Friday, June 6, 2014

Great Plains: The Spirit Land

You can read about the phenomenon of the ghost-dance, the "Ghost Dance of 1890," at Wikipedia.



[Notes by LKG]

This story is part of the Great Plains unit. Story source: Myths and Legends of the Great Plains by Katharine Berry Judson (1913).

The Spirit Land
Arapahoe

The spirit world is toward the Darkening Land, higher up, and separated from the world of living by a great lake. Now when the spirits came back to this world [in the ghost-dance excitement], Crow was their leader. That is because Crow is black; his color is the same as that of the Darkening Land. Crow was followed by all the Indians. But when they reached the edge of the shadow land, below them was a great sea.

Far away, toward the Sunrise Land were their people in the world of living. So Crow took a pebble in his beak. He dropped it into the water, and it became a mountain, towering up to the shadow land. So the Indians came down the mountain side to the edge of the water.

Then Crow took some dust in his bill. He flew out and dropped it into the water, and it became solid land. It stretched between the spirit land and the world of living.

Then Crow flew out again, with blades of grass in  his beak. He dropped these upon the new made land. At once the earth was covered with green grass.

Again Crow flew out with twigs in his beak, and he dropped these upon the new earth. At once it was covered with a forest of trees.

Again he flew back to the base of the mountain. Then he called all the spirit Indians together. Now he is coming to help the living Indians. He has already passed the sea. He is now on the western edge of the world of living.





(300 words)




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