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Title: Early Life

Source(s): Geronimo: His Own Story

Author(s): Geronimo (Author); S. M. Barrett (Oral Historian)

Famed Chiricahua Apache war chief Geronimo speaks of his childhood and how a boy becomes a warrior. As Told to S. M. Barrett.

I was born in No-doyohn Cañon, Arizona, June, 1829. In that country which lies around the headwaters of the Gila River I was reared. This range was our fatherland; among these mountains our wigwams were hidden; the scattered valleys contained our fi...

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Title: The Bird Man

Source(s): Two Guadalupes: Hispanic Legends and Magic Tales from Northern New Mexico

Author(s): Traditional; Marta Weigle (Editor)

A traditional Spanish tale about a prince who became a bird and then a king.

Once upon a time there lived a king who had three sons. Now the first wife of the king had died and the king had married again. The stepmother of the three boys was very mean. She treated her stepsons very badly. One day she stood in the door of t...

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Title: The Flaming Arrow Katsina

Source(s): Flaming Arrow's People by an Acoma Indian

Author(s): James Paytiamo (Author)

James Paytiamo tells the story of the katsina whose name he bears.

This is the story of the Katsina for whom I was named. It happened that the Sun had a boy born on the earth. The life of this boy came to his mother by the Sun’s rays shining through the gypsum rock window, and when the boy grew up he looked sha...

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Title: Traditional Apache Life

Author(s): Southwest Crossroads Spotlight

An overview of some important events and themes in the lives of Apaches.

The Athapaskan peoples migrated south from Alaska and Canada and eventually split into seven distinct groups. By 1500, they occupied a vast expanse of territory in the American Southwest. The extreme environments they inhabited—mountains, deserts, ...

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Title: Holding Up the Cliff

Source(s): Hopi Voices: Recollections, Traditions, and Narratives of the Hopi Indians

Author(s): Abbott Sekaquaptewa (Author); Harold Courlander (Editor)

How Grasshopper outwits the hungry Coyote.

Coyote was living out there south of Oraibi, and one day he was going around looking for something to eat when he saw a grasshopper clinging to the base of a cliff. Coyote thought the grasshopper looked very peculiar, with its legs against the cliff ...

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Title: Coyote Fights a Lump of Pitch

Source(s): American Indian Myths and Legends

Author(s): Traditional; Richard Erdoes (Editor); Alfonso Ortiz (Editor)

Coyote tries to fight a lump of pitch and gets captured by a white man.

Even long ago, when our tribe and animals and birds lived together near white people, Coyote was always in trouble. He would visit among the camps, staying in one for a while and then moving on, and when he stayed at Bear’s camp, he used to go over...

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Title: Coyote Gets Rich Off the White Men

Source(s): American Indian Myths and Legends

Author(s): Traditional; Richard Erdoes (Editor); Alfonso Ortiz (Editor)

Coyote plays a trick on some white men.

Once when Coyote was visiting various camps, he and Bobcat heard about a white man who was making some whisky. They went together to the man’s house and managed to steal some, and after they had run a short distance with it, they stopped to drink. ...

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Title: Turkey Makes the Corn and Coyote Plants It

Source(s): American Indian Myths and Legends

Author(s): Traditional; Richard Erdoes (Editor); Alfonso Ortiz (Editor)

Turkey teaches people how to grow corn, but Coyote doesn't learn the lesson.

Long ago when all the animals talked like people, Turkey overheard a boy begging his sister for food. “What does your little brother want?” he asked the girl. “He’s hungry, but we have nothing to eat,” she said. When Turkey heard this...

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Title: Hunting Lesson

Source(s): Childhood and Youth in Jicarilla Apache Society

Author(s): Traditional; Morris Opler (Editor)

How grandfathers teach their grandsons to be good hunters.

The grandfather goes out with the boy. They build a camp. That night the grandfather tells the boy how to hunt and advises him about what he cannot do. The grandfather, if he knows how, will take the upper foot pad [dewclaw] of the cougar, dry it,...

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Title: Catching Antelopes

Source(s): Childhood and Youth in Jicarilla Apache Society

Author(s): Traditional (Author); Morris Opler (Editor)

Children learn to be good runners by trying to catch antelope fawns.

The people moved constantly. Often they came to plains country. If they saw two antelope fawns lying there, the older people would tell the children, “Catch them with your hands. If you do, you will be good runners.” They would often tell two boy...

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