October 21, 2021
*This story/legend comes from the book Voices of the Winds: Native American Legends by Margot Edmonds and Ella E. Clark.
“Dakota – Sioux: The Dakota – Sioux (pronounced Sue) are one of the most famous tribes in North America. They belong to the Siouan linguistic family, known since around 1600. They come from Mississippi – Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North and South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. Gold discoveries in the Black Hills caused a rush of miners to the region, who existed in warlike conflict with the Dakota-Sioux, leading to General Custer’s defeat at Little Big Horn on June 25, 1876.
“Years ago, a man from the Dakota – Sioux tribe married a girl from the Arikara tribe. After having one child, the man brought another wife to their home. The first wife got jealous and pouted. When the time came for the people to break camp and move, she refused. Even after the tent was broken down, she refused to move from where she sat. Her baby was on her back. Her husband and the rest of the group moved on.
“Around noon, her husband stopped and told two of his brothers to go back and get his wife. “Tell her to come on. We will wait for you here. But hurry! I fear that she may become desperate and kill herself.”
“The two brothers rode off, arriving at the previous campsite that evening. The woman still sat on the ground. The older brother said to her “Sister in law, we have come to get you. The camp is waiting for you. Get up and join us.”
“When she did not answer, one of the brothers in law put out his hand and touched her lightly on her head. She had turned to stone!
“The two brothers lashed their ponies and rode back to the traveling camp. They told the story of the woman turned to stone, but no one believed them. “She has killed herself,” said her husband, “and my brothers will not tell me.”
“They broke camp and returned to their former camp, where they had left the woman. There she sat, a block of stone in the form of a woman. Her husband’s people were very excited. They chose a handsome pony, made a travois, and placed the stone in its carrying net. The pony and the travois were beautifully painted and decorated with colorful streamers. The stone was considered holy, and was given honor in the center of the camp.
“The stone and travois were taken with them whenever they moved and made a new camp. For years the stone woman traveled with the group, before she found her final resting place in front of Standing Rock Indian Agency in South Dakota.”
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A wise woman has the inner wisdom of her mother, grandmother and great grandmother and also the wisdom of her inner divine girl child.
~ Sioux Proverb