Source: Myths And Legends Of California And The Old Southwest
Sia (New Mexico)
In the beginning, long, long ago, there was but one being in the lower
world. This was the spider, Sussistinnako. At that time there were no
other insects, no birds, animals, or any other living creature.
The spider drew a line of meal from north to south and then crossed it
with another line running east and west. On each side of the first line,
north of the second, he placed two small parcels. They were precious but
no one knows what was in them except Spider. Then he sat down near the
parcels and began to sing. The music was low and sweet and the two
parcels accompanied him, by shaking like rattles. Then two women
appeared, one from each parcel.
In a short time people appeared and began walking around. Then animals,
birds, and insects appeared, and the spider continued to sing until his
creation was complete.
But there was no light, and as there were many people, they did not pass
about much for fear of treading upon each other. The two women first
created were the mothers of all. One was named Utset and she as the
mother of all Indians. The other was Now-utset, and she was the mother
of all other nations. While it was still dark, the spider divided the
people into clans, saying to some, "You are of the Corn clan, and you
are the first of all." To others he said, "You belong to the Coyote
clan." So he divided them into their clans, the clans of the Bear, the
Eagle, and other clans.
After Spider had nearly created the earth, Ha-arts, he thought it would
be well to have rain to water it, so he created the Cloud People, the
Lightning People, the Thunder People, and the Rainbow People, to work
for the people of Ha-arts, the earth. He divided this creation into six
parts, and each had its home in a spring in the heart of a great
mountain upon whose summit was a giant tree. One was in the spruce tree
on the Mountain of the North; another in the pine tree on the Mountain
of the West; another in the oak tree on the Mountain of the South; and
another in the aspen tree on the Mountain of the East; the fifth was on
the cedar tree on the Mountain of the Zenith; and the last in an oak on
the Mountain of the Nadir.
The spider divided the world into three parts: Ha-arts, the earth;
Tinia, the middle plain; and Hu-wa-ka, the upper plain. Then the spider
gave to these People of the Clouds and to the rainbow, Tinia, the middle
Now it was still dark, but the people of Ha-arts made houses for
themselves by digging in the rocks and the earth. They could not build
houses as they do now, because they could not see. In a short time Utset
and Now-utset talked much to each other, saying,
"We will make light, that our people may see. We cannot tell the people
now, but to-morrow will be a good day and the day after to-morrow will
be a good day," meaning that their thoughts were good. So they spoke
with one tongue. They said, "Now all is covered with darkness, but after
a while we will have light."
Then these two mothers, being inspired by Sussistinnako, the spider,
made the sun from white shell, turkis, red stone, and abalone shell.
After making the sun, they carried him to the east and camped there,
since there were no houses. The next morning they climbed to the top of
a high mountain and dropped the sun down behind it. After a time he
began to ascend. When the people saw the light they were happy.
When the sun was far off, his face was blue; as he came nearer, the face
grew brighter. Yet they did not see the sun himself, but only a large
mask which covered his whole body.
The people saw that the world was large and the country beautiful. When
the two mothers returned to the village, they said to the people, "We
are the mothers of all."
The sun lighted the world during the day, but there was no light at
night. So the two mothers created the moon from a slightly black stone,
many kinds of yellow stone, turkis, and a red stone, that the world
might be lighted at night. But the moon travelled slowly and did not
always give light. Then the two mothers created the Star People and made
their eyes of sparkling white crystal that they might twinkle and
brighten the world at night. When the Star People lived in the lower
world they were gathered into beautiful groups; they were not scattered
about as they are in the upper world.
Next: The Gods And The Six Regions
Previous: The Creation Of The World