Sacred-Texts Native American Navajo
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The story starts in the Running-Pitch place or Jah-dokonth. Hashjeshjin, the son of the Fire, whose mother is a Comet, and Etsay-Hasteen, the first man, who is the son of Night and whose father is Nah-doklizh, which is the blue above the place where the Sun has set, were there; also Estsa-assun, who is the first woman, whose mother is the Daybreak and whose father is Nahtsoi which is the yellow light after the Sun has set; also Etsay-hashkeh or Coyote Man, whose mother is Yah-zheh-kih, or the Dawn Light. The fifth who is there is Begochiddy, the blue-eyed and yellow-haired god, the great god, whose mother is a Ray of Sunlight, Shah-bekloth, and whose father is the Daylight, Shun-deen; also Asheen-assun, the Salt Woman whose mother was Tohe-estan, or Water Woman, and whose father was Tsilth-tsa-assun, or Mountain Man. (He looks like a woman but is a man.) These are the six people who were living on the dark earth or first world, Jah-dokonth.
On the dark earth Begochiddy built in the east a white mountain; in the south a blue mountain, in the west a yellow mountain, and in the north a black mountain, and he also made mountains surrounding all the dark earth and the colored mountains, and these were called Tsilth-nah-n’ deel-doi, which means colored mountains which appear and disappear; and in the center of the world Begochiddy made a red mountain.
He also created the red ants, Willachee, and the black ants, Willazhini, which run in a line on the logs in the mountains, the yellow ants, Willa-klitsoi, and wood ants, Willachee-tsai, which are half red and half black, also Nicky-dol-zholi or p. 40 gray ants. He named them as they were created and smiled as he made them. He also made Nahasan-b’ hogahndi, which lives in the ground, and Wolazhi, which is a tiny black ant, also Neho-neh-yahni, or “black bug which flies around”, and which is the Midge.
On the east side under the mountains he planted some bamboo, or Lukatso. On the south side he planted big sunflowers, N’d’gilly-tso. On the west side under the mountains he planted Luka, or reed. On the north side under the mountains he planted small sunflowers, N’d’gilly.
After Begochiddy had created these things he gave them Tsa-tlai (First Law). In the first world there was one law, in the second two laws, in the third three laws, and in the fourth four laws.
Begochiddy now created Kay-des-tizhi (Wound in a Rainbow), who is both man and woman. By this time the ants that he had created had increased very much.
Hashjeshjin asked Begochiddy why there should be only one law and why he, Hashjeshjin, should not be able to make some laws. Begochiddy answered: “I made the law, and there shall be no other.” So Hashjeshjin grew angry and said: “Just because you have made the ants and man, you think you are very great and for that reason I will burn the things you have made and the world, too.” And four days later Hashjeshjin started burning the world.
Begochiddy told the first man, Etsay-Hasteen, to go to the east mountain and get some earth and some of the Lukatso plants and bring them back to him, and he told Estsa-assun, the first woman, to go to the south mountain and bring him some of the big sunflowers, N’d’gilly-tso, and Etsay Hasteen also went to the west mountain and brought back earth and Luka (reed plants), and Estsa-assun also went to the north mountain and brought earth and small sunflowers, N’d’gilly.*
In the center of the red mountain Begochiddy stuck the Lukatso, the big bamboo, and all of the creatures that he had created entered into it. The bamboo now started to grow with all that were in it, growing higher and higher until it reached the second world, the blue world, Naho-doklizh-dasakah, overhead, and grew into it. The little tiny black ants came out first into the new world and after them the rest of the ants and then the people, and next to the last came Etsay-hashkeh, and last of all Hashjeshjin. When all had climbed out of the bamboo, Begochiddy pulled the bamboo up into the second world and Hashjeshjin blew into the hole four times which made the hole close up and the first world burned up and is still burning.
Begochiddy took the earth brought from the first world and created mountains in the east, south, west, and north, and plants similar to those in the first world, and he planted white cotton in the east, blue cotton in the south, yellow cotton in the west, and black cotton in the north. On this world the soil was not rich enough to plant crops. He created the humble bee, honey bee, yellow jacket, and the black wasp. He made twin men and twin women and Begochiddy smiled as he created all these things.
Hashjeshjin did not like this world or the creatures there and told Begochiddy that he wanted to kill the male twins and Begochiddy answered: “Why not kill both the male and female twins?” Hashjeshjin answered him twice in the same way and then he killed the twins. So Begochiddy had made two laws.
Then Begochiddy slit the bodies of the male twins from the neck down to the legs, and cut the flesh into small pieces, and cut off the ends of the fingers and toes and put all the pieces back into the heads. He then did the same to the female twins, starting at the feet and cutting upwards, and the pieces he put p. 42 into their heads as in the male twins. Both the male and female twins were called Ethkay-nah-ashi. He put the Lukatso (bamboo) into the male and female bodies from the head to the legs and he put a small bamboo across the mouths of the male twins, a large sunflower on the right-hand side of the face, a big bamboo across the forehead and on the left side another sunflower. On the heads of the female twins he put a reed across the chin and forehead and a small sunflower on each cheek.
Begochiddy then took a piece of bamboo a foot long and put it into the mouth of the male twins and held the other end in his mouth and then he breathed his spirit into the dead male twins and a great sound began in their bodies. And while this sound went on, in the east near the mountains the white cotton began to move, and in the south the blue cotton moved, and in the west the yellow cotton, and in the north the black cotton, and then all the cotton rose and changed into clouds. The white cotton turned into white clouds, the yellow to yellow clouds, the blue to blue clouds, and the black to black clouds. Begochiddy breathed into the bodies of the female twins and when the great sound began in their bodies, then under the white cloud in the east grew up Kloh-lachee, the red grass. In the south under the blue cloud grew the small yellow rabbit bush, Giss-dil-yessi. In the west under the yellow cloud grew the Tsay-zhee or gramma grass. And in the north under the black cloud grew Tohikath, the Water-Bearer. After these clouds and plants were made, the rain began in the east and went around the world in all directions.
When it had rained and the plants had flowered it made everyone very happy. They went out to the mountains and picked the flowers and smelled of them and wanted to go and live near the mountains so as to be close to the plants, but Begochiddy and Hashjeshjin said: “No, you may go up to the mountains but you must not live there.” The people asked this four p. 43 times and were refused each time. Hashjeshjin said: “As you are not willing to obey, I will burn the water.”
Now Begochiddy created a red mountain, Yoh-lachee, a bad mountain, which gives people sores on their bodies; and he stuck the big bamboo into the top of this mountain and sent Etsay-Hasteen to gather from the east, south, west and north, all the things that had been created. And Etsay-Hasteen brought earth from the mountains and plants and clouds and put them into the big bamboo. Kay-des-tizhi, the man wrapped in the Rainbow, put the Ethkay-nah-ashi under his rainbow robe and they all went into the big bamboo while Hashjeshjin began to burn the water (oil) in the second world.*
The little black ants were the first to come out of the bamboo into the third world which is the yellow world, Nah-klitsoi-dasahkah. And after all were out of the bamboo, Begochiddy pulled it up into the new world and Hashjeshjin blew into the hole and closed it up. All the plants, mountains and clouds that were in the second world were planted in the third world and Begochiddy created a mountain in the center of this world called Tsilth-tla-del-tai. And he made another mountain Tsilth-n’del-tai, the second mountain, and Tsilth-tah-del-tai, the third mountain, and Tsilth-teen-del-tai the fourth mountain. Then he made Tohe-egleen, or Water Meeting Place, and then Tohe-nostleh, or Crossing Waters, and in the middle of these crossing waters he put Sis-tahilth-lachee, or Red Mountain Turtle. One of these streams ran from west to east and one from north to south.** In the east part of the Crossing Waters he placed Tahilth-lachee, a big turtle which was red in color. In the south water he placed the red thunder, Iknee-lachee. p. 44 In the west water he placed Tabasteen-lachee, red otter, and in the north water Teoltsodi-lachee, red water monster. Begochiddy then made a quick-sandy spring called Nahodoh-othle, and a place called Lukatso-sakah, meaning the Growing Place of bamboo. Then Begochiddy made Tsilth-lakai, White Mountain (near Telluride, Colorado), and he placed a white thunder bird on the top of this mountain and he made four cyclones, black, blue, yellow and white, and hail of four colors and put them inside of the White Mountain. He took the bamboo and breathed into the Ethkaynah-ashi and life came into the mountains, water, and animals that he had created.
Hashjeshjin created the crow, Gahgi, and the magpie, Ea-ah-ee. And Begochiddy made the humming bird, Data-tehe, and the turtle-dove, Hospiddy. And then through the Ethkay-nah-ashi he breathed life into the birds and gave them voices.
He made trees, and he made all kinds of animals, birds, bugs, fishes, worms, and everything. He appointed the wolf and mountain lion kings of the animals, and the oriole and mocking bird as kings of the birds, and Begochiddy smiled as he made these animals and birds.
Begochiddy now created the first man, Etsay-Hasleen (Made Now), and Atrahgeh-Hasleen (Center Man), next Adahgeh-Hasleen (Behind Man), next Hlakah-kestrah-Hasleen (Fourth Man). And then he made four women of the same names. Kay-des-tizhi, Wound-in-a-Rainbow, took charge of all created animals, birds, and human beings, which were all created pairs. Begochiddy now created corn of four varieties, black, white, blue and yellow. Then he took the bamboo and breathed through the Ethkaynah-ashi and gave life to all that he had created. And all created life had one language which all spoke and understood. There was no Sun or Moon in this world but the mountains gave plenty of light.
Begochiddy now made himself a Rainbow house, and he and p. 45 the five gods of the first world were all living under the east mountain, while the people and animals were living together in the middle of the world. The Navajos were there from the beginning and Begochiddy now made the Hopis and the Zunis. The males were made first and the females afterwards, and he made for the Zunis four gods, one, the tall god called Yeh-nez, and the other three gods called Yehs. He made the Taos (Tohwulth) Indians and gave them a male bamboo which they had to watch over, and gave the Hopi a female bamboo which they were to guard.
The six gods living under the east mountain wanted the Hopis and Navajos to be friends so they gave a female Ethkaynah-ashi to the Hopis and a male to the Navajos. By now all the Indians living together made a large group, and Begochiddy was chief of them all, and Etsay-hashkeh, Coyote Man, watched over the Indians and told the six gods how the people were getting on.
The Indians now planted four kinds of corn and Estsan-natah, Head Woman, told them what to do, and how to grind corn. By this time they had different kinds of dresses, some white and some striped with colors, and shoes made of white deer hide. They began to grow tobacco, beans, pumpkins, squash; and they planted Bezh-l’entklizi, a red flower which they needed for their eagle ceremony. All the Indians worked together in harmony. They killed the animals, mostly deer, for meat.
Now the first marriage took place, Etsay-Hasleen with Eekai-etahdeh, who was the daughter of Estsan-nahtah, Head Woman. Eekai-etahdeh liked to go down to the river and sit there most of the day. Her husband had the post of Chief-in-the-Morning, and told the people when to go hunting and before each hunt called a meeting in his Rainbow Hogahn and gave them tobacco to smoke. The door of this hogahn was made of woven reeds and was a very fine door. Etsay-Hasleen went hunting four days p. 46 in succession, and each day after he had departed Eekai-etahdeh went to the river. When Etsay-Hasleen came back at night, he found his supper not ready and his wife not there. This made Etsay-Hasleen very angry, and he became jealous. On the fourth day he slipped away from his men instead of going hunting, and went down to the river and hid in the bushes where he could watch his wife. (Begochiddy and Hashjeshjin had sent a spirit to appear before the girl and make love to her but she knew nothing of this). As Etsay-Hasleen was watching, he saw something swimming towards his wife. It looked like a big bunch of weeds, but as it neared the girl the husband saw it was a handsome young man, Sethkinh. Though he looked like a man, he was really the Water Horse, Kahilth-klee, and he had put a lot of weeds on his head to conceal him in swimming. The young man and girl talked a while and the husband became very jealous and went home into his Rainbow house and laid down thinking of his wife, and he did not even smoke.
When the girl thought it time for her husband to have returned from the hunt, she went home and found him there and said to him: “When did you get back from the hunt?” and he did not answer. She asked him four times with no answer, and she then cooked some supper and served it in a very finely made basket. She was angry at his not answering her question and she told him so. The husband then said: “I am angry, too, at the way you have behaved,” and pushed the food away with his foot. So his wife understood that he knew what she had been doing and she got up and ran off to her mother. She told her mother everything, and that her husband was angry with her, and her mother grew very angry and said: “Your husband is not supporting you properly although he has plenty of meat and corn and is rich.” The mother ran over to the Rainbow Hogahn and sat down outside the door. And while she sat there, she scolded her son-in-law very harshly and then she went back to her own home.*
Etsay-Hasleen did not answer her, but got up and went to another hogahn which belonged to Kay-des-tizhi who was rich and had plenty of food and things. Etsay-Hasleen called the three other chiefs together and made them a speech, telling them about his wife and his mother-in-law, and saying that he thought they should all resign from being chiefs as they could not keep order, and they decided to do as he said.
Begochiddy knew all about this trouble and he and the five gods came to Kay-des-tizhi’s hogahn and called the head people and the chiefs of the birds and animals to come to a Council. So they all came and went into the hogahn and Begochiddy said to them: “I am going to separate the men and the women, and the female birds and animals. All the males are to go and live across the river, and the females are to stay on this side of the river.” After this speech they agreed that this was right and should be done.*
The chiefs told their people about this and they said that they would do as Begochiddy had ordered. Kay-des-tizhi was to lead the men across the river and also take charge of the corn-grinding stones. So four big boats were made from a tree called Nash-konh and they named the boats Nash-konh after the tree. Kay-des-tizhi took all his goods and property and all of the male children and loaded them into one boat, and Begochiddy watched and saw that all the males crossed over the river. All went except a young Blue Fox man and a young Yellow Fox man, Mah-ih-doklizhi-sethkinh (Blue Fox Handsome Man) and Mah-ih-klitsoji-sethkinh (Yellow Fox Handsome Man). Both had flutes, and at night while the women were grinding corn they played their flutes to them. The flutes were made of small bamboo and when the women heard them, they laughed and had a merry time. Begochiddy soon found out that he had overlooked the two Foxes, and he made them go across the river to the rest of the males.
The men were strong and well-fed as they had plenty of corn and beans, and tobacco; and they made farms; and Kay-des-tizhi was their cook. The women also planted corn and beans, but the harvest was very poor; the corn was scanty and wormy; and their clothing was wearing out as they had no new skins to make new clothing. Estsan-natah, Head Woman, came up to Begochiddy and begged him to let them go back to the men as the women were very poor and hungry, and were tired of living alone. Begochiddy said: “Very well, all is forgiven; go back to your men, but I make for you this third law—‘the male shall rule and whatever your chiefs say, that must be done.’ ” They all agreed to this and then Begochiddy said: “If any other evil thing happens, I will make a flood to destroy you,” and the women all said: “Very well, we will keep the home clean, cook the food, and care for the children.” So the females were all taken across to the males, and they started to make new clothes of cotton and deer skins of which the men had plenty. The men had plenty of food, meat, and corn, but they did not have any beads.
One day Estsa-assun and Asheen-assun went walking by the Water-Crossing-Place or whirlpool called Away-nah-olth, and there they saw a baby floating in the middle of the whirlpool. They went and told the gods about the baby, which had long black hair. Etsay-hashkeh, after hearing this from the women, said to himself: “I think I will go and see this baby,” and he went towards the whirlpool from the east, then from the other three directions, south, west, and north, and each time he saw the baby floating. When he came from the fourth direction, he lifted the baby out of the water and hid him under his white robe, which was called Mah-ih-jilthli-lakai, and he kept the baby hidden inside of his robe for four days.
Four days after the baby had been stolen, a great noise began to sound in the east, south, west and north. And though Begochiddy knew what this meant, he told a crow to go to the east p. 49 to see what was the matter, and the crow came back and said a storm was coming. To the south he sent a magpie, who saw a big blue storm coming. To the west he sent a humming bird, who saw a yellow storm coming. To the north he sent a dove, who found a white storm there. And the six gods went in all four directions gathering the plants, animals, and everything that had so far been created. They placed them in Lukatso, the big bamboo.
Estsan-natah, Head Woman, said to her son-in-law, Etsay-Hasleen: “I know many prayers and you know many songs to protect us.” And she said to him also: “From now on, all the people who have been good and kind will go up to the fourth world, but all the bad people will go down to the first world, or Burning-Pitch-Place.”
Meanwhile big storms were approaching from the four directions, and Begochiddy told Estsan-natah to sing her songs to protect the people. From this origin come the three first ceremonies. One ceremony is the story of the Ethkaynah-ashi; another the prayer and song; and another the song only. But no ceremony was held at the time of the creation. The songs and prayers used at that time are still used in the ceremonies. If people are bad and know this ceremony and ask for forgiveness, they need not go to the burning world. If a man kills another and repents and knows the ceremony he need not go down to the lower world, and the name of the ceremony is Chalth-yilth-nahgih-eh, or Wanderer-in-the-Dark. It can be held for sickness, when the sickness results from crime. The spirit of the Ethkaynah-ashi is the spirit of life and also is the spirit of the Wanderer-in-the-Dark.
There were two spirits who did not go up to the fourth world, one male and one female. The female was named Kith-nah-ha-klithy, which is the Spirit of Dusk which works with the Spirit of Darkness who is the male spirit, Kith-nah-kliz-hini. The female spirit lived in the house of red fire, Konth-lachee, p. 50 with a door made of smooth wind, Niltche-dil-kohni. The male spirit lived in the House of Darkness, Chalth-yilth-hogahn, with a door named Nehochee-dothinlah.
Now the hot waters named Toh-bazdezkih and Toh-bazdeznah were rushing upon Lukatso (big reed) and all the creatures and plants hurried to get into it. But it would not start to grow, so they moved it to Tohe-egleen, where the waters meet, but it would not grow there, so they moved it again to Nah-hodoh-othle, quicksand spring, where it began to grow at once. The turkey people did not get into the bamboo but clung outside to its joints, and, as the water rose, their tail feathers dipped into the white foam, which has made their tail feathers white on the ends to this day. As the water rose, they would climb up to the next joint until the water rose to it, and then they would climb up to another joint. The Lukatso kept growing until it could grow no more, and still it was not high enough to reach the next world, so Begochiddy made a white cloud above it and the people climbed up to it while the Spider Woman and the Spider Man wove a web around the edge of it to prevent the people from falling off.
Begochiddy saw that the chiefs and people were excited, so he called a Council to see what they could suggest about how to reach the upper world. The wolf chief had a white corn stalk in his hand and was dressed in the white tail feathers of the eagle. The lion chief had yellow corn in his hand and was dressed in the yellow tail feathers of the eagle. The lion and wolf knew that someone had done wrong to bring about such danger from the waters and asked their people who had sinned, and the people accused the chiefs because they said that they themselves had done nothing wrong. Begochiddy told the lion and the wolf that because they did not please the people they could not be chiefs any longer. And so the mocking bird and humming bird chiefs were the only ones left to govern, and they tried to find out who p. 51 had done wrong but could not succeed. Begochiddy knew the sinner and also knew the people’s thoughts.
Among those at the Council was the chief of the locusts who wore an arrow on his forehead made of an eagle tail. He asked Begochiddy why he had called the Council, and Begochiddy answered: “The people are afraid of the waters and do not know how to get into the upper world,” and the Locust said: “I know how to reach there. Call the Ant People who are living at Nehochee.”
So the Ant People were asked to try to dig a hole through to the upper world (this is called the Black Trail), but they could not succeed. And the yellow ants then tried, but they had to give it up (this is called the Yellow Trail). Meanwhile the Turkey People were making noises because their tails were still dipping in the water as they clung to the outside of the bamboo. Begochiddy asked the tiny black ants if they could dig through to the upper world (their road is called the Sparkling Trail), but they could not. So Begochiddy said to the Locust chief: “Sechai (Grandfather), please show us how to reach the next world.” And the Locust put his arrow on his forehead and shot up into the next world. He had great powers.
The Locust came up through the crust and then through mud and water, for water covered the whole fourth world, and over it was flying a great white bird, Cheestehi-lakai. He had arrows with him and when he saw the Locust, he flew at him to kill him, but the Locust splashed water about, and the bird could not find him. The great bird asked the Locust: “Where did you came from, and who are you?” To show the Locust his power he took his arrow and swallowed it and then drew it out again, and asked the Locust if he could do anything like that, for if he could it would prove that he was great and powerful, and could p. 52 live on the fourth world. The Locust had now come to the top of the water and was floating on it, resting with crossed legs. And he answered the great bird: “Yes, I can do that; watch me!” And he thrust his arrow through his heart and drew it out again, saying to the bird: “Can you do that? I have more power than you.” So the bird was frightened and flew off to the east, and was not seen again.
From the south now came a big blue bird who tested the power of the Locust by thrusting his arrow twice down his throat; and the Locust conquered him by thrusting his arrow twice through his heart, and the blue bird flew back to the south.
A great yellow bird came from the west who swallowed his arrow three times, and the Locust thrust his arrow through his heart three times, and the yellow bird flew west again.
From the north came a white bird, and thrust his arrow down his throat four times, then the Locust thrust his arrow through his heart four times, and the bird flew north again. So the Locust won the contest of power with the great birds in this world.
Meanwhile the people still in the bamboo were very nervous because it was waving about in the air and they did not know what was happening to the Locust. When he came back by the hole to the lower world and began to speak to the people in the bamboo, his voice made a chee-chee sound because of the hole through which he had thrust his arrow. He told them that he had had a hard time getting up into the upper world, and he told them about the water, and of his trial of strength with the big birds, and he called the people his grandchildren.
Begochiddy asked all the chiefs and captains of the people: “Who will go up to the fourth world?” But no one would go, so Begochiddy went himself, and when he reached the upper world, he came out on a big pile of mud in the middle of the water.
To the east he saw a great white cloud, and he made a Rainbow Lightning which carried him to this cloud. And when he reached it, he found there Hashje-altye, the great god of the Yeh-bechai, and Hashje-altye was glad to see him and said: “How are you, my grandson? I own this world and have great power. The big birds tried to claim this world but I have conquered them and they are my servants.” They were very happy together and then Begochiddy went back running on the water to the pile of mud at the center of the world.
Then he saw a blue cloud to the south with showers dropping from it, and he went there on the Rainbow and found Beganaskiddy, Bringer of Seeds, who welcomed Begochiddy and they were happy together. Beganaskiddy greeted Begochiddy as Hashje-altye had done and afterwards Begochiddy ran back on the water to the center of the world.
Then seeing a yellow cloud in the west, he went there on the Rainbow and found Hashje-hogahn, and they had the same intercourse as Begochiddy had had with the other gods, and then he went back to the center of the world running on the water.
To the north there was a white cloud, raining, and Begochiddy went there on the Rainbow, and found another Beganaskiddy. The same ceremony took place, and then he came back to the center of the world again.
Meanwhile Lukatso, the bamboo, was still swaying about, and the people inside of it were very much worried.
Begochiddy stood on the pile of mud at the world’s center and saw Hashje-altye, the two Beganaskiddy, and Hashje-hoahn standing up to their breasts in the water at the east, south, west and north of the world. And Begochiddy waved his hand to each god in turn and they rose as he greeted them onto the surface of the water. then Hashje-altye took his cane and pushed the water back slowly to the east, and Beganaskiddy pushed harder to the south, Hashje-hogahn pushed harder still to the west, and Beganaskiddy at the north pushed hard so that p. 54 the earth shook from the blow, and all the water ran off in different directions and made rivers. There was nothing where the water had lain but petrified wood and mud badlands, but there was water around all the earth and that was the ocean. Where the water had lain there were beasts who had been living in the water, but when Begochiddy blew on them they turned into strange shaped rocks, and as he continued to blow a crust formed on the mud. He looked to the east and saw figures away off, and he went towards them and found them to be gods, Yeh, with blue faces; Hashje-baka, male, and Hashje-ba-ahd, female; six males and six females. In the south there were the same gods, in the west the same, and in the north the same; and they were beautiful.
Begochiddy went back to the Lukatso, bamboo, and found the people much excited, and they were very glad to see Begochiddy, and when he came back to them they called him Sechai (Grandfather). He told them that he had met many people above, and that the world was good. They were very glad to hear that, and then Begochiddy sent Badger up to see the world. When he reached the hole, he tried to jump onto the crust but he broke through, and that is the reason why his paws are black to this day.
Begochiddy asked how the wet earth could be dried, and they sent up to the fourth world white thunder (Iknee-lakai) from the white mountain, also white cyclone (Niholtso-lakai) and white hail (N’dlohe-lakai), and black, blue and yellow cyclones. When the hail and thunder and cyclones hit the petrified wood and the mud columns which stuck up out of the mud, they were broken into pieces. Then the cyclones blew until they had dried the mud. And they sent live dust-devils, Nastol-disse, to trim up the rock pillars and make holes in them. After that five little whirlwinds were sent up, and they spread the tiny stones about smoothly.
Then the storms all went below to the third world from which they came, and the Lukatso began to grow again. And the people came up into this world led by the ants, with the turkey people coming last. Begochiddy pulled the bamboo up by the tassel on top and then threw the tassel back into the hole, which is why Lukatso, the bamboo, has no tassel now. This fourth world they called Hahjeenah.
The water from the third world came up into the hole after the people, and Begochiddy saw it and asked: “What is the reason that the water keeps coming up?” He blew and blew into the hole but could not stop it, and they were afraid it would overflow into this world. So the chief men held a council, and Etsay-Hasteen and all of them were very much worried and frightened, and each asked the other: “Who has done wrong and caused all this trouble?” Begochiddy said: “If none of you know who has done wrong, I think it may be Etsay-hashkeh, Coyote, who is the cause of it.” And he went up to Etsay-hashkeh and opened his white robe and showed the baby he had stolen. It had yellow hands and looked very strange. Begochiddy took hold of the baby, but Etsay-hashkeh would not let it go, so Begochiddy dropped it, and Etsay-hashkeh threw the baby into the hole to the lower world, saying: “This is what has been the cause of the trouble.” The baby fell on the forehead of a large water monster which was in the water at the bottom of the hole, and then the monster sank down in the water and took the baby down with it, and after that the water ceased to rise towards this world, and has always remained at that level.
There was nothing to make fire with in this new world, and the people wanted fire but did not know how to get it. The only person who had fire was Hashjeshjin, who kept away from the rest of the people. They saw smoke on the horizon far off, and Etsay-hashkeh, the Coyote, went over to see what it was. He found Hashjeshjin and Dontso (the white-headed fly) lying p. 56 asleep, and all around them in four directions were river boulders burning like wood. And he stole some of the fire and ran back to the people and gave it to them.
Begochiddy then called the people together and said: “Let us make plans as to how we shall live.” But no one would plan at all and there were no ideas, so Begochiddy sald: “Let us make a sweat-house for purification.” “But what shall we build it of?” said the people. Begochiddy replied: “It is close to where Tchah, the Beaver, lives and we will borrow some material from him.” Etsay-Hasleen went and borrowed some sticks from the Beaver and brought back a lot as he had plenty.
The people then said: “There are no rocks here to build with,” and Begochiddy said: “There are plenty, ask Deh-nozzi (the mountain sheep) for some.” So Etsay-Hasleen went and got plenty of stone from the mountain sheep who said: “You are welcome to them.”
The people asked: “What shall we have for fire?” Begochiddy said: “Go to Hasteen Dontso (the fly) and he will give you fire.” He gave them fire gladly. And the people asked: “Where can we get water?” Begochiddy said: “Tabasteen-etahdeh, daughter of the Otter, will give you water.” (They sing first of wood, then of stone on the wood, then of fire under the wood, and afterwards of bathing in the water.) For the roof house of the sweat-house they placed Rainbows, crossing from four directions to hold it up, and then the Robe of Darkness was placed over the Rainbows. Stones were brought and placed in the middle of the house. (They are now placed on one side of it.)
The people now asked: “What shall we have to cover the p. 57 door?” Begochiddy replied: “Go ask Nasjah-hasteen, your grandfather, the Owl, and he will tell you.” The Owl said: “Yes, I have white, blue, yellow and black colored robes and you may have as many as you wish, and I also have robes that flash.” And the people chose a flashing robe and put it over the door, borrowing it from the Owl.
Then they all went into the sweat-house except Begochiddy, Hashjeshjin, Etsay-hashkeh and the women, for women were not allowed in the sweat-house. And they sang and Etsay-Hasteen led the singing. They sang of the fire, the stones, the wood, the water, and the sparkling robe, describing all of these things; and then they sang about the heat.
All the people who had loaned the things to make this sweathouse stood about outside; and the great Owl stood on the top of the roof, listening to the songs which described the things used in the sweat-house, and also thanked the givers for their help.
When the people came out of the sweat-house, Begochiddy told them to rub themselves with earth, which they did, thanking the earth as they did it. Then they went into the sweathouse again, and the Locust appeared and said: “I will sing for you.” So they all went in together and the Locust sang to them. He sang about what he had done in helping the people to come up into this world, and about the contest with the great birds. Meanwhile the daughter of the Otter brought water in a wooden bowl and left it by the door outside, and when the people came out for the second time, they bathed in this water.
Then they went into the sweat-house again and began to plan to build some mountains on the earth. The first was Siss-nah-jini (Holy Mountain of the East), the next was Tsoll-tsilth (Mount Taylor), then Nahtah-has-eh (Mountain south of Zuñi), next Dogo-slee-ed (San Francisco Peaks), then Debeh-entsah (La Plata Mountains), next Tsilth-nah-ot-zithly (Huerfano p. 58 Mountain), next Johl-een (Pedernal Peak), next Tradadeen (a peak of the Jemez range).
Then they planned some rivers, Toh-bakahni, the male (San Juan) river, and Toh-ba-ad, the female (Rio Grande) water; then a lake, Hahjeenah, where the people came out of the bamboo (near Silverton, Colorado).
Then they planned some more mountains, Tsilth-lakai (White Mountains), Tsilth-kah-del-kah (Chuskai Mountains), Tsilth-il-entai (mountains near Chin Lee, Arizona), Tsilth-ti-del-tai (Sangre de Cristo range near Santa Fe, New Mexico), Tsilth-teen-del-tai (Jemez Mountain), Tsilth-beel-yah (Bill Williams Mountains south of San Francisco Peaks, Arizona). And then going westward towards California they planned these mountains, Tsilth-endes-kai, Tsilth-kis-lakai, Tsilth-dithklith, Tsilth-klitsoi, Tsilth-en-dokahnt, Tsilth-dogid-shegar, Tsilth-binneh-hasteen-tseel, Tsilth-neeteen-tseel, and Tsilth-ran-es-tseel (Bright Shining or Blue Mountain, on Santa Cruz Island, California).
Then they planned to create the Sun, Johonah-eh, and the Moon, Klayonah-eh, and many stars: the Morning Star, Sontso; the Evening Star, which is also Sontso; the North Star, Sontso-dohn-dohzeedi—The One That Does Not Move; and Sontso-deshyi, the Red Star Overhead. Also they planned the constellations: the Dipper, or Male Stars Going Around Like A Clock, Nohokos-bakahni; the little Dipper, or Female Stars Going Around, Nahokos-ba-ahdi; and the Pleiades or Seven Stars which is Dilgeheh. They planned also: Orion, Etsay-etsosi, the Thin Man; the Rabbit’s Feet, Gah-atayjih; the Milky Way, Eekai-estahi; the Crown, Nashi-taythli; and Taurus, Bisolai or Two Stars Together; and the Great Snake of the North, Kleeshtso. They also planned Tah-zhuni, Smoky Star or Nebula; Dont-whutso, Two Stars Hooked Together; Sont-bidai, the Star With Horns; also Sont-eh-dekah, a Star Out of Sight in The East; and the Coyote Star, also in the east, called Mah-ih-besont. p. 59 And all of these stars, mountains, the Sun, Moon and the rivers were planned while the people were in the sweat-house.
Then they began to plan the months. Each month had its own name and character and some of them had their own stars. The star for November was Hasteen-sikai (Old Man Bending Over); and this was called Niltche-tsosi, the Small Wind Month. The December star is Azay-tso (First Big Medicine), and it was called Niltche-tsoi, or Big, Cold-Wind Month. The January stars are Gah-atay-ih (Rabbit Tracks or Rattle), and this month was called Zus-entlis, or Thm, Icy Sheet. The February stars are Eekai-estahi (the Milky Way), and it was called Atsah-beyazh, or Young Eagle Month. March’s name is Wooz-cheed (Noise Made by Eaglets), and it was called Iknee-tsosi or Little Thunder Month. April was called Tahn-chill (Small Growth), and the Canyon Wren belongs to that month, and its stars are Tuzhi-begay (Turkey Tracks). Another name for April is Sah-tah-debeh, meaning Mountain Sheep Have Lambs month, and a bird called Debeh-neh (Phoebe) also belongs to it. May was called Tahn-tso (Large Growth), and its star is Datsahni (Porcupine). June’s name was Ayah-zush-chilly, meaning, Early-Greens-Are-Grown. Its star is Kleeshtso, or the Great Snake. July was called Ayah-zush-tso, meaning Large Growth and Young Fawns month, and Wuzzy-gishi, the measuring worm, belongs to it. August’s name was Binni-tahn-tsosi, meaning, Corn-Tassels-Have-Come, and the Anlthtahni, or Corn Bugs, belong to it. Its stars are all the small stars in the center of the sky. September was named Binni-tahn-tso, meaning When-Everything-is-Ripe, and Even-the-Mountains-are-Ripe. Its stars are Nahshalth-helee (the Ducks). October was called Gahnji, meaning Half-Winter-and-Half-Summer, and its star is Sontso-dohn-doh-zeedi, meaning North-Star-Stands-There.
These things they planned to make upon this world. And then they came out of the sweat-house and made another Hogahn p. 60 of Rainbows called Hodayah which belonged to Kay-des-tizhi, the Man-Wrapped-in-a-Rainbow. And inside the Hogahn they spread many kinds of robes, and all six of the gods and all the Yeh gods and all the chiefs gathered in this Hogahn for a big Council.
And they sang the “Beginning of the World” song: “Nahteen, Song Odolith.”
Tohe assun odolith
Note: This is in obsolete Navajo as told by Hasteen Klah and the following translation as he gave it to the interpreter.
“Creating the World
Creating the Mountain Gods
Creating mountain rain and creating beads and jewelry
Creating Sahanahray Bekayhozhon
Creating Mountain Man
Creating Little Rain on the Mountain
Creating jewelry and beads
Creating the holy spirit
Creating little rain spirit
Creating Sahanahray Bekayhozhon
Creating all mixed springs, lakes and ponds
Creating Sahanahray Bekayhozhon
Creating the Spirit of Creating
Creating the Spirit of Corn pollen
Creating Sahanahray Bekayhozhon.”
The song is repeated three times, substituting for odolith (creating):
|The beginning of the world, I knew about it before.|
|The beginning of the world, I am thinking about it.|
|The beginning of the world, I am talking about it.|
Repeating the rest of the song as in the first verse.
The spirits of all the things about to be created were also in the Hogahn with the gods and the chiefs. All the corn and all the seeds were brought by the Yeh gods at Begochiddy’s request. Hashjeshjin brought all the stars, the Sun, the Moon, and all the Light, and the other people brought the rest of the things that were to be on this world. They were all in the Hogahn.
They decided to place the mountain Siss-nah-jini in the east. And they made a pile of dirt to represent it in the Hogahn. And they made the spirit for this mountain. And then all the mountains that have been named before in this story were placed in their proper positions in the Hogahn. They put the Sun in the east and the Moon in the west; and in the middle, they placed the Chuskai Mountains and Black Mountain, which is near Chin Lee, and also the Jemez Mountains. And they made a song about the creating of the mountains. And they made spirits like men and put them into all these mountains and into the Sun and the Moon.
Then they sang the song of the Holy Spirit of Darkness:
which means: “The world is beautiful and we are going to put the spirit into it.” While they were creating the spirits, they always sang.
Hashjeshjin and Choostaigi, who are the black gods and are brothers, now put their own spirits into the stars and the mountains, and these spirits were in human form in the likenesses of Hashjeshjin and Choostaigi. Then Begochiddy told the Council that all of the songs which had been sung since the making of the first world should be remembered by men forever; p. 63 and that also they must remember all the names of the mountains. And all the other gods repeated what he had said. Etsay-Hasteen, the first male, and Estsa-assun, the first female, who have the spirit of sickness and give it to men if they do wrong, said to the people: “If you do not remember these things and reverence them, we will bring sickness upon you.” And all the gods said the same. And the Yeh gods were appointed to watch over the people, and they gave flint to them so that they could get fire.
Begochiddy said: “We must hurry and create the Spirit-of-the-Earth, Nahastsan-be-esteen, which is the Spirit that makes things grow.” So they created this Spirit, who was painted with a yellow stripe across her mouth, a blue stripe across her nose, and on her eyes a black stripe and on her forehead a white stripe, and she had blue horns with black tips. The Spirit had eagle feathers on her head, and on the feathers were different kinds of birds, and in her hand she had a pollen basket, and she was wrapped in a blanket made of everything that grows on the earth.
Then they created the Spirit of the Sky, Yaah-dithklithy-be-esteen, the Rain and Cloud Spirit, who was dressed like the Earth Spirit except that he had black horns with blue at the ends. He had a head-dress of clouds and on the clouds were all kinds of rain and fog. And in his hand he carried a water jug, and he was wrapped in a black cloud robe. He controls the rain.
The earth and Sky Spirits are connected with corn pollen. Their hands and feet are clasped together, and the mouth of one of these Spirits is connected with the other. And also they have a black wind and a blue wind which work together and this is called Tradadeen-yeh-kaneh-de-azh. (There is a prayer about this which is part of the ceremony). Sahanahray and Bikay-hozhon are the Holy Spirits to the Earth and to the Sky.
They decided that the spirit of Siss-nah-jini, the Holy Mountain of the East, should be dressed in white shell beads, but p. 64 the spirit of Tsoll-Tsilth (Mount Taylor) became jealous because he wanted to wear white shell, and they argued with him four times about it. Finally it was decided that Siss-nah-jini’s spirit should be dressed in white shell with a big white shell for a head-dress. And they gave him the white corn to carry. And his blanket was made of morning light. And they put a small white shell in his mouth.
Tsoll-tsilth’s spirit was dressed in turquoise in the same way as Siss-nah-jini’s, but his blanket was turquoise, and they gave him blue-birds, and they put turquoise in his mouth.
The spirit of Dogo-slee-ed (San Francisco Mountain) was dressed in abalone shell. They gave him yellow corn to carry, and his blanket was made of yellow sunset light, and in his mouth was put a small abalone shell.
The spirit of Debeh-entsah (La Plata Mountains) was dressed in jet. His blanket was a robe of night blackness, and he was given all the game, deer, sheep, antelope. And in his mouth was put jet.
The spirit of Tsilth-nah-ot-zithly (Huerfano Mountain) was dressed in all kinds of colored clothing, and they gave him a robe of agate and put in his mouth white crystals.
The spirit of Johl-een (Pedernal Mountain) was dressed in all kinds of jewelry, and his blanket was made of Rainbows, and they put corn pollen in his mouth.
There are two mountains which are built like men, the Chuskai Mountains and the Black Mountains. Niltsa-tseel, the Rainy Mountains (Chuskai range) was dressed in Natseen-nahi. His head is Beautiful Mountain. He has a turquoise rattle. His hand is a mountain near Lukachukai; his feet are two peaks west of Tohatchi; and the red patch of earth at Toadalena is his heart. The spirit of Tsilth-klizhin or Black Mountain, which is near Chin Lee, is dressed the same as the Chuskai Mountains, in Natseen-nahi. His feet are near Indian Wells; his tail is close to Ganado; the trail to Oraibi is his middle, and in the center p. 65 of Black Mountain is a hollow space where his ribs are. His heart is in the Black Mountains and his head is north near the San Juan River. His hands are the cliffs northwest of his head, near Marsh Pass, and he had a big ear of corn in his hand, Tsa-kahn.
The mountains that they had built in the first world were now remade in this fourth world, and the Jemez and Sangre de Cristo Mountains were both dressed in turquoise. Santa Fe Mountain is called Tradadeen-tsilth (Corn Pollen Mountain), and Jemez Mountain is called Anlthtahni-tsilth (Corn Bug Mountain).
The Coyote now said: “Give me some dirt out of which you are making mountains!” But they refused, saying: “You are not clever enough to make mountains.” He said: “Yes, I am clever enough.” He asked this four times, and finally the gods gave him some of the earth which was left after making so many kinds of mountains, and the Coyote took it and made a peak in the south and decorated it with aloe. He said: “This will be called my mountain.” It took the shape of his paws and it has that shape now, and is called Pagosa Peak.
Then they made the Sun of fire with a rainbow around it, and they put the Turquoise Man into the Sun as its spirit. (The Sun should be represented with woodpecker feathers around it and with horns.) The Moon was made of ice with a rainbow around it, and the spirit of the Moon was the White-Shell-Man. (The Moon should be represented with horns also.)
Then they made a black wind, and they put the spirit of the Abalone Man into it. This is the east wind. They then made a yellow wind and put the spirit of the Red Shell Man into it. The winds also have horns, and wear twisted wind robes around them. Then they made the Fall and Winter and put them in the north and west; and they made the Spring and Summer, and placed them in the south and east; each to be six months long. The Coyote claimed one month which was October, and Begochiddy p. 66 made a prayer stick of Lukatso (bamboo), half yellow and half white, representing summer and winter, and gave it to him in answer to his claim. October is the mixed-up or changing month and is so known to all the Indians.
Then all the spirits which had been made went into the places where they belonged, and they raised the Sun and Moon and Stars and Winds and placed them in their proper places. They were all spirits. Hashjeshjin placed the North Star and said that everything was complete and that he was glad. Begochiddy said to Etsay-Hasteen: “Why do you not place some stars?” So Etsay-Hasteen made the Big Dipper and placed it, and dressed it in feathers, and gave it horns. And Estsa-assun also took stars and placed the Little Dipper. And Etsay-Hasteen also placed the Seven Stars. (Hashjeshjin claimed that the Seven Stars were on his foot, and on his knees and hips and back and shoulders, and on the side of his face.) Estsa-assun picked up another star, Etsay-etsosi, and placed it at the south. She also picked up another star, Etsay-etso, and placed it. And she placed the Milky Way and the Crown and the Porcupine Star, and the Southern Cross. Etsay-Hasteen arranged the Rabbit’s Track and placed the Porcupine Star and the Horned Star and several others. They took turns in placing the stars. Then Etsay-Hashkeh, the Coyote, said: “Let me try,” and he asked for two stars. So they gave him two, but he could not find a good place in which to place them, and had to put them close together, and called them the Fighting Stars. Then he asked them for another star and he placed it at the south near the horizon (Antares), and called it the Coyote Star. It goes to sleep after the Sun sets. He was still greedy and asked for more but was refused, so he filled both paws full of stars and threw them into the sky which made the tiny stars which cover it all over. Hashjeshjin’s is the Cornet Star with a tail.
Then they placed twelve big white cyclones (Niholtso) in the east under the edge of the world, and twelve blue cyclones p. 67 (Niholtso-doklizh), under the edge of the world at the south, and twelve yellow cyclones (Niholtzo-klitsoi) in the west under the edge of the world, and twelve black cyclones under the north. And these forty-eight cyclones are what hold the world up. They also sent all kinds of winds up to the Sky to hold up the sky and stars. The Indians have a wind prayer, Eyah-nos-zhini, which is to help these winds hold up the world. Begochiddy told them now to chew up the roots and herbs and then blow this medicine in different directions.
Then Begochiddy took the Ethkaynah-ashi and motioned toward all creation and it came to life. And the Sun started to rise in the east, and the Sun Spirit’s heart started to beat. The Sun and the Moon moved quickly, and the Mountains and Stars slowly, and the eyes of the people in Council were paralyzed at seeing this movement. And everyone was petrified and called out: “What is the matter with our eyes, they won’t move?”
Etsay-hashkeh, the Coyote, and Hashjeshjin knew why this happened, and Etsay-hashkeh jumped up and said: “I will explain it to you. The son-in-law and mother-in-law must not look at each other. It is like the stars; the constellation Etsa-tzo is the mother-in-law, and the constellation Dilgeheh is the son-in-law; and these stars must not meet. For the same reason mother-in-law and son-in-law must not see each other, and if they do their eyes will become blind.” When they had understood this, their eyes ceased to be paralyzed.
They named the Earth Spirit, Nahastsan-be-esteen, and the Sun, Johonah-eh and the Sky Spirit Yaah-dith-klithy-be-esteen, and the Moon, Klayonah-eh, and the two mountains, Siss-nah-jini and Tsoll-tsilth. And while they were being named, the Coyote said: “Tsoll-tsilth is my name and I want it,” but they said: “No, you cannot have it, your name is Mah-ih (thief).” He said: “I am not a thief,” and he was very angry and sent his spirit to trouble Tsoll-tsilth (Mount Taylor) which began to slide down, so that the gods had to put a lot of small peaks of p. 68 Malpais (badlands) around the mountain to stop it from slipping, and the little peaks succeeded in holding it, and they are still doing so. They asked Tsoll-tsilth if he was all right now, and the Mountain said that he was quite comfortable. He cut the hair off from one side of his head so that there are trees on one side only today. Then the Council named all the mountains in their order and they all went where they are today.
Everything was in its place, but the Earth, Sky, Sun, and Moon did not move and the Coyote said the reason was that a person was going to die. (Begochiddy told this to the Coyote and the Coyote told the people.) Then the first person died, who was called Etsay-dassalini, and at once the Earth and the Sun and Moon began to move again and the Sun said: “I am glad when a person dies as that is what keeps me moving, and I am glad to keep moving.”
Begochiddy planted everything that grew, and made everything that breathed, and took the Ethkaynah-ashi and motioned toward all creatures and plants and they came to life. He appointed the seasons for everything that grew and they answered: “We will do as we are told.” And all creation started and the ants began building houses. The first time that the Sun crossed the sky, it was too near the Earth and it was too hot. The second time it still was too hot. The third time it was still too hot, but the fourth time it was exactly in the right place and it has stayed there ever since.
Etsay-Hasteen asked: “Where has the life gone from the man who died?” No one knew, so he kept on asking all the people until he came to Begochiddy, who answered him: “I will hunt for it.” So he hunted for a long time but could not find the life that had gone until he looked down into the Third World, and there he saw the man who had died brushing his hair, his p. 69 face painted red. And Begochiddy came to the people and said: “I have seen the man who died down below in the Third World. I saw him with the shadow of the Ethkay-nah-ashi. You must live holy lives, for the people who do wrong go down to the Burning-Pitch-Place, where there is an enormous monster who devours people.” The people who go down there are called Chindi or Devils.
Begochiddy then said to the people: “I am going to heaven now, but I will come back in two days. Watch me go up.” And they all watched him as he went straight up into the air.
At this time Has-estrageh-hasleen died, and he was the second man to die. When Begochiddy came back in two days, he said it was a very beautiful place up there in heaven, and that he had seen Has-estrageh-hasleen in a very beautiful place, sitting surrounded by flowers and smelling of them, and Begochiddy said: “All who believe in my word will go up to heaven, but all who do wrong or think wrong will go down to where the pitch is burning.”
While Begochiddy was in heaven, he made a man called Begothkai, whom he called his son, and brought back with him to earth. He was a short man, white in flesh, with black eyes and black hair and with a white face.
Begothkai spoke to the people and told them to move to Nahtee-tseel (north of Durango, Colorado) where there are four mountains in a line, and after they had done as he told them then they could live wherever they liked, Then Begochiddy and his son went back to heaven and Day and Night came to the earth as they come today. Begothkai never has come down again from heaven.
When the people first emerged from the lower world, they had seen a Yeh over on Mount Taylor, Tson-tsilth, but he was small and they were not afraid. Now they saw him again, and he had grown very large and had a very big nose, small eyes, and black whiskers on his chin. They realized that he had p. 70 turned into a giant. When they first saw him, they thought he was a Yeh but now they knew that he was a Yehtso or Big Giant. (The reason that the giant lived on Tsoll-tsilth was because Tsoll-tsilth was a badly behaved mountain which had argued about its name and had asked to dress in white shell beads). The Sun claimed the giant and called him his son, although he really was not related to him, and the Sun took the giant to his home and dressed him with stone shoes and clothing of Bezh or obsidian to protect him from his enemies. And he gave him the Lightning Arrow (Iknee-kah) as a weapon for his right hand, and a stone knife for his left hand. When he had dressed him, the Sun took the Yehtso on a streak of lightning and went to Tsoll-tsilth. The giant had a hot spring, Toh-sit-toh, from which he drank, and though the people lived far from this place, when the giant would call “singo,” the people were forced to come to him, and then he would eat them. Then the people saw another kind of monster called Dah-il-kadeh who lived at Black Lake (near Pueblo Bonito, New Mexico). This monster had twelve antelopes guarding him, and when the antelopes saw any person within reach they told Dah-il-kadeh and he ran out and grabbed them and then ran backward on his own track to his den. Dah-il-kadeh looks like a gopher but is enormous. He hunted in all four directions, and the people were very much afraid of him as he was very fierce. They never went near him, but he could often catch them as he could run very fast.
There was an enormous bird, Tseh-nah-hahleh, who lived at Ship Rock, Tseh-ed-ah, who had a very long beak, very large eyes, and his claws were very long and sharp, and he ate people. He had two little ones in his nest whom he had to feed.
There also was a man made of stone who lay stretched out on a hill beside the river just west of the Aztec Ruins. When anyone walked past he would kick them into the San Juan River, p. 71 and when they were drowned, he would feed them to his two children. He was called Tseh-ed-ah-eh-delklithy, which means Kicking Rock. His children lived in the river and ate the drowned people.
Also on the top of the Jemez Mountains there was a great hollow place called Nehochee-otso, and there lived a great striped rock which could roll very quickly in any direction, and killed people by rolling on them. It was called Tseh-nagi, Rolling Rock.
Then on the east side of Blue Water, New Mexico, there was a red mountain where a lot of black insects lived who killed people by looking at them. They stared at a person until he was paralyzed, and then they ate him. They were called Benan-yah-runi, or Staring-Eyes-That-Kill.
Where the La Plata River meets the San Juan River lived an immense centipede who was very fierce and treacherous, and could run very fast. He had many young ones who helped to eat the people. He was called Sil-dil-hushy-tso, the One-Who-Bites.
There was also a Crushing Rock, or Rocks-That-Come-Together, just west of Taos Mountain. This was called Tseh-ah-kin-dithly.
Dohgah-tyelth, west of the Chama River, was the place of Luka-ih-digishi, the Cutting Reeds. Here many trails led into the reeds, and when any one passed through them, the reeds moved and cut the person into little pieces and ate him. If no one was among the reeds they remained perfectly quiet.
Another monster was called Tseh-ko, a narrow black canyon north of Taos. If a person tried to step across it, it widened and they fell in and were killed.
Up in the Canjilon Mountains there was a place called Siss-pai. There were big cactuses called Hoosh-esh-entsiah-etso, and many trails led among them. When people walked through the p. 72 trails the cactus would close and catch them. They had heads like human beings, and when a person was caught on the spines of the cactus, he stayed there until he dried up.
On the Mancos River lived the Tushgizhi-ent-dil-kizhi, Rock Swallows. They were very bad birds. They would rush out at people, striking them and clawing them at once.
At Tsilth-entsah, there lived four bears, Shush-nah-kahi (Bears-That-Trail). These monsters were killing many people, who were in despair, and did not know how to fight them.
At Tsilth-nah-ot-zilthy, the small Huerfano Mountain, were living Etsay-Hasteen, Estsa-assun, and Etsay-hashkeh (First Man, First Woman and Coyote). They were not in danger from the monsters because they went about in a cloud. By this time the people were being killed off so fast that only a few were left. And Begochiddy came down from heaven and when he saw how the people were suffering, he took pity on them and said he would preserve them. He told them he would put a pair of every living creature into a large flute made of big bamboo which belonged to Etsay-Hasteen. And all the creatures said: “Very well, we are willing to go.” And they got into the flute and it flew off with them. They flew to Siss-nah-jini and from there they flew four times around all the mountains, and then they flew to a big peak called Tsilth-lapai-ah, north of San Francisco Peak. In this peak there was a large cave. The people got out of the flute and went into the cave and lived there, all except Etsay-hashkeh, Etsay-Hasteen, Estsa-assun and Asheen-assun, who flew away in the flute back to Huerfano Peak. Every day they flew about invisibly and every night they went back to Huerfano. They saw a lot of Yehtso-lapai, or grey monsters, walking about. These were large-eyed, fish-eyed, foolish and crazy people, and very bad. They carried baskets on their backs and were very poor and wore grass clothing.
Begochiddy asked the four gods in the flute if they were lonely. And they said that they were very lonely now that all the people who had been created were hidden in the cave because of the monsters. So Begochiddy told the First Woman, Estsa-assun: “I will come back in four days and see what can be done,” And after four days he came back and said: “This night I will show you.”
Then a great Star appeared over Johl-een (Pedernal Mountain). And the star, which was Hashjeshjin (the Fire God), sent a Light-ray down to the mountain. Begochiddy came again and asked what they had seen, and they told him that they had seen a bright light on Johl-een. And while they were talking, Hashje-altye (the Talking God) came dressed in a rainbow and a shiny feather head-dress. And he spoke four times to them. The people told him to go and see why there was light on the mountain and he said: “Very well, I will go and find out about it.”
When Hashje-altye came to Johl-een, he saw the Light-ray connecting the mountain and the sky, and looking like an immense shining cloud or rainbow. Hashje-altye went towards the mountain and heard the Bluebird, Dohleh, singing. And he came to the mountain from the west side, and he heard all sorts of birds singing. And when he came from the north he heard the pollen or corn bird, Ahn-enteni. Then he went back from the north, to the west, then to the south, then to the east side and stood there. And then he went up to the mountain and there he found a very fine newly-born baby girl, with flowers surrounding her. Hashje-altye was very glad to see this, and went back to tell Begochiddy and the others what he had found. Begochiddy knew all about the baby, as he had seen it, and he said to the people: “It is the child of the Earth Spirit and the Sky Spirit.”
Then the gods went and found the baby, bringing gifts with them. Estsa-assun brought a white shell basket, Etsay-Hasteen a fine water bowl; Asheen-assun (Salt Woman) brought soap root. They were going to wash the baby then, but before doing so they asked all the mountains and peaks if they could take care of it and wash it, but the mountains and peaks could not agree as to which should undertake the care of the child and so all refused. Begochiddy came down and told the gods to take the baby to Lukasahkah-tso (Alamo) and wash the baby there at that spring, and then to take her back to Tsilth-nah-ot-zilthy (Huerfano Peak) and there to make a hogahn out of mirage to be called Hadahonigay-be-hogahn.
They did all that Begochiddy commanded, and loved the baby very much, and guarded it closely. And the mountains also loved the baby.
They made a cradle of the straight lightning for it, and placed a rainbow at the foot of the cradle, and they decorated the cradle with a rainbow, and the bow over the top of the cradle was made of a rainbow. The Salt Woman was sent to get something soft for the baby to lie on, and she shredded bark for it, and this same bark today is used for babies’ cradles. The cradle was called Away-estsa.
The robe in which the baby was wrapped was made of a beautifully patterned cloud, and over it they wrapped the baby in another white cloud robe, and used a very fine white rock powder to rub in all the baby’s creases. The Salt Woman called the baby her sister. They then motioned to the baby with the Ethkaynah-ashi and gave it life, and the baby started to cry.
Hashje-altye spoke to the others and said: “How can we feed the baby?” And they tried to feed it on pollen, but it did not agree with the baby, so Hashje-altye said: “It would be better to give the baby to Hashje-ba-ahd (the female Yeh), and she would know how to bring it up and take care of it.” The gods who had the baby would not agree to this. They loved the baby p. 75 so much they would not give it up to any one and they said they could feed the baby on the pollen of the white shell. So Hashje-altye agreed that they should take care of it. Hashje-hogahn (the House God) also asked for the baby, as he had daughters who would take care of it and feed it from the pollen of the afterglow of the sunset, but the gods refused to let him have the child. They fed the baby with the white inside bark of the cedar tree mixed with pollen, but the baby did not like it and spat it out. Then they fed her with the white shell pollen and the flower pollen, and she liked this and flourished.
When she was two years old, she was able to walk about and one of the Yehtso-lapai, a Grey Monster, tried to steal her, but fortunately Etsay-Hasteen saw the Yehtso climbing up the mountain looking for the baby. The Yehtso could not see the baby but he found her tracks, and Etsay-Hasteen said to the monster: “There is no baby here. I made these tracks that you have found with my hands.” Four times Etsay-Hasteen drove the Yehtso-lapai away.
Asheen-assun, the Salt Woman, was the nurse of the baby and guarded her. And once upon a time a good many of the Yehtso-lapai managed to see the Salt Woman with the baby and they tried to climb up the mountain to reach them but found it too difficult. After this happened, Etsay-Hasteen planted a great many little cactus plants around the mountain so that when the Yehtso-lapai attempted to climb over them they cried out with pain and did not dare to cross the cactus in order to steal the baby.
When she was about six years old and had lost her baby teeth, they made her another set of teeth of white shell, and told her when she rose in the morning to throw her old teeth toward the east.
When she was sixteen years old, they had the Maiden Ceremony for her called Hozhonigi, or Making-the-Path-of-Life-Beautiful. They dressed her in white shell shoes, fine deer-skin robes and the finest sort of shell and turquoise ornaments. Her hair was parted in the middle and hung down tied at the back half way to the ends. They invited Kay-des-tizhi, the Man-Wrapped-in-a-Rainbow, and he came and brought many different shell dishes and food, and also he brought her a baby lamb; and all the gods came; also the Yeh.
The ceremony began with a race between the Salt Woman and the girl before sunrise every morning for four days. On the night of the fourth day, they sang the Creation Song, which has twenty-four verses. Etsay-Hasteen sang it first and the others after him, and they sang until daybreak. Etsay-Hasteen also had a song he sang while the girl and woman raced before sunrise, which is called Sheyash-estsa-sohni, or Young-Woman’s-Race. They told the Earth Spirit about this ceremony and he sent the white and red paint with which they painted her cheeks red, and they painted two small white stripes on each cheek. They sang of painting the maiden, Zhan-sheya-yanez-nuchee. Begochiddy told the people that he wanted them to paint their faces in the same way. Those who begin the painting of their faces at the top and paint down to the chin signify that they are asking for rain; those who paint from the chin up to the forehead are asking for anything that grows. So they painted their faces, and brought many robes and piled them in a heap on top of one another at the door of the Mirage Hogahn where the girl lived.
Then she lay face down flat on this pile of robes and her hair covered her whole body. Estsa-assun stroked her hair and face and body to make her fine and strong. After that they gave her p. 77 the lamb which Kay-des-tizhi had brought her, and she held it to her breast as she lay on the pile of blankets.
Begochiddy asked the people what name they were going to give this girl but they all stood silent. And while they watched her she grew older and older until she was a bent old woman, and even as they watched her, she grew a little younger again, and before their eyes she changed four times from youth to age, but at the fourth change she remained about twenty years old, and she was very beautiful. Begochiddy named her White Shell Woman, Yolthkai-estsan, and the rest of the people called her by that name. From this time onward, she would always be able to grow old or young as she desired and so she was called also Estsan-ah-tlehay, or Changing Woman.
Then she rose from the pile of robes and gave the lamb back to Kay-des-tizhi, the Man-wrapped-in-a-Rainbow. And the people turned their backs to her, and she went to each one in turn and took their heads in her hands and lifted them a little to thank them for their gifts. Begochiddy gave her a big basket full of flowers and she gave the flowers to the people who put them in their hair, and all went away again very happy and thankful. In the basket of flowers which she had passed around, there were a lot of poison weeds named Johnjilway, Toh-o-whetso, Asgai-binee, Ajah-tohee, but no one received them; they only received the good flowers and the poison weeds were taken back into the hogahn.
One day the maiden was gathering wood, and suddenly felt some one touch the bundle of wood which she carried. She was terrified, dropped her wood, and ran home. When she got there, Estsa-assun asked her what was the matter and reassured her, and told her to go back again and get some more wood. She p. 78 was twenty-two years old now, and though at first she did not know who had touched her, she found out that it was the Sun Spirit who had fallen in love with her.
After this, during six months, she and the Sun Spirit did not see each other and were separated; and this separation was called Toh-n’del-kous.
About six months after the separation of the maiden and the Sun, twins were born to her called Nayenezgani, who was the elder, and Tohbachischin, and they had the same sort of cradle as was made for their mother. They did not eat anything for four days after they were born. They gave them cedar bark at first to eat but it did not agree with them, and after four days their mother began to feed them and they flourished. At two years old, they could walk and play around the hogahn. It is said that at Huerfano Peak (Tsilth-nah-ot-zilthy) where they lived, the tracks of the boys are still to be seen. Hashje-altye and Begochiddy came often to see the boys, as they loved them very much, and at four years old they were both quite big and strong. When they were seven years old, they both lost their teeth and their mother put white shell teeth in the place of the ones they had lost. They threw away their old teeth towards the east and it is said that all teeth that are thus thrown away are given to the Badger, Tabasteen.
When they were sixteen years old, they were quite grown up, and they looked so much alike no one could tell them apart. They wanted very much to find out who their father was. They asked this four times before the Sun had risen, but their mother was ashamed to tell them. But when the Sun had come up about half way, she pointed to it and said: “That is your father.”
Etsay-Hasteen made the twins bows and arrows, and they p. 79 went about hunting and enjoying themselves. Once in their wanderings they came close to the edge of the mountain and they saw a Yehtso, a Gray Monster, coming up, and they shot at him with their bows and arrows and he was so frightened that he ran away.
One day when they were out hunting, Begochiddy met them and sitting down between them said: “The Sun is your father and you must go and visit him.” To help them, and to tell them what would happen in the future, and to show them the way, he gave them wind spirits, Niltche-beyazh. And he gave Nayenezgani the elder, the rainbow, Natseelit, to carry him wherever he wanted to go. And he gave Tohbachischin a ray of light, Shah-bekloth. He told the boys that when they came to their father’s house they would be shown all sorts of clothing and other things, but that they must choose only the flint armor, Bezh; the lightning arrows, Iknee-kah; and the stone knife, also the big cyclones and the big hail, and the kehtahn or magic cigarette named Kehtahn-de-konth; and he repeated: “You must be sure to ask for that.” (Their mother, Estsan-ah-tlehay, did not know that they were starting on this journey.)
Then Nayenezgani stood on the rainbow and Tohbachischin stood on the ray of light and Begochiddy breathed on the rainbow and the ray of light and started them on their way. After flying some distance through the air, they walked on the earth again for some distance, but they came to a great sand-dune called Sals-ah which they could not cross on foot. So they mounted their rainbow and ray of light and were carried over that obstacle. They walked again for some distance but had to mount into the air on their magic rainbow and ray to cross a very big canyon. Then they walked again until they came to a very big cactus when again they used their magic arrows. And p. 80 again they walked until they were stopped by many reeds and they crossed them in the same magic way.
Again they walked on and came to a big river. At the edge of the river they found a lot of water-bugs who asked the twins where they were going, and the boys said that they were going to cross the river, and the bugs said: “We will help you.” And they bunched themselves together and took the boys on their backs and carried them over. After they had crossed the river they met a meadow-lark who asked them: “Where are you going, my grandsons? Your father is very angry, so I will give you a song to help you when you meet him.” So the meadow-lark sang a song to them and they went on their way.
Suddenly a woman jumped out of the ground before them who had a spider web in her hand, and she was the Spider Woman. She invited the boys to come into her home but the boys thought the doorway was too small and that they could not get in. The Spider Woman knew what they were thinking so she blew four times at the doorway and each time that she blew the doorway grew larger until finally it was large enough for the boys to enter. The Spider Woman said to them: “Your father is not kind, so I will teach you a song to help you, and also give you an eagle’s pin-feather which will protect you.”
The boys went on their way until they met four old women who asked them: “Where are you coming from?” The boys pointed to their home and the old woman said to the boys: “Your father is not kind, so we will give you a song to help you.” These were the first old people in the world and if they had not met the boys, no one would ever grow old now. The twins went on and met an older woman who would not speak to them and later they met a still older woman. Then the twins came to the Daybreak, and they went on under it until they came to the After-glow-of-Sunset and went on under it, then under the Dusk, then under the Darkness until they came to a place where many children were playing, and this place was p. 81 called Yeh-kai-beyazhi, and they crossed this place on their rainbow and light ray. And they then went up into the Black Sky and came to the Turquoise House, Hogahn-doklizh, which is always in darkness.
On the wall outside near the door of the house was a large hook on which the Sun was hung, while the Spirit of the Sun lived inside the house. In the Turquoise House were four rooms, one east, one south, one west, and one north, and there were many little Suns there, and all sorts of bright lights to make it light. Two Thunder-birds, Iknee, were guarding the door, but the boys entered the house without being molested by the guards although they saw the twins. The second guard over the house was the Water Monster, Teoltsodi, and the third guard was the big snake, Kleeshtso. The fourth guard was the mountain lion, Nashtui-l’tso, and the boys passed all of them.
Inside on the east side of the house there was a black cloud rolled up, on the south side a blue cloud, on the west a yellow cloud, and on the north a white cloud. The twins met the Moon Spirit there, though the Moon itself was not present as it was wandering about. And the Spirit asked them: “What are you doing here, my boys? Your father is a fierce man and I will try to protect you.” So the Spirit wrapped the two boys in the white cloud to hide them.
After they were hidden in the white cloud, the Sun Spirit came in and asked the Moon Spirit: “Who was speaking?” and the Moon Spirit answered: “No one except myself.” The Sun Spirit did not believe this and went to the black cloud and unrolled it but found nothing there, and he unrolled the south cloud and the west cloud, and finally in the north cloud he round the boys. He seized them by the hair of their heads and p. 82 threw them against some great spikes of obsidian which were turned edge-wise like knives set in the floor at the east side of the hogahn. He said: “I hope these boys are my sons” (for if they were really his sons they would not be hurt by anything). They were not harmed by the knives; and then the Sun Spirit threw them onto the knives on the south, west and north, and they were still unharmed.
The Sun Spirit called the Moon Spirit and said: “Uncle, heat the sweat-house.” So the Moon Spirit heated the sweat-house, and on one side he dug a hole large enough to contain the two boys and covered it with a little Moon. He brought the boys over to the sweat-house and showed them the hole where they could hide, and they hid themselves in it. Then the Sun Spirit came to the house bringing a jug of water and poured it on a bar of obsidian which had been heated red hot; and it filled the house with much steam, and he asked the boys: “Are you too warm in there?” and the boys answered: “No.” He asked this of the boys four times and they answered each time: “No, we are all right,” so the Sun Spirit went back to his hogahn and the boys came out of the sweat-house.
Each night while they were at the Sun’s house they slept on the roof, and they had a robe of white clouds to cover them and the Sun Spirit gave them another robe also, but they were very cold there and would have frozen except that the Otter Woman came and gave them her fur robe to spread over them. It hailed and stormed all night, and the Sun thought that they would be frozen, but thanks to the fur robe which the Otter Woman gave them they were warm.
When the Sun went into his home again, he filled a turquoise pipe, a white shell pipe, an abalone pipe, and a jet pipe with poison smoke. On their way back to the Sun’s house from the sweat-house, the twins met a caterpillar who gave them some medicine weeds to eat so that they could not be killed if they smoked the poison pipes of the Sun. Back in the Sun’s house p. 83 again the boys were given a blue pipe to smoke, and the Sun lighted it with a little Sun. They smoked all of the pipes easily.
Finding that he could not kill them with the poison smoke, the Sun Spirit caught the boys by the hair and threw them into a big black jar on the east side of the room. He then hung a huge stone by a stream of water to the roof over the jar and let the stone fall to crush the twins; but when he looked into the jar, he saw the boys in it unharmed. He tried this four times, and even made the great stone drop more heavily but he could not hurt the twins. Then he took the boys into his arms, holding one on either side of him, for he knew now that they were really his sons, because they had not been harmed by his tests.
The Sun Spirit had four children by a spirit woman named Yoodi-yenai, who had been in the Fourth World. Her eldest daughter was called Turquoise Girl, Doklizhe-etahdeh, and the younger was called White Shell Girl, Yolthkai-etahdeh. The older boy was called Abalone Boy, Dichithli-eshki, and the younger boy was called Jet Boy, Baszhini-eshki. The Sun Spirit said to his daughters: “Bring some water to your brothers,” and the Turquoise Girl brought a blue basket and a jug of water, and the White Shell Girl brought a white basket and a jug of water, and also they brought soap-root, and the twins washed their hair and their sisters bathed them and dried them first with fine white corn meal and then with corn pollen. Then the Sun and his spirit wife went to the eastern room and brought sweet-smelling flowers with which they rubbed the twins. And they were made beautiful and looked just like the other children of the Sun. And they sat down on a turquoise bench. The Sun Spirit told his daughters to feed the twins and they gave them Yolthkai-tahn (corn meal mush, ceremonially called White-Shell-Food).
The Sun Spirit then asked the twins: “Why did you come to me?” And they answered: “There are monsters killing all of our people and we want to be able to kill them.” The Sun Spirit did p. 84 not answer but took the boys to the east room which was reached by steps. He opened the door, and there they saw many rainbows, and the Sun Spirit asked the twins if that was what they wanted, but the boys said: “No, we do not want that sort of thing.” Then the Sun took them to a door at the south and opened it, and there were many plants, corn, beans, and so forth. And the Sun Spirit said: “Is that what you wanted?” The boys said: “No.” So the west door was opened, and there they saw clothing and jewelry, and the Sun asked them: “Did you come for this sort of thing?” And they said: “No;” but the boys had forgotten what they wanted and the Sun then showed them many more things.
Then Niltche-beyazh, the Spirit Wind, spoke in their ears and said: “Begochiddy told you to ask for flint armor and the other weapons.” So they said to the Sun: “We want the flint armor and the stone knife, lightning arrows, cyclones, hail, and the magic kehtahn.” The Sun said to them: “What do you want them for? They are dangerous.” And they answered: “We want to dress in that armor and use the weapons to kill the giants and the monsters.” When the twins answered thus, the Sun Spirit sat down with his head in his hands and said sadly: “You must not kill your brother,” for he claimed the giants as his children. But finally he decided to grant their request and said: “Very well, I will give what you have asked for.” And he taught them how to wear the armor, and how to shoot the lightning arrows, and how to use the stone knife, the big hail, the cyclones, and also how to use the magic kehtahn. And they then told him how they were going to kill the monsters, the bears, and other creatures who were harming the people.
Then the Sun Spirit gave them the gifts that they had asked for and they started to go back to Tsoll-tsilth on the clouds, the Sun accompanying them. And when they reached there, they rested above the mountain sitting on the clouds, and the Sun Spirit asked them many questions to test their cleverness. He p. 85 pointed to Siss-nah-jini and asked them its name and the boys answered correctly. The Sun asked the names of all the mountains and they named them correctly. He also pointed to Huerfano Peak below and the boys recognized their home, so the Sun was satisfied that they were intelligent and asked them no more questions.
They were preparing to go to kill the monsters, but the Sun Spirit said to them: “Let me try first to kill the giant.” The twins descended on the lightning to the earth at Bahkse-hotetsa, which is near Tsoll-tsilth (Mount Taylor), and then went up to the top of the mountain, carried by the lightning and the rainbow. They sat down on a rock called Azeth which is just south of Mount Taylor (near Grants, New Mexico), and the Wind Spirit told them to hurry and put on their stone armor, so they put it on, and when they had done so, suddenly to the east they saw the giant’s forehead appearing, then he passed out of sight again. Then he appeared at the south, then at the west, then at the north, and each time they saw him more plainly until, when he appeared at the north, they could see the whole of him except his feet, and then he disappeared in a flash and went back to his spring, Toh-sit-toh, where he stopped to drink, his hands on the ground.
The boys mounted the magic lightning and rainbow and flew over the giant as he drank, and he saw their reflections in the spring and rose up. They approached from the east and the giant said: “What fine boys, I must have them.” They answered together: “What a big giant, we must have him.” This enraged the giant and he seized his stone knife and threw it at the boys. It passed under them because the Wind Spirit had warned them, and they rose on the rainbow as the giant threw the knife. When the knife hit the ground, the boys seized it and p. 86 went around to the south of the giant, and as they came towards him from that direction, the Wind Spirit warned them to bend down, while another stone knife, thrown by the giant, flew over their heads. They picked up this knife also, and went to attack him from the west. The giant threw another knife at them, but, warned by the Wind Spirit, they escaped it by rising into the air, and they picked up that knife. Then they were attacked from the north, and escaped again, and picked up that knife also.
Now the Sun sent help in the form of a big black cloud which dropped down on the giant bringing a black cyclone. And lightning came from the cloud, and broke the giant’s suit of stone armor on all four sides, and Hashjeshjin (the Fire God), who was still in the Third World, sent up a volcano with fire coming out of it to help the twins. And the giant shook all over.
Then the twins took their lightning arrows and shot them through the giant, and the arrows threw the giant’s heart to a place northeast of Bluewater, and it is still to be seen there in the form of a big black volcanic rock.
From the place where his heart and body fell, the blood started running in rivers in different directions, so the twins drew a line with their stone knife through the blood and made a deep valley to divide the blood streams, for if they should join, the giant would live again; and where the blood settled is now a plain of volcanic rock.
The boys scalped the giant, and took the sinew from the back of his neck and they cut off the point of his heart. Tsoll-tsilth claimed the body and it is still in the mountain. Begochiddy appeared then and said: “You have done well,” and then he blew on the giant and turned his body and blood to rock.
The twins went back to their home at Tsilth-nah-ot-zilthy (Huerfano Peak), and greeted their mother and the other three women who were there, and all the women danced with joy when they saw the boys come. The name of the dance is Chonoteen. p. 87 Etsay-Hasteen played the big flute and then he made the wand such as is now used in the N’dah (or Squaw Dance) ceremony. And they carved a wand with a bow symbol on one side, and a scalp symbol on the other side of it. This wand is called Ahralth-tseen now, but it used to be called Ahtsee-des-tseen.
The twins said: “We have killed the giant, Mother,” and she answered them: “Oh, no, you could not have killed such an enormous giant, he has stone clothing and so many knives that you could not hurt him.” (Their mother really knew that they had killed the giant, but pretended that she did not). Next morning they had their breakfast, and then they placed in the middle of the hogahn the white cloud with the male rain (heavy rain), also the cyclone, also the hail, and the burning kehtahn. And Nayenezgani, the older twin, said to the younger: “I am going to kill the monsters, meanwhile you must watch this burning kehtahn, and when I am in great danger it will burn very bright and fast; then you must come and help me at once.”
Then Nayenezgani asked: “Where shall I find Dah-il-kadeh?” (the great monster that looks like a gopher). And he was told that it lived at Black Lake, so he set off to kill it, and when he walked the ground trembled under his feet he was so powerful, and he carried the fire stick, Nestrahnihi.
The monster was watching in all directions and also was guarded by twelve antelopes, but they could not see Nayenezgani because he was flying on the rainbow, and he landed near the monster, and walked around to discover some place from which he could attack it. As he went along, he met the Gopher, who ran back into his hole, then came out again, and kept on running in and out again four times, but finally said to the boy: “What is the matter, my grandson?” And Nayenezgani answered: p. 88 “I want to kill this monstor, Dah-il-kadeh, but I cannot reach him,” and the Gopher said to him, “I am willing to go near him—I am not afraid of him.” And the boy said: “If you will help me to reach him, you may have his skin.” The Gopher made a hole, and burrowed under the ground to the monster, then he made another hole deeper in the earth, another deeper still, and the fourth tunnel was a very deep one, and was dug under the monster’s heart. When the Gopher reached the monster, he ate off the hair under his heart, and the monster felt this and moved, saying: “What is under me?” and the Gopher answered: “I am getting fur to wrap my children who are cold.”
Then the Gopher went back to Nayenezgani and told him that he was ready. And they both went into the tunnel, and when they reached the monster’s heart and saw it and heard it beating, the boy took a lightning arrow and shot it through the heart. The monster jumped up and destroyed the lower tunnel with his horns, but as he did so the boy ran to the next tunnel, and when the monster destroyed that, the boy escaped to the third tunnel, and when this was destroyed, he hid in the upper tunnel and the monster tore up half of the tunnel in which the boy was hidden, but fell over dead before he could reach the boy.
The antelope guards were rushing around the monster looking for Nayenezgani and when they saw him, he lit some cedar bark with his fire stick and threw a piece to the east and all the antelopes ran after it, then he threw another burning piece of bark to the south, and they ran after that, and another to the west, and another piece to the north. When they had chased after that they were so tired that they were helpless and the boy took his stone knife and killed all but two of them, and he told these two antelopes that they must behave better in the future. He told them this four times, and they agreed that they would be good.
Nayenezgani was still afraid to go near the monster and the p. 89 Gopher said: “I will find out if he is dead. I will run around on his horns.” So he ran from one horn to the other and proved that the monster was dead. And Nayenezgani went up to him and scalped him, and took the sinews of the legs and neck, and took his stomach and filled it with blood. Also he cut off his horns which were the shape of the antelope horns. Though he was very large the monster had a very small eye. Nayenezgani told the Gopher that he could help himself to the rest of the monster, and the Gopher brushed himself with the blood, making himself look so much like the monster that when you look at the Gopher now you can tell how the Dah-il-kadeh looked.
Nayenezgani went home, and as he came near he gave the god-call, Yo-ho-ho-ho and also Ya-ha-ha-ha, and his mother and the other women met him with dancing. Etsay-Hasteen played his flute and they sang. They hung the scalp of the Dah-il-kadeh on the cedar wand, Aralth-tseen, and as they did so, the wand threw off sparks. Then Nayenezgani told his mother about his adventures, and she pretended as before that he could not have killed the monster, but he convinced her that it was true, and he spent the night there.
Next day he clothed himself in stone armor and asked his mother and grandmother where he could find the Great Bird, Tseh-nah-hahleh. And his mother told him that it was very dangerous to hunt the bird. Nayenezgani, however, started on his way, taking with him the skin of the Dah-il-kadeh, and the blood enclosed in the monster’s stomach, and the earth shook as he went. The rainbow carried him towards the home of the Great Bird on top of Ship Rock. Before he reached it, he dressed himself in the skin of the Dah-il-kadeh, and he carried the monster’s stomach full of blood inside his clothing. The p. 90 Great Bird saw him coming, and flew towards him making much noise, flying over him four times. Then she caught up Nayenezgani in her claws and carried him to Ship Rock, circling it four times and then threw him down between the two peaks. Nayenezgani would have been killed by the fall except for the fact that the feather which the Spider Woman had given him enabled him to fall slowly.
When he lit on the rock, he tore open the stomach full of blood, and the Great Bird thought she had killed him, and so flew off the nest telling her little ones to eat Nayenezgani, as he was dead. Nayenezgani lay still, and the little birds came nearer to him, but he said: “Sh-sh,” and frightened them away. They called out to their mother: “Shemah (Mother), this human being is not dead, for he said ‘Sh-sh’ to us,” but the Great Bird said: “That is nonsense, go on and eat. The noise you heard was the sound of his fall.” So the Great Bird flew away to the west over the mountains and when she had gone Nayenezgani got up and went to their nest and called the little birds to him, and they were frightened and went back to their nest and began to cry. Nayenezgani told them to be quiet, and that if they made a noise, he would kill them.
The oldest bird came to him and Nayenezgani took hold of him and pushed his beak down, and made his wings a different shape, and painted his wings and tail white and told him to go south and live there and be good, and not do any harm to any one any more, and he became the first eagle. Nayenezgani called the smaller bird to him four times before he would come, and then Nayenezgani gave him a long pair of ears and told him that he was to be the owl, and that if he harmed the earth people he would kill him. And he sent him north to the La Plata Mountains to a place which was to be his home, called Saltahn-iskai, near Pagosa Peak. And the owl was very tired when he reached his new home.
Nayenezgani looked about to find a place in which to hide so p. 91 that he could kill the parent birds, but the only place he could find was in the nest, and so he hid there. Then the male rain started, and he saw the father bird flying back with something in his claws and when he came nearer, Nayenezgani saw that he was carrying a handsome young man who was dressed in fine jewelry and many bracelets. And the bird dropped the man, and when he fell the turquoise jewelry flew in every direction. The father bird then lit on the peak, but before he folded his wings, Nayenezgani shot him and saw that the young man whom the bird had dropped on the peak was a Taos Indian. From the west began a light female rain, and the mother bird flew in, carrying a young and pretty girl dressed in white shell beads. And she dropped the girl on the rock. Just as the mother bird lit on the peak, Nayenezgani shot her with a lightning arrow and the bird fell dead from the peak.
Nayenezgani now looked about to find a way down from the peak, and below he saw a bat whose name was Jahbunny-estsan (Bat Woman), and he said to her: “Grandmother, help me down, and I will give you a feather.” She hid four times and would not answer. Finally she told him to go to the other side of the peak, and then she appeared to Nayenezgani with a basket on her back, upheld by spider webs. She danced about when she reached the top of the peak and said to him: “Now get into my basket,” but Nayenezgani answered: “The strings are too small, they will break under my weight,” but she said: “No, I can carry very heavy load with these webs.”
Nayenezgani was afraid and would not get into the basket, so the Bat Woman told him to fill it with big rocks and he did so, and the strings of the spider web still held, although they buzzed with the strain. Nayenezgani was convinced that the Bat Woman could carry him, and he took the stones out of the basket, and went over to the edge of the peak and got into the basket. The Bat Woman told him to shut his eyes, and she began to go down. Half way down the Bat woman stopped on a p. 92 small ledge and walked back and forth while Nayenezgani wondered whether they were on the ground or not, but he could not see as she had told him to keep his eyes shut.
He grew so nervous that he opened his eyes, and at once they both fell to the ground, but fortunately the shelf on which they had been was not far up the cliff. The Bat Woman was so angry that she struck Nayenezgani with a cane she held in her hand, because he had opened his eyes. Then he got out of the basket and went to where the Great Bird had fallen. He pulled out twelve of his tail feathers, doing the same to the female bird, and he scalped both birds with his stone knife, and told the Bat Woman to help herself to the feathers that remained, and she filled her basket with small feathers.
Nayenezgani warned her not to go through the sunflower place as she would regret it; and he set off towards home, but as he went, he watched the Bat Woman because he saw she was going straight to the sunflower place. When she reached there, all the feathers in the basket blew out, and she lost them all. She went back to find the dead birds again, thinking that she would find more feathers, but Nayenezgani did not wait to see if she got any. He mounted his rainbow and went home, where his return was celebrated in the same way as it had been before.
Next day after breakfast, having found out from his mother where he should go, he started off to Tseh-ed-ah-eh-delkithly (the Rock-that-Kicks-People-into-the-River). He saw a man lying on his back with his head on a bluff and his feet near the river, and he was pulling the whiskers out of his chin. When Nayenezgani tried to pass, he kicked at him, and Nayenezgani said: “What is the matter, Sechai (Grandfather)?” The Rock Man said: “My leg was cramped, and I had to kick to straighten p. 93 it out.” Four times he was questioned and he answered four times. After that Nayenezgani took his stone knife and hit the Rock Man on the head, and cut through his breast, hips and legs, chopping him into four pieces and then scalping him.
The Rock Man’s children lived in the river and Nayenezgani threw the pieces of the Rock Man down to them, and heard them quarreling for the pieces of meat, saying: “That is my piece,” not knowing that they were eating their own father. Then Nayenezgani went down into the river and killed all the children except two. One was called Kahtsen (Alligator) and Nayenezgani said to him: “You must never hurt anyone again, will you promise this?” And the alligator answered: “I am not sure.” Nayenezgani asked this four times but the alligator would not promise. The other child who was spared was called Siss-’tyel (Turtle), and was told to be good in the future, as he would be used for medicine by men, and his shell would be used to drink out of and also to make medicine in, and the turtle agreed to this and said that he would always be good. So Nayenezgani went home on the rainbow and they danced and celebrated his return as before.
The next morning Nayenezgani asked where he would find Tseh-ehi (the Rolling-Rock) and his mother told him that it was in the Jemez Mountains, so he went there and looked at it from a peak near by. When Nayenezgani tried to approach it, the Rock began to roll towards him and he shot his lightning arrow at the Rock from the east, but could not hit it, and the Rock then rolled back to its den. Then Nayenezgani shot at it from the south and managed to knock a little splinter from it while the Rock pursued him. He then approached the Rock from the west and the same thing happened, and also from the p. 94 north, and at the end he only managed to knock off a few pieces and could not injure it, and meanwhile it kept chasing him while he was barely able to avoid it.
At his home at Huerfano the magic kehtahn began to burn very brightly, which showed that Nayenezgani was in great danger. So they sent hail, big rain, and cyclones to attack the Rock. And the water soaked it, and Hashjeshjin burnt it with his fire, and then hit it with a stone knife, and large pieces were broken off it. The Rock tried to escape them, but they chased it into a mountain from which it burst out as though from a volcano, and finally they chased the Rock four times around the earth, while it grew smaller and smaller, until at last it fell into the Grand Canyon, where it now is. After taking its scalp the three went home—Nayenezgani and Hashjeshjin with Mah-ih-degishi (Spirit of the Scalp).
The next hunting by Nayenezgani was of the monsters called Benan-yah-runi (Staring-Eyes-That-Kill), who lived at Tsilth-lachee, Red Mountain.
Asheen-assun, the Salt Woman, brought Nayenezgani a lump of salt, and told him how to use it in killing these monsters. And she told him to take his fire sticks also. As he came near where the Staring-Eyes-That-Kill lived, he found a great many of their tracks, and followed them to where they lived in a cave, and they all stared at him, never closing their eyes. Nayenezgani made a fire with his fire sticks and threw a handful of salt into the fire, which exploded into the monsters’ eyes, blinding them, and they had to shut their eyes to rub the salt and fire out of them. Then Nayenezgani took his stone knife and killed them all, except two which crept into a little crack in the wall of the cave. One of these he made into a Screech Owl, Gloutrah-nasjah, and the other he called Nah-zunni, p. 95 Snow Bug. He told both of these never to harm people any more and they agreed. And he sent the Screech Owl to the prairies, where he was to live in a hollow in the ground. And he sent the Snow Bug to travel on the snow in the winter forever. Then he went home again, and they celebrated in the same way with dancing and song. He told them how he had killed all of the Staring-Eyes-That-Kill. Every time he returned home he hung the scalps of the monsters he had killed on the scalp stick.
After breakfast the next morning, he started out to kill the Sil-dil-hushy-tso (Great Centipedes), and they told him that they lived at a place called Tseh-negleen (Water-Meeting-Place) on the La Plata River near Farmington.
So he went there and found a lot of centipedes who, as they walked, bowed themselves up in the middle, and then could spring a great distance to catch their victims. The largest centipede jumped at Nayenezgani but could not bite through the stone armor, and Nayenezgani seized his stone knife, and cut him into little pieces, and then killed all the rest of them and their little ones except a pair, a male and a female, and these he let go, telling them to behave themselves and never harm anyone. He scalped the largest centipede and went home, where he hung the scalp on the scalp stick, and they held the usual celebration.
The next morning he went to Chustoh-ba-ahd, south of Taos, where he wanted to destroy the Crushing Rocks, Tseh-ah-kindithly. And he rode on his Rainbow and took with him the horns of the Dah-il-kadeh. When the Rocks tried to crush him, he would evade them on his Rainbow and the Rocks p. 96 could not crush him. He did this four times, and then he took the horns of the Dah-il-kadeh and put them across between the Rocks which prevented them from coming together. He then threw his fire between the Rocks, and heated them so hot that when he hit them with his stone knife, they splintered into many pieces. Before he left, he motioned toward the splintered rocks and said: “Hereafter you will be used for the colored sands of which our sandpaintings will be made.” And this colored rock which Nayenezgani burned is what the Indians now use for their paintings. Then he went home and was received with rejoicing.
The next morning after breakfast he went to destroy the Cutting Reeds, Luka-degizh, which were at Toh-gay-tyelth, a round peak west of Taos. He took with him his fire sticks and when he came to the little canyon where the Reeds lived, he pretended to enter on one of the many trails, and the Reeds tried to catch him, waving and clashing together, but four times they missed him. When he tried to cut the Reeds down with his stone knife, he found it was impossible, so he used his fire sticks and burned them all up except two. These he cautioned to be good in the future and he told them that the earth people would use them in their ceremonies. The two Reeds agreed to this, and Nayenezgani took the scalp from the largest Reed and went home and told his mother that he had burned all the Cutting Reeds, and then they celebrated.
Then he went to destroy the Canyon-that-Spreads-Apart, Tseh-ko, which is also near Taos. Four times he avoided being dropped into the Canyon as it spread, and then he put four obsidian stones across it, and fastened them together to hold the Canyon steady. He told the Canyon that it must be good and not engulf people, and that the earth people would use it in p. 97 their ceremonies. And the Indians pray now to this Canyon. He then went home and they celebrated as before.
The next day he went to destroy the Cactus-that-Catches, Hoosh-entsah-etso, which grew at Siss-pai (near Canjilon). And he destroyed the Cactus with his stone knife, and burned all except the little ones which he preserved. And he told them to be good, and that they would be used in the ceremonies. Then he went home to his mother.
Next he went to kill the bad Rock Swallows, Tush-gizhi-ent-dilkizhi, who lived near the Mancos River in one of the canyons near Mesa Verde. When Nayenezgani went into this canyon the birds swooped down on him, and he shot his lightning arrows at them, but could not hit them, as they flew too quickly. Then they tried to hurt him, but his stone armor protected him. At home, at Huerfano, the magic kehtahn began to burn brightly, warning Tohbachischin. And he blew four times toward his brother. And the cyclones, hail, thunder, and also the white cloud on which Tohbachischin usually rode, all went to help Nayenezgani.
Meanwhile Nayenezgani was running from the birds, who followed him in clouds like a swarm of bees. Then rain came from the white cloud, and the cyclones swept the birds aside, and the hail stones struck them so all were killed except two little ones. Nayenezgani told these two little birds to be good and do no harm, and the birds promised to do so. So the God let them live in the Canyon peacefully. Then Nayenezgani went home and they celebrated.
Next Nayenezgani went to find the Bears-that-Trail, Shush-nah-Kahi. There were four of these bears, and they lived on a mountain called Tsilth-entsah, near the Blanco River about four miles east of Farmington. When the god came there and went up the mountain, he met a strange-looking girl named Shikinh-shush-nah-tlehay (Changing-Bear-Maiden), who had red eyes, and carried a basket full of berries on her back. p. 98 Nayenezgani asked her where she came from and she replied: “I have been picking berries in the canyon and there are many still there.” Nayenezgani went on, and suddenly he saw the Bears coming towards him in single file. He immediately mounted his rainbow and rose into the air, and when he had gone up about fifteen feet, the Bears rushed under him trying to grasp his shadow. Nayenezgani then took his lightning arrows and killed them all.
The girl he had met on the way was a Bear in human form, and now she appeared coming up the canyon in her Bear form, and Nayenezgani killed her also. He then scalped the four Bears but not the Girl Bear. He dragged her down the canyon to a big piñon tree, and spread her arms and legs far apart, put his head down close to hers and said: “I will bring you back to life if you will promise not to harm people any more.” The Bear Maiden did not answer, but Nayenezgani blew four times on her head, and suddenly she came to life, sprang up and ran away to the mountains. Then Nayenezgani went home and they celebrated as before.
After that he asked his mother if there were any more monsters to be killed and she answered: “No, you have killed them all, there are no more left.” Nayenezgani was not sure that this was true, so he started out and visited all the mountains in the east looking for monsters, but he found none, and after that he went to the mountains of the south, west, and north but found no more monsters to kill, so he came home again.
One evening after this, while sitting outside his hogahn, he saw a great red light to the north, and this made him angry and he said to the people: “You said there were no more monsters to kill but there must be some over there.” And he brought the people out of the hogahn and they all saw the red light. Nayenezgani then took a forked stick and stuck it in the ground and aimed it at the fire so that in the morning he would be able to tell where the fire was. The next day he looked along the p. 99 stick, and marked the place on the distant mountain to which the stick pointed before starting out, and then he mounted his rainbow and went there.
The place where the fire had been was at the La Plata River and Nayenezgani found there an old woman, Sahn, who was Old Age. She was sleeping near a fire, while on the other side of the fire slept a black man, Bi-eth, which means Lazy Man or Sleepy-Man-of-no-Account. Nayenezgani raised his stone knife to kill the woman, but as he did so he fell asleep, and dropped down on the ground next to her. The old woman waked up when he fell and said: “What is the matter, why do you try to kill me, Grandson?” And then she waked up Nayenezgani. Other people now came towards them. They were Yah (Body Lice), Dechin (Hunger), Tayen (Thinness), and Ahtsaylin (Lies). Old Age begged Nayenezgani to spare her; she said she would hurt no one, and that some people would love to be as old as she was. Bi-eth, or Sleepiness, also begged Nayenezgani not to kill him, as sleep is always good for people. Yah, Body Lice, also begged for mercy and said: “I am good-natured, let me go.” Tayen, Thinness, begged for his life and said: “Thinness usually hurts no one.” Dechini, Hunger, begged for mercy, saying: “If you starve a little, you enjoy your food much more afterwards”
So Nayenezgani let them all go free, and he told the four—Hunger, Lice, Thinness, and Sleepiness—to go and stay at Tseh-dokohe, nine miles north of Farmington; and Old Age and Lies were to go to a place fifteen miles east of Pueblo Bonito, named Yath-pai. Then Nayenezgani went home again as there were some Yehtso-lapai (Gray Giants) wandering about. And Nayenezgani surrounded them and left them at the spring of Tchah-toh near Huerfano and turned them into stones. Begochiddy came down again from heaven and they told him about the killing of the monsters and he was very glad and said to them: “I will be back in twelve days and we will have a Council.”
At the end of twelve days, Hashjeshjin (The Fire God) and all the gods came and they held a Council in the Hogahn called Hadahonesteen (Mirage). The twins sat on one side of the Hogahn, and the gods on the other and the gods talked very softly as they did not want the twins to hear them. They were talking of making more mountains and of fastening the mountains together with metal nails. The boys grew tired of hearing the whispering of the gods, and wanted to know what they were talking about, and asked them to talk out loud so that they could hear. Their mother said to them: “We were talking of strengthening the mountains and putting them in good condition, and we are planning another flood to wash away all the old plants and trees, and of planting new ones, and of fastening the mountains down with metal, so that they will not be washed away in the flood.” She said that the gods were glad that the bad monsters were killed and that they wanted to cleanse and recreate the world, and the twins agreed that this should be done.
So they began to fasten the mountains down with lead, gold and so forth. And they worked seven days strengthening the mountains. Each mountain was strengthened and made in small size, but when Begochiddy used the Ethkaynah-ashi and blew at the mountains four times, they grew bigger and better than they were before. Then they killed all the trees because they thought them bad, and Begochiddy said that after seven days it would begin to rain. And all the gods went into the big bamboo flute again.
And the rain began and kept on for forty-two days, and water covered the whole earth except the tops of the mountains. When it stopped, a great rainbow appeared over the world, p. 101 and on top of it stood Begochiddy with his hands spread out in gladness.
The water covered the world for forty-two days, and then began to decrease and run off in different directions, leaving only mountains and rocks, and no plants or animals. The gods came back to Huerfano Peak where they had lived before, and Begochiddy waved his hands over the world, and at once it was covered with trees and plants and animals, and when it had rained a little, everything began to grow. The gods planted a little cornfield called Dah-gejol-gishy at Huerfano. They also grew their squash, beans, and tobacco there. They named the mountains again and also named some other places, Bezh-lachee-begizh—Washington Pass over the Chuskai Mountains; Tseh-hatral—volcanic rocks near the foot of the pass over the Chuskai Mountains; also Sontso-lah Mountain which is near Crystal, New Mexico; Tsen-tyel—Flat Rock in Canyon de Chelly; also Nashjeh-tseel—Spider Mountain or Peaked Rock in Canyon de Chelly; Toh-deh-hashkeh—on top of Black Mountain near Chin Lee; Ahdah-tintsoi—peak on Black Mountain; Nah-tee-tseel—Tobacco Mountain near Bluff City; Tsilth-kay-hozhoni—Beautiful Mountain north of Chuskai Mountain; Ahgeh-naschini—Crown Point; Tsis-kit—Cedar-Covered Flat-Topped Rock near Ojo Alamo. They visited these places as they named them and then went back to Huerfano.
Then they met again in the hogahn for a Council with the boys sitting on one side and the gods on the other as before. And as before the twins could not hear, and asked after a time what the gods were talking about. Their mother said: “We are planning to make more people to fill this fine new world,” and the boys were very glad to hear this. They discussed how the people were to be made, and decided to make the men of turquoise and white corn, and the women of white shell and yellow corn, and the corn pollen would be for the male and p. 102 the corn bug for the female. The gods took these six things and turned them into three men and three women.
Begochiddy said: “I am going to a place called Siss-nah-tyel, which is near Kim-beto where Kay-des-tizhi, the Man-Wrapped-in-a-Rainbow lives. And I am going to plan to make animals there, and I shall make the donkey first, Tahilth-sapai, which means Dusty Beast because he is always rolling in ashes, then the sheep, then the horses and after that all sorts of animals. And Begochiddy laughed as he was planning these animals and he kept going back and forth between Siss-nah-jini, which was his home, and the Council.
Then they began to make Man. They made his feet and his toe nails and his ankles of soil of the Earth, his legs of lightning, his knees of white shell and his body of white corn and yellow corn. His veins were of striped corn and blue corn, the calico corn made the hair on his arms and body, the black corn made his eyebrows, and the red corn was his blood. His heart was of obsidian, and his breath was the white wind; his ear was made of white shell and the ear drum of mica. They took all the flesh of all the different animals to make his body, and also all other kinds of flower pollen. They made him of all kinds of water: rains, springs, lakes, rivers and ponds, also of the black cloud and the male rain, and the sky, and the female rain, and they made his arms of the rainbow. His hair was made of darkness, his skull of the sun, his whiskers of darkness and his face of daybreak. His nose was made of Yoh-lachee (red beads), his eyes of the Suns, his teeth of white corn and his speech of thunder, his tongue of straight lightning, and the little whirlwind was what kept his nerves moving. The movement of his finger was the air, his saliva was the little rain, and the water of his nose and his tears were the medium rain; and his food was of white p. 103 and yellow corn. And the name of the new kind of human being was Anlthtahn-nah-olyah, meaning Created-from-Everything. The people who had been in the cave were called Hahjeenah-dinneh, which means The-People-Who-Came-Up.
Hashje-altye (Talking God) was the first to be made, then Hashje-hogahn (House God), next Nahtahn-lakai-eshki (White Corn Boy), then Nahtahn-tsoi-atehd (Yellow Corn Girl), then Tradadeen-eshki (Corn Pollen Boy), then Tradadeen-atehd (Corn Pollen Girl), Sahanahray-eshki (the Holy Spirit Boy), and Bikay-hozhon-atehd (Holy Spirit Girl). These were the first human beings made on this earth of the substance of the universe which already was full of the Holy Spirit.
They made animals, and the donkey was made first of a substance called Ne-ho-pah, and his hoofs were made of obsidian.
This is the way they made men and creatures: they put everything which was used to make man laid out in pairs in a line on the Robe of Daybreak at the south, west, and north sides of the hogahn and covered them with a buckskin. And the pair on the north side was covered with a rainbow as well as a buckskin. At the east side were the Yeh gods. The spirit of Siss-nah-jini Mountain motioned with a rainbow over all the human beings, and the Spirit of Tsoll-tsilth Mountain motioned over them with the sunlight, and they sang all night over the people, and blessed them with the light and the rainbow, and towards daybreak they took medicine and herbs and sprinkled over the human beings, and then the Yeh motioned over them with the Ethkaynah-ashi, and power came to them, and they were shaken with it.
The gods gave strong power to the people and covered them with flowers. And also they covered the new animals with plants and grasses; and then all the gods spoke and told the people four times to rise, that day had come. Then the Yeh took off the buckskins which had covered the people and the animals and Hashje-hogahn, the house God, gave his cry: Ah-ho-ah-ho. p. 104 And the Yehs’ spirits went in the four directions into the four Holy Mountains, and when the spirits entered the north mountain, the bird spirits went with them. The four mountains were called Siss-nah-jini, Tsoll-tsilth, Do-go-slee-ed, and Debeh-entsah. If people do not believe that the Yeh spirits are in these mountains and keep them holy, sickness and disease will come to afflict the people, for the Yehs control sickness (and that is the reason why the Indians are not healthy now, because at the ceremonies they do not take these things seriously).
Then the newly-made people, Anlthtahn-nah-olyah, arose and the gods motioned towards them with the Ethkay-nah-ashi and the new people spoke, saying: “Shemah (mother), Lecheh (father),” for they saw Begochiddy and called him father, and they called Estsan-ah-tlehay their mother. Then the new people ate some white corn, for, although they were made of corn, it was good for them to eat it, and the Navajos live on corn today.
This ends the creating of human beings and creatures, and Begochiddy was glad and laughing when he had finished the creation.* And he made the new people run races around the world, and the animals raced too, and the donkey won, for Begochiddy loved him most, and the mule came in second. They then made a hogahn for the new people, and at present the hogahn song, Hogahn-beyin, is sung just after sundown for thanksgiving and as a prayer. Natah-hogahn-beyin is said.
After this Begochiddy turned all the animals loose to wander as they pleased, but the donkey was kept for his own use; and he said to the animals: “Some day I will come back and need you, but now you can wander as you please.” There were a great many songs sung while he was making the animals and p. 105 there are so many of these songs that today very often not all of the songs are sung in one night’s ceremony.
They gathered for another Council in the hogahn and again the gods spoke so low that Nayenezgani and his brother, Tohbachischin, could not hear what they said, and the twins asked the gods to speak so that they could understand them and the gods answered: “We were talking about the creating of animals and human beings, and how you killed the monsters. Now we are planning to go and get the people (Hahjeenah-dinneh) who are living in the cave.” Nayenezgani said: “That is well.”
Then they made a great rainbow shaped like a basin, and they all mounted this and went to the cave. They asked Nayenezgani and his brother to go, but Etsay-hashkeh, the Coyote, stayed behind as he did not care to go, and the other gods did not urge him.
While the gods were gone on the journey to the cave, the Coyote made some little coyotes of his own, a white one from the east, a yellow one from the west which was a female, a blue one from the south which was a male, and a black coyote from the north which was a female, and each pair stood nose to nose; and he also made a dog which stood with the female black coyote. The names of these coyotes were: the east, Ki-othkath-tee-ni-gosai, which means Turning-in-the-Daybreak; west, Nahotsoi-nah-go-sai, which means Turning-in-the-Afterglow; south, Chadidoth-dani-gosai, which means Turning-in-the-Darkness; and the name of the dog was Dobinny-des-daha, or Trailing Dog. Etsay-hashkeh also made some crazy coyotes. If one of these should bite a human being, he would probably go mad. And also he made some mad dogs whose bites would bring madness.
Etsay-hashkeh made these creatures because he did not know how to behave, and no one was there to know what he was doing. And though Begochiddy knew what the Coyote was doing he was willing that these animals should be made.
Meanwhile the gods reached the cave, and they had to use ladders to reach down to the Hahjeenah-dinneh or Emergence People and bring them up to the surface of the earth. So the people came out onto this earth, and were very glad to leave the cave as they had been there a long time, and had been much worried about what was going to become of them. The little ants were the first to come out, and the turkey people were the last, and Hashjeshjin (the Fire God) counted them as they came out.
The gods told them that they had made a beautiful world and that it was quite safe and they answered: “We are glad.” Begochiddy then said to the gods that all people in the future should have different languages and the gods agreed to this. They divided all the clothing so that each people should have a certain share, and the beasts also could choose which tribe they should join. The Navajos took the best seed of the corn while the Pueblos and Zuni took the poorer seeds. The birds chose their tribes, but only the turkey people chose to go with the Navajos. Estsan-ah-tlehay, the Changing-Woman, took the turkeys and held them in her arms.
Begochiddy and the gods said to the people: “You are all going to have different languages now, live differently, and do your hair in different ways.” The Navajos did their hair in a queue and the other tribes cut their hair across the front, and this is the way they do it to this day. They told the birds how they were to live and build their nests and they all agreed to do as they were told. Then Begochiddy told the people how they were to worship. They must keep the prayer stick or ceremonial Kehtahns holy, and they must place pollen and flint and shell beads and turquoise and medicine near the kehtahns when p. 107 they pray, and Begochiddy will hear them and answer their prayers.
Begochiddy said to the plants and the trees: “You must grow and blossom and bear fruit at certain seasons.” And they agreed to do this. Then he said to all creatures: “After four days you can go wherever you please.” And when that time was ended, Begochiddy blew four times in different directions and some of the Navajos went towards Huerfano, and some went to a place called Nehal-zhini, the Black Place, and some to Kih-ah-ah, the Standing-Up-Place near Crown Point. And the people who were last to be made, the Anlthtahn-nah-olyah, went to live near Huerfano, and never went far away from it. This clan family was then named Tsilth-bin-jodithy, which means Wandering-Around-the-Mountain. They are now called the Asheen or Salt Clan.
They made a ceremonial hogahn in which the gods told stories of the third world; and this story and the songs of the Creation were handed down from these chieftains to the people and then from one generation to another, and so it has been handed down to this day. Nayenezgani was made the commander of the earth as Begochiddy was in heaven. They learned the Yeh ceremony, Tseh-rahd-n’dinneh, at this time.
To make the four chiefs holy, they put earth from all the holy mountains into their shoes, and they put rock crystals into their mouths so as to make all that they said true.
After a time, the Salt Clan, Asheen, increased and spread to other places where they made homes and these made the different clans which now exist; and the people who stayed at Huerfano are called Hogahn Clan. Begochiddy told the people: “As I have made each clan and each building, I have made for each a different spirit and I laughed as I made them.” And then Begochiddy p. 108 made two other spirits known as Bego-zhini and Bego-tso, and these no one has seen.
The Sun said to Estsan-ah-tlehay: “I want you to go to a place in the west where I can visit you now and then.” And she said she was willing to go. The Sun told her to tell the gods that she was going and find out whether they would agree. So she asked them and they said: “No, we will go to the west, but you must go to the east.” And she told the Sun what they had said, but he answered: “No, let the others go east, everything is lovely in that direction, but you must go west to the Island” (Santa Cruz, off the coast of Santa Barbara, California). And the Sun told her this four times and said: “Even if the gods do not want you to go to the Island, you must go, and certain gods of the Yeh will go with you and twelve other people. And I will send guards for you: the Hail, Thunder, Lightning, Rain and the Water Monster.”
Then the Sun sent his messenger, Tohnilai, the Dragon Fly, to tell Begochiddy to come down to them, and he came, and they told him about this dispute and asked him what they should do. Then Begochiddy answered: “That is well, Estsan-ah-tlehay must go to the Island.” Begochiddy spoke to the other gods about it and the other gods said: “No, we wish to go. Let Estsan-ah-tlehay stay here.”
The Coyote, Etsay-hashkeh, said: “I will take some of the last people made, Anlthtahn-nah-olyah, and a dog, and we will go north.” So he went north with a man, a woman, and two dogs. And these people never came back. They are now called Dinneh-nahoo-lonai (Eskimo).
They asked the turkeys whether they wanted to go with Estsan-ah-tlehay. The turkeys could not make up their minds, but were going back and forth between the different people. So p. 109 then they told the turkeys that they must go to Tsoll-tsilth (Mount Taylor), which they finally did.
Estsa-assun, the First Woman, did not want Estsan-ah-tlehay to go away to the west, but the gods said: “It must be so, and she must start in the morning.” When morning came, they had the Ceremonial-Before-Traveling. First, Estsan-ah-tlehay made some white shell ceremonial mush, and Estsa-assun made red shell mush. Estsan-ah-tlehay made the mush in a big black pot, and as they stirred the coals under it they said a prayer, and while they stirred it with a pudding stick, they prayed again, raising the stick towards the sky. Then the gods and the twelve people who were going to the west sat down on one side of the hogahn, while those who were opposed to their going sat on the other side. Then the people with Estsan-ah-tlehay ate, rubbing themselves and blessing their food, and praying to be strong and not tired during the journey. Estsa-assun, who made the red shell mush, and the people with her grabbed the food, eating it carelessly, and drinking hot water. They represent the careless people who are angry against the gods, and those who eat in this way bring sickness. The gods who ate the white shell mush ate slowly, praying and behaving properly, which is the ceremony of eating. Estsa-assun told the people that when they increased very much, there would be earthquakes and war between them. Etsay-Hasteen, her husband, said nothing because he could not speak against his wife, but he felt very badly.
Now they started to go, and Hashje-altye (the Talking God) stood in front of the people facing east and all the people had flowers in their hands and the spirits of the birds were with them. Nayenezgani held the scalp stick in his hand. There is a song about the starting of this journey called Deh-ye-yah-heh, meaning “I am a white shell woman and I am going.”
|Kai yolthkai estsa chin|
Eshli nihai in inyah.
The travellers who were going west with Estsan-ah-tlehay visited all the mountains that have heen named, and when they reached the second mountain, Tsoll-tsilth, they saw in the distance the smoke of Estsa-assun and Etsay-Hasteen going on their way to the north with Etsay-hashkeh. Asheen-assun, the Salt Woman, stayed with the Salt Clan at Huerfano.
The travellers with Estsan-ah-tlehay, after making a circuit of the holy mountain, started to go west from Huerfano by Bezh-lachee-begizh (Cottonwood Pass), over the Chuskai mountains. As they passed over it, they touched a big rock which stands there called Tseh-bezh-delneheh. And you can see the hand prints there now, and Indians who pass that way should put their hand on the hand prints and pray.
After that they came to a spring and made balls out of corn meal and ate what they could and left the rest near the spring; these now are turned into rocks like marbles, Tseh-genesh-hize. The Sun came down and ate with them, and near that place is a sign of the Sun on the rock, also the sign of the Moon.
They went then to a cliff with a rock with a hole through it sticking out of the cliff. This place is named Tseh-hatral. They left the Corn Pollen Boy (Tradadeen-eshki) and the Corn Pollen Girl (Tradadeen-etadeh) there to live, and also the Corn Bug Bird (At-atid-ehd).
Then they went on to Sontso-lah, two mountains with a path between them near Crystal, New Mexico. There they left two spirits to live, Siss-yatyeh and Tsilth-deginnih, which are the Echo and Holy Mountain Spirits; and in that place all Navajos should pray.
Then they went down Tseh-gih (Canyon de Chelly) to Tyen-tyel (Flat Rock) and there they left Tseh-atehd-deginnih (Rock Girl People), and also Tseh-altyeh (Echo Rock). Then they went to Nasjeh-tseel (Spider Rock), and came to Tseh-benigeh (a Rock in Canyon de Chelly). They left there Hashje-altye (the Talking God) and Hashje-hogahn (the House God). p. 111 And at Kin-lakai (White House) they left Hashje-baka and Hashje-ba-ahd, the Male and Female Gods; these are the dancers. All these last places mentioned are in Canyon de Chelly.
They passed by Chin Lee and went to a big rock island in the stream named Tseh-benazelleh, and landed on top of this rock and made some foot prints there. Then they flew from there in a flute to the top of Black Mountain near Toheen-da-hazkah, a flat-topped peak. There they blew their noses and cleaned themselves and left some white rocks in that place. Nayenezgani was carrying the scalp stick and he threw it on to the top of the rock, and said that no Navajo must go up there.
Then they entered the flute again, and went to the Ozheh-be-hogahn, a tribe of the Hopi Indians living north of Moencopi in a very lovely place. And they gave flint to these people, and also a feather of the Great Bird, Tseh-nah-hahleh.*
They went in the flute to the top of San Francisco Peak, Dogo-slee-ed, and from there they walked in the afternoon to a little mesa covered with cedar called Tsini-deh-aheh, and they slept there and had a Ceremony and Song. At this Ceremony they made the Gohi-ninny. One of the travellers was turned into a Gohi-ninny, and they made four of these men here who were the ancestors of the Pima tribe.
Then they went on to Tsilth-kai-des-kahli, a white-topped mountain, and left there four people called Delzheh, who are often slaves of the Hopis and were probably the Yuma Indians.
Then they came to Tsilth-nah-tsakai, Half-White-Mountain, and left there four people called Bes-antsai (meaning unknown) then to Tsilth- (an unknown mountain), and left there four people called Belthrah (Apaches); then to Tsilth-deltsoi (Yellow Mountain near Kingman, Arizona), where they left four people called Nah-ketlah-tsi-koi, which is a tribe that wears wooden soles on its shoes.
Then they went to Tsilth-n’doh-kunsh (Sailing Mountain) and left there the tribe called Away-kiyatye, and this tribe talked like babies.
Then they came to Tsilth-dohgeh-jiggah, and left there people called Bekekeh-yazhi (Papagoes) who wear sandals with thongs between their toes. Then they went to Tsilth-beneh-holkoh Mountain, and left there a people called Kah-dinneh, or Arrow People. Then they went to Haltahn-neligay-tseel or Mirage Mountain, and left there a people called Haltahn-ah-begay, or Mirage Clan.
At Foggy Mountain, Hahden-nesteen-tseel, they left the Foggy Clan. And at Nes-teen, which is the Coast Range of California, they left twelve people. Then they mounted on the Fog and rode over a great deal of water to Tsilth-gant-tseel (which is a little peak on Santa Cruz Island off the coast of Santa Barbara, California). After they had landed on the peak, they saw Begochiddy walking towards them on the water. His hair was shining, and little rays of light shone and sparkled from him.
Then they made a great house of rock crystal which shone and made rainbows as the light reflected from it. And the Wind, and Light, and all of the other spirits helped to make it. It was called Tralth-kageh-bekindeh-nah-elth, or the House-Which-Floats-on-Water. In the east they made a white shell room, in the south a turquoise room, in the west a yellow room made of abalone shell, and in the north a black jet room; and little Suns were placed in it to give light. The house was four stories tall and ladders were made of white shell, jet, turquoise, and abalone to reach the upper stories. At the east they placed a white shell door, at the south a turquoise door, at the west a door of abalone shell, and at the north a door of jet. To close and bar the east door, there was a large white shell stick, and at the p. 113 north door there was a black thunderbird, Iknee-dithklith. On the top of the house was a many-colored thunderbird, larger than any other, and chief of the thunderbirds, and he carried little thunderbirds on his back.
In the center was a big room and in it an altar decorated with all colors, and Estsan-ah-tlehay danced in front of it while the altar varied from one color to another. At the main door to the east, there was a white medicine rattle which would sound whenever anyone approached. This was the home of Estsan-ah-tlehay, and there is a song about this.
Meanwhile, the Salt Woman, Asheen-assun, who was left at Huerfano, went to the hill near Crystal (New Mexico), wondering where she could make a home. But she did not like it there, so she returned to Huerfano and started out again. She went to Zuni where she wandered about for a while, and made a hole in a big cliff near there, which is still there. The Zunis did not like her very much, but still they did not want her to leave. Then she went to Nohopah, which is near there; and then to Tseh-nihih-deh-ah which is a holy place in the ground south of Zuni, and there she stayed. It is a place where there are two peaks, one of which is female and the other male.
She told all the different tribes to come and visit her occasionally and get salt there. When the people go there and try to get salt, they should dress like Yeh and know a certain song called Asheen-assun-beyin (Salt Woman Song). If they do not know this song, they should sing the song of Estsan-ah-tlehay. Then they must stand in line and say: “Grandmother, come give me some water,” and the water will come rushing in all around them, and then the people can reach down and get the salt. If this song is not sung, the salt grows hard as granite, and no one can get any. This is forever the home of the Salt Woman.
Nayenezgani and Tohbachischin came back from the home of Estsan-ah-tlehay and went to where the rivers, the Piedra and the San Juan, meet on the other side of Blanco. They came p. 114 back in order to teach the Navajos about the ceremonies, and they also took part in the ceremonies, and helped the people and explained the ceremonies to them. The twins went back occasionally to the Island to visit their mother, and stayed four days at a time, and then they came back to their home again.
Estsan-ah-tlehay, the Changing-Woman, began to be lonely. The mirage made the mountains of the world grow taller, and then she would take a rock crystal and use it as we do a telescope, and she was able to see a great distance; and this she did whenever she was lonely.
She decided to make more human beings to live with her, so she sent word to all the gods to come to her and have a Council. And they came and went into the ceremonial house, the four-colored crystal house on the Island; and the gods stood together on one side and the twins on the other; and Estsan-ah-tlehay said to her boys: “We are going to create more people for I am lonely.” The Sun brought down a Turquoise man and a White Shell woman, which were very small—like little images. These were named Doklizhe-eshki, Turquoise Boy, and Yolthkai-etahdeh, White Shell Girl. And the Sun said to the Changing-Woman: “Find out how to make more people like these images.”
The Changing Woman bathed herself, and when she had bathed, she rubbed herself on her right side, and with the dead skin which she had rubbed off, she wrapped the little white shell image; and then the Sun rubbed himself on the right side and with the skin that was rubbed off, he wrapped the turquoise image. These small images were the ancestors of the Hushklishni Clan or Mud Clan. Estsan-ah-tlehay and the Sun took the skin from their left sides and with this dead skin they made the p. 115 Toh-klitsohni or Yellow Water Clan. Estsan-ah-tlehay rubbed herself from her head down to her breast, and with this skin made a female, and the Sun did the same and made a male, and these were called Toh-ah-zholi or Light-Water Clan. Estsan-ah-tlehay took the skin from the back of her head to her hips, and with this made a female, and the Sun did the same, and made a male, and these were called Bitahni Clan. They put a robe of Daybreak over them, and they held a ceremony over them, singing twenty-two verses of a song called Dinneh-noahnai-glah or Making-More-People.
Then Estsan-ah-tlehay took the Rainbow Spirit and moved these people. Then she motioned toward them with Ethkay-nah-ashi which gave them life. And they became human beings. They were created during the night, and at daybreak Estsan-ah-tlehay called four times to them to get up, and they arose and bathed while the people sang over them; and when they came to life they were already twenty-one years old. Estsan-ah-tlehay sang to them, and as she sang, they were clothed in new buckskin shoes and everything needful.
As time went on, the people increased until there were enough to satisfy Estsan-ah-tlehay. There were lots of people, and the children gathered the white shell and broke it up on the beach. Then Estsan-ah-tlehay appointed the chiefs of the clans. The chief of the Toh-klit-sohni, or Yellow Water Clan, was called Nahtal-tilth. Huskah-binah-oltin was the chief of the next clan, Toh-ah-zholi, or Light Water Clan. The chief of the Bitahni Clan was Do-bitsah-hallih. The first chief had a white shell cane, the second had a turquoise cane, the third had an abalone cane, and the fourth a jet cane. There were so many people by this time that Estsan-ah-tlehay sent many of them to another island (Santa Rosa). They were increasing so fast that the children did not thrive, and Estsan-ah-tlehay felt so badly about this that she called a Council to decide what to do. And the gods came together and decided to send many of the people p. 116 back to a place called Kih-ah-ah near Crownpoint, New Mexico. There is an old ruin on a hill there, and the clan of this place is called Ruin Clan or Kih-ahni.*
Begochiddy said that it was a good idea to send people back to this place and that he would give the different clans protectors on their journey. He appointed the Mountain Lion, Nash-tui-l’tso, as protector to the Mud Clan; and the Bear from Tsilth-dithklith (Black Mountain) was appointed protector of the Yellow Water People, and the Weasel was the guard for the Light Water Clan. The porcupine was the protector for the Bitahni Clan. Then the different guarding animals were brought to the clans, and they held a Council and decided that in four days those who were to go east should start.
They had many riches with them and a great many shells, and their clothing was decorated with shells, while each captain wore a large shell on the top of his head as a sign of his rank. On the day that they were ready to start a fog came up, and in four days they crossed the sea on it and reached the mainland. The travellers, who were called Changing-Woman’s-Children, set out walking towards the east, and the Weasel and the Porcupine were carried on the people’s backs.
As they journeyed, they came to a place called Tsilth-binny-holoneh, or Mountain-that-Thinks. And in a valley near by they saw a lot of corn fields full of ripe corn, and there they discovered a single hogahn but no people, so all the men put their packs on the ground and walked up to the hogahn. They found no one there, but a fire was burning under a cooking pot filled p. 117 with deer meat, and they looked around and saw nothing there except that on the east and west walls quivers were hanging, made of mountain lion skin, and on the south and north walls were quivers made of otter skin. Suddenly they heard a sound which came from the quiver made of mountain lion skin, and many men came out of it, young, old and middle-aged, and these were called the Kah-dinneh, or Arrow people. Then from the south side, from the otter skin quiver, came out many women and young girls. So the hogahn was full of the Arrow People and they rejoiced and were glad to see the visitors. The rest of the travellers came up with their packs on their backs and when evening came they all met together and told stories.
The names of the Arrow People and of the travellers were similar, and they all had tobacco. The travellers told their story and told where they were going to, and where they had come from; and the Arrow People said to them: “Estsan-ah-tlehay is our mother, too.” And they all made friends as they were all relations.
The Arrow People had plenty of food, and gave the travellers many ears of roasting corn, and then they all went to sleep. The travellers stayed at this place a month, and the Arrow People gave them part of their corn fields, to feed them, and some of the travellers married there. Then the chiefs of the travellers said to one another: “We have stayed long enough in this place, we must move on,” and they started on their way, one of the Arrow Women going with them, and they had a lot of corn to eat.
After they had travelled for a while, the chief of the Mud Clan tried to find water by sticking his cane in the ground, but got no water, only mud, and that is the reason why his clan is named the Mud Clan. Then the chief who had the turquoise cane stuck that into the ground and nice blue water gushed out of the ground. The chief who had the abalone shell cane thrust p. 118 it into the ground but the water that came was salty, and when the jet cane was used, the water that came was black.
Four days after they had left the Arrow People, their Bear Guard began to roar, and then he sang a song called Shonrah-hindeh-hotsil, meaning My-Home-is-in-Danger. When the chiefs heard this song, they called the people together because the Bear had warned them that something was going to happen. Then the Arrow People overtook them suddenly and surrounded them armed with bows and arrows. The Bear ran towards the east and circled around the travellers, biting the Arrow People. And he circled the travellers four times, protecting them from the hostile Arrow People. The next day they started hurriedly without breakfast and travelled on while the Bear came behind to guard them.
A week after this, they were again surrounded by some hostile people called Nakel-astsel-kai (Unknown) early in the morning. The Bear had warned them by growling and singing his song, and the Porcupine threw his spines into the enemy and killed many, and frightened the others so that they ran into the mountains and prayed in fear.
Then they went on again and met a man standing naked with folded arms who was one of the Away-kiyatyeh Clan, the People-Who-Talk-like-Babies. The fourth captain of the travellers took hold of the man and asked him: “Why can’t you talk to us?” The Mud Clan, Hush-klishni, and the Bitahni made friends with this naked man and gave him a robe. As they went on their way, they met many tribes and greeted them and passed on. A year passed before they reached Dogo-slee-ed, San Francisco Peaks.
Before they had left the Island, Estsan-ah-tlehay had told them that the holy mountains would bow to them as they went by, and that they must stop and visit the holy mountains. When they came to Dogo-slee-ed, it bowed to them, and they sent p. 119 one of their people to the top of the mountain who looked southeast and saw in that direction a great white peak (Tsoll-tsilth), and he knew that that was where they were to go next. As he gazed from the peak, the holy mountains rose up, but when he had come down they had sunk again. And he told the people that he had seen where they were to go next, and that he knew the way there.
So they journeyed on, but their guide grew confused and mistook the direction. And they went northeast instead of southeast, and crossed the Little Colorado River, and they were terribly hungry, and so was the Mountain Lion guard who waved his tail. The guide went hunting to try to find food, and the Mountain Lion went out at night and killed many antelope. In the morning the people were fed and stayed there for several days after this. The Lion killed eight antelopes every night for them so that they had plenty of food.
They went on to the north and came to the Painted Desert in the springtime, and they were dying for lack of water, for the four canes of the chiefs could not find any. At length they came to a bluff where there was a cave, and the captains tried to find water with their canes, but only found very little. And the Bear Guard went up to the cave and dug, and dug, and made a spring there, and they called the spring Shush-betoh (Bear Spring). It is near Navajo Mountain, Arizona.
They journeyed on and came to a place near Fort Defiance. Estsan-ah-tlehay had told them to leave the Porcupine on Tsilth-klizhin (Chin Lee Mountain), and they very nearly forgot to do this, but after they had passed the mountain, one of the captains remembered what Estsan-ah-tlehay had told them, and they went back and left the Porcupine on Tsilth-klizhin.
They passed to the north of Chin Lee and found great difficulty there in getting game; even the Mountain Lion Guard could not find any. The Weasel then began to nod, and told p. 120 them to go to sleep, and while they were sleeping, the Weasel went out and hunted, and the next morning they found that he had killed many rabbits and placed them around the fires, so all the people had plenty to eat, and they thanked the Weasel and patted him.
They went on to Tseh-na-kohni but knew they were going in the wrong direction, so they turned back and went through the Lukachukai Mountains. They travelled by a canyon and as they went the Bear danced, and it is now called the Dancing Canyon.
They came near Toadlena, and then over the plain and “Petrified Wood” Mountain towards Crown Point, and in the gap they heard some people talking about hunting. The people were the Kih-ah-ah Clan or Ruin People and they had a Bear and a Snake to guard them, and when they saw the travellers approach, they took up their bows and arrows, thinking the travellers were enemies.
The Bear Guard of the Kih-ah-ah people, and the Bear who guarded the travellers ran towards each other angrily, and the Big Snake, Kleeshtso, of the Kih-ah-ah Clan, and Nashtui-l’tso, the Mountain Lion, who guarded the travellers, also ran towards each other and started to fight, but as they approached, the bears recognized each other, so that they made friends. When the people saw that their guards were friendly, they all made friends, and the Kih-ah-ah people asked the travellers where they had come from and the travellers learned the name of their hosts.
The travellers said that Estsan-ah-tlehay was their mother and that they had come from her home, and the Kih-ah-ah or Ruin People said: “She is our mother, too,” and the chiefs of the travellers and of the Ruin People looked so much alike that they could not be told apart; and their names were almost the same, also their pipes, also their tobacco pouches. The white shell tobacco pouch was decorated with turquoise; the abalone p. 121 pouch was decorated with jet, and the jet pouch with abalone, and the turquoise pouch with white shell. The first captain’s tobacco pouch had a large white shell pipe in it, the second captain’s tobacco pouch had a big turquoise pipe in it, the third captain’s had an abalone shell pipe in it, and the fourth captain’s had a jet pipe in it. And there is a song about these pouches which is called Nahtoh-beyin, Tobacco Song.
Then all the people talked together and visited each other and told stories, and smoked, and had a big feast. The chiefs all made speeches and they asked who had Etsay-entee (a kind of early corn), and the Kih-ah-ah people said: “We have it.” They talked a long time about many things and used the playing stone called Espinee, a small stone, and another called Juggie. And they played a game in which they used the following stones: Nezhi, Wonshi, Tsee, Nah-bin-ithbithy, Binskai, Bakaz-tlah, also two stones joined together called Bayez. These are kicking stones. In the game the stone was placed on the foot and kicked; and this game is still played by the Zunis.
Before starting off on their journey again, the travellers were painted with a sign of lightning on their legs, white corn on their breasts, and yellow corn on their backs. And they painted a Sun Dog on each breast and on each shoulder blade. Their faces were painted white. They took food with them, and seed corn, and water in a gourd. They went towards Crown Point and when they came to a place called Teece-sahkahdi, which means Lone Tree, they found a nice level piece of ground and they planted some corn there and this was the cornfield of the Toh-ah-zholi or Light-Water Clan. Then they went to a little hill near Gallup called Sin-nahyah, which means Hill-with-Little-Trees; and they planted corn for the Hushklishni or Mud Clan; and they had a big cornfield and gave the Yellow Water Clan, Toh-klitsohni, one-half of this field.
As the corn began to grow and the little ears were forming, the crows and coyotes began to eat the corn and the people p. 122 went to their cornfields and lived there to protect the corn. There were some children playing a game in the cornfield; a boy was stationed in the east, a girl at the south, a boy at the west, and a girl at the north, and they were playing a game called Ahchineh-bah-jee-chin which meant: “We won’t give the children away.” In the game the east boy would run in a circle to touch the girl on the south and then around to all the others hiding in the corn, and if the east boy did not touch one of the children, it would mean that the one he did not touch would be a hunter.
It began to rain a little, and a rainbow appeared from the north and touched the edge of the cornfield, but the children went on playing and when the east boy had touched the south girl and looked for the west boy and north girl, he could not find them. They hunted a long time for the two children but could not find them, and they went home and told their parents who all rushed out to hunt for the two who were lost. Suddenly the people saw a rainbow on top of the Chuskai Mountains and they knew that the rainbow had picked up the children. So they had a little ceremony and made four footprints outside of their houses out of white corn, and four footprints and handprints of corn pollen inside the houses, and prayed. They sent a messenger to another village of Kih-ah-ah people and to all the other villages, that they must keep the days holy until these children came home again.
The people were right, for the rainbow had taken up the children and carried them to the Chuskai Mountains, and then west to the seashore. And on the rainbow stood Hashje-altye and Hashje-hogahn, one on each side of the children. When they reached the seashore, the children could see the Island p. 123 across the sea and flowers were growing all along the beach very thickly. Estsan-ah-tlehay had made thirty-two trails from the shore to the Island going down under the sea in spiral shape. And Hashje-altye (the Talking God) asked the boy and girl which trail they would take to reach Estsan-ah-tlehay. They selected the right trail, and it led them under the sea to the house of Estsan-ah-tlehay, and Hashje-altye led the way.
When they reached the Island, they went under it to the great crystal house, and entered it, and there they saw an old, old woman lying on the floor. Hashje-altye said to her: “Here are your children.” And the old woman asked if one was a boy and one was a girl, and they said: “Yes.” Estsan-ah-tlehay tried to rise, but she was so old she could hardly move, so Hashje-altye helped her, and she crawled to the door and raised the bar that closed it, and went into the altar in the inner room. Then she appeared again stronger and younger, and then went in again to the altar. Four times she did this, and the last time she appeared she was only about sixteen years old and she danced about very happily. She summoned the spirits of the Yeh and told them to bring a bowl of white crystal for the children to bathe in. The female Yehs washed the girl, and the male Yehs washed the boy and they dressed the boy and girl in white shoes and clothing, and put feathers in their hair as is now done in the fire dance, and then they fed them. Estsan-ah-tlehay told the children that the reason why she had sent for them was that she wanted to give them prayer sticks and medicine called Siss-bayis-kothy, which is a belt of medicine, and she gave them these things and told them stories all night long. Next morning Estsan-ah-tlehay mounted to a peak on the Island with the children and drew the whole earth up to her. As she stood there, and as they looked towards the east, they saw many sheep; and at the south they saw all kinds of plants and rain watering the plants; and to the west they looked and saw all p. 124 kinds of horses and mules and donkeys; and to the north they saw all kinds of game, deer, lions, and wild animals. And there is a song for everything they saw on the mountain. It is called Estsan-eh-beyin, which means “The Changing-Woman’s Song.”* In three days the children learned all the songs of the sheep, horses, corn and all other things. These songs mean to bring forth and multiply. After four days they had learned everything and Estsan-ah-tlehay said she would go part way back with them.
Then Estsan-ah-tlehay said to the children: “I want to learn your songs.” But they knew only two, which they sang for her, one of which was called Ahchini-beyin. That night they held a Council and all the gods came and they spread a buckskin and a cotton robe for the children to sit on, and they put the medicine belt down on the robes by the children. The gods sang all night, and at daybreak, Estsan-ah-tlehay showed them many sheep, cows, and horses at Siss-nah-tyel (near Kim-betoh, New Mexico), and said to them: “I give these animals to you, and now you know my songs, and you must go back and teach them to your people and tell them never to forget them. I will give you your names. The boy will be called Nahtahyah-ni-zhehni, which means the Establishment-and-End-of-the-Created-Law or Standing-for-the-Law. The girl will be named Non-napah, which means White-Shell-Woman-of-the-Future. And these names must not be forgotten.”
The two children went back in a flash on the rainbow to their home, Kebeh-eteen. As they approached it, Hashje-altye gave his call four times, and the people saw them coming all dressed in feathers. Hashje-altye sang to the people the last hogahn-beyin (House Song), and the children taught Estsan-ah-tlehay’s song to the head men. Two men learned their song by heart and taught it to the other people. When all the ceremonies, Yeh-bechai, p. 125 Bear Cerernony, and all, had been learned, Begochiddy left the people and never appeared again.
Begochiddy said: “Possibly some day this world will be destroyed by flood, fire or cyclone, and then I will come again. The Rainbow will give you the signs, and if the Rainbow lasts all day long, that will mean that something dreadful is going to happen. Two other bad signs are a Rainbow around the Sun, which means rain or sandstorm, and if Giss-dil-yessi does not grow.”
* The Black God sandpainting of the Tleji or Yehbechai ceremony has to do with this part of the story.
* The sandpainting of the place of emergence has to do with this part of the story.
** Female and male respectively.
* This was the first mother-in-law trouble.
* Hasteen Klah noted that from this point present day Navajos know the story.
* Hasteen Klah said: “The only two people who know the Creation Song today are Nakai-John (Klah’s older brother) and myself.” Klah died in 1936.
* Klah stated that there are six of these feathers in existence.
* Natahnapah, a fire-dance priest of Nava, New Mexico, was of this clan.
* Hasteen Klah sang the Estsan-eh-beyin.