Go to: Indigenous Peoples' Literature Index





Indigenous Peoples' Literature

How the Blackfoot got the Buffalo Jump (Piskun)

by Hugh Welch
Awa chopsi pono Ka me ta (Horse Crazy)

One day Napi was out on the Plains and became hungry and pleaded to the Great Spirit to help him and give him something to eat. The Great Spirit heard his prayers and said " Alright Napi, mound up the dirt as big as you can eat".

Napi started mounding up the dirt and the more he worked the hungrier he got, until he had a big mound and was tired out as he wasn't used to working so hard for something to eat, as the Creator usually fed him when he asked.

The Creator said " I see you have become greedy with me helping you too much so I will make the mound of dirt something you can eat, but you will have to learn to kill it", with that the Great Spirit turned the big mound of dirt into a Buffalo which charged Napi and he started running, more in fear of his life than thinking how to kill it, he ran across the plains, the Buffalo close behind him. Finally he saw a tree and thought if I can make it to the tree I can get away from this beast and then plan how to kill it.

As he neared the tree he saw a big branch sticking out, low enough for him to reach but high enough to get away from the Buffalo. He was running as hard as he could and the Buffalo was gaining on him, just as he reached the tree and swung up the Buffalo ran under him and disappeared. After he got over his fright and came down from the tree he found that the tree was on the edge of a cliff and the Buffalo has ran off it and was laying at the bottom.

The Great Spirit spoke to him and said "Now Napi your greed almost got you hurt but I will give you another chance, I will put Buffalo on the Plains if you share your kills with your brothers the meat eaters and your people". Which he did and showed the people how to use the Buffalo Jump. One is at Two Medicine River, another on Milk River as well as many others all over the Blackfoot Hunting Grounds.

Napi (Old Man) of the Blackfoot is the equivalent of Iktomni, the trickster, of the Sioux, as is Old Man Coyote of the Crow.




Begin Your journey, learn the Steps to
Your Indian Ancestry
Beginners Lesson in Genealogy




American Indian Heritage Foundation
Indians.org Home | Indigenous Peoples' Literature Index Page

The Tribal Directory



The Indigenous Peoples' Literature pages were researched and organized by Glenn Welker.


Birth, Marriage & Death Collection