Camping With the Sioux: Fieldwork Diary of Alice Cunningham Fletcher

 

Folktales

The folktales that Alice Fletcher recorded have a long history in Sioux oral literature and are told in many versions. The central figure who appears in three of the tales, whom Fletcher calls Monkey, is recognizable from other versions as Iktomi, a familiar character known to folklorists as a trickster. Although Iktomi is usually translated as Spider, Fletcher's interpreter apparently believed that the Euro-American image of a monkey best captured the essence of Iktomi's personality.

The diary entries in which these folktales appear occasionally identify the tale's narrator and the context within which the tale was told. None of the folktales are titled in Fletcher's diary.

The God With Seven Heads

Two Little Coons Went Out to Walk

The Fat and Glossy Coon

The Fox and the Beautiful Red Plums

The Gegahooge and the Cranes Come to Dinner

The Crane, the Crow, and the Blizzard

The 'Monkey' Who Found a Dead Beaver in the Creek

The Turtle Who Fooled Everyone

Hea-gar Carries the 'Monkey' Into the Air

The White Man and the Orphan Boy (Unfinished)

The Girl Who Pretended to Be a Bear

The 'Monkey' Who Turned Into an Elk

The Hill That Swallowed All Who Came Near It

The Captive Woman and Her Son

The Stick That Turned Into a Child