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Native American Legends

Basket Woman, Mother of the Stars

An American Indian Legend - Nation Unknown

Back in the beginning of time, when all things were being created, First Man lived in a forest of tall pine trees.

One day while on a hunting trip, he discovered a small lodge. Next to the lodge was a tiny cornfield. "I wonder who lives here", he thought.

The next day, First Man brought his wife, First Woman, through the forest to see the lodge. As they came near, a little old woman came out to greet them.

"I am basket woman, or Moon, the mother of the stars. I lured you here."

Then she invited her visitors inside. Around a small fire sat four old men: Wind, Cloud, Lightning and Thunder.

The lodge was filled with Moon's daughters. Soon the girls began to sing and dance. Moon's daughters told First Man to watch and listen very carefully so he could teach the sacred songs and dances to others.

After the singing and dancing, Basket Woman's Daughters taught First Man and First Woman ceremonies and games.

Evening Star danced in the west and held a basket representing the moon. The basket was made of willow reeds held together with mud, for the Earth is filled with trees.

Four daughters of Black Star were also there they danced and moved toward the west and each placed what she carried in Evening Star's basket two swan necks and two fawn skins, These represented the four gods in the west.

The basket woman's daughters taught First Man and First Woman a game.

They gave them the Moon basket, plum seeds which represented the stars, and twelve sticks which are the circle of chiefs in the sky. They used the sticks as counters.

All this they taught First Man and First Woman and reminded them that Tirawahat sent the stars to the Earth in a moon-basket to teach these first two everything that people were to do.

When First Man and First Woman had learned all they should, their neighbors from the lodge jumped into their basket and flew away up to the sky to return to their places.

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