Indian Mythology | Assiniboin Mythology

A Hunting Adventure


Two men were traveling together. One had killed a buffalo. They returned to the spot at sunset, pitched a tent, prepared pemmican, and threw small slices of meat outside. One man heard a noise outside. "Some-thing is eating outside." Both seized their guns, and crawled out by the back of the tipi. They saw it was a bear, and fled. The bear ran and killed one man, the other fled back to camp.

The Horse-Thief

A man was traveling by himself. He saw an old camp-site. He tracked the people. He saw one person riding by on horseback. Seeing it was a woman, he frightened the horse. She fell off, and he seized both her and the horse. Then he took them to a hill and sat down. At sundown he saw another horse. Tying up the first horse in the brush, he ordered the woman to remain where she was. He scared the second horse, which dropped its rider, the woman's husband. Thus the man got a wife and two horses, which he took home.

The White Buffalo

Many Stoneys were on the plains in search of buffalo. Only one old man remained at home. One of the buffalo signaled with a mirror that he was going to kill the old man. He ran straight towards the camp. The dogs pursued him, but he reached the camp. The old man took his gun and approached the bull. The women all shouted, "Shoot him from afar, or he'll kill you!" He shot at, but apparently missed the bull. Then the buffalo came slowly towards him, suddenly beginning to run. The man fled, but was hooked and thrown up into the air several times. The third time the women spectators saw the blood pouring from his body. The fourth time they saw his body and heart torn to pieces. Still the buffalo continued hooking him. At last he walked off. But the shot had not gone wide of its mark, and soon he fell dead. It was a white buffalo. The women took the man's flesh home and piled it up in a heap.

The Four Trappers

Four men were traveling about to set beaver-traps. Three of them we e successful, but the fourth did not catch any beaver. He got angry and defecated into the others' traps. But one trap closed on him, cut off his testicles, and killed him. The other trappers went off. One of them went to a wood, where there were many "bull-dogs" (flies). He defecated into their nest, and they bit his rump and scrotum. He could not ward them off with his hands. He threw the excrements into the trees, and raised his hand to his mouth. When he got home, his body swelled up, and he died. The two remaining trappers walked in the wood. They heard a sound resembling that of snapping twigs and thought it was a moose. Instead, it was a large fish (sindē'wia'ga) jumping about among the dead logs and splitting them in two. The men were frightened and fled, but there was a wind blowing and the fish scented them. He roared like a mountain-lion and pursued them. They did not know what to do. They ran to Skunk, asking him to kill the fish, but he was related to the fish and killed the men. Then the fish ate them.

The Rivals

Two young men were camping together. They both desired a young girl in the camp. One of them said, "I want to go to her first." The other refused, but finally consented to let him go first. The man went in, but afterwards refused to let his comrade enter. The man outside got angry, seized a bull-dog flies' nest and approached the lodge. He threw the nest at the lovers' genitals. The flies bit the lovers, so that both jumped up and down with pain. The girl cried continually, and the other inmates of the lodge were also bitten, while the man outside held the door, so that no one could escape. At last, he released his hold, and fled. The girl could not walk at all, but had to be carried. Her lover also could hardly move. His rival waited for him. "What's the matter, why don't you walk?" The injured man did not answer. Again he asked him. Then both raised their guns and killed each other.

The Bear And The Buffalo

An Indian going out hunting was crossing a ridge and looked down on a lake below. On the other side were three buffaloes lying down, while one of them was drinking water from the lake. Close by a big bear was walking in the brush. He saw the four buffaloes, and approached the one in the water, which began to paw the ground and raise its tail. The buffalo tried to hook the bear, but he seized its horns, pulled it into the water and drowned it. In the same way he killed two of the other buffaloes, leaving only the oldest bull. The surviving buffalo was furious. He bellowed, and shook the mud off his body. Walking along, he made a noise like that of a drum. The bear was frightened. He tried to run away, but the old bull hooked him repeatedly, so that his body never touched the earth until he was killed. Then the bull ran around wild. The Indian was frightened, ran home, and told the people what he had seen.


A man was out hunting. In the night-he did not come back. His wife thought at first he was staying with another woman. Then she dreamt that she was tracking him. His footsteps were very, very small. After a while, she found him wrestling with Wa (Snow). Wa was the stronger and killed the man. The woman took a sled and brought the corpse home, where she buried it in the trees.

The Offended Feet

A man was traveling by himself. He sat eating. He put grease on both his braids. Some people came to kill him. He talked to his feet. His feet were angry. "We won't help you," they said; "feel your hair." The man said, "That is all right. When I am dead, people use my hair in scalping me. No one uses you, except dogs." Then the feet ran as fast as possible, so he was not caught. The people did not find his tracks. When they saw them at last, they said, "These tracks look old, they can't belong to the man we are after." Thus he escaped.


A woman once gave birth to a child with one face in front and another behind. The one in the back did not speak. People stared at the child, so that it was ashamed and died without being sick.

1 Anun'kada'han inde'.

Assiniboin Mythology

This site includes some historical materials that may imply negative stereotypes reflecting the culture or language of a particular period or place. These items are presented as part of the historical record and should not be interpreted to mean that the WebMasters in any way endorse the stereotypes implied .

Anthropological Papers American Museum of Natural History, 1909



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