Native American Legends Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:26:25
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Category: Blackfeet

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The Blackfoot nation is comprised of three First Nations in Alberta, Canada (North Peigan, South Peigan, Kainai Nation) and one Native American tribe in Montana (Siksika Nation). Their language is of the Algonquian family and they have many beautiful stories that reflect their culture, language, geography and history. The two stories I chose to read are called Legend of the Beginning, and Blood Clot Boy. Legend of the Beginning is a creation story about Old Man who travels through the land creating rivers, clay, mountains, prairies, forests, animals, plants and humans out of clay.

He teaches the humans how to hunt, prepare food, make fire and create weapons. Old Man then creates more people and creates buffalos, which he teaches the humans to hunt and kill and prepare for food. After all of this, he climbed to the top of a mountain and watched his creation. He was pleased and decided to have some fun, so he used the mountain as a slide and created what is now known as Old Mans Sliding Ground. People today believe that the Old Man still exists and will come back some day with the buffalo that they believe the white man has hidden.

The buffalo has been a very important animal to the Blackfoot Nation. In the plains of Montana, buffalo were Blackfeets primary source of food. Blackfeet used the entire buffalo: skins for camouflage, clothes and tepees, bones for tools, stomach and bladder (which were used as storage containers for liquid), dung for fuel and tendons for rope. Because the buffalo was so important to their livelihood, it was a sacred creature. In the Legend of the Beginning Old Man focuses very heavily on teaching the humans how to kill and prepare buffalo, which is a perfect reflection of how important the buffalo are to Blackfeet.

In 1837, because of an American Fur Company, 6,000 Blackfeet died because of smallpox and cholera. This was just one small negative impact white men had on the Blackfoot nation, so it makes sense at the end of the story when it is mentioned that Blackfeet think the white men are hiding the buffalo. Blood Clot Boy is also centered around buffalo. A father has a nasty son-in-law that wont let the father eat. One day when they were hunting, the father found a blood clot and took it home but the blood clot was a baby boy, which turned into a man very quickly.

They named him Blood Clot and he continued on to rid the world of all the monsters who are selfish (the monsters keep the fat, which is very important to their nutrition, away from the rest of the creatures). Once he has finished this, he returns to his original parents and then dies on a warpath. The Smoking-Star in the sky appeared the second Blood Clot died. In this story, the Blood Clot lights his pipe in one of the caves where he kills one of the monsters (in this case, the snakes). The pipe is traditionally used in Blackfoot culture as a social gesture, but can also be used to seal a pact or make a deal.

In this case, it seems as though Blood Clot was making a one-sided deal! Blood Clot is resilient, strong, independent and kind. This speaks to the culture of Blackfeet, as they were incredibly resilient when Westerners took over their land and pushed them north. This story also speaks very strongly to how important elders are to the culture. Blood Clot risks his life to bring justice to his elderly father and mother after the son-in-law was restricting food from them. Both of these stories reflect beautifully on the cultures of Blackfeet.

They both talk about the geography and weather of Montana, they both comment on how resilient the people are, they both give hints into the culture about marriage, hierarchy, rituals, food and lifestyle. I have enjoyed learning about the Blackfoot Nation through their traditional stories. BIBLIOGRAPHY Native American Legends . Blood Clot Boy. First People-The Legends. Retrieved October 15, 2012, from www. firstpeople. us/FP-Html-Legends/BloodClotBoy-Blackfoot. html Blackfeet Creation Tale. Legend of the Beginning from Blackfeet Community College. Retrieved October 15, 2012 from www. montana. edu/wwwbcc/legend. html.

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