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Native American Legends

Pawnee Acopalyptic Myth

A Pawnee Legend

Tirawa Atius is the lord of all things and it is he alone who determines fate. At the beginning of the world, he set a large bull buffalo in the sky to the far northwest. With the passage of each year, the bull loses one hair; when all these hairs are gone, the world will end. As that hair falls, there will be widespread meteor showers, and the sun and moon will become dim.

In the beginning, Tirawa Atius appointed the North Star and the South Star to control fate. The North Star once spoke directly to the Pawnee and told them that the South Star moved just a little bit to the north with each passing year. When the South Star catches up with the North Star, then the world will end.

The command for the final destruction of the world is in the hands of the four gods of the directions. The West will issue the command that the world be destroyed and the East will obey. Then the stars in heaven will fall to the new earth and become people. The people left in this world at the time of destruction will fly high into the sky and become stars themselves.

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