Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Origin Of The Prairie Rose

The Origin Of The Prairie Rose
The First Love Of Whirlwind
As told to Rev. Aaron Beede, Sept. 1, 1921
FORT YATES, N.D. - A long time ago, the surface of makȟá (the world) which is the blanket of Makȟóče (Grandmother Earth), was desert and held no beauty. Tȟatéiyumni (Whirlwind) had it for his playground.

And Makȟóče was sad at heart because her blanket had no beauty with flowers and living things with bright colors, and she said, “There are flowers in my heart. Oh, that they might be on my poor blanket. Ugly Tȟatéiyumni.” And when a flower of her heart, to please her, would go up onto her blanket, Tȟatéiyumni would rush for the flower saying, “What business has she in my playground of dust and storms?” And he would blow out her life.

At last Uŋžíŋžiŋtka (Prairie Rose), her mother’s darling flower, went up onto Makȟóče’s blanket by a water spring, and Tȟatéiyumni rushed upon her crying, “How sweet her breath is! And her dress is clean and pretty. I like her. It is not in my heart to blow out her sweet life. She may have part of her playground for her home and I shall name her Uŋžíŋžiŋtka.”

Then others came and Tȟatéiyumni liked them and played with them and became gentler, and then other flowers and grasses and trees came, and Tȟatéiyumni played with them and became still more gentle.

So the Dakȟóta put the colors of Uŋžíŋžiŋtka on their garments and lodges, and when Tȟatéiyumni sees this color he remembers his first love for Uŋžíŋžiŋtka and he becomes too gentle to kill the people, though he sometimes plays with them boisterously.  

Makȟá: Earth
Makȟóče: Grandmother Earth
Tȟatéiyumni: Whirlwind
Uŋžíŋžiŋtka: Prairie Rose

1 comment:

  1. I am looking for the earliest record of this legend for a book I am writing about the medicinal and culinary uses of wild roses around the world. This is the second version of the legend that I have heard. The first was accredited to the Dakota Sioux.
    Any other information you have would be welcome and appreciated. Thank you for including the native words though I would like to have a pronunciation guide.
    Thank you for your work.