Sacred Texts  Native American  Southeast 

When the Storm God Rides

Tejas and Other Indian Legends

by Florence Stratton

collected by Bessie M. Reid


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This is a collection of Native American lore from Texas. It is focused on the Tejas, a Caddoan group which called itself the Hasinai. The term 'Tejas' is from a Caddoan word which means 'friend,' and it gave us the name of Texas. The Tejas lived between the Sabine and Trinity rivers, in modern south-east Texas. They were the furthest west of the Southeastern native groups, in close contact with the Plains tribes, so their folklore reflects both regions.

Written in a simple declarative style to appeal to young readers, When the Storm God Rides is not a work of ethnology, but is based on genuine traditional folklore from the region. The material has been romanticized by the author, and sometimes softened for the audience, although not to the point of becoming maudlin as often occurs in this kind of book. However, since there is a paucity of material on the southeastern Native Americans, and specifically those from the Texas area, this fills a gap.

Title Page and Front Matter
When the Storm God Rides
How the North Wind Lost His Hair
Kachina Brings the Spring
The Sweet Gum's Amber Tears
The Plant That Grows in Trees
Why the Woodpecker Pecks
The Woodpecker's Stumpy Tail
Chief Two Hawks' Trail
The Magnolia Babies
Old Woolly Bird's Sacrifice
A Tribe That Left Its Shoes
The Cloud That Was Lost
The Swift Blue One
The Wise Man's Big Bald Head
Grandmother River's Trick
Why Hummingbirds Drink Only Dew
When the Stars Took Root
The Maiden Who Loved a Star
Old Quanah's Gift
How Sickness Entered the World
The Evil Water Spirits
Why the Irises Hold Hands
The Pecan Tree's Best Friend
When the Rainbow Was Torn
Paisano, Hater of the Rattlesnake
Maidens Who Broke a Drouth
Why Arrows Have Feathers
The Cottonwood Remembers
Why the Skunk Walks Alone
How the Turkey Hid Her Eggs
Why the Dog's Ears Flop
About the Tejas Indians
Interesting Things to Do
Indian Symbols