Myths and Legends of the Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes
|Early Indian drawing showing a wrestling bout||Frontispiece|
|Early Indian pottery||20|
|Wild rice tied in bunches or sheaves||42|
|Wild rice kernels after threshing and winnowing||42|
|Birch-bark yoke, and sap buckets, used in maple sugar making||52|
|Picture writing. An Ojibwa Meda song||84|
|Permanent ash-bark wigwam of the wild rice gathering Ojibwa||104|
|Shell gorget showing eagle carving||128|
|Indian jar from the mounds of Arkansas||128|
|Shell pins made and used by Indians of the Mississippi Valley||176|
|Ojibwa dancer’s beaded medicine bag||198|
MYTHS AND LEGENDS OF THE
WHEN Earth-maker came to consciousness, he thought of the substance upon which he was sitting. He saw nothing. There was nothing anywhere. Therefore his tears flowed. He wept. But not long did he think of it. He took some of the substance upon which he was sitting; so he made a little piece of earth for our fathers. He cast this down from the high place on which he sat. Then he looked at what he had made. It had become something like our earth. Nothing grew upon it. Bare it was, but not quiet. It kept turning.
“How shall I make it become quiet?” thought Earth-maker. Then he took some grass from the substance he was sitting upon and cast it down upon the earth. Yet it was not quiet.
[Pg 2] Then he made a man. When he had finished him, he called him Tortoise. At the end of all his thinking, after he came to consciousness, he made the two-legged walkers.
Then Earth-maker said to this man, “The evil spirits are abroad to destroy all I have just created. Tortoise, I shall send you to bring order into the world.” Then Earth-maker gave him a knife.
But when Tortoise came to earth, he began to make war. He did not look after Earth-maker’s creation. So Earth-maker took him back.