Blue Corn Maiden was the prettiest of the corn maiden sisters. The Pueblo People loved her very much, and loved the delicious blue corn that she
gave them all year long. Not only was Blue Corn Maiden beautiful, but she had a kind and gentle spirit. She brought peace and happiness to the
People of the Pueblos.
One cold winter day, Blue Corn Maiden went out to gather firewood. This was something she would not normally do. While she was out of her
adobe house, she saw Winter Katsina. Winter Katsina is the spirit who brings the winter to the Earth. He wore his blue and white mask and blew
cold wind with his breath. But when Winter Katsina saw Blue Corn Maiden, he loved her at once.
He invited her to come to his, and she had to go with him. Inside his house, he blocked the windows with ice and the doorway with snow and made
Blue Corn Maiden his prisoner. Although Winter Katsina was very kind to Blue Corn Maiden and loved her very much, she was sad living with him.
She wanted to go back to her own house and make the blue corn grow for the People of the Pueblos.
Winter Katsina went out one day to do his duties, and blow cold wind upon the Earth and scatter snow over the mesas and valleys. While he was
gone, Blue Corn Maiden pushed the snow away from the doorway, and went out of the house to look for the plants and foods she loved to find in the
summer. Under all the ice and snow, all she found was four blades of yucca.
She took the yucca back to Winter Katsina's house and started a fire. Winter Katsina would not allow her to start a fire when he was in the house.
When the fire was started, the snow in the doorway fell away and in walked Summer Katsina. Summer Katsina carried in one hand fresh corn and
in the other many blades of yucca. He came toward his friend Blue Corn Maiden.
Just then, Winter Katsina stormed through the doorway followed by a roar of winter wind. Winter Katsina carried an icicle in his right hand, which
he held like a flint knife, and a ball of ice in his left hand, which he wielded like a hand-axe. It looked like Winter Katsina intended to fight with
As Winter Katsina blew a blast of cold air, Summer Katsina blew a warm breeze. When Winter Katsina raised his icicle-knife, Summer Katsina
raised his bundle of yucca leaves, and they caught fire. The fire melted the icicle.
Winter Katsina saw that he needed to make peace with Summer Katsina, not war. The two sat and talked.
They agreed that Blue Corn Maiden would live among the People of the Pueblos and give them her blue corn for half of the year, in the time of
Summer Katsina. The other half of the year, Blue Corn Maiden would live with Winter Katsina and the People would have no corn.
Blue Corn Maiden went away with Summer Katsina, and he was kind to her. She became the sign of springtime, eagerly awaited by the People.
Sometimes, when spring has come already, Winter Katsina will blow cold wind suddenly, or scatter snow when it is not the snow time. He does this
just to show how displeased he is to have to give up Blue Corn Maiden for half of the year.
|Blue Corn Maiden and the Coming of Winter
An Acoma Legend
Music: Shaman's Dream by AH-NEE-MAH
|Creation of Summer and Winter
An Acoma Legend
The oldest tradition of the people of Acoma and Laguna indicates that they lived on some island; that their homes were destroyed by tidal waves,
earthquakes, and re-hot stones from the sky.
They fled and landed on a low, swampy coast. From here they migrated to the Northwest, and wherever they made a long stay they built a "White
The fifth White City was built somewhere in southern Colorado or northern New Mexico. The people were obliged to leave it on account of cold,
drought and famine. The first governor of Acoma had a daughter named Co-chin-ne-na-ko; she was the wife of Shakok, the spirit of Winter. After
he came to live with them the seasons grew colder, colder; the snow and ice stayed longer, the corn would no longer mature; and the people were
compelled to live on cactus leaves (E-mash-chu) and other wild plants.
One day Co-chin-ne-na-ko went out to gather cactus leaves and burn off the thorns so that she could take them home for food. She had a leaf singed
and was eating it, when upon looking up she saw a young man coming towards her. He had on a yellow shirt, woven of corn silk, a belt, and tall
pointed hat; green leggings made of the green moss which grows in the springs and ponds, and moccasins beautifully embroidered with flowers and
butterflies. In his hand he carried an ear of green corn.
He came up and saluted her. She replied. Then he asked her what she was eating. She told him that the people were almost starved; that no corn
would grow; and that they were all compelled to live on cactus leaves. "here," he said, "take this ear of corn and eat it, and I will go and bring you an
armful to take home with you.
He started and soon out of sight, going towards the south. In a very short time, however, he returned, bringing a large bundle of green corn
(ken-utch), which he laid at her feet. Co-chin-ne-na-ko asked him where he had found the corn, and if it grew nearby. He replied that he had brought
it from his home, far to the south where the corn grows and the flowers bloom all the year. "Oh, how I would like to see your country; will you not
take me with you to your home?" she said.
"Your husband, Shakok, the Spirit of Winter, would be angry if I should take you away," he said.
She said, "He is cold; ever since he came here no corn will grow, no flowers will bloom, and the people are compelled to live on prickly pear leaves."
"Well," said he, "take the bundle of corn home with you and do not throw any of the husks outside the door; then come tomorrow and I will bring you
more. I will meet you here." Then, bidding her farewell, he left again for his home in the south. Co-chin-ne-na-ko took the bundle of corn he had
given her and started to go home to the town.
She had not gone far when she met her sisters, for becoming alarmed at her long stay they had come out to look for her. They were very much
surprised on seeing her with an armful of green corn instead of cactus leaves. Co-chin-ne-na-ko told them how the young man had come to her and
brought her the corn. So they helped her carry it home.
When they arrived their father and mother were wonderfully surprised but pleased to see them bringing big ears of green corn instead of cactus
leaves. They asked Co-chin-ne-na-ko where she had found it, and she told them, as she had already told her sisters, that a young man, whom she
minutely described, had brought her the corn, and had asked her to meet him at the same place on the following day, and that he would accompany
"It is Miochin," said her father, "it is Miochin."
"It is surely Miochin," said her mother. "Bring him home with you by all means."
The next day Co-chin-ne-na-ko went to the place she had met Miochin, for he really was Miochin, the Spirit of Summer. He was already there
waiting for her. He had big bundles of corn. Between them they carried it to the town, and there was enough to feed all the people of Acoma, and
Miochin was welcomed at the house of the governor.
In the evening, as was his custom, Shakok, the Spirit of Winter, and husband of Co-chin-ne-na-ko, returned from the north where he spent the days
playing with the north wind, and with the snow and sleet and hail. He came in a blinding storm of snow, sleet and hail. On reaching the town he
knew that Miochin was there, and called out to him, "Ha, Miochin, are you here?"
Miochin advanced to meet him. "Ha, Miochin, now I will destroy you."
"Ha, Shakok, I will destroy you," answered Miochin.
Shakok stopped, and as Miochin advanced towards him the snow and hail melted and the fierce wind turned into a summer breeze. Shakok was
covered with frost, icicles hung all about him, but as Miochin advanced towards him the frost melted, the icicles dropped off, and his clothes was
revealed. It was made of dry bleached rushes ( Ska-ra-ska-ru-ka).
Shakok said, "I will not fight you now, but will meet you here four days from now and fight you till one or the other is beaten. The winner shall have
Co-chin-ne-na-ko." with that Shakok left in a rage. The wind again roared and shook the very walls, but the people were warm in their houses.
Miochin was there.
Next day he left for his home in the south. Arriving there he made preparations for the meeting with Shakok. He first sent an eagle to his friend
Yat-chum-me Moot, who lived in the west, asking him to help him in his fight with Shakok. Then he called all the birds, insects, and four-legged
animals that live in summer lands. All these he called to help him.
The bat (Pick-le-ke) was his advance guard and his shield, as the tough skin of the bat could best withstand the sleet and hail that Shakok would
throw at him. On the third day Yat-chum-me kindled his fires, and heated the thin flat stones that he was named after. Then the big black clouds of
smoke rolled up from the south and covered the sky. When Shakok left he went to the north and called to him all the birds and the four-legged
animals of the winter lands. He called these all to come and help him in the coming battle.
The magpie (Shro-ak-ah) was his shield and advance guard. On the morning of the fourth day the two enemies could be seen coming. In the north
the black storm clouds of winter, with snow, sleet, and hail were bringing Shakok to the battle. In the south, Yat-chum-me piled more wood on his
fires and great puffs of steam and smoke arose and formed into clouds. These were coming fast towards Acoma, and the place where the fight was to
take place, and were bringing Miochin, the Spirit of Summer.
The thick smoke of Yat-chum-me's fires blackened all the animals Miochin had with him, and that is why the animals of the south are black and
brown. Forked blazes of lightning shot out of the clouds that were bringing Miochin. Each came fast. Shakok from the north; Miochin from the
At last they reached the town, and the flashes from the clouds singed the feathers and hair on the birds and animals that came with Shakok turning
them white; that is the reason why all the animals and birds that live in the north are white, or have some white about them. Shakok and Miochin
were now close together.
From the north Shakok threw snowflakes, sleet, and hail that hissed through the air in a blinding storm. In the south the big black clouds rolled
along, and from Yat-chum-me's fires still rose up great puffs of smoke and steam that heated the air and melted Shakok's snow and sleet and hail,
and compelled him to fall back.
At last Shakok called for a truce. Miochin agreed, and the winds stopped and the snow and rain ceased falling. They met at the wall of Acoma, and
Shakok said, "I am defeated; you are the winner; Co-chin-ne-na-ko is yours." Then they agreed that Shakok should rule during half the year, and
Miochin during the other half, and that neither should trouble the other thereafter. Ever since then one half of the year has been cold and the other
|How the Turtle Out Hunting Duped the Coyote
An Acoma Legend
In the times of the ancients, long, long ago, near the High flowing River on the Zuni Mountains, there lived an old Turtle. He went out hunting, one
day, and by means of his ingenuity killed a large, fine deer. When he had thrown the deer to the ground, he had no means of skinning it. He sat
down and reflected, scratching the lid of his eye with the nail of his hind foot. He concluded he would have to go hunting for a flint-knife; therefore he
set forth. He came after a while to a place where old buildings had stood. Then he began to hum an old magic song, such as, it is said, the ancients
sung when they hunted for the flint of which to make knives. He sang in this way:
"Apatsinan tse wash,
Apatsinan tse wash,
which may be translated, not perhaps correctly, but well enough:
Fire-striking flint-stone, oh, make yourself known!
Fire-striking flint-stone, oh, make yourself know!
As he was thus crawling about and singing, a Coyote running through the woods overheard him.
He exclaimed: "Uh! I wonder who is singing and what he is saying. Ah, he is hunting for a flint-knife, is he?-- evidently somebody who has killed a
deer!" He turned back and ran over to where the old Turtle was. As he neared him, he cried out: "Halloo, friend! Didn't I hear you singing?"
"Yes," was the reply of the Turtle.
"What were you singing?"
"Nothing in particular."
"Yes, you were, too. What were you saying?"
"Nothing in particular, I tell you; at least, nothing that concerns you."
"Yes, you were saying something, and this is what you said." And so the Coyote, who could not sing the song, deliberately repeated the words he had
"Well, suppose I did say so; what of that?" said the Turtle.
"Why, you were hunting for a flint-knife; that is why you said what you did," replied the Coyote.
"Well, what of that?"
"What did you want the flint-knife for?"
"Nothing in particular," replied the Turtle.
"Yes, you did; you wanted it for something. What was it?"
"Nothing in particular, I say," replied the Turtle. "At least, nothing that concerns you."
"Yes, you did want it for something," said the Coyote, "and I know what it was, too."
"Well, what?" asked the Turtle, who was waxing rather angry.
"You wanted it to skin a deer with; that's what you wanted it for. Where is the deer now, come? You have killed a deer and I know it. Tell, where is
"Well, it lies over yonder," replied the Turtle.
"Where? Come, let us go; I'll help you skin it."
"I can get along very well without you," replied the Turtle.
"What if I do help you a little? I am very hungry this morning, and would like to lap up the blood."
"Well, then, come along, torment!" replied the Turtle. So, finding a knife, they proceeded to where the deer was lying.
"Let me hold him for you," cried the Coyote. Whereupon he jumped over the deer, spread out its hind legs, and placed a paw on each of them, holding
the body open; and thus they began to skin the deer. When they had finished this work, the Coyote turned to the Turtle and asked: "How much of
him are you going to give me?"
"The usual parts that fall to anyone who comes along when the hunter is skinning a deer," replied the Turtle.
"What parts?" eagerly asked the Coyote.
"Stomach and liver," replied the Turtle, briefly.
"I won't take that," whined the Coyote. "I want you to give me half of the deer."
"I'll do no such thing," replied the Turtle. "I killed the deer; you only helped to skin him, and you ought to be satisfied with my liberality in giving you
the stomach and liver alone. I'll throw in a little fat, to be sure, and some of the intestines; but I'll give you no more."
"Yes, you will, too," snarled the Coyote, showing his teeth.
"Oh, will I?" replied the Turtle, deliberately, hauling in one or two of his flippers.
"Yes, you will; or I'll simply murder you, that's all."
The Turtle immediately pulled his feet, head, and tail in, and cried: "I tell you, I'll give you nothing but the stomach and liver and some of the
intestines of this deer!"
"Well, then, I will forthwith kill you!" snapped the Coyote, and he made a grab for the Turtle. Kopo! Sounded his teeth as they struck on the hard shell
of the Turtle; and, bite as he would, the Turtle simply slipped out of his mouth every time he grabbed him. He rolled the Turtle over and over to find a
good place for biting, and held him between his paws as if he were a bone, and gnawed at him; but, so his best, kopo, kopo!, his teeth kept slipping off
the Turtle's hard shell. At last he exclaimed, rather hotly: "There's more than one way of killing a beast like you!" So he set the Turtle up on end, and,
catching up a quantity of sand, stuffed it into the hole where the Turtle's head had disappeared and tapped it well down with a stick until he had
completely filled the crevice. "There, now," he exclaimed, with a snicker of delight. "I think I have fixed you now, old Hard shell, and served you right,
too, you old stingy-box!" -whereupon he whisked away to the meat.
The Turtle considered it best to die, as it were; but he listened intently to what was going on. The Coyote cut up the deer and made a package of him in
his own skin. Then he washed the stomach in a neighboring brook and filled it with choppings of the live and kidneys, and fat stripped from the
intestines, and clots of blood, dashing in a few sprigs of herbs here and there. Then, according to the custom of hunters in all times, he dug an oven in
the ground and buried the stomach, in order to make a baked blood-pudding of it while he was summoning his family and friends to help him take
the meat home.
The Turtle clawed a little of the sand away from his neck and peered out just a trifle. He heard Coyote grunting as he tried to lift the meat in order to
hang it on a branch of a neighboring pine tree. He was just exclaiming: "What a lucky fellow I am to come on that lame, helpless old wretch and get
all this meat from him without the trouble of hunting for it, to be sure! Ah, my dear children, my fine old wife, what a feast we will have this day!"
--for you know the Coyote had a large family over the way, --he was just exclaiming this, I say, when the Turtle cried out, faintly: "Natipa!"
"You hard-coated old scoundrel! You ugly, crooked-legged beast! You stingy-box!" snarled the Coyote. "So you are alive, are you?" Dropping the
meat, he leaped back to where the Turtle was lying, his head hauled in again, and jamming every crevice full of sand, made it hard and firm. Then,
hitting the Turtle a clip with the tip of his nose, he sent him rolling over and over like a flat, round stone down the slope.
"This is fine treatment to receive from the hands of such a sneaking cur as that," thought the Turtle. "I think I will keep quiet this time and let him do
as he pleases. But through my ingenuity I killed the deer, and it may be that through ingenuity I can keep the deer." So the Turtle kept perfectly dead,
to all appearances, and the Coyote, leaving the meat hanging on a low branch of a tree and building a fire over the oven he had excavated, whisked
away with his tail in the air to his house just the other side of the mountain.
When he arrived there he cried out: "Wife, wife! Children, children! Come, quick! Great news! Killed an enormous deer today. I have made a
blood-pudding in his stomach and buried it. Let us go and have a feast; then you must help me bring the meat home."
Those Coyotes were perfectly wild. The cubs, half-grown, with their tails more like sticks than brushes, trembled from the ends of their toe-nails to
the tips of their stick-like tails; and they all set off --the old ones ahead, the young ones following single file -as fast as they could toward the place
where the blood-pudding was buried.
Now, as soon as the old Turtle was satisfied that the Coyote had left, he dug the sand out of his collar with his tough claws, and, proceeding to the
place where the meat hung, first hauled it up, piece by piece, to the very top of the tree; for Turtles have claws, you know, and can climb, especially if
the trunk of the tree leans over, as that one did. Having hauled the meat to the very topmost branches of the tree, and tied it there securely, he
descended and went over to where the blood-pudding was buried. He raked the embers away from it and pulled it out; then he dragged it off to a
neighboring ant-hill where the red fire-ants were congregated in great numbers. Immediately they began to rush out, smelling the cooked meat, and
the Turtle, untying the end of the stomach, chucked as many of the ants as he could into it. Then he dragged the pudding back to the fire and replaced
it in the oven, taking care that the coals should not get near it.
He had barely climbed the tree again and nestled himself on his bundle of meat, when along came those eager Coyotes. Everything stuck up all over
them with anxiety for the feast --their hair, the tips of their ears, and the points of their tails; and as they neared the place and smelt the blood and the
cooked meat, they began to sing and dance as they came along, and this was what they sang:
"Na-ti tsa, na-ti tsa!
Tui-ya si-si na-ti tsa!
Tui-ya si-si na-li tsa!
Tui-ya si-si! Tui-ya si-si!"
We will have to translate this --which is so old that who can remember exactly what it means?--thus:
Meat of the deer, meat of the deer!
Luscious fruit-like meat of the deer!
Luscious fruit-like meat of the deer!
Luscious fruit-like! Luscious fruit-like!
No sooner had they neared the spot where they smelt the meat than, without looking around at all, they made a bound for it. But the old Coyote
grabbed the hindmost of the young ones by the ear until he yelped, shook him, and called out to the rest: "Look you here! Eat in a decent manner or
you will burn your chops off! I stuffed the pudding full of grease, and the moment you puncture it, the grease, being hot, will fly out and burn you. Be
careful and dignified, children. There is plenty of time, and you shall be satisfied. Don't gorge at the first helping!"
But the moment the little Coyotes were freed, they made a grand bounce for the tempting stomach, tearing it open, and grabbing huge mouthfuls. It
may be surmised that the fire-ants were not comfortable. They ran all over the lips and cheeks of the voracious little gourmands and bit them until
they cried out, shaking their heads and rubbing them in the sand: "Atu-tu-tu-tu-tu-tu!"
"There, now, didn't I tell you, little fools, to be careful? It was the grease that burnt you. Now I hope you know enough to eat a little more
moderately. There's plenty of time to satisfy yourselves, I say," cried the old Coyote, sitting down on his haunches.
Then the little cubs and the old woman attacked the delicacy again. "Atu-tu-tu-tu-tu-tu-tu!" they exclaimed, shaking their heads and flapping their
ears; and presently they all went away and sat down, observing this wonderful hot pudding.
Then the Coyote looked around and observed that the meat was gone, and, following the grease and blood spots up the tree with his eye, saw in the
top the pack of meat with the Turtle calmly reclining upon it and resting, his head stretched far out on his hand. The Turtle lifted his head and
"You tough-hided old beast!" yelled the Coyote, in an ecstasy of rage and disappointment. "Throw down some of that meat, now, will you? I killed
that deer; you only helped me skin him; and here you have stolen all the meat. Wife! Children! Didn't I kill the deer?" he cried, turning to the rest.
"Certainly you did, and he's a sneaking old wretch to steal it from you!" they exclaimed in chorus, looking longingly at the pack of meat in the top of
"Who said I stole the meat from you?" cried out the Turtle. "I only hauled it up here to keep it from being stolen, you villain! Scatter yourselves out to
catch some of it. I will throw as fine a pair of ribs down to you as ever you saw. There, now, spread yourselves out and get close together. Ready?"
he called, as the Coyotes lay down on their backs side by side and stretched their paws as high as they could eagerly and tremblingly toward the meat.
"Yes, yes!" cried the Coyotes, in one voice. "We are all ready! Now, then!"
The old Turtle took up the pair of ribs, and, catching them in his beak, crawled out to the end of the branch immediately over the Coyotes, and, giving
them a good fling, dropped them as hard as he could. Over and over they fell, and then came down like a pair of stones across the bodies of the
Coyotes, crushing the wind out of them, so that they had no breath left with which to cry out, and most of them were instantly killed. But the two
little cubs at either side escaped with only a hurt or two, and, after yelling fearfully, one of them took his tail between his legs and ran away. The
other one, still very hungry, ran off with his tail lowered and his nose to the ground, side-wise, until he had got to a safe distance, and then he sat
down and looked up. Presently he thought he would return and eat some of the meat from the ribs.
"Wait!" cried the old Turtle, "don't go near that meat; leave it alone for your parents and brothers and sisters. Really, I am so old and stiff that it took
me a long time to get out to the end of that limb, and I am afraid they went to sleep while I was getting there, for see how still they lie."
"By my ancestors!" exclaimed the Coyote, looking at them; "that is so."
"Why don't you come up here and have a feast with me," said the Turtle, "and leave that meat alone for your brothers and sisters and your old ones?"
"How can I get up there?" whined the Coyote, crawling nearer to the tree.
"Simply reach up until you get your paw over one of the branches, and then haul yourself up," replied the Turtle.
The little Coyote stretched and jumped, and, though he sometimes succeeded in getting his paw over the branch, he fell back, flop! Every time. Anfd
then he would yelp and sing out as though every bone in his body was broken.
"Never mind! Never mind," cried the Turtle. "I'll come down and help you." So he crawled down the tree, and, reaching over, grabbed the little
Coyote by the topknot, and by much struggling he was able to climb up. When they got to the top of the tree the Turtle said, "There, now, help
The little Coyote fell to and filled himself so full that he was as round as a plum and elastic as a cranberry. Then he looked about and licked his chops
and tried to breathe, but couldn't more than half, and said: "Oh, my! If I don't get some water I'll choke!"
"My friend," said the Turtle, "do you see that drop of water gleaming in the sun at the end of that branch of this pine tree?" (It was really pitch.)
"Now, I have lived in the tops of trees so much that I know where to go. Trees have springs. Look at that."
The Coyote looked and was convinced.
"Walk out, now, to the end of the branch, or until you come to one of those drops of water, then take it in your mouth and suck, and all the water you
want will flow out."
The little Coyote started. He trembled and was unsteady on his legs, but managed to get half way. "Is it here?" he called, turning round and looking
"No, a little farther," said the Turtle.
So he cautiously stepped a little farther. The branch was swaying dreadfully. He turned his head, and just as he was saying, "Is it here?" he lost his
balance and fell plump to the ground, striking so hard on the tough earth that he was instantly killed.
"There, you wretched beast!" said the old Turtle with a sigh of relief and satisfaction. "Ingenuity enabled me to kill a deer. Ingenuity enabled me to
retain the deer."
It must not be forgotten that one of the little Coyotes ran away. He had numerous descendants, and ever since that time they have been characterized
by pimples all over their faces where the mustaches grow out, and little blotches inside their lips, such as you see inside the lips of dogs.
Thus shortens my story.
|The Origin of Summer and Winter
An Acoma Legend
The Acoma chief had a daughter named Co-chin-ne-na-ko, called Co-chin for short, who was the wife of Shakok, the Spirit of winter. After he came
to live with the Acomas, the seasons grew colder and colder. Snow and ice stayed longer each year. Corn no longer matured. The people soon had to
live on cactus leaves and other wild plants.
One day Co-chin went out to gather cactus leaves and burn off the thorns so she could carry them home for food. She was eating a singed leaf when
she saw a young man coming towards her. He wore a yellow shirt woven of corn silk, a belt, and a tall pointed hat; green leggings made of green
moss that grows near springs and ponds; and moccasins beautifully embroidered with flowers and butterflies.
In his hand he carried an ear of green corn with which he saluted her. She returned the salute with her cactus leaf. He asked, "What are you eating?"
She told him, "Our people are starving because no corn will grow, and we are compelled to live on these cactus leaves."
"Here, eat this ear of corn, and I will go bring you an armful for you to take home with you," said the young man. He left and quickly disappeared
from sight, going south. In a very short time, however, he returned, bringing a large bundle of green corn that he laid at her feet.
"Where did you find so much corn?" Co-chin asked.
"I brought it from my home far to the south," he replied. "There the corn grows abundantly and flowers bloom all year."
"Oh, how I would like to see your lovely country. Will you take me with you to your home?" she asked.
"Your husband, Shakik, the Spirit of Winter, would be angry if I should take you away," he said.
"But I do not love him, he is so cold. Ever since he came to our village, no corn has grown, no flowers have bloomed. The people are compelled to live
on these prickly pear leaves," she said.
"Well," he said. "Take this bundle of corn with you and do not throw away the husks outside of your door. Then come tomorrow and I will bring you
more. I will meet you here." He said good-bye and left for his home in the south.
Co chin started home with the bundle of corn and met her sisters, who had come out to look for her. They were very surprised to see the corn instead
of cactus leaves. Co-chin told them how the young man had brought her the corn from his home in the south. They helped her carry it home.
When they arrived, their father and mother were wonderfully surprised with the corn. Co-chin minutely described in detail the young man and
where he was from. She would go back the next day to get more corn from him, as he asked her to meet him there, and he would accompany her
"It is Miochin," said her father. "It is Miochin," said her mother. "Bring him home with you."
The next day, Co-chin-ne-na-ko went to the place and met Miochin, for he really was Miochin, the Spirit of Summer. He was waiting for her and he
had brought big bundles of corn.
Between them they carried the corn to the Acoma village. There was enough to feed all of the people. Miochin was welcome at the home of the Chief.
In the evening, as was his custom, Shakok, the spirit of Winter and Co-chin's husband, returned from the north. All day he had been playing with the
north wind, snow, sleet, and hail.
Upon reaching the Acoma village, he knew Miochin must be there and called out to him, "Ha, Miochin, are you here?" Miochin came out to meet him.
"Ha, Miochin, now I will destroy you."
"Ha, Shakok, I will destroy you," replied Miochin, advancing toward him, melting the snow and hail and turning the fierce wind into a summer
breeze. The icicles dropped off and Shakok's clothing was revealed to be made of dry, bleached rushes.
Shakok said, "I will not fight you now, but will meet you here in four days and fight you till one of us is beaten. The victor will win Co-chin-ne-na-ko."
Shakok left in a rage, as the wind roared and shook the walls of White City. But the people were warm in their houses because Miochin was there.
The next day he left for his own home in the south to make preparations to meet Shakok in combat.
First he sent an eagle to his friend Yat-Moot, who lived in the west, asking him to come help him in his fight with Shakok. Second, he called all the
birds, insects, and four-legged animals that live in the summer lands to help him. The bat was his advance guard and shield, as his tough skin could
best withstand the sleet and hail that Shakok would throw at him.
On the third day Yat-Moot kindled his fires, heating the thin, flat stones he was named after. Big black clouds of smoke rolled up from the south and
covered the sky.
Shakok was in the north and called to him all the winter birds and four-legged animals of winter lands to come and help him. The magpie was his
shield and advance guard.
On the fourth morning, the two enemies could be seen rapidly approaching the Acoma village. In the north, black storm clouds of winter with snow,
sleet, and hail brought Shakok to the battle. In the south, Yat-Moot piled more wood on his fires and great puffs of steam and smoke arose and
formed massive clouds. They were bringing Miochin, the Spirit of Summer, to the battlefront. All of his animals were blackened from the smoke.
Forked blazes of lightning shot forth from the clouds.
At last the combatants reached White City. Flashes from the clouds singed the hair and feathers of Shakok's animals and birds. Shakok and Miochin
were now close together. Shakok threw snow, sleet, and hail that hissed through the air of a blinding storm. Yat-Moot's fires and smoke melted
Shakok's weapons, and he was forced to fall back. Finally he called a truce. Miochin agreed, and the winds stopped, and snow and rain ceased
They met at the White Wall of Acoma. Shakok said, "I am defeated, you Miochin are the winner. Co-chin-ne-na-ko is now yours forever." Then the
men each agreed to rule one-half of the year. Shakok for winter and Miochin for summer, and that neither would trouble the other thereafter. That is
why we have a cold season for one-half of the year, and a warm season for the other.