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Native American Legends

Big Owl chops off his manhood

A White Mountain Apache Legend

Long ago they say. This is a story about Big Owl's manhood Up near tl'uk'a-gai (Fort Apache district), there is a big rock called tse-sizm (rock standing up, Saw Tooth Mountain). Big Owl was going along to the foot of this rock. He was carrying his manhood with him and following the trail over by ya-gogaidje-lk'id (a place). He kept on toward tse-sizin, still carrying his manhood with him. In those days it was very long, so long that he had to carry it wrapped around his body. Then he went on down to the river (White River). Across the river was a woman going down to tse-Hsan'iska-d (a place) above the river on the ridges. Big Owl crossed the river, carrying his manhood with him. That woman saw him then. She was very hungry and so she started down a ridge to Big Owl, because she thought that big load Big Owl was carrying might be something good to eat. When she got to him she said, "Big Owl, give me some of what you are carrying there." "What I'm carrying is no good to eat," said Big Owl.

"Anyway give me some, I'm hungry " the woman said. "You can't eat this," Big Owl said. But the woman told him, "Give me just a little." "All right, turn around, bend over and lift up your dress," Big Owl said. The woman did so, and Big Owl unwrapped his manhood from around his body. Then it became stiff, went way out to the woman and knocked her down on the ground. The woman got up and Big Owl wrapped his manhood around himself again.

Then he started to think about this and sat down. "This is no good, the way I can do now, no good at all." Big Owl was thinking that his manhood was too long and that he would like to cut it off. "I'll cut if off sure enough," he thought, and so he started up the side of the hill there to a big rock about the size and shape of. this wickiup. Then he got another rock and carried it up on top of the big rock. On top of the rock he unwrapped his manhood and let it hang down over the edge. He looked to see where would be just the right place to cut it off. He finally cut it off just between his legs. Now he thought it would be all right to go around this way and he liked it because it was nice and short. What he had cut off, he threw down to the foot of the rock so it was all coiled about the rock at its bottom.

Then he got down and on top of it, all around, he piled up little rocks and also some dirt so no one would see it. He was all right just as he was, good and short, he thought, and so he went on his way. Before, he had to carry a heavy load, but now he had got rid of it and twisted it round the rock. Pretty soon he met another man and told him what he had done. This man had a long manhood, just like Big Owl's. But Big Owl said, "I have a short manhood, so from here on that's the way all men will be, because I am that way," and from that time on men had it the way Big Owl had made himself The rock where Big Owl cut his manhood off is still there and is called mbu'bila-sida- (owl his manhood it sits) because of this story. You can still see the rock on top of the big one, with which Big Owl cut himself. Around the base of the big rock his manhood is still coiled and piled on top of it are the small rocks and dirt he put there.

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