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Native American Legends

White Potato Clan

A Creek Legend

The question regarding the status of mixed-bloods in the Indian community keeps coming up. Both F.B.I. (Full Blood Indian) and mixed bloods ask this question, both of themselves and the community. The question is not a new one; it has been asked every since the first mixed-blood child was born. I offer no answer to the question, only a Mvskokee (Creek) story:

When the 'others' invaded the land of the People, they settled in and made homes and began to farm the land. This first wave of the invasion force gave the appearance of coming in peace, and so they were met by the People in peace.

For many years the People and the 'others' lived side by side in peace, and friendships developed, and something as old as time happened, people met and fell in love. Some of the People took 'others' for wives.

These marriages produced children, and a problem soon developed. In the Mvskokee tradition, clan is passed through the mothers' family, but since the 'others' did not belong to any Mvskokee clan the children were clanless.

This caused problems for the children and the People. It is a bad thing to be clanless. You can never marry within your own clan, so how would future marriages for the clanless children be handled? The children were well loved by their parents, but were not completely accepted into the community.

The mothers of the clanless ones were very saddened by what was happening to the children so they went to the Elders and asked for advice. The Elders told them to go out together and pray to the Creator, and if their hearts were pure the Creator would hear their prayers.

The women then departed from the village and went out to a place of prayer and offered up their supplications to the Creator. For many days they prayed and the Creator hear their prayers and saw the sincerity in their hearts.

The Creator told the women to go to the place of soft ground and black waters and to stay there and search until they found a plant that would cry out to them from under the ground.

The Creator told them that if they found this plant and did as the plant instructed them, they would not only find a clan name for their children, but they would also give the People a gift that would feed the People for ever.

The women left the place of prayer and went back to the village. They said good-bye to their husbands and children and left for the place of soft ground and black waters. The place of soft ground and black waters is a place filled with biting insects, snakes, thorns, mud, spiders, the hungry logs, and strange spirits. This was a place that would test the hearts of the women.

For many days they searched and listened for the plant that would call out to them from under the ground. Just as the women were about to give up all hope of finding the plant, they prayed again to the Creator, and then they heard the voice of the plant calling out to them.

It was difficult to find the plant because it was hidden from view, but finally they found it and dug it up. The plant told the women that even though it was from under the ground, the Creator had given it the ability to see in every direction at one time.

This is what the women were instructed to do, they were to take the plant to the village of the People, once there they were to take a knife and cut out the eyes of the plant, the eyes were to be planted on a small mound. If the women followed these instructions the plant promised to grow and it would feed the People for ever.

The women followed the instructions of the plant, and the clanless children became known as the White Potato Clan, and the plant has continued to feed the People until this very day.

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