Sacred Texts  Americana  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

Myths and Legends of our Own Land, by Charles M. Skinner, [1896], at


Between Zuni and Pescado is a steep mesa, or table-land, with fantastic rocks weathered into tower and roof-like prominences on its sides, while near it is a high natural monument of stone. Say the Zunis: The goddess of salt was so troubled by the people who lived near her domain on the sea-shore, and who took away her snowy treasures without offering any sacrifice in return, that she forsook the ocean and went to live in the mountains far away. Whenever she stopped beside a pool to rest she made it salt, and she wandered so long about the great basins of the West that much of the water in them is bitter, and the yield of salt from the larger lake near Zuni brings into the Zuni treasury large tolls from other tribes that draw from it.

Here she met the turquoise god, who fell in love with her at sight, and wooed so warmly that she accepted and married him. For a time they lived happily, but when the people learned that the goddess had concealed herself among the mountains of New Mexico they followed her to that land and troubled her again until she declared that she would leave their view forever. She entered this mesa, breaking her way through a high wall of sandstone as she did so. The arched portal through which she passed is plainly visible. As she went through, one of her plumes was broken off, and falling into the valley it tipped upon its stem and became the monument that is seen there. The god of turquoise followed his wife, and his footsteps may be traced in outcrops of pale-blue stone.



Next: The Coming Of The Navajos