Tales of the Tepee
Tales of the Tepee grew out of Edward Everett Dale’s close association with Indian tribes living in Oklahoma. During territorial days young Dale rode, hunted, and visited with the Kiowas, Comanches, and Wichitas. Later he taught many Cherokees, Choctaws, Creeks, Chickasaws, Sac and Fox, and Delawares at the state university. Near the beginning of his long and distinguished career as a historian, he gathered and recorded these stories.
Originally published in 1920, Tales of the Tepee takes the reader to the lodge bonfires of the Cherokees, Wichitas, and Pawnees, where children stayed awake to hear about giant cannibals, magical transformations, mortal unions with celestial bodies, and journeys to the Spirit Land. Dale preserved these popular tales of danger and revenge, renewal and romance, and family life. They are populated with an ogress named Spearfinger, the monster Flint, the tragic Wynema, and the cyclic heroes Wild Boy, Stone Man, and Found-in-the-Grass. Here are animal people like the courageous Rabbit and the great bird Tlan-u-wa. And here are lovely explanations for matters mundane and cosmic: how strawberries came to be, and how the moon got its spots.
Edward Everett Dale’s books include the classic Indians of the Southwest. Introducer Clyde Ellis is an assistant professor of history at Elon College in North Carolina and the author of “To Change Them Forever”: Indian Education at the Rainy Mountain Boarding School, 1893–1920.
140 pp — ©1998