Native American Legends
A Gust of Wind
An Ojibwa Legend
Before there was a man, two women, an old one and her daughter were the
only humans on earth. The old woman had not needed a man in order to conceive.
Ahki, the earth, also wa like a woman--female--but not as she is now,
because trees and many animals had not yet been made.
Well, the young woman, the daughter, took her basket out one day to go
berrying. She had gathered enough and was returning home when a sudden
gust of wind lifted her buckskin dress up high, baring her body. Geesis,
the sun, shone on that spot for a short moment and entered the body of
the young woman, though she hardly noticed it. She was aware of the gust
of wind but paid no attention.
Time passed. The young woman said to the old one: "I don't know
what's wrong with me, but something is" More time passed. The young
woman's belly grew bigger, and she said: "Something is moving inside
me. What can it be?"
"When you were going berrying did you meet anyone?" the old
"I met nobody. The only thing that happened was a big gust of wind
which lifted my buckskin dress. The sun was shining."
The old woman said: "I think you're going to have a child. Geesis,
the sun, is the only one who could hav done it, so you will be the mother
of a sun child."
The young woman gave birth to two boys, both manitos,supernaturals. They
were the first human males on this earth--Geesis's sons, sons of the sun.
The young mother made cradleboards and put the twins in these hanging
them up or carrying them on her back, but never letting the babies touch
the earth. Why didn't she? Did the Old Woman tell her not to? Nobody knows.
If she had put the cradleboards on the ground, the babies would have walked
upright from the moment of their birth, like deer babies. But because
their mother would not let them touch earth for some months, it now takes
human babies a year or so to walk. It was that young woman's fault.
One of the twins was named Stone Boy, a rock. He said: "Put me in
the fire and heat me up until I glow red hot." They did, and he said:
"Now pour cold water over me." They did this also. That was
the first sweat bath. The other boy, named Wene-boozhoo, looked like all
human boys. He became mighty and could do anything; he even talked to
the animals and gave them their names.
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