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.