ERIC Number: ED184775
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: 0
Grass Woman Stories. Blackfeet Heritage Program.
During her lifetime Mary Ground, whose Indian name is Grass Woman, has experienced extreme changes in the life of Blackfeet Indians. Born in 1883, she remembers the travois and teepee days as well as the change to reservation life when the reservation was a fenced compound patrolled by the U.S. military. She has seen the decline in the use of Blackfeet language and ceremonies as well as the recent resurgence of interest in Native American rights and traditions. The 14 stories in this volume, told in her own words, are a blend of customs, folklore, and real-life events. Many of the tales reflect the culture from a woman's point of view. Two stories tell of marriage customs and the procedures surrounding the birth of a child. Other stories tell of magical events and contain elements closely parallel to certain fairy tales of European cultures. In one story a maiden lives in a beautiful land in the sky, but when she digs up a forbidden turnip she must then return to her people on the earth below. A Hansel and Gretel theme predominates another tale in which two abandoned children, a girl and a boy, are about to be eaten by a wicked old woman. Through trickery they manage to escape her and a magic buffalo carries them across a river to safety. In other magical experiences a man lights his pipe from the sun, and a coyote and a bear save the life of a wounded warrior. Other stories are true life stories of events in the tribe and on the reservation. (Author/DS)
Publication Type: Creative Works
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Education (DHEW), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Browning School District 9, MT.
Identifiers: Blackfeet (Tribe); Cultural Contributions; Ethnic Heritage Studies Program Act; Oral Tradition
Note: For related documents, see RC 011 957-60.