When he looked up there in the middle of the sky he
saw something coming down to attack him. It had its talons sticking
out. It came near him and nearly grabbed him. Naiyenezgani was lying
with his face down and the bird grabbed at the back of his war shirt
only. It said "xa" as it missed him. Naiyenezgani got up and walked
on a little ways when he heard the same noise. He saw the bird again
and lay down again on his face. The bird grabbed at him again but
striking only the war coat missed the second time. When he had gone
on a little ways he was attacked a third time. This time he heard
the claws as they scraped on the coat. He missed getting him a third
time. Naiyenezgani walked on again. When he had gone a short
distance he heard the noise again. He looked up and saw the bird
coming down. This was the fourth attack and Naiyenezgani this time
lay with his face up. He lay that way for he wanted to see what the
bird was doing to him. It drove its talons under the scalloped
trimming on the front of his coat and carried him off. He flew up on
the sky to the east where the bird had its nest. At the east of the
nest was a smooth sharp pinnacle of projecting rock on which he
killed people. He threw Naiyenezgani down on that. When he struck it
the blood, brains, and manure of Delgit burst out of their
containers. The bird thought he had killed him and took him up where
his children were sitting and threw him down to them. He flew off
shaking himself and alighted at the east.
When the young ones came up to him and put their heads down to eat
him he said, " sho." "He said sho' to us," they told their father.
"It is only the breath oozing out," he replied. Four times this
happened but by that time the parent bird had flown away to hunt
again. The man, who was supposed to have been killed, got up and
came where the four young ones were sitting. He began striking among
them using the bone of Delgit as a club. He threw them down the side
of the cliff, leaving only 'one of the four. He began to question
this one, asking in what sort of a storm its father brought back his
prey. It replied that he came back when there was a big male rain.
Next he inquired in what sort of weather its mother
brought prey. It replied that she came back when a female rain was
falling. He then wanted to know under what conditions the brother
and sister came back. It replied that the latter came back with prey
when a young rain was falling. When his questions had been answered
he killed the young one with the bone of Delgit and threw the body
over the cliff. It had told him where at the east the father
alighted, where at the south the mother stayed, where at the west
the sister would alight, and at the north the brother would perch.
Naiyenezgani hid at the east. When a male rain fell he was ready
with his club. The male bird came flying with a man and dropped him
on the smooth pinnacle of bec dilxil, at the east. It flew to its
perch. When a female rain was falling the mother bird returned
bringing a beautiful woman and threw her down. When a small rain
fell the young female brought back a pretty girl. There was a storm
of small hail to the north and the young male came back.
Naiyenezgani killed them one by one as they came back with his war
club of obsidian and knocked them over the cliff.
He had killed all those who preyed on people. He sat there alone
wondering what he should do. As he sat there he cried. While he was
crying he heard a noise up above. Wondering where the noise came
from he looked up and saw something coming down to him from the
middle of the sky. An eagle lit nearby. Behind the eagle sat Chicken
Hawk, behind Hawk, Raven, and behind Raven, Pelican. Eagle Chief
spoke to Naiyenezgani asking what he was doing there and why he was
crying. Chicken Hawk spoke to him from the south and asked the same
questions. Pelican Chief spoke next asking the same. Last, Raven
Chief inquired the same things. They told him no one was allowed
there. Naiyenezgani replied to each, " Ts'innagole brought me up
here, I say, and I was thinking I wish I could get back some way." "
Where is the one who brought you up?" they asked. Naiyenezgani said
that he had killed him as well as his wife, his daughter, and his
son. They then asked what he wished them to do. He replied that they
probably had a way. To this they all consented. Eagle Chief who was
the spokesman took off his eagle shirt and putting it near him told
him to put it on. From the south Chicken Hawk offered his shirt, and
next Pelican Chief offered his and finally Raven Chief took off his
shirt and offered that. Naiyenezgani put them all on. They then
asked him to shake himself. He did so. They next told him to fly
with the wings he had. He flew a short distance as they instructed
him. Next he flew a little further. They kept on pointing out places
to which he should fly. He encircled the points as they pointed them
out and came back to alight. Finally they told him to fly around
four times and to come back where Eagle was. "Do you like it?" they
asked the man. He replied that he liked it. "Very well," they said,
" you fly and we will fly under you. We will make four circles as we
They started off, the man flying ahead and the
others under him. He made one circuit with the others doing just as
he did. They all alighted and the birds told the man a dangerous
place lay ahead of them. They said they would go back with him to
this earth on which he lived. They directed him to do exactly as
they did. They would go first underneath, flying in a circle. They
started off one behind the other. He did just as they did as they
flew down to the earth.1 When they had
come down they directed him to fly where he lived. They asked if he
wished them to accompany him.
He went back where his grandmother was living. "Now
you see it was dangerous as I told you it was," she said to him. "
What you said was true," he replied.
He had killed all the monsters which preyed on the peoples who lived
on the earth. As he was traveling about he came where a high rock
stood under which Old Man Big Owl lived with his two daughters. The
girls were both alike and Naiyenezgani's mind was disturbed with
desire. He wished they would speak to him. Old Man Owl saw what was
in Naiyenezgani's mind. " What you are wishing will happen," he
said. " My daughter is cleaning out the cave behind. She is making a
bed. Marry the one in there." He married her.
The one he married brought in some food.2
The monitor which sat by Naiyenezgani's ear told him that what she
brought was not good, that ft was human brains. Naiyenezgani told
the girl that he did not eat such food, to take it back. She took it
back and brought him meat boiled soft. His monitor told him again
the food was not good. He told the girl again to take the food away;
that he did not eat that kind. She took it away and brought him
something that looked like corn. It was white, had been boiled, and
was turned wrong side up. Again he was told it was not good. The
dish was human eyes. He told her again that he was not accustomed to
eat that and that she should carry it back. She was bringing him
human flesh all the time.
Then Naiyenezgani spoke. Owl's children were evil smelling. He
directed that they wash with soap weeds and that Owl himself should
also wash. He told his wife to throw away her property and to wash
and sweep her house. They did so; they bathed.
Naiyenezgani had a little cornmeal which never was spent in his
belt. He gave this to the girl he had married telling her that that
was the sort of food human beings ate, and that her food was very
bad. He told her to take it to her house, and boil it as thick mush
with water, and eat it. He also told her how to make ta'mil, a thin
soup. He added that although there was but little of the meal, that
never gave out. They prepared it as he told them and ate the food.
His wife went not far from their house for water,
carrying her tos on her back. Although it was only a short distance
some time elapsed, and she did not return. He said to himself, "She
always comes back quickly I better go and see what is the matter."
When he came there he found only the tos by the water and his wife's
track and two footprints of a man with a long foot. He wondered what
had happened and then the one who sat by his ear told him that Gołilisi
had stolen his wife and that they had gone a long way off. Gołilisi
had a flute and with that he traveled over the earth. Naiyenezgani,
too, had a flute with which he traveled. The one who sat by his ear
told Naiyenezgani that the two had landed far toward the east where
the mountain ridge was blue with distance. Beyond that as far again
where another mountain was blue they had come. In this manner they
had gone four times to distant mountains and beyond that they were
traveling on the ground.
When his monitor had told him this he thought he would try with his
flute. When he blew on it his flute went with him to the distant
blue mountain where they had alighted. There he saw his wife's
tracks and the long footprints lying over them. He blew his flute
again and alighted on the next mountain. There again were the
tracks. He blew his flute the third time and landed on another ridge
where the tracks were again to be seen. He blew again on the flute
and went to the blue mountain where he alighted and saw his wife's
tracks. The man's long footprints were there also. This made four
times. From there on they had walked along together. He followed
their trail for a long way until he came to a difficult canyon from
which he could see smoke rising. He found his wife had been taken
into the canyon.
He came to the trail which led to the water supply and sat down
behind a bunch of grass. Soon a girl came from the camp to the
water. As she was filling her vessel he picked up a small stone and
threw it into the water. Wondering what had caused it the girl began
to look around and discovered him. Leaving the water basket she ran
where her father was sitting and told him the one who steals people
was sitting by the water. The father said he would not be in such a
place and that the girl was not telling the truth. The girl repeated
her statement which the father again doubted. Each made the
statements four times after which the father decided to investigate.
A company of men went to the water place and addressing Naiyenezgani
as friend, asked how he was traveling, and why he did not come to
the camp as travelers were supposed to do. Naiyenezgani then agreed
to return with them. They came to the edge of a large camp where
Naiyenezgani sat down. The people came to look at him because they
did not know him and he had a strange appearance. They asked the
reason for his journey. He replied that someone there had taken away
a woman. He said he had followed her track to that place and that
was the reason for his coming. They replied that Gołilisi
had come early that morning with a good-looking woman. She might be
the one for whom he was looking. Naiyenezgani replied that he had
come from TałakQwa.
The people expressed surprise saying they had never seen people from
there and that they did not know of a place of that name anywhere on
the earth. They decided to summon Eagle Chief who was accustomed to
say he had seen everything. When he had come and was seated they
said to him: "You always say you have seen everything, do you know
of a place on the earth named TałakQwa?
A man who is sitting here says he came from, there since this
morning." Eagle Chief replied that there was no such place, that he
had been everywhere and had never seen a place so named.
They next sent for Yellow-tailed Hawk Chief who also claimed to have
seen every locality. When he was seated they put the same question
with the same introduction. Yellow-tailed Hawk Chief made the same
denial that such a place could exist.
Raven Chief was next called who, when questioned in the same words,
made the same reply. They then sent for Pelican (?) Chief. When told
a man claimed to have come from TałakQwa
since morning he immediately replied, "He did not travel on the
earth then." "When I was going about," he said, ".before my wings
had gaps in them I once saw in the distance a place called TałakQwa,
then I had to turn back. It is very far from here."
Naiyenezgani then inquired where Gołilisi
lived. They told him he lived a short distance away. Then those who
came to him asked him four times if he knew some game, some method
of gambling. They asked him about dice sticks, hoop and pole, and
hiding the ball, but he replied he did not know any of them. When
they had asked the fourth time they told him someone had won from
them their daughters, their sons, and their wives, and that not one
was left to them. Naiyenezgani asked who it was who had done this to
them. They replied that it was Gołilisi.
He then inquired by what means he won them. They enumerated: hoop
and pole, cards, hiding the ball, pushing over the post, three-stick
dice, the many-stick dice, a contest in which his hair was stretched
across the canyon, a footrace, and a race on horseback, the course
being the edge of the world. They said that he had all their
daughters, sons, and wives shut up where no one could see them. They
asked Naiyenezgani to release them all.
He next inquired at what time of day Gołilisi
came to play.3 They replied that he came out on the
ridge, yonder, at sunrise carrying his najonc pole and
shouted a challenge.
Naiyenezgani went to the ground where najonc was played and
hid away a pole which he made. He also made the hoop and hid it
away. The people who were to help him came with him. With Gołilisi
came the girls and boys he was going to stake on the game.
Naiyenezgani hid himself near the edge of the camp. Gołilisi
put down his pole and came to the camp. He had let out all the
pretty girls, boys, and women. He came where Naiyenezgani was
sitting and going among the people challenged them to play najonc.
They replied that they could not beat him. He said that did not
matter that they should hurry and play. He finally came to the house
at the edge of the camp where Naiyenezgani was hidden. He asked him
too to play. Naiyenezgani replied that he did not know how to play.
He was invited to play four times and four times refused. Then
Naiyenezgani reconsidered, saying, "Whatever it is you mean I will
try it. You go ahead and I will follow." They went then to the
playing ground. Then he told the people who came with him. "Your
daughters, your sons, your wives, your people all go down with him."
They consented. He came where they were to play and the girls, boys,
and women went with him. The man stood here and the company he was
going to bet stood over there. All the girls, boys, and women were
on the one side. All the men who were helping Naiyenezgani came with
him. The people on Gołilisi's
side were crowded. " I will bet all in this group," he said. In the
same way Naiyenezgani bet the people on his side. He said that he
would play although he was no match for him. Gołilisi
threw down his poles and hoop and told Naiyenezgani to choose one.
Thinking they were the kind that people usually played with he took
one up. Gołilisi took the other.
He was then told to take up the hoop. When the request had been made
four times he himself (Gołilisi)
took the hoop and rolled it. This hoop of his had eyes, a tongue
that it ran out, and a nose. It was alive and breathing. He rolled
the hoop and threw the pole. Naiyenezgani threw his pole right after
him. The hoop broke apart. The pole fell over there making a sound
like "nxak'." The other pole fell a little way beyond:. The pole
came all apart where it was joined. " What did you do to my pole?"
Gołilisi asked. "What kind was
your pole?" Naiyenezgani asked. "Your hoop is alive, it sticks out
its tongue, it winks its eyes. That is not the way for najonc
to be played. That is not a good way. These are the proper ones," he
said, and brought out the ones he had made and hidden. He threw the
poles down on the 'playing ground saying those were the sort with
which people played.
One of the poles he had made was straight and red; the other was
bent in every direction. Naiyenezgani told Gołilisi
to choose a pole. He went to them and said he would take this one,
picking out the straight red one. Naiyenezgani took the poor looking
one. " What did you do with the hoop? " Naiyenezgani asked. The
other replied he did not know where it was. When Gołilisi
started to get the hoop. Naiyenezgani reached for the one which lay
hidden in his clothes.' While he was reaching for it Gołilisi's
hoop moved away. He kept reaching for it and the other hoop kept
moving away. When he had reached for it four times in vain and the
other had moved away so that Gołilisi
had failed to find it he reached for the hoop again and pulled it
out of the fold of his clothes. He threw it down saying, " This is
the proper kind of hoop which people use. Your hoop is not good." To
this Gołilisi consented. He
rolled the hoop and threw his pole first. The end of the pole struck
the hoop and it fell beyond the end of his pole. Naiyenezgani threw
his pole telling it to go beyond. His pole jumped on his hoop and he
won. "Well, that man beat me," Gołilisi
said. Just once it did not land on the pole as they played against
each other. He won those Gołilisi
had bet and they all moved to Naiyenezgani's side.
proposed that Naiyenezgani bet those he had wagered before and in
addition all those he had won. Naiyenezgani consented and they
played again. He rolled the hoop and threw his pole first. The hoop
fell on his pole and was carried along by it. Naiyenezgani threw his
pole after him and it went beyond the other. "Beyond," he told his
hoop and it fell on the pole. He won again. Gołilisi
exclaimed again as he lost.4
Again he proposed that Naiyenezgani should bet all his winnings,
saying he would bet the same number. The bet being arranged on this
basis they played again. Naiyenezgani rolled the hoop for him and
threw his pole. The other man threw his pole later. Naiyenezgani won
again. Gołilisi exclaimed again,
"He beats me every time." Those he had won went across to
They had played three times. Again the winnings were wagered and
they played as before. The hoop went beyond as Naiyenezgani told it
to and fell on his pole. He won again, the fourth time, and those he
won came to his side. They put the hoop and pole game down.
Gołilisi then suggested they try
pushing the posts over. The sticks had already been set up. The one
for Gołilisi was set deep and
Naiyenezgani's shallow. Four times they bantered each other to see
who should try first. Gołilisi
ran first, struck- the post with his shoulder and fell back. The
post still stood. Naiyenezgani ran second and hit the post which
He won and those he had won came over to him. Again
the bets were doubled. There was a line of water baskets filled with
all the different kinds of seeds which grow upon the earth. The
names of those seeds were to be called. If Naiyenezgani missed
naming them he would lose the people. The one that sat by
Naiyenezgani's ear told him the names, saying that those over there
were called so and so 'and these were called this way. Naiyenezgani
gave all the names and won again. Again the bet was doubled and Gołilisi
equaled the number. Naiyenezgani's wife was not among those won so
far. They bet again for a game of hiding the ball at night. Gołilisi
came that night to play. That which sat by Naiyenezgani's ear told
him that Gołilisi won by the aid
of a gopher which took the ball in his cheek pouches and went with
it to the hole which would win the game. Naiyenezgani gave the
gopher something for a bribe so he helped him instead of Gołilisi.
He won those which were bet. Again they bet. He made three dice
sticks with which he came to play. Gołilisi
offered to bet as many as Naiyenezgani had won. The one which sat by
Naiyenezgani's ear told him that the kingbird helped win the game.
Naiyenezgani gave the kingbird something he had to help him win. In
that way he won all those which were wagered.
Then they played with many dice sticks. The stakes were again
doubled, Naiyenezgani bet all the people he had so far won. He won
at this game also.
Each man had his hair tied up at the back of his neck. Gołilisi
offered to bet as many people as Naiyenezgani had won and that
Naiyenezgani's wife should this time be among the number. The
contestants were to start on a ridge and see whose hair would reach
the greater distance. They bantered each other to see who should
first let down his hair. That which sat by Naiyenezgani's ear had
told him that he must not let down his hair first, but make Gołilisi
be the first. After Naiyenezgani refused the fourth time to be
first, Gołilisi let his hair
down. His hair reached down the ridge and across the canyon. He
claimed to have won. Naiyenezgani let down his hair and it went
across the canyon and halfway up the opposite side. Gołilisi
had reached only to the foot of the opposite ridge. Naiyenezgani won
from him again and Gołilisi
exclaimed as on former occasions.
Naiyenezgani had won all that were bet.
Next Gołilisi suggested a horse
race. The course was to be around the border of the earth. Gołilisi
had a horse but Naiyenezgani had none. The one which sat by
Naiyenezgani's ear told him to go to his father, the Sun, and borrow
his horse. He started to his father. When he came there he asked his
father to loan him a horse. The one which sat by his ear told him
his father had four horses but not all of these were his very own
horses. The horse the Sun used to go across the sky was a black
horse with a small white spot on his forehead. That was the horse
the Sun goes everywhere with.
The Sun said that none of his horses looked good. He went into his
camp and led out a white horse. "Here is my horse, I guess you mean
this one," he said. The one which sat by Naiyenezgani's ear told him
that was not the one. Naiyenezgani said, "No. I meant your own
horse." The Sun led that one back and brought out a red horse. Again
Naiyenezgani was prompted to ask for the Sun's own horse. He led
that one back and led out a yellow (sorrel) one. Again Naiyenezgani
refused it and asked for the Sun's own horse. He led it back and
came out again with a blue (gray) horse. Again being prompted
Naiyenezgani refused it saying he wanted the horse his father used
when he traveled. That was the one he had been asking for. The Sun
led this horse inside and led out the black one that had a small
white spot on its forehead.5 The one
which sat by Naiyenezgani's ear told him that was the horse the Sun
used himself: He told his father that was the one he wanted.
He rode it back where Gołilisi
was waiting for him. Each side had a company of followers all of
whom were provided with horses. They rode in company to the edge of
the world where the race was to be. When they came there each tried
to get the other to go first. The one which sat by Naiyenezgani's
ear told him not to go first. When each had told the other to go
first four times Gołilisi rode
off first. When he had ridden a little way and was no longer in
sight Naiyenezgani saw the horse he was riding again.. Then
Naiyenezgani rode after him. Gołilisi
had a flute and with that he was blown with the horse he was riding.
Naiyenezgani also had a flute. When he saw him riding there he went
in front of him without being seen. He landed way over there with
his flute. Naiyenezgani too landed way over there with his flute. He
looked in front again but he could not see him. He went with his
flute again and landed far over. Naiyenezgani did the same. He could
not see him in front. This made three times they had gone forward
so. Each went forward again. This made four times and this time when
he looked ahead he saw him. He was riding far ahead. He made his
horse run to overtake him. With his flute he landed beyond in front
of Gołilisi. He rode his horse
over there where there was a ridge. Gołilisi
was riding behind him. All of Gołilisi's
followers were lined up on the nearer side and Naiyenezgani's
followers on the other side. They saw one ride, up on the ridge.
They said, "There is Gołilisi."
There were crowds in each party. As he rode nearer his own followers
said it was Naiyenezgani. When he rode up to them they found it was
Naiyenezgani. Gołilisi tried in
vain to overtake him. He trotted in behind. " Well, you beat me," he
said. He won again.
Then he said he would bet just once more with him. They were to run
a footrace around the border of the earth. Each came together with
his followers. When they had come to the place each tried to get the
other to go first. Naiyenezgani was warned not to go first. When
Naiyenezgani had refused the last time Gołilisi
started ahead. Naiyenezgani waited until his opponent was out of
sight and only could be seen occasionally and then he started. Each
had a flute with which he traveled. Naiyenezgani saw Gołilisi
land far away with his flute and then blew his own flute and landed
at the same place. Thus they traveled, each blowing his flute four
times. When Naiyenezgani looked ahead he saw Gołilisi
running some distance ahead. Naiyenezgani running in the same way
was closing upon him. Then he blew on his flute and landed in front
of Gołilisi. Naiyenezgani ran
along and Gołilisi tried in vain
to overtake him. Naiyenezgani ran up on a ridge and could see the
people standing in two companies in the distance. When those in Gołilisi's
company saw someone run upon the ridge they said, "Gołilisi
is running up to the top of the ridge." As he ran down the ridge
toward them the men in Naiyenezgani's company said, "No, that is not
Gołilisi, it is Naiyenezgani."
The other party insisted it was Gołilisi.
When he came very close Naiyenezgani's partisans insisted that it
was Naiyenezgani. He ran between the two lines of men. It proved to
be Naiyenezgani. Gołilisi was
way behind, just coming up the ridge. Gołilisi's
people felt badly, but Naiyenezgani's company were happy. He won the
footrace from Gołilisi.
He won against all the bad ones there were on the earth. That was
all. He won his wife and went home with her. The daughters, sons,
and wives which had been lost he won back and the people were happy
and said, "Thanks to you, wherever you come from." Naiyenezgani went
back with his wife to his grandmother Ests'unnadlehi.
They say it happened long ago when there were no
people nor anything, and when earth and the black sky did not exist.7
"Let us make the earth and the black sky," he said. He began to
study and talk about how both the earth and sky might be made. He
also sought helpers and concluded that four persons should do the
work and he found them with his mind.8 "
It is not well that there should be no people on the earth," he
said. Therefore those who were to make the world sat down and
discussed how it should be done. " If we make it of something it
will be well," he said and all the others gave their assent. They
attempted the work but there was no material of which it could be
made. After they had tried for a time the earth that they had made
was not good.
"This is not a good kind," he said. "Which way shall
we do it?" Then the Sun rubbed his hand down over his breast and
divided the cuticle he rubbed off into two parts. Of one part he
made a humming bird and caused it to fly about, saying it should be
the messenger. With the second portion he made the earth and put it
in place. " What way shall we make it?" he asked. After they had
talked the matter over he suggested it would be well to place it so
it would have four directions. They put down the earth they had
made, but it was not good, it was not firm but shook. A black
whirlwind rested on it four times and it nearly stood still but was
not yet satisfactory. Then they agreed to place the supports under
it at four points. At the east they placed a black whirlwind
standing under it like a post. At another place they put posts of
black metal under it at four places. In another position they put
posts of big black reeds, and at still another place they put four
posts of blue metal. Now it stood still and was nearly perfect.
They made the black sky in the same way and he pronounced it good
Now the earth was flat and bare, there were no mountains, and they
were not pleased with this condition. The four persons who made
earth and sky were named as follows. One was called Naicje'etco` diłxiłn,
"large black spider," one was Bec dilxil xastin, "black metal old
man," the third was named Naxokosse diłxiłn,
"black great dipper"9 and the fourth,
Gonaldjictco` xastin (an insect). These four said, "We have made the
earth but it is smooth and it is not good that way, besides we have
no food." Then the chief called attention to the flying 'thing (the
humming bird) he had made which he now sent as his messenger saying:
"People must be living somewhere; look everywhere for them." The
bird flew away and went all around the border of the wide earth but
came back repeating that there was no living thing. " Well, look on
top of this sky which we have set up," he said. The four people were
starving. The bird went away but at first could not get through the
sky. Finally he found a small hole in the center of the sky and
going through this he flew where people were living. He told them
that the people who were living beneath were starving. They
discussed the matter and decided that the starving people should
come up on the sky where food was plentiful. They sent back word by
the bird who returned 'just before daybreak. He did not report until
daylight when the people got up, and asked the result of his
journey. "Why should I tell you?" he replied. " I came far from here
where were living people who said you might go to them. They are
living above and they have food there. They said, ' Let them come up
The people then said "Let us make something to go up on." They
planted a pine tree which grew up quite a way and then stopped.
Realizing that a pine would not do a "black" reed was suggested.
They planted one but after it had grown up a way it stopped. They
considered again and since the reed was nearly sufficient decided to
plant black metal with it. They did so and it grew up and pierced
the sky.10 They moved away leaving one
old woman and a crippled man behind. They went up on the reed
twisted together with black metal. The joints of the reed are the
places where they camped. In this manner they came up on the sky and
went where the people were living. The old woman who had been left
behind took the crippled man on her back and started to follow but
she had not gone far before her foot slipped and she fell. The two
sat down and remained there.11
Those who had gone up to the sky decided to smoke together so the
people were all called to the house of the chief. When night came
the people gathered together and a pipe being filled they all
smoked. When they had finished the chief said his mind was disturbed
because the earth they had made was devoid of mountains and for that
reason he was not pleased with it. After considering what should be
done for some time they decided to employ water and that it should
rain for thirty-two days. Humming bird was sent as a messenger to
the two people who had remained below to tell them that water would
cover the entire earth. The woman studied about the situation and
then went, to a hollow sycamore tree inside of which she sat.12
She brought in some seeds, sunflower seeds, and a little corn. She
put in the grinding stones too, the metate and the muller, with
which she could grind the seed. When it started to rain she closed
the opening of the tree with black stone set in pitch. She sat
inside where she had a fire. When it had rained twelve days the
earth was covered with water. The water continued to rise day by day
as the rain fell. The tree floated on the water. When it had rained
thirty-two days the water rose close to the sky and then the rain
stopped.13 The old woman floated in her
tree four times around the world. She kept thumping on the inside
but she heard "bok" each time and realized that the time had not yet
There were two birds still alive, woodpecker and turkey. These two
clung to the sky. Turkey's tail was washed white at the tip14
and woodpecker's tail feathers were worn off sharp.
It had now been a long time and the old woman hit her tree again. It
said " bok" still. She went around again and then she took up the
muller and hit the tree again. This time the tree answered "clan"
and she judged -the water was gone. She removed the pitch from the
edge of the opening, took away the black stone stopper and came out.
There was only sand to be seen. She started walking when she saw
where a black bug had gone along. She followed it, tracking it a
long time until she came up with it. She addressed it asking what it
was going after. "Oh, I am just `black water.' There ,are no people
going about, I came up in sorry shape." 'The old 'woman started back
until she came where these mountains came to stand and made her camp
where there was a small spring of water. She began to consider what
she should do and decided she would do something shameful.
The chief of the people who had gone above spoke, directing that the
people should come together for a council that night. When they had
smoked he asked them to fix his mind for him. He wished to make
fruits and food plants for the world below.15
"You have seeds, now help the people living beneath that they may
have something to eat," he said. They agreed to come together the
next day to plant. When morning came the people came together
bringing their wooden hoes. One man's hoe was a -poor crooked piece
of wood but he put it with the others. Someone seeing it in the pile
with the others said it wasn't good and threw it out. The man who
owned the hoe was displeased and started home. One of the -company
asked why the hoe was thrown out saying that not every one would
have good property. They planted the seed but it did not all grow.
They sent word then to the man who owned the hoe asking him why he
did not help them. He replied that he had gone home because they had
thrown his hoe away. "You didn't like my hoe and therefore I went
home. Now I will help you and I will put my hoe among the others,"
he said. Then they planted all the seeds and they came up. The old
woman was happy and lived on this food.16
This woman thought she would do something shameful.17
There was a bluff some distance from her camp where water was
dripping. She went there to look at it and decided she would come
back and try it. When she came there again she lay under the
dripping water but nothing happened. She went back to camp and came
there again and lay under the water. Again she was unsuccessful and
went back to her camp. She considered the matter and concluded that
some day she might succeed. The next day she again lay down under
the bluff. It nearly happened this time but still it was not right
and she went back to her camp. She decided she would try just once
more and went again the next day. She lay down under the bluff and
this time the dripping water entered her and she felt good. She went
back to her camp and remained there. After six months she felt of
her abdomen with her hand and found it was a little enlarged. At the
end of eight months she felt of herself again and when twelve months
had elapsed her baby was born.18 She
was happy. The baby was a girl. She made a basket cradle for it and
provided a pad of grass. She took good care of it. When it was six
months old it sat up; at eight months it crept; when it was a year
old it was able to stand and walk.
The mother talked to the girl and told her of the many seeds on
which they were living.
She also told her that she had done something
shameful with the good result of producing her. The daughter asked
the mother what she should do, and she told her to do a similar
thing.19 She directed her to lie on her
back at a certain place where the sun was shining. The girl, saying
she would try, went where the sunbeams were striking and sat facing
the sun. Nothing happened to her and she returned to camp and
reported to her mother her lack of success. Her mother told her to
go again nevertheless. She went again the next day and lay down
again. It nearly happened this time. She went home again and
reported to her again, encouraged by her mother that some time she
would be successful. She went the next day and the sunshine nearly
did what was expected. This time she reported to her mother her near
success to be assured that her purpose would soon be accomplished.
The next day she went again and lay as before. This time when the
sun came up and its beams streamed out the girl's hips shook. When
she was still again she got up and returned to her mother saying,
"Mother for some reason my hips shook and took a long time to
recover." "That is good. Now I think it has happened," the mother
replied. The two women lived there together and the mother was
rejoicing because now she had a helper.
When six months had passed the girl felt of herself and told her
mother her abdomen was enlarged. The mother assured her that was to
be expected. When eight months had passed her abdomen was quite
large. She (the mother) made a basket cradle and prepared the bark
for a bed. At the end of twelve months her abdomen began to hurt.
When the girl told her mother, she was told not to say that. Then
the baby moved and was born. It was a boy. The woman took it up,
calling it her grandchild, and washed it putting ashes on it. The
next morning she took it up and began singing for it. She sang good
songs for it, calling it "Grandchild." Addressing her daughter she
said, "My child, you did well. This boy was born for us because we
did something shameful. I gave you birth for the clouds and water,
and you gave birth to a child for the sun. You will be called
Tubatc'istcine, " born for water" and the child will be called
"white head." When the baby was six months old it sat up, and when
it was eight months old it stood. By the time he was a year old he
was large.20 His grandmother sang four
songs for him and with them she fixed him properly. Then he stood
She made arrows for him and he practiced shooting at a cactus which
stood there and got so he could hit. His grandmother made him arrows
a little larger and he shot through the cactus with them. She made
him arrows still larger and he was able to shoot them through a
larger cactus. "Now you are strong enough, my grandchild," she told
him. "You shall hunt for all kinds of animals." He went away but
didn't see anything. He went in another direction and saw a mouse.
Wondering what it was he went back to ask his grandmother, saying he
had seen something small with glowing eyes. She told him it was
called mouse and that it was one of the animals she meant for him to
hunt. She directed him to kill it and bring it to her. He went there
again, killed it, and brought it back to the camp. " This is the one
I meant, we eat this kind."
He went to another place and came to a rabbit which ran away from
him. He went back and reported to his grandmother that he had seen
an animal with broad ears which had run away from him. "That is
named ga, `rabbit,"' she said, "we eat that kind. Kill it." He went
there again and shooting it with an arrow killed it. He brought it
back to camp.
"That is what I meant, grandchild," she said, "they are good to eat.
You are doing well. Look some distance away where an animal called bį
'deer,' lives. They are good for food. Do not pull it under a
Douglas spruce to dress it for to do so will be dangerous."
He went in the direction indicated and saw an animal which appeared
to be carrying a dry tree on its head. He went back and described it
to his grandmother who told him it was an animal of great value. She
directed him to shoot it hard with his strongest arrow. He returned
to the place and hiding behind a bush approached near to it and shot
it, killing it21 He dragged it under a
Douglas spruce and began dressing it, wondering why the old woman
had forbidden him to do so. When he had it nearly dressed water
dropped on the boy. When he had it properly dressed water fell on
him again. He looked up and saw a maiden in the tree who immediately
addressed him as husband.22 Catching up
only the intestines he ran toward the camp with the girl running
after him calling him husband. The boy put down the intestines he
was carrying which turned into gulches. Notwithstanding the gulches
she was running close to him. The boy ran back to his grandmother's
camp and reported that something calling him husband was running
behind him. "I told you not to do that and now it will make little
difference which way you go," she told him and digging a pit by the
fire hid him in it.
' In a short time the girl ran up and asked for her husband. The old
woman denied having seen him. When the girl insisted that he was
running in that direction the old woman denied again that she had
seen him. The girl pointed out the footprints and then seated
herself by the fire. She urinated. After sitting there for a time
she dug the boy out and he stood up. She again called him husband
and asked that from four places be brought Douglas spruce poles with
which she would build her house. Consent being given, she ran off
and returned with Douglas spruce. She repeated her trips in other
directions until she had been to the four world quarters. She set up
the poles in a circle and built her house in which they sat. The boy
was not pleased and did not touch the girl for she was not as she
should be. She was anxious to accomplish her purpose but could not.
The boy knew what was the matter; the girl's vagina was provided
with teeth. He got pieces of brush and stuck sand on them with pitch
making four implements. These he inserted one after the other as he
lay with the girl. Three of these were chewed to pieces and the
fourth one partly. The boy then took his white stone and broke the
teeth off with it and cut around inside with his obsidian knife.
"This is the proper condition," he said. " This way it shall be
named. Now I will marry you."
The boy sat there happily but the girl, wishing his death, removed
four of her pubic hairs and while she was gone for wood made four
bears of them. She told her husband that some animals which appeared
good were going around over the hill. The boy agreed that they would
go to see them. When they came where they were in the brush the girl
said she thought they would make good dressed skins. " Well, if you
think they will make dressed skins you go around behind them and
shout. I will go around in front of them." When the boy had come in
front of them the girl was shouting to them to tear up the boy who
was sitting on top of the hill. The boy hearing this removed his
shirt and hat and put them on a black stump and sat down behind it.
As they ran up to attack the stump he shot them one after the other,
killing them all. Their bodies lay there.23
The boy took up his shirt and hat again and stood there. He heard
the girl still shouting "Tear the boy well to pieces, kill him." The
boy called to her to come, saying those she said would be good to
make dressed skins of were lying there. She came but was not
pleased. Turning away from the man she cried. They went home and now
The boy went to his grandmother's camp and asked her where the bad
beings were living. She told him that one called Nagegani, "kills
with his eyes" was one of the bad beings who kill people. The boy
asked where this monster lived. She told him he lived toward the
north. The boy saying he would go there; announced that he intended
to kill them all. His grandmother told him also of Delgit who was
hard to approach, also a killer of men. Still another was NakQ'diłgedi
who lived in a dangerous place where great fires were burning.
Another monster she said was called Tsidaketisi who lay in a place
of danger. These are all beings which kill men. The boy said again
that he would kill them. The grandmother said she had enumerated
them all and charged him to take with him the good medicine which
had been given him by his father.
Saying he would go to all four of the bad beings and kill them, he
set out. As he was walking along he came where Nagegani's house
stood. As he came near it he caused a cold wind to blow which froze
the monster's four pets which guarded him so they did not see the
boy approach. As he entered he hit the pets with a stick. Nagegani
looked at him and for a while his mind was inactive; then he blew
with his medicine and threw four snakes which he had concealed in
his clothing into the fire. The snakes exploded and pieces flew into
the eyes of the Nagegani so they were blinded. Naiyenezgani took his
black knife, and stabbing them all, killed them. (There were about a
dozen in the family.) Naiyenezgani returned to his home and told his
grandmother that he had killed Nagegani,24
for which she praised him.
He then asked where Delgit was living. His grandmother told him it
was far distant on a level stretch of ground so that no one could
approach. Saying he was going there he set out. When he came to the
plain he saw Delgit standing there. He wondered how he should
proceed and while he was pondering this, Gopher came out of his hole
and asked why he was sitting there. He said he was wondering how he
could kill the animal standing over there. Gopher offered to help
saying that since the monster was accustomed to his coming to him he
could approach him. He told Naiyenezgani to stay where he was for a
short time. A short time after Gopher disappeared into his hole the
animal got up, looked, and then lay down again. Gopher came back and
reported that he had made four tunnels, one above the other and that
he had cut away the hair under the animal's foreleg. He advised
Naiyenezgani to build a fire and heat his club red hot. Then with
his knife heated he went in and stabbed the animal with his knife.
The monster got up, inserted one of his horns in the topmost tunnel
and tore it open. He tore out the second and third in succession and
was halfway through the fourth when he dropped dead. Naiyenezgani
secured the hide, the knees, and the blood. When he came back to the
camp he told his grandmother that he had killed Delgit.25
The grandmother, expressing her gratitude, asked for the hide and
Naiyenezgani asked where Tsidaketisi was living. His grandmother
replied that he was lying in a dangerous place in the middle of a
precipice under which were his children. " He lies above, close to
the trail at the only place where one can pass, and kicks the
passerby over the bluff."
Saying he would go there, Naiyenezgani came to the
middle of the bluff where the old man was lying. He sent a squirrel
past the old man who kicked at it. "Why did you kick my pet?" he
asked. "Oh, it is just my nature to do that," the monster replied.
Next he sent a spotted rat and he was kicked and the same
remonstrance made. Next he threw a snake close to his head. "That is
the kind I am afraid of," he said and tried to kick it away.
Naiyenezgani cut his hair (which was fastened to the rock) and
knocked him over the precipice. Naiyenezgani returned and reported
that he had killed Tsidaketisi26 for
which she praised him.
He next inquired where NakQdiłgedi
was living. "He lives in a place of danger where a fire flames up,"
she replied. Naiyenezgani, saying he would go there, set out again.
When he arrived near the place, he was sitting leaning against
something, when Wildcat came up to him and asked why he was sitting
there. Naiyenezgani replied he was considering how he would approach
yonder spot. Wildcat advised him to make four fire drills in the
form of arrows and that they should be very dry. These arrows were
to be shot in four directions.27 When
saw the first one alight he ran toward it. When another was shot in
another direction he ran there also. So he ran also when the third
one was shot. The fourth time, when he had run a considerable
distance, he was tired. He then called the boy by name. " Tsits'inlġai,
come to me." When the boy approached the monster suggested they
should meet. They did so and went toward NakQdits'iyi's
house where they seated themselves. NakQdits'iyi
asked his guest why he came. " Let us kill each other," the boy
proposed. " Well, you try first," the other replied. Then he took
out some meat and his knife and began to eat. The other did not eat
any of it. "Let us go outside," one proposed. They went outside.
Both of them had obsidian knives and each had something sitting on
his head which gave him information and instruction. Each urged the
other to begin first. Naiyenezgani's informant told him to stab his
adversary's shadow. NakQdits'iyi'
first stabbed his opponent, but Naiyenezgani stabbed at the shadow
of the monster. Both of them lay down. Naiyenezgani got up first,
ate some of his "life medicine" and entirely recovered. He took up
his knife and went back to his home where he announced to his
grandmother that he had killed NakQdiłgedi.
"Thank you," she said. "You have killed all those who made trouble
on earth. Now it has become a good place on this earth. You used to
be called Tsits'inlġai,' from
now on you will be called Naiyenezgani."
1 The method of getting down perhaps
belongs to another story, that of the man who visited the sky with
the large birds. The Navajo (Matthews, 119, 121), have the story
with Old Woman Bat which is also the usual form among the Apache.
Cf. Goddard, (a), 198-199, below p. 4.
2 Some phases of this incident are similar to that
of Deer-raiser, in Matthews, 178-183.
3 Many of the incidents connected with these
contests were given in a different connection by Mathews, 83-87
4. The counting of the game is rather complicated.
The hoop itself is carved and it has a knotted string stretched
across one diameter. The count varies according to the points of
contact between the hoop and the pole.
5 The usual color circuit, but being at the south so
as to finish with the black horse of the east.
6 Told by Albert Evans, a San Carlos who was born
about 1875. He attended a school for some months in Nebraska, and is
able to speak fair English. He interpreted the text from which this
translation was made.
7 The Apache use "black" or "dark" in the sense of
holy, perhaps because it is the color of the east. While the black
sky may mean the sky at night it probably does not imply color at
8 These persons are named below.
9 Ursus major.
10 The Navajo were driven from four worlds in
succession but only on the fourth world were they people. They went
up by means of a reed. Matthews, 75. The Jicarilla failed with reeds
but succeeded with ladders, (Mooney, 199; Russell, (a), 255;
Goddard, (a), 193).
11 The world left behind in the Jicarilla story
becomes the world of the dead and the couple left behind are its
rulers. Goddard, (a), 194. The world reached in the case of both the
Navajo and Jicarilla is this earth, not the sky.
12 The myths of the Navajo (Matthews, 162) and the
Jicarilla (Goddard, (a), 214-5) make use of a hollow tree sealed up
for the transportation of another person.
13 The sacred numbers of the Southern Athapascan
are four, twelve, and thirty-two.
14 Matthews, note 38, 218; Russell, (a), 254;
Stevenson, (a), 36.
15 This seems to be the general placing of
vegetation on the earth by employing an agricultural pattern.
16 The seeds were planted on the earth by means of
17 This is a fair translation of the Apache word
which may mean bad without moral content.
18 The Apache are inclined to insist that
regardless of what white people believe about themselves, the term
of gestation for the Apache is twelve months.
19 In the Navajo account by Matthews these women
are sisters who produce offspring: in this manner (Matthews, 105),
but there is another Navajo version where only one woman is
concerned, Matthews. 231, note 101.
20 The normal development as contrasted with the
usually supernatural one of four day intervals. Matthews, 105.
21 This description of the child's development is
not a usual part of this myth. The incidents of the animals used for
food, arranged in the increasing scale of their importance and of
the ability of a growing hunter are contained in a Diegueńos
myth. Du Bois, 223.
22 The insertion of the incident at this point is
unconvincing because of the boy's immaturity. Matthews does not
include such a monster, but the Franciscan Fathers give her in their
23 Matthews has a monster bear (p. 125) but this
incident more closely parallels one in a different setting in which
the bears are the pets of the man's father-in-law, not of his wife
as in this case, Matthews, 187.
24 Matthews, 123 and above p. 13.
25 Matthews, 116-120; Goddard, (b), 234-235, above,
26 Matthews, 122; Goddard, (a), 202; Goddard, (b),
235, above, p. 12.
27 The method of causing smoke to arise at distant
points is found in other connections (Mooney, 204) but this
particular incident is new.
Carlos Apache Mythology
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Myths And Tales From The San Carlos Apache, 1918