American Indian Stories - The Age of Gods

Last Next


Navaho Native American

Go to: Age of Gods - Navaho Index

In the Age of Gods: Now a certain group of people had already built their houses of stone. They were known as the Blue Bird Clan People. The person at the head of this clan was a woman. She had in her keeping the rock with the 12 months and the seasons marked on it. This rock had been given to her; and by it she was able to know the seasons, the months and the days of the year. Having this rock gave her the knowledge of what is beyond the blue sky, what is under the earth, and what is in the air and the water.

First Man spoke to this woman to whom had been given the Calendar Stone. "I shall go now," he said, "but my work is not yet finished. You will hear of me later." He was thinking that later he would form another tribe which would be called the Dîné.

At this time all the people lived in peace; and all the work that First Man had done was good. He told the different peoples to go over the world and to live as each had been directed. Then he left them.

So it came about that people, human beings, went to the mesa country and built their homes in the caves in the cliffs. They grew to a great number. These people knew how to plant and to care for corn. They learned how to build great houses. They had all that they wanted on the earth. There was plenty, and there was no need to travel afar. It was because of this that they built their houses of stone.

At this time they grew in great numbers and they became a very strong people. But many of them practiced black magic; when they left their homes they traveled in the forms of the coyote, the bird, or the wildcat. It was while in these forms that they began to kill each other. Evil grew among them. They planned to kill First Man.

They learned to build ceremonial rooms, round in form and covered, with the entrance in the roof. They made a ventilator shaft to admit air. These round rooms or kivas were their meeting places, their places of prayer, and also, where some practiced black magic. They set a time when they would go into the kivas and hold meetings. This was the plan of First Man, but they did not know it. Now many of these people did not practice black magic; they were good people. These good men gathered together and formed a plan. They ground a lot of chili, and they dried and ground bile from eagles, hawks, mountain sheep, and mountain lions. This they mixed together to use as a poison. When the time came to go into the kivas, they, the good people, threw the mixture into the fire, and their relatives closed the smoke hole outside. The bad people were killed and the good ones remained unharmed. Now when the relatives of the bad people found what had happened they turned against First Man. They said that it had been his plan. "Now kill us," they said, "for we have lost our brothers and sisters." First Man heard them and he sent diseases which killed still more of the wicked ones. After the fourth plague was sent among them almost all who practiced black magic were destroyed. The good people went south and grew their corn in other canyons; but after these evil things passed away many of the good people returned to the mesas to live.

Go to: Age of Gods - Navaho Index

Native American Myths
Last Next