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Creation (Dolores)

Long ago, they say, when the world was not yet finished, darkness lay upon the water and they rubbed each other. The sound they made was like the sound at the edges of a pond.

There, on the water, in the darkness, in the noise, and in a very strong wind, a child was born. The baby lay upon the water and did as a child does when it is being made to stop crying. (Like when its mother sings and tosses it up and down and walks


back and forth with it.) The wind always blew and carried the child everywhere. Whatever made the child took care of him, fed him, and raised him.

One day he got up and found something stuck to him. It was algae. So he took some of the algae and from it made termites. Then he sent them out to get more algae to be put in one place so he could sit down and think about things to do. And the little termites did that for the firstborn one.

The termites gathered a lot of algae and First Born tried to decide how to make a seat so the wind could not blow it anywhere. This is the song he sang:

Earth Medicine Man finished the earth.
Come near and see it and do something to it.
He made it round.
Come near and see it and do something to it.

In this way, First Born finished the earth. Then he made all the animal and plant life. There was no sun or moon then, and it was always dark. The living things didn't like the darkness, so they got together and told First Born to make something so the earth would have light. Then the people would be able to see each other and would live contentedly with each other.

So the First Born said, "Alright, you name what will come up in the sky to give you light." They dis-


cussed it thoroughly and finally agreed that it would be named "sun." But about then Coyote came running and said, "It rose! It rose! It will be named 'light.'" But nobody agreed.[6]

The sun rose and went over to one side, but it didn't light up the whole earth. Then it went down, and again it was dark. So the firstborn one sang like this:

Didn't we make the sun and talk with it image Hihih.
Didn't we make the sun and talk with it image Hihih

Then it began to get light again, and First Born said, "The sun will rise and come overhead." It did as he said, but it came very low and so was hot. First Born sang again and pointed to another place, saying that this sun would come up there. This is the way he did so it would always come up there.

Next he made the moon and stars and the paths that they always follow. Now the living things could see themselves. Some were large and some very small, some were very fast and some very slow. Many of them were dissatisfied with themselves. Those that were small wanted to be large, and those that were slow wanted to be fast.

Along came the Black Beetle and said, "Soon the living things will multiply and crush me with their feet because I'm not a fast runner and have no possible way to save myself. I think that when someone has lived a long time he should die and go away and


never come back here again. That way the earth will never get overpopulated and no one will crush me."

At that time Rattlesnake's bite was harmless. The children would play catch with him and take out his teeth. He could never sleep and always cried, so he went to First Born and said, "The children are making life miserable for me. You must make me different so I can live contentedly somewhere."

First Born changed many of the animals. When he finished them, he took Rattlesnake, pulled out his teeth, and threw them far away. They landed and grew into what we now call "Rattlesnake's Teeth."[8]

As the sun was about to rise, its rays beamed over the horizon. First Born got them and threw them in the water. Then he took them out and made teeth . . . and said, "Now that I have done this for you, when anything comes near you, you must bite it and kill it. From now on the people will be afraid of you. You will not have a friend and will always crawl modestly along alone."

Then the sun rose in the place it is now, and First Born looked at it and sang:

First Born[9]  made the earth.
First Born made the earth.
Go along, go along, go along.
It's going along. Now all will remain as it is.

When he finished his song, he told them where they would be living. Some would live in the forests,


some in the mountains, and some would live in the valleys. He also said this, "I have finished all things and they will always be as they are now."

In the east, as you know, the singing and dancing had begun for those who will die here. They will go to the singing and dancing ground. The land around the dancing ground will be beautiful. There will be plenty of prickly pears, and the people will always be happy.

That's the way First Born prepared the earth for us.

[Here begins the segment added by Joe Thomas]

The sky came down and met the earth, and the first one to come forth was I'itoi, our Elder Brother. The sky met the earth again, and Coyote came forth. The sky met the earth again, and Buzzard came forth. (Saxton and Saxton 1973: 1–10)

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