Tuesday, March 20, 2007


The West
"To the French that came from the North, it was known as the South.
To the Spanish that came from the South, it was known as the North.
The Russians, crossing over the Bering Strait in the Pacific knew it as the East.
The Americans, that came from the East knew it as the West....

But for the people who were already there it was home.
The Center of the Universe."

A Dream Landscape
The Oral Tradition among the Kiowa has it that there were seven young sisters playing a game with their brother. He was pretending to be a Bear and they were running, pretending to be frightened. During the course of the game, the brother magically turns into a Bear, and now the sisters are truly frightened and climb on top of a stump to try to get away. The stump magically begins to rise into the air as the Bear rakes the sides of the stump, scarring the wood with his claws. Just as he is about to eat the sisters, they are magically transported into the night sky as stars.
The Americans call these stars the "Big Dipper".
The Kiowa call them "The Bear".
The Greeks, Ursa Major, which means "Big Bear".

The stump is called the "Devils Tower" and part of the Black Hills.
To the Kiowa, it was the center of the Universe.
Yeah, I can see that...


Barbara said...

I love Indian lore. One of my favorite books of all time was Fool's Crow by James Welch. Our western tradition is such a different and bland approach to life.

Mother of Invention said...

Meat! You know lots of native legends etc. and I love them. My favourite is The Loon's Necklace!

kissyface said...

I've been there, twice. It's incredible.

steve said...

Barb- I do too- we are very bland-
I always wanted to have an Indian name, but I have yet to have my Vision...

The only studying I did in high school was centered on Indians... i'll have to look up "the loons necklace" MOM; I had a book of Chippewa Folklore from your area called 'Legends of Green Sky Hill" that we were given in the Third grade.

KF- I have a feeling it would buckle my knees...just the pictures move me ...my mind asks "can this be real?"

Mother of Invention said...

That's cool...maybe you have to do the fasting thing, smoke whatever they smoked and then your vision and totem will find you!
I have an eerie but cool story I may blog about The Loon's Necklace.