Lakota Humor and Puppy Stew

I was captivated by the porcupine tale told by my Mohawk pal Stephen Fadden back during our graduate school days at Cornell.

Stephen tells a delightful story about his uncle’s meeting with a porcupine who took up residence at the homestead. In the story the porcupine’s personality builds to a perfect pitch before leaving the audience begging for more.

My girls were little at the time, and I took them to hear the talk, where they were captivated by Stephen’s skillful ability to weave a tale.

When I learned Portland is home to a group that preserves Indian stories, I wanted to learn more about Wisdom of the Elders.

Recently we listened to storytellers—both traditional and contemporary—tell how coyote got his comeuppance and why the Lakota might cook you puppy stew, thanks to an event sponsored by Wisdom of the Elders.

Story-teller Annie Two Balls (Raven E. Heavy Runner) tells stories about her life with husband Harry Two Balls.

Lakota jokes are threaded throughout, and you learn how the Lakota nearly starved before learning their dogs could supply the tribe with nourishment.

Annie uses this information throughout the evening, lacing several stories with dog-chow punch-lines.

For a taste of her humor go to

Wisdom of the Elders is conducting its first online fundraising campaign and your donations are welcome at

[Blog 23 in honor of Native American Heritage Month.]

Photo from


About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
This entry was posted in american indian, Lakota, native american, Native Science and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Lakota Humor and Puppy Stew

  1. Pingback: Pets for Supper? | Cynthia Coleman Emery's Blog

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