Music: Quiet One by Red Tail Chasing Hawks
Mr. Stephen Powers claims that there is no such word in the Miwok language as Yosemite. The valley has always been know to them, and is to this
day, when speaking among themselves, as A-wa'-ni. )(Also been noted to be spelt as 'Ah-wah-nees' meaning 'Deep Grass Valley')
This, it is true, is only the name of one of the ancient villages which it contained; but by prominence it gave its name to the valley, and in accordance
with Indian usage almost everywhere, to the inhabitants of the same.
The word Yosemite is simply a very beautiful and sonorous corruption of the word for grizzly bear. On the Stanislaus and north of it, the word is
u-zu'-mai-ti; at Little Gap, o-so'-mai-ti; in Yosemite itself, u-zu'-mai-ti; on the South Fork of the Merced, uh-zu'-mai-tuh.
"In the following list, the signification of the name is given whenever there is any known to the Indians:
"Wa-kal'-la (the river), Merced River.
"Lung-u-tu-ku'-ya, Ribbon Fall.
"Po'-ho-no, Po-ho'-no" (though the first is probably the more correct), Bridal-Veil Fall....This word is said to signify 'evil wind.' The only 'evil wind'
that an Indian knows of is a whirlwind, which is poi-i'-cha or Kan'-u-ma.
"Tu-tok-a-nu'-la, El Capitan. 'Measuring-worm stone.'
"Ko-su'-ko, Cathedral Rock.
"Pu-si'-na, and Chuk'-ka (the squirrel and the acorn-cache), a tall, sharp needle, with a smaller one at its base, just east of Cathedral Rock.
"Loi'-a, Sentinel Rock.
"Sak'-ka-du-eh, Sentinel Dome.
"Cho'-lok (the fall), Yosemite Fall. This is the generic word for 'fall.'
"Ma'-ta (the canon), Indian canon. A generic word, in explaining which the Indians hold up both hands to denote perpendicular walls.
"Ham'-mo-ko (usually contracted to Ham'-moak),...broken debris lying at the foot of the walls.
"U-zu'-mai-ti La'-wa-tuh (grizzly bear skin). Glacier Rock....from the grayish, grizzled appearance of the wall.
"Cho-ko-nip'-o-deh (baby-basket), Royal Arches. This....canopy-rock bears no little resemblance to an Indian baby-basket. Another form is
"Pai-wai'-ak (white water?), Vernal Fall.
"Yo-wai-yi, Navada Fall. In this word is detected the root of Awaia, a 'lake' or body of water.
"Tis-se'-yak, South Dome.
"To-ko'-ye, North Dome, husband of Tisseyak.
"Shun'-ta, Hun'-ta (the eye), Watching Eye.
"A-wai'-a (a lake), Mirror Lake.
"Sa-wah' (a gap), a name occurring frequently.
"Wa-ha'-ka, a village which stood at the base of Three Brothers; also the rock itself. This was the westernmost village in the valley.
"There were nine villages in Yosemite Valley and...formerly others extending as far down as the Bridal Veil Fall, which were destroyed in wars that
occurred before the whites came."
|At the Rainbow's End
A Navajo Legend
A Navajo Legend
Changing Woman comes closest to being the personification of the Earth and of the natural order of the Universe as to any other brief way of
describing her. She represents the cyclical path of the Seasons, birth (Spring), Maturing (Summer), Growing old (Fall) and Dying (Winter) only to be
reborn again in the Spring.
The birth of Changing Woman was planned by First Man and First Woman. First Man repeatedly held up his medicine bundle toward Gobernador
Knob at dawn. Somehow from this action Changing Woman was born and found lying on top of Gobernador Knob. She was found by Talking God
who was sent to investigate. First Man then presented her to the diyinii, saying that you could see that this is the child of the young man and young
woman of exceeding beauty who themselves had risen from the same medicine bundle to become the inner form of the Earth.
First Man raises and teaches Changing Woman. She grew from infancy to puberty in four days, thus acquiring the name Changing Woman. This
occasioned the first puberty ceremony. The Holy People were called for and Talking God officiated at the ceremony.
Changing Woman was dressed in jewels (white shell, turquoise, abalone and jet), blessed with pollen from the dawn and from twilight, and with
"pollen" from many jewels and soft fabrics, symbolizing her control over these articles. After this blessing, her hair was bathed with dews and she
was instructed to run toward the dawn as fas as she could see and then to return. As she ran, her dress of jewels jingled. She repeated this for four
nights. On these days, when not involved in ceremonies, she occupied herself with planning for the future of the Earth. By the end of the ceremony
she had made millstones, a whisk boom, pots and stirring sticks. The songs that were sung for Changing Woman as she ran are sung today for
young women at their puberty ceremonies.
At Changing Woman's next menstration another puberty ceremony was held, similar to the first. But at this ceremony other procedures for the
future were defined. These decree that no menstruating woman shall be present at any ceremonial. The order of songs at future Blessingway
ceremonies was thus determined.
After this ceremony Changing Woman would go outside and walk on the trail which had been prepared for her. One day at noon a strange man
walked up to her and spoke to her. He said, "Prepare yourself for something that is going to happen, after a while I will visit you." This stranger was
so dazzling that Changing Woman had to look away. When she turned back, he was gone. She returned home and reported this encounter to First
Woman and First Man. It seems that First Man was expecting this occurrence, which happened twice again. On the third time Changing Woman
was told to fix her bed outside, with her head to the east. When she fell asleep a young man came and lay beside her. This happened again and she
asked who he was. He replied, "Don't you know me? Didn't you ever see me? Don't you know that you see me all the time? It is I that takes care of
all things, whatever there is on Earth. I am the Sun's inner form. In my very presence you came into being, in my presence you were put into shape,
even I was among them!" He then indicated that First Man had directed him to do this. The next day she decided to bathe because the young man
might visit her again.
While bathing the young man appeared again and with the collaboration of the dripping water impregnated Changing Woman. In nine [nahast'ei]
days, twins were born to Changing Woman. These twins were to become Monster Slayer and Born for Water. These two also grew in four day
periods and in twelve days they were grown young men.
At this point Changing Woman asked for and receives the medicine bundle that First Man had brought up from the previous worlds. She moves to a
hogan that was built for her at the base of Huerfano Mountain. Here she conducted the first wedding ceremony, the mating of corn. After this
ceremony Changing woman leaves for the house that her sons have built for her, at the direction of their father, the Sun, in the west, at or on the
Here Changing Woman grew lonely and created the Navajo People from skin rubbed off various parts of her body. The four pairs of people created
at this time are the ancestors of all Navajo today.
Changing Woman also caused the abduction of the two children of Rock Crystal Talking God. They were taken to her house in the west by way of a
rainbow and a sunbeam. Here they were taught the Blessingway ceremony. They returned home to teach the ceremony to all of their people (the
original Navajos saw the ceremony being taught to these children). The diyinii all gathered to learn the ceremony and to construct the original
Mountain Soil bundle, containing soil from each of the sacred mountains, with which the ceremony is still conducted. The Holy People then said that,
after their departure from this ceremony, they would never be seen in person again but that their presence would be manifest in the sound of the wind
[niyol], the feathers [ats'os] of an Eagle, in various birds, the growth of the corn and other aspects of the world surrounding the earth surface people.
The two children who had been taught the Blessingway ceremony then departed to live with the Holy People.
The parentage of Changing Woman is described in several different ways by different informants; however these can be thought of as just different
ways of saying the same thing. Some say that her father and mother are the Sky and the Earth. Others say her parents are sa'a naghai ashkii (boy)
and bik'e hozh at'eed (girl) as in this version. However the Sky is sometimes referred to as sa'a naghai and the Earth as bik'e hozh. In either case,
Changing Woman is Earth's child, the child of the Sky and the child of the mountain. As she was planned for by First Man and First Woman and
called forth by First Man, she is also their child.
Changing Woman Asdz nadleehe
Universe Yadihi Bii'Bi Haz'anigii
Spring daan dgo
Summer sh shgo
First Man Atse hastiin
First Woman Atse asdzaan
Medicine Bundle jish
Gobernador Knob Ch'ool''
Talking God Haashch'eet'i
The Holy People diyin dine
white shell yoogan
millstones tsedaashjee and tsedaashch'ini
whisk broom bee nahalzhoohi
stirring sticks idistsiin
|Coyote Kills A Giant
A Navajo Legend
Coyote was walking one day when he met Old Woman. She greeted him and asked where he was headed.
"Just roaming around," said Coyote.
"You better stop going that way, or you'll meet a giant who kills everybody."
"Oh, giants don't frighten me," said Coyote (who had never met one). "I always kill them. "I'll fight this one too, and make an end of him."
"He's bigger and closer than you think," said Old Woman.
"I don't care," said Coyote, deciding that a giant would be about as big as a bull moose and calculating that he could kill one easily.
So Coyote said good-bye to Old Woman and went ahead, whistling a tune. On his way he saw a large fallen branch that looked like a club. Picking it
up, he said to himself, "I'll hit the giant over the head with this. It's big enough and heavy enough to kill him." He walked on and came to a huge cave
right in the middle of the path. Whistling merrily, he went in.
Suddenly Coyote met a woman who was crawling along on the ground.
"What's the matter?" he asked.
"I'm starving," she said, "and too weak to walk. What are you doing with that stick?"
"I'm going to kill the giant with it," said Coyote, and he asked if she knew where he was hiding.
Feeble as she was, the woman laughed. "You're already in the giant's belly."
"How can I be in his belly?" asked Coyote. "I haven't even met him."
"You probably thought it was a cave when you walked into his mouth," the woman said, and sighed. "It's easy to walk in, but nobody ever walks out.
This giant is so big you can't take him in with your eyes. His belly fills a whole valley."
Coyote threw his stick away and kept on walking. What else could he do?
Soon he came across some more people lying around half dead. "Are you sick?" he asked.
"no," they said, "just starving to death. We're trapped inside the giant."
"You're foolish," said Coyote. "If we're really inside this giant, then the cave walls must be the inside of his stomach. We can just cut some meat and
fat from him."
"We never thought of that," they said.
"You're not as smart as I am," said Coyote.
Coyote took his hunting knife and started cutting chunks out of the cave walls. As he had guessed, they were indeed the giant's fat and meat, and he
used it to feed the starving people. He even went back and gave some meat to the woman he had first met. Then all the people imprisoned in the
giant's belly started to feel stronger and happier, but not completely happy. "You've fed us," they said, "and thanks. But how are we going to get out
"Don't worry," said Coyote. "I'll kill the giant by stabbing him in the heart. Where is his heart? It must be around here someplace."
"Look at the volcano puffing and beating over there," someone said.
"Maybe it's the heart."
"So it is, friend," said Coyote, and began to cut at this mountain.
Then the giant spoke up. "Is that you Coyote? I've heard of you. Stop this stabbing and cutting and let me alone. You can leave through my mouth;
I'll open it for you."
"I'll leave, but not quite yet," said Coyote, hacking at the heart. He told the others to get ready. "As soon as I have him in his death throes, there will be
an earthquake. He'll open his jaw to take a last breath, and then his mouth will close forever. So be ready to run out fast!"
Coyote cut a deep hole in the giant's heart, and lava started to flow out. It was the giant's blood. The giant groaned, and the ground under the
people's feet trembled.
"Quick, now!" shouted Coyote. The giant's mouth opened and they all ran out. The last one was the wood tick. The giant's teeth were closing on him,
but Coyote managed to pull him through at the last moment.
"Look at me," cried the wood tick, "I'm all flat!"
"It happened when I pulled you through," said Coyote. "You'll always be flat from now on. Be glad you're alive."
"I guess I'll get used to it," said the wood tick and he did.
|Coyote Helps Create Man
A Navajo Legend
In the beginning Great Grandfather Spirit had just finished creating the Earth and all the animals, and he felt pleased with his creations. After some
time the animals fighting each other over which of them will be the leader of all the other animals.
Coyote was not into fighting asked Grandfather Spirit to make a man and a woman to rule over all the animals of the Earth. Grandfather Spirit
loved the idea and went to work on the man and woman right away. Grandfather Spirit was having a hard time coming up with an image to make
man and woman in. Coyote came to him to see how the creations were coming. When he saw Grandfather Spirit having trouble with man and
woman, Coyote with all his magic turned himself into a man. When the creator saw this, he thanked Coyote and went to work the man in the image
Coyote showed him.
Once he created man out of the Earth he then blew life into man and man came to life. Grandfather Spirit told man that he will make man a mate.
Grandfather Spirit started making an image that looked exactly like the man. Coyote said "no, no, no, Grandfather. Man won't find a woman who
looks like this attractive. Here is how a woman should look like." then Coyote again transformed himself into an image of a woman. Grandfather
Spirit studied this image and went to work on creating woman out of the Earth. When done the woman looked just like the image of the woman that
Coyote showed the Creator.
Grandfather Spirit then blew life into the woman and man and creator said this was good. The Creator told Man and Woman that they are now the
new leaders of the land and to treat the Earth and all who dwell on it like family because they all come from Mother Earth. Grandfather Spirit
thanked Coyote for his help and to show his thanks he gave Coyote the more magical powers than any other animal.
|Creation of First Man and First Woman
A Navajo Legend
The first people came up through three worlds and settled in the fourth world. They had been driven from each successive world because they had
quarreled with one another and committed adultery.
In previous worlds they found no other people like themselves, but in the fourth world they found the Kisani or Pueblo people.
The surface of the fourth world was mixed black and white, and the sky was mostly blue and black. There were no sun, no moon, no stars, but there
were four great snow-covered peaks on the horizon in each of the cardinal directions.
Late in the autumn they heard in the east the distant sound of a great voice calling. They listened and waited, and soon heard the voice nearer and
louder than before. Once more they listened and heard it louder still, very near.
A moment later four mysterious beings appeared. These were White Body, god of this world; Blue Body, the sprinkler; Yellow Body; and Black Body,
the god of fire. Using signs but without speaking, the gods tried to instruct the people, but they were not understood.
When the gods had gone, the people discussed their mysterious visit and tried without success to figure out the signs. The gods appeared on four days
in succession and attempted to communicate through signs, but their efforts came to nothing.
On the fourth day when the other gods departed, Black Body remained behind and spoke to the people in their own language: "You do not seem to
understand our signs, so I must tell you what they mean. We want to make people who look more like us. You have bodies like ours, but you have the
teeth, the feet and the claws of beasts and insects. The new humans will have hands and feet like ours. Also, you are unclean; you smell bad. We will
come back in twelve days. Be clean when we return."
On the morning of the twelfth day the people washed themselves well. Then the women dried their skin with yellow cornmeal, the men with white
cornmeal. Soon they heard the distant call, shouted four times, of the approaching gods.
When the gods appeared, Blue Body and Black Body each carried a sacred buckskin. White Body carried two ears of corn, one yellow, one white,
each covered completely with grains. The gods laid one buckskin on the ground with the head to the west, and on this they placed the two ears of corn
with their tips to the east. Under the white ear they put the feather of a white eagle; under the yellow the feather of a yellow eagle.
Then they told the people to stand back and allow the wind to enter. Between the skins the wind blew from the east and the yellow wind from the
west. While the wind was blowing the eight of the gods, the Mirage People, came and walked around the objects on the ground four times. As they
walked, the eagle feathers, whose tips protruded from the buckskins, were seen to move.
When the Mirage People had finished their walk, the upper buckskin was lifted. The ears of corn had disappeared; a man and a woman lay in their
place. The white ear of corn had become the man, the yellow ear the woman, First Man and First Woman. It was the wind that gave them life, and it
is the wind that comes out of our mouths now that gives us life.
When this ceases to blow, we die.
The gods had the people build an enclosure of brushwood, and when it was finished, First Man and First Woman went in. The gods told them, "Live
together now as husband and wife."
At the end of four days, First Woman bore hermaphrodite twins. In four more days she gave birth to a boy and a girl, who grew to maturity in four
days and lived with one another as husband and wife.
In all, First Man and First Woman had five pairs of twins, and all except the first became couples who had children. In four days after the last twins
were born, the gods came again and took First Man and First Woman away to the eastern mountains, dwelling place of the gods. The couple stayed
there for four days, and when they returned, all their children were taken to the eastern mountain for four days.
The gods may have taught them the awful secrets of witchcraft. Witches always use masks, and after they returned, they would occasionally put on
masks and pray for the good things they needed; abundant rain and abundant crops.
Witches also marry people who are too closely related to them, which is what First Man and First Woman's children had done. After they had been to
the eastern mountain, however, the brothers and sisters separated. Keeping their first marriages secret, the brothers now married women of the
Mirage People and the sister married men of the Mirage People.
But they never told anyone, even their new families, the mysteries they had learned from the gods. Every four days the women bore children, who
grew to maturity in four days, then married, and in turn had children in four days.
In this way many children of First Man and First Woman filled the land with people.
|Glacier Song of the Horses
A Navajo Legend
Before the Spaniards brought horses to the Dine (Navajo), they told about the Sun-God's walking across the heavens, carrying the sun on his back.
When he reached the west, he hung the sun on a peg, so that it could cool off. He spent the evening with his family, resting after his long journey.
After he was rested, he removed the sun from its peg, apparently hid it in some way as he retraced his steps, and returned in the darkness. In the
morning, he started on his westward trip again. Of course, the ancient story continued to be told long after the following one was created.
The Sun-God, Johano-ai, starts each morning from his home in the east and rides across the skies to his home in the west. He carries with him his
shining gold disk, the sun. He has five horses -a horse of turquoise, one of white shell, one of pearly shell, one of red shell, and one of coal.
The skies are blue and the weather is fair, the Sun-God rides his horse of turquoise, or the one of white shell, or the one of pearly shell. But when the
heavens are dark with storm, he mounts the red horse or the horse of coal.
Beneath the hoofs of the horses are spread precious hides of all kinds and also beautiful blankets, carefully woven and richly decorated. In the days
gone by, the Dine (Navajo) wove rich blankets, said to have been found first in the home of the Sun-God. He lets his horses graze on flower blossoms,
and drink from mingled waters. These are holy waters of all kinds -spring water, snow water, hail water, water from the four corners of the world.
The Dine (Navajo) use such waters in their ceremonies.
When any horse of the Sun-God trots or runs, he raises not dust, but pitistchi. It is glittering grains of mineral, such as are used in religious
ceremonies. When a horse rolls and shakes himself, shining grains of sand fly from him. When he runs, not dust, but the sacred pollen offered to the
Sun-God is all about him. Then he looks like a mist. The Dine (Navajo) say that the mist on the horizon is the pollen that has been offered to the gods.
A Navajo man sings about the horses of the Sun-God in order that he, too, may have beautiful horses. Standing among his herd, he scatters holy
pollen and sings this song for the blessing and the protection of his animals.
How joyous his neigh!
Lo, the Turquoise Horse of Johano-ai,
How joyous his neigh,
There on precious hides outspread, standeth he; How joyous his neigh,
There of mingled waters holy, drinketh he; How joyous his neigh,
There in mist of sacred pollen hidden, all hidden he; How joyous his neigh,
These his offspring may grow and thrive forevermore; How joyous his neigh!
|Little Dawn Boy and the Rainbow Trail
A Navajo Legend
When the World first began in Red Indian Land, Little Dawn Boy dwelt in Red Rock House by the side of a canyon. And there he lived with his father,
his mother, his brothers, his sisters, and a big Medicine Man.
Every morning, when the Sun rose, Little Dawn Boy sat on the edge of the canyon, and looked far across to the other side. He saw in the distance a
purple mountain and behind it a high, white cliff like a tower, which hid its head in the clouds.
And every morning he asked the Medicine Man, "Who lives on the top of the white cliff?"
And the Medicine Man answered, "First learn my magic songs, and then I will tell you."
So Little Dawn Boy learned the magic songs, and one day the Medicine Man said: "Now that you know the songs, and are big enough, you may visit
the Great-Chief-of-All-Magic, who lives in the House of Evening Light on the top of the white cliff.
"In the house are four rooms and four doors. The first door is guarded by two bolts of lightning; the second door is watched by two fierce Bears; the
third door, by two red-headed Serpents; and the fourth door, by two angry Rattlesnakes.
"If a visitor goes there who does not know the magic songs, the lightning strikes him, and the animal watchers eat him up. But you know the magic
songs so well that you may go safely to the House of Evening Light and ask for good gifts for your people."
"And how," asked Little Dawn Boy, "shall I reach the top of the white cliff?"
"You must take with you presents for the Great-Chief-of-All-Magic," replied the Medicine Man, "and you must strew the Pollen of Dawn on your trail.
And when you get to the summit of the purple mountain, if you sing a magic song, you will see how to reach the top of the white cliff."
So Little Dawn Boy rose up and painted himself beautifully, and decked his head with feathers. He took his bow and arrows, and made ready to start.
The Medicine Man gave him two bags. In one were gift of strings of wampum and sky-blue turquoises, and in the other the golden Pollen of Dawn
which the Medicine Man had gathered from the Larkspur flowers.
Little Dawn Boy set out on his way with dew about his feet and Grasshoppers skipping all around him. And as he went, he scattered the golden pollen
on his trail.
All that day, and the second, and the third, he traveled, and early on the morning of the fourth day he climbed to the summit of the purple mountain.
But still far off and high among the clouds towered the white cliff, and around its top flashed the red lightning.
But Little Dawn Boy was not afraid. He scattered more pollen on his trail, and began to sing his magic song:
"Oh, Pollen Boy am I!
From Red Rock House I come!
With Pollen of Dawn on my trail!
With beauty before me,
With beauty behind me,
With beauty below me,
With beauty above me, With beauty all round me,
Over the Rainbow Trail I go!
Hither I wander, thither I wander,
Over the beautiful trail I go!"
And as he finished the song an arch of shimmering light, all rose, violet, blue, and every color, and delicate as a veil, began to stretch from the summit
of the purple mountain to the top of the white cliff. And in a minute Little Dawn Boy saw a bright Rainbow Bridge grow before his eyes.
Singing with delight he hastened over the Rainbow Bridge, and as he ran a wind sprang up and blew a many-coloured mist to the top of the cliff. And
it blinded the eyes of the animal watchers at the four doors of the House of Evening Light.
And when Little Dawn Boy reached the house, he went in and the watchers did not see him. As he entered, he passed over a trail of daylight, and
sprinkled the golden pollen, while he sang his magic song.
Then the Great-Chief-of-All-Magic looked at him angrily, and called out like thunder: "Who is this stranger who dares to come here unbidden? Is he
one of the people from the Earth? No one has ever ventured to come here before."
And Little Dawn Boy answered and said, "See, I bring you beautiful gifts, and I trust to find many friends in this house." And he opened the gift-bag,
and took out the strings of wampum and sky-blue turquoises.
And when the great-Chief-of-All-Magic saw these, he was well pleased, and looked kindly at Little Dawn Boy, and welcomed him to the House of
Evening Light. And he asked him what presents he would like in return.
And Little Dawn Boy answered: "Gifts for my kindred I wish. Give me, I pray, yellow and white and blue corn, green growing plants, fragrant
flowers, black clouds and thunderstorms with lightning; also the soft Spring showers and the gentle Summer breezes, with pale mists, and golden
And so the Great-Chief-of-All-Magic gave him what he asked for, together with many other presents. He feasted him with good things to eat and
drink, and afterward sent him on his way.
And as the boy stepped out of the House of Evening Light, he began to sing another magic song:
"Oh, Little Dawn Boy am I!
From the House of Evening Light!
To Red Rock House I return!
Held fast in my hands are gifts!
With soft rains above me,
With sweet flowers below me,
With white corn behind me,
With green plants before me,
With pale mists all round me,
Over the Rainbow Trail I go!
Hither I wander, thither I wander,
Over the beautiful trail I go!"
And as he sang, the Rainbow, all rose, violet, blue, and every color, began to span with its bright arch the space from the white cliff to the purple
mountain. And over the Rainbow Bridge Little Dawn Boy hastened singing his magic song.
And for three days and three nights he traveled, until early on the fourth day, just as the Sun rose, he reached the edge of the deep canyon, and entered
Red Rock House.
And there he saw his people waiting for him. And joyfully they welcomed him, and spread a magic buckskin for him to sit upon. And he related all his
adventures, and gave them the many good gifts that had come from the House of Evening Light.
And ever since that day his people have sung the magic song of Little Dawn Boy:
"with soft rains above us,
With sweet flowers below us,
With white corn behind us,
With green plants before us,
With pale mists all round us,
Over the Rainbow Trail we go!
Hither we wander, thither we wander,
Over the beautiful trail we go!"
|Monster Slayer and Ye'iitsoh
A Navajo Legend
Changing Woman's twin sons had been born for the purpose of ridding the earth of the Monsters who were killing all the people. When the boys were
grown, a matter of 12 days, they told their mother that they wanted to visit their father.
Changing Woman tried to discourage them, not properly identifying their father, and when that failed, telling them how dangerous this trip would be,
how many guardians there were at his house, and how he was without mercy.
But they also got advice from others, such as the Arrow People, and wind's Child has been placed at their ear folds to advise them at all times. They
overcame many hazards on their trip to their father's house and were given a white shell prayer plume by dawn to use to protect themselves when they
were in the Sun's house.
They also received advice from Father Sky, Hornworm, Water Sprinkler and Spider Man. The twins then moved along the top of a rainbow to the
house of their father, the Sun.
In the Sun's house, they underwent many trials to prove to the Sun that they were indeed his sons. The white shell prayer plume was essential for their
survival during these tests. But, in the end, the Sun accepted them as his sons, clothed the older in turquoise and the younger in white shell, and inquired
of them why it was they came to see him.
He opened doors in each of the cardinal directions, doors of turquoise, white shell, abalone, and jet, offering the boys jewels, livestock and game, plants
and beautiful flowers, rain and rainbows.
But Wind's Child at their ear folds, advised them to answer each time, "We did not come for that, my father; that is not our purpose in being here."
Then Wind's Child told them to say, "we two came for the pair of zigzag lightning that lie up there, and flint shoes, flint clubs, flint leggings, flint
garnets, flint headgear, flint wrist guards, these we two came for. On account of the monsters there is just about person left."
The Sun answered them slowly, telling them that they are brothers to the monsters they wish to kill, but that is apparently no more. He then placed
agate in them, making them immune to injury and gave them the garments and weapons they had asked for; the older got dark flint and the younger
blue flint garments.
The Sun gave them prayer-sticks and then told them that the younger of the two, Born for Water, would sit watching these prayer-sticks while the
older, Monster Slayer, went out to kill the monsters. If these prayer-sticks began to burn, this would signal that his brother was in danger and that he
should go to him to help.
He then took them to the sky opening, just over Mt. Taylor, and told them where to find Big God. Wind's Child then took word over to Hesperus Peak,
to Yellow wind, to spread the word that they were returning. The Sun placed the older one at the tip of a zigzag lightning and shot him to the center of
Hot Spring, the home of Ye'iitsoh.
He placed the younger on the tip of straight lightning and shot him to the center of Hot Spring. There they waited for Ye'iitsoh to come for water, as he
did everyday, exactly at noon. Each day he drank all of the water. When Ye'iitsoh arrived, he approached from each direction, a little closer each time,
inspecting the vicinity of the spring. He saw no one as the twins were concealed by a dark cloud.
After the fourth time he came all the way to the spring and began to drink. When almost all of the water was gone, when Ye'iitsoh was drinking for the
fourth time, Wind's Child told them to step out and make themselves known.
They left the dark cloud and walked into plain sight where Ye'iitsoh saw them when he looked up. Then they exchanged taunts. Ye'iitsoh threw flint
clubs at them, missing each time because Wind's Child was whispering advice in their ears. The spinning club he threw cut a path through the trees and
stones, making a barren strip.
Then Ye'iitsoh had no more weapons. At that point a big storm began and Ye'iitsoh was wrapped in zigzag lightning. This lightning stripped off his
flint armor. Wind's Child told the twins that this was their time now and to shoot into the sole of Ye'iitsoh's foot.
Monster Slayer used one of his zigzag lightning arrows to do this. He then shot a straight lightning into Ye'iitsoh's hip, which brought Ye'iitsoh to his
knees, but he rose. Monster Slayer then shot a zigzag lightning into the small of Ye'iitsoh's back.
He fell to his knees but rose yet again.
Then Monster Slayer shot a straight lightning arrow into the back of Ye'iitsoh's head. This time Ye'iitsoh fell. At some distance away, from a place
called Open-Mouth Bear, blood came pouring out. Ye'iitsoh had hidden his heart, nerves and breath there. The blood from the body and from the
distant place moved toward each other.
Wind's Child pointed out that, should these streams meet, Ye'iitsoh would come to life again.
Monster Slayer immediately drew a zigzag line with his club between streams, while giving his call, "ha ha."
Born for Water drew a straight line between the streams with his club while giving his call, "ha ha ha."
Then they repeated these actions and the blood stopped flowing there. The earth trembled and sounds filled the sky. The blood turned to the lava seen
around Mt. Taylor today.
Monster Slayer removed the scalp of Ye'iitsoh and the two were overcome by the vapors from the body. They helped each other stagger over to a
juniper where they recovered by chewing some of the juniper.
When they returned home, after an absence of only four days, they needed to convince their mother, Changing Woman, that they had actually been
successful in killing Ye'iitsoh. She then danced outside with Ye'iitsoh's scalp between her teeth.
A Navajo Legend
Spider Rock stands with awesome dignity and beauty over 800 feet high in Arizona's colorful Canyon de Chelly National Park (pronounced da Shay).
Geologists of the National Park Service say that the formation began 230 million years ago.
Windblown sand swirled and compressed with time created the spectacular red sandstone monolith. Long ago, the Dine (Navajo) Indian tribe named it
Stratified, multicolored cliff walls surround the canyon. For many, many centuries the Dine (Navajo) built caves and lived in these cliffs. Most of the
caves were located high above the canyon floor, protecting them from enemies and flash floods.
Spider Woman possessed supernatural power at the time of creation, when Dine (Navajo) emerged from the third world into this fourth world.
At that time, monsters roamed the land and killed many people. Since Spider Woman loved the people, she gave power for Monster-Slayer and
Child-Born-of-Water to search for the Sun-God who was their father. When they found him, Sun-God showed them how to destroy all the monsters on
land and in the water.
Because she preserved their people, Dine (Navajo) established Spider Woman among their most important Deities.
She chose the top of Spider Rock for her home. It was Spider Woman who taught Dine (Navajo) ancestors of long ago the art of weaving upon a loom.
She told them, "My husband, Spider Man, constructed the weaving loom making the cross poles of sky and Earth cords to support the structure; the
warp sticks of sun rays, lengthwise to cross the woof; the healds of rock crystal and sheet lightning, to maintain original condition of fibers. For the
batten, he chose a sun halo to seal joints, and for the comb he chose a white shell to clean strands in a combing manner." through many generations,
the Dine (Navajo) have always been accomplished weavers.
From their elders, Dine (Navajo) children heard warnings that if they did not behave themselves, Spider Woman would let down her web-ladder and
carry them up to her home and devour them.
The children also heard that the top of Spider Rock was white from the sun-bleached bones of Dine (Navajo) children who did not behave themselves!
One day, a peaceful cave-dwelling Dine (Navajo) youth was hunting in Dead Man's Canyon, a branch of Canyon de Chelly. Suddenly, he saw an
enemy tribesman who chased him deeper into the canyon. As the peaceful Dine (Navajo) ran, he looked quickly from side to side, searching for a place
to hide or to escape.
Directly in front of him stood the giant obelisk-like Spider Rock. What could he do? He knew it was too difficult for him to climb. He was near
exhaustion. Suddenly, before his eyes he saw a silken cord hanging down from the top of the rock tower.
The Dine (Navajo) youth grasped the magic cord, which seemed strong enough, and quickly tied it around his waist. With its help he climbed the tall
tower, escaping from his enemy who then gave up the chase.
When the peaceful Dine (Navajo) reached the top, he stretched out to rest. There he discovered a most pleasant place with eagle's eggs to eat and the
night's dew to drink.
Imagine his surprise when he learned that his rescuer was Spider Woman! She told him how she had seen him and his predicament. She showed him
how she made her strong web-cord and anchored one end of it to a point of rock. She showed him how she let down the rest of her web-cord to help him
climb the rugged Spider Rock.
Later, when the peaceful Dine (Navajo) youth felt assured his enemy was gone, he thanked Spider Woman warmly and he safely descended to the
canyon floor by using her magic cord. He ran home as fast as he could run, reporting to his tribe how his life was saved by Spider Woman!
|The Boy Who Became A God
A Navajo (New Mexico) Legend
The Tolchini, a clan of the Navajos, lived at Wind Mountains. One of them used to take long visits into the country. His brothers thought he was crazy.
The first time on his return, he brought with him a pine bough; the second time, corn. Each time he returned he brought something new and had a
strange story to tell. His brothers said: "He is crazy. He does not know what he is talking about."
Now the Tolchini left Wind Mountains and went to a rocky foothill east of the San Mateo Mountain. They had nothing to eat but seed grass. The eldest
brother said, "Let us go hunting," but they the youngest brother not to leave camp. But five days and five nights passed, and there was no word. So he
After a day's travel he camped near a canyon, in a cavelike place. There was much snow but no water so he made a fire and heated a rock, and made a
hole in the ground. The hot rock heated the snow and gave him water to drink, just then he heard a tumult over his head, like people passing.
He went out to see what made the noise and saw many crows crossing back and forth over the canyon. This was the home of the crow, but there were
other feathered people there, and the chaparral cock. He saw many fires made by the crows on each side of the canyon. Two crows flew down near him
and the youth listened to hear what was the matter.
The two crows cried out, "Somebody says. Somebody says."
The youth did not know what to make of this.
A crow on the opposite side called out, "What is the matter? Tell us! Tell us! What is wrong?"
The first two cried out, "Two of us got killed. We met two of our men who told us."
Then they told the crows how two men who were out hunting killed twelve deer, and a party of the Crow People went to the deer after they were shot.
They said, "Two of us who went after the blood of the deer were shot."
The crows on the other side of the canyon called, "Which men got killed?"
"The chaparral cock, who sat on the horn of the deer, and the crow who sat on its backbone."
The others called out, "we are not surprised they were killed. That is what we tell you all the time. If you go after dead deer you must expect to be killed."
"We will not think of them longer," so the two crows replied. "They are dead and gone. We are talking of things of long ago."
But the youth sat quietly below and listened to everything that was said.
After a while the crows on the other side of the canyon made a great noise and began to dance. They had many songs at that time. The youth listened all
the time. After the dance a great fire was made and he could see black objects moving, but he could not distinguish any people. He recognized the voice
of Hasjelti. He remembered everything in his heart. He remembered every word of every song. He said to himself, "I will listen until daylight."
The Crow People did not remain on the side of the canyon where the fires were first built. They crossed and recrossed the canyon in their dance. They
danced back and forth until daylight. Then all the crows and the other birds flew away to the west. All that was left was the fires and the smoke.
Then the youth started for his brothers' camp. They saw him coming. They said, "He will have lots of stories to tell. He will say he saw something no
one ever saw."
But the brother-in-law who was with them said, "Let him alone. When he comes into camp he will tell us all. I believe these things do happen for he
could not make up these things all the time."
Now the camp was surrounded by pinon brush and a large fire was burning in the center. There was much meat roasting over the fire. When the youth
reached the camp, he raked over the coals and said, "I feel cold."
Brother-in-law replied, "It is cold. When people camp together, they tell stories to one another in the morning. We have told ours, now you tell yours."
The youth said, "where I stopped last night was the worst camp I ever had." The brothers paid no attention but the brother-in-law listened. The youth
said, "I never heard such a noise." Then he told his story. Brother-in-law asked what kind of people made the noise.
The youth said, "I do not know. They were strange people to me, but they danced all night back and forth across the canyon and I heard them say my
brothers killed twelve deer and afterwards killed two of their people who went for the blood of the deer. I heard them say, '"That is what must be
expected. If you go to such places, you must expect to be killed.'"
The elder brother began thinking. He said, "How many deer did you say were killed?"
Elder brother said, "I never believed you before, but this story I do believe. How do you find out all these things? What is the matter with you that you
The boy said, "I do not know. They come into my mind and to my eyes."
Then they started homeward, carrying the meat. The youth helped them. As they were descending a mesa, they sat down on the edge to rest. Far down
the mesa were four mountain sheep. The brothers told the youth to kill one.
The youth hid in the sage brush and when the sheep came directly toward him, he aimed his arrow at them. But his arm stiffened and became dead. The
sheep passed by.
He headed them off again by hiding in the stalks of a large yucca. The sheep passed within five steps of him, but again his arm stiffened as he drew the
bow. He followed the sheep and got ahead of them and hid behind a birch tree in bloom. He had his bow ready, but as they neared him they became
The first was Hasjelti, the second was Hostjoghon, the third Naaskiddi, and the fourth Hadatchishi. Then the youth fell senseless to the ground. The four
gods stood one on each side of him, each with a rattle.
They traced with their rattles in the sand the figure of a man, drawing lines at his head and feet. Then the youth recovered and the gods again became
sheep. They said, "Why did you try to shoot us? You see you are one of us." For the youth had become a sheep.
The gods said, "There is to be a dance, far off to the north beyond the Ute Mountain. We want you to go with us. We will dress you like ourselves and
teach you to dance. Then we will wander over the world."
Now the brothers watched from the top of the mesa but they could not see what the trouble was. They saw the youth lying on the ground, but when they
reached the place, all the sheep were gone. They began crying, saying, "For a long time we would not believe him, and now he has gone off with the
They tried to head off the sheep, but failed. They said, "If we had believed him, he would not have gone off with the sheep. But perhaps some day we will
see him again."
At the dance, the five sheep found seven others. This made their number twelve. They journeyed all around the world.
All people let them see their dances and learn their songs. Then the eleven talked together and said, "There is no use keeping this youth with us longer.
He has learned everything. He may as well go back to his people and teach them to do as we do." So the youth was taught to have twelve in the dance,
six gods and six goddesses, with Hasjelti to lead them. He was told to have his people make masks to represent the gods.
So the youth returned to his brothers, carrying with him all songs, all medicines, and clothing.
|The First World
A Navajo Legend
The First World, Ni'hodilqil, was black as black wool. It had four corners, and over these appeared four clouds. These four clouds contained within
themselves the elements of the First World. They were in color, black, white, blue, and yellow.
The Black Cloud represented the Female Being or Substance. For as a child sleeps when being nursed, so life slept in the darkness of the Female Being.
The White Cloud represented the Male Being or Substance. He was Dawn, the Light-Which-Awakens, of the First World.
In the East, at the place where the Black Cloud and the White Cloud met, First Man, Atse'hastqin was formed; and with him was formed the white corn,
perfect in shape, with kernels covering the whole ear. Dolionot i'ni is the name of this first seed corn, and it is also the name of the place where the Black
Cloud and the White Cloud met.
The First World was small in size, a floating island in mist or water. On it there grew one tree, a pine tree, which was later brought to the present world
Man was not, however, in his present form. The conception was of a male and female being who were to become man and woman. The creatures of the
First World are thought of as the Mist People; they had no definite form, but were to change to men, beasts, birds, and reptiles of this world.
Now on the western side of the First World, in a place that later was to become the Land of Sunset, there appeared the Blue Cloud, and opposite it there
appeared the Yellow Cloud. Where they came together First Woman was formed, and with her the yellow corn. This ear of corn was also perfect. With
First Woman there came the white shell and the turquoise and the yucca.
First Man stood on the eastern side of the First World. He represented the Dawn and was the Life Giver. First Woman stood opposite in the West. She
represented Darkness and Death.
First Man burned a crystal for a fire. The crystal belonged to the male and was the symbol of the mind and of clear seeing. When First Man burned it, it
was the mind's awakening.
First Woman burned her turquoise for a fire. They saw each other's lights in the distance. When the Black Cloud and the White Cloud rose higher in the
sky, First Man set out to find the turquoise light. He went twice without success, and again a third time; then he broke a forked branch from his tree,
and, looking through the fork, he marked the place where the light burned. And the fourth time he walked to it and found smoke coming from a home.
"Here is the home I could not find," First Man said.
First Woman answered: "Oh, it is you. I saw you walking around and I wondered why you did not come."
Again the same thing happened when the Blue Cloud and the Yellow Cloud rose higher in the sky. First Woman saw a light and she went out to find it.
Three times she was unsuccessful, but the fourth time she saw the smoke and she found the home of First Man.
"I wondered what this thing could be," she said.
"I saw you walking and I wondered why you did not come to me." First Man answered.
First Woman saw that First Man had a crystal for a fire, and she saw that it was stronger than her turquoise fire. And as she was thinking, First Man
spoke to her. "Why do you not come with your fire and we will live together." The woman agreed to this. So instead of the man going to the woman, as
is the custom now, the woman went to the man.
About this time there came another person, the Great-Coyote-Who-Was-Formed-in-the-Water, and he was in the form of a male being. He told the two
that he had been hatched from an egg. He knew all that was under the water and all that was in the skies.
First Man placed this person ahead of himself in all things. The three began to plan what was to come to pass; and while they were thus occupied
another being came to them. He also had the form of a man, but he wore a hairy coat, lined with white fur, that fell to his knees and was belted in at the
waist. His name was Atse'hashke', First Angry or Coyote.
He said to the three: "You believe that you were the first persons. You are mistaken. I was living when you were formed."
Then four beings came together. They were yellow in color and were called the tsts'na, or wasp people. They knew the secret of shooting evil and could
harm others. They were very powerful.
This made eight people.
Four more beings came. They were small in size and wore red shirts and had little black eyes. They were the naazo'zi or spider ants. They knew how to
sting, and were a great people.
After these came a whole crowd of beings. Dark colored they were, with thick lips and dark, protruding eyes. They were the wolazhi'ni, the black ants.
They also knew the secrets of shooting evil and were powerful; but they killed each other steadily.
By this time there were many people. Then came a multitude of little creatures. They were peaceful and harmless, but the odor from them was
unpleasant. They were called the wolazhi'ni nlchu nigi, meaning that which emits an odor.
And after the wasps and the different ant people there came the beetles, dragonflies, bat people, the Spider Man and Woman, and the Salt Man and
Woman, and others that rightfully had no definite form but were among those people who peopled the First World. And this world, being small in size,
became crowded, and the people quarreled and fought among themselves, and in all ways made living very unhappy.
|The Navajo and the Astronaut
A Navajo Legend
Back in the 1960s a NASA team doing work for the Apollo moon mission took the astronauts near Tuba City where the terrain of the Navajo Reservation
looks very much like the Lunar surface.
Along with all the trucks and large vehicles, there were two large figures dressed in full Lunar spacesuits.
Nearby a Navajo sheep herder and his son were watching the strange creatures walk about, occasionally being tended by personnel. The two Navajo
people were noticed and approached by the NASA personnel.
Since the man did not understand or speak English, his son asked for him what the strange creatures were and the NASA people told them that they are
just men that are getting ready to go to the moon. The man became very excited and asked if he could send a message to the moon with the astronauts.
The NASA personnel thought this was a great idea so they rustled up a tape recorder. After the man gave them his message, they asked his son to
translate. His son would not.
Later, they tried a few more people on the reservation to translate and every person they asked would chuckle and then refuse to translate. Finally, with
cash in hand, someone translated the message, "Watch out for these guys, they come to take your land."
|The Second World
A Navajo Legend
Because of the strife in the First World, First Man, First Woman, the Great-Coyote-Who-Was-Formed-in-the-Water, and the Coyote called first Angry,
followed by all the others, climbed up from the World of Darkness and Dampness to the Second or Blue World.
They found a number of people already living there: blue birds, blue hawks, blue jays, blue herons, and all the blue-feathered beings. The powerful
swallow people lived there also, and these people made the Second World unpleasant for those who had come from the First World. There was fighting
The First Four found an opening in the World of Blue Haze; and they climbed through this and led the people up into the Third or Yellow World.
|The Third World
A Navajo Legend
The bluebird was the first to reach the Third or Yellow World. After him came the First Four and all the others.
A great river crossed this land from north to south. It was the Female River. There was another river crossing it from east to west, it was the Male River.
This Male River flowed through the Female River and on; and the name of this place is tqo alna'osdli, the Crossing of the waters. There were six
mountains in the Third World.
In the East was Sis na' jin, the Standing Black Sash. Its ceremonial name is Yol gai'dzil, the Dawn or White Shell Mountain.
In the South stood Tso'dzil, the Great Mountain, also called Mountain Tongue. Its ceremonial name is Yodolt i'zhi dzil, the Blue Bead or Turquoise
In the West stood Dook'oslid, and the meaning of this name is forgotten. Its ceremonial name is Dichi'li dzil, the Abalone Shell Mountain.
In the North stood Debe'ntsa, Many Sheep Mountain. Its ceremonial name is Bash'zhini dzil, Obsidian Mountain.
Then, there was Dzil na'odili, the Upper Mountain. It was very sacred; and its name means also the Center Place, and the people moved around it. Its
ceremonial name is Ntl'is dzil, Precious Stone or Banded Rock Mountain.
There was still another mountain called Chol'i'i or Dzil na'odili choli, and it was also a sacred mountain.
There was no sun in this land, only the two rivers and the six mountains. And these rivers and mountains were not in their present form, but rather the
substance of mountains and rivers as were First Man, First Woman, and the others.
Now beyond sis na' jin, in the east, there lived the Turquoise Hermaphrodite, Ashton nutli. He was also known as the Turquoise Boy. And near this
person grew the male reed. Beyond, still farther in the east, there lived a people called the Hadahuneya'nigi, the Mirage or Agate People. Still farther in the
east lived twelve beings called the Naaskiddi.
And beyond the home of these beings there lived four others --the Holy Man, the Holy Woman, the Holy Boy, and the Holy Girl.
In the west there lived the White Shell Hermaphrodite or Girl, and with her was the big female reed which grew at the water's edge. It had no tassel.
Beyond her in the West there lived another stone people called the Hadahunes'tqin, the Ground Heat People. Still farther on there lived another twelve
beings, but these were all females. And again, in the Far West, there lived four Holy Ones.
Within this land there lived the Kisa'ni, the ancients of the Pueblo People. On the six mountains there lived the Cave Dwellers or Great Swallow People. On
the mountains lived also the light and dark squirrels, chipmunks, mice, rats, the turkey people, the deer and cat people, the spider people, and the lizards
and snakes. The beaver people lived along the rivers, and the frogs and turtles and all the underwater people lived in the water.
So far all the people were similar. They had no definite form, but they had been given different names because of different characteristics.
Now the plan was to plant.
First Man called the people together. He brought forth the white corn which had been formed with him. First Woman brought the yellow corn. They laid
the perfect ears side by side; then they asked one person from among the many to come and help them. The Turkey stepped forward. They asked him
where he had come from, and he said that he had come from the Gray Mountain.
He danced back and forth four times, then he shook his feather coat and there dropped from his clothing four kernels of corn, one gray, one blue, one
black, and one red. Another person was asked to help in the plan of the planting. The Big Snake came forward. He likewise brought forth four seeds, the
pumpkin, the watermelon, the cantaloupe, and the muskmelon. His plants all crawl on the ground.
They planted the seeds, and their harvest was great.
After the harvest the Turquoise Boy from the East came and visited First Woman. When First Man returned to his home he found his wife with this boy.
First Woman told her husband that Ashon nutli' was of her flesh and not of his flesh. She said that she had used her own fire, the turquoise, and had
ground her own yellow corn into meal. This corn she had planted and cared for herself.
Now at that time there were four chiefs: Big Snake, Mountain Lion, Otter, and Bear. And it was the custom when the black cloud rose in the morning for
First Man to come out of his dwelling and speak to the people. After First Man had spoken the four chiefs told them what they should do that day. They
also spoke of the past and of the future.
But after First Man found his wife with another he would not come out to speak to the people. The black cloud rose higher, but First Man would not leave
his dwelling; neither would he eat or drink. No one spoke to the people for 4 days. All during this time First Man remained silent, and would not touch
food or water.
Four times the white cloud rose. Then the four chiefs went to First Man and demanded to know why he would not speak to the people. The chiefs asked
this question three times, and a fourth, before First Man would answer them.
He told them to bring him an emetic. This he took and purified himself. First Man then asked them to send the hermaphrodite to him. When he came First
Man asked him if the metate and brush were his.
He said that they were.
First Man asked him if he could cook and prepare food like a woman, if he could weave, and brush the hair. And when he had assured First Man that he
could do all manner of woman's work, First Man said: "Go and prepare food and bring it to me." After he had eaten, First Man told the four chiefs what
he had seen, and what his wife had said.
At this time the Great-Coyote-Who-Was-Formed-in-the-Water came to First Man and told him to cross the river. They made a big raft and crossed at the
place where the Male River followed through the Female River. And all the male beings left the female beings on the river bank; and as they rowed across
the river they looked back and saw that First Woman and the female beings were laughing. They were also behaving very wickedly.
In the beginning the women did not mind being alone. They cleared and planted a small field. On the other side of the river First Man and the chiefs
hunted and planted their seeds. They had a good harvest. Nadle ground the corn and cooked the food. Four seasons passed. The men continued to have
plenty and were happy; but the women became lazy, and only weeds grew on their land. The women wanted fresh meat. Some of them tried to join the
men and were drowned in the river.
First Woman made a plan. As the women had no way to satisfy their passions, some fashioned long narrow rocks, some used the feathers of the turkey,
and some used strange plants (cactus). First Woman told them to use these things. One woman brought forth a big stone. This stone-child was later the
Great Stone that rolled over the earth killing men. Another woman brought forth the Big Birds of Tsa bida'hi; and others gave birth to the giants and
monsters who later destroyed many people.
On the opposite side of the river the same condition existed. The men wishing to satisfy their passions, killed the females of mountain sheep, lion, and
antelope. Lightning struck these men. When First Man learned of this he warned his men that they would all be killed. He told them that they were
indulging in a dangerous practice. Then the second chief spoke; he said that life was hard and that it was a pity to see women drowned. He asked why
they should not bring the women across the river and all live together again.
"Now we can see for ourselves what comes from our wrong doing." he said. "We will know how to act in the future." The three other chiefs of the animals
agreed with him, so First Man told them to go and bring the women.
After the women had been brought over the river First Man spoke: "We must be purified," he said. "Everyone must bathe. The men must dry themselves
with white corn meal, and the women, with yellow."
This they did, living apart for 4 days. After the fourth day First Woman came and threw her right arm around her husband. She spoke to the others and
said that she could see her mistakes, but with her husband's help she would henceforth lead a good life. Then all the male and female beings came and lived
with each other again.
The people moved to different parts of the land. Some time passed; then First Woman became troubled by the monotony of life. She made a plan. She
went to Atse'hashke, the Coyote called First Angry, and giving him the rainbow she said: "I have suffered greatly in the past. I have suffered from want of
meat and corn and clothing. Many of my maidens have died. I have suffered many things. Take the rainbow and go to the place where the rivers cross.
Bring me two pretty children of Tqo holt sodi, the Water Buffalo, a boy and a girl.
The Coyote agreed to do this. He walked over the rainbow. He entered the home of the Water Buffalo and stole the two children; and these he hid in his
big skin coat with the white fur lining. And when he returned he refused to take off his coat, but pulled it around himself and looked very wise.
After this happened the people saw white light in the East and in the South and West and North. One of the deer people ran to the East and returning, said
that the white light was a great sheet of water. The sparrow hawk flew to the South, the great hawk to the West, and the kingfisher to the North. They
returned and said that a flood was coming. The kingfisher said that the water was greater in the North and that it was near.
The flood was coming and the Earth was sinking. And all this happened because the Coyote had stolen the two children of the Water Buffalo, and only
First Woman and the Coyote knew the truth.
When First Man learned of the coming of the water he sent word to all the people, and he told them to come to the mountain called Sis na'jin. He told them
to bring with them all of the seeds of the plants used for food. All living beings were to gather on the top of Sis na'jin. First Man traveled to the six sacred
mountains, and, gathering earth from them, he put it in his medicine bag.
The water rose steadily.
When all the people were halfway up Sis na'jin, First Man discovered that he had forgotten his medicine bag. Now this bag contained not only the earth
from the six sacred mountains, but his magic, the medicine he used to call the rain down upon the earth and to make things grow. He could not live
without his medicine bag, and he wished to jump into the rising water, but the others begged him not to do this. They went to the kingfisher and asked him
to dive into the water and recover the bag. This the bird did. When First Man had his medicine bag again in his possession he breathed on it four times
and thanked his people.
When they had all arrived it was found that the Turquoise Boy had brought with him the big Male Reed; and the White Shell Girl had brought with her the
Big Female Reed.
Another person brought poison ivy; and another, cotton, which was later used for cloth. This person was the spider. First Man had with him his spruce
tree which he planted on the top of Sis na'jin. He used his fox medicine to make it grow; but the spruce tree began to send out branches and to taper at the
top, so First Man planted the big Male Reed. All the people blew on it, and it grew and grew until it reached the canopy of the sky.
They tried to blow inside the reed, but it was solid. They asked the woodpecker to drill out the hard heart. Soon they were able to peek through the
opening, but they had to blow and blow before it was large enough to climb through. They climbed up inside the beg male reed, and after them the water
continued to rise.