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Goddess Of Salt


Source: Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land

Between Zuni and Pescado is a steep mesa, or table-land, with fantastic
rocks weathered into tower and roof-like prominences on its sides, while
near it is a high natural monument of stone. Say the Zunis: The goddess
of salt was so troubled by the people who lived near her domain on the
sea-shore, and who took away her snowy treasures without offering any
sacrifice in return, that she forsook the ocean and went to live in the
mountains far away. Whenever she stopped beside a pool to rest she made
it salt, and she wandered so long about the great basins of the West that
much of the water in them is bitter, and the yield of salt from the
larger lake near Zuni brings into the Zuni treasury large tolls from
other tribes that draw from it.

Here she met the turquoise god, who fell in love with her at sight, and
wooed so warmly that she accepted and married him. For a time they lived
happily, but when the people learned that the goddess had concealed
herself among the mountains of New Mexico they followed her to that land
and troubled her again until she declared that she would leave their view
forever. She entered this mesa, breaking her way through a high wall of
sandstone as she did so. The arched portal through which she passed is
plainly visible. As she went through, one of her plumes was broken off,
and falling into the valley it tipped upon its stem and became the
monument that is seen there. The god of turquoise followed his wife, and
his footsteps may be traced in outcrops of pale-blue stone.

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