Myths and Tales of the Southeastern Indians

By John R. Swanton | Go to book overview

KOASATI STORIES

1. THE ORDERING OF THE MONTHS AND SEASONS

All things were made at the same time. The earth, sun, moon -- all things -- got ripe and were left to man. The creatures having assembled, any who liked a certain month took it and ran off. They pursued but did not catch him. He threw it down on the ground as he ran and it started a new moon. If a variety of bird wanted a month, when it was put down, he took it and ran off with it. When the months were all divided up, they were left to the various creatures. When the Horse was brought forth he said he would have grass to eat and they left it to him. Just so the Bear said he would eat acorns to get fat and they were left to him. The Birds said they wanted to eat insects which come out of the ground when it is hot and they took them. Whatever month one made a gobbling noise for he took. The Horse said, "I will pull heavy things for people." The Cow said, "I am going to raise children for people." And the summer was made. Winter, spring, and summer were made together. Winter said, "Man is going to roast his leg around. me."1 When it was summer the Humming Bird said, "I will stay about and kiss the flowers." When summer was too hot and it was not good to work, the luminaries changed places, the sun and moon. The sun turned into the moon.


2. THE PLEIADES (18)

The Cluster-stars liked to travel about and dance. They were lazy people who wanted to dance and travel about all of the time. When the planting season arrived they planted and cultivated only pole beans. They ate them, but when it began to get hot they disappeared. They are the Cluster-stars.


3. THE STARS-IN-A-ROW

Three persons went out to cut down a bee tree. One carried an ax, one a deerskin on his back, and one a spoon. While they were on the way they got lost and never came back. They are the Stars-in-a-row. (These stars are said to be in the north.)


4. THE STAR HUSBANDS (17)

Two young women were lying down looking at the stars and one of them said, "I will have that bright star." The other said, "I will have that star which isnot so bright." They went to sleep, they were

____________________
1
Meaning that in winter people keep close to the fires.

-166-

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Myths and Tales of the Southeastern Indians
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Letter of Transmittal iii
  • Contents v
  • Myths and Tales of the Southeastern Indians 1
  • Creek Stories 2
  • Hitchiti Stories 87
  • Alabama Stories 118
  • Koasati Stories 166
  • Natchez Stories 214
  • Comparison of Myths 267
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