Native American Mythology

                     Books and Stories of Native
                                        American Myths & Legends



The Legend of the White Buffalo Woman by Paul Goble

In this picture book for older readers, Goble uses his characteristic decorative paintings to help retell an important sacred legend of the Lakota people. He describes a great flood, which killed almost all life on the earth, and relates how the nation came to be born again from the union of a woman of the earth and an eagle of the sky. He then explains how the people came upon hard and frightening times and tells of the arrival of the powerful White Buffalo Woman, who gave the Lakota people the Sacred Calf Pipe, a gift of the Great Spirit. The use of boldface headings and the braiding together of several myths interrupt the flow of the text, leaving readers to pick up additional meaning from the illustrations, but Goble fans, young and old, will enjoy the details in the clothing and landscape. The cartoonlike battle scene, with bloody, rolling heads, will certainly attract the attention of some young readers. In addition to notes regarding the significance of the tale, how he determined the style of clothing, and why he utilized specific related myths in his retelling, Goble lists primary and secondary sources. Additional information about Indian pipes is appended, as is a map pinpointing Pipestone Quarry, now a national monument. Karen Morgan