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Native American Legends

The Cloud People

A Sia Legend

Now all the Cloud People, the Lightning People, the Thunder and Rainbow Peoples followed the Sia into the upper world. But all the people of Tinia, the middle world, did not leave the lower world.

Only a portion were sent by the Spider to work for the people of the upper world. The Cloud People are so many that, although the demands of the Earth people are so great, there are always many passing about over Tinia for pleasure. These Cloud People ride on wheels, small wheels being used by the little Cloud children and large wheels by the older ones.

The Cloud People keep always behind their masks. The shape of the mask depends upon the number of the people and the work being done.

The Henati are the floating white clouds behind which the Cloud People pass for pleasure.

The Heash are clouds like the plains and behind these the Cloud People are laboring to water the Earth.

Water is brought by the Cloud People, from the springs at the base of the mountains, in gourds and jugs and vases by the men, women, and children. They rise from the springs and pass through the trunk of the tree to its top, which reaches Tinia. They pass on to the point to be sprinkled.

The priest of the Cloud People is above even the priests of the Thunder, Lightning, and Rainbow Peoples. The Cloud People have ceremonies, just like those of the Sia. On the altars of the Sia may be seen figures arranged just as the Cloud People sit in their ceremonies.

When a priest of the Cloud People wishes assistance from the Thunder and Lightning Peoples, he notifies their priests, but keeps a supervision of all things himself.

Then the Lightning People shoot their arrows to make it rain the harder. The smaller flashes come from the bows of the children. The Thunder People have human forms, with wings of knives, and by flapping these wings they make a great noise. Thus they frighten the Cloud and Lightning People into working the harder.

The Rainbow People were created to work in Tinia to make it more beautiful for the people of Ha-arts, the Earth, to look upon. The elders make the beautiful rainbows, but the children assist. The Sia have no idea of what or how these bows are made. They do know, however, that war heroes always travel upon the rainbows.

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