The First Man And Woman
Source: Myths And Legends Of California And The Old Southwest
Nishinam (near Bear River, Cal.)
The first man created by Coyote was called Aikut. His wife was Yototowi.
But the woman grew sick and died. Aikut dug a grave for her close beside
his camp fire, for the Nishinam did not burn their dead then. All the
light was gone from his life. He wanted to die, so that he could follow
Yototowi, and he fell into a deep sleep.
There was a rumbling sound and the spirit of Yototowi arose from the
earth and stood beside him. He would have spoken to her, but she forbade
him, for when an Indian speaks to a ghost he dies. Then she turned away
and set out for the dance-house of ghosts. Aikut followed her. Together
they journeyed through a great, dark country, until they came to a river
which separated them from the Ghost-land. Over the river there was a
bridge of but one small rope, so small that hardly Spider could crawl
across it. Here the woman started off alone, but when Aikut stretched
out his arms, she returned. Then she started again over the bridge of
thread. And Aikut spoke to her, so that he died. Thus together they
journeyed to the Spirit-land.
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