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Morning Star & Scarface: The Sun Dance - Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 Blackfoot Storytelling
  • 0:57 Legends: Features
  • 1:34 Morning Star & Scarface
  • 3:01 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Nora Jarvis

Nora has a Master's degree in teaching, and has taught a variety of elementary grades.

Morning Star and Scarface are two characters that frequently show up in legends from the Blackfoot tribe, who originally lived in Montana. This lesson discusses one legend featuring these two, which explains the origins of the Sun Dance.

Blackfoot Storytelling

Can you imagine if the government told you that you couldn't practice your religious traditions? That's exactly what happened to American Indian tribes who practiced the Sun Dance. The United States government was afraid of the dance, and actually banned it from being practiced. Some tribes kept the ritual going secretly, and eventually the government officials changed their minds.

The legend of the Sun Dance comes from an American Indian tribe known as the Blackfoot. A tribe of warriors who traveled around following herds of buffalo, they lived primarily in Montana, but could be found in Idaho and Canada as well.

The Sun Dance, a ritual that's practiced among many different tribes, was important to the Blackfoot people as a way to worship the Sun, who they believed healed their sick. They told the legend of Morning Star and Scarface to explain how the Sun Dance began.

Legends: Features

A legend is a story that is told over and over again from generation to generation. A legend usually tells the story of a brave person who is trying to save another person or their entire nation. Often, a legend is a fictional story that shares a connection with facts. The story of Morning Star and Scarface is a legend because it tells a fictional story while explaining the importance of the Sun Dance to the Blackfoot tribe. Sometimes, there are different versions of the same legend. This story of Morning Star and Scarface has several different versions, but we'll talk about one of the most popular.

Morning Star & Scarface

There was a young Blackfoot woman who fell in love with a god living in the sky, Morning Star. Morning Star invited her to live in the sky with him and his parents, Sun and Moon. They married and had a child, Scarface, who, as his name suggests, had a terrible scar.

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