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Native American Folklore Interviews, 1992

Collection Overview

Title: Native American Folklore Interviews, 1992

ID: OGLMC/1260

Extent: 1.5 Linear Feet

Arrangement: The folders are arranged chronologically by interview date.

Date Acquired: 08/14/1992

Languages: English [eng]


1992; Interviews conducted by Lance Nixon of the Grand Forks Herald regarding the creation stories of the Arikara, Dakota, and Ojibwe.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Native American Folklore Interviews consists of transcripts from four interviews with six Native American women. The women are storytellers from three different tribes, Arikara, Dakota and Ojibwe. All of the women were interviewed by Lance Nixon, a staff writer for the Grand Forks Herald.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: Open for inspection under the rules and regulations of the Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections.

Acquisition Source: Lance Nixon, Grand Forks Herald

Acquisition Method: Donation; 92-1844

Preferred Citation: (Description of Item). Native American Folklore Interviews. OGLMC 1260. Elwyn B. Robinson Department of Special Collections, Chester Fritz Library, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks.

Finding Aid Revision History: Finding aid added to Archon in May 2014.

Box and Folder Listing

Box 1Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Transcript of Alvina Alberts Interview, June 25, 1992Add to your cart.
The first folder consists of Nixon's interview with Alvina Alberts, born September 20, 1912. The interview took place June 25, 1992, at her home in Fort Totten, North Dakota. Her specialty was Dakota folklore. She told the Dakota version of the Creation Story. In the Dakota version, people lived under the water, until one day a boy went along and happened to look up and saw a hole. He jumped and realized that it was a whirlpool. It grabbed him and threw him right up to the top and then he could not get down. Finally he swam until got to shore. His sister missed him, she then went out to look for him and the whirlpool got her. She swam to shore, then saw her brother's footprints and followed them. Alberts also summed up the origin of the Dakota, reporting that "they said that we came from the water, and a stone impregnated a woman, and from there we grew".
Folder 2: Transcript of Anne Dunn & Maefred Arey Interview, June 30, 1992Add to your cart.
The next folder in the collection consists of Nixon's interview with Anne Dunn, born November 9, 1940, and her mother Maefred Arey, born April 12, 1919. The interview took place June 30,1992, at Dunn's home south of Cass Lake, Minnesota. In the Ojibwe Creation story the whole Earth was covered in water. The turtle decided to carry the Earth on his back but he could not go deep enough underwater to reach the earth. The muskrat was successful on bringing up a pawful of earth. The muskrat put it on the turtle's back and that's how land was conceived. Other stories include Wanahboozho, how Fisher saved the world, and how medicine came to the Ojibwe.
Folder 3: Transcript of Lillian Case & Pauline Greywater Interview, July 21, 1992Add to your cart.

The next interview was with Pauline Greywater, born May 19, 1928. The interview took place July 21, 1992, outside of Fort Totten, ND. She also specialized in Dakota folklore. The focus of her interview was Devils Lake. It was called Mne Wakan, Spirit Water, Holy Water, and the Powers of the Water. Misinterpretation led to the name Devils Lake.

Also interviewed July 21, 1992 was Lillian Chase, born October 11, 1902. She is the great granddaughter of Chief Sleepy Eye. The stories that she tells are stories that she heard from her grandmother, Shining Wind. Her stories involved Iktomi, the trickster, and the dirty works of Ukto.

Folder 4: Transcript of Melvina Everett Interview, November 11, 1992Add to your cart.
The final interview was with Melvina Everett, born October 5, 1923. She is 3/4 Arikara and 1/4 French. At the date of the interview, November 1, 1992, she lived south of Whiteshield, North Dakota. She learned the stories that she tells from her father and grandfather. She focused on the Creation Story and the Coyote Story. The Creation Story begins with Nashanu Tinachitux, our creator, who believed that the Arikara were good people so he turned them into kernel corn and buried them in the ground. He did this to save them from the great flood. As time went on, Nashanu Tinachitux remembered his people, picked an ear of corn and turned it into a woman, Mother Corn. She was created to bring the Arikara to the surface of the Earth. After doing so, Mother Corn guided the tribe to its destination.