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Native American Legends

How Music came to the Earth

An American Indian Legend - Nation Unknown

A great medicine man, who studies the four quarters of the world and the skies, walked the Earth and, noticing how silent it was, cried out with great sadness and pity for the people of the world.

He called out for the winds from the four quarters of the Earth, "Come oh Wind!" "Come oh Wind!" "Come oh Wind!" "Come oh Wind!"

The vast sorrowful winds gathered from over the face of the Earth and rose up, high, into the sky. It whisked up the dust of the Earth into a cloud and whipped the seas into a froth. The trees too, bent one way and another, in the wake of the wind, until it arrived at the medicine mans camp.

The medicine man spoke.
"Wind, the world is sad and without hope. Earth is sick from silence. Here we have light and color and sweet fruits aplenty, but we have no music. We should give music to the world, to accompany the dawn, to brighten the dreams of the people and lull the infants in their mother's arms. There should be music in the flowing rivers and the playful breezes. Life should be all music! Go, Wind, through the boundless sadness that lies between the blue smoke of the sky and the vastness above, to the Mansion of the Sun. There our Father Sun is surrounded by musicians, and their music is sweet and broadcasts the sunlight in all directions. Go there and bring us back the best of those musicians and singers."

The wind launched himself up with all his strength to reach the roof of the world, where all melody resides in a hot hive of light in the Mansion of the Sun.

The Sun's musicians were of four colors: white for complexity , red were those of hot passions, love and war, blue of drifting clouds, dreams, trees and streams and yellow-gold were the melodies of gentle lullabies. All were bright and nowhere was there darkness or sadness.

When Father Sun saw the wind approaching he warned his musicians to stop their playing and their singing, for any who raised their voices would have to leave the Mansion of the Sun and go down to Earth.

The wind alighted on the stairs of the Mansion of the Sun and called to those inside, "Come oh musicians! Come oh Singers!

None made answer. All were a silent, a silent Rainbow of glittering, circling dance of colors caught in the blazing glow of the Sun. Wind was enraged at the selfishness of sun and from the farthest corners and the deepest depths he launched forth swarms of blackened clouds, spun around and ripped through with his lightning lash. Flashing and rumbling they besieged the Mansion of the Sun.

From the endless deeps of his throat roared black thunder, and everything round about crumbled. The Sun was caught up in the seething blackness in the sky, a bleary redness in the dark.

The musicians and singers ran in great fear to seek shelter in the wind's embrace, and bearing them gently lest he jar their delicate melodies, with his arms full of joy and brightness, he dove down through the sky to Earth.

The wind beamed with happiness as all the Earth below raised its eyes up to heaven. Its whole face shone with anticipation, each tree lifting its arms up in welcome. The quetzal birds flew up and the faces of the flowers and the cheeks of the fruits, and all the voices of the people cheered as the company of musicians landed on the Earth.

The wind, no longer sorrowful, but all happiness now, sang through the air, kissed the seas and the high places, caressed the valleys and whistled through the trees, distributing music to all the four quarters of the Earth.

And so was music brought to Earth in the arms of the wind and all creation learned to sing. A chorus to accompany the dawn, a lullaby in the mouth of a parent, songs to brighten our dreams and lift the spirit. There is music in the flowing rivers and in the playful breezes.

Life was full of music from that time on!

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