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CREATION STORY

Below is version of the "The Sioux Creation Story, or First Beginnings," that was transcribed and illustrated by Thomas E. Simms with the Lakota Translations by Ben Black Bear, Jr. The book was published by the Tipi Press, Box 89, Chamberlain, South Dakota, in 1987. Although the book may be out of print, you may be able to purchase the book to see the wonderful artwork by visiting Amazon.com books. The text below is from a copy purchased at the Crazy Horse Monument Book Store years back. It is worth it to order, so that you can see the amazing art which accompanies each page. We are sorry we could not recreate the art in this function. None-the-less, it is a good resource and is preserved in the tradional language, translated from Lakota to English. You will also find, co-incidentally, that it parallels our biblical version of the Creation in Genesis.


"Otokahekagapi" / Book 1 - The Rock Age / INYAN MAKAKAN NIYETU (The Rock Time of the Immortal Earth's Breath of Life)

"Every nation must develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies. This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one's tribe, race, class and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing and unconditional love for all men."

Martin Luther King

 

Preface

"Oral Tradition becomes "literature" when it is presented in written form. The concern of traditionalists is whether "the word" will suffer a corruption thereby. Accordingly, there is controversy over this issue, and I am sure that many good people have wrestled with such concerns. Myself, I am convinced the essential truth of tradition is not changed whether spoken, or written, or both. When presented in graphics, or drama or dance, what God gives to people no man can change. Therefore, for me there is no controversy, there is only that which must be preserved.

The Titonwan Lakota (Western Sioux) Oral Tradition --their story of creation -- I see as scripture. Omnicompetence, or spiritual perfection, is the "universal tradition" among spiritual thinkers that God makes no mistakes. And it is in this sense that Lakota scripture must be comprehended. For the Sioux "story" of creation, is from God, and is the word of God.

Moreover, as Native American Oral Tradition has been, by and large, always regarded as "myth" -- that is, has never been taken seriously by non-Indians as scripture -- misunderstood and misinterpreted, it has been given its short shrift in comparison to other holy works. It is now time to present that is best in human societies. Thus along with the Rig Veda, the Torah, the Zend Avesta, The Bible, the Koran (mentioning a few), the Lakota story of creation is herein offered as one of the world's great masterworks and anagogical literature. I have therefore undertaken to present this first book to be for the children: my children, the Lakota children, and all the children in the world. Let this book be a little ball game.

I shall call it the Sacred Ball Game, and I shall quote Black Elk, the great Sioux Shaman because he has characterized it better than I:

"At this sad time today among our people, we are scrambling for the ball, and some are not even trying to catch it, which makes me cry when I think of it. But soon, I know it will be caught, for the end is rapidly approaching, and then it will be returned to the center, and our people will be with it. It is my prayer that this be so, and it is in order to aid in the 'recovery of the ball,' that I have wished to make this book" *, The Sacred Pipe.

*The Sacred Pipe. Black Elk's account of the Seven Rites of the Oglala Sioux. Recorded and Edited by Joseph Epes Brown.

Thomas E. Simms
Rosebud -- 1984

 

INTRODUCTION:

This little book is for you children. But it is also for your parents and your teachers, and they can help you read it and understand it if you have trouble with the words. (Saying or pronouncing out loud).

The pictures are INDIAN pictures, because this FIRST BOOK is the beginning of the Sioux Creation Account. But it is for all children everywhere, because everyone asks about how things got started and how the World began.

Black Elk was a famous Sioux teacher. He taught us that WAKAN TANKA wants us to be good. Black Elk said that we should always try and be humble and sweet like little children, so we can play and laugh, and enjoy ourselves.

So this picture book is a little ball game. We shall learn that the book is a ball. WAKAN TANKA will throw this ball to us, which is this book, and we shall catch it. Then we shall understand it. And we shall enjoy ourselves. Bring the ball -- this book -- to the CENTER (of yourself), which is your Heart, then you will receive a present. The present is invisible, like a little secret. Good. That's all. Now I shall throw the ball to you. Catch it!

Thomas E. Simms
Rosebud, South Dakota

 

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Lakota Tipi

 

"Mitakuye Oyasin - We are all related
in the circle of life."

Wolf Pack