted Shakok's snow and sleet and hail, and compelled him to fall back. At 
last Shakok called for a truce. Miochin agreed, and the winds stopped and the 
snow and rain ceased falling. They met at the wall of Acoma, and Shakok said, 
"I am defeated; you are the winner; Co-chin-ne-na-ko is yours." Then they 
agreed that Shakok should rule during half of the year, and Miochin during 
the other half, and that neither should trouble the other thereafter. Ever 
since then one half of the year has been cold and the other half warm.