previous chapter
Part 2— The Flood
next chapter

Part 2—
The Flood

The flood in this story is caused by an abnormality in sexual relations. This cause is an extension of the causes of the world destructions in Thin Leather's creation text. There we understood that worlds or creations were ended because of eating one's own kind, that is, cannibalism, and because of two seemingly more minor abnormalities in aging: the progressively earlier onset of greyness and tobacco smoking. Here the abnormality is the ever shorter length of pregnancies, that is, of the time period between making love and giving birth. The flood comes after the shortening reaches zero, and a baby is born from a man's penis.[1]

The flood is caused by nothing explicit in the Smith-Allison text, but in most other versions it is caused by and even consists entirely of the tears of the baby born from the penis. (Those stories will be treated in backnotes.) Therefore, the flood is salty. There is at least a hint of the father's "crime" in this baby's action. The baby's tears first wet the cheeks, then the surrounding ground, then the whole world, recalling the geographic extent, if not the actual seminal fluid, of the philanderer's wanderings.

The gods Siuuhu, Earth Doctor, and Coyote all survive the flood, and they do so by means that clearly recall the philanderer's crime. Siuuhu saves himself by entering a gum jar that he had made, a man-made womb, while Earth Doctor and Coyote use penislike life preservers. Earth Doctor entered a "cane" that he always carried (it is not clear whether this was a solid wood staff or a hollow cane of bamboo), and Coyote entered a bamboo flute. Thus, the gods divide and vote two-to-one in favor of recapitulating the baby.

After the flood, each god emerges from the container; in


other words, each is reborn. There is always a discussion about who emerged first. In Smith-Allison, the discussion concerns the depth of the water into which each god claims to have stepped on leaving his container. Other texts give other discussions, for example, on the distances traveled on earth after emergence. In all versions the situation is slightly comical, since the three gods come to ground out of sight of each other and cannot be sure if their measures are true and coordinated. Siuuhu always pronounces himself first but without real proof. The other gods, although probably miffed, do not contradict him. It is sometimes said that he acquired the name "Elder-brother" (S-e'ehe) at this moment. The pegging of the name to this episode affirms that the flood vessels are seen as means for rebirth.

Thus, the theme of abnormal procreation runs through the whole story. As such the text is a proper sequel to the Pima "Genesis." In that text we have Earth Doctor making the whole of creation by various combinations of extrusion (his skin scales), molding, and spurting (the stars), in contrast to the Bible where God creates primarily by speaking, "Let there be. . . ." One can say that the Pima mythology is more physical, which reminds us of something simple and disconcerting. If there is nothing but one god in the universe, and if he has to act rather than command or to do rather than say, then he really has nothing to act on but himself.[2]

The flood story continues with this line of reasoning, only now to the point of disaster and, in effect, perversion. Whereas Earth Doctor had no choice but to make people from an earth that had begun as his own body grease, the philandering young man was an anomaly in a world of normally reproducing people, in other words, a perverse extension of Earth Doctor. Surely, then, the abnormality at the beginning of the story is not just that women take less time to have babies but that a man would have one himself. A disaster follows, and following that there is this curious leveling of the surviving three gods, after which Siuuhu becomes the disputable but undisputed senior.


Story 2—
Destruction through Sex

When the evil ways of the people were at their height and Earth Doctor and Siuuhu saw that the people were so wicked, they planned to punish the world. They made a man like the Indians used to have, with long hair and beautiful earrings.[3] He was a good-looking man. They gave him a bow and quiver, and they told this man to go among the people, where their houses were, and find a girl who had just reached maturity. He would sleep with the girl and bring out a child the same night.

That's the way he went on. Every night he brought out children, the same night. There was a young girl living someplace, and she was afraid when she heard this man was coming. She cried all the time. The father of this girl was a powerful medicine man, and he knew why Earth Doctor and Siuuhu were making this trouble. He was wise, and he worked to make this man have a baby himself. He wanted the trouble to happen quickly, to punish the world, to make it worse, and to make happen what Earth Doctor and Siuuhu did that for. He was even going to make this man have a baby!

When the sun set, this man came and lay down with the girl. When the morning came, the baby came out. It was crying. The father of the girl came and called the


baby "grandchild" (bamat ).[a] The girl spoke up and said, "You mustn't call the baby that." It [the baby] wasn't from his daughter but from this man.

That was the greatest sin that was committed, because the man brought out a baby. When he brought out this baby, he picked it up and held it in his arms and took it to Earth Doctor and Siuuhu. Earth Doctor and Siuuhu knew that this was going to happen, because they were the creators and knew everything.

When the man with the baby got close to Earth Doctor and Siuuhu, he got ashamed and laid the baby down and went on home. When he came to their place, Earth Doctor asked what he'd done with the baby, "For I know you've had a baby and what you've done with it. Bring it and we will look at it, for this is the custom when a baby is born."

All this time Earth Doctor, Siuuhu, and Coyote had been living together. Siuuhu was working to make a home to go into when trouble comes, and Earth Doctor had picked up a cane and held it. Coyote didn't know what was going to happen or that the world was going to be punished. He didn't stay much at home but was always running around among the people. Well, he had been doing so, as usual, and was going back home, but water was coming out of the earth, and everywhere this Coy-


ote made a track, water came out. When he came to Earth Doctor and Siuuhu, he told them, "I am really a true medicine man, better than anyone else, because when I came over, in my tracks I saw water coming out!"

Siuuhu said to Coyote, "Do you think it's for the good of the people that this happened image It's for a trouble to these people, and that's why I made this house to go into when trouble comes." Earth Doctor told him, "You think it's something great you've done for these people, but it's trouble." When Coyote learned what was going to happen, he got afraid and walked back and forth feeling sad because he didn't know what to do, and sometimes he cried. Siuuhu said to him, "If you had known what was going to happen, you wouldn't have run around."

Coyote had a flute made of a reed hollowed out inside. Siuuhu got this flute and stopped up the holes. He blew some air in it to make it bigger, put Coyote in it, and stopped the holes in the ends.

The man that had the baby went after his baby, but by that time the water began to rise, and the man never returned. Siuuhu got into the house he had built[5] and shut himself in there while Earth Doctor sat down with his cane in his hand. Earth Doctor sang a song:

I'm sitting here
Rocking back and forth
With my cane in my hand.


When the water was under Earth Doctor, he raised himself, stood, and sang a song:

I'm standing now
I'm standing now
Swaying and staggering around
With the cane in my hand.

Now the water was up to Earth Doctor's waist. He stuck his cane in the ground and lifted himself (like a pole vaulter), went straight into the air, across the heavens, and came to his father's (Jeoss's) place.[6]

The water rose for twenty days. It destroyed all the people and all creatures of the land and air. Well, two birds saved themselves from the flood: woodpecker (Hikovik) and Veekh koskum (Juan didn't know what the second bird was, only its name).[b] Today the signs that you see on the woodpecker's tail show that it was saved from the flood. The water rose to a certain height, almost to where the woodpecker was hanging [e.g., from the sky], and it touched his tail making signs on it.

At that time, the people thought that Superstition Mountain[7] was the highest mountain on earth, so they fled to that mountain. When the water was rising to the top, there was a powerful medicine man


who thought he could make the mountain go higher. He sang a song:

Superstition Mountain
With a song is going to grow higher
On which I am standing.

The water kept rising and overpowered this medicine man. He owned a dog which he took on top of that mountain. The dog looked to see how far the water had risen. When he came back, for [because of] the wickedness of these people, the dog spoke like them and told them, "This water has reached us," and that's all he said. Then they all perished. All people were destroyed.[8]

The water took twenty days to rise and twenty to fall. At the end of these days, when the water was falling, the two [Siuuhu's and Coyote's] houses came back with the water. Siuuhu's house moved in a circle, four times.

As this house moved around in a circle four times, the water became calm, you might call it, became quiet, and it made the mark [little petrified foam] that we now see on Superstition Mountain. That is the sign that the flood really happened. Also, as the house made its circle, it splashed water which made


a rainbow. When that showed, Jeoss appeared in the heavens and told the earth, or world, that the rainbow meant that the world would never again be destroyed by flood. Whenever it rains, the rainbow will appear as a reminder that the world will not be destroyed like that again.

When the water lowered, the house that Siuuhu went into came onto a certain place, and Siuuhu came out with the water just up to his waist. The next thing to come back to earth was the flute that Coyote went into. He came out and saw that Siuuhu was the oldest and he was the youngest.


previous chapter
Part 2— The Flood
next chapter