Havasupai Creation Story–The Havasupai Live in Part of the Grand Canyon

Havasupai creation story adapted from the telling of CL Smithson and RC Euler

The people who lived under the earth. There was no sun and a few families live near a pool of water. Two brothers were leaders. One of them planted a grapeseed and the grapevine went straight up. The people climbed a number of days from coil to coil until they came out on top of the ground. There was a girl who is not liked by any of the men so that they would marry her. She turned herself into a tobacco plant so that the men would like her. They gathered it and smoked it and it turned into the woman. She said, “I thought you didn’t like me,” and went off alone again. She went to a pool of water where one of the women looked for lice. She jumped into the water and turned into a frog. Then the water began to rise. The men were talking and said that there wasn’t enough light to hunt small game. They asked their leader to make a light. He said he would but the men had to go to bed and that it would be night. The next morning the moon came up but it was not bright enough. The younger brother said it was not bright enough. He told the man to go to bed as before and at daybreak the sun came up. At that time the sky was not as high as it is now. The clouds were too low in the sun went by too fast. Younger Brother pushed the sky up with cane. The frog woman made the water rise up the coils of the grapevine until it flooded the earth. The people put a small girl in a hollowed out log and sealed it with pitch. She had food, water, animals and birds. The water rose and drowned all the people. It rose to the sky so that the woodpecker hung on it and it came up to his tail feathers. The flicker followed the log around. It came to rest at Grand Falls on the Little Colorado River. The mountains there were bare and had no timber. The girl camped. From the soft mud she made horses, pots, grinding stones and many other things. The girl found a spring in the San Francisco Mountains the men had told her about. She was lonely and decided to become pregnant by the sun’s rays and the water from the spring. She had a daughter. She raised her daughter, then told her to become pregnant as she had by the sun and the water from the spring. She had a son who became a hunter. He was the first one to come to Supai. But the walls of the canyon enclosed up and killed people. He ran very fast and gathered some reeds and came out again. He covered himself with an animal hide he covered with blood. An eagle picked him up and took him to its nest. There he killed the eaglets and took their feathers. He prayed and blew and the rock walls turned the sand so he walked out. He took the feathers and used them on arrows so that they could fly straight. He met his father who was the sun and the spring. His father gave him a horse and a saddle, split him open and put lightning in him. The boy told his grandmother he would go to the East and she would go to the West. He gave her seeds for piñon and grass and other good plants and told her to scatter them along with the rain. When the wind blows you know the boy is going to see his grandmother.

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