Old Indian Legends

A collection of Dakota legends retold by Zitkála-Šá.

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Old Indian Legends is a collection of Dakota legends, retold by the 19th and early 20th-century Dakota author Zitkála-Šá. The collection was compiled in 1901 when Zitkála-Šá returned to her birthplace in the Yankton reservation to take care of her mother, after she had spent several years in the assimilationist Indian residential school system, both as a student and as an educator. While taking care of her mother, she gathered traditional tales from Dakota storytellers which were retold in English for Old Indian Legends. The stories revolve around various spirits and heroes from Dakota myth, especially Iktomi, a shapeshifting spider trickster.