Dahcotah eBook

Seth and Mary Eastman
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 267 pages of information about Dahcotah.

“In the corner of the room sat a figure whom I recognized.  It was my mother’s brother, Flying Wind, the medicine man.  I remembered him, for it was he who taught me to use my bow and arrow.

“In a bark dish, in the corner of the room, was some wild rice.  I was very hungry, for I had not eaten since I left the earth.  I asked my uncle for some rice to eat, but he did not give it to me.  Had I eaten of the food for spirits, I never should have returned to earth.

“At last my uncle spoke to me. `My nephew,’ said he, ’why are you travelling without a bow and arrow? how can you provide yourself with food when you have no means of killing game?  When my home was on the Mississippi, the warriors of the Dahcotahs were never without their bows and arrows—­either to secure their food or to strike to the hearts of their enemies.’

“I then remembered that I had been travelling without my bow and arrows. `But where,’ said I to my uncle, `where are the spirits of my forefathers? where is my brother who fell under the tomahawk of his enemy? where is my sister who threw herself into the power of Unktahe, rather than to live and see her rival the wife of the Sun? where are the spirits of the Dahcotah braves whose deeds are still told from father to son among us?’

“’The Dahcotah braves are still watching for their enemies—­the hunters are bringing in the deer and the buffalo—­our women are planting corn and tanning deer-skin.  But you will not now see them; your step is firm and your eye is bright; you must return to earth, and when your limbs are feeble, when your eye is dim, then will you return and find your home in the city of spirits.’

“So saying, he arose and gave me a bow and arrow.  I took it, and while trying it I left the house; but how I do not know.

“The next thing that I remember was being seated on the top of the cliffs of Eagle’s Nest, below Lake Pepin.  I heard a sound, and soon distinguished my mother’s voice; she was weeping.  I knew that she was bending over my body.  I could see her as she cut off her hair, and I felt sad when I heard her cry, ‘My son! my son!’ Then I recollect being on the top of the half-side mountain on Lake Pepin.  Afterwards I was on the mountain near Red Wing’s village, and again I stood on a rock, on a point of land near where the waters of the Mississippi and St. Peter’s meet, on the ‘Maiden’s Jumping Rock;’ [Footnote:  Near Fort Snelling is a high rock called the Maiden’s Jumping Rock; where formerly the Dahcotah girls used to jump for amusement, a distance of many feet from the top to the ground.] here I recovered my right mind.”

The daughter of Ahaktah says that her father retained the “wahkun” bow and arrow that was given him by his uncle, and that he was always successful in hunting or in war; that he enjoyed fine health, and lived to be a very old man; and she is living now to tell the story.


Project Gutenberg
Dahcotah from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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