Myths and Tales of the Southeastern Indians

By John R. Swanton | Go to book overview
Save to active project

The native attitude toward these was, of course, various, some no doubt having been originally sacred legends embodying actual beliefs, while others were told for amusement. Only in the Natchez series have I any absolute clew as to which were considered sacred and the reverse. My Natchez informant stated that certain stories, among which he included numbers 2, 4, 5, 9, 13, 18, 23, 30, and the stories about the tie-snake, must be told only during cold weather. Otherwise bad luck would follow. This list was communicated to me before I had collected all of the Natchez stories here given and it is, therefore, defective. It is of value only as indicating that such a distinction was made. It is surprising that such tales as "The Bungling Host" and "The Wolves and the Fawn" should be included.1



(Tuggle collection)

The animals held a meeting and No-koos-see (Nokosi), the Bear, presided.

The question was, how to divide day and night.

Some desired the day to last all the time; others wished it all night. After much talk, Chew-thlock-chew (Tciłoktco), the ground squirrel, said:

"I see that Woot-Kew (Wotko), the Coon, has rings on his tail divided equally, first a dark color then a light color. I think day and night ought to be divided like the rings on Woot-Kew's tail."

The animals were surprised at the wisdom of Chew-thlock-chew. They adopted his plan and divided day and night like the rings on Woot-Kew's tail, succeeding each other in regular order.

No-koos-see from envy scratched the back of Chew-thlock-chew and thus caused the stripes on the back of all his descendants, the ground squirrels.


Bead-spitter (Konāpkesō'fkȧ) lived in a certain place. Two young women heard the name and, thinking that it must belong to some person, started out to find him. They traveled an entire day and when it was getting dark met Rabbit. "Where are you going?" he said. "We are going to Bead-spitter's.""Ku ku ku ku," he exclaimed, "you are naming somebody.""We do not know him," they replied, "but we thought there might be such a person and so we set out to find him." "What do you want of him?""We want some beads.""You can't go until morning," said Rabbit. "Remain here all night." They did so, and Rabbit slept with one of

Some of the stories included in this bulletin were printed in The Journal of American Folk-Lore, vol. XXVI, no. CI, 1913.
This story was "made into a parable" by the Indians, i. e., it was referred to in speeches and used to point morals, etc.


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Myths and Tales of the Southeastern Indians


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 275

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?