Merry Christmas!

horseheader1.jpeIt’s Christmas Time!  I’ve been thinking and thinking of what I could possibly blog today, since Christmas was not a celebrated holiday for Native Americans before the arrival of priests into the far West.  One of my most favorite Christmas memories is being told a story the night before Christmas in an attempt to get me to go to sleep.  It didn’t work very well (getting me to go to sleep).  But it is a wonderful memory.

And so to that end, I thought I’d regale you with a story:

09_AdamNordwallSpecial35[1]This is the story of the girl who married a star.  It’s origin is Sioux — I don’t know if that’s Lakota or Dakota or Nakota.  All three are Sioux, just different dialects.  By the way this story comes to us from the book, Favorite North American Indian Legends, printed by Dover.  Before I start, I wanted to say that this story reminds me of a story from one of my books, Soaring Eagle’s Embrace, an older title that’s no longer in print.  That story was based on a similar legend, only the legend that Soaring Eagle’s Embrace was based on was the story of a young man who fell in love with a star.  Okay, here is the story.

Long ago, there were two sisters, one whose name was Earth and the other’s name was Water.  This was at a time when all people and animals were in close communication with each other and so the animals supplied the sisters with all their needs.

431px-assiniboin_indians_0065v1 One night the sky was clear and beautiful and both sisters looked up to the sky through their wigwam — comment, now we know that this was most likely the Dakota since they were living in Wigwams — anyway, they looked up through the hole in their wigwam and admired the beautiful stars.

Earth said to her sister that she’d had a dream about a handsome young man and that she thought he might be a star.  Water responded saying that she, too, had seen a man in her dreams who was a brave man.

The sisters chose stars that they thought might be these men that they had dreamed of.  Water chose the brightest star for her husband.  Earth chose a little star that twinkled.

Then they slept.  When they awoke, they were in the land of the Sky.  The stars were, indeed, people.  Now it happened that the man that water chose was an older warrior and that the man that Earth chose was a young, handsome man.  Both sisters married these men and they were very happy.

imagesca8ttczfOne day the sisters went out to dig turnips (a much favored food at this time in history).  Both of their husband warned them not to strike the ground too hard.  But Earth, in her haste to dig the turnips, struck the ground so hard that she fell through the sky to the ground. 

images3Earth was found and cared for by two older people who tried to help her.  But she was so upset about losing her husband that all she did is cry.  She could not even see her husband in the sky because he had blackened his face because he was now a widower.  Earth waited and waited for him to come to her, but he could not.  However, he did give her a most precious gift. 

That night when she went to sleep, she dreamed of a beautiful red star.  It had never been in the sky before.  She knew at once that it was her son.

a0000cb21When she awoke, she found a handsome boy by her side — her son.  Although Earth’s husband could not come to get her again, and though he loved his son deeply, he gave to his wife the only thing that he could — their son, Star Boy.  It was a gift from his heart.

‘Tis the season of giving.  I hope you have enjoyed this story.  I thought it was quite beautiful.

 Now one more thing before I end.  Don’t  forget that I am running a holiday contest.  All you have to do is leave a comment or email me personally.  And as always, the contest applies only to the greater US 50 states and to Canada — also void where prohibited.  

51OBNqdgaSL._SL500_AA240_[1]Remember, too, that Black Eagle is still on sale at bookstores everywhere.  Merry Christmas!

Website | + posts

KAREN KAY aka GEN BAILEY is the multi-published author of American Indian Historical Romances. She has written for such prestigious publishers as AVON/HarperCollins, Berkley/Penguin/Putnam and Samhain Publishing. KAREN KAY’S great grandmother was Choctaw Indian and Kay is honored to be able to write about the American Indian Culture.
Please refer to for all contest rules.

20 thoughts on “Merry Christmas!”

  1. Really enjoy all the information and stories about Native Americans that you give us. Looking forward to reading your book.

  2. What a beautiful story, Karen. I can see it as a paranormal Native American story (is there such a thing? The idea sounds awful but I think it could be lovely if well done).
    Wishing you all a warm and happy holiday season.

  3. What a lovely story – I just love myths and legends. I think my love of reading came from my early brush with fairy tales and such.

    Wishing everyone a very Blessed and Merry Christmas

  4. I love these stories. It’s a fascinating look at a people through the history that survived orally for so long before it was written down.

    I just read one about the creation of the Grand Canyon in Indian fables.

  5. Fascinating post! I love reading stories like this! I didn’t realize that the native americains did celebrate the holidays! Thanks for sharing this infor with us!

  6. Hi Kay, what a gorgeous tale. I love all the information on the native peoples that you impart in your posts. A different kind of Christmas “star” story, huh? Star boy, a gift from his heart…what a lovely description.

    Merry Christmas to you and yours, and a sparkling new year, too. oxoxoxoxoxox

  7. Kay, thank you for sharing this story. It’s really touching. I hope you have the most wonderful Christmas ever. Just being with family makes the season joyous and happy. I’ve been so blessed to have my family and special friends.

  8. Karen,

    Like so many Indian legends, a lovely story ties to nature.

    Hope you and your family have a wonderful Holiday Season!


  9. I hope you’ll all forgive my absense on the blog today. A very good friend of mine had a massive heart attack and is in critical condition and I must admit that in all the confusion and upset, I spaced on doing the blog today. I’ll make sure you’ll all signed up for the contest — the books I’m giving away — and I thank you all for your wonderful posts, which I’ve read and think are fascinating.

    Please forgive.


  10. Kay,
    what a lovely story. Since we own a RV we sit around the campfire a lot. Your story gave me an idea: Instead of telling ghost stories, we could liken stars to people. Stars really do have personalities and I already know which star I married.

    Merry Christmas

  11. Karen we are all okay your friends needed you and that is what is most important. We need to stick together and be there for each other. I will say prayers for your friend for a speedy recovery.
    Take care and God Bless!!!

  12. Karen,
    I hope your friend is improving. Never a good thing to deal with, it is even more difficult during the holidays.
    You and they will be in our thoughts.

Comments are closed.