Tuesday, November 1, 2011

O'odham Creation Story

Before creation there was only void. From the void came the mist. The mist existed for a long time with only the mist and the void. From the union of mist and the void came chaos. Chaos filled both the void and the mist and there was only Chaos.

Chaos separated into Sky and Earth. The Sky became the father, and the Sky Father created his helpers out of himself. His helpers were also men known as Wind, Sun and Moon. The Earth became mother, and the Earth Mother created her helpers out of herself. Her helpers were also women known as known as Water, Mountains and Vegetation.

From the union of Mother Earth and Father Sky came their four children Rain, Coyote, Vulture, and Erath Doctor.

Rain was the nurturer, Coyote was the teacher, Vulture was the destroyer, and Earth Doctor created all human civilizations.

All that lives and all that will live named and unnamed was born from this community.  All the insects, fish, birds, four legged animals were the children of the first for children on the earth. All that lives on the earth looks to their mother and honors her memory in their hearts.

The Sky protects his children. The Sun brought the Dawn to announce his coming. The Moon made the Stars and scattered them through out the heavens at night.

Next People were born from the Earth Doctor.  The first people were molded out of clay both Woman and Man. Yet the two people just lay motionless there and did not move and they shown no sign of life. Coyote just shook his head and blew breath into their lungs and they came to life. They were beautiful and they were happy. Coyote instructed them that they would be the first humans and they would mate a through their union Humanity would come into being. Beautiful as they were they did not mate and so no children were born. After a very long time Rain told Coyote and Earth Doctor their creation was not working out so Vulture erased the first Humans.

Now Earth Doctor made the next set of Humans out of cornhusks stuffed with cotton and sewn together with cotton thread. Rain with her hands bathed the Humans and gave them life. They were beautiful and they were immortal and never got old. They had many healthy children, and the children lived a very long time a got old very slowly. The grandchildren still lived along time not as long and got old faster. Each generation did not live as long as the generation before until the children were born very old and died the same day as they were born. Reaching a dead end Vulture erased all traces of Humanity from the earth.

Earth Doctor would try again this time he made two humans out of smoked brain tanned leather sewn together with cotton thread and filled with duck down. Vulture the destroyer would fan the dolls with her wings and bring them to life. The human pair had children and the children had children. They were not immortal and they learned the farm and care for themselves. Then the four divine people would give the humans Tobacco as a ceremonial herb and teach them how to make beer from corn. The humans like the beer a lot and they also like the Tobacco a lot. Soon work wasn’t getting done because all the humans were spending much too much setting around talking, drinking beer and smoking tobacco.  Even small children and even babies preferred beer to mothers’ milk. The four holy people had to send emergency supplies to feed, house and cloth the people. Vulture whose children it was said this isn’t working out so Vulture erased all humans from the planet.

There would only be one more attempt to create Humans. This time Earth Doctor would create only one Human. After much discussion it was decide that creating a Man would be easier than creating a Woman. A man’s body is much easier to make tan a woman’s body. A man is less likely to question authority than a woman.  Earth Doctor made only one Man and by himself he brought him into life. As the four holy people introduced Man to all the plants and animals Man gave a name to everything and this is how they are known today. Life was good and Man learned everything the Holy People taught him.

Then one day while Man was walking through the fields, orchards and meadows he came upon Woman. A creature he had never seen before and more beautiful than all the animals he had ever met. All Man could think about was Woman. He wanted to spend the rest of his life with Woman.

The Four Holy People had no idea where Primary Woman came from; this was not according to their plan. Because they did not create her Vulture could not erase her. While the Holy People debated what to do Primary Woman allowed herself to become pregnant. She knew if she carried a child because like her the Holy People did not create the child it was her child. Just like Woman created herself out of what was left over from the earlier Humans she created new life from the union between herself and Man and Vulture could not erase her child. Woman knew that Vulture would not erase Man and leave the Child without a father.

Primary Woman became very powerful and the Holy People themselves knew that among the Humans the Clans belong to the Mother and the field of corn, beans, cotton, melons, squash, and peppers belong to the Woman. What Woman owns is what will keep the people alive.

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