Click here to Download Myths and legends of the Sioux PDF Book by Marie McLaughlin Language English having PDF Size 1.1 MB and No of Pages 77.
In publishing these “Myths of the Sioux,” I deem it proper to state that I am of one-fourth Sioux blood. My maternal grandfather, Captain Duncan Graham, a Scotchman by birth, who had seen service in the British Army, was one of a party of Scotch Highlanders who in 1811 arrived in the British Northwest by way of York Factory.
Myths and legends of the Sioux PDF Book by Marie McLaughlin
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Hudson Bay, to found what was known as the Selkirk Colony, near Lake Winnipeg, now within the province of Manitoba, Canada. Soon after his arrival at Lake Winnipeg he proceeded up the Red River of the North and the western fork thereof to its source, and thence down the Minnesota River to Mendota, the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers, where he located.
My grandmother, Ha-za-ho-ta-win, was a full-blood of the Medawakanton Band of the Sioux Tribe of Indians. My father, Joseph Buisson, born near Montreal, Canada, was connected with the American Fur Company, with headquarters at Mendota, Minnesota, which point was for many years the chief distributing depot of the American Fur Company.
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From which the Indian trade conducted by that company on the upper Mississippi was directed. I was born December 8, 1842, at Wabasha, Minnesota, then Indian country, and resided thereat until fourteen years of age, when I was sent to school at Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. I was married to Major James McLaughlin at Mendota, Minnesota, January 28, 1864.
And resided in Minnesota until July 1, 1871, when I accompanied my husband to Devils Lake Agency, North Dakota, then Dakota Territory, where I remained ten years in most friendly relations with the Indians of that agency. My husband was Indian agent at Devils Lake Agency, and in 1881 was transferred to Standing Rock, on the Missouri River, then a very important agency.
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To take charge of the Sioux who had then but recently surrendered to the military authorities, and been brought by steamboat from various points on the upper Missouri, to be permanently located on the Standing Rock reservation. Having been born and reared in an Indian community, I at an early age acquired a thorough knowledge of the Sioux language.
And having lived on Indian reservations for the past forty years in a position which brought me very near to the Indians, whose confidence I possessed, I have, therefore, had exceptional opportunities of learning the legends and folk-lore of the Sioux. The stories contained in this little volume were told me by the older men and women of the Sioux.
Of which I made careful notes as related, knowing that, if not recorded, these fairy tales would be lost to posterity by the passing of the primitive Indian. The notes of a song or a strain of music coming to us through the night not only give us pleasure by the melody they bring, but also give us knowledge of the character of the singer or of the instrument from which they proceed. Myths and legends of the Sioux PDF Book
There is something in the music which unerringly tells us of its source. I believe musicians call it the “timbre” of the sound. It is independent of, and different from, both pitch and rhythm; it is the texture of the music itself. The “timbre” of a people’s stories tells of the qualities of that people’s heart.
It is the texture of the thought, independent of its form or fashioning, which tells the quality of the mind from which it springs. In the “timbre” of these stories of the Sioux, told in the lodges and at the camp fires of the past, and by the firesides of the Dakotas of today, we recognize the very texture of the thought of a simple, grave, and sincere people.
Living in intimate contact and friendship with the big out-of-doors that we call Nature; a race not yet understanding all things, not proud and boastful, but honest and childlike and fair; a simple, sincere, and gravely thoughtful people, willing to believe that there may be in even the everyday things of life something not yet fully understood. Myths and legends of the Sioux PDF Book
A race that can, without any loss of native dignity, gravely consider the simplest things, seeking to fathom their meaning and to learn their lesson—equally without vainglorious boasting and trifling cynicism; an earnest, thoughtful, dignified, but simple and primitive people. To the children of any race these stories can not fail to give pleasure by their vivid imaging of the simple things.
And creatures of the great out-of-doors and the epics of their doings. They will also give an intimate insight into the mentality of an interesting race at a most interesting stage of development, which is now fast receding into the mists of the past. The Rabbit and his grandmother were in dire straits, because the rabbit was out of arrows.
The fall hunt would soon be on and his quiver was all but empty. Arrow sticks he could cut in plenty, but he had nothing with which to make arrowheads. “You must make some flint arrowheads,” said his grandmother. “Then you will be able to kill game.” “Where shall I get the flint?” asked the rabbit. Myths and legends of the Sioux PDF Book
“From the old bear chief,” said his old grandmother. For at that time all the flint in the world was in the bear’s body. So the rabbit set out for the village of the Bears. It was winter time and the lodges of the bears were set under the shelter of a hill where the cold wind would not blow on them and where they had shelter among the trees and bushes.
He came at one end of the village to a hut where lived an old woman. He pushed open the door and entered. Everybody who came for flint always stopped there because it was the first lodge on the edge of the village. Strangers were therefore not unusual in the old woman’s hut, and she welcomed the rabbit. She gave him a seat and at night he lay with his feet to the fire.
The next morning the rabbit went to the lodge of the bear chief. They sat together awhile and smoked. At last the bear chief spoke. “What do you want, my grandson?” “I have come for some flint to make arrows,” answered the rabbit. The bear chief grunted, and laid aside his pipe. Leaning back he pulled off his robe and, sure enough, one half of his body was flesh and the other half hard flint. Myths and legends of the Sioux PDF Book
“Bring a stone hammer and give it to our guest,” he bade his wife. Then as the rabbit took the hammer he said: “Do not strike too hard.” “Grandfather, I shall be careful,” said the rabbit. With a stroke he struck off a little flake of flint from the bear’s body. “Ni-sko-ke-cha? So big?” he asked. “Harder, grandson; strike off bigger pieces,” said the bear.
The rabbit struck a little harder. “Ni-sko-ke-cha? So big?” he asked. The bear grew impatient. “No, no, strike off bigger pieces. I can’t be here all day. Tanka kaksa wo! Break off a big piece.” The rabbit struck again—hard! “Ni-sko-ke-cha?” he cried, as the hammer fell. But even as he spoke the bear’s body broke in two, the flesh part fell away and only the flint part remained.
Like a flash the rabbit darted out of the hut. There was a great outcry in the village. Openmouthed, all the bears gave chase. But as he ran the rabbit cried: “Wa-hin-han-yo (snow, snow) Ota-po, Ota-po—lots more, lots more,” and a great storm of snow swept down from the sky. The rabbit, light of foot, bounded over the top of the snow. Myths and legends of the Sioux PDF Book Download
The bears sunk in and floundered about helpless. Seeing this, the rabbit turned back and killed them one by one with his club. That is why we now have so few bears. Two young men were out strolling one night talking of love affairs. They passed around a hill and came to a little ravine or coulee. Suddenly they saw coming up from the ravine a beautiful woman.
She was painted and her dress was of the very finest material. “What a beautiful girl!” said one of the young men. “Already I love her. I will steal her and make her my wife.” “No,” said the other. “Don’t harm her. She may be holy.” The young woman approached and held out a pipe which she first offered to the sky, then to the earth and then advanced, holding it out in her extended hands.
“I know what you young men have been saying; one of you is good; the other is wicked,” she said. She laid down the pipe on the ground and at once became a buffalo cow. The cow pawed the ground, stuck her tail straight out behind her and then lifted the pipe from the ground again in her hoofs; immediately she became a young woman again. Myths and legends of the Sioux PDF Book Download
“I am come to give you this gift,” she said. “It is the peace pipe. Hereafter all treaties and ceremonies shall be performed after smoking it. It shall bring peaceful thoughts into your minds. You shall offer it to the Great Mystery and to mother earth.” The two young men ran to the village and told what they had seen and heard.
All the village came out where the young woman was. She repeated to them what she had already told the young men and added: “When you set free the ghost (the spirit of deceased persons) you must have a white buffalo cow skin.” She gave the pipe to the medicine men of the village, turned again to a buffalo cow and fled away to the land of buffaloes.
Early the next morning (regardless of the old couple’s pleadings not to go unarmed) the young man left the village and headed northwest, the direction always taken by the war parties. For ten days he traveled without seeing any signs of a camp. The evening of the tenth day, he reached a very high butte, thickly wooded at the summit. Myths and legends of the Sioux PDF Book Download
He ascended this butte, and as he sat there between two large boulders, watching the beautiful rays of the setting sun, he was suddenly startled to hear the neigh of a horse. Looking down into the beautiful valley which was threaded by a beautiful creek fringed with timber, he noticed close to the base of the butte upon which he sat, a large drove of horses grazing peacefully and quietly.
Looking closer, he noticed at a little distance from the main drove, a horse with a saddle on his back. This was the one that had neighed, as the drove drifted further away from him. He was tied by a long lariat to a large sage bush. Where could the rider be, he said to himself. As if in answer to his question, there appeared not more than twenty paces from him a middle aged man coming up through a deep ravine.
The man was evidently in search of some kind of game, as he held his gun in readiness for instant use, and kept his eyes directed at every crevice and clump of bush. So intent was he on locating the game he was trailing, that he never noticed the young man who sat like a statue not twenty paces away. Myths and legends of the Sioux PDF Book Free
Slowly and cautiously the man approached, and when he had advanced to within a few paces of the young man he stopped and turning around, stood looking down into the valley. This was the only chance that our brave young friend had. Being unarmed, he would stand no show if the enemy ever got a glimpse of him.
Slowly and noiselessly he drew his hunting knife (which his father had given him on his departure from home) and holding it securely in his right hand, gathered himself and gave a leap which landed him upon the unsuspecting enemy’s shoulders. The force with which he landed on the enemy caused him (the enemy) to lose his hold on his gun, and it went rattling down into the chasm.
Forty feet below. Down they came together, the young man on top. No sooner had they struck the ground than the enemy had out his knife, and then commenced a hand to hand duel. The enemy, having more experience, was getting the best of our young friend. Already our young friend had two ugly cuts, one across his chest and the other through his forearm. Myths and legends of the Sioux PDF Book Free
He was becoming weak from the loss of blood, and could not stand the killing pace much longer. Summoning all his strength for one more trial to overcome his antagonist, he rushed him toward the chasm, and in his hurry to get away from this fierce attack, the enemy stepped back one step too far, and down they both went into the chasm.
Interlocked in each other’s arms, the young man drove his knife into the enemy’s side and when they struck the bottom the enemy relaxed his hold and straightened out stiff and dead.