AND do you know why it is that the Moon has but one eye? It is a short story, but one of the most poetic and beautiful in all the pretty folklore of the Pueblos.
P'áh-hlee-oh, the Moon-Maiden, was the Tée-wahn Eve 1--the first and loveliest woman in all the world. She had neither father nor mother, sister nor brother; and in her fair form were the seeds of all humanity--of all life and love and goodness. The Trues, who are the unseen spirits that are above all, made T'hoor-íd-deh, the Sun, who was to be father of all things; and because he was alone, they made for him a companion, the first to be of maids, the first to be a wife. From them began the world and all that is in it; and all their children were strong and good. Very happy were the Father-all and the Mother-all, as they watched their happy brood. He guarded them by day and
she by night--only there was no night, for then the Moon had two eyes, and saw as clearly as the Sun, and with glance as bright. It was all as one long day of golden light. The birds flew always, the flowers never shut, the young people danced and sang, and none knew how to rest.
But at last the Trues thought better. For the endless light grew heavy to the world's young eyes that knew no tender lids of night. And the Trues said:
"It is not well, for so there is no sleep, and the world is very tired. We must not keep the Sun and Moon seeing alike. Let us put out one of his eyes, that there may be darkness for half the time, and then his children can rest." And they called T'hoor-íd-deh and P'áh-hlee-oh before them to say what must be done.
But when she heard that, the Moon-Mother wept for her strong and handsome husband, and cried:
"No! No! Take my eyes, for my children, but do not blind the Sun! He is the father, the provider--and how shall he watch against harm, or how find us game without his bright eyes? Blind me, and keep him all-seeing."
And the Trues said: "It is well, daughter." And so they took away one of her eyes, so that she could never see again so well. Then night came upon the tired earth, and the flowers and birds and people slept their first sleep, and it was very good. But she who first had the love of children, and paid for them with pain as mother's pay, she did not grow ugly by her sacrifice. Nay,
she is lovelier than ever, and we all love her to this day. For the Trues are good to her, and gave her in place of the bloom of girlhood the beauty that is only in the faces of mothers.
So mother-pale above us
She bends, her watch to keep,
Who of her sight dear-bought the night
To give her children sleep.
71:1 She is honored in almost every detail of the Pueblo ceremonials. The most important charm or implement of the medicine-men, the holiest fetish of all, is typical of her. It is called Mah-pah-róo, the Mother, and is the most beautiful article a Pueblo ever fashioned. A flawless ear of pure white corn (a type of fertility or motherhood) is tricked out with a downy mass of snow-white feathers, and hung with ornaments of silver, coral, and the precious turquoise.