Native American Legends
A Sia Legend
In the beginning, long, long ago, there was but one being in the
lower world. This was the spider, Sussistinnako. At that time there
were no other insects, no birds, animals, or any other living creature.
The spider drew a line of meal from north to south and then crossed
it with another line running east and west. On each side of the
first line, north of the second, he placed two small parcels. They
were precious but no one knows what was in them except Spider. Then
he sat down near the parcels and began to sing. The music was low
and sweet and the two parcels accompanied him, by shaking like rattles.
Then two women appeared, one from each parcel.
In a short time people appeared and began walking around. Then
animals, birds, and insects appeared, and the spider continued to
sing until his creation was complete.
But there was no light, and as there were many people, they did
not pass about much for fear of treading upon each other. The two
women first created were the mothers of all. One was named Utset
and she as the mother of all Indians. The other was Now-utset, and
she was the mother of all other nations. While it was still dark,
the spider divided the people into clans, saying to some, "You
are of the Corn clan, and you are the first of all." To others
he said, "You belong to the Coyote clan." So he divided
them into their clans, the clans of the Bear, the Eagle, and other
After Spider had nearly created the Earth, Ha-arts, he thought
it would be well to have rain to water it, so he created the Cloud
People, the Lightning People, the Thunder People, and the Rainbow
People, to work for the people of Ha- arts, the Earth. He divided
this creation into six parts, and each had its home in a spring
in the heart of a great mountain upon whose summit was a giant tree.
One was in the spruce tree on the Mountain of the North; another
in the pine tree on the Mountain of the West; another in the oak
tree on the Mountain of the South; and another in the aspen tree
on the Mountain of the East; the fifth was on the cedar tree on
the Mountain of the Zenith; and the last in an oak on the Mountain
of the Nadir.
The spider divided the world into three parts: Ha-arts, the Earth;
Tinia, the middle plain; and Hu-wa-ka, the upper plain. Then the
spider gave to these People of the Clouds and to the rainbow, Tinia,
the middle plain.
Now it was still dark, but the people of Ha-arts made houses for
themselves by digging in the rocks and the Earth. They could not
build houses as they do now, because they could not see.
In a short time Utset and Now-utset talked much to each other,
saying, "We will make light, that our people may see. We cannot
tell the people now, but tomorrow will be a good day and the day
after tomorrow will be a good day," meaning that their thoughts
were good. So they spoke with one tongue. They said, "Now all
is covered with darkness, but after a while we will have light."
Then these two mothers, being inspired by Sussistinnako, the spider,
made the sun from white shell, turkis, red stone, and abalone shell.
After making the sun, they carried him to the east and camped there,
since there were no houses. The next morning they climbed to the
top of a high mountain and dropped the sun down behind it. After
a time he began to ascend. When the people saw the light they were
When the sun was far off, his face was blue; as he came nearer,
the face grew brighter. Yet they did not see the sun himself, but
only a large mask which covered his whole body.
The people saw that the world was large and the country beautiful.
When the two mothers returned to the village, they said to the people,
"We are the mothers of all."
The sun lighted the world during the day, but there was no light
at night. So the two mothers created the moon from a slightly black
stone, many kinds of yellow stone, turkis, and a red stone, that
the world might be lighted at night. But the moon traveled slowly
and did not always give light. Then the two mothers created the
Star People and made their eyes of sparkling white crystal that
they might twinkle and brighten the world at night. When the Star
People lived in the lower world they were gathered into beautiful
groups; they were not scattered about as they are in the upper world.
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