I chose a Creek folk tale today for Picture book of the Day and wanted to explore both the story, its influences, and make connections to learn more about the Muscogee (Creek) people. I hope you enjoy this exploration!
The Muscogee (Creek) people are descendents of a remarkable culture that, before 1500 AD, spanned all the region known today as the Southeastern United States. Early ancestors of the Muscogee constructed magnificent earthen pyramids along the rivers of this region as part of their elaborate ceremonial complexes. The historic Muscogee later built expansive towns within these same broad river valleys in the present states of Alabama, Georgia, Florida and South Carolina.
from Muscogee Nation
The Otter, The Spotted Frog and The Great Flood: A Creek Indian Story by Ramon Shiloh
When the spotted frog warns everyone of a great flood that threatens to destroy all life on earth, only Listener the otter takes heed. He builds a raft and ties it to the tallest tree and thus is able to survive. While this picture book is a Creek creation myth, it is interesting to note that the Creek people may also have incorporated Bibilical stories into their own oral tradition. Doesn’t this story remind you a little of Noah’s Arc?
There is another interesting twist after the great flood subsides. Listener the otter turns into a human and you find a reference to Greek Mythology’s Metis story regarding his wife! [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Making Connections to the Creek People
A non fiction companion book would be …
Searching for Sarah Rector: The Richest Black Girl in America by Tonya Bolden
The story centers around a black child named Sarah Rector who lived in the early twentieth-century. Rector’s great-grandmother was a slave owned by Chief Opothole Yoholo of the Creek tribe. When the U.S. government forced Native American tribes off their land onto Indian Territory, their slaves traveled with them.
This meant that Sarah and her family, who were living on Indian Territory, were considered Creek citizens. At the turn of the century, each individual living on Indian Territory was awarded 160 acres of land in Oklahoma as part of a government allotment.
In 1907, at the age of five, Sarah Rector became a landowner. She had no idea that the land she owned was full of oil, and that by the age of twelve she would become a very wealthy young lady.
Review from The Non Fiction Detectives
If you want to learn more about contemporary Creek Native Americans, read Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith. She is of Creek heritage!
Jenna, a contemporary Muscogee (Creek) girl in Oklahoma, wants to honor a family tradition by jingle dancing at the next powwow. But where will she find enough jingles for her dress?
and here’s a Jingle Dancer …
The 5th graders at my elementary school learn about Native American creation mythology through art.
Lakota dress, unknown artist, the beadwork tells the story of creation from Fox Pudding.
Thanks for reading today’s Picture Book of the Day!
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14 thoughts on “Native American Picture Book of the Day Exploration”
Super entry; all the elements really reinforce each other–a picture book that features a Muscogee traditional story, another that tells a contemporary story (and that by a woman of Muscogee heritage), and then the nonfiction book–plus the supplemental photos. I\’d like to check out Searching for Sara Rector, and clicking through on the link for the Jingle Dancer, I really liked what Publishers Weekly had to say about it. (Now to check out your actual featured book!)
Thanks so much Asakiyume! Your kind words have totally made my day!
How fitting….wonderful story! I love the interconnections with world mythology.
I was surprised but delighted by how world mythology influences and intersects! It makes the world smaller and friendlier!
This book sounds fascinating! I have heard that every culture has their own version of the Noah’s Ark story.
How interesting. I didn’t know that but that makes total sense because I discovered through the Multicultural Children’s Book Day blog hop that there also seems to be a Cinderella story for every culture! I wonder what other universal stories like these there are!
This looks like a cool way for kids to learn about Native American culture. I love the clothes that you are showing off in this post too. It reminds me of how I wanted to be a Native American girl for Halloween back when we still celebrated it. You can probably imagine the excitement I had when I found out my grandma’s mom was Native American 🙂
Wow, that is a wonderful surprise! Did you find out what tribe your grandmother was from? Thanks so much for sharing!
I love these recommendations, Mia. We don’t have any Native American books in our house – at all. Thanks so much for this! We are getting these.
Thanks so much for sharing on the #homeschoollinkup
Thanks so much Lisa,
I’ll bet you can find them at your local library! Thanks so much for hosting Home School Link Up!
These books look wonderful! Thanks for sharing at After School!
Thanks so much Stephanie!
Thank you for linking up to the All Things Kids Languages of Love linky. I\’m off to pin now to our collaborative board!
Thanks so much Sugar Aunts. Please let me know if you want to join us on the collaborative board.