A Navaho Creation Myth
Stanley A. Fishler
Format: Global Grey free PDF, epub, Kindle ebook
Pages (PDF): 147
Publication Date: 1953
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This myth was recorded in February and March of 1950, near Tuba City, Arizona. The informant, Frank Goldtooth, was a man of from 50 to 60 years of age, who during his lifetime had been a silversmith, a farmer, a sheepman, a tribal councilman, a trader and a medicine man.
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In the beginning there was only the mists. There was no world then, only the white, yellow, blue, black, silver, and red mists floating in the air. The mists came together and laid on top of each other, like intercourse, and Supreme Sacred Wind was created. These mists lived in the air, but were not gods. Supreme Sacred Wind lived in light and black clouds or mists in space. During the day there was the light mist, which gave Him light, and during the night the dark mist.
Supreme Sacred Wind has a form like the Earth People and knows all that happens. He became lonely and from the mists created First Man, ’ácé xastˣín, or first one made, and First Woman, ’ácé’eszą́•, or second one made, Dawn, xayotká•t, is the mother and Yellow Twilight, naxo•coi, is the father of First Man, Dawn is the mother and Yellow Twilight is the father of First Woman. Thus, First Man and First Woman were brother and sister, but still their parents allowed them to marry. That is why few people will tell about such things. They had intercourse and had a boy, First Boy, ’ácé ’aški, ’ácé xazlį́•’ or third one made, and a girl, First Girl, ’ácé ’at’é•d, ’aké•d’ę•’ xazlį́•’, or last one made. Supreme Sacred Wind told First Man and First Woman how to have children.
Supreme Sacred Wind also created at this time Coyote, ’ácé xašké, First Mad or Hollerer or Screamer in the Dawn, Coyote had many names for he was often not thought as worthy of any of them, Coyote was made from an egg, which, like the other four, was formed from the mists, Dawn and Yellow Twilight hatched the egg. All of these were created by Supreme Sacred Wind in the beginning. Everyone that had been created spoke one language. The First Man was made with one language. He said the first word and the First Woman the second. The First Boy said the third and First Girl said the fourth word. Black Begochiddy said the fifth word, his wife the sixth and Coyote or First Mad gave the seventh word.
Nowadays there are seven words used in a prayer called a Seven Word Prayer. It is used to make everything on earth move smoothly, There are also seven words on the evil or witchcraft side, to make people die. When a medicine man says, “I know a seven word prayer,” he is boasting and is a witch. If he is a witch, the things he prays for will happen before sundown. The Good Way prayer is to make the world run smoothly and to make you live longer, (“If they are witches they are stingy with this,” F. G., informant.) The witchcraft way Seven Word Prayer is even or parallel in number with the Good Way Seven Word Prayer.
To help in His work, Supreme Sacred Wind created many other gods. From the Dawn was created Talking God who was to lead the Dawn. Talking God is also known by other names. He was to be to the east and was to be called Leading the Dawn. He was also called the Stammerer, for he could not always think of the right words when speaking and would stammer. Within the Talking God are found the four colors, like clothes. From the Twilight was created Calling God who was to lead the Twilight. He was to be called Leading the Twilight. Within the Calling God are found the four colors also. These two gods were twin brothers. There was also a female Talking and Calling God created at this time.
Dawn Man, Dawn Woman, Dawn Boy and Dawn Girl were created from the beginning. When they lived in the mist there was light. The mist was like a fog or haze and everything could be seen. The Twilight Man, Twilight Woman, Twilight Boy and Twilight Girl were from the beginning. They lived in dark mist and became the darkness like the night does now. There is also a Blue Twilight Man, Woman, Boy and Girl, who live to the south. To the north live a Black Twilight Man, Woman, Boy and Girl.
In the beginning there were songs that went along with this story. No one knows them all now. First Man, First Woman, First Boy, First Girl and Coyote knew these songs. The Five Night Sings that are used now were made on this earth. First Man and First Woman knew the Good Way Story. Nowadays the Dawn People themselves go up into the sky and become the colors of Dawn. The Twilight and Dawn People help each other. That is the reason there are the same colors in the east when the sun rises and in the west when the sun goes down. In the morning, if there is a red or gold color in the east, it foretells fevers, coughs or epidemics to come.
The Wind People were created and sent to the four directions to take charge of the minor Wind People, all of whom look like us. Clouds were then made of white mist by the Supreme Sacred Wind. Xaśč̨’éšžin•´, the Fire, Flint or Black God was created at this time also. Ray of Sunlight, šábiƛ’ ó•l was the mother and Daylight, šáńdí•n was the father of Bego Black; Bego Yellow (the blue eyed, yellow haired god Begochiddy), Bego Blue and Bego White. Bego Yellow went around holding women’s breasts. Speaking of him one of the women said. “The-Man-Holding-up my Tity.” They named him Begochiddy because of this.
Supreme Sacred Wind now created an earth. He took a little of the five mists, molded them together and made the earth. That is why the earth has various colored streaks running through it.
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