Native American Tales

The Faithful Wife and the Woman Warrior

The Faithful Wife and the Woman WarriorThe Faithful Wife and the Woman Warrior


Along time ago some Apache people lived near Yellow Earth. Among them were two warriors, Blue Hawk and Red Hawk. They were out one day and they made a bet. The bet was that if Blue Hawk’s wife slept with Red Hawk, Blue Hawk would have to give Red Hawk all of his stuff.

Red Hawk tried really hard, but Blue Hawk’s wife didn’t pay him any attention. He became discouraged and ended up talking to an old woman. The old woman told him not to worry, because she could get enough detail to make it seem as if Red Hawk had slept with Blue Hawk’s wife.

The old woman went near Blue Hawk’s house and acted pitifully and Blue Hawk’s wife took compassion on her and let her in for the night. The next day the old woman told Red Hawk that Blue Hawk’s wife had a long yellow braid that she braided on her navel and then wound it around herself. Red Hawk took this information back to Blue Hawk and it really seemed as if Red Hawk had done it. Blue Hawk gave all his stuff to Red Hawk and then told his wife to get in a trunk, because they were traveling, but in reality, he threw the trunk in the river.

The trunk came up later though and was caught by a fisherman. He was surprised to find a beautiful woman inside. She didn’t want anything but his clothes. She then went to join a nearby battle. People could not decide whether she was a man or a woman, but they had their suspicions, many boys would try to figure it out, but none ever could.

Meanwhile, Blue Hawk’s wife’s father was very suspicious of Blue Hawk and caused a hole to open down into the underworld, which he would fall into.

The girl on the other hand was being a warrior. She woke up one night and spat medicine in the direction of the enemy tribe and they all killed over. She let out a big war-whoop and told everyone that she had fought a big battle and won. She took many scalps and ears. She went home on a horse. She told everyone that she had won a big battle, even though she was a woman. She told the people to go and get her husband because he had been tricked.

They also went and got Red Hawk and the old woman and tied them to horses which dragged them to pieces.


Let’s talk about this hairy navel thing, not the drink. What this story is probably referencing is a line of hair that goes from the navel to the pubic hair. On guys it’s sometimes called a Happy Trail. A lot of women don’t have this particular pattern of hair. If you’re just a regular womanly woman, you’re not going to have a Happy Trail. There’s nothing wrong with being a womanly woman, or otherwise. The reason this line of hair is there is because it’s a male-pattern of hair growth and women who have it have a higher percentage of testosterone in their bodies than their other female cohorts.

You know what else, else about this? Higher testosterone means higher sex drive. So women with this pattern of hair growth were actually sought out throughout history as sexual partners. This was before this day and age, obviously, because women weren’t expected to remove every darn bit of body hair they had back then. Screw that by the way.

In relation to the story, Blue Hawk probably felt he was pretty satisfied with his wife, sexually, and also emotionally. She was probably considered a prize. As to why she has really long hair on her abdomen that’s so long that she can braid, I cannot explain that one.


Several people were wrong in this story. Red Hawk was wrong for wanting to sleep with Blue Hawk’s wife, but he was also wrong for deceiving him. Blue Hawk was wrong for believing his wife would stoop so low. The father was wrong for suspecting his son-in-law. The old woman wrong for helping Red Hawk play such and awful trick. The wife was probably also wrong for being so blood thirsty. I know she was all like “GIIIIIIRRRRLLLL POOOOWWWEEERRRR!!!!!!” but, I don’t know, maybe not kill so many people.

No one in this story seemed to be trusting enough of the others. Even the warriors that the woman warred alongside didn’t trust her. No one was trusting anybody.

Coming back around, the woman still decided to trust her husband, even though he threw her in a trunk and into a river. He threw her into a freaking river to drown, like she was his property and he was just taking out the garbage. I get that you’re hurt, over something that wasn’t even true, but you shouldn’t be throwing your wife into the river to drown. Despite this awful act, the woman was like, “You know what, I know they played a joke on you, and you acted horribly, but I want you back anyway.”

I don’t know if I would be as accepting as she was. I get that it was a trick, I do, but Blue Hawk acted entirely wrong. You cannot take out your emotions, that you caused yourself to feel, on someone else. It’s not their fault that you’re angry. It’s your fault if you’re angry because you chose to let XYZ thing upset you. You could be totally zen about it and just be like, “Que sera sera;” you don’t have to flip a lid.


Can’t we all get along?

Weigh In

Would you have forgiven Blue Hawk.

Do you think the wife should have forgiven Blue Hawk?


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