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Native American Legends

Old Man induces Men and Women to mate

An American Indian Legend - Nation Unknown

"Men and women formerly did not live together as they do now, they were in separate bands like animals. Old Man was the means of bringing them together.

The women were then camped on Crow Lodge River beside a piskun (a ridge for buffalo jumps) and secured their game by driving them over a high cliff. They were skilled in the art of tanning, and knew how to make good clothes and lodges from skins.

The men, on the other hand, killed their game with bows and arrows. They did not know how to tan skins , or sew. Their lodges were made of green hides and their clothes of rough skins, roughly fastened together.

When Old Man came to the women's camp, he met the Chief Women and told her about the condition of the men. She asked him to bring the men to their camp, that they might each choose a mate.

Old Man led the men to a hill outside the women's camp, where they all stood in line. The Chief Women, who had first choice, came out very shabbily dressed. She walked along the line of men and selected Old Man for her mate. But he did not recognize her in her poor clothes and refused to go with her.

The Chief Women was very angry. She returned to camp and instructed the other women to pass by Old Man in their choosing. She dressed in her best clothes and returned again to the men. This time Old Man liked her appearance so much, that he kept getting in her way, seeking to be chosen. But she selected another mate.

When the other women selected their mates, Old Man was left out. The Chief Women then changed him into a pine tree.

There were formerly three pine trees beside the Women's Piskun. There is now a fourth, which we call Old Man."

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