"Dedicated to all children, young and old,
who love and keep these stories & legends alive . . . "

American Indian stories 
and legends

Long ago, when people were strong in their traditions, family meant something beyond immediate family. It included uncles, aunts, cousins and grandparents.

Stories and legends

The grandparents, especially, held a unique place of honor. From them,children would grow with respect toward their elders, and were exposed to the wisdom of those who had seen and lived many, many moons.
As always, they had a choice whether to learn from their elders very young, that wisdom was priceless, because it taught one the experiences of others who had traveled that path before.

American Indian legends

Nighttime was something in which to look forward, and children would hurry to finish supper so they could relax around the feet of the elders, and listen to the stories and times of way-back-when. It was a rich time before the intrusion of radio, television, and computers.

American Indian legends

The elders always seemed to have one more story before bedding down for the night. Many of them became the basis for my dreams, I am sure. Also, they must have affected me during the day, too, for I would always remember the lessons embodied in the stories of what not to do . . . the little reminders about life to keep me from getting into trouble and choosing not to be mischievous like the coyote.

American Indian campfire stories

From each story, children would learn something special. They learned that the "old" people had much to give, and the youth grew inknowledge and wisdom. They felt apart of the sacred circle of the family, each contributing, each giving and receiving from one another. The elders were there to give love and care. There were no unloved children,
no battered little ones, no homeless youth.

Storytelling was the best teaching tool, for it gave the opportunity to learn about the lessons of life, without an elder pointing a finger at you or putting you on the spot. The third-person style of telling and relating the stories to younger ones was a nice soft touch to getting the message across in an indirect way, without coming on too strong to them in other forms of direct approach.

stories around the campfire

The closeness of the family is the heart of the path within tradition.
One's strength and spirit renew as one generation takes the time and effort to give and share life with another.

High Eagle's tales for all ages

When an elder, a parent, or grandparent has no one in which to pass along stories and legends to, the family tradition breaks apart . . . and our remembering will not be complete.

Stories to teach principles of life

So, may these stories and legends come to life through you,
and may they help to keep family traditions together for now,
and the days to come.

Aho, I have spoken!

Legends about animals and people

"Come close, my grandsons, that I may tell you a
great secret. The partridge has a story. The squirrel
which sits on yonder limb and scolds our presence has a story . . .
see that great pine with its roots drawing life from the Earth, our Mother,
and its branches reaching out to the Sky, our Father,
and that slender blade of grass growing at
its roots. Each, my grandsons and granddaughters, has its own story
All (beings) have their stories."

-- Edward S. Curtis, 1914

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