Sacred-Texts Native American Navajo Index Previous Next
It was named “water everywhere,” “black world,” “one word,” and “trees standing.” It was also called “white-shell waves moving,” “turquoise waves moving,” “white shell stands vertical,” and “turoise stands vertical.”
Here was where the sun would rise in the future, blackness rose up and whiteness rose up. There where blackness and whiteness rose together First Man came into being. With him was a white ear of corn of white abalone shell which was kerneled completely over its end.
Here (in the west) blueness and yellowness rose up. Where they rose up together First Woman came into being. A yellow ear of corn of abalone shell, completely covered at the end with kernels, came into being with her.
The man started walking. When blackness rose up, he saw a fire in the distance, but when whiteness came up he couldn’t find it. When this had happened three times, he put up a stick so that it pointed to the fire. When blackness went away and whiteness came again he sighted along the stick and located smoke near a hill. He walked around the hill saying to himself, “Whose house is this that I have come to in vain? Who lives here? Why doesn’t the person come to me?” The fire was rock crystal. He went back.
When blackness came up she discovered a fire. When whiteness came up again she started to travel. She came to a gap in a ridge and set up a stick pointing toward the fire. When she sighted along this she found the fire she had seen was by the side of a hill where there was smoke. The fire was of turquoise. “Someone is living in a house I cannot see,” she said to herself.
“Are you walking about? Did you come here?” the man asked. “Why should it be thus? Your fire is rock crystal; mine is turquoise. Why should we be separated. Let us live here together” “All right, let it be my house,” the woman said. Then they lived together.
Someone came there. It was “Water Coyote” who runs on the water and knows everything about the water. From this direction came Coyote wearing a coyote skin blanket. He knows everything on the land. Others came there, whose bodies were short and their legs so long. They were yellow-jackets who have stings with which they witch people.
Four others came there, who were short bodied and wore black shirts. They were tarantulas. Four more came, black ones, black ants that had stings with which they witched people. Three others came p. 128 there, they were also black, but they had nothing with which to sting. They were named xolεdjinnε. They wanted to live there but they were not wanted. These began stinging and killing each other by witchcraft. “There is no use trying to live with them,” First Man said, and went up through the sky to the world above. The others moved up after him.
That was the blue world which was lying there and all those living on it were blue. They were birds, blue birds, jays, small jays, chapparal jays, and blue jays. The world was small and became crowded. They did the same way again; they began to witch each other. Then First Man, First Woman, Water Coyote, and Coyote, went up again to another world which was yellow. They found it was like this. To the east stood a mountain called sisnadjinnε (Pelado Peak), to the south was tsodził (Mount Taylor), to the west was dogosłit (San Francisco Peaks) and to the north was debentsa (La Plata Mountains). In the center was dzilna’odiłε and on the east side of it tc’olį.
There were living there yellow ant people, red and people, and black ants with red heads. On the east side of Pelado Peak Turquoise-boy lived with twelve male companions. They had large male reeds. Mirage people lived with him. Toward the west where the sun will set in the future lived White-shell Woman with twelve female companions. They had large female reeds. Female shimmering heat people lived with her. Here, at a place called brown mountain, turkey lived. He had brown corn.
Now it was becoming crowded. First Man spoke. “Let them live as married people,” he said. They made five chiefs; large snake, bear, wolf, panther, and otter. These five held a council and established clans. “If you marry one of your own clan you will go crazy and go into the fire.” That is why they are afraid to marry into their own clans. “Now go home and let those who like each other get married. There will be hermaphrodites who will know women’s work and who will live like women. They will know the ways of both men and women,” First Man said.
First Man planted the white corn which was created with him, and First Woman her yellow corn, and Turquoise-boy his blue corn. “Now you who live at Brown Mountain, it is your turn,” First Man said. Then Turkey danced four times back and forth saying “da da da da.” First he dropped brown corn, then watermelon seeds, musk melon seeds, and last spotted beans. Much got ripe and they harvested the corn.
The wife of First Man was untrue to him. Mirage Man went to First Man and talked to him until blackness arose. They continued p. 129 while blackness arose four times. The people didn’t hear any one. They listened in vain for the second chief. After that blackness came up again. The next chief talked but they didn’t hear him. The next talked and they didn’t hear him. Finally, Otter spoke. “What is the matter that we do not hear? You who are the leader, tell us why you do not talk.” “Very well,” said First Man, “tell yonder hermaphrodite to come here.” When he arrived, First Man asked who made the pot for him. “I made for myself,” he replied. “Who made the little gourd cup?” “I planted it,” he said. “Who made the metate for you?” “I did,” he replied. “Who made the hairbrush?” “I made it,” he said. “Who made the stirring sticks?” “I made them,” he replied. “Who made the water-basket?” “I made it,” he said.
First Man had not eaten or drunk for four days. “Get some water for me. I want to eat. Prepare some food. I am hungry. She scolded me badly. I am like this because she was false to me,” he said.
“Make a raft,” he said. “We will find out who is the stronger. All of us men and boys will go across on the raft which they are making.” They made a raft so large and all the men arrived on the other side of the river on it. The women lived on one side and the men on the other, and a large stream ran between them. The men made new farms. The women went about singing, while they planted the old farms to their full exent. They raised a crop of corn. The next year the men planted more land to corn, but the women did not plant all of the farmland. The next year the men planted still more and the women again fell short of the year preceding. The fourth year, the men extended their fields still further, but the woman’s fields had all reverted and were gone. The men had plenty, but the women had no crops and famine was killing them. They were especially hungry for meat.
“Bring the raft across,” they called, but the men did not hear. One woman called and ran into the water and drowned. Another did the same, and a third and fourth. The second chief came across with the raft. When he had returned to the men, he reported the women to be poor and starving. “What is to happen?” he asked. “There can be no increase living this way.” In the same manner the third and fourth chiefs spoke. “They have learned their lesson by now. Are they not punished enough?” asked the last chief. “All right,” replied First Man. “They are poor. Tell them never as long as they live to do such things again. Bring them across.”
They brought them across. First Man told all the men to bathe and dry themselves with white cornmeal and then to apply pollen to their p. 130 bodies from head to foot. The women were also told to bathe and to dry themselves with the yellow cornmeal and to apply the pollen in the same manner. They were requested to refrain from intercourse for four days, after which they were allowed to come together.
To the leadership of First Man they attributed the misfortune of the women, the deaths from famine and drowning.
When there was blackness, Coyote came wearing his blanket. First Woman instructed and provided him with a rainbow. The two children of tohołtsodi were swimming where the water flows out in four directions. Coyote caught them with the rainbow and drew them out. Whiteness arose here and here. The weather became cold. From the east white ones flew, from the south blue ones flew, from the west yellow ones flew, and from the north black ones flew. First Man sent black hawk toward the east to investigate. When he returned he reported that it was water. He sent hummingbird toward the south. He returned, bringing the same report that it was water. This way he sent the chief of the water, egret, who can walk on it who confirmed the report. “What shall we do about it?” he asked. “My children,” said First Man, “we will go to the top of Pelado Peak.” They all moved there and everyone living on the earth joined them. The First Man took up some of the soil in turn from Pelado Peak, Mount Taylor, San Francisco Peaks, La Plata Mountain, dziłna’odiłi and tc’ol’į. The people came after him, Turquoise Boy with black bow wood and the large male reeds. After him came the twelve men who lived with him and after them the male Mirage people. Here from the west of Pelado Peak came White-shell girl and the female large reeds with mulberry bows. After her came the twelve women and the Quivering Heat people. “Why didn’t you tell me,” said Turkey who came from Brown Mountain.
The water had reached the middle of Pelado Peak when First Man said, “Where is my medicine? I shall have to die some time. I am going back for it.” “No, I will go back after it for you,” said Blue Heron. He flew up and then went down hard to the bottom of the water. He came out with the medicine, but his legs were long. That is the way he got his name.
The water came to the top of Pelado Peak. He erected a large reed and blew against it so that it grew up until it reached the sky. Nodes were formed inside the reed. All of them entered the reed and started to climb up, but as Turkey was last his tail protruded into the water so that the ends of the feathers were washed white. When they reached the sky, Turkey said, “Let the water stop here.” They couldn’t break p. 131 through the sky. “Well, sir, try it,” First Man said. Then Woodpecker started pecking. The place became thin and finally gave way. The people moved up until they came to the sky hole, then tohołtsodi appeared with his horns, the ends of which are blue, and asked for his children.
Coyote had his blanket girded around him. “Look in that,” someone suggested. Then they filled an abalone shell basket with hard jewels, water mineral powder, blue pollen, and cat-tail pollen. They put the filled basket between tohołtsodi’s horns.
Then Coyote spoke. “No, I will give you only one of the children. With the white fabric of the other I will cause male and female rains and make the black clouds. I will cause flowers to grow on the mountain tops and vegetation to spring up. With the moisture we will be able to live.” To this tohołtsodi gave his assent. The girl was returned to him and the water stopped rising.
Cicada made himself a headband and fastened two feathered arrows crossing each other in front and two arrows feathered with yellow tail feathers behind. Where the hole had been drilled through to the upper world water was lying they say. Cicada made a pile of mud on which to stand.
Then a grebe came to him from the east plowing out the water, so that Cicada was splashed with it. The grebe had crossed feathered arrows in his headband in front. He stared at Cicada and then took off a pair of arrows and passed them through his alimentary canal from above and below so that they passed each other and were drawn out in opposite directions again. “Do this if you want to live here,” he said to the Cicada. “Oh, that has already been done to me,” said Cicada, who then took off a pair of his arrows and thrust them through his chest from side to side drawing them out so that they passed each other. “Do this if you want to live here,” he said to the grebe who, without speaking, went away again, plowing up the water which flowed away after him toward the east.
Then a blue grebe came from the south, stared at Cicada, and splashed water on him. He too took yellow feathered arrows from his headband and passed them through his alimentary canal. “Do this if you wish to live here,” he said to Cicada. “It is already done, but you do this,” Cicada replied and passed two arrows through his chest. The blue grebe without a word turned and plowed through the water toward the south, taking the water with him.
Next came a yellow grebe from the west, throwing water on the Cicada, and staring at him. “People do not live here,” he said and p. 132 proceeded to pass the arrows through his digestive tracts. “Do that,” he said, “if you would live here.” “Oh, that has already been done, but you do this,” Cicada replied, and taking a pair of arrows passed them through his chest. The yellow grebe, without speaking, turned back toward the west, plowing out the water which followed him.
Last of all, came a black grebe from the north, plowing out the water and staring at the Cicada. He, too, took a pair of arrows from his forehead and passed them through his alimentary canal in opposite directions. “Do that and you may live here,” he said. “Well, that has already been done, but try this,” Cicada replied, and passed a pair of arrows through his chest in opposite directions. The black grebe said nothing, but went back, toward the north, plowing the water and taking it with him.
Now all the water which had been there was gone; it had flowed together to form the ocean. Cicada returned and reported that there had been water above, but that by a hard series of contests with four grebes he had secured its removal and that now there was nothing but mud.
Then they secured turquoise, white-shell, abalone, red shell, jet, and powdered iron ore; also powdered blue flowers, pollen, and tree pollen. These hard substances and pollen they sent by Small Wind as a fee for those living above, that they should dry up the mud. Then the winds blew for four days and four nights and the earth was dried up.
Badger was sent up to investigate conditions. When he returned, his legs so high up were black from the mud. “It is dried up a little,” he reported. “Go up,” he told them. “Wait,” said First Man. Then they decorated panther and wolf. They adorned wolf with eagle tails and panther with variegated corn.
The first to come up was “Water Coyote,” then First Man, and next First Woman, and finally First Warrior. After them came the people generally. They had now arrived on the white earth.
They heard singing below and Panther with Wolf was climbing up. “Pull Panther out!” First Man told them. One side (Navajo) trotted there, but they missed him, pulling up Wolf instead of Panther. “This one will be ours,” they said. The ancient Pueblo people who built the straight walled houses pulled up Panther. The Pueblo people have houses and they like corn the same as we. From the black earth, from the blue earth, from the yellow earth, from the white earth; some of the people are from the black earth, some from the blue earth, some from the yellow earth, some from the white earth.
“Now that all have moved up, there will be a hogan,” First Man said. On the east side he put up a male reed, and on the west, opposite p. 133 a female reed. On the south side he leaned an oak timber, and opposite, on the north, a mulberry log. “I will put cornmeal on these four timbers,” he said.
Over there, the ancient Pueblo peoples had built straight-walled houses with clay. “We have built a round house. We are tired from our travels,” said First Man, “let us rest, my children.” “You make a sweathouse,” he told Beaver. “Bring up some stones.” He brought them up and they found Beaver had made a good round sweathouse which he had plastered with mud. He had also made a fire and had put the four stones in it where they became white hot. He made a good door and on the north side a place to crawl out. He put the four stones inside. Then he hung a white coyote blanket over the door and above that a white blanket, over that a black fabric, and over that figured calico. When the four were hung he shouted out, “Ooohwu, come into the sweathouse.” Many came in. “It is crowded,” said First Man to Beaver. “Phu, phu, phu, phu,” he said as he blew and the sweathouse became larger and the others came in. “Weh, old man,” he said and Beaver began to sing.
|“Those who came on top built it.|
Sticks women with he built it.
Black stones with he built it.
Earth with he built it.
Living old age in safety with he built it.”
Those who had been tired had now sweated and were rested. The Pueblo people who have houses do not have sweathouses. Those led by First Man, who have the round hogans, are accustomed to go into sweathouses.
First Man, First Woman, First Boy, and First Girl went into the hogan which had been made. First Man lay this way and First Woman nearer the door with First Man’s medicine between them. Lying thus (with their heads pillowed on their arms) they began to talk, speaking softly. First Boy and First Girl, lying on the other side of the fire, were unable to hear and listened in vain until morning. Dawn came without their having slept. During the following day it was the same; the talk went on so softly the children could not distinguish the words. If they approached nearer, so they might hear, they talking stopped entirely. The next night was also spent by the elders in talking so softly that the children could not hear what was said, although they stayed awake all night listening. Day dawned but the talking continued. First Boy stood listening until night. The parents lay huddled up that night also talking until morning.
Four nights and four days had passed without their sleeping making eight altogether. Then First Boy addressed them. “Why don’t you talk before us? We cannot sleep and we are suffering from sleepiness.” When he spoke thus language was originated.
First Man replied that they were discussing what should be in the world. They wanted to know how to live until old age. They had also discussed the sun, the mountains, the months, the trees, and what should be upon the earth.
He stationed guards in a circle around the hogan before he began his plans, but Coyote stepped in without being seen. “What are you doing?” he inquired. First Man covered the diagram drawn on the floor and replied that nothing was being discussed. Coyote went back.
The next day, guards were stationed in two circles around the hogan and the work resumed. When the plan was drawn Coyote again stepped in without being seen by the guards. First Man spread something over his drawing. “What are you talking about?” Coyote inquired. “We are not discussing anything,” First Man replied. “So you are not planning anything,” Coyote said, and returned. It was morning again and he placed guards in three circles around the hogan before resuming his work. Just as he was finishing his plan Coyote appeared, having again passed the guards without being detected. First Man covered his work again. “Cousin, what are you planning?” Coyote asked. “We are not talking about anything,” First Man replied, and Coyote went away again.
It was day for the fourth time. Guards were placed in four circles around the hogan. “Go to tsεdadin and invite the venerable Black God who resides there. We want his fire to make the sun hot.” They made the sun glowing hot with it. The moon they made just a little warm with rock crystal. That is why it does not give out heat. “It will give a little light,” he said.
Then with a diagram on the ground he named the months.
This month will be called nałac, “spider.” The traveling of animals will be its soft feather. In this month the mountain-sheep will run together. The heart of the month was made of shimmering heat.
This month will be called niłtc’its’osi, “slender wind.” hastin αk’ai, “old man standing with his feet apart,” will be its soft feather. In this month antelope will mate. Its heart is made of slender heat.
This will be named niłtc’itso, “large wind,” tsε’εtso, “first large,” will be its soft feather. Its heart is made of cold. In this month deer will run with each other.
This will be called zasniłt’εs, “snow cooked.” Its heart will be tin, “ice.” Its soft feather will be ik’aisadai, “morningstar.”
This one will be called atsabiyaj, “young eagles.” The eagles will warm their nests. Its soft feather will be gaxat’ε, “rabbit track.” Its heart is made of round hail. During this month rabbits will mate.
This will be called xoztcint, “horns lost.” Its soft feather will be dibεni, “Say’s phoebe.” Its heart is made of small hail. At the end of this month mountain-sheep will give birth to their lambs.
Now winter has passed and summer begins.
This will be called hit’atcil, “little vegetation.” Its soft feather is dεł, “crane.” Cranes will migrate in that month. Its heart is made of tc’il, “vegetation.”
This one will be called at’ątso, “leaves large.” Its soft feathers are made of nalta‛, “rain” and its heart of niyol “wind.” In this month the antelope have their young.
This month will be called ya’icdjactcillε. Its soft feathers will be djadεyac, “Young antelope.” Vegetation will begin to ripen its fruit. Its heart will be xadots’osi, “slim heat.”
This one will be called ya’icdjatso, “seeds large.” Its soft feather is made of ndjijoc, “little strings of rain” and its heart of xado‛ “heat.” In this month deer have their fawns. The Pleiades come up in this month and they will lie on the backs of the fawns.
This month will be called nt’ą ts’osi, “slender ripe.” Its soft feather will be niłtsą’ bikąi, “male rain.” Its heart is made of nd’ats’osi, “slender ripe.”
This will be called nt’atso, “large ripe.” At the end of it all vegetation will be mature. That will be its heart. Its soft feather will be niłts’a ba’at, “rain female.”
He had now placed all six (of the summer months).
Then he asked Turquoise Boy who was to step inside (the sun) where he was from. “I am from the east side of Pelado Peak,” replied Turquoise Boy. “Step inside,” he told him. “Put the flute made of large reed with twelve holes under your shirt. Let the Mirage People step in with you. By means of them you will pass by unseen.” “All right,” he replied. “but whenever I pass by I shall be paid by a person’s death. Not only your people here, but wherever they move they must pay it. I have 102 roads and that number of people will die.”
Then he asked White-shell Boy where he was from. “I belong on the west side of Pelado Peak. I am White-shell Boy,” he replied. “You step into the moon,” he told him. “Hereafter if something happens you two will trade places.”
Although there were four lines of guards, Coyote came without being seen. First Man covered up the drawing from Coyote. Small Wind p. 136 warned him that Coyote was about to say something unfortunate. He had gone to see Black God where he had fire. “Why didn’t they tell us about it?” he said. Over there he had made a picture of the sun, but what kind is not known. He handed it to Black God who got angry, said “gaaa,” and tore it up. Coyote ran off because Black God was the one person he feared.
He had made a drawing on a background, white above and yellow below. He had drawn lines across it with turquoise, abalone, jet, white shell, and rock crystal, five lines in all. He had this under his blanket fold.
“Why did you hide this matter from me? Tell what is on this. You wouldn’t tell me because you said I would make everything crooked. It is true I did that, but not on my own initiative. With you, First Woman, as my leader, I did it. Your leadership was altogether unfortunate. You told me you wanted to win. By your direction I took the young of tohołtsodi. I did a little better than that however.” Saying this, he put the stick with which he had made the drawing down in the center.
Then Young Wind told First Man that he must guess what the drawing meant or it would be established. He told him in detail what was intended by each mark. First Man began to explain the design. “You drew this with turquoise to represent the green vegetation. You mean that the vegetation has fallen off by the line drawn with abalone. The line of jet means that the leaves are all off and that there are black horizontal stripes on the mountains. The line drawn with white shell is for the mountain tops covered with snow. The rock crystal line is for ice to which all the water has turned. You have put down six on the other side. What will the names be? What more are you to do?”
“We will get all mixed. You finish it,” Coyote said and went home.
He put them in the sun. When they were making the sun, they sang this way.
|His face will be blue.|
His eye marks will be black.
His mouth mark will be black.
A horizontal yellow mark will be across his cheek.
His horns will be blue.
He placed it in the sky with a mirage.
Saying this, First Man chewed a medicine called adzilł’ijtso and blowing it out of his mouth sprinkled the sun in four places. He then put the sun in the sky and it began to move. “I will go to this place called dzaxadzis, “low place,” or “reservoir” and there I will eat lunch. The blue horse that I ride will eat there also. . . .”
He traveled. By the time he went down, the people were nearly roasted, “You nearly burned them,” he said. The next time he passed over higher up. This made twice he had crossed over. It was very warm and the people nearly boiled. He went over the third time and it was hot. Again he raised it up and when the sun went over the fourth time the temperature was just right.
Then they made a model of the world, so large. Pelado Peak was adorned with White-shell, Mount Taylor was decorated with turquoise, San Francisco Peaks with abalone, La Plata Mountain with jet, dziłnaxodiłε with mirage. They made the heart of the earth, named tc’ol’i, of jewels. It was made round. “This will be called yoditdzil (Rule Mountain) and this niłtsadzil (Rain Mountains). Then he made a mountain ridge and placed it north and south. noxoziłi was its skull. They covered it with bεc, “iron” or “obsidian” and stuck arrowheads up around it. They became the black peaks that stand up. Way over on the west side they made its breast. Water flows out of the ground there. “Here it will be called prairie,” he said. Here where water will flow are the pericardis and diaphragm. The stream at its base will be called ałnasdlį “flowing across each other.”
“Let those having seed plant them on Pelado Peak,” he said. Gray Pine Squirrel planted pines and Black Squirrel, spruce, Blue-jays planted Piñons, and Small Squirrel, cedar. After that, all the people each planted the seed of the vegetation on which he lives. They still grow on the earth.
First Man then took the soil he brought from the third world and put down Pelado Peak, Mount Taylor, San Francisco Peaks, La Plata Mountains, four of them, He put ground-up mirage stone on dziłnaodiłε and precious hard stones on tc’ol’i. “Who brought up the stone?” he asked, “I did,” replied Cañon Wren. He took that stone, pounded it up, and sowed the pieces back and forth. They became the rocks which stand in a line.
Then the four people who stand under the earth began to sing, and, moving away from each other they stretched out the earth. The mountains grew large.
They say they have them in Mesa Verde. Now it was complete.
He put the Pleiades in place, and then atsεts’oz, hastin sαkk’ai, atsεtso yikaisdat, gaxat’e, naxokǫs biką, naxokos bi’adε, and here put bεkon,1 He placed Coyote’s star also. Then Coyote said, “These will p. 138 be my stars,” as he pulled out hairs from his head and blew them up.
They appeared as red stars. Then Coyote gathered up all the other stars and, blowing four times, sent them to the sky in unplanned clusters. First Man was going to arrange them all, but Coyote did this. “They look nice that way,” he said, and went back home.
Over here they made a representation of the sun on a rock, and it is there to this day. (By means of it they know the days [?])
It was day again. A person died. When she had been dead four days they talked about it. “Where has she gone?” they asked. Two persons went east and returned without results. Two went south. Two went west. Then two went north. “She isn’t in any of these places,” they reported. Then the two who carry the corpse, one in front and one behind, put on masks and went to the place where the people had come up from the lower world. When they looked down, they saw the woman who had died sitting below combing her hair. The two men became nervous and that is why those who see a ghost become nervous. When they returned, they reported that the dead person was sitting below. First Man said, “They will not die for all time. Women will not have menstrual periods. They will not give birth to babies.” He took up a stick over which skins are draped for dressing. It was painted black. Throwing this into the water which stood there he said, “If this floats up people will not finally die.” Coyote picked up an ax and throwing it in the water said, “If this floats up people will not die.” The ax sank, but the stick floated. Because it floated, a person’s soul comes to life again. Because the ax sank people die.
A sapsucker came there. “Menses have become,” she said. “A person’s hair will not turn gray. It will remain black,” he said. Soon a western robin came there. “Children,” she said, “my head has become completely gray.”
“The men shall work hard. They shall plant and bring the wood. The women too shall work. They shall prepare the food. The women may marry. The men may marry,” he said. Coyote came there and said, “Cousin, I am married.” That is why men marry.
First Woman thought about it and resolved to be the leader in these matters. She concluded that she would not be the only one to commit adultery, but that women in general would do that. She planned that it would be hard for men and women, once attached, to separate again. She decided that both men and women should have medicine to attract each other. Then she made a penis of turquoise. She rubbed loose cuticle from the man’s breast. This she mixed with yucca fruit. She p. 139 made a clitoris of red shell and put it inside the vagina. She rubbed loose cuticle from a woman’s breast and mixed it with yucca fruit. She put that inside the turquoise penis. She combined herbs with waters of various kinds which should be for producing pregnancy. She placed the vagina on the ground and beside it the penis. Then she blew medicine from her mouth on them. That is why when people marry nowadays the woman sits on the left side.
“Now you think,” she said to the penis. It did so and its mind extended across Mesa Verde. When the woman’s organ thought its mind went nearly half way across and returned to her hips. That is why her longing does not extend to a great distance.
“Let them shout,” she said. The penis shouted very loud, but the vagina had a weak voice. “Let them have intercourse and try shouting again,” she said. When they tried again penis could not shout loud, but vagina had a good voice. The penis had lost its voice. As the organs were being put in place between the legs Coyote came. He pulled some of his beard out, blew on it, and placed it between the legs of both the man and woman. “It looks nice that way,” he said.
While First Woman was doing this Great Snake, second chief, had been biting the people and killing them. Bear, who was the next chief in rank, had torn people. For these reasons both Great Snake and Bear were discharged from being chiefs. Panther and Otter didn’t do anything and because of that their skins have value. To this day, if a chief does something bad he is discharged from office. “There will be chiefs,” they said. “Now go wherever you like,” he said. “I am studying about something else. There will be people.”
It happened they were traveling in Mesa Verde with a gourd dipper. They were traveling with a cat. They were bewitching the people who died as a consequence. Many people died.
There was a well behaved girl who had her hair covered with images of coyote, bluebird, and other birds made of turquoise. She had, besides, a disc of turquoise so large that a man standing could (just) put his hands on top of it. There were twelve white tails (eagles) and twelve red tails (hawk) fastened to its border.
The tribe moved away with her, going to dziłnadjinnε (Ute Mountain) and then to kittsilbito˙, “Kittsil its spring.” They were doing the same thing at both places. The people were dying and they were suspicious of each other. They moved away from the others and settled at xats’abitoγi (Dolores). At that place there was witching again. The people would not listen to advice and they moved to a place below dzilicdlai. p. 140 Then the chief said they would go to xadjinai. They all consented to this. Finally, they came back and settled at kintεł (the Aztec Ruin). Then fighting began, for the holy people wanted to kill the girl to get her treasures. Some of the people remained at Aztec and others moved to kindoł’ijε (House Blue). They came there to fight also and they moved again to Mesa Verde. After that some of them went to explore Chaco Canon. They found a good place for farms, much wild fruit, and plentiful game including deer, antelope, and mountain sheep. They decided to move there.
Then the sun had intercourse in a magical way with a woman named naxoditdai, “She picks up little things.” This woman found herself pregnant and in nine days gave birth to a boy. Because of that the normal gestation period is nine months. Fifteen days after this boy was born he was grown up. For that reason a man matures in fifteen years. He ran a footrace around Mount Taylor. He had a bow and arrows and began killing pack-rats.
Large-fly came to him and said “Grandson, what are you doing? You should go to your father. Sun is your father. If you wish to go to him step on this,” indicating a rainbow. He stepped on the rainbow and was carried to the summit of Mount Taylor and then to Pelado Peak and the sand dunes and was finally landed in front of Sun’s door at a place called i’a’itsε’na’, “Magpie’s tail.”
“No one goes around here with us. What do you come for?” the sun asked. Being instructed by small wind he replied, “I have a hard time and come to you for help.”
(Omission of tests.)
“You are certainly my son,” the sun assured him. When four days had passed, they two came to the middle of the sky. The sun put his hand in his blanket fold and drew forth a golden plate. He put water in this and mixed in some pollen and made mush. “Eat it with your five fingers,” he bade his son. He tried, in vain, to eat all of the mush. When he couldn’t do this he returned the plate with the remnants which the sun disposed of with four motions, dried the plate, and returned it to his blanket fold. The sun then gave his child a small wind which should ride on his ear and tell him what he should know. He gave him also turquoise earrings which would prevent him from losing when he gambled.
When he had returned, the people began to talk about the very valuable earrings which naxodidai’s son was wearing. They inquired in vain where he could have gotten them, saying that there were none like them in their pueblo. They tried to trade for them, but without success. They p. 141 offered him paper bread and finally the chief offered him a girl to be his wife. He refused to trade, but agreed to stake them in play. The other side wagered paper bread which filled a basket two feet high. The gambling was to be with seven wooden staves thrown as dice. It was agreed that the bet should be decided by one throw of the dice. The chief claimed the first throw, but the young man insisted that since the dice were his he should throw first. They came down white and he won the bread which he put away. Continuing to bet the turquoise he won all their goods and then their houses. He then offered to bet all his winnings against a woman. Then he won all the people.
When the gambling was done, he made slaves of the people and set them to work, feeding them with the bread which he had won. He had them build him a house, the round one that stands there, and then had them make a race track around it. The people came from the east and the west. Some of them (those from the west) lined up with him and the others were opposed.
He instituted the contest of pushing over a post set in the ground. He also made a najǫci pole. On this he put eagle claws and panther claws, the claws of all those which scratch. Those who knew how, put ten of these on the border of the pole. Its name was lightning or measuring worm. He made a ball, too, which should be thrown through a hole in the walls of one of the houses. If the ball went through, the other side would win the young man, but if they missed the hole they would lose.
The people of kintel (Aztec Ruin), kindołij, and tsεdεs’a were all talking about the gambler and what he was doing. They found he had guards watching for him in four places. When they had come, they bet their wives and the gambler won them. Then he bet the two women, all the assembled people and himself. He won a second time. Next he bet himself and his slaves against the land of the others. He won again. The visitors had only the large turquoise left. The gambler offered to bet all his winnings and himself against the turquoise. The contest was to be a footrace on the track which had been made and the contestants were required at the finish of the race to push over the posts which had been set in the ground. He had put one of the posts deep into the ground, but the one he was to push over was put down only a little way.
When they started on the race around the house the gambler let his opponent run in the lead. He then began bewitching him by shooting magical objects into his body. He shot him first in the muscles of the lower legs, then in the thighs, between the shoulders, and at the base of his head. The bewitched man staggered as he ran and the gambler passed p. 142 him. Wailing went up from the partisans of the defeated man and shouts from the followers of the gambler.
The gambler pushed his post over with ease, but the other ran in slowly and worked at his post in vain. The sun came there saying he was after turquoise so large that one standing by it could just reach the top with his hands. His son replied, “Gamble me for it,” and began to sing, “Come down all white.” The sun, disappointed and angry, turned back, saying to himself, “I thought it was mine.” nohwiłbin, the gambler, secured the girl for his wife.
The sun had intercourse in a magical way with εstsąditcijε. She discovered she was pregnant and in nine days she gave birth to a boy. Because of that, gestation now lasts nine months. In fifteen days the child was grown up. “Where does the man live who is father of εstsąditcijε’s son?” they were asking. Various men claimed him, saying, “He is my son.”
Large-fly came to the boy, calling him grandson, and telling him his father wanted him. The boy did not know who was his father. “The sun is your father,” the fly told him. White stripes appeared upon which the boy was asked to step. They were sunbeams which transported him to ts’εt’a. An old corrugated man lived there who was caterpiliar or tobacco worm. “Your father is dangerous. He kills people with tobacco.” The old man vomited and gave the boy what he had thrown up. He then was transported to the door of Sun’s house.
“It is hard for nohwiłbin has won everything from us. That is why I have come to you. He picked out a turquoise pipe and filled it and smoked it all. He cleaned the pipe and refilled it. The boy smoked it all, but began to feel dizzy. The sun cleaned and refilled it. The boy put in his mouth some of the vomited matter his grandfather had given him. He then smoked the pipe. Again, it was cleaned and filled and he smoked it again. Nothing happened to him.
“You are truly my son, “the sun said and called to his daughter who came and washed him first in a turquoise basket, then in a white-shell one, in an abalone one, and finally in a jet one. Then the sun stretched his hair until it was like nohwiłbin’s. He put a black medicine in the water and stroked his hair with it and then his leg muscles. “The turquoise which you win in the last bet will be mine,” he said.
The son agreed to that. They two went to the center of the sky where the sun prepared a smoke and blew smoke downwards four times. “Go to hactc’εoγan and you will get the things you will use in betting with nohwiłbin. He brushed around in a circle, saying he was looking p. 143 for his pay which would be (?) abalone shell. He gave his son a small wind which would sit on his ear and keep him informed. He called him “son” and they two arrived on the earth at the top of tsεsgit. hactc’εoγan already knew about it and small wind went as a messenger and summoned an the holy ones to a council. They met at the hogan called “yellow shining.” There they made wooden staves to be used as dice. One side was left white and the other was blackened. They gave bat a small yellow skin as his pay and told him to go up into the roof of the house in which the gambling would take place. He was told to take these dice with him and when the other dice were thrown up in the play to make substitutions and throw them down so the young man might win. They arranged with large snake that he should go into the loop used in najonci. Red-shell which he was told to wear on his forehead was given him for pay. Woodpecker was asked to go into a mudball and white-shell was given him for pay. Rat was hired to go into another ball and abalone shell was given him as his pay. Measuring Worm was asked to go into the stick which when thrown would stand up as a wicket in another game and hard substances were his pay. Whirlwind was directed to screw one of the trees deep into the ground and hard substances were his pay. Wood Worm was hired to gnaw off the roots of the other tree and he was paid with jet.
In the morning they dressed the young man up and were starting off when hactc’εoγan inquired about his fee and was promised (?). “Do not go today, my grandchildren,” he said. “Stay another day, there are many on watch. What are you going to do to confuse nohwiłbin’s mind?” It was morning. In the middle of the day they made his fee. He put hard substances in an abalone basket, circling around with a brush (?).
When it was dark the songs started and they continued until morning. With these songs nohwiłbin’s mind was made forked so that it would be divided. The young man then went where nohwiłbin’s wife was getting water. He asked her for a drink and what was left in the cup he put on his head. He then went over where she was and played with her. When he had finished, he returned to his party and reported that he had played with his opponent’s wife.
The woman returned and was greeted by her husband with the remark, “Are you back so soon? You played with someone who resembled me.” “Oh, I have been false to my husband,” she said to herself; and to her husband she replied that it was someone who, walking in the distance, looked like him. “Well, we shall find out during the day,” he p. 144 replied. When it was fully light, white-shell, abalone shell, jet, and hard substances, five altogether, were given whirlwind that he should raise a sandstorm, making it dark and blowing dust in the eyes of the guards. He asked the small wind on his ear to make nohwiłbin’s mind dwell on the fact that his wife had been tampered with. When he approached, the woman who sat with her face turned nearly away, laughed and turned around. “That one was my husband,” she thought the wind told him.
“Well, my friend, I have come for something,” he said. “Gamble with me,” he said and took up the dice and began to swing them back and forth, singing a gambling song. “We will bet our wives. Just as many on each side and wager them on one throw of the dice.” He consented to this, but told his opponent if he hoped to win he must not look up and must throw the dice against the roof beams. nohwiłbin began making motions and singing, “White, white, white, white.” He threw the dice and put the basket on the ground. Bat, sitting on the timbers, caught the dice with his wings and threw down the others in place of them. nohwiłbin jumped toward the basket saying, “You lost.” “No,” said the young man, “you lost, it is my play.” nohwiłbin swore, for he was still thinking about what had happened to his wife. “Now I will skin you,” the young man said and threw the dice. Bat caught them and substituted those of nohwiłbin which he had caught in the play before. “I win from you,” the young man said to nohwiłbin who jumped toward the dice and threw them to one side, swearing.
“Well, outside this time. You bet all those you won and your own wife. I will bet as many and my wife,” nohwiłbin proposed. They went outside to play najonc. “I will roll my hoop,” nohwiłbin said. “No, I have my own hoop, I won.” Large snake made himself into a hoop saying, “Throw your pole and when it falls near me I will get up and lie on it. When he throws his pole he will slam it down hard on me and bust my belly.” He rolled his hoop and threw his pole with it. It had “claws” tied under it. It fell close to the hoop which rolled to it and fell over on it. nohwiłbin ran to it and pulled the “claws” to one side. “What are you doing to my hoop? I win from you.”
“Well, inside next. We will play measuring worm. If this arched stick falls curved you win from me. You bet all you have won against an equal number.” The young man consented to this. When nohwiłbin was picking up an arched stick the young man objected, saying he had one of his own. “Now I will beat you. You will cry. The young man threw it and it stood up nicely arched. It was a real measuring worm. nohwiłbin tried to throw it down, but the young man stopped him, saying he had won.
“Well,” he said, “You have won all you bet. We will play football outside. If it drops this side I will win these from you, but if it falls on the other side you win from me.” “All right,” he said. They began kicking. He kicked it about so far (two feet) and Woodpecker flew beside it so that it fell on the other side. “I win,” the young man said. “Yes,” nohwiłbin said, “we will bet ? at one time.” The young man consented. They were to guess what was in a row of water baskets. Small wind assisted him. “What is that?” he was asked. “A water basket with a black cloud inside.” “What is the one beside the white one?” was the next question. “A water basket containing female rain,” was the reply. “What is that which stands by the image of a boy?” he was asked next. “It is an image of a girl and beside it a bird comes up singing.” He had poison and was witching people. “I have won from you,” the young man said. “All right,” nohwiłbin replied.
“Now you bet all you have won and your wife too on one play.” He agreed to this and they went outside where stood the house with a hole through the wall. “You kick four times and if you miss putting the ball through you lose, but if it goes through you win.” There was a rat inside the ball. He pretended to hit it and the rat ran with the ball. They ran after the ball which went through the hole. “I won from you,” the young man said. “Well, I will bet you male rain, female rain, all the houses and farms and myself, too. If you win you may kill me,” nohwiłbin proposed. The young man consented. “We will run a footrace around this track.” They started running side by side, but the young man, taunting nohwiłbin, ran ahead of him. After they had passed each other several times and the young man was in the lead, Wind told him that nohwiłbin was about to shoot him with witchcraft in his leg muscle and that he must dodge the shot by jumping up. When nohwiłbin shot him the young man jumped up and caught up the missile. Next, he was warned the shot would be at his hip and that he must throw himself to one side. He did this and again caught the missile. The warning the next time was that he would be shot between the shoulders and that he should dodge downward. This he did and again caught the missile. The last time the shot was at the base of his neck, which he escaped in the same way, again securing the missile.
Then nohwiłbin ran along beside him taunting him. “I will skin you. Poor fellow take your time.” When nohwiłbin was ahead of him, the young man, using the missiles he had picked up, shot him in the leg muscles, in the thigh, between his shoulders, and at the base of his head. Then he overtook him. “Let him run a long distance behind you,” p. 146 Wind advised the young man. Then as the young man ran by, he said, “Now I will run away from you, nohwiłbin. Poor man. Take it easy.” The young man ran on nohwiłbin’s side of the trail and the onlookers were deceived. nohwiłbin’s partisans were shouting with joy and the young man’s friends were crying. Then when he came over the hill the matter was reversed. The friends of the young man began to shout and nohwiłbin’s friends cried.
When the young man came to his tree he grabbed it and ran along with it. nohwiłbin came in slowly and tried in vain to pull his tree out. He trod the ground down as he fought with it. The young man came up to him, said, “you take too long at it,” and pulled the tree up. Then nohwiłbin said he was out of breath and, passing him an ax, asked to be killed with it. Wind warned the young man, however, that with this ax, the one who wielded it killed himself. “No,” the young man said, “shut your eyes.” He was going to strike him with his own ax when the sun came and said, “Wait, my son, he is not boss of anything. Let him be boss of something. You shoot him up with your black bow.” They two went there and the young man said, “Step on this,” indicating his bow. He shot him up into the sky. He stopped halfway up. “For a long time my thoughts have been at the earth’s heart,” he said. Again he stopped. “Always my thoughts will come back to the center of the earth,” he said again. He stopped the third time and said, “My thought will come back to the center of the world, it may be for good, it may be for evil.” When he stopped the fourth time he said, “Adios.”
When this had happened those who had been with nohwiłbin began to cry. “Why do you cry, slaves of nohwiłbin, I shall not treat you that way. Go wherever you please and take back your houses and farms,” the young man told them. “Thanks,” they all said and embraced each other. That is the way it is told. The people went off in various directions. “It will be so always, my son,” the sun said. He breathed out four times. “The one who stays inside will be mine you are thinking,” he said.
The people scattered out, some staying there at Pueblo Bonito and others investigated about Jemez where they found wide fields. “This will be our country,” they said. “All right,” the others replied.
Some of the people returned to tsεdεs’a and from there to Salt Cañon. I do not know how many years they lived there. Then they moved to tsεdεgonεnεgε’ where they lived five years.
Then First Man and First Woman went to the top of dziłnaodiłε where the Navajo people were to be made. There they studied about it p. 147 and decided that Navajo would be made where the round heart of the earth is at tc’oli’. They made an image of a man of the ear of white shell corn, rounded at the end, with which First Man came into existence. Then they made an image of a woman of the yellow ear of corn made of abalone shell, rounded at the end, with which First Woman came into existence. Then there, Turquoise Boy, and on this he made more so that they would have beads which covered them up and he who lives in Pelado Peak stepped over them. He who was made in Mount Taylor arrived and stepped over them. He who was made in San Francisco Peaks arrived there and stepped over them. He who was made in La Plata Mountains arrived there and stepped over them. Then he began to sing and in the morning they began to move and breathe. The newly created pair couldn’t get up, however. They invited the holy ones in vain. Finally, they sent messengers to the sky with hard substances as a fee. Then smoke came out and blowing through the new pair, passed each other and came out. This made the body hairs and air came out (the pores of the skin). Six women and six men, twelve all together stood up. Thus Navajo were made.
1 According to the Franciscan Fathers, the following stars or constellations are meant: atsεts’oz, belt and sword of Orion; xastin sakk’ai, a square in Corvis; atsεtso, the fore part of Scorpion: yik’aisdai (perhaps Milky Way); gaxat’e, cluster of stars under Canis Major: naxokǫs bikąi, Ursa Major; naxokǫs bi’adε, Cassiopeia; bεkon, “its fire” in this case is the North Star.