The Earth-hardening After The Flood





Sia (New Mexico)



After the flood, the Sia returned to Ha-arts, the earth. They came

through an opening in the far north. After they had remained at their

first village a year, they wished to pass on, but the earth was very

moist and Utset was puzzled how to harden it.



Utset called Cougar. She said, "Have you any medicine to harden the road

so that we may pass over it?" Cougar replied, "I will try, mother." But

after going a short distance over the road, he sank to his shoulders in

the wet earth. He returned much afraid and told Utset that he could go

no farther.



Then she sent for Bear. She said, "Have you any medicine to harden the

road?" Bear started out, but he sank to his shoulders, and returned

saying, "I can do nothing."



Then Utset called Badger, and he tried. She called Shrew, and he failed.

She called Wolf, and he failed.



Then Utset returned to the lower world and asked Sussistinnako what she

could do to harden the earth so that her people might travel over it. He

asked, "Have you no medicine to make the earth firm? Have you asked

Cougar and Wolf, Bear and Badger and Wolf to use their medicines to

harden the earth?"



Utset said, "I have tried all these."



Then Sussistinnako said, "Others will understand." He told her to have a

woman of the Kapina (spider) clan try to harden the earth.



When the woman arrived, Utset said, "My mother, Sussistinnako tells me

the Kapina society understand how to harden the earth."



The woman said, "I do not know how to make the earth hard."



Three times Utset asked the woman about hardening the earth, and three

times the woman said, "I do not know." The fourth time the woman said,

"Well, I guess I know. I will try."



So she called together the members of the Spider society, the Kapina,

and said,



"Our mother, Sussistinnako, bids us work for her and harden the earth so

that the people may pass over it." The spider woman first made a road of

fine cotton which she produced from her own body, and suspended it a few

feet above the earth. Then she told the people they could travel on

that. But the people were afraid to trust themselves to such a frail

road.



Then Utset said, "I wish a man and not a woman of the Spider society to

work for me."



Then he came. He threw out a charm of wood, latticed so it could be

expanded or contracted. When it was extended it reached to the middle of

the earth. He threw it to the south, to the east, and to the west; then

he threw it toward the people in the north.



So the earth was made firm that the people might travel upon it.



Soon after Utset said, "I will soon leave you. I will, return to the

home from which I came."



Then she selected a man of the Corn clan. She said to him, "You will be

known as Ti-amoni (arch-ruler). You will be to my people as myself. You

will pass with them over the straight road. I give to you all my wisdom,

my thoughts, my heart, and all. I fill your mind with my mind."



He replied: "It is well, mother. I will do as you say."





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