Published on January 29, 2013 by Casey
A Hopi Legend
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So the First People multiplied and spread over the face of the land and were happy. Although they were of different colors and spoke different languages, they felt as one and understood each other without talking. It was the same with the birds and the animals. They all suckled at the breast of their Mother Earth, who gave them milk of grass, seeds, fruit, and corn, and they all felt as one: people and animals.
But gradually there were those who forgot the commands of Sótuknang and the Spider Woman to respect their Creator. More and more they used the vibratory centers solely for earthy purposes, forgetting that their primary purpose was to carry out the plan of Creation.
Then there came Lavahóya, the Talker. He came in the form of a bird called Mochni (a bird like a Mockingbird), and the more he kept talking, the more he convinced them of the differences between them: the difference between people and animals, and the differences between the people themselves by reason of the color of their skins, their speech, and their beliefs in the plan of the Creator.
It was then that the animals drew away from the people. The guardian spirit of animals laid his hands on their hind legs just below the tail, making them become wild and scatter from the people in fear. You can see this slightly oily spot today on deer and antelope on the sides of their back legs as they throw up their tails to run away.
In the same way, people began to divide and draw away from one another: those of different races and languages, then those who remembered the plan of creation and those who did not.
There came among them a handsome one, Káto’ya, in the form of a snake with a big head. He led the people still farther away from each other and their pristine wisdom. They became suspicious of one another and accused one another wrongfully until they became fierce and warlike and began to fight one another.
All the time, Mochni kept talking and Káto’ya became more beguiling. there was no rest, no peace.
But among all the people of different races and languages there were a few in every group who still lived by the laws of Creation. To them came Sóyuknang. He came with sound as of a mighty wind and suddenly appeared before them. He said, “I have observed this state of affairs. It is not good. It is so bad that I talked to my Uncle, Taiowa, about it. We have decided this world must be destroyed and another one created so you people can start over again. You are the ones we have chosen.”
They listened carefully to their instruction.
Said Sóyuknang, “You will go to a certain place. Your kópavi (vibratory center on top of the head) will lead you. This inner wisdom will give you the sight to see a certain cloud, which you will follow by day, and a certain star, which you will follow by night. Take nothing with you. Your journey will not end until the cloud stops and the star stops.
So all over the world these chosen people suddenly disappeared from their homes and people and began following the cloud by day and the star by night. Many other people asked them where they were going and, when they were told, laughed at them. “We don’t see any cloud or any star either!” they said.
This was because they had lost the inner vision of the kópavi on the crowns of their heads: the door was closed to them. Still, there were a very few people who went along anyway because they believed the people who did see the cloud and the star. This was all right.
After many days and nights the first people arrived at the certain place. Soon others came and asked, “What are you doing here?” And they said, ” We were told by Sóyuknang to come here.” The other people said, ” We too were led here by the vapor and the star!” They were all happy together because they were of the same mind and understanding even though they were of different languages and races.
When the last ones arrived Sóyuknang appeared. “Well, you are all here, you that I have chosen to save from the destruction of this world. Now come with me.”
He led them to a big mound where the Ant People lived, stamped on the roof, and commanded the Ant People to open up their home. When an opening was made on top of the anthill, Sóyuknang said to the people, “Now you will enter this Ant kiva, where you will be safe when I destroy the world. While you are here, I want you to learn a lesson from these Ant People. They are industrious. They gather food in the summer for the winter. They keep cool when it is hot and warm when it is cold. They live in peace with each other. They obey the plan of creation.”
So the people went down to live with the Ant People. When they were all safe and settled Taiowa commanded Sóyuknang to destroy the world. Sóyuknang destroyed it by fire because the Fire Clan had been its leaders. He rained fire upon it. He opened up the volcanoes. Fire came from above and below and all around until the Earth, the waters, the air, all was one element: fire. And then there was nothing left except the people safe inside the womb of the Earth.
This was the end of Tokpela, the First World.