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The Origin of Fire

This version of the legend comes from Katherine Judson's 1914 collection Myths and Legends of the Mississippi Valley and the Great Lakes.

Fire first came from the Great Being, Kutnakin. He gave it into the care of an Indian so old that he was blind.

Now the Indians all knew that fire was good, therefore they tried to steal it. The old man could not see them when they came stealthily to his wigwam, but he could feel the presence of anyone. Then he would beat about him with his stick until he drove away the seekers for fire.

Now one day an Indian seized the fire suddenly. At once the Watcher of the Fire began beating about him with his stick, until the thief dropped the fire. But the old man did not know he had dropped it. He still beat about him so fiercely with his stick that he pounded some of the fire into a log.

That is why fire is in wood.

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More stories to read:

 American Indian fire legends
 Native American nature stories
 Legends about sharing

Learn more about:

 Chitimacha stories
 The Chitimacha language
 The Chitimacha tribe



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