Category Archive: Choctaw Tales

Aug 07

Stories from my Grandfather – The Redbird as told by Tipi Pinti

WHAT’S PLAYING: Slash feat. Fergie “Beautiful Dangerous”

 

Once, when time was not quite old enough to be counted, there lived a lovely Choctaw maiden, who was very skilled in house and fieldwork. She could do all the things needed to keep her lodge in order, but lacked the one thing she longed for most—a mate.

One day, she spied a red bird sitting in a tree and sighed. “Redbird, will I ever find the one meant for me? Someone to care for, who will care for me?

 

 

The Redbird had no answer for the maiden, but heard the loneliness in her voice. Every morning for the passing of seven suns, the Redbird came and listened to the maiden’s story. As each day passed, the maiden’s loneliness filled the Redbird until he decided to do something about it.

One day, during his travels, the Redbird came upon a handsome Choctaw brave. The brave called to him and began to speak. Redbird heard the same loneliness in the brave’s voice that the maiden had shown and realized that these two lonely people had the same wish, to find another who would love and care for them, as they would care for their mate.

 

On the fifth day of listening to the brave, Redbird feigned an illness. The brave became concerned, for the Redbird had become his friend. Each time the brave would approach Redbird, the wily beast would hop away, leading him further and further away from home.

In this way, the Redbird led the brave to the maiden’s lodge, where she sat outside. As soon as Redbird saw the maiden, he flew away. The brave realized that he had wandered far from home, and so went to the maiden to ask where he was.

The Redbird sat in a tree and watched the brave and the maiden. After their initial shyness, they were soon talking and laughing like old friends.

 

 

Redbird saw this and thought that it was good. He had done all he could and now it would be up to the brave and maiden. As Redbird flew away, he thought of how Great Spirit had known that someday the two would find each other.

Now it was good that Maiden had someone who would see for her and Brave had someone that would hear for him and that they finally had someone who would care.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.jacquitalbot.com/2013/08/stories-from-my-grandfather-the-redbird-as-told-by-tipi-pinti/

Feb 20

Stories from My Grandfather – Why the Flowers Grow

WHAT’S PLAYING: Smilez and Southstar “Tell Me”

Long ago, when the world was young, there was a beautiful star named Bright Eyes, and she was the brightest star in all the heavens. After many years, another star entered the sky and hid Bright Eyes from view. This made her sad because people could not see her face.

So she called to her sisters, saying, “Come, let us go down to Earth where we can live with the people and make them happy. The new star has hidden my light and the sky does not need us any longer.”

On their way to Earth, Bright Eyes and her sisters stopped on Mount Joy where Uncta, the Great Bronze Spider, lived and spun the finest webs. The maidens begged the Spider God to teach them to spin and weave, and he agreed. Soon, they were able to spin beautiful threads and weave them into fine cloth.

One day, Bright Eyes decided that it was time for her and her sisters to continue on their journey, and she turned to Uncta for help.

“Will you help us get to Earth?” she asked the Spider God. “We want to teach the people how to spin and weave.”

Uncta was sad to see the sisters go, but he knew that they would bring much joy to the people of earth. He wove a basket and used it to lower them to Earth.

When Bright Eyes and her sisters landed, they became the Little Folk. They lived in the forest, working, dancing and playing. They taught the Choctaw how to make bright colors and use them in weaving their rugs and blankets. The Choctaw loved the Little Folk who helped them and Bright Eyes was happy again.

Whenever one of the Choctaw was sick, Bright Eyes and her sisters would go into the forest and pray to the Great Spirit to protect them. They told the people to pray to the Great Spirit as well.

All of the prayers went up to Sandlephone, who sat on a great ladder high in the sky. As soon as the prayers had come into his hands, they changed into lovely flowers. He closed the blossoms and dropped the seeds upon the earth while the perfume wafted on up to the Great Spirit.

The Little Folk cared for the seeds as they fell and from them sprang the wild flowers. This is why the Choctaw do not pick flowers.

They are tokens of love from the Great Spirit.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.jacquitalbot.com/2013/02/stories-from-my-grandfather-why-the-flowers-grow/

Jan 23

The Ever-faithful Lily Wanda

WHAT’S PLAYING: Duffy “Syrup and Honey”

Once upon a time, the Choctaw held a Green Corn Festival to show love and gratitude to the Great Spirit who had given them so much. The Queen of the festival was Lily Wanda, the most beautiful maiden in the village.

When time came for the Chief to speak, he stepped forward and the people fell silent.

“My people,” he said, “The Great Spirit has been good to us. Green Corn Goddess has watched over our corn. Rain God watered it and Father Sun warmed it. We give them thanks. I have long wondered where Father Sun sleeps. Someone must journey to find the answer. This traveler will face great danger and hardships. He may never return. But, if he can find the place, he will be great among men.”

After the Chief had spoken, the silence was unbroken but for the wind that sighed through the trees.

Finally, a brave young man named Oklawana stepped forward. “My Chief,” he said, “I will go and find where Father Sun sleeps.”

Lily Wanda cried out in distress. “No, no, do not go, Oklawana!” she said, pushing through the crowd to stand before her lover. “You will never return!”

Oklawana turned to Lily Wanda. “I must go. Our chief wishes it. I will return with great honor and claim you for my bride.” He took her hand. “I leave my wampum belt with you. It tells the story of our people’s councils. Guard it well until I return.” Then he made four bundles of sticks for the four seasons of the year. “Count these for me as the seasons pass.”

Unable to speak, Lily Wanda nodded and took the belt and sticks. The next sunrise, she watched her sweetheart start his long journey.

Every day, Lily Wanda prayed to the Great Spirit to send Oklawana back. She counted the bundle of sticks as the seasons passed. In the evenings, she sat in her doorway watching for his return. In time, she went up on the mountain and built signal smokes to guide her lover home.

Seasons passed and Lily Wanda grew old. She still counted the sticks and guarded the belt. She watched and prayed. One day as she prayed at the mound of Nanih Waiya, a stranger came to her.

“I saw the signal smoke and came to you,” he said. “Lily Wanda, do you remember me? I am Oklawana who went in search of the sleeping place of Father Sun. I have come back to you.”

“That is not true,” she replied. “Oklawana has been dead for many years. You are some other.”

“Is this the belt he gave you?” he asked, pointing to her waist.

“Yes, I have kept it for him but he does not return.”

“I gave you the belt. Don’t you remember me?”

“No, you are Halvah, the story teller. Let me be.” With these words, Lily Wanda died of a broken heart.

Oklawana caught her as she fell. He carried her body to the village and found that no one knew him.

“I followed Father Sun day after day, season after season,” Oklawana said wearily. “Finally, I saw him sink into a great blue lake, and I could not follow him. I have wandered many years trying to find my people, but you do not know me. My Lily Wanda did not know me. Now she is dead.”

Then he sank to the earth in despair and died of grief.

The people buried him and his faithful Lily Wanda together.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.jacquitalbot.com/2013/01/the-ever-faithful-lily-wanda/

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