In those days, when a man mourned he cut off his hair, painted his body with white clay, and threw away his moccasins. He also cut his flesh with a knife or some sharp weapon. Now when a man sought a vision from the gods, he wept and mourned, that the gods might have pity on him; and for this he went away from the village, alone, into the hills. So it happened, that Snake Head-Ornament, on his way to the hills, went mourning and crying past a field where sat a woman, his clan cousin, on her watch-stage. Seeing him, she began a song to tease him:
He said, “I am a young bird!”
If a young bird, he should be in his nest;
But he comes here looking gray,
And wanders about outside the village!
He said, “I am a young snake!”
If a young snake, he should be in the hills among the red buttes;
But he comes here looking gray and crying,
And wanders aimlessly about!
- Waheenee--An Indian Girl's Story
as told to Gilbert Livingstone Wilson
Illustrator: Frederick N. Wilson
Published in 1921
Available from gutenberg.org
- Posted on
- Monday 10 January 2022