Slike strani

ing the sky upon them, and they are known as the pillars of the earth and sky.

“He then blew the sun and the moon beyond the horizon; and breathing over the earth and sky, he caused them to expand; and breathing the dawn toward the east, the sun rose there; wherefore, the dawn is always seen in the east. Since the earth was small, however, the heat of the sun at its zenith became unbearable. After four unsuccessful trials the present dimensions of the earth and the distance of the sun were retained.

THE SEX OF THE PEOPLES. The various Peoples of the lower worlds are considered male and female. The sun and moon are both male, as also the sky, (the Sky Man). The earth is feminine, (the Earth Woman). The earth may also be considered as mother of all, insomuch as all peoples proceeded from it, and planted the various seeds there. The Earth Woman, however, as wife of the Sky Man, is located in the blue world.

“Sex is also assigned to the dawn, the Dawn Man and Woman, (east) also to the Southern Blue, the Azure Man and Woman, (south); and to the twilight, Twilight Man and Woman, (west); and to darkness, Darkness Man and Woman (north).


THE CHANGING WOMAN. “The Changing Woman, a goddess, is held in universal esteem by the Navaho. She is not tainted with crime, though by mistake this is done in some legends.

The Dawn Man, and the Darkness Woman, gave birth to a daughter, which was found and carried home by First Man. When the girl was of fair growth she was found to be very beautiful and of good sense, and when her foster parents called to her in jest, calling her by the equivalent for changed into a woman,' she readily answered the call, and she was, thereafter, called the Changing Woman.

“At the age of nubility a ceremony was performed for her, and her nuptials with the sun were then celebrated. (This ceremony of nubility is, today, celebrated with such alterations as were decided upon on that occasion.) Benediction songs alone were used, and the songs of other chants barred. (The vigil which must accompany every ceremony in use by the Navaho, consists of prayers and songs of benedictions.)

“The society of the First Man was ever a burden to her, so that soon after this ceremony she left him and traveled to the west. Here, the holy people of the cardinal points, (Dawn Man and Woman, etc.), had prepared a house for her, which in every respect was like to that of the sun in the east. And when she visited the various compartments in the east, south, west and north, she reappeared dressed in the colors of these directions. And returning again from the eastern compartment she reappeared dressed in white-shell, wherefore she is also called the white-shell woman. As the wife of the sun, then, the white-shell woman is also called Sun Woman, and the sun, her husband,

[ocr errors]

the Sun Man, by whom she has two children, a boy and a girl.

THE CREATION OF MAN. “The creation of the various people on the earth is attributed to the Sun Woman, and took place at her dwelling in the west. The Navaho clans were created from parts of her body. With the skin which she removed from her breast she formed one clan; from the skin of her back she formed another clan, and removing a particle of skin from below her right arm, she made still another clan, and from a particle of skin below her left arm, still another clan. To each of these particles of skin she added some of the skin taken from her hands, making of each the image of a man, and quickening it by chanting, and when they spoke, they spoke the language of the Sun. The animals, such as horses, burros, sheep and cows, which she made for them, were given to the Navaho.

“She also created the Pueblos, the Mexicans and the Americans, as also their domestic animals, but dispatched them all across the oceans —for when they spoke they had a different language.

“She was extremely kind to her children, promised them variegated corn, seeds and plants of all kinds, medicines in case of sickness, precious stones, and her protection in general. Therefore, all good things, the mild rains, the growth of the corn, etc., all are due to her beneficient influence, and come from the west. Finally she presented each with a pet, a bear,

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).


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

« PrejšnjaNaprej »