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Iktomi tricked the animals and laughed at the misery he caused them, but they were not shamed, so he longed to play his pranks on mankind. At that time the only persons of mankind on the world were the old man, the old woman, and the double-woman. Iktomi feared the old man because he was a wizard and the old woman because she was a witch, but the double-woman feared him because he had caused her much shame and misery. He appeared as a young man before the tipi of the double-woman, but she knew who he was, and went inside and drew the flap over the door.

He sat with his head bowed and his robe drawn over it as if he were grieved or in sorrow. Many times she peeped and saw him sitting thus. In the evening she gathered wood near him, but he did not speak. Then she went to him and asked him why he sat with his head bowed. He told her that he was sorry and ashamed because he had caused her to suffer, and that he wished to do that which would please her. She said that nothing would please her until she could be with her people. He told her that if she would tell him how he could bring her people, he would do so. She told him that if her people tasted meat and saw clothes and tipis made of skins they would covet such things and come where they could get them. He told her that if she would help him he would trick her no more and she agreed. Since that time Iktomi has not played a prank on the double-woman.

He called the wolves and told them that if they would help him he would bother them no more. They agreed to help him and since that time he has never bothered the wolves. Then he told the wolves to make a drive for game and to give to the double-woman as much meat as she wished. They drove and gathered many moose, deer, and bears, and killed them near the tipi of the double-woman. She dried the flesh and tanned the skins, and gathered much meat and many robes and soft tanned skins. She made clothes for a man and for a woman and decked them with colors. Then she made a pack of the clothes and choice bits of the meat. Iktomi gave the pack to a wolf and went with it to the entrance of the cave that opens down through the world. He told it to go and watch the people under the world and when it saw a strong and brave young man to speak with him alone, and to give him the pack and tell him that there were plenty of such things in the world.

It went through the cave and saw the camp of the people far away. Before it came to the camp it met a strong young man. The young man asked who it was, whence it came, and what it wanted. The wolf replied that it was a friend of the people and came from the world to give them that which they most desired. It asked the young man his name and what he most wished. He said his name was Tokahe and that [he wished] to become a leader. [The wolf] told him to take [the pack] and show it to the people and let them taste the food and see the clothing that was in it and to tell them that there were plenty of such things in the world, but it said he must not tell how he got the things and must say nothing of the wolf.

Tokahe showed the meat to the people. They ate of it and said it was good. He and his woman wore the clothes and all the people envied them. He told the people there were plenty of such things in the world. They asked him how they could get things like these, but he could not tell them. Then an old man suggested that three men go with Tokahe to see these things, so that the people would know that Tokahe told the truth.

Tokahe chose three strong and brave young men and when the moon was round they met the wolf. It led them through the cave and when they were on the world, it led them to the lake where the double-woman had her tipi. Iktomi and the double-woman saw them coming, and while she prepared a feast of meat and soup he invited them to the feast. She served them with choice bits of meat and plenty of good soup. She covered her other face with her robe and appeared to them as a beautiful woman. Iktomi appeared as a handsome young man, and he told them that both he and the woman were very old, but because they ate meat they remained young. Iktomi had told the wolves to drive the game so the young men saw many moose, deer, and bears. When the young men went back to their people Iktomi gave them presents of meat, robes, and soft tanned skins. He went with them to the entrance of the cave and there he told the wolf to guide them back to their people. When it returned he told it to wait and guide others who wished to come to the world, and when they had passed through the cave to lead them far from food and water.

Tokahe and his friends showed their presents to the people and told them that they had been to the world and had seen plenty of game; that the people on the world ate meat and appeared as young men and beautiful women even when they were very old. An old woman warned the people that these things were done by a wizard, and they wrangled, for some wished to follow Tokahe and some said he was a wizard. Tokahe said he would lead those who wanted to go with him where they could get these things. Then the chief warned the people that they who passed through the cave could never again find the entrance and must remain on the world; that the winds blew on the world and were cold; that game must be hunted and skins tanned and sewed to make clothes and tipis. Six brave men chose to go with Tokahe. They took their women and children and went from the camp. The wolf met them and guided them through the cave, all day. At night they came to a strange place and the children cried for food and drink. Then Iktomi appeared and laughed at their misery and Tokahe was shamed. The double-woman appeared to comfort them, but they saw her horrid face, and fled from her in terror.

In the morning the people did not know where to go. They were hungry and thirsty. Then the old man and the old woman appeared and they gave them food and drink. The old man led the people so they traveled swiftly and came to the region of the pines. Then he and the old woman showed them how to hunt the game and how to care for the meat and the skins, and how to make clothing and tipis. Thus Tokahe and his friends were the first people on the world and their children are the Lakota.

Walker, James R. (1917). How the Lakota Came Upon the World [excerpt]. In The Sun Dance and Other Ceremonies of the Oglala Division of the Teton Dakota (Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History, Vol. 16, pt. 2, pp. 181-182). New York: American Museum of Natural History.