The Flood And The Theft Of Fire

Tolowa (Del Norte Co., Cal.)

Along time ago there came a great rain. It lasted a long time and the

water kept rising till all the valleys were submerged, and the Indian

tribes fled to the high lands. But the water rose, and though the

Indians fled to the highest point, all were swept away and drowned-all

but one man and one woman. They reached the very highest peak and were

saved. These two Indians ate the fish from the waters around them.

Then the waters subsided. All the game was gone, and all the animals.

But the children of these two Indians, when they died, became the

spirits of deer and bear and insects, and so the animals and insects

came back to the earth again.

The Indians had no fire. The flood had put out all the fires in the

world. They looked at the moon and wished they could secure fire from

it. Then the Spider Indians and the Snake Indians formed a plan to steal

fire. The Spiders wove a very light balloon, and fastened it by a long

rope to the earth. Then they climbed into the balloon and started for

the moon. But the Indians of the Moon were suspicious of the Earth

Indians. The Spiders said, "We came to gamble." The Moon Indians were

much pleased and all the Spider Indians began to gamble with them. They

sat by the fire.

Then the Snake Indians sent a man to climb up the long rope from the

earth to the moon. He climbed the rope, and darted through the fire

before the Moon Indians understood what he had done. Then he slid down

the rope to earth again. As soon as he touched the earth he travelled

over the rocks, the trees, and the dry sticks lying upon the ground,

giving fire to each. Everything he touched contained fire. So the world

became bright again, as it was before the flood.

When the Spider Indians came down to earth again, they were immediately

put to death, for the tribes were afraid the Moon Indians might want


The Flight Of Tsanunewa And Defeat Of Hehku The Flood At Santa Fe facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail