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wildcat, bullsnake, and porcupine, for their journey to their present habitat.
“They arrived on the summit of the San Francisco Mountains, accompanied by certain genii, who deprived them of the valued treasures given them by the Sun Woman. They made the first sacrifice of precious stones on that summit. They then continued their journey, visited the various sacred places, and affiliated new members to their tribe, until finally they lived in perfect harmony with the Pueblos. The traces of this early history are to be found in the numerous ruins of the Navaho country.”
THE NAVAHO (Continued).
MONSTERS - SLAYERS OF THE ENEMIES OR
FIRE PLAY. William E. Curtis, in “Children of the Sun, 1883, tells of the Navaho theory of the origin of man, as follows:
“The Navajos, a mighty tribe which inhabits the country between the Zunis and Moquis, and around them both, have their own novel theory of the origin of man. It goes that in the beginning all men lived in the center of the earth. One day a Navajo accidentally touched the top of the cave and heard a hollow sound, which awakened their curiosity and tempted them to dig through the ground. After digging some distance they found they were nearing the top, and they sent a raccoon up as a pioneer. He failed to make any progress, and, coming down discouraged, an earth worm was put in his place. He bored a hole through the earth into the air, and sat down to rest awhile, when he discovered four great swans at the four cardinal points, each bearing an arrow under its wing. The swan from the north first rushed upon him, and
having thrust his
arrow through the body of the worm, retired. This was repeated by the other three. The worm being frightened, went back into his hole with the arrows still through his body. This made the hole large enough for the raccoon to climb up, and after him followed the
At that time there was no heaven, neither were there sun, moon nor stars. It was determined that these were essential to the comfort and convenience of the Navajos, so a council of old and wise men was called to manufacture them. When the sun was finished it was placed in position on the top of a rock, and the priests puffed smoke in its face. It commenced to rise, and they kept blowing until it reached its present position.".
Continuing from “An Ethnologic Dictionary of the Navaho Language":
THE MAN-EATERS OR MONSTERS. “The manner in which the sun and moonbearers carry out their threat of taking a human life on every journey of theirs is shown by the introduction of man-eating monsters. Similar monsters are said to exist in the Pueblo legends, since they flourished when both tribes were united.
“The big yei, was the son of the Sun. He slew his victims with various knives, which he thrust at them. The young of the water monster is described as a plump, but fleet, quadruped, having two horns on its snout. The monster crane, which dwelt on the cliffs of the winged rock, or Shiprock, was made by the Sun from a white eagle and white thunder. The
wandering stone was an offspring of one of the water monsters of the lower world. The three last mentioned monsters were the pets of the sun, who lowered them, together with his son on the summit of Mount Taylor. The son of the Sun made this his abode, while the others sought another vantage ground.
“The pricking vagina was formed by the sun and moon out of the marrow of human bones. She is the parent of the following monsters, giving birth to them by coition with various animate and inanimate objects: The one who kicks from the cliff, and the greyish giant, she conceived by a heap of stones. Those who killed by the charm of their eyes, she conceived by the big dark star. The overwhelming vagina, who crushed their victims with this organ, she conceived of the cane cactus. The cliffs which crushed together, she bore by combined dark boulders. The tracking bear, was her offspring by the mountain. In a similar manner she brought forth: The twelve antelopes, by plants; the slicing reeds, by reeds; the impassable crevice, by fireclay; the whirlwind of sand by the rainbow; and, finally, the impassable snake.
“As the names imply, most of these monsters pursued their victims to death; all, however, were bent on the destruction of mankind to gratify the sun and the moon.
“In addition, many evils are personified, as : Starvation, hunger, poverty, lousiness, filthiness, (some mention cleanliness as a necessity); old age, decrepitude; sleepiness; drowsiness; the big gray god, and the beetle; the water ox and the water horse.
“The monsters usually figure in witchcraft, and are native enemies in distinction from foreign or human enemies.
THE SLAYERS OF THE ENEMIES OR
MONSTERS. “The mother of the Slayers of Enemies is the child of the Sky and Earth. The nubile ceremony was not performed over her. She was impregnated, however, by the adulterous Sun, and also conceived of the trickling water of a fall. She gave birth to two children, the child of the Sun being called the Slayer of the Giants (monsters), while the other was called the Child of Water. When they discovered their descent in early youth, the children journeyed to the sun in order to enlist the aid of their father in ridding the earth of its monsters. Though the petition included his own offspring, the Big yei, the Sun granted it. In turn Slayer of Enemies slays all the monsters, and thus obtained his name.
“Both divinities occur in many of the legends. The Slayer of monsters is invoked as the one who cuts.' The Water Child is invoked as 'he who renews everything,' or, ‘he who is versed in all things.' THE WOMAN WHO BECOMES A BEAR.
“The holy girl previously referred to, and described as the mother of the bearers of the sun and moon, is again introduced as the tingling maiden, or the maiden who makes a noise. Her brothers, twelve in number, are great hunters. Eventually she married the coyote, who, in turn,