The Kiliwa Live In the Mtns of N. Baja California–Their Creation Story Is Different Than Their Neighbors’




Kiliwa Creation story–adapted from the telling of Peveril Meigs
Originally there was nothing – no sky, no mountains – only darkness. Metipa came forth and took a mouthful of water and spat it to the south. Then another to the north. He took a lot and spat it to the west, which created the dangerous sea. Then he took a little and spat to the east which became the sea with little waves. Then he smoked a cigarette and blew smoke toward the seas. Then he decided to make the sky by using his skin. He made four mountain sheep and four mountains. They were the four shaman mountains which were placed in the spaces between the four seas. He tried to create the sky from his skin but it was too fresh so he placed a mountain sheep on each of the four mountains. The horns of the mountain sheep were of different colors: brown and blue, yellow and tan, glittering and gray, red and white. He tried to rest his skin on the mountain sheep but it sagged because it was too fresh. He then made a mole that raised a ridge all around and he laid the skin on the ridge. This time the skin stayed. He made the sun by drawing it out of his elbow but it would not come. Then he tried to draw it out of his thigh but it would not come. He tried to draw it out of the top of his head but could not. Finally he drew it out of his mouth which is hot. Then he tried to make a creosote bush for shade from the sun. The heat was unbearable. He then made a rattlesnake which pushed the sun higher into the sky. Then he made a horse by getting on his hands and knees. His shadow made the horse. He had seeds of all the plants. Then he made dog, people and clothing. Having made everything, he became sick. He tried lying on a bed of herbs. It did not help and he died. He tried to lift his body but could not. A singer came forth and raised winds from the four directions. The body was raised. The singer raised the body and they burned it. This is so people would die.
Another creation story
Metipa came out of the earth. He made his four sons. Then he made the moon and put it in the east. He thought he hung it badly so he moved to the west. That is why the moon always sets in the west. Then Metipa  made the sun. He had it in his stomach. He brought it out of his mouth and put it in the sky, but he thought it hung it badly so he put it back in his stomach. He then tried to bring it out of his rectum and hung it in the east. This is why people have scorched rectums. Then he made plants, hills and animals. He named them all. Then he made the four seas. Everything was small. Everything had to grow just as a person grows. After he died and was cremated, he made a moth. This is the last animal he made. When he died he went back into the earth in his bones became veins in the rocks in the mountains. Metipa taught his four sons to make bows, arrows, arrowheads, fire, mescal nets, ollas, houses, blankets etc. He ordered his sons to make these things and to marry women and have children.
The flood
It took place in the San Felipe desert. A shaman killed jackrabbits. He put them to the side where they became people. They were his sons. His sons went ahead and the old man stayed behind. There was a fire circle hunt for rabbits which is sons participated in. The people ordered Badger to make a hole. They covered the hole with branches and ordered the boys to sit on the branches. They fell into the hole and were killed. They filled up the hole. One of the sons of Metipa killed the boys. The people on the hunt were his people. They killed the boys because they killed too many rabbits. The shaman father looked for his sons but could not find them. A bird told him who had killed his sons. He had a rabbit which he had killed and he took parts of the rabbit out and threw them in the four directions. It rained and all the people were killed by the force of the storm. The shaman and his people stayed in a cave and avoided the storm. After the rain all of the people in the cave (who were animals) went back to the places where they live. When the flood came all the people went to the north, perhaps to California where the cave was.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s