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Jun 07

Stories from My Grandfather – Kowi Anukasha

WHAT’S PLAYING: The Donnas “Bitchin’”

Kowi anukasha is the name of a little spirit who lives in a cave under large rocks. He appears as a little man no larger than a child of two or three.

Kowi anukasha is the name of a little spirit who lives in a cave under large rocks. He appears as a little man no larger than a child of two or three.

When a male child comes of age, he leaves home and goes among the trees. Once the child is well out of sight of home, kowi anukasha seizes the child and leads him away to the spirit’s dwelling place, which lies a considerable distance away in a rough, broken part of the country.

When kowi anukasha and the child enter the spirit’s home, they are met by three ancient spirits, all with white hair. The first spirit offers the child a knife. The second offers a bunch of herbs, all poisonous. The third and final spirit offers the child a bunch of herbs that yield good medicine.

If the child accepts the knife, he is certain to become a bad man, maybe even a killer of men. If he takes the poisonous herbs, he will never be able to cure or otherwise help others. But if he waits and accepts the good herbs, then he is destined to become a great doctor and an important man of his tribe. Kowi anukasha and the three ancient spirits tell him the secrets of making medicine, and teach him how to treat fevers and pain.

The child remains with the spirits three days, after which he returns to his home, but does not tell where he has been or what he has seen and heard. Not until the child has become a man will he make use of the knowledge gained from the spirits, but never will he reveal to others how it was acquired.

Few children wait to accept the offering of good herbs from the third spirit, and hence there are comparatively few great doctors and other men of influence among the Choctaw.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.jacquitalbot.com/2012/06/stories-from-my-grandfather-kowi-anukasha/

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