The Cloud People
: Myths And Legends Of California And The Old Southwest
Sia (New Mexico)
Now all the Cloud People, the Lightning People, the Thunder and Rainbow
Peoples followed the Sia into the upper world. But all the people of
Tinia, the middle world, did not leave the lower world. Only a portion
were sent by the Spider to work for the people of the upper world. The
Cloud People are so many that, although the demands of the earth people
are so great, there are always many
assing about over Tinia for
pleasure. These Cloud People ride on wheels, small wheels being used by
the little Cloud children and large wheels by the older ones. (5)
The Cloud People keep always behind their masks. The shape of the mask
depends upon the number of the people and the work being done. The
Henati are the floating white clouds behind which the Cloud People pass
for pleasure. The Heash are clouds like the plains and behind these the
Cloud People are laboring to water the earth. Water is brought by the
Cloud People, from the springs at the base of the mountains, in gourds
and jugs and vases by the men, women, and children. They rise from the
springs and pass through the trunk of the tree to its top, which reaches
Tinia. They pass on to the point to be sprinkled.
The priest of the Cloud People is above even the priests of the Thunder,
Lightning, and Rainbow Peoples. The Cloud People have ceremonials, just
like those of the Sia. On the altars of the Sia may be seen figures
arranged just as the Cloud People sit in their ceremonials.
When a priest of the Cloud People wishes assistance from the Thunder and
Lightning Peoples, he notifies their priests, but keeps a supervision of
all things himself.
Then the Lightning People shoot their arrows to make it rain the harder.
The smaller flashes come from the bows of the children. The Thunder
People have human forms, with wings of knives, and by flapping these
wings they make a great noise. Thus they frighten the Cloud and
Lightning People into working the harder.
The Rainbow People were created to work in Tinia to make it more
beautiful for the people of Ha-arts, the earth, to look upon. The elders
make the beautiful rainbows, but the children assist. The Sia have no
idea of what or how these bows are made. They do know, however, that war
heroes always travel upon the rainbows.
(5) The Indians say the Americans also ride wheels, therefore they must
have known about the Cloud People.