Native American Legends
An American Indian Legend - Nation Unknown
When Tu-chai-pai made the world, the Earth was the woman, the sky
was the man. The sky came down upon the Earth. The world in the
beginning was a pure lake covered with tules. Tu-chai-pai and his
younger brother, Yo-ko-mat-is, sat together, stooping far over,
bowed down by the weight of the sky. The Maker said to his brother,
"What am I going to do?"
"I do not know," said Yo-ko-mat-is.
"Let us go a little farther," said the Maker.
So they went a little farther and sat down to rest. "Now what
am I going to do?" said Tu-chai-pai.
"I do not know, my brother."
All of this time the Maker knew what he was about to do, but he
was asking his brother's help. Then he said, "We-hicht, we-hicht,
we-hicht," three times. He took tobacco in his hand. and rubbed
it fine and blew upon it three times. Every time he blew, the heavens
rose higher above their heads.
Younger brother did the same thing because the Maker asked him
to do it. The heavens went higher and higher and so did the sky.
Then they did it both together, "We-hicht, we-hicht, we-hicht,"
and both took tobacco, rubbed it, and puffed hard upon it, sending
the sky so high it formed a concave arch.
Then they placed North, South, East, and West. Tu-chai-pai made
a line upon the ground.
"Why do you make that line?" asked younger brother.
"I am making the line from East to West and name them so.
Now you make a line from North to South."
Yo-ko-mat-is thought very hard. How would he arrange it? Then he
drew a cross line from top to bottom. He named the top line North,
and the bottom line South. Then he asked, "Why are we doing
The Maker said, "I will tell you. Three or four men are coming
from the East, and from the West three or four Indians are coming."
The brother asked, "Do four men come from the North, and two
or three men come from the South?"
Tu-chai-pai said, "Yes. Now I am going to make hills and valleys
and little hollows of water."
"Why are you making all of these things?"
The Maker explained, "After a while when men come and are
walking back and forth in the world, they will need to drink water
or they will die." He had already made the ocean, but he needed
little water places for the people.
Then he made the forests and said, "After a while men will
die of cold unless I make wood for them to burn. What are we going
to do now?"
"I do not know," replied younger brother.
"We are going to dig in the ground and find mud to make the
first people, the Indians." So he dug in the ground and took
mud to make the first men, and after that the first women. He made
the men easily, but he had much trouble making women. It took him
a long time.
After the Indians, he made the Mexicans and finished all his making.
He then called out very loudly, "People, you can never die
and you can never get tired, so you can walk all the time."
But then he made them sleep at night, to keep them from walking
in the darkness. At last he told them that they must travel toward
the East, where the sun's light was coming out for the first time.
The Indians then came out and searched for the light, and at last
they found light and were exceedingly glad to see the Sun. The Maker
called out to his brother, "It's time to make the Moon. You
call out and make the Moon to shine, as I have made the Sun. Sometime
the Moon will die. When it grows smaller and smaller, men will know
it is going to die, and they must run races to try and keep up with
the dying moon."
The villagers talked about the matter and they understood their
part and that Tu-chai-pai would be watching to see that they did
what he wanted them to do. When the Maker completed all of this,
he created nothing more. But he was always thinking how to make
Earth and Sky better for all the Indians.
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