Arneach, Lloyd. "Pleiades and the Pine." Long-Ago Stories of the Eastern Cherokee. Illus. Elizabeth Ellison. Charleston, SC: History Press, 2008. pp. 70-72. The Cherokee call the constellation of the Pleiades "The Boys" from a legend about seven boys who wouldn't stop playing a game with stones and sticks until their mothers cooked the stones and tried to make the boys eat them. The boys started to dance and rise into the air and became stars, except for one whose mother pulled him so hard that he went into the earth. His mother's tears made a pine tree grow. Arneach is a native Cherokee professional storyteller.

"The Pine Tree and the Pleiades." In Chiltoskey, Mary Ulmer. Aunt Mary, Tell Me A Story: A Collection of Cherokee Legends and Tales. Ed. Mary Regina Ulmer Galloway.  Cherokee, NC:  Cherokee Communications, 1990, pp. 45-47. This tale explains, in more detail than Arneach's, the communal causes and effects of events. The old men made chunky stones for the boys to roll down the hill from the council house, but in spring the men and eight boys neglected to get the boys in for supper on time. This caused stomach aches and hunger. When the mothers tried putting stones in the boy's supper, they angrily vowed to play and never come home. They achieved this until they became stars called Pleiades. An eighth boy became a pine tree when his mother, determined to fetch him home, pulled him down until he was buried in the earth, and the mothers wept on that spot. The weakest of the seven stars is a small boy who wanted to go home but couldn't resist the influence of the older boys.

"The Playing Boys, the Pleiades." Retold by Kathi Smith Littlejohn. In Duncan, Barbara R., ed. Living Stories of the Cherokee. Chapel Hill: U of NC Press, 1998.

"Origin of the Pleiades and the Pine." Myths of the Cherokee. Ed. James Mooney. From Nineteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology 1897-98, Part I. 1900. Reprinted in Internet Sacred Text Archive, 2001. This tale is linked in the Spirit of Trees web site with curricular resources and other world folktales and literature.

"Pleiades and the Pine Tree" In Heape, Steven R., Chip Richie, Gregg Howard, Nash Hernandez, and Kathleen Raymond Roan. Tales of Wonder: Traditional Native American Fireside Stories. VHS video. Dallas, TX: Rich-Heape Films, 1998. 60 min. DVD 2004 contains additional tales.

"Pleiades and the Pine Tree." Told by Gregg Howard. In Howard, Gregg, and Nash Hernandez. Tales of Wonder Traditional Native American Stories for Children. CD. Dallas, TX: Rich-Heape Films, 1998.

"Anitsutsa—The Boys" (Origin of the Pleiades and the Pine). In The Cherokee Nation. Traditional Stories. Provided by Cherokee Nation Cultural Resource Center, in official web site of the [western] Cherokee Nation, Tahlequah, OK. 1998-2002. The game that the seven boys play is called Chunkey. Other stories retold online (some with a picture) are "Origin of Disease and Medicine," "The Ballgame Between the Birds and the Animals," "The Legend of the Cherokee Rose" (about white roses growing along the Trail of Tears to give the mothers strength to survive), "Legend of the Wren," "Legend of the First Woman," "The Ice Man," "The Legend of the Corn Bead," "Why the Owl Has a Spotted Coat," "The Beginning/Legend of the Strawberries" and "How the Strawberries Came to Be," "Spirit of Little Deer," "River Cane Flute."


brown quilt square See also many other animal tales and pourquoi tales in the Native American section of this index, and in Mooney's Myths of the Cherokee, Duncan's Living Stories of the Cherokee, and other collections, such as Gayle Ross's How Rabbit Tricked Otter and Other Cherokee Animal Stories (Illus. Murv Jacobs. The Parabola Storytime Series. New York: HarperCollins, 1994. Caedmon Audio cassette, 1996).

The Story of the Milky Way is another Cherokee tale about the origin of a constellation of stars.

Appalachian Picture Book Bibliography: Cherokee Tales

brown quilt square Hispanic Connection

"The Trail of Stars (How the Milky Way Came To Be): An Aztec Myth." In Vigil, Angel, reteller. The Eagle on the Cactus: Traditional Stories from Mexico = El águila encima del nopal: cuentos tradicionales de Mexico. Transl. Francisco Miraval. World folklore series. Englewood, CO: Libraries Unlimited, 2000. p. 51.


This page created 4/25/09   |   Top of Page   |   Last update 9/17/10

 

Return to AppLit Folktale Index

Complete List of AppLit Pages on Folklore

Links to Online Texts

AppLit Home

Site Index