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The Coming Of The Navajos






Category: ALONG THE ROCKY RANGE

Source: Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land

Many fantastic accounts of the origin of man are found among the red
tribes. The Onondagas say that the Indians are made from red earth and
the white men from sea-foam. Flesh-making clay is seen in the precipitous
bank in the ravine west of Onondaga Valley, where at night the fairies
little fellows sport and slide. Among others, the Noah legend finds a
parallel. Several tribes claim to have emerged from the interior of the
earth. The Oneidas point to a hill near the falls of Oswego River, New
York, as their birthplace; the Wichitas rose from the rocks about Red
River; the Creeks from a knoll in the valley of Big Black River in the
Natchez country, where dwelt the Master of Breath; the Aztecs were one of
seven tribes that came out from the seven caverns of Aztlan, or Place of
the Heron; and the Navajos believe that they emerged at a place known to
them in the Navajo Mountains.

In the under world the Navajos were happy, for they had everything that
they could wish: there was no excess of heat or cold, trees and flowers
grew everywhere, and the day was marked by a bright cloud that arose in
the east, while a black cloud that came out of the west made the night.
Here they lived for centuries, and might have been there to this day had
not one of the tribe found an opening in the earth that led to some place
unknown. He told of it to the whole tribe. They set off up the passage to
see where it led, and after long and weary climbing the surface was
reached. Pleased with the novelty of their surroundings, they settled
here, but on the fourth day after their arrival their queen disappeared.

Their search for her was unavailing until some of the men came to the
mouth of the tunnel by which they had reached the upper land, when,
looking down, they saw their queen combing her long, black locks. She
told them that she was dead and that her people could go to her only
after death, but that they would be happy in their old home. With that
the earth shut together and the place has never since been open to the
eye of mortals. Soon came the cannibal giants who ravaged the desert
lands and destroyed all of the tribe but four families, these having
found a refuge in a deep canon of the Navajo Mountains. From their
retreat they could see a beam of light shining from one of the hills
above them, and on ascending to the place they found a beautiful girl
babe.

This child grew to womanhood under their care, and her charms attracted
the great manitou that rides on a white horse and carries the sun for a
shield. He wooed and married her, and their children slew the giants that
had destroyed the Navajos. After a time the manitou carried his wife to
his floating palace in the western water, which has since been her home.
To her the prayers of the people are addressed, and twelve immortals bear
their petitions to her throne.





Next: The Ark On Superstition Mountains

Previous: Goddess Of Salt



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