[thebigjewel] Legends Of The Ooh La Las - July 24, 2002

  • From: "The Big Jewel" <list@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: thebigjewel@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Wed, 24 Jul 2002 05:31:47 -0600 (MDT)

Legends Of The Ooh La Las
By Kurt Luchs

Of all the folk legends handed down by Native Americans, surely there are 
none so rich or so varied -- or so utterly pointless -- as those of the Ooh 
La Las. 

The Ooh La La Indians were quite similar to their distant cousins the 
Oglala Sioux, in that both were nomadic societies of hunter-warriors with 
strong shamanistic beliefs. The Ooh La Las, however, were known to cheat at 
cards, to file fraudulent tax returns, and to wear socks that clashed 
terribly with their slacks. Often they fished in sacred lakes without 
buying permits, and in one surprise war raid several hundred were caught 
driving with expired licenses. 

All this led to the Oglala-Ooh La La War of 1481, in which the Ooh La La's 
territory was reduced from an area the size of Wyoming to several square 
inches on the side of a crumbling mesa in Death Valley. For years afterward 
the surviving Ooh La Las -- all 28 of them -- lived there in a state of 
peace and plenty broken only by starvation and murderous assaults upon 
their neighbors and one another. Then the white man discovered valuable 
deposits of sandstone on their land, and their complex culture came to an 
all-too-timely end. 

Fortunately for anthropology teachers, many of their countless "gokiblu" 
(dirty stories) have survived, transmitted orally or sometimes by a virus. 
These rambunctious tales were not meant to instruct or even to entertain, 
but rather to "jibbegawah" (torment) the listener, much like the television 
programming of today. Judging from the examples below, they must have been 
eminently successful. 

The Great Spirit

Most Ooh La Las professed to believe in a Great Spirit, the First Cause and 
Prime Mover of all things, an entity they referred to out of respect 
as "Mel." Mel was omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient -- which made it 
awfully difficuly to plan a surprise party for him. It was common practice 
to leave food offerings for Mel; say, a dish of salted nuts, or some 
crackers and onion dip. In times of trouble a 15 percent gratuity would be 
added. Mel was said to be the son of Ruth and Irving, but Ruth could never 
prove it in court. 

Please visit http://www.thebigjewel.com/legends/ for the entire article. 
More legends await you there.

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