A Dakota Legend of Creation

The creation story began long, long ago when Waziya, the Old Man, lived beneath the earth with his wife, Wakanka. Their daughter, Ite, grew to be the most beautiful of women, thereby captivating the attention of one of the associate Gods, Tate, the Wind. Though not a Goddess, Ite became the wife of Tate who lived at the entrance of the Spirit Trail. She bore Tate four sons, quadruplets--the North, West, East and South Winds. The first son became cruel and hard to get along with, so Tate took his position as first son and gave it to his boisterous second son, West Wind. Thus, the order of the Winds became West, North, East and South.

Because of the association with the influential good and helpful Gods through the marriage of Ite to Tate, Waziya became dissatisfied and yearned to have the power of the true Gods.

Iktomi, the Trickster, always anxious to further discontentment and promote ridicule, bargained with Waziya and Wakanka and Ite, promising them great power and further beauty for Ite if they would assist him in making others ridiculous. He even promised Ite that her enhanced beauty would rival that of the Goddess Hanwi, the Moon, who was the pledged wife of the great Sun God, Wi. So Waziya, Wakanka and Ite agreed to Iktomi's bargain.

Possessed of a charm given her by Iktomi, Ite became more and more conscious of her beauty and less and less devoted to the welfare of her four sons, the Four Winds. At this time, Sun saw Ite and, struck by her incredible beauty, invited Ite to sit beside him at the feast of the Gods. When the time for the feast arrived, Ite came early. Finding the place next to the Sun vacant, she took it. Sun was pleased. When Moon finally arrived, she saw her seat had been taken, and she was so ashamed that she hid her face from the laughing people, covering it with a robe. And Iktomi, the planner of this event out laughed everyone.

After the feast, Skan, the Sky God and judge of all the Gods, called a Council. He asked for the stories of Wi, the Sun, who had forsaken his wife; of Ite, who dared take the place of a Goddess; and of Wakanka and Waziya who had wished for godlike powers; and Iktomi, the schemer. Then Skan passed Judgment.

Sun was to lose the comfort of his wife, Moon. He was to rule only in the day, allowing Moon to rule at night. Whenever they were together, Moon would always cover her face in shame. Ite's sentence was severe because of her vanity and negligence of motherly and wifely duties. She would give premature birth to her next son, who would be unlike all other children, and her children would not live with her but with their father, Tate. She was, furthermore, instructed to return to the world and live without friends. Still more, she would remain the most beautiful of women, but only half of her would be so. The other half would be so horribly ugly that people would be terrified at the sight of her. Henceforth, she would be called Anung-Ite, the Double faced Woman.

Wakanka and Waziya were banished to the edge of the world until they could learn to do good for young children and old people. They too were renamed for their misconduct, becoming known as the Witch and the Old Man, or Wizard.

Iktomi was also banished to the edge of the world where he was to remain forever friendless. He accepted his judgment with his usual smugness, reminding Skan that he still had the birds and the animals with whom he could live and upon whom he could continue to play pranks.

Tate, who was also judged for marrying Ite, was instructed to raise his children properly and to do a woman's work. Thus he lived along with his f

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