Native American Legends
The course of the Sun
A Sia Legend
Sussistinnako, the spider, said to the sun, "My son, you will
ascend and pass over the world above. You will go from north to
south. Return and tell me what you think of it."
The sun said, on his return, "Mother, I did as you bade me,
and I did not like the road."
Spider told him to ascend and pass over the world from west to
the east. On his return, the sun said,
"It may be good for some, mother, but I did not like it."
Spider said, "You will again ascend and pass over the straight
road from the east to the west. Return and tell me what you think
That night the sun said, "I am much contented. I like that
Sussistinnako said, "My son, you will ascend each day and
pass over the world from east to west."
Upon each day's journey the sun stops midway from the east to the
center of the world to eat his breakfast. In the center he stops
to eat his dinner. Halfway from the center to the west he stops
to eat his supper. He never fails to eat these three meals each
day, and always stops at the same points.
The sun wears a shirt of dressed deerskin, with leggings of the
same reaching to his thighs. The shirt and leggings are fringed.
His moccasins are also of deerskin and embroidered in yellow, red,
and turkis beads. He wears a kilt of deerskin, having a snake painted
upon it. He carries a bow and arrows, the quiver being of cougar
skin, hanging over his shoulder, and he holds his bow in his left
hand and an arrow in his right. He always wears the mask which protects
him from the sight of the people of Ha-arts.
At the top of the mask is an eagle plume with parrot plumes; an
eagle plume is at each side, and one at the bottom of the mask.
The hair around the head and face is red like fire, and when it
moves and shakes people cannot look closely at the mask. It is not
intended that they should observe closely, else they would know
that instead of seeing the sun they see only his mask.
The moon came to the upper world with the sun and he also wears
Each night the sun passes by the house of Sussistinnako, the spider,
who asks him, "How are my children above? How many have died
today? How many have been born today?" The sun lingers only
long enough to answer his questions. He then passes on to his house
in the east.
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