Myth-Folklore Unit: Great Plains

Overview. About half of the stories in this selection from Judson's Myths and Legends of the Great Plains come from the Omaha people, and there are also stories from about a dozen or so other tribes. You will read some creation stories about the creation of the world, along with stories that explain the origins of things, such as why the possum plays dead and how the deer got its horns. There are trickster stories about Unktomi (Spider), along with other tricksters such as Coyote and Rabbit. Finally, this unit also includes many ghost stories and tales of the spirit lands, along with a marvelous fairytale-type story about a young boy who went to seek Wakan-Tanka, the "Great Mystery," a journey that led to his own transformation.

Language. Judson's book is an anthology of stories takes from various anthropological sources, written in a variety of styles. Some of the stories are told in a more traditional oral style, while other stories are edited in a style more like literary prose.

Story Length. Most of the stories here are on the short side, and all of them are single-page stories.

Navigation. You will find the table of contents below, and you can also use this link to see the story posts displayed on two pages total: Great Plains. Click "Older Posts" at the bottom of that page to see the second page.
  1. The Creation
  2. Sacred Legend
  3. The Legend of the Peace Pipes
  4. A Tradition of the Calumet
  5. The Sacred Pole
  6. The Buffalo and the Grizzly Bear
  7. The Eagle's Revenge
  8. Unktomi and the Bad Songs
  9. Old-Woman-Who-Never-Dies
  10. Legend of the Corn
  11. Tradition of the Finding of Horses
  12. The Ghost's Resentment
  13. Three Ghost Stories
  1. Two Teton Ghost Stories
  2. The Indian Who Wrestled with a Ghost
  3. The Wakanda, or Water God
  4. The Spirit Land
  5. Why the Possum Plays Dead
  6. Coyote and Snake
  7. Two More Rabbit Stories
  8. How the Rabbit Killed the Giant
  9. Rabbit and Deer
  10. Legend of the Head of Gold
  11. Ictinike and the Turtle
  12. Ictinike and the Creators