American Women Writers to 1800

By Sharon M. Harris | Go to book overview

Youthful Reflections

The Seven Stars (Blackfoot)

Originally located in Canada, the Blackfoot moved some time before the seventeenth century into the western regions of what is now the continental United States, settling in the Montana area. The Blackfoot constitute an alliance of three Algonquian tribes-- the Sisikas (who have retained the Blackfoot name), the Bloods, and the Piegans. Although farther west than most Plains tribes, the Blackfoot tribes of early America lived in tipis and hunted buffalo. The "Seven Stars" narrative, like many Native American texts, conveys both the image of a strong and defiant young woman and the story of how natural phenomena came into existence.

Bibliography: Wissler and Duvall.


The Seven Stars

Once there was a young woman with many suitors, but she refused to marry. She had seven brothers and one little sister. Their mother had been dead many years and they had no relatives, but lived alone with their father. Every day the six brothers went out hunting with their father. It seems that the young woman had a bear for her lover, and, as she did not want anyone to know this, she would meet him when she went out after wood. She always went out for wood as soon as her father and brothers went out to hunt, leaving her little sister alone in the lodge. As soon as she was out of sight in the brush, she would run to where the bear lived.

As the little sister grew older, she began to be curious as to why her older sister spent so much time getting wood. So one day she followed her. She saw the young woman meet the bear and saw that they were lovers. When she found this out, she ran home as quickly as she could, and when her father returned, she told him what she had seen. When he heard the story, he said, "So, my elder daughter has a bear for a husband. Now I know why she does not want to marry." Then he went about the camp, telling all his people that

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American Women Writers to 1800
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Acknowledgments v
  • Contents vii
  • Note on the Text xii
  • Introduction 3
  • I- The Ages of Women 31
  • Youthful Reflections 41
  • On Women''s Education 63
  • Domestic Records 79
  • Businesswomen''s Writings 105
  • "Death-Bed" Declarations Skate''Ne (choctaw) 123
  • II- Emerging Feminist Voices 133
  • Feminist Visions 137
  • III- Origins, Revolutions, and Women in the Nations 161
  • First Women 173
  • Spiritual Narratives 197
  • Captivity Narratives and Travel Journals 217
  • Epistolary Exchanges 235
  • Petitions, Political Essays, and Organizational Tracts 251
  • Revolutionary War Writings 269
  • Poetry 303
  • Histories 349
  • Drama 373
  • Novels 393
  • Notably Early American Women 413
  • Selected Bibliography 421
  • Index 432
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