Iktomi & the Handkerchief AND Iktomi & the Pointing Game

In Lakota                                   In English

In Lakota

Lakota Language Transcript:

Coming Soon…

English Language Transcript:

Iktomi and the Handkerchief

Hi kids!  I want to share with you another iktomi story.

Here he was.  Iktomi was walking along on this breezy day, and it was hot so he got out his  handkerchief.  He shakes it out and the wind takes it out of his hands.  He reaches for it, but it flies up into the tree and gets caught up in a branch.  Ikto says,

“How am I going to get my handkerchief down?” 

And here comes this nice looking young man.  He has on a real nice buckskin shirt, leggings, beautiful moccasins. He had a beaded necklace on. Iktomi says,

“Hello, little brother!  You look very nice today”

“I am sad,” Iktomi says.

The young man says, “Why are you sad?” 

“My handkerchief… it blew up into the tree. My arms are not strong enough to get me to  go get my handkerchief.”

“Maybe I can help you.”

“Yes.  You're young, you’re strong.  You could do it for me.  But look how you are dressed.”

“Why look at these clothes. They are very nice clothes. Why should you mess them up.  I will watch them for you. Take them off and pile them here and go up and get my handkerchief for me.”

The young man says, “Sure. OK.”

So he takes off all his clothes…lays them down.

Iktomi’s looking at them,  “Oh these are nice.”

The young man says, “What’s that?”

Iktomi says, “Oh, just be careful.  Be careful as you're going up.  Don't you fall from there.”

The young man is going higher and higher up into the tree.  And as he rounds the tree to get up even higher, Iktomi looks up and says,  “Thank you!”

“Thank you?  I haven't got your handkerchief yet.”

“No, for the fine clothes!”

And he takes the clothes and runs off with all those nice new clothes.

Iktomi and the Pointing Game

I would like to share another story about Iktomi who had on these very, very nice clothes…Who was very proud of himself and he always thought he was the one who could do everything the best. Gambling, horseback riding, games, hunting…everything…he was always the best. He could out-shoot, out-run, out-swim… he could do everything.  Everything was the best. Nobody could beat him.

He went to a village one day. They were gambling, and some of the men thought they would take their chance. Iktomi was there. And he's gambling…having a great time.  It got way late into the night and many of the guys who were gambling, the others, they said,

“It’s late. We want to get some sleep.”

“OK.  I won enough from you anyway.” 

So Iktomi packs his horse up and there's a path on the way home. So he's following this path in the moonlight going home.  He knows the way home. He can't ride his horse because he has all his winnings tied onto his horse.  And as he gets up around this path he stops. There up ahead there's a man standing there. He's pointing at him. So Iktomi says,

“Are you pointing at me?  Are you pointing at me?”

But the man says nothing.

“Yes, you're pointing at me aren't you?  You can stop pointing at me. Why are you pointing at me?”

He was getting a little nervous.

“Why are you pointing at me?  Stop pointing at me. Oh. I know what it is. You want to play the pointing game. I know the pointing game. I can point longer than you can. OK let's play.”

So Iktomi puts out his hand. He's pointing and pointing.

“There, you see?  I can point too. I can point longer than you. You might as well quit.” 

But the other is standing there pointing at him.

Iktomi says, “You can quit anytime you want to.”

Pretty soon Iktomi says, “You know, I don't want you to stand there all night pointing. You should go home and rest. Stop pointing because I'm not going to stop until you are done. I win at everything. You should know who I am. I win at everything.”

He put his hand up because his arm is getting tired.

“You can stop pointing now because I'm not going to stop.” 

But the other one is still standing there pointing at him. Pointing and pointing. And Iktomi is getting tired.

“I'm getting tired.”

“Are you tired now? I am not tired.” 

“I wish he would stop.” 

“You can stop and go home now.”

Iktomi is so tired now. He has to always brace his arm up.  Slowly the sun comes up and iktomi looks very closely because there's an old dead tree with just one branch on it. That branch is pointing like this. Iktomi had a game with the pointing tree and he lost.