A legend is a story handed down by people over many years. It helps to explain why things are the way they are. Gertrude Simmons Bonnin collected many legends from her Yankton ancestors. She put them in her books. Old Indian Legends was the first book she wrote. It came out in 1901. It has many stories about Iktomi. Iktomi is a spider spirit who plays tricks on people. Other stories in her book use animals such as mice, rabbits, and badgers. These stories help to explain the world of the Yankton Indians. Here is part of one of Bonninís legends. It goes with this picture: "There in a huge old buffalo skull was a gay feast and dance! Tiny little field mice were singing and dancing in a circle to the boom-boom of a wee, wee drum. They were laughing and talking among themselves while their chosen singers sang loud a merry tune."

Photo from Old Indian Legends
Photo from Old Indian Legends (1901)