Mythology of the Blackfoot Indians


Mythology of the Blackfoot Indians

Second Edition

Compiled and translated by Clark Wissler and D. C. Duvall
Introduction to the Bison Books edition by Alice Beck Kehoe
Introduction to the new Bison Books edition by Darrell Kipp

Sources of American Indian Oral Literature Series

204 pages
3 Illus., index


January 2008


$19.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Mythology of the Blackfoot Indians, originally published in 1908 by the American Museum of Natural History, introduces such figures as Old Man, Scar-Face, Blood-Clot, and the Seven Brothers. Included are tales with ritualistic origins emphasizing the prototypical Beaver-Medicine and the roles played by Elk-Woman and Otter-Woman, as well as a presentation of Star Myths, which reveal the astronomical knowledge of the Blackfoot Indians. Narratives about Raven, Grasshopper, and Whirlwind-Boy account for conditions in humanity and nature. Many of the stories in the concluding group, such as “The Lost Children” and “The Ghost-Woman,” were tales told to Blackfoot children.
These narratives were collected early in the twentieth century from the Piegans in Montana and from the North Piegans, the Bloods, and the Northern Blackfoot in Canada. Most were translated by D. C. Duvall and revised for Mythology of the Blackfoot Indians by Clark Wissler. Darrell Kipp provides an introduction to the new Bison Books edition.

Author Bio

Clark Wissler (1870–1947) was curator at the American Museum of Natural History and chairman of the Department of Anthropology at Columbia University. He is the author of North American Indians of the Plains and Man and Culture. Alice Beck Kehoe is the author of many books, including North American Indians: A Comprehensive Account, America Before the European Invasions, and the anthropology textbook Humans. Darrell Kipp (Blackfoot) is the director of the Piegan Institute, whose national objectives are to promote support for Native language issues through advocacy and education and to provide a voice for the national and international dialogue on Native language restoration.

Table of Contents

Introduction to the New Bison Books Edition by Darrell Kipp
Introduction to the Bison Books Edition by Alice Beck Kehoe
Introduction by Clark Wissler
I. Tales of the Old Man
1. The Making of the Earth
2. Languages confused on a Mountain
3. Order of Life and Death
4. Why People die Forever
5. The First Marriage
6. Old Man leads a Migration
7. Old Man and the Great Spirit
8. Old Man gambles
9. Old Man and the Rolling Stone
10. Old Man roasts Squirrels in Hot Ashes
11. Old Man makes a Drive, and loses Meat in a Race
12. Old Man sees Berries in the Water
13. Old Man loses his Eyes
14. Old Man and the Fire-Leggings
15. Old Man frightens a Bear
16. Old Man gets fast in an Elk-Skull, and loses his Hair
17. Old Man cooks Two Babies
18. Old Man's Escape
19. Old Man deceived by Two Women
20. Old Man sees Girls picking Strawberries
21. Old Man penem trans flumen mittit
22. Old Man makes Buffalo laugh
23. Adventures of Old Man
II. Star Myths
1. The Twin-Brothers, or Stars
2. Blood-Clot, or Smoking-Star
3. The Fixed-Star
4. Scar-Face
a) Version by a Piegan Man
b) Version by a Piegan Woman
5. Cuts-Wood
6. The Seven Stars
7. The Bunched Stars
8. The Moon-Woman
III. Ritualistic Origins
1. The Beaver-Medicine
a) Northern Blackfoot Version
b) Blood Version
c) North Piegan Version
d) Piegan Version
2. Otter-Woman
3. Tobacco-Seeds and Beaver-Medicine
4. Crow Indian Water-Medicine
5. Scabby-Round-Robe
6. The Elk-Woman
a) Blood Version
b) Piegan Version
7. The Buffalo-Rock
a) Piegan Version
b) Northern Blackfoot Version
8. Origin of the Medicine-Pipe
9. The Worm-Pipe
10. A Pipe from the Seven Stars
11. The Black-Covered Pipe
12. The Otter-Lodge
13. The Bear-Lodge
14. The Horse-Lodge
15. Black and Yellow Buffalo-Painted Lodges
16. The Crow-Painted Lodge
17. The Bear-Knife
18. The Smoking-Otter
19. The Medicine-Shields
20. Never-Sits-Down's Shield
21. The Eagle-Head Charm
22. The Pigeons
23. The Mosquitoes
24. The Braves
25. Dog-Chief
26. Has-Scars-All-Over
27. Scabby-Bull
28. The Horns and the Matoki
a) Blood Version
b) North Piegan Version
29. The Kit-Fox
30. The Catchers
31. The Buffalo's Adopted Child
IV. Cultural and Other Origins
1. The Whirlwind-Boy
2. The Bladder Story
3. The Water-Bull
4. Red-Head
5. The Meeting in the Cave
6. Why Dogs do not Talk
7. Why Women are able to stick the Poles into the Holes of the Ears of the Lodge after Dark
8. Contest between the Thunder-Bird and the Raven
9. The Raven Rescues People
10. Why Grasshopper Spit
11. How Medicine-Hat got its Name
V. Miscellaneous Tales
1. The Lost Children
2. The Woman who got Meat from the Cliff
3. Bear-Moccasin, the Great Medicine-Man
4. The Split Feather
5. The Treacherous Wives
6. The Woman who Married a Snake
7. The Woman who Married Filth
8. The Woman who Married a Horse
9. The Woman with a Sharpened Leg
10. The Woman without a Body
11. The Man Cut in two below the Waist
12. The Ghost-Woman
13. Fed by a Ghost
14. Fed by a Coyote
15. Riding the Buffalo
16. The Kutenai Black-Tail Deer-Dance
17. The Horned-Toad and the Frog
18. Turtle goes to War
19. The Warrior's Dilemma
20. A Warrior's Duty and his Love
21. The Wolverene-Woman
22. Seven-Heads
23. The Sand Hills

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