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How the Kâ'yemäshi Bore K'yäk'lu to the Council of the Gods

A Zuni Legend

Then lifting it on their shoulders, they bore it lightly, singing loudly as they went, to the shores of the deep black lake where gleamed from the middle the lights of the dead.

Uprose at this point the Sálamopia Tém'hlanahna or of all the six regions, led by the leader of them all and taking K'yäk'lu on their shoulders, they in turn bore him out over the water to the magic ladder of rushes and canes which reared itself high out of the water; and K'yäk'lu, scattering sacred prayer-meal before him, stepped down the way, slowly, like a blind man descending a skyhole. No sooner had he taken four steps than the ladder lowered into the deep; and see! his light was instantly darkened.

But when the Sálamopia of the regions entered the central sitting place of the Kâ'kâ with K'yäk'lu, Shúlawitsi lifted his brand on high and swinging it, lighted the fires anew so that K'yäk'lu saw again with fullness of sight and so that they shone on all the gods and soul-beings therein assembled, revealing them. Yes, and thrulgh the windows and doorways of all the six chambers encircling, and at each portal, the S´lamopia of the region it pertained and led unto took his station. And Páutiwa, and his warriors the bluehorned Saía'hliawe, and the tall Sháalako-kwe, yes, and all the god-priests of the six regions, those who are told of without omission in the speech of K'yäk'lu and in other speeches of our ancient talk, bade K'yäk'lu weleome, saying, "Do you come here, son?" "yes," he replied.

"Truly, then," Páutiwa said,"Sit down with us, So that we may tell you much, For you have wandered far and have become changed.

As a woman with children is loved for her power of keeping unbroken The life-line of kinsfolk, So shall you, tireless hearer, Of all sounds with meaning, be cherished amongst us and worshipped of mortals for keeping unbroken The Tale of Creation, Yes, all we shall tell to you Of past days and future."

So said Páutiwa, cloud-sender and sun-priest of souls, and his younger brothers of the all the regions, joined in so saying.

Then Ki'yäk'lu sat down and bowed his head, and calling to the Duck, who had guided him, stretched forth his hand and upon it she settled, as upon a wave-crest or a wood bough.

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