The Great Myths #67: The Origin of the Buffalo Dance (Blackfoot)

Read the other Great Myths here George Bird Grinnell’s classic account (from 1892) of the origin of the Blackfoot Buffalo Dance. It culminates with the buffalo freely offering themselves to the Blackfoot tribe, but only after teaching them the dance that will resurrect the buffalo herds: The people had built a great pis’kun [a buffalo […]

The Great Myths #16: A Siberian Horse Sacrifice, and the Shaman’s Ascent to the Sky (Altaic)

The first evening is devoted to preparation for the rite. The kam (shaman), having chosen a spot in a meadow, erects a new yurt there, setting inside it a young birch stripped of its lower branches and with nine steps (tapty) notched into its trunk. The higher foliage of the birch, with a flag at […]