A Story From: United States
Read Time: ["3 to 5mins"]
For Ages: 5 to 7yrs., 8 to 10yrs.

An old man invites the grizzly bear chief and his followers to a feast.
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"Inviting the Bears" is based on "The Man Who Entertained the Bears," a story from Tlingit Myths and Texts recorded by John R. Swanton (Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 39, story #64). Also a tidbit from "Inviting the Bears" is sourced to another story from said Tlingit Myths, "Origin of Iceberg House", story #21.

Adapted by Elaine Lindy. ©1998. All rights reserved.


The Tlingit is a group of Native American tribes inhabiting the Pacific coast of southeastern Alaska. Native Americans who live in Alaska are often confused with Inuit (Eskimo) peoples but they have entirely different origins. Native Americans are believed to have crossed the Bering Strait into Alaska about 20,000 years ago. The Inuits (Eskimos), a people of Arctic Mongolian stock, are believed to have crossed the Bering Strait into Alaska much more recently, about 2,000 years ago. Today, the largest concentration of Tlingit Native Americans is in Alaska, where many Tlingit work in the logging and fishing industries. In the 1990 United States census, 13,925 people claimed to be of Tlingit descent. The story "Inviting the Bears" was recorded in 1904 at Wrangell, Alaska.