Cocopa Creation Story

Cocopa creation story adapted from the telling of Kelly


Sipa and Komat, the creator gods, were under the water. Komat pushed Sipa out and he became the older. They came up through the water and Komat asked Sipa how he came up. He told him – with his eyes open. The older brother became blinded because of this. There was no land so they got three kinds of ants to dig up hills of earth and the water went down.

The ground dried out here and there and the two brothers made men. They made all sorts including Indians, Mexicans, Chinese and Americans. Komat, the blind one, needed to urinate so he went over to the bushes and Sipa switch the people he had made for Komat’s because they were better. Komat came back and felt the people before him and knew that they weren’t his because they were deformed. He needed to urinate again and Sipa switched his fox for Komat’s fox. Komat could tell that the fox wasn’t his.

Komat kept on making men. When they were all made it was time to add eyes to them. Sipa wanted to put them on their toes. Komat said this would not be good because when they walk through mud or dust they would not be able to see. He said the eyes should be in the head. Sipa agreed and that’s how they were made. Sipa made a bow and arrow and shot Komat, but did not injure him seriously. Everything was dark so Sipa made a light but it was not good. Komat made a good one and threw it into the sky where it travels during the day. Sipa was going to throw his out but Komat said no and it was the moon. Sipa changed again the men Komat had made for his. This time Komat became mad, broke the sky and disappeared through a hole in the ground. Things that cause disease and death came up through the hole so Sipa covered the hole with his feet but a number of sicknesses came through.

Sipa made more people and sorted them out into the different tribes. The spot where the twins came up and these things happened is called Striped House. Sipa taught the people how to talk and live. He built a house for them of adobe that turned to stone. It is located east of Tucson. In the house the children learned to play and the Yuma boy and the Cocopa boy and the Maricopa boy fought.


Sipa gave the people various things and the Mexican and the American, who were the youngest cried because they wanted things. The Cocopa boy said to give them to them to shut them up. Sipa took everybody to Wi Kwami. Coyote took his little sister Snake and threw her around. Snake complained to Sipa. He took whiskers from his chin and thorns from a bush and put them in Snake’s mouth. He blew tobacco smoke into her mouth and put ashes on her face and told her if the coyote threw her around to bite him. She did and coyote died.

The people did not know how to cry so locust taught them how to cry. Three birds directed the cremation. The two frog sisters of coyote mourned and decided to seek revenge on Sipa for putting teeth in Snake’s mouth. The two frog sisters caught Sipa’s excrement when he defecated. Sipa became ill because of this. He vomited white, yellow, red and black. These became food plants for the people. He died and the three birds took an ember from Coyote’s cremation and hid it in the ground. Coyote had a brother who wanted to eat Sipa’s body so the birds sent him to the sun to get fire for the cremation. While he was away, Quail, who was hiding the ember, lit the funeral pyre. The old woman who is taking care of the sun asked Coyote what he wanted the fire for. He told her and she said the pyre was nearly burned down. Coyote came bounding back and the people surrounded the pyre to guard it from him. Coyote begged to be led in, finally jumping over Badger and Skunk. Coyote ran away with the heart and the nonhuman persons tried to catch him.

The people were forgetting all the things that Sipa had taught them. The three birds sent White Road Runner to find Sipa who was walking toward heaven. He told him what was going on. Sipa said he couldn’t come back. Road Runner came back and told what had happened. Badger was sent after Sipa. He came back but it could not be seen. He told the people how to live. Some people didn’t listen and they don’t live right. They steal and kill people.

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