Native American Tales

How the Sioux Came to Be

How the Sioux Came to BeHow the Sioux Came to Be

Brule Sioux

Unktehi, the water monster, once fought the people of Earth and caused a great flood. The people climbed higher and higher, but the water just kept rising. Most of the people were killed and their blood gelled to create the pipe-stone quarry from which the sacred pipes were made. As a punishment, Unktehi was punished and her backbone can now be seen in the badlands.

One girl survived though. Wanblee Galeshka picked up a young girl and took her up to his nest way high up in a tree on top of a very high mountain, which no one would have been able to climb up. Wanblee made the girl his wife and the two had children, a boy and a girl. Wanblee took the children down from the nest and those children had children and they became the Sioux people.


Here is yet another great flood story.


In this story, people are descended from an eagle, or rather, they’re part eagle. It would probably be pretty nice if we could fly. I think it’s interesting how so many tribes have decided that we’re somehow part this animal or part that animal. We can definitely be animal in nature, no doubt the natives were thinking of this when they said we were part animal. We have much of the same potential of ferocity that animals can have.

Moving to a different point, most of the tribes do not conceive of humans as in God’s image. The gods may have created people, but in many instances they were part bear, or eagle, or whatever, they weren’t purely copies of a god, or the gods. In Christian theology, people are supposed to be made in God’s image. The whole idea is that you could go and walk up to God and he would look like a man, or a woman, depending on what you believe. God wouldn’t look that different from you and I. In many Native American tales, God is going to look different because God did not make people exactly in his or her image. Expanding more upon this though, animals and people weren’t necessarily considered to be all that different in many of these tales. Multiple tales say that it was difficult to tell the difference between animals and people, so maybe we’re not as divine as God because we’re part animal, but maybe we’re not that different either.


What animal are we going to be next?

Weigh In

If it were possible, would you marry someone of a different species?

Do you think you could survive a great flood?


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