Manataka American Indian Council


 

 

LITTLE CROW and JACK RABBIT
GO TO THE SUNDANCE
Copyright 1992, SkyHawk

 

 

One day Little Crow was sitting on a tree when Jack Rabbit came hopping, hopping, hopping by. Little Crow was called Little Crow 'cuz he was little and he was a crow. Jack Rabbit was a rabbit with long floppy ears and he was a wise old rabbit.

Little Crow said to Jack Rabbit, "Hey, where are you going?" Jack Rabbit said, "I'm going to the Sundance. Would you like to go with me?" Little Crow replied, "Oh no! I heard about the sundance. It's about philosophy and religion." Jack Rabbit said, "No, no!! The sun dance is about a way of life". Little Crow said, "Okay!"

And he jumped down from the tree and together they started going to the sun dance. Little Crow was walking, walking, and Jack Rabbit was hopping, hopping.

Before Little Crow and Jack Rabbit go to the sun dance, they must go into a sweat lodge. Now, a sweat lodge is a little house shaped like an igloo or a turtle. The animals and birds go inside and sit on Mother Earth next to the people. There is a great fire with many stones in it. The fire is really big, as big as a house, so the stones can get hot. Someone brings the stones inside the sweat lodge . He or she is called a fire person and it is a hard job 'cuz the fire is hot!!

The fire person brings in one stone, two, three, four, and more and more hot stones. The door is closed and it is dark inside. Little Crow can't see a thing.

A holy man or medicine man pours water on the stones. The stones make a sound, "Hissss!!" More water goes on the rocks, "Hissss, hiss, hiss...!"

Little Crow screams, "Aaaah!! It is hot in here! Aaaah!" The door opens and Little Crow is happy to go outside. Jack Rabbit says: "Oh oh! I forgot to tell you something. You have to do this four times!" (And Jack Rabbit held his four front toes up).

Little Crow survives and he and Jack Rabbit go to join all the animals and birds and people at the sun dance.

On their way they meet Mr. Badger who gives Little Crow some mocassins to dance in. Then they meet the holy Mr. Otter, who gives Little Crow an eagle bone whistle, which comes from the bone wing of an eagle. These are necessary for the sun dance.

All the animals and birds and people are ready for the big dance. The dance begins at sunrise.

The singers are singing. The drummers are drumming.


"Ho! Pita Wamblii!!"(4X)
"Ho! Pita Wamblii!!"(4X)
"Ho! Pita Wamblii!!"(whisper4X)
"Ho! Pita Wamblii!!"(loud)

Little Crow wakes up and says, "What's happening? It is early! The sun is only now coming up." Jack Rabbit says, "Now why do you think they call this a sun dance?"

All day everyone dances. From sun up to sun down. Then Little Crow sleeps.

The second day and again the singers are singing. The drummers are drumming: "Ho! Pita Wamblii!!" The dancers are dancing.

Little Crow says, "I'm hungry!". Jack Rabbit says, "Oh oh! I forgot to tell you something.  No food for four days and nights." Little Crow is thirsty so he asks, "Can I have some water?" Jack Rabbit says, "Oh oh! I forgot to tell you something. No water for four days." Little Crow says, " Now, you know why I don't believe in religion or philosophy." "No, no! it is a way of life!" replies Jack Rabbit.

The second day goes by with all the singers singing and the drummers drumming. Little Crow goes to sleep. The third day the singers are singing and the drummers are drumming. The dancers are dancing. Then everyone sleeps.

It is the fourth day. It is an important day. It is the day Jack Rabbit will tell all why there is a sun dance. First before he speaks the animals and birds and people make a sacrifice of courage. Little Crow is afraid but he shows great courage and finishes the sun dance.

Jack Rabbit speaks.

"My friends. There was a time long ago when all the animals , and birds and people all lived together and talked to each other. Now, that time is going away. It is sad. That is why we continue to do the sun dance together. So, we will not lose this gift of talking and living together."

Little Crow is so happy! He's jumping and spinning around in circles, he is so excited and yelling to all, "Now I can talk to people, now I can talk to people!"

Jack Rabbit says, " Oh oh! I forgot to tell you something. You have to sun dance four times once a year."

Do you think Little Crow comes back next year to sun dance?

Yes! 'Cuz he has good singers and good drummers!

"Ho! Pita Wamblii!!"

 

This story written by SkyHawk is dedicated to Jack Abraham, SkyHawk's grandfather. For more good American Indian children stories, go to SkyHawk!


 

RAINBOW CROW: A Lenape Tale 

by Nancy Van Lean, Beatriz Vidal (Illustrator) 

Heart-warming story!!! llustrated in full color. This story of how the Rainbow Crow lost his sweet voice and brilliant colors by bringing the gift of fire to the other woodland animals is "a Native American legend that will be a fine read-aloud because of the smooth text and songs with repetitive chants. The illustrations, done in a primitive style, create a true sense of the Pennsylvania Lenape Indians and their winters."School Library Journal. Alfred A. Knopf, May 1991, Soft Cover.  $ 11.95 

Proceeds from book purchases go to support the nonprofit, cultural, educational and religious purposes of the Manataka American Indian Council.  Thank you for your support. 

Notice: Occasionally books may be discontinued or out of stock without prior notice. With written permission, your order may be filled from the 'shelf'.  Shelf books are new, but some may be slightly discolored or sale tags may be still attached. Fulfillment rate: 98.6%.


 

RABBIT AND THE BEARS: A Traditional Cherokee Legend

Deborah L. Duvall, Murv Jacob (Illustrator) 

A wonderfully delightful tale with strong cultural meaning.  No collection of indigenous legends is complete without this book.  Ji-Stu the Rabbit doesn't spend the beautiful autumn days gathering food for the winter like some of the animals. Instead he decides to travel with his friend Yona the Bear to Mulberry Place, the high mountain homeland of the bears. He has heard Yona tell stories of the dancing and celebrations. Let someone else gather food! He will go to the mountains with Yona!" On the way to the mountains the two friends encounter a hunter. Soon Ji-Stu witnesses the magic powers of Lake Ata-Gahi, which can heal the wounds of animals but is invisible to humans. As he sings and dances with the bears, Ji-Stu learns the magic of friendship as well as the magic of the lake. University of New Mexico Press, March 2004, Hard Cover, 32pp.  $ 21.95

Proceeds from book purchases go to support the nonprofit, cultural, educational and religious purposes of the Manataka American Indian Council.  Thank you for your support. 

Notice: Occasionally books may be discontinued or out of stock without prior notice. With written permission, your order may be filled from the 'shelf'.  Shelf books are new, but some may be slightly discolored or sale tags may be still attached. Fulfillment rate: 98.6%.

 

 

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