Manataka American Indian Council 

 


 

 

 

The Owl Gets Married
Cherokee Story

 

 

There once was an old woman (agayvligei) who constantly reminded her daughter, Standing Deer (Awigadoga) to marry only a good hunter.

One day a young man came to ask the old woman permission to marry Standing Deer. She gnarled her face and said, "Only a good hunter may marry my daughter."  The young warrior replied, "I am a good hunter, will you ask your beautiful daughter if she will marry me?"  The old woman thought about this and finally went to Standing Deer and told her that a young man had come to ask for her hand.  She advised her young daughter that this man was a good hunter and she should marry him.

So it was that Standing Deer consented to marry the young man as her mother advised. When the young man returned, a wedding was arranged and the young man came to live with the daughter and old woman. (As was the custom in those days.)   

The next morning, the young man announced to his new bride that he was going to hunt, but before Standing Deer could bid him goodbye, he hanged his mind and said he was going fishing. He was gone all day and came home long after dark bearing only three small fish.   

The next morning he left their camp again to go fishing. He was gone all day and most of the evening when he returned carrying two worthless lizards (duwe'ga). The following day the young man said he would go hunting instead. Again, he was gone all day and late that night came home with only a few meat scraps he found where other hunters had cut up a deer.

Now the old woman was upset and suspicious. So, the next morning when the young man announced that he was going fishing again, she went to Standing Deer and told her to secretly follow her new husband to see how he fished.  

Standing Deer followed him through the woods and watched him as he came to the river. There, much to her surprise, the young man turned into an owl (wahuhu)! He began to fly over the water singing, "U-gu-ku! Hy? Hu U! U!."  

Standing Deer was angry as she stood watching the owl fly above the water. "I thought I married a man but he is only an OWL!," she gritted though her teeth.  As she stood watching,  the owl circled for a long time before swooping down into the shallow water and bringing up a craw fish.  The owl flew to the bank where he took the form of a human again. Standing Deer ran ahead of him through the woods to her camp.

When the young man came with the crawfish in his hand, Standing Deer asked him where were all the fish he had caught. He looked surprised and said he had none because an owl had frightened them all away. "I think YOU are the OWL!," she yelled as she picked up a stick and drove him from the lodge. The poor owl went into the woods and there he cried with grief and lost love until there was no flesh left on his body except his head.

So it is the owl today appears that he has no body - only a big head."

-
Submitted by Linda Mahoney

 


 

OWL'S EYES & SEEKING A SPIRIT: Kootenai Indian Stories

By Kootenai Culture Committee & Staff, Debbie Joseph (Illustrator), Howard Kallowat, Jr. (Illustrator), Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes

Two tales of the Kootenai are told by Kootenai elders and illustrated by Kootenai artists of Flathead Indian Reservation. Recommended for children 4-8.  Gathered around the fire on long, cold, winter nights in the Northern Rocky Mountains, Kootenai elders shared tribal stories and legends with their people. The tales were both entertainment and education, for that was a way their wisdom, culture, and history were passed on to the next generation. This book seeks to preserve two of those traditional tales. The first tells the story of how the owl got his big eyes. The second tells of a young Kootenai boy's encounter with the spirit of the buffalo on his quest for self-knowledge. The Flathead Indian Reservation in northwest Montana is home to the elders and artists who retold and illustrated these stories. It is their hope that through this book, children around the world will be able "to share in the traditional values of the Kootenai Indian Storytellers.  Montana Historical Society, March 2000, Soft Cover, 32pp.  $8.95

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%.

 


THE JOURNEY:  Book Two Guardians of Ga'Hoole series, 

By Kathryn Lasky

Soren, Gylfie, Twilight, and Digger travel to the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, a mythical place where an order of owls rises each night to perform noble deeds. Soren and his group are seeking help to fight the evil they discovered in the owl world (in Guardians #1). After a harrowing journey, they arrive at the Great Ga'Hoole Tree and learn they will need to stay to receive training from the Ga'Hoolian elders. During his time at the Great Ga'Hoole Tree, Soren finds (and then loses) a great mentor and he is reunited with his beloved sister. Scholastic, September 2003, Soft Cover, 244pp.  $8.95

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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