The Beginning Of Newness

Zuni (New Mexico)

Before the beginning of the New-making, the All-father Father alone had

being. Through ages there was nothing else except black darkness.

In the beginning of the New-making, the All-father Father thought

outward in space, and mists were created and up-lifted. Thus through his

knowledge he made himself the Sun who was thus created and is the great

Father. The dark spaces brightened with light. The cloud mists thickened

and became water.

From his flesh, the Sun-father created the Seed-stuff of worlds, and he

himself rested upon the waters. And these two, the Four-fold-containing

Earth-mother and the All-covering Sky-father, the surpassing beings,

with power of changing their forms even as smoke changes in the wind,

were the father and mother of the soul beings.

Then as man and woman spoke these two together. "Behold!" said

Earth-mother, as a great terraced bowl appeared at hand, and within it

water, "This shall be the home of my tiny children. On the rim of each

world-country in which they wander, terraced mountains shall stand,

making in one region many mountains by which one country shall be known

from another."

Then she spat on the water and struck it and stirred it with her

fingers. Foam gathered about the terraced rim, mounting higher and

higher. Then with her warm breath she blew across the terraces. White

flecks of foam broke away and floated over the water. But the cold

breath of Sky-father shattered the foam and it fell downward in fine

mist and spray.

Then Earth-mother spoke:

"Even so shall white clouds float up from the great waters at the

borders of the world, and clustering about the mountain terraces of the

horizon, shall be broken and hardened by thy cold. Then will they shed

downward, in rain-spray, the water of life, even into the hollow places

of my lap. For in my lap shall nestle our children, man-kind and

creature-kind, for warmth in thy coldness."

So even now the trees on high mountains near the clouds and Sky-father,

crouch low toward Earth mother for warmth and protection. Warm is

Earth-mother, cold our Sky-father.

Then Sky-father said, "Even so. Yet I, too, will be helpful to our

children." Then he spread his hand out with the palm downward and into

all the wrinkles of his hand he set the semblance of shining yellow

corn-grains; in the dark of the early world-dawn they gleamed like

sparks of fire.

"See," he said, pointing to the seven grains between his thumb and four

fingers, "our children shall be guided by these when the Sun-father is

not near and thy terraces are as darkness itself. Then shall our

children be guided by lights." So Sky-father created the stars. Then he

said, "And even as these grains gleam up from the water, so shall seed

grain like them spring up from the earth when touched by water, to

nourish our children." And thus they created the seed-corn. And in many

other ways they devised for their children, the soul-beings.

But the first children, in a cave of the earth, were unfinished. The

cave was of sooty blackness, black as a chimney at night time, and foul.

Loud became their murmurings and lamentations, until many sought to

escape, growing wiser and more man-like.

But the earth was not then as we now see it. Then Sun-father sent down

two sons (sons also of the Foam-cap), the Beloved Twain, Twin Brothers

of Light, yet Elder and Younger, the Right and the Left, like to

question and answer in deciding and doing. To them the Sun-father

imparted his own wisdom. He gave them the great cloud-bow, and for

arrows the thunderbolts of the four quarters. For buckler, they had the

fog-making shield, spun and woven of the floating clouds and spray. The

shield supports its bearer, as clouds are supported by the wind, yet

hides its bearer also. And he gave to them the fathership and control of

men and of all creatures. Then the Beloved Twain, with their great

cloud-bow lifted the Sky-father into the vault of the skies, that the

earth might become warm and fitter for men and creatures. Then along the

sun-seeking trail, they sped to the mountains westward. With magic

knives they spread open the depths of the mountain and uncovered the

cave in which dwelt the unfinished men and creatures. So they dwelt with

men, learning to know them, and seeking to lead them out.

Now there were growing things in the depths, like grasses and vines. So

the Beloved Twain breathed on the stems, growing tall toward the light

as grass is wont to do, making them stronger, and twisting them upward

until they formed a great ladder by which men and creatures ascended to

a second cave.

Up the ladder into the second cave-world, men and the beings crowded,

following closely the Two Little but Mighty Ones. Yet many fell back and

were lost in the darkness. They peopled the under-world from which they

escaped in after time, amid terrible earth shakings.

In this second cave it was as dark as the night of a stormy season, but

larger of space and higher. Here again men and the beings increased, and

their complainings grew loud. So the Twain again increased the growth of

the ladder, and again led men upward, not all at once, but in six bands,

to become the fathers of the six kinds of men, the yellow, the tawny

gray, the red, the white, the black, and the mingled. And this time also

many were lost or left behind.

Now the third great cave was larger and lighter, like a valley in

starlight. And again they increased in number. And again the Two led

them out into a fourth cave. Here it was light like dawning, and men

began to perceive and to learn variously, according to their natures,

wherefore the Twain taught them first to seek the Sun-father.

Then as the last cave became filled and men learned to understand, the

Two led them forth again into the great upper world, which is the World

of Knowing Seeing.

The Beggar's Presents The Beginning Of Things facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail