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The Gods And The Six Regions






Source: Myths And Legends Of California And The Old Southwest

In ancient times, Po-shai-an-ki-a, the father of the sacred bands, or
tribes, lived with his followers in the City of Mists, the Middle Place,
guarded by six warriors, the prey gods. Toward the North, he was guarded
by Long Tail, the mountain lion; West by Clumsy Foot, the bear; South by
Black-Mark Face, the badger; East by Hang Tail, the wolf; above by White
Cap, the eagle; below by Mole.

So when he was about to go forth into the world, he divided the earth
into six regions: North, the Direction of the Swept or Barren Plains;
West, the Direction of the Home of the Waters; South, the Place of the
Beautiful Red; East, the Direction of the Home of Day; upper regions,
the Direction of the Home of the High; lower regions, the Direction of
the Home of the Low.


How Old Man Above Created the World
Shastika (Cal.)

Long, long ago, when the world was so new that even the stars were dark,
it was very, very flat. Chareya, Old Man Above, could not see through
the dark to the new, flat earth. Neither could he step down to it
because it was so far below him. With a large stone he bored a hole in
the sky. Then through the hole he pushed down masses of ice and snow,
until a great pyramid rose from the plain. Old Man Above climbed down
through the hole he had made in the sky, stepping from cloud to cloud,
until he could put his foot on top the mass of ice and snow. Then with
one long step he reached the earth.

The sun shone through the hole in the sky and began to melt the ice and
snow. It made holes in the ice and snow. When it was soft, Chareya bored
with his finger into the earth, here and there, and planted the first
trees. Streams from the melting snow watered the new trees and made them
grow. Then he gathered the leaves which fell from the trees and blew
upon them. They became birds. He took a stick and broke it into pieces.
Out of the small end he made fishes and placed them in the mountain
streams. Of the middle of the stick, he made all the animals except the grizzly bear. From the big end of the stick came the grizzly bear, who was made master of all. Grizzly was large and strong and cunning. When the
earth was new he walked upon two feet and carried a large club. So strong
was Grizzly that Old Man Above feared the creature he had made. Therefore,
so that he might be safe, Chareya hollowed out the pyramid of ice and snow
as a tepee. There he lived for thousands of snows. The Indians knew he
lived there because they could see the smoke curling from the smoke hole
of his tepee. When the pale-face came, Old Man Above went away. There is
no longer any smoke from the smoke hole. White men call the tepee Mount
Shasta.





Next: The Search For The Middle And The Hardening Of The World

Previous: Spider's Creation



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