Native American Totems

Discovering the medicine and lessons learned from the spirits of animals and all living things.

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Gray Bird was a young boy who belonged to one of the Native American tribes who lived their lives on the great plains of what would later become the United States.  His people would live at the edge of a forest during the winter at a spot that was picked by their Chief. When spring arrived the tribe would pack up and move to the hunting grounds.

Gray Bird’s father, Big Wolf, was a strong and tall man. His mother was named White Swan. He had an older brother Running Deer and a little sister called Little Deer.  Together they lived in a teepee which looks a lot like a tent with a pointed top.

When it was time for his people to move to the hunting grounds on the plains, Gray Bird’s family did not leave their home behind.  White Swan would take the teepee down, roll it up, and tie it onto a travois behind a horse. Whenever the People stopped Gray Bird’s mother would put their home back up for them to stay in.

Gray Bird’s father, Big Wolf, would not have helped with the packing or putting up the teepee. He was a hunter and a warrior and would not have been expected to help with any of the work around the camp. Young boys like Gray Bird would help their mothers until they grew big enough to ride with the men.

When Running Deer, Gray Bird, and Little Fawn were babies they were called a papoose. When tiny they would have been put into a papoose case or cradleboard and would have traveled on the travois or on their mother’s backs if she were walking.

Gray Bird would have been taught many things by his grandfather and grandmother has he grew. At about the age of three, his grandfather would begin to teach him about the birds and animals around them.  He would learn to imitate the sounds that each animal made. His grandfather would teach him to be quiet, patient, and to step lightly which would help him later when he learned to hunt. Gray Bird would have been taught to never kill the animals or birds needlessly and not to waste anything of the animal who sacrificed its life so that he and his family could survive.

I hope you enjoyed this story about Gray Bird today. He is a character of fiction who I brought to life so that you could learn a little about the way a young boy of the plains people might have lived.

~Mitakuye Oyasin~ We are all related