Myth-Folklore Unit: Sioux Legends

Overview. The legends in this unit come from books by two Sioux authors, both women, writing in the early years of the 20th century: Marie McLaughlin (Myths and Legends of the Siouxand Zitkala-Sa (Old Indian Legends). Many of the stories are about the trickster figure and culture-hero called "Spider," Iktomi (Unktomi, Ictinike), and there are also stories about the trickster Rabbit along with some Turtle tales, including a version of the famous "turtle on the warpath" legend. You will also find stories here about the Sioux people and their life on the Plains, including encounters with the spirit world, like the legend of the tribe that discovered a mysterious cave with petroglyphs on its walls that revealed the future.

Language. This unit contains stories from two different authors: McLaughlin's stories (in the first half of the unit) are closer to the oral tradition, while the stories by Zitkala-Sa (in the second half of the unit) are more literary in style.

Story Length. These are all 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: Sioux Legends. Click "Older Posts" at the bottom of that page to see the second page.

Table of Contents:

Free audiobook available:

  1. The Rabbit and the Grouse Girls
  2. The Rabbit and the Bear
  3. The Story of the Lost Wife
  4. The Simpleton's Wisdom
  5. A Little Brave and the Medicine Woman
  6. The Boy and the Turtles
  7. The Hermit, or The Gift of Corn
  8. The Mysterious Butte
  9. The Wonderful Turtle
  1. The Pemmican Man and Unktomi
  2. Unktomi, The Two Widows, and the Red Plums
  3. Unktomi and the Arrowheads
  4. Iktomi and the Ducks (with audio)
  5. Iktomi's Blanket (with audio)
  6. Iktomi and the Muskrat (with audio)
  7. Iktomi and the Coyote (with audio)
  8. Iktomi and the Turtle (with audio)
  9. The War-Like Seven (with audio)