The Mohave Creation Story Adapted from the Telling of Alfred Kroeber

Mohave Creation Story adapted from the telling of Alfred Kroeber

First there was the sky, a man and the earth, a woman. From them was born Matevillye. His daughter was from frog, and his son was Mastamho. All the people, the animals and the plants went to the east under the leadership of Matevillye. Matevillye found the center of the earth by putting his arms out to the ends of the world. There he built a house. Frog bewitched him by eating his excrement after he was indecent with her. He was going to die and he knew Coyote was up to no good so he sent him far away to get fire for the cremation. Fly produced fire by rubbing her legs together while Coyote was away. Matevillye was cremated and Coyote returned where he found the nonhuman persons surrounding the body. Coyote jumped over Badger, grabbed the heart, and ran off with it. The nonhuman persons made the first mourning ceremony in the world under the direction of Mastamho. The ashes and bones were offensive to the people so Mastamho led them to the north. He stuck his stick in the ground which caused water to come out. He blocked it with his feet three times and on the fourth time the water turned south to form the Colorado River. He put a boat in the river and he got into it and he put the people in it too. When it reached the Gulf of California he left the boat and headed north with the people on his arms. The water came up high and he went to a mountain peak where he stepped to the four directions causing the water to go down. He then planted the seeds of the plants that people gather. Still with the people, he went to Aviikwame. There he built a house for himself and the people. He had the people shout four times, creating the sun and the moon. Then he tested the shamans and designated the ones who spoke right to be successful. In the ocean lived the great snake. One of the men pretended to be sick and they sent for the snake. He came rattling his tail, creating thunder and lightning. He stuck his head in the house and it started to tilt over. They cut off his head and he died. Thus it is that the medicine man who cause sickness and death are killed. Mastamho sent off the five tribes and told the sixth, the Mohave, to stay in the adjacent territory. Then he decided that he would depart his existence in human form. He sprouted feathers and on the fourth try flew away as the fish eagle.

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