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Myths and Legends of the Great Plains

Page: 12

Each band had its own pipe.


Tattooing, Showing Conventional Design of the Peace Pipe

Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution


A small circular boat, pulled on shore, with one oar resting inside. Bull Boat

Made of the hide of the buffalo bulls.
The only boat used by the plains Indians.

Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution


[Pg 43]

THE SACRED POLE

Omaha

A young man who had been wandering came back to his village. When he reached his home he said, “Father, I have seen a wonderful tree.” Then he told his father about it. The old man was silent because all was not yet settled between the tribes. The Cheyenne, the Arikara, the Omaha, Ponca, and Iowa were having a great council, so as to adopt rules concerning the hunting of game, and of peace, and war.

After a while, the young man went to visit the tree. When he reached home, he told his father again of it. The old man was silent, for the chiefs were still holding their council. At last, when the council was over and the rules decided upon, the old man sent for the chiefs. He said, “My son has seen a wonderful tree. The Thunder Birds come and go upon this tree. They make a trail of fire which leaves four paths on the burnt grass that stretch towards the Four Winds. When the Thunder Birds alight upon the tree, it bursts into flame. The fire mounts to the top. The [Pg 44] tree stands burning, but no one can see the fire except at night.”


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