Native American Tales

Great Medicine Makes Beautiful Country

Great Medicine Makes Beautiful CountryGreat Medicine Makes Beautiful Country


Great Medicine created the Earth. It was always warm. There was always plenty of food to eat. The people all spoke one language. They even talked to the animals. Great Medicine created three kinds of people. One kind of people had hair all over. One kind of people had white skin and hair on their heads, beards, and legs. Another kind of people only had hair on their heads. The white skinned people were in the class with the wolf because they were tricky.

The people moved around all the time but Great Medicine convinced them to get together to clothe themselves and learn things. The red people, the ones who had been gathered together, left the north and went south. They found the hairy people there, who had made their homes in the sides of hills, but did not wear clothes. Eventually the hairy people dwindled and the people did not know where they had gone to at all.

They went north again, but could no longer talk to the animals. The Great Spirit had told them that the land south would be flooded. After a time, they went south again. Beautiful plants had grown in the south, but a flood came and scattered the red people. They went north again, but found there were no trees. The people wept at the destruction and went south again to live as best they could. It was not easy to get food and there were often floods. Great Medicine gave them the corn and buffalo to live on.

There were some of the Cheyenne who remembered some of the old ceremonies to charm animals. They could charm wild animals and they would be so tame that a person could walk up to them, only Bushy Head remembered the ceremonies and he is revered highly.


Hairy people….big foot? They were like people, but had hair all over. How is that not big foot? Maybe there were a whole bunch of hairy people like big foots walking around in the past. I wasn’t there, how would I know? So many cultures, including the Cheyenne have tales of very large and hairy people-like creatures sighted out in the woods. It can’t be a coincidence. At the very least, there were some people walking around with the medical condition which causes extreme hirsuteness; at the very most, there really are/were big foot like creatures. The Earth is a strange place. Who knows what’s out there?


This story is actually the history of a people. It’s about a time period in the Cheyenne’s history where they left their ancestral home and went south, then moved back, then went south, then moved back, then went south, then moved back, and then did the best they could. Certainly, if you’re forced to leave your ancestral land, it’s going to be difficult to live somewhere else. It can be done, as people have demonstrated for thousands upon thousands of years, but it’s quite the adjustment. The plants aren’t the same. The animals aren’t the same. The bacteria in the water is different. It’s a big adjustment. You can live anywhere if you have the materials to do so. You could live on the moon if you had food, water, and oxygen. Would it be easy? Heck no.

These days, our modern society makes it fairly easy to move. If you move from Georgia to Washington state, the weather may be different, but you can still go to Wal-mart. There wasn’t Wal-mart during the days of this story. There was grass and fish and birds and stuff. Maybe you don’t know how to catch the animals in the new place you moved to. Maybe the water upsets your stomach and gives you dysentery. Maybe you have allergies to the plants that are there. Maybe some plant you think is safe is poisonous, but how in the heck were you supposed to know? It’s not as if there was a smart stone that people carried with them and were like, “Ok, Siri, is this plant poisonous or is it delicious food?”

These big moves were a big deal to the Cheyenne people, even if they don’t seem as if they would be big deals today.


We should make stories like this every time we move somewhere.

Weigh In

Do you think you could have hacked a big move without today’s conveniences?

If you found your home country much changed upon returning, would you be sad?


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