Manataka American Indian Council 


 

The New Colorful Creatures

by Nikki Jo Lucero

This is a Cherokee story, past down through my family from the 1800’s.

long time ago, before the time when the white blanket covers the earth, when all the colors disappear and animals sleep; Grandfather sat under a tree that had begun to drop yellow leaves to the ground.

He knew that soon there would be no more beautiful colors or lovely things for the children to look at and play with. Grandfather was sad. He began to think of some way to make pretty colors for the children to look at as a reward for being so good all winter long.

Finally he got a lovely idea. On the next beautiful day, he began to work on his new idea. He made a large pouch of leather. Inside this pouch he put several items of things that had bright colors.

Yellow leaves from a tree, green from the evergreen tree, blue from the sky, black from the raven’s wing, orange from a squash, and red from some flowers: he spent all day looking for many beautiful items for this special bag that he made for the children. At the last minute he put the songs from the songbirds in there too. Then with a twinkle in his eyes, he hung with great care the pouch in a tree, where it would be safe.

He then gathered the children around and said, " Dear children, winter is coming and the white blanket will cover all the land, hiding all the colors, and many creatures will sleep until the spring comes. Do not be sad, I have made a wonderful new creature in this pouch and it must stay here safe until the snow begins to melt. It will be a reward for the ones that do not cry because there is nothing to do, or the ones who complain about the cold, or your hunger. You must be careful of these little creatures they are small and delicate, yet they are very important.

The children became very excited and begged Grandfather to let them peek into the pouch. Grandfather was very patient as he warned the children that if any one looked inside before the warmth of spring came, then spring would be spoiled, and winter would stay forever. The children all agreed that a winter staying forever would not be fun or do well for the people. Their beautiful peach trees would never bloom again. Life would be terrible. So they all agreed to leave the pouch alone. They all knew that Grandfather’s rules where to be respected and not broken.

Finally, one morning a few months later, the days began to warm up and the snow began to melt.

The children gathered around the tree, sang songs of happiness, and warm spring days coming. There they waited patiently like Grandfather had taught them.

The pouch in the tree started to wiggle and squirm, and suddenly: POOF!  The pouch burst open! Fluttering out flew these tiny winged creatures, smaller than any birds! Even smaller than the hummingbird! The children were so pleased; they carefully chased them, laughed at them, and made up new little songs to sing and dances to dance. Their little bird-like singing was sweeter than any sound that had ever been heard before.

A little brown song bird came and landed on Grandfather and said, " Dear Grandfather, you are wise, kind and fair; however this time you are not fair. You took away the most beautiful thing we birds had: OUR SONGS! Please Grandfather, give us back our songs, these little creatures are so beautiful they do not need our songs too!"

Grandfather who was very wise, kind, and fair said, " Little song bird, of course you are right, these little creatures do have beautiful colors, it is not fair to let them have your voices too." So Grandfather gave the songbirds back their songs.

Then to the children he said,  "These little creatures are small and very pretty, yet, they have a very important job," the children were silent as Grandfather spoke, " There job is to wake up early in the spring, and go around to all the new flowers and give them kisses and wake them up, and this will help them to grow."  The children all cheered and everyone was so happy!  One little girl asked, "Grandfather, what shall we name the new creatures?" 

Grandfather was thinking, when suddenly all the pretty creatures started to kiss the Buttercups, and Grandfather got his idea, " They went first to the buttercups, and they fly, let them be called BUTTERFLIES!" He announced.

So, to this day they are called Butterflies, although they are small, they have a very important job and they are very beautiful.


This Page is dedicated to:

Sharon Kamama Kanogisdi (Butterfly Song) Baugh

Women's Council Chair and Honored Clan Mother

&
Donna  Kamama Ageyv (Butterfly Woman) Juhler

New Manataka - 6/29/02

 


 

 

BUTTERFLY DANCE

Gerald Dawavendewa

Third in the acclaimed Tales of the People series, this tale of a young girl's first Butterfly Dance captures the spirit of Hopi culture.  With its bright, stylized illustrations and distinctive Native voice, this appealing book gives a vivid sense of stepping into another culture. It chronicles one important day seen through the eyes of a young Hopi girl named Sihumana, or "Flower Maiden," who is a member of the Rabbit Clan and winningly portrayed as a rabbit. After going with her grandfather to greet the sun and bless the day, Sihumana travels with her family to another village to take part in the traditional Butterfly Dance, performed late each summer in order to bring rain to the dry lands of the Southwest. The tale ends happily with the sound of rain on the roof and the promise of butterflies in the days to come. 28 illustrations, 18 in full color.  Abbeville Press, 2001, 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%.


 

 

Butterflies of North America:  Approved by the North American Butterfly Association

By Dr. Jeffrey Glassberg

Among the most beautiful creatures in nature, butterflies are colorful, delicate, and, like people, tend to prefer warm weather. Enter the magical world of butterflies with Dr. Jeffrey Glassberg, president of the North American Butterfly Association (NABA) and pioneer of the new frontier of butterfly watching.  Increasingly viewed as a precious wildlife resource to be conserved-rather than preserved under glass-butterflies are more and more being studied in their natural habitats. Instead of carrying nets, butterfly hunters now travel with the new breed of close-range binoculars and cameras in hand when they search for specimens. And as more information has become readily available about the food plants butterflies favor, many people are creating gardens specifically designed to attract butterflies.  In a unique format designed for both beginning and advanced lepidopterists, and highlighted with magnificent color photographs of hundreds of these lovely creatures-including numerous oversized photographs for easy identification—Butterflies of North America is a handy guide to identifying nearly every species of North American butterfly. The introduction includes vital information about butterfly behavior and biology, close-range binoculars and cameras, and the benefits of butterfly conservation. The main body of the book, the Species Guide, contains fascinating details about thousands of butterflies, including such distinguishing features as forewing length, what they eat, their range, and unique behavioral characteristics.  With more than 250 gorgeous full-color photographs and definitive information about thousands of different butterflies, Dr. Glassberg's Butterflies of North America is an essential and easy-to-use resource for all butterfly lovers.  Barnes & Noble Books, November 2004, Soft Cover, 208pp.  $ 14.95

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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