Apache Indian Creation Myth

In the beginning nothing existed -- no earth, no sky, no sun, no moon, only 
darkness was everywhere. Suddenly from the darkness emerged a thin disc, one 
side yellow and the other side white, appearing suspended in midair. Within 
the disc sat a small bearded man, Creator, the One Who Lives Above. As if 
waking from a long nap, he rubbed his eyes and face with both hands. 

When he looked into the endless darkness, light appeared above. He looked 
down and it became a sea of light. To the east, he created yellow streaks of 
dawn. To the west, tints of many colors appeared everywhere. There were also 
clouds of different colors. 

Creator wiped his sweating face and rubbed his hands together, thrusting them 
downward. Behold! A shining cloud upon which sat a little girl. "Stand up and 
tell me where are you going," said Creator. But she did not reply. He rubbed 
his eyes again and offered his right hand to the Girl-Without-Parents. 

"Where did you come from?" she asked, grasping his hand. 

"From the east where it is now light," he replied, stepping upon her cloud. 

"Where is the earth?" she asked. 

"Where is the sky?" he asked, and sang, "I am thinking, thinking, thinking 
what I shall create next." He sang four times, which was the magic number. 

Creator brushed his face with his hands, rubbed them together, then flung 
them wide open! Before them stood Sun-God. Again Creator rubbed his sweaty 
brow and from his hands dropped Small-Boy. 

All four gods sat in deep thought upon the small cloud. "What shall we make 
next?" asked Creator. "This cloud is much too small for us to live upon." 
Then he created Tarantula, Big Dipper, Wind, Lightning-Maker, and some 
western clouds in which to house Lightning-Rumbler, which he just finished. 

Creator sang, "Let us make earth. I am thinking of the earth, earth, earth; I 
am thinking of the earth," he sang four times. 

All four gods shook hands. In doing so, their sweat mixed together and 
Creator rubbed his palms, from which fell a small round, brown ball, not much 
larger than a bean. Creator kicked it, and it expanded. Girl-Without-Parents 
kicked the ball, and it enlarged more. Sun-God and Small-Boy took turns 
giving it hard kicks, and each time the ball expanded. Creator told Wind to 
go inside the ball and to blow it up. 

Tarantula spun a black cord and, attaching it to the ball, crawled away fast 
to the east, pulling on the cord with all his strength. Tarantula repeated 
with a blue cord to the south, a yellow cord to the west, and a white cord to 
the north. With mighty pulls in each direction, the brown ball stretched to 
immeasurable size -- it became the earth! 

Creator scratched his chest and rubbed his fingers together and there 
appeared Hummingbird. "Fly north, south, east, and west and tell us what you 
see," said Creator. "All is well," reported Hummingbird upon his return. "The 
earth is most beautiful, with water on the west side." 

But the earth kept rolling and dancing up and down. So Creator made four 
giant posts -- black, blue, yellow, and white to support the earth. Wind 
carried the four posts, placing them beneath the four cardinal points of the 
earth. The earth sat still. Creator sang, "World is now made and now sits 
still," which he repeated four times. Then he began a song about the sky. 
None existed, but he thought there should be one. After singing about it four 
times, twenty-eight people appeared to help make a sky above the earth. 
Creator chanted about making chiefs for the earth and sky. 

He sent Lightning-Maker to encircle the world, and he returned with three 
uncouth creatures, two girls and a boy found in a turquoise shell. They had 
no eyes, ears, hair, mouths, noses, or teeth. They had arms and legs, but no 
fingers or toes. Sun-God sent for Fly to come and build a sweathouse. 
Girl-Without-Parents covered it with four heavy clouds. In front of the east 
doorway she placed a soft, red cloud for a foot-blanket to be used after the 
sweat. Four stones were heated by the fire inside the sweathouse. The three 
uncouth creatures were placed inside. The others sang songs of healing on the 
outside, until it was time for the sweat to be finished. Out came the three 
strangers who stood upon the magic red cloud-blanket. Creator then shook his 
hands toward them, giving each one fingers, toes, mouths, eyes, ears, noses 
and hair. 

Creator named the boy, Sky-Boy, to be chief of the Sky-People. One girl he 
named Earth-Daughter, to take charge of the earth and its crops. The other 
girl he named Pollen-Girl, and gave her charge of health care for all 

Since the earth was flat and barren, Creator thought it fun to create 
animals, birds, trees, and a hill. He sent Pigeon to see how the world 
looked. Four days later, he returned and reported, "All is beautiful around 
the world. But four days from now, the water on the other side of the earth 
will rise and cause a mighty flood." Creator made a very tall pinon tree. 
Girl-Without-Parents covered the tree framework with pinon gum, creating a 
large, tight ball. In four days, the flood occurred. Creator went up on a 
cloud, taking his twenty-eight helpers with him. Girl-Without-Parents put the 
others into the large, hollow ball, closing it tight at the top. 

In twelve days, the water receded, leaving the float-ball high on a hilltop. 
Girl-Without-Parents led the gods out from the float-ball onto the new earth. 
She took them upon her cloud, drifting upward until they met Creator with his 
helpers, who had completed their work making the sky during the flood time on 
earth. Together the two clouds descended to a valley below. There, 
Girl-Without-Parents gathered everyone together to listen to Creator. 

"I am planning to leave you," he said. "I wish each of you to do your best 
toward making a perfect, happy world. 

"You, Lightning-Rumbler, shall have charge of clouds and water. 

"You, Sky-Boy, look after all Sky-People. 

"You, Earth-Daughter, take charge of all crops and Earth-People. 

"You, Pollen-Girl, care for their health and guide them. 

"You, Girl-Without-Parents, I leave you in charge over all." 

Creator then turned toward Girl-Without-Parents and together they rubbed 
their legs with their hands and quickly cast them forcefully downward. 
Immediately between them arose a great pile of wood, over which Creator waved 
a hand, creating fire. Great billowy clouds of smoke at once drifted skyward. 
Into this cloud, Creator disappeared. The other gods followed him in other 
clouds of smoke, leaving the twenty-eight workers to people the earth. 
Sun-God went east to live and travel with the Sun. Girl-Without-Parents 
departed westward to live on the far horizon. Small-Boy and Pollen-Girl made 
cloud homes in the south. Big Dipper can still be seen in the northern sky at 
night, a reliable guide to all.