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Mythology Folk Tales

American Indian Mythology by Evelyn Wolfson

By Evelyn Wolfson

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She remembered her own mother carrying her up the same path in her cradleboard, and she remembered the little grey squirrels that darted back and forth behind her mother’s back showing off their quickness. Tolowim-Woman swung her arms high in the air as if the sky were her roof and her home had no boundaries. Her fine black hair brushed against her shoulders, and her small bare feet pressed gently into grass that was still wet from the morning dew. She was free and happy. She skipped along the well-worn path as if she carried no burden.

After the buffalo tumbled over the edge, Blackfeet hunters would then collect the dead and wounded from the prairie 1 below where they had landed. 61 American Indian Mythology However, legend tells that a very long time ago the buffalo refused to be frightened by the wolves who laid in wait along the edges of the pis’kun, and they would not stampede to the edge of the cliff. Instead, they veered away, and fled down the cliff ’s sloping sides. The origin of the buffalo dance, as told in the story of “Buffalo Husband,” explains how the Blackfeet people learned to keep the buffalo tumbling off the cliff and the 2 tribe from starving.

His work is much respected by both Native-American and nonIndian scholars. From decay of the old tradition and admixtures of Bible ideas the Cherokee genesis [creation] myth is too far broken down to be recovered excepting in disjointed fragments. . The incident of the buzzard shaping the mountains occurs also in the genesis myth of the Creeks and Yuchi, southern neighbors of the Cherokee, but by them the first earth is said to 3 have been brought up from under the water by the crawfish. Charles Hudson, a distinguished professor of anthropology, has written numerous books about the southeastern Indians.

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