Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Nez Perce Legend


Sorry I'm late!! Life lately has been hectic. So here is a post I wrote promoting the first book in the Spirit series.

This was my first attempt at a paranormal, but to me it felt more historical than paranormal. I did major research into the Nez Perce or Nimiipuu tribe to be able to write this story about the daughter of a chief who is asked for in marriage by a warrior of the Blackfeet(Blackleg) tribe which at the time of the story were according to the words of a current Nimiipuu "considered the same as you all considered the Huns".  I used this fear and hatred throughout the story when the heroine is talking and thinking about living with the Blackleg(the name the Nimiipuu called the Blackfeet).


I not only researched books on their day to day living conditions, their society, and their beliefs, I also read as much as I could in their own words. Myths and legends books and any snippet I could get that was in English but translated directly from their words. It helped me to get a feel for their speaking and cadence to their dialogue.

Here is a Nimiipuu story that I copied from the Nez Perce loop I'm on. As you can see by reading the story all of the stories handed down through the generations were like our fables.

 Nez Perce boy legend

A long time ago there lived in our Blue Mountains a boy who was an only child. His parents had pampered and spoiled him until he was quite selfish and disagreeable.

His parents died and he was obliged to live with the rest of the tribe as an orphan. Because of his selfishness he was not well liked and the other children did not like to play with him. Some of the children learned that the camp was to be moved and made plans to get rid of the spoiled boy.

No one told him that they were moving and that morning they took him out to the high cattails to play hide-and-seek. They would hide and then call, "Who! Who!" Part of the time the boy was following his own echo. The children slipped away and hurried back to the camp in time to go.

The boy wandered about listening to his own echo for some time before he decided that the others had left. When he found his way back to camp it was deserted.

He was hungry and by rummaging about he found some roots that had been left. Still hungry, he decided to try some fishing. With a thorn on an improvised string he made from fibers and hair left at the camp, he placed a worm on the thorn and fished. Thus he secured fish.

Not wishing to eat it raw, his mind turned to fire, and investigation proved that someone had banked a bed of coals and he soon had a camp fire going.

Night was approaching. Where would he sleep? At last he remembered the little stone and mud igloo down by the stream where the people had taken their sweat baths. He crawled into the igloo and slept quite comfortably.

In the morning, he decided to try fishing, but this time a strange thing happened. When he felt something on his line he pulled steady and hard. Slowly it came, but it was not a fish. It was a boat loaded with many provisions and an extremely homely old lady. The old lady spoke to him, "Don't be afraid little boy, I will not hurt you. I am your Grandmother Experience. I have come to help you."

Grandmother Experience lived with him, after that and helped him do many things - make bows and arrows to kill game, gather food, build shelters, and many other things.

Time went on and the boy lived with the grandmother and grew up big and strong, but wondered where his people were. He commenced traveling about in hopes of finding them. One day he did find them and they marveled at the change he had undergone. He was no longer a spoiled selfish boy. Grandmother Experience had made a self-reliant, pleasant young man of him.

If you'd like to read an excerpt from any of the Spirit Trilogy you can visit my website: www.patyjager.net and click on paranormal. While you're there enter my website contest. 

7 comments:

  1. Fun post, Paty. I enjoyed the legend.

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  2. Thanks, Danita! I enjoyed the book I have with myths and legends.

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  3. Loved the legend, Paty. When I was a Camp Fire leader we spent a lot of time with the Indian legends and we all grew fond of how lessons were taught and learned. Your books sounds like a winner to me.

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  4. I've always enjoyed Indian legends. Thanks for sharing, Paty.

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  5. Thanks, Paisley! The grandmother in Spirit of the Mountain tells a story to her grandson trying to teach him a lesson.

    Caroline, You're Welcome! I have a book full of them but there are some that are too risque to put on the blog. Those are interesting....

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  6. Paty, thanks for another terrific post. You know how much I love the Nez Perce and your stories about them!

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